Chucky Cheese!!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by wes, May 25, 2009.

  1. wes

    wes New Member

    My sister decided to have her daughters B-day party at cc I new this would not be a good day for me or my difficult child but we went.....OMG he went totaly nuts as soon as we were in the door running from one end to another screaming with lots of meltdowns then when it was time to eat and have cake he would not stop running around the tables. My mother asked me if I new how to control my child (like I have not been trying) I finaly got him to sit to eat for about 5 min then it was time for presents he asked if he can go play my mother said if he went to play that it would be rude but my feelings were I would rather him play then disrupt after all the party was for a 2 yr old. When it was time to go he refused to come out of a tube so I had a friend go in after him he spit in my face as I carried him out the door. Do I need to be afraid of taking him any place that should be fun?:anxious:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    First of all, I'd like to chime in that I think there is a lot more wrong with your child than just ADHD/ODD. I'd have him re-evaluated by a neuropsychologist. Something screams Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) at he may be on the high end of the autism spectrum. Or he could have childhood bipolar, which makes kids seem like they have uber-ADHD and they are very defiant, but that's because they are sick.
    Is he on stimulants? If so, they certainly aren't slowing him down any.

    Should you have fun taking your child to CC? Sure! But something isn't right with him, and you know that. I would avoid places like CC until he is evaluated. If he has sensory issues a busy, noisy place like CC will overload him and his circuits will flood until he can't control his behavior. As for Mom, I'd close my ears to her criticism and focus on finding out what is wrong with my child, and getting the proper interventions. Your mother wants to believe nothing is wrong with him--that he is undisciplined because of your inadequacies and that's untrue. It's not about you.

    Please have this child re-evaluated. It's better to be safe than sorry.

    I'm sorry you had a hard day, and good luck!
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My difficult child could never tolerate the Big Rat... it's way too overstimulating for her. The noise and the lights brought about immediate meltdowns. Has your son been evaluated for sensory dysregulation?
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am not a fan of CC! LOL I did a whole post about my Daughter N's horrible anxiety attack in that place.
    Both of my girls have horrible times in there. The noise, the other kids, the lights, the costumed things... it just creates trouble for kids with issues.

    I would never ever expect a child like ours to have to "be good" in that place.

    I had to call my husband to come get N so that K could stay a bit longer the second time we went.

    The only other time we went was on a wednesday and there were 3 people total in there.
    We only stayed 1/2 hour.

    Sounds like your Mom needs to learn how to control herself. Sorry!

    You have too many other more important things to worry about than this.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Funny, but the difficult child's in my family LOVE CC (husband included -- and he's the biggest difficult child of them all)! Then there's me who absolutely cannot STAND that place.... hmmm... maybe I really AM a difficult child afterall? :p
  6. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    I never could stand places like that even though my difficult child did fine there. I'm so glad my kids have outgrown them! LOL

    Sorry about your mom. My dad was very harsh with me when difficult child was little. He was convinced that it was all my fault. It's unfortunate, but our parents often fall into that large category of people who don't understand what we're dealing with because their own parenting experience was so different. Try not to let it get to you.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We don't have Chucky Cheese in Australia. However, we do have kids parties in various places, including the golden arches.

    A few comments, wes -

    1) I HATE it when anyone says to me, "Don't you know how to..." when it is then followed by a comment implying you are a bad parent. It's on the level of "when did you stop beating your wife?" There is no answer you can give, without putting yourself deep in it. So either ignore such questions, or simply look the questioner in the eye and say, "Do you want to rephrase that?"

    2) Kids run amok at parties in family restaurants. And the noisier te party, the more sugar, the more expectation - the worse they can be. We live with it.

