Angelic week, horrid weekend

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Is it the lack of structure? Did he play video games? Eat wheat or dairy?
    difficult child was horrendous this weekend. Woke up Sat. in a foul mood. He's getting a cold but that doesn't explain his lack of respect and his overall horrid mood... the kind where he gets those dark circles under his eyes and refuses to make eye contact (hardly ate dinner and turned his back to us).

    He refused to do his homework, finally did his math redo while he was watching TV (I do not allow that but husband does, sigh), and didn't do his social studies until 8:30 Sun. night. (He's supposed to watch 4 presidential ads, 2 ea for McCain and Obama, and write info about propaganda, emotional words, facts, etc. He watched cartoons for 1 hr and no pres commercial came on--uh duh--kids don't vote! so he went up to my computer and watched them online from a political site, but at that point he had crumpled of the paper and thrown it on the floor.)

    He raged Sun. night, wrecked his room ... took his medications around 7:30 but they didn't make him sleepy ... he played with-his action figures until well after 10:30 and we just had to walk away and hope he would go to sleep because the rest of us were exhausted.

    He's been taking his medications very nicely, and all last wk was an absolute angel.
    This a.m. he was grumpy but not as bad as yesterday. I've got my fingers crossed for school, and his baseball game tonight.

    This unpredictability is driving me nuts. And the gloom ... you can walk into the room and just feel it, even if you don't know he's around. I mean, it's like you get goosebumps and a sick feeling in your stomach, and then you see him sitting there and say, Oh, that explains it ...
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    difficult children are unpredictable and tend to cycle. They can have a good month and you think "We turned a corner" and then they can revert just that quickly. Depending on what is wrong with your child, he could be overly tired, understimulted, overstimulated, lost without structure, rebelling AGAINST structure, upset with rules, frustrated with school work being hard, mood cycling, medications making him worse, medications no longer working, etc. Our kids seem depressed because basically they are. There is no predictability with an unstable difficult child (sigh).
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry it was so horrible. But I cant help sitting here on this side of the computer and think to myself that if I was ordered to watch 4 political ad's and I was his age? I would be grumpy too! Im already grumpy having to watch them at my age....lmao. Just kidding....
  4. kbeth81

    kbeth81 New Member

    I'm so sorry to hear about your weekend. You're life sounds just like mine... just cross your fingers and hope for the best. Sometimes there is no explaining it!

  5. Sorry to hear about your weekend. I hope the week goes well.


  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks. And thanks for making me chuckle! :)
  7. ML

    ML Guest

    My son always gets bad when he's getting sick. I hope he feels better soon.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yuck, sure makes you glad he went back to school today doesn't it? I hope it was just a small blip!
  9. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Are our difficult children on the same biorhythm? Mine had an awful weekend too, after a week of me getting several emails from school saying how good he was doing in school. I wanna switch places with the teachers, so I can enjoy good difficult child every once in a while!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member


    Well, he's sound asleep. And he left his baseball game early, with-a bad head cold.
    Don't know if he'll go to school tomorrow.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Colds make my kids all act out too. Sorry it was such a rough weekend.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry, difficult child 3 gets like this too. So did the other two GFGish kids in our family, when they were required to do work they found challenging.

    Don't underestimate the power of confronting schoolwork, to upset them this badly. That homework - he did the maths first, didn't he? AND in front of the TV. That is what difficult child 3 would have done. And in front of the TV too - I don't care, if he can still do it without troubles. The aim is for the work to be learned and I will let him do it standing on his head, as long as it gets done.
    But the watching of campaign speeches etc - it sounds like very good use of the opportunity by the teacher. However, a kid like difficult child 3 would have found this very confronting. There is the fear in his head, "I can't do this! I can't understand what they're saying! All those big words - I understand each word, but I don't get what it all means when they're all put together!"
    The panic build and builds and they will pick a fight in order to be sent to their rooms, rather than have to do the work. Once they pick a fight, they can blame YOU for them not getting the work done. "You made me too angry to concentrate on it!"

    What I have to do - and it's not easy, it's labour-intensive - I sit with him and discuss it as we go. I do a mind-map for him, I have a laptop handy. I would have recorded the material for him so you could go back and replay it word by word if necessary. You stay calm, you talk him through it gently. Help him face his fears. Yes he will yell at times, yes he will be disrespectful, but DO NOT take it personally because no matter what he says, it is NOT directed at you. Some of it is directed at himself ("for being so stupid and not being able to do this!") and some of it at the teacher who set the work. And undoubtedly, some of it at the political candidates for not speaking more plainly!

    In trying to keep yourself calm, keep in your mind that if YOU get angry enough to upset him and he can blame you - HE has 'won'. But if you can keep him calm enough to just begin the task, his anxiety should begin to decrease and then suddenly he will understand what has to be done. Use lots of praise, keep telling him he is smart, he can do it, you're there to help. You can't give him the answers but frankly with something like this - you can go darned close. I would certainly give him some examples and if he gets his own - confirm if he's got it right.

