Monday, August 13, 2012

We are Seeking Input

Tonight, I despise Crayola.

     Ryan and I have been lying awake, brainstorming solutions for a concrete, new problem. I can't go to sleep until I Lament, and hopefully get some concrete feedback.
      In 6 days we have had 5 separate instances of crayons on the walls. Etienne has colored on the walls/cabinets/floor, and now, tonight six different spots upstairs.
     The crayons and all writing utensils are kept in the family desk, in the kitchen, with easy access to promote creativity.  We don't want to move them because Molly and Blake are constantly coming up with something (letter to Sports Illustrated, a new comic strip about kittens) and it is in a central, easy to see location in our home.  Etienne has not been allowed to use anything in this area without one of us for a long time.  Plus, we really don't have anywhere that E can't get to.  So that isn't an option.
     After the first instance of marker on the bedroom wall, I made a solution of dye free/fragrance free detergent and water.  It was from "How to Clean Everything," copyright 1979, one of my favorite hand-me-downs from my mom.  Well that got the marker off, but also the paint.  The woodwork and hardwoods have been easier to scrub off.  So I'm wondering if anyone has any cleaning suggestions.  At this point, I could care less if they are kid safe or environmentally friendly.  Let's get real.  At bedtime, I discovered a door, closet, bedroom wall, bathroom wall and hallway with black crayon.  I really, really need something that isn't going to take all day and all my elbow grease to work.
     My second request is feedback for responding in a manner that will continue to promote attachment .  The first few times, we made him attempt cleaning and sit next to us while we worked.  Then last night we made him read books while our guest children played.  Obviously, none of this has impacted him.  Suggestions?
     It's also important to note that our child is still so insecure in our love.  Ryan and I sandwiched him last night, reassuring him and talking about how loving God can fix everything.  Then I asked him "Every night, when Mommy and Daddy are praying and snuggling with you, how do we feel about you?"  He shrugged his shoulders.  "I dunno."
     That answer is why I can not spank him, I can not slap his color happy fingers.  That answer is exactly why I have a school aged child habitually damaging our home.  BTW, he could care less about doing art work so save the "redirecting creativity" ideas.
     Our next strategy is that when he awakes, I will have him sit with me a scrub for a really long time.  As long as it takes.  We are back to not letting him leave my side, even to pee, mode.  But if anyone has any thoughts that will promote attachment, help him remember this behavior is BAD and also keep me from LOSING MY MIND, I would love it.


  1. Mr. Clean magic erasers. I'll email you on the other question tomorrow. (((Hugs)))

  2. I dont have a child with RAD, however I hve adopted 5 kids from the foster system, all with varying attachment issues.
    1. Work WITH him. He should not really sit and watch you work hard to correct HIS misbehavior/sin. Work together and talk about how crayon marks on the wall are like marks on the soul... a young child cant remove either one alone. THey need help.

    2. If you are really serious about showing him nothing but love and do not want to "punish" him for his behavior then why not ignore it? He will grow out of it soon enough and you will have an excuse to repaint your house. Plus he will learn that you value him more then your house. This can be especially important for a child who came out of poverty into a family with lots of "nice" stuff.

  3. I second the magic erasers. As for the attachment I got nothing. One thing that may help with this particular type of damage may be to get a tool box and one of those luggage combination locks. The only other thing I can suggest is books on podcast. That way you can still hear and be involved on day to day but feed yourself something at the same time. I find that since I am doing something I enjoy at the same time it relaxes me a little bit that I can respond better.

  4. yes, magic erasers.

    i got nothing for the other...i'm watching YOU! ;-)

  5. Like Courtney, I've got nothing. I mean, I have tons of advice (that I hear from all sorts of well-meaning people), but I don't have any good advice ;)

    When you do find an answer, please share!

  6. When we had the same problem and the magic erasers were taking FOREVER, my son read on the Goo Gone that it would remove crayon. MAGIC!!! Crayon gone very quickly! Go with Goo Gone next time.

  7. I don't know E but for our M, we too struggled with finding a consequence that actually meant anything to her. Until, one time we let her choose between two - one of which we suspected would be "the one" she would not want to be a consequence (take away time with friends) and another that we try all the time. Every time, she chooses the one that does not take away her time with friends. After a few weeks of letting her choose, guess what is now our first consequence and it (for now) appears to have some impact on her. Now the question...whether her response is genuine...

  8. Per Lowe's, try WD40 for the crayon on the walls.

  9. This is probably crazy. Probably totally crazy. Probably really, totally crazy. But I just have this picture in my mind of your whole family taking a box of crayons and just going to town on the walls of some room in your house. Just ruining the walls with crayons. Together. All the while saying cheesy things like, "You are more important to me than stuff." and "I will always love you no matter what you do." I don't know. Maybe if it gets so bad you have nothing left to lose. :)