Daily ritual? is this normal for everyone?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by weaselqt, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    today - my difficult child stated he was hungry while at grocery store (he is 15) and I said lets get hamburger for hamburger steaks (something I think can be quick) and he blows a fuse and shouts "YOU WANT ME TO STARVE" because he wanted to stop on sonic on the way home and eat on the way home so he can go right to bed when we got home - not wait to eat. I'm telling him he is eating when we get home (I'm trying to check out of grocery store with husband and easy child) and difficult child says that "What you cook is CRAP!" I just smile and say to cashier - "Oh, teenagers." and then he is like "You Want Me To Starve!!! You PROMISED I could eat at sonic!!!" - well, come to find out husband said he could eat at sonic

    difficult child stands and GLARES at me and I say "If you don't stop - eveyrone in this store will see me slap you!" OK, I wouldn't have done it -but I sure wanted to!! Am I so bad? difficult child is steadily mouthing and I tell him to be quiet and he keeps it up and when we are on the way home he is still at it. "I hate what you cook." "I'm tired and going to sleep when I get home so you won't have to cook." "You hate me and I'm going to die now"

    difficult child says the stupidest stuff!!!!!!!! ARGH!! Now my 6 year old easy child is crying because he thinks he is hungry and I won't feed him (my difficult child keeps saying "mom doesn't love us and you can't eat anymore and you will die now")

    Well, I am feeling like jumping out of the truck while it si going down the road - seriously!!! I think I'm losing my own mind!!!

    We get home, and he heads straight to his room and I decided that if he gets anything to eat it is a can of spaghettios - i'm too p***** to cook anything. I'm calming my 6 yo easy child down (he is fine now - & he isn't hungry) and difficult child comes out and says "I'll cook".

    I had already put his spaghettios in microwave (meanwhile husband only makes things worse by saying "why do you do this!!" to difficult child) I just walk to living room and sit - meanwhile difficult child is screaching/singing in kitchen while trying to figure out if he wants to cook (my nerves are on last leg now) and he gets the spaghettos and comes to living room, sits down, stops screach/singing and looks at me and says, "Mom, we forgot to get my p.e. uniform." and continues to eat and hum quietly, finishes his food and puts it in sink and comes back to have a conversation about how he now wants to be an underwater welder when he finishes school.

    WHAT THE H*LL IS GOING ON?

    This is becomgin a daily ritual about anything. I wonder if he even realizes what is going on. He saw tears in my eyes and asks me why I'm crying - I'm just looking because I don't want to say something to trigger another outburst - which is so easy anymore - but thank you husband because he looks at difficult child and says "Duh? You make her cry!" and here we go again!!!
     
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome :biggrin:

    Ahhhh adolesence and bipolar...... :surprise: :faint: And I've come to believe 15 is just an all around horrid age.

    You might want to read "Walking On Egg Shells". A good book for parents of kids with bipolar.

    Tie a knot at the end of your rope and hang on. You've landed in a wonderful place!

    Hugs
     
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Actually, I've known some typical teen males who do this - food is the trigger. Or rather, lack of food. My best friend (difficult child 3's godmother) went through this with her son - he would go almost into panic mode when the hunger hit him, he would be DESPERATE for food, totally unreasonable. She noticed time and time again, how feeding him when he was like that short-circuited a lot of this bad behaviour. Mind you, he was a sweet kid at other times (apart from being intensely curious and having poor impulse control).

    My friend also noticed a similar thing in other teen males in the family, although there aren't many of them, most of that generation are female.

    I found similar things with difficult child 1, plus a fair bit with easy child, so I tend to keep the fridge stocked with cooked food (cooked sausages, cooked chicken, salad vegetables, fruit bowl also full). The kids were always told to help themselves to REAL food when they wanted and to let me know when things were running low. I also have cooked burger rissoles in the freezer - 2 minutes in the microwave and it's instant home-cooked burger.

    But we all know, don't we, that a BIG part of this wasn't about being hungry (although that was probably aggravating the bad behaviour) it was about wanting to EAT OUT. Eating out is more convenient, it's faster and because it always tastes exactly the same, it's safe and therefore what they crave. Plus, eating out is some sort of symbol for, "We are wealthy enough to do this, I never need to worry about not having enough to eat" which is something that deep down can really bug an adolescent male. It's a combination of the testosterone and the growth hormone than is causing all this aggro and hunger surges.

