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Posts tagged ‘Day trip’

Family Travels with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder)

This article is part 8 of a series. If you have not read part 1, part2, part 3, and part 4, part 5, part 6 , and part 7 – I urge you to do so if you are searching for help on this subject. If you’ve read along with me already, I want to welcome you into the next weeks of our journey and Knight’s recovery.

Rest and relaxation on the weekends is a must. We were staying on a side of town that was very close to several lakes and were beginning to spend weekends there. We attempted an actual family vacation shortly after Knight came to stay with us, but it had not gone as well as we’d expected. There were many conflicts on that trip and since several months had passed, we thought we could try some shorter day travel trips. (We are into weeks 12 & 13 now.)

All the boys had spent more time together getting to know each other. They had even attended a teenage day camp for several weeks where there was much structure and did better interacting with each other there also. Their friendships were growing tighter and their tolerance for each other was increasing in small amounts. We were hearing less arguments between them. I think we actually saw them smile a few times 😉

The Lake

Going to the lake on the weekend taught them patience. They would engage in activities with each other, but become bored with those activities rather easily. They liked to swim in short increments, but would decidedly become bored with swimming also. Their patience had grown from a 20 minute car trip without arguing to about an hour and half. They were all typical teenagers. They began to take interest in each other and would hold longer conversations that consisted of more than a grunt and head shake.  I saw them spraying sun screen on each other instead of saying, “you do it” and walking away. They started unloading and loading the car on each trip voluntarily. At lunch time, they even began to help fix each others sandwich. The time they were spending together was beneficial and the rules that we had laid out were being followed through consistent re-enforcement. They were beginning to be more helpful and courteous toward each other. Knight began to spend more time in the water too. He would swim for longer. His previous patience and tolerance for activities (that were not his own personal desire) were lengthening. Knight was going from a random tantrum fit on an outing that was not his wish to joining in on the family fun.

Longer trips ( local)

On longer trips that the family would be together, such as visiting family, I noticed that they stopped asking for snacks and drinks every time we would pass a restaurant. The boys know my arthritis and at times, I must stop the car if I am driving and get out and stretch after an hour. If I am a passenger, I can go longer. In the beginning, they would beg me for something from every place we would stop at. After hearing, “no”, “No”, and “NO!” on several of these trips, I went from the evil-monster-mom-that-cared-nothing-for-them to the old-grumpy-mom-in-pain. They stopped asking for stuff and instead started asking me if I was okay.

Really long trips (out-of-state)

They began to synchronize their restroom trips. After the first 200 miles they realized that we were serious when we said we would only stop every 50-100 miles for a bathroom trips. On the first rest stop, everyone was told to use the restroom, only 2 out of 3 of them used the restroom. On the second rest stop, 1 child was busting at the seams. On the third rest stop 2 boys were busting at the seams to go pee. The boys learned from the their defiant mistakes and were sure to always pee at every rest stop we made after that. Due to my arthritis, if we are making more than a 3 hour trip, I need to stop and walk around a bit. I get super stiff if I sit for more than that without walking. The boys were always encouraged to get out also and walk around. Knight would complain, “Geez, why do we got to get out of the car so much?” Sometimes he wouldn’t get out at all. Then about an hour later, Knight would complain about being stiff. It took him a few trips to figure out obeying our requests on the road was for his personal benefit. His defiance would slowly trickle upwards and increase the further we would get into each trip. He needed an outlet for his anxious personality but was not letting me help him. I could read his ques when he needed to expel some energy, but he was still oblivious to his own body. After a few outburst he began to listen when I would ask him to get out and stretch. But, he remained defiant toward his father if he asked the same of him.

We were still making progress 🙂

I was only questioning my sanity & mothering skills twice a week at this point. I only cried in despair once a week and Knight was getting better! 🙂

He said, “Follow Me”

We had a great adventurous weekend!

Nick, the boys and I had a weekend with our new friends Shawn and Kimbra. Shawn being a long lost relative of the great outdoors, he offered to merge some outdoor time into our weekend. Nick booked hotel rooms for us at Harrah’s Cherokee and we were off!

We packed Friday night and encouraged the kids to go to bed early. We got up early and were still late leaving out to meet up with our Road trip tour guides Shawn & Kimbra. 😦 Oops!

So…it started! We started off on Interstate 40 going East and our first pull off was in Hartford Tennessee.       He said, “Follow me.”      Hartford had a post office, an outdoor adventure place, and a stream for white water rafting. That’s pretty much it 🙂 We checked out the tiny little place and then we were back on the interstate again.      He said, “Follow me.”


Another pull off  adventure popped up, so off we went on a back road towards the beautiful country side.

We saw a cool let-in place where Shawn said he lets in his rafts, boats, canoes, or other floating types devices for white water rafting.

(I would love to do that sometime!) Shawn mentions a park up ahead and says, “Follow me.”

We saw beautiful mountain streams, creeks, and found some cool rocks. At one point, we found ourselves at a tiny little zoo type establishment along side the road. image

There were llamas, a donkey, and I think I saw a pig – but I’m not sure really 🙂   There was also a cute little out building shack that posed an awesome photo opp.


We took in a bit of local history (read signs) and hoped back in the vehicles and were on to the next sight.


As we were leaving Shawn says, “Follow me.”

I think at some point we were given the option of getting back on the interstate or going the back roads. We chose back roads, and let me tell ya, they didn’t get much more “back roads” than this! 🙂

Cosby highway went from  normal state highway size (2 car- painted lines) with guard rails and edges of shoulders, all the way down to almost less than 1 car with no painted lines without guard rails mid-mountain height, to gravel with giant pot holes and drop-offs, to plain ole dirt roads hugging the edge of the mountain as it curled all the way to the top.

Signs posted “No Passing”, “One lane road”, “Beware of Drop offs” (2400ft elevation).  We drove about 10 miles on the top of the mountain through twists and turns where the tree roots were the only traction under our tires and if a bird landed on our car, we’d have just tilted and plunged down the mountain.

After about 15 miles, we were all feeling a bit sickly in our stomachs. We did however, pick up an inside joke that the kids will probably discuss the rest of their lives. On our way to the top of the mountain, we encountered a cyclist trying to make it up the 2350 ft elevation of the mountain. He peddled his little heart out and could not grasp the concept that our big truck needed around him and he peddled at a 10th of a mile an hour with a banana sticking out of the back of his pants. We couldn’t pass him and he wasn’t letting us around him. We eventually had to ask the cyclist with the banana to stop and move over so we could pass. If we hadn’t…we would still be on that mountain right now! It wasn’t the biggest mountain we’ve ever driven, but it definitely was extremely fun!

Once we reached a decently elevation, we got back on the Interstate and made our way into Maggie Valley, North Carolina. We’d been here before, but we stopped a few times so our friends could snap some pictures and then we were off to Cherokee as they said, “Follow me!”

We grabbed a bite to eat, checked into our rooms at Harrah’s, then left again to go out toward the Smokey Mountains National Park.

After a bit of exploring, we had dinner and went back to the hotel. We finished the night in the casino .


The boys explored the large hotel, pool, exercise rooms, arcade, etc while we played. Kimbra had a brilliant spa idea, but when we checked with them, they were booked solid 😦

We did much more than this on the trip and had many great memorable moments 🙂

I think Shawn and Kimbra were fun to follow. As Shawn said most of the trip: “Follow me.”


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