Choosing your battles

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Gaia, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Gaia

    Gaia New Member

    I have been told over and over again to choose my battles. But with difficult child 2, it is getting difficult to know which ones I should choose.

    Battle #1 - Winter coat. I can't even get him to wear a coat to school. He says he doesn't like the coat because he doesn't like to wear it in school and he refuses to take the coat off. I told him that tomorrow we will put a coat on to get to school and take it off when we reach the lobby. I will put it in his backpack with his gloves. I know he won't put it back on to come home, but at least he will have it on in the morning. I really hope they have indoor recess today. Did I find the right solution?

    Battle #2 - Seeing Miss M (his social worker) alone. I am already stressing out about tomorrow night. I am supposed to go meet with M alone. The point will be to discuss a strategy plan. I am stressing about how to get out of the house without him. He hates to stay with Daddy and loves to go to M's house. Should I tell a lie and avoid any explosion? Or tell the truth and just walk out and let Daddy deal with the explosion? I know Daddy cannot handle it and difficult child 2 will scream and cry the entire time I am gone. How do I know what is the right thing to do?
  2. I'm going crazy!!!

    I'm going crazy!!! New Member

    when i know difficult child would like to go me somewhere but it's not possible i just tell him i have a meeting if he wants to know what kind of meeting i tell him a very boring adult meeting and if he still insist on going i just tell him he would have no fun and find something i know he really loves to do and get him distracted then leave
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I fought coat wars for years. Children with sensory sensitivites often hate them for one reason or another (too puffy, too tight at the arms, too large, feel constricted, too warm, to whatever). Took me a long time to come to that point, but finally I tried a few things that worked better.

    One was to find a winter coat that was more comfortable--super soft fabric, non-constricting at the neck, took the elastic out of the cuffs, not too small or too big. I hung an action figure key chain off the pocket. That coat went better.

    What most of us resort to is layering. It's often very hard for kids with any sensory sensitivities (which I'm assuming what's going on here) to change what's up against their skin day in, day out and/or several times a day. So we help them find layers that work. My difficult child always wears short sleeved t-shirts, soft with no trim. On top of that he wears a zipper hooded sweatshirt and he wears that all day at school from the time it gets cool in fall until it's pretty warm in spring. If he needs another layer we add on a soft warm fleece coat (except for this year he plucked out one of his brother's very worn, soft windbreakers). Land's End is my friend--I buy 4 sweatshirts in plain colors and at least one fleece coat to get him through the year. Land's End works well because usually the basics don't change a lot from year to year.

    I would add a quick errand to that appointment and tell your difficult child you're going on an errand. It's truthful enough so you won't feel like you're lying, but I see no sense in disclosing what's only going to cause an explosion.
  4. Gaia

    Gaia New Member

    Thank you so much for your suggestions. I just have to say that I am so glad I found this forum. It is comforting to be able to ask questions about these things and not be looked down on, not be made to feel that I am weak and give in to him too quickly, and to have other mothers who have gone through similar things give advice. Thank you so much. I hope to one day be able to help others in return.
  5. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Niether one my children like to wear coats. They layer their clothing; short sleeve short, long sleeve shirt, and hooded sweat shirt, light weight loose fitting jacket. I don't battle over jackets. When they are cold, they will take a jacket. I'm hoping natural consequences (being freezing) will work.

    I'm actually thinking about purchasing a midweight jacket to be left at school because at times it is freezing in the morning, bur not freezing at recess and the school makes a big issue out of if he has a midweight one at school, perhaps he will wear that one...

    I would tell difficult child that you're seeing the therapist...I'd just tell him mommy needs to go out for a while...

    Welcome !!!
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    My Tink HATES winter coats. Every one she has ever had, I had to snip the elastic out of the wrist.

    She's gotten old enough to where I let her wear what she wants. Seriously. If she gets cold, her fault. Maybe next time she'll listen. Now, not if it is 10 degrees or something. But so far this year it's gotten just below freezing, and all she has worn is her sister's hoodie. Her sister is 19 and the hoodie is huge on her, and there are thumb holes so it is like having half mittens on.


    I too would alter my story as to where I was headed to avoid a meltdown. "Going to watch the paint dry, honey. be back in an hour."
  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    N has to wear certain shoes... her little froggie boots in the summer... sometimes I can talk her out of it... not always. Who cares. I have given up on her teachers comments. Now it is the gloves... no go. Will not wear them. it was in the 20's when she went to school this morning. So we stick them in her pockets of her jacket. We have tried the idiot mits, with the string every kind. NO.... She will tuck her hand up in her jacket...

    We have battles over all kinds of clothes I fight with them until I know it is a real issue... and then I ease up. I still try to get them to, but I don't force them.

    K will not want to go to her therapist at times and what we do for that situation, is I either let her sit in the waiting room and I talk, or she sits in the car with husband. Or if she is that bad I leave her home if husband is home... If I have no options and someone is in the waiting room, I make her come in... what is the worst that is going to happen??? She has destroyed her office a few times... so what.

    If you leave him with- husband what is going to happen??? they will figure it out. Some battles work themselves out. We choose our battles, but there is also compromise, we don't revolve our world around them... they will get over a rage.
    For clothing it is usually sensory... that affects their whole being, mental and physical...
    I try to make my battles really count. If my child is really in distress, why push them. If they just want something their way... maybe. Maybe not...

    Good luck
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    For regular appointments that were a challenge to get my difficult child out the door to, I used to schedule a trip to McDonalds on the way home. Knowing it would always be there at the end drastically reduced the resistance and was well worth a few bucks each week. The routine incentive also helped because then he didn't get into the negotiating that can often crop up with rotating.
  9. Gaia

    Gaia New Member

    Update: Battle#1 - I got him to wear a midweight coat over his hooded sweatshirt and we took it off as soon as we got into the school and put it in his backpack. Not too bad, I am glad with that.

    Battle#2 - the appointment never happened. My husband got stuck in traffic and could not make it home in time. I changed my appointment to next week. Meanwhile, Eric exploded anyway. Get this, he was upset that I was not going out and that he could not play army men with Daddy. He refused to believe me that he could play with Daddy even though I was home, got more upset when I said I'd leave for a bit (I could always go shopping), and everything after that was a battle. He is finally asleep now, at 8:45pm.

    At some point in the middle of all this, all I could think of was that I needed a drink. Then I got scared. I cried and had 1/2 glass of wine. I spilled out the rest and luckily I do not have any more.
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    I am so sorry. I hear your pain and frustration.