    The things he was saying (and you also) - never make a threat you aren't prepared to carry out. So if you threaten to smack him in public - you have to be prepared to do it (just don't do it in New Zealand). And as for saying those things to his 6 yo brother - I would have slammed on the brakes of the car instantly and insisted on sorting it out before moving one more centimetre. How dare he? He's not content with attacking you (which is unacceptable, bipolar or not) he has to wage a propaganda war using his little brother as collateral damage. Not on, buddy! And of course, while the car is stopped, you're not wending homewards to get dinner going. But because it is HIS smart mouth, it's HIS responsibility. Take your time, son, think about what you're saying - you want me to feed you so you insult my cooking, insult my parenting - and you want me to do something for you? Hmm, something not working here, I can't quite make it out...

    You need to sit down with husband and plan strategy. As soon as you made it clear you weren't going to buy takeaway, husband should have been backing you up and retracting his earlier statement (or telling you he'd already promised, to avoid you looking like the ogre). So next time difficult child is saying, "I hate your cooking," husband is there to back you up.
    "Fine - you don't have to eat it. Mind you, if you're starving, you will eat your own shoelaces, so you may want to reconsider. It's never a good idea to insult the cook - either at home or in a restaurant. You never know WHAT they'll cook."
    Or you can say, "So you don't like my cooking? Well frankly, kid, I don't like to cook for you. You don't appreciate a thing I do for you and from right now, I'm on strike. Get ALLl your own meals and make darn sure you clean up the kitchen after you've used it so I don't know you've even been in there. Buy your own food, do your own budgeting, plan your own menus - but count me out! From here on, I'm cooking only for those who appreciate my efforts!"

    difficult child 1 was about 15 when he said to me once (after a very similar discussion), "What do you mean, you don't like to be busy in the kitchen preparing meals, cleaning up after us and doing our washing? You're a mum - that's what mums do, they look after their families because they want to. So you MUST be enjoying it!"
    Amazingly, I DIDN'T wring his neck on the spot. He actually survived the experience - but I DID set him straight, fast.
    "I do it because someone has to. I don't do it because I enjoy it. My brain is NOT wired differently merely because I am female and therefore must be genetically programmed to love housework and cooking. I do it in the hope that soon you will learn to look after yourself and be a fit and capable person to leave home and live independently. If you EVER take that attitude with any woman in your life, ever again, your head will be spinning so fast you will wonder what hit you and your rear end will be permanently imprinted with whatever footwear your lady is wearing. So GET YOUR A*** INTO GEAR and put on this apron."

    If he STILL insists he is likely to drop dead of starvation within minutes, tell him it took Bobby Sands 66 days to die, on his hunger strike. And HE had already been eating prison food for some time, so he was already likely to be malnourished and underweight, compared to difficult child. Because however bad your cooking is, I doubt it's as bad as in a Dublin prison.

    If you need the reference, here it is:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Sands

    But seriously, teenage boys and the desperation of hunger - save me from it! It's a shocker!!!

    Marg
     
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    First of all, there was a big misunderstanding there because husband actually told difficult child one thing and you told him another.
    For the rest of us, we'd simply explain it in those terms. A difficult child must be taught.
    Our difficult child, 10, is just now at the point where he can explain it, but he will do it in a loud, angry voice. Some day we'll get to the normal voice part, LOL! But as you know, it's one step at a time.
    I would sit down with-difficult child when he's stable and go over the grocery store scene with-him and explain how you can do it differently next time. You can even have a practice run.
    If he is angry with-everyone, you may as well give it a try because this way, at least you'll know the reason he's angry b4 you start out, in addition to which, you'll have the emotional fortitude to get him in and out of the bldg in one piece. :smile:

    All of us here are working on detaching. It is SO important. It gives you so much more control, not to mention peace of mind.
    I noticed that you said your difficult child is on metadate and risperdal. Are they not working very well?
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've raised three teens to adulthood, none of them perfect (one was a drug addict for a while...fun, fun), but I do have to say that from my experience getting THAT nasty over good for a fifteen year old is more than typical teen. Plus he IS giving you a hard time, but I'm not sure why. Do you think he's being diagnosed and medicated right? Is he better? If not, I'd want a second opinion, maybe from a neuropsychologist. in my opinion it doesn't help to respond to his nastiness--it fuels the flames.
     