    3) You might do better with him if you switch from enforcing your will (which would have been aggravated by your mother's nagging) and use transitioning techniques instead. Forexample, getting him out of the tube when it was time to go. Why was it so urgent to get him to leave right then? Couldn't he have finished playing in the tube and THEN come out? Or maybe you could have said, "We have to leave in a few minutes. When you're ready, come on out and I will let you choose a cookie on the way out." or similar bribe.
    There's nothing wrong with bribes. The bribe needn't be anything material. It can be, "Come on out so you can say goodbye to grandma," or "I need you to choose which CD we will play next in the car."

    difficult child 1 had a diagnosis of ADHD when he was 6, and still when he was 8. At both birthday parties (we skipped a party at age 7) difficult child 1 was happier sitting quietly in his bedroom instead of outside playing with his friends at his own birthday party. That should have been a clue...

  8. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    I know how you feel. Last weekend we went to a surprise party for my cousin (she turned 40). difficult child was quiet, but keep telling me if I did not shut difficult child in training up he would beat him up. Mom kept giving me the evil eye. Yet it was not really difficult child in training that was making the noise. It was another child that difficult child in training was playing with. (This child seemed to be parentless). The entire event was stressful. Although it was important for my cousin's husband that we be there.

    We only go to CC once a year, early on Mother's day. Seems CC is not a big draw on Mother's day and it usually has a very small crowd. (I still want to escape the moment we get there though). The fewer number of people help, but it is still a noisy over stimulating environment.

    To answer you question on whether you can go and enjoy something with your child is not black and white. You will probably never enjoy a party in a loud over stimulated environment. You might want to ask yourself if you can manage it, and is it the best place for your child to be. It is OK to send a card or a gift and not attend. You probably could enjoy a shorter trip with just yourself and your child. Some place where you can escape from if needed. Sometimes I even separate difficult child from his brothers. He won't fight with them if they are not there. There are fun places that don't have the same noise and craziness of CC. In D.C. are some wonderful museums for kids. With all kinds of hands-on activities and things to climb on and play with. Just not as much noise or craziness. I would leave mom at home.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The Big Rat is just too much for some kids. We took Keyana there when she was two and she just hated it. We may try again another time. She didnt like the stuffed characters. The rides were fine. Now at this past xmas she did fine at something called Funland that just had climbing things and rides and games. No characters. Also wasnt real busy when we went.
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    BM took difficult child 2 to CC last Thursday. They got home late and he was severely overstimulated. Talking too loud, a mile a minute. Took forever to get him settled down, showered, into bed - and then he came in about 2 am saying he couldn't sleep. I had him snuggle with me and the dog, and he fell asleep - but I didn't - he kicks!

    WAY too much. Especially as she KNOWS what will happen.
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Sorry you had such a rough time of it.

    I agree with MidwestMom`s recommendation that you have your child re-evaluated. The behaviour you describe does sound like more than ADHD with ODD.

    Now, as for Chucky Cheese, I have never set foot in the place. Even at my age I just don`t think I could cope. I have trouble when the ice cream truck drives past my office, with all those clanging jingling horrible bells, so I can`t imagine dealing with a whole Chucky Cheese-full of noise and lights and people and...

    Don`t beat yourself up about your child not having fun there. A lot of kids find such things overwhelming even if they don`t have other issues to deal with. Add any sort of developmental issues into the mix, and it`s just asking for trouble.
  12. wes

    wes New Member

    Thank you everyone all of your comments are great and I do have him scheduled for a re-evaluation because his teacher has been saying he is on the spectrum from the beginning of school. As for my mother I know its in one ear out the other its just hard to hear everyday then you really do start doubting yourself. I don't think we will go back to any place with that much going on I cant handle it and its not that great for him. He is on stimulates but they don't seem to do anything that's why they keep changing his medications every two weeks almost.:invisible:
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Be sure to take him to somebody private. Unfortunately, school evaluations tend to miss the mark and are very untrustworthy. I can't imagine them getting the spectrum disorders right.

    I'd go to a private neuropsychologist. I think the teacher may be right on the money though.

