difficult child's friend staying with us for a week..

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Stella, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Stella

    Stella New Member

    One of difficult child's friends is staying with us for a week as her house is being renovated. She arrived Tuesday and since then difficult child's behaviour has been so much better. The night-time rituals have gone out the window and she is actually waking up in a good mood. Although she is still defiant with me, she is not half as bad as she normally is. She is also having breakfast in the morning (which she normally refuses to do) and she actually brushed her hair and washed her hands and face this morning (major big deal!). Generally, I notice that she is a bit happier in herself. Could it be that difficult child just despises being an only child? I come from a family of five children and I can't imagine what it must be like for her to be an only child as I adored having my siblings to play with. I wonder if there there such a thing as Only Child Syndrome?? lol??

    I don't think I'm going to be laughing once difficult child's friend goes though and anticipating huge behaviours as she adapts back into life without her around...
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) = Only Child Symdrome? Being an only child myself, I'd tend to agree... However... Does difficult child act up in front of others, or just at home? That may answer your question... Good luck when the friend leaves... Although this may just be what she needed to break some of the habits...
  3. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Yes, she does act up in front of others but never in school. I'm also hoping that this change might break some of her habits but it could go either way. I'll know next week!! May I ask out of interest, from your experience, what is it about being an only child that could cause such strong problematic behaviours?? Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree entirely but there might just be something in this...
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Definitely tell her that you like her new behavior and give her rewards of some sort, so you can keep the behaviors going after the friend leaves.
    In the meantime, enjoy the respite! :)
  5. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    I have three. difficult child's behavior always improves when we add one more to the group. I would bet that if your difficult child's friend moved in permanently you would have a few weeks of "honeymoon" and then the behavior issues will come flying back. Our Dr. said that my difficult child can behave in school, but can only take so much frustration and pops and lets it out when he come home. Your difficult child may be similar. I would not be surprised if she becomes more agitated when her friend leaves then normal. Because she held it in for so long. If that is the case, just walk away and leave her alone. In a few days she will be back to her normal. (sorry about that). But, do recognize the positive behavior, and invite the friend back frequently.
  6. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Well, being an only child (and an only grandchild on one side) I needed to be the center of attention at all times (probably because I was).

    I didn’t have violent tantrums, mostly because back then my parents would have spanked me – and it would not have been child abuse then. Try something like that now and Children’s Services is all over you. I did get very, very frustrated with things in my teens and broke a lot of hairbrushes, curling irons, and put lots of holes in the wall. Sometimes I still throw things – but I make absolutely sure I won’t hurt anyone first – LOL!

    I didn’t act up in public, either – for the same reason. Being taken to the car hoovered.

    I did have a (very) few weird rituals, the one I can remember most clearly was the before-bed-potty one where I had to have water running in the sink. Always hot. Mom had to turn it on – the few times she was out of town I suspect were a nightmare for my Dad. (As a result, the sound of running water still has that effect on me – and occasionally before I go to bed, when I am REALLY tired or ill, I’ll have husband handle it for me...)

    I never refused medications simply because I was physically ill so often as an infant and toddler I was used to them. Since then I’ve been disgustingly healthy – I think it’s a good psychosomatic reaction because I still hate medication.

    Also – just something to keep in mind – I never had a diagnosis of anything except depression in my early 20s and then again recently. So all of this is only child stuff. I think. (Although, reading up on it, hyperlexia would have fit.)

    I’m not sure this will help you, but it is from the perspective of an only child.
  7. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Thanks so much for sharing that StepTo2. It's very interesting for me to hear things from the perspective on an only child. My daughter was only grandchild for first 8 years of her life too so she was the only child in both sides of family for a long time and yes, she is very much the centre of attention. Sometimes I think it's a case of her having too much limelight!

    Interestingly, I was speaking with a friend of mine recently and although she was never diagnosed with anything either and she is now happily married with two kids, she also had very similar behaviours to difficult child including the rituals. She said it was all frustration. Her mother was a chronic alcoholic and her father used to beat her so she puts it down to that. I do find it interesting that there is no actual diagnosis for it though and that she seemed to grow out of it with age. (most of it, she also still has some rituals).

    I suppose I'm just observing all behaviours and trying to put all of the pieces of this jigsaw together to find out what the hell is going on with difficult child!!