  6. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    I also noticed alot of crazy behavior when my teen is hungry. He eats at least 6 meals a day or more if he's really active. Excluding all the other problems with your son, this is what hypoglycemia looks like. Changes in mental status - irrational, irritable, aggressive behavior. It seems like he improved once he ate something. It's a full-time job feeding a teen.
     
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I do remember those times. M was younger when there was that behavior though. By the time he was fifteen, he just used his hateful glare. All the time.

    About the dinner, boy did he have everyone going. If husband told him they were going to Sonic, husband should have done it. They could walk home, but you were cooking dinner. If difficult child didn't want to eat it, then he really could go hungry. Not taking him to Sonic isn't starving him. M's list of what he would and wouldn't eat got longer all of the time. It stopped when husband and I got on the same page and told him "This is what we are having for dinner. Eat it or not, no one cares."

    At 15 we started telling M that if he wanted to eat things we weren't having or go to movies or whatever his friends were doing he could do even one single chore around the house to earn a little cash, or find a neighbor to do some work for. Wasn't on his to-do list.

    I've been reading the posts and talking with my friends lately and seeing a common theme. Older teenage boys making their mother's lives h-e-l-l. I know that our boys take it to the extreme, but I think it's a magnification of what is usual for boys. Cutting the apron strings in the only way that they know how. They've gotten what they wanted most of their lives by making us worried or concerned or miserable. What they want is to make their own decisions. They have no money and no skills, so they think they can get that by making us miserable. After all, it's worked before.

    Not to say it ever got worked out until he got out of the house and actually found out what food costs and what hunger is.
     
  8. weaselqt

    weaselqt New Member

    I am really amazed about how this is linked to food. I mean, he really does freak out and does it over and over and I swear - he can eat an entire chicken, 3 potatoes and in 20 minutes SWEAR he is STARVING!! I just don't know what to do. I am thinking about my family & my husband family - and my dad is that way about food - has been all of his life. My dad gets violent about food and freaks out with people who leave things on their plates. I used to be as anal as my dad about the kids cleaning EVERYHTING on the plate - but realized later in life that it was not so important as I was always taught - but it is a hard battle to break. Have I ruined my difficult child?

    This morning was pretty bad. I reached over to pull him near me to give him a hug bye before school and he sort of twisted away from me (resisting) and started yelling YOU KNEW MY ANKLE WAS TWISTED AND NOW YOU JUST MADE IT WORSE!!!. I just went in to a rage and shouted "WHY THE HELL DO YOU TREAT ME THIS WAY? WHAT THE F*** DID I DO TO YOU?" and just left for work. I cried all the way to work & then my PC6yo said "MOMMY - are you okay? Are you crying?" (He was in car when this happened in house & didn't see what I did or said). I told him I was fine and not crying. I take him to class - walk to my class and just cry (no students in class for awhile - so I was ok). A coworker told me to get my difficult child counseling and it sounded like we need it as a family. I told her what he said and what I said and I felt horrible! HORRIBLE!! The look on his face was shock when I said that to him - but I am disappointed in myself. I'm a bad parent - I feel as if I am raising him to hate me - and that is not what I want.

    I saw one of his teachers this afternoon adn asked her how he was today and she said that he is very different than he was last year. She siad my difficult child had good behavior in her class (so far) but is very down and seemed depressed - although she was able to get him to help her set up computers inclass and he was very helpful to her. She said she had the class do self-evaluations and my difficult child put all zeros for the 20 questions (0-10 with 10 being best).

    We can't get in to see psyc until October - why is this guy always booked? I kinda think the psyc is ADHD - he is always hyper acting and seems to get my difficult child very hyper when we do see him. What gives? Does anyone know of good one in Shreveport, Louisiana?

    I found out today that our Parish (county) has a grant for counseling at risk youth for this school year and I called today and got that ball rolling. This evening - my difficult child was wonderful. He ate the hamburger steak I cooked (haha - didn't do it last night but did it tonight).

    I think my husband and I just don't know how to handle difficult child - I didn't know husband said he would eat at sonic and when difficult child wanted to eat at sonic and said no cause I am cooking and husband didn't know I was cooking - so there was no communicatoin on either part.

    husband says his brother and mom were the same way growing up and now - they can't stand each other. I don't want that to happen to us. I appreciate everyone and really did get some great insight from all posts. I can't believe I never searched for something like this before - ARGH!!
     
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