difficult child Overload!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by 4sumrzn, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    difficult child has always been "stuck up my fannie" as husband puts it. She's always asking where I'm at, following me around, checking on me under doors, cries for me when I leave, checks on me from other rooms, on me like a hawk if I'm trying to talk on the phone.....just NEEDS to know I'm close by & "OK", along with making sure I'm not paying attention to anyone else :( She has also never liked when husband gives me a hug, touches me (rubbing my feet turns in to a meltdown). Anyway...husband's hours have been drastically cut & he's at home more. I opened my availability at work....sometime husband has to get difficult child off the bus. She FREAKS! This past weekend...we both only had to work a few hours on Friday & had the weekend off. She flipped out over us being in the same room! What the heck!? Oh....we took her to her first Special Olympics bowling practice....she didn't want us to watch & would throw herself on the floor & start to explode. We watched from behind the popcorn machine...hiding for 2 & 1/2 hours! OMG....what's up with this child.....any idea why it's getting worse & not better???? Thanks for listening.

    by the way...I feel bad for husband. He knows how much she smothers me (as he puts it) & doesn't want to add to it....so, he backs off. I know it upsets him.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Sounds like she's got a lot of anxiety? Do you think this is true?
  3. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    My easy child son is a lot like that, though not to the extreme. He is just very attached, painfully shy and doesn't like change or new people in his life. He also needs to know where I am at all times but does his own thing as long as he is comfortable. I know it does get a bit annoying, it's suffocating. Is she only like that with you? My son just needs to be with one of his close family members in order for him to be at ease. But if we are all together, it's usually me he is glued to.

    Hang in there. I love "stuck up my fannie". Cute!! :)
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    This sounds like something that needs to be specifically addressed with psychiatrist and therapist. The part where she has a meltdown if he touches you, and now if you are in the same room is worrisome to me. Somehow you need to have her learn that the marriage bond comes first. That you and husband are married and are supposed to have a close and loving and affectionate relationship in order for the family to be healthy.

    I don't know how to get that through to her, but if you don't get her to learn this the teenage years are going to be horrible. Maybe ignore the meltdowns or tell her it is fine to melt down over Dad and Mom hugging or giving footrubs, but she must do it in HER room, not in the room with you? I am sure she gets plenty of Mom time, so to have her leave the room when she melts down over this might be OK. This is just an idea, a suggestion.
  5. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Ugh, how exhausting. Poor husband, too. I'm so sorry.

    I was thinking anxiety too. And, with the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) diagnosis, I'd wonder where she is, age wise. D is 12, but emotionally, I'd give him around 7-8 yrs old (and, that's just been bumped up, last year he'd have been around 5-6). So, if she's 7 - thinking back for me, when D was 7, he'd have been emotionally around 3.

    And, 3 year olds need mom every second.

    *sigh* No advice. Just rambling thoughts. Is she on any medications?
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    difficult child 3 was a bit like this with easy child. He attached to her VERY strongly; she is 12 years older than him. So when she was 14/15 and first going out with BF1 (yep, very long-standing relationship, that one) we discovered that difficult child 3 didn't like to share. We'd arranged a family outing to the city, meeting BF1 there (he lived in a different city). difficult child 3 was OK with meeting BF1, but whenever BF1 got too physically close to easy child difficult child 3 wouldbegin to scream and throw a tantrum. difficult child 3 was in a stroller at the time and when we stopped to have lunch, I had to park the stroller facing away from easy child & BF1, and told them to make sure that difficult child 3 didn't glimpse them. Over the day we did a lot of family fun things together (filmed it all) and it was all OK with difficult child 3, except when BF1 got too close to easy child. Every time.
    This happened at the next outing (but less so) and later on by the third, difficult child 3 was still clingy with easy child but not throwing tantrums.

    And now to difficult child 1 - this goes back to before we knew there was a problem. He was clearly different to easy child but we put that down to him being a different personality, he was a boy, he was the second child... everyone kept telling me to not worry, to not see things that weren't there. I was working full-time so the kids were in long day care, from 12 weeks old. I spent every break time with them and continued to breastfeed (with all the kids). The centre was a really good one, the staff were instructed to not have favourites because that would cause problems when a 'pet' staff member had to leave the room or was on leave.
    difficult child 1 was a gorgeous kid, cuddly, snuggly and good-looking. And despite all efforts, one staff member became too important to difficult child 1, he would cry whenever she left the room. He would only go to her, nobody else could do anything with him. The director was angry at her staffer although the staffer insisted she had done her best to avoid it. This close attachment lasted for several years, until he 'graduated' out of her care. And even afterwards, he would often be found leaning on the connecting stable door looking into the room where his favourite teacher was.