    To Mom, I'd put my foot down.
    "I don't want to discuss my child's behavior with you, and I won't. If you start to bring it up, I will have to put the phone receiver down until you stop or walk out of the room until you are finished. I would rather stick to other topics." And then do it. You're an adult. You can decide not to put up with her criticism, especially if it affects you. You are a young mom, but still a mom and still an adult and you're not her little girl anymore. You deserve respect. I have a 24 year old daughter and I would NEVER tell her what she's doing wrong in any way, and she wouldn't allow me to criticize her. And she shouldn't. If your mom criticizes you too much it's time to stop her, even if it hurts her feelings. As a mother, I feel I'd deserve to have boundaries set on me if I made my daughter feel bad all the time. She knows what she's doing.
    Last edited: May 27, 2009
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's difficult, with your mother. I do understand - been there done that, with a range of family members. Part of the problem is that your mother undoubtedly loves you and loves your son (or wants to). But his behaviour is undoubtedly challenging. However, there are two possible reaons for your son being ab ehaviour problem:

    1) He hasadevelopmental problem such as the autism you've had suggested; or

    2) You're a bad mother.

    Now, to your mother, the possibility tyhat her grandson could have something seriously wrong, is just too upsetting to think about. It's a lot easier to use denial and to instead insist that it's simply bad parenting. Much easier to believe her daughter is an incompetent parent, than her beloved grandson has problems.

    You won't change her mind easily. I went through this especially with mother in law. I don't know how I would have gone with my own parents because they had both died before it became an issue. My mother was aware there were concerns but she died when difficult child 3 was only two years old, plus she was in hospital hundreds of miles away, she had only seen him a handful of times. She knew he was exceptional in a number of ways, I mentioned to her that difficult child 3 was very similar to a family member who was a noted musical genius in his youth. "Glory be, I hope not," was my mother's reply.

    My father in law died not long afterwards. We were becoming aware that difficult child 3 had problems, but we were too tied up with father in law's health problems and the doctor was telling me to not worry about difficult child 3. It was only a few months after father in law's death, that we had the welfare authorities called on us (for alleged "emotional neglect" and failure to have his condition assessed - even though he was on waiting lists for assessment).

    So mother in law was a new widow, which only made it harder for her to accept that ANY of her grandchildren had problems.
    She needed to be kept occupied and involved, but it was difficult for me with her constant criticism of my parenting. She did try to curb herself, but I know her well now - when she is stressed or "off balance", she attacks other people. And this was upsetting her, that difficult child 3 was odd. She already knew that difficult child 1 was odd but that was just his individuality, in her mind.

    But in the aftermath of the deaths in the family, mother in law had come to stay and as a result, had first-hand experience not only of her grandsons' odd behaviour, but also just how hard husband & I worked with the kids, to keep the behaviour consistent. She delighed in the obvious high intelligence and held onto that. But when the time came for difficult child 3 to have a thorough psychometric assessment as part of a multidiscplinary investigation, I invited mother in law to come along too. I didn't have my own mother for support; plus I felt mother in law needed to be kept in the loop, for her own understanding.

    Not too surprisingly, mother in law was furious at the diagnosis of autism we were given that day. She hated the neuropsychologist testing process (she & I watched form a dark room on the other side of the one-way glass). mother in law contributed her own views and feelings about difficult child 3 (which were very useful, even in their inaccuracy).

    I felt the outcome was satisfactory, however. I also felt there were flaws in ther assessment process but otherwise the diagnosis was correct. She & I spent a lot of time in the car on the way home, discussing the whole thing (including the diagnosis). She immeidately insisted I arrange for a second opinion, which I was happy to do (because I wanted it either confirmed for sure, or challenged if it was at all on shaky ground).