    Thanks again for sharing.
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    You're welcome! :D

    Just out of curiosity - no answer required, but I'm being nosy. My Dad was out of town a LOT when I was a child, and I didn't stop wetting the bed until about age 9, and thumbsucking till later than that. Anyway the question was... You're a single mom... Where's difficult child's father? If she has no contact, or worse, sporadic contact, with him, it won't help things. (I'm a stepmom, so I see what happens when biomom plays games with "my" kids.)
  9. Stella

    Stella New Member

    I've no problem answering that at all. difficult child has sporadic contact with her father. She sees him most weekends for a few hours. He may take her to the cinema or something else that requires little to no effort *sigh*. We began family therapy A couple of months back and since then he has been making a bit more of an effort and is a lot easier to communicate with. However last week he told me he's not going to continue with the therapy as it's " a load of ****" and not helping him or difficult child. I told him I think its very helpful as I actually get to sit in the same room for an hour and talk about what's going on with difficult child. He says he doesn't understand why we need a room full of strangers to facilitate communication between us but the fact is before therapy I was lucky if i heard from him once a month so go figure...

    Oh and he has more or less said that he thinks all of difficult child's problems are down to me as I am the one who lives with her!!!
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    HMMMM... No offense, but he seems to be the sort of "stereotypical" divorced father that made it darn near impossible for my husband to get residential custody from the kids' mother. I can't say for sure.

    Now, I don't know the whole situation, but if you were married and/or living together, how were difficult child's issues then? I am, of course, making an assumption here.

    I know that with difficult child 2, when his mother had residential and we were exchanging kids at the "visitation center", we had major problems when it came time to take him back. He would literally glue himself to us or under the chairs, in the closet etc. in the waiting area. What had happened was that he was never sure when he would see Daddy, because biomom would randomly cancel visits (really pointless reasons, too - her car window was broken, her monthly, she was tired, I could go on and on) - and when I say randomly, I mean the kids got to see husband about once every two to four weeks. Sometimes less, sometimes more. We had severe abandonment issues here.

    When we were ordered to stop using the visitation center, things got better. Biomom could no longer just not show up, so we picked the kids up each and every visit. She still sometimes denied visits, but that was the exception (until her boyfriend started his garbage with difficult child 1).

    So my question really is, because I've been there done that got that ripped T-shirt, is it in any way possible that difficult child blames you for her father being, well, irresponsible? Easier to blame you, because he takes her to the movies, the "Disneyland Dad" stuff...
  11. Stella

    Stella New Member

    Wow, sounds like you've been through a lot, like all the moms on here really!

    The thing is myself and difficult child's dad were never married. I was 19 and he was 21 when we had difficult child and we were together (on and off) until difficult child was 3. I lived with my parents and three of my siblings until difficult child was four and it has been just the two of us ever since.

    Sometimes I think she just hates the fact that she has no siblings and it is just me and her. I mean what kid wants to live with just one parent and nobody else???

    I have often felt that difficult child was punishing me with her behaviours and I have considered that she blames me for her dad not being around but she absolutley refuses to talk about anything that might require her expressing her feelings. It seems to be the only way she can express herself is through anger.

    Because difficult child has other issues like learning difficulties and significant sensory issues it really is difficult for me to determine if she has an underlying diagnosis or if all of it is really down to family dynamics and emotional problems OR a mixture of both....
  12. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    With the other issues, in my humble opinion, it's probably both... But I am so not a doctor - I have my own subscriptions (libraries, really), so it's just a stab-in-the-dark guess. And her refusal to talk about stuff isn't helping...

    How's the friend thing doing? difficult child still calm?

    Hmmmmmm... It's Friday. difficult child 1 has been an angel this week so husband is taking her to Hot Topic for the Twilight DVD release at midnight. If your difficult child has been good... Does she like going out for ice cream? This is reasonably inexpensive. But here's my thought... She doesn't like talking about feelings. SO... This would be setting up for an explosion and defusing it. Kind of trickery, but not in a bad way. (Do with this suggestion what you wish...)

    "How would you feel [pause!!!!! This is the "setup"] if we (you, difficult child, friend) went out for ice cream tonight?" [DEFUSE - something cool]

    Or whatever, doesn't have to be ice cream. My point is getting her used to hearing the word feel associated with something else, not HER specifically. Kids will get used to hearing something then blurt out all kinds of informative bits. (difficult child 1 says "peace" when she leaves the room... I hold up victory signs on both hands and say... "peaces". Dumb joke. But when we were talking about her behavior later (much later), and I said something about all the pieces of the puzzle falling into place, she told me exactly what biomom and the creep had been doing. Then she looked surprised, but now that I knew... And that one was totally, totally by accident!!!