    It was bizarre - she really had not done anything to encourage this. It had just happened.

    Then with difficult child 3 and his tight bond with easy child - it had just happened. I mean, I was still breastfeeding him, for pete's sake! But I would give him a feed and as soon as he was finished he would push away from me to look for easy child. A doctor who was treating easy child for bad headaches at one point noted how difficult child 3 climbed straight onto her lap and asked her, "Did you have these headaches while you were pregnant?"
    She looked at us, confused, than answered the doctor. "Um - I'm only 14, I would have had to be pregnant when I was 11," she explained. "He's my brother."

    The rapid development of the habit is something I now feel is a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) trait. It also eased (in both cases) with time. In the meantime we had to treat it with patience and with encouragement to help each of the boys 'stretch' themselves, to learn to be a bit braver in accepting change and challenge. Anxiety makes it a lot worse. And to work on it, you have to sort of desensitise them to the things that upset them, that worry them. It's a long, patient process and it took us years. But we've made amazing progress, much more than we ever thoguht we would.

  7. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Thank you! I'll read all this over again later this evening....kinda busy around here, can't think (imagine that!?). "Someone is having a meltdown over taking a bath tonight".
    I did forget to change her diagnosis.....Anxiety & Severe language disorders have been added recently.
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child was like this. If she could not reach me she would go into meltdown mode. She is able to self talk herself into remaining calm if she can not find me now. Maurity goes a long way with this one. Time. I know not what you wanted to hear. But, we never did try an anti-anxiety medication. That may have helped.
  9. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    Thanks again for your thoughts. We were told a few months ago that we need to remember at all times to respond to her as if she is a 3-4 year old. It's just so very hard when we know that there a some things she is on target with for closer to her age - not many though, I suppose. I agree....SOMETHING needs to change when it comes to her reaction when husband is "too close". We've tried a few different things....even asking HER first if we can hug. Every once in awhile she will tell us to....it has to be quick though or she can change her mind. Maybe that is a tiny step in the right direction!? Her MH teacher is going to try to work in some social stories....."OK for Mommy & Daddy to watch her bowl" & "OK for Mommy & Daddy to hug" type stories. Maybe they will help too. I just wish things were easier, just like everyone else does. Suppose I get down at times when these things "explode" because I feel like our world has been revolving around difficult child since I was pg with her. Just would be nice to jump off the merry-go-round every once in awhile & share a more "normal" life with her.

    Again~ thanks for listening & for your thoughts.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something that might help - it helped for us - is "group hug". We called it "family hug". We'd start it with either parent, but especially if the child would accept a hug from the person she usually rejects. In your case, will she accept a hug from husband on his own? If so, what happens if you then come up and hug them both?

    It could be a way to get her to be more accepting of husband, if her reward for hugging him, is a hug from you (hugging both of them).

    husband & I would make sure we kissed the child (he kissed one cheek while I kissed the other) and then we would each ask for a kiss from the child. As the child could handle it, we would then kiss the child back and MAYBE kiss each other quickly, then kiss the child again quickly, so the child knew that we were still paying attention to them too.

    Talking about this now - I remember doing this with easy child 2/difficult child 2, who was VERY demanding of attention and didn't like to share me. I remember when visiting a friend who had a new baby while easy child 2/difficult child 2 was a toddler (maybe 18 months old?) and when te baby was on my lap, easy child 2/difficult child 2 threw the most amazing tantrum and tried to pull the baby away from me.
    When husband & I were cuddling, she would come up and try to get in between us and push us apart. I had forgotten this.

    I do wonder - you know how kids always act disgusted and embarrassed when their parents show affection for each other? I wonder if it's because we get out of the habit of showing affection to our partner in front of the kids, because when they are little they make it so difficult?
    It would explain a lot. Mind you, I love to embarrass the kids if they act 'grossed out'. I remind them that but for affection between their parents, they would not be here!

  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT was like this...I called it "velcroed to my butt." I just double-checked your difficult child's age...yup. Drove me nuts. Wish I had some advice for you or some magic answers on how to make it stop. Miss KT eventually outgrew it, right about sixth grade, when my mere existence became a horrible embarrassment to her.

    Many hugs.