    But over the next months & years, especially after the diagnosis was confirmed, mother in law would cut out articles on autism, would read them, discuss them with me. She would send copies off to her daughter (husband's sister). When husband's sister comes to visit mother in law and is then exposed to difficult child 3 (and the other kids) she has at times been critical of my parenting. But mother in law had by this time (over several years) become my champion in this. And I have since heard sis-in-law say things like, "I am amazed at how patient Marg is, with difficult child 3. Whatever she is doing, seems to work. I don't think I would have the patience but he is doing so much better every time we see him."

    By involving mother in law in this process, I had intended to provide someone else for her to challenge - the doctor. Let her attack HIM and not my parenting... but as it turned out, it has also exposed her to the information she needed to take on board, in order to begin to understand.

    I have enlisted her as an ally. At times I would rather not discuss things with her because she really doesn't like the idea of us seeing a therapist, for example (very old prejudice against the profession in general). But she's even coming around to this, since I explained to her how CBT works and how it's not "just psycho mumbo-jumbo".

    It hasn't been easy to do it this way, but I feel it has been worth the effort. That's not to say there aren't still times when mother in law does the wrong thing (such as teasing difficult child 3, or chiding him for behaviour he can't control). But she's a lot better than she has been, or would be if I hadn't involved her so much.

    Only you can decide if you can do this, or if it would work with your mother.

    In some families, the mother still holds a position of Ultimate Authority and All knowledge is Vested in the Matriarch. mother in law is like this. Whereas with my own mother, although she was kept in the loop with a lot of things she never told us what to do unless we asked her opinion. She would always say, "It's up to you, dear." She also never insisted on being told what we weren't comfortable about sharing, whereas mother in law has been accustomed to being told every little detail (even when I have felt it to be a major invasion of my privacy). husband as the eldest, has never been able to keep secrets from her, not without a LOT of difficulty.
    Families are always different. For some of us, our mothers feel they have a right to continue to control us. And we hand them that right when wwe continue to confide in them, every last little detail. Then we get upset when they keep hounding us with their opinion.

    But the reason they do this - WE have just 'asked' them to do it, purely by involving them in the first place! We confide in them, then get upset when the advice they think we're asking for, hurts our feelings! WHat we need to do is have a frank and loving conversation. If you don't want the maternal criticism, you need to say to her (over a cup of coffee), "Mum, I love you and you will always be my mother. I know you love difficult child but he is MY son, I have to be the one to make the decisions concerning him. I also see a lot more of him than you do, and I am deeply concerned that there is something wrong. You taught me everything I know about being a mother, but I have to fly solo now. However, the parental instinct you bequeathed to me tells me we have problems. I need your support in this, I know it's painful. It hurts me too, to have to say there is something wrong. I would be the first to blame myself, but that won't get him any help. And if by chance it IS all my fauly, that it's just bad parenting - then having difficult child assessed NOW will find that out all the sooner. And whatever the problem - something seriously wrong, or just me being inept - the sooner we know, the sooner we can begin to fix it."

    I knew mother in law would tell me what she thought always, as she does as is her habit. So by me involving her, I wasn't making any more trouble for myself. I was in fact hoping to reduce the heat from me (and it worked).

    UNless she's a real witch (and maybe not even then) your mother loves you and despite the crassness of it, is speaking out of love. But you need to stop it happening because the last thing you need right now, is to have your resolve weakened and undermined by criticism that is misplaced.

    Hang in there. If you can tame a difficult toddler, you can tame your own mother. And vice versa.

  15. wes

    wes New Member

    Marg, Thanks so much I really feel you understand were i am coming from. I know my mother loves me but I do feel she intrudes sometimes but if she went with me she may see it from my side, if not at least I know I tried. Also do you have any suggestions on thing I can try to keep my son somewhat happy this summer. He loves school and is very upset that it is ending, I don't have alot of money but I am very creative. Thankyou again everyone for your support and thoughts. It is such a relief to be able to tell someone what I am going threw and in return they know and have been their. :coffee:
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Wes, keep him stimulated. For us, it was educational games on the computer. We let difficult child 3 loose on it (easy child 2/difficult child 2 before him). We were prepared to spend money on a few software packages that were partly game, partly problem-solving, partly educational. You needto sit with him and play the games too, as well as you having fun with them yourself. Once YOU know how the games work you can help him over any hurdles.