    I also would find difficult child 3 would be much worse when he was coming down with something. While he was actually in the thick of it - he was much the same as usual. Also watch out for recovery period - also difficult, for us. Because each time, he's going through his own unpredictable body change. it's just one more hassle for him to have to try and deal with.

    I freely use bribes to encourage difficult child 3 to tackle challenging work. If he learns to associate getting his political studies completed with the aid of a bag of Maltesers, I don't care. Even if it means he buys bags of Maltesers every time there is an election campaign in the future!

  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    The story of my life!

    A cold can definitely make behaviors worse since difficult child's have little tolerence normally. The discomfort magnifies their negative personality traits. I hope this passes quickly.

  14. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    Great point about the political ads being stressful because they're complicated on diff levels, Marg.
    He's only got one ad left. It's hard for him to write it all down, though, because he crumpled up the paper and I uncrumpled it ...
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's not just that it's much more stressful for him, Terry. It's also the way he responds to stress - he really can't help it. He REALLY can't help it. It's full-on panic, tempered with, "It's always like this, nobody understands, everyone is mean to me, they expect too much of me, everybody hates me..." routine. The Doomsday thing, totally OTT because that just happens to be the way their brains are wired when it comes to dealing with conflict.

    It's like having to help him cope with panic when he's having to endure a surgical procedure that is painful, or he's been in a car accident and needs to be kept calm so he can be medically treated. A challenging assessment task like this is the educational equivalent.

    Trying to discipline a child out of a panic attack is a recipe for failure. So when he's screaming abuse, keep telling yourself that it's not aimed at you, it's aimed at the problem - it's just that you are forcing him to face it. He is swearing at you in the same way he would swear at you for holding him down so a doctor could give him an injection. It just has to be done and endured. It's not pleasant. But if you need to resolve any problems between you as a result - wait until after it's all over, when he's calming down because it's all done, and THEN say, "Now, about what you were calling me back there. I think maybe we need to talk about that now."

    He can know that he shouldn't have called you horrible names, but he needs to be calm enough to hear this or there is no point even raising it. Going for a full-on disciplinary hearing isn't necessarily going to solve anything. You try to solve it as much as you can, then back off. Next time you might be able to do a bit more. And then later, a bit more again.

    Stay calm. Breathe. Think, "I am Buddha, reincarnated. I am the personification of tranquility. I am not being shouted at. Nothing can disturb me."

    And I hope it helps.

    been there done that. *shudder*

    Your difficult child may be very different to mine - mine wouldn't care about the crumples on the page, he would just want it all to go away. I'd be lucky if it was only crumpled...

  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I've tried to be Buddha. It's really hard! :)

    He went to school today!!! (difficult child, not Buddha.) Yaaay! He came up behind me while I was on the computer and tapped me on the shoulder and said he wanted to go ... at about 9 a.m. I have no idea what possessed him but I'm a happy camper!!!!!
  17. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Pretty much all 12 years of difficult children schooling was like this to varying degrees. I would say grades 6-10 were the hardest. I spent two years partially homeschooling her and then she returned to a private school. At the private school, there was one year that she would sometimes go through periods of time (usually about 2 weeks in duration) that she only attended part time. The school administration would realize that she was having great difficulty and could only cope with partial days during this time. It often happened during a medication change. by the way, from her early days, difficult child would often get dark circles under her eyes when she was having very bad depression or mood swings. Often times this was food related, but sometimes it was not. She seems to be highly allergic. A mood stablizer combined with antipsychotic medication provided the most calming and balancing results.
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    With our students, once we get to a certain stage, partial attendance is an option for anybody. Of course it means that it takes longer to get through it all, the kids are older when they graduate and they don't get to graduate with all the kids they started with, but sometimes that is an insignificant issue compared to the child's educational, emotional and social needs.

    difficult child 3 is currently in Year 9. I did know that we had a part-time option (called Pathways) from Year 11, but apparently the partial option could begin as early as next year. Considering how meticulous but slow difficult child 3 is with getting his work done, we may have to take this up.

    I thought I was fairly well in touch with the schooling options currently, but I'm STILL finding out more. I was talking to the school's Special Education staffer this morning (she rang early, in response to my call to her yesterday about difficult child 3 being slow and this needing to be written into his IEP somewhere) and she told me that ideas and attitudes for autistic kids have done some major shifts here in the last year - in some areas, a complete 180 degree shift.

    So it really does pay to ask the necessary questions.

    by the way, this Pathways option for us - it's not just for Distance Ed kids or Special Education kids like difficult child 3, it's for any kid in mainstream too.

  19. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I really don't have anything to add to what the others have already said. Just want to let you know I'm thinking of you and hope this week is going better...WFEN
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    He's doing much better, despite his cold. He was in a very good mood at dinner.

    husband apparently told difficult child yesterday a.m. that if he missed any more school, we'd have to hold him back to repeat 5th grade.
    Maybe THAT's what did it! It just took an hr to sink in. (The thing of it is, I only wish he were kidding.)