    Some really good ones to get - Zoombini (there are a range of Zoombini games) if they are still compatible with your computer. Just about any Leapfrog, Great Wave software - there are a range of good things. Now that difficult child 3 is older we're letting him loose on SIMS, but I wouldn't get those for any kid not in his teens yet. Even then, you need to supervise.

    Great Wave had a program (couple of them) called NumberMaze, definitely worth getting. It begins at pre-school level, goes up to high school and beyond, and drills basic math concepts. But in a really fun and almost addictive way. In my book, making maths addictive has to be a good thing!

    There are also various 'talking book' forms such as "Grandma & Me", "Arthur" etc. These are highly interactive and fun, not quite so educational but still stimulating executive function (which, if you even suspect Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), he needs to work on).

    You need things to do when he's not on the computer - getting him involved in gardening is good. Even if all you do is begin with a self-watering trough-shaped pot. Find out what he wants to grow - herbs to use in the kitchen, flowers to put in a vase (or just enjoy in the pot) or salad vegetables to eat. For herbs - chives, parsley and oregano are good. For salad - oak leaf lettuce is good because you just pick what you want and leave the plant to produce more. Radishes are good as long as you like them. Baby carrots (or ordinary ones if the pot is deep enough). Tomatoes (preferably tiny ones, they're easy and extremely productive) but plant some basil seeds too. If you're planting flowers, watch out for snails & slugs, you cna spread coffee grounds around the seedlnigs to keep them safe from snails.

    Something else to get him involved with - photography, especially if you have a digital camera. difficult child 3 will go for a walk and take the camera, he's getting a really good eye. It requires learning patience especially if you're trying to photograph birds. The trick with birds - you look to see where they're flying to, go there and sit quietly (wearing drab clothing) and become part of the background. difficult child 3 also does things like mist-spraying spider webs with water and photographing them sparkle in the sun.

    ON the subject of unsupportive older generation - husband explained to me that his parents had a deep distrust of anything psychological/psychiatric, in terms of the health profession. mother in law worked in the hospital system and didn't see anything useful from psychiatrists or psychologists. Back in her day, it was an even more inexact profession and a lot of things were being done wrongly (such as the way they used ECT so much and so badly). We had a major scandal here in the 70s with a private hospital which used deep sleep therapy (and ECT) on a lot of patients, some very high profile, and people were dying directly from being kept in deep sleep for so long. The doctor responsible was indicted but suicided before he could be prosecuted. There was a major enquiry - it all served to make mother in law even more suspicious of the profession. However, when I've talked to her she clearly doesn't recognise the difference between psychiatrist and psychologist. "Same thing," she sniffs. And because our kids MUST see one of the other at times, we've had a major hissy fit when the subject comes up. I've got around it in two ways:

    1) I explain the way Cognitive Behaviour Therapy works and she finds that logical and sensible. She also can see that there is an end to the treatment, it's not just a specialist remodelling his living room while he insists "same time next week" ad infinitum.

    2) I've said to her, "If you don't agree, you come to the next appointment and put your concerns directly to the specialist. Argue with him, not with me."

    The thing is - we all care about the child, we love him and want the best for him. It's just that sometimes the older generation have fears (which are legitimate, based on previous experience or known problems in the past) which are no longer valid; but they don't KNOW the concerns are no longer valid, they need reassurance. Pretty much all I've been able to do with mother in law is to make it clear - I vet each therapist personally to make sure they're not ratbag quacks. But to get certain services in our health system, we need to have the therapist's signature on a piece of paper.

    That's what works for her - officialdom requires it. It's a nuisance, but there it is. And if we can get some practical help form the therapist as well, that's a bonus, we tell her.

    I hope all that can help.