Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, May 13, 2008.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I've started to post this a few times and just got so frustrated over the situation I gave up.

    difficult child has been doing slightly better since the increase in Lamictal two weeks ago. He really has been trying. He is still getting ISS on a regular basis though. His violence has decreased some but not completely.

    The thing that has been driving me crazy is that we often (in the last year) have started leaving difficult child home with easy child when we go to the club. We only are gone about an hour total.

    Last week we came home to a very upset crying difficult child because easy child had tried to choke him. He was very scared. I'm sure he did something to start the fight but still this is not acceptable on easy child's part. After her therapist meeting last week we decided not to leave them home together alone.

    However, Sunday morning difficult child was almost asleep on the chair watching tv and didn't want to go to the club. husband tried to wake up easy child to tell her we were going because he really felt it would be o.k. to leave them with her sleeping. All she would need to do is stay in her room and there wouldn't be a problem. I was kind of thinking we should bring difficult child along but husband really felt things would be o.k. and I thought he was right.

    Well, we learned our lesson. About 25 minutes into my workout we got a call from difficult child. easy child was threatening him and he was scared-she was chasing him. easy child took the phone and screamed that this was my fault because I had left them alone (she had a point to an extent but wanted to accept no responsibility in this at all).

    I had difficult child lock himself in the bathroom and then talked with him while we drove home because he was just sobbing. We were home in about 5 minutes.

    Neither child can remember what started the whole thing! The whole situation is driving husband and I nuts. We have a medication check for easy child this afternoon and I'm sure it will get all blamed on her having such a difficult brother and I know that is part of it but think she also needs to be held responsible for her actions. She purposely does things at times to get him agitated and he worships the ground she walks on when they are getting along.

    She is upset because husband told her that from now if he has to go to the club she can come too. She can sit on the couch and read or do hw. Of course, in her eyes this is unfair and she is angry. She loves being home alone and I wonder if part of all this isn't a way to get herself to be able to be home on her own.

    Sorry this is so long. I'm not sure what the solution is to this. husband and I can't really go at separate times to the club-there just aren't enough hours in the day and giving up the club isn't a good option either because it is a major source of stress release for both of us. Last night difficult child chose to come to the club so we didn't have to deal with a problem. I'm almost thinking we'll have to offer him some sort of a carrot for coming to the club with no problem. He is one of the oldest there so it gets boring for him. I can't wait til he is 12 or 13 and can start working out with us.
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I've often wondered (& please forgive me if you feel insulted) how you've been able to leave difficult child home alone with easy child. I've only allowed kt to be home by herself a couple of times & that wasn't at all successful. I know if I had left kt & wm home alone ~ well, I'm just not going there.

    easy child does need to be held accountable, no doubt about that. However, I would never have left difficult child home with her. difficult child, with his level of violence should be supervised by an adult at all times. It would be all together different if easy child were in charge of a easy child.

    I know that you & husband need time out alone. husband & I spent years looking for help to have a date night. I know you have respite coming ~ use that time. Keep it sacred.

    Again, I hope you're not insulted.
  3. 4sumrzn

    4sumrzn New Member

    We have recently started leaving difficult child home with easy child on a weekend night after she is sleeping. We know she ALWAYS wakes up in the middle of the night to move to our bedroom floor. We normally just go out for a couple of hours & things are fine. One time she did wake up, noticed we were gone...easy child called us saying he couldn't calm her down & she wouldn't stop crying. We were home withing 10 minutes. I know that easy child gets worried when we leave, thinking that will happen again......but he still lets us go when we can. Thing is....sometimes we "plan" on going & by the time difficult child is sleeping....SO AM I!!!!!! LOL! I avoid at all cost to leave difficult child with easy child during waking hours unless I HAVE to. If difficult child is willing to go with you to the there any way to come up with different things he can do each time....something special maybe? Certain hand held games, art work, seek-n-finds.....anything like that maybe? Just an idea.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Maybe, since they are both part of the problem, they can take turns going to the health club.

    I am too afraid that the same thing will happen between my two kids to ever leave them alone together. They can both be volatile at times and it seems that when one is that way, the other one will try to provoke them.
  5. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member


    I totally understand how frustrating it is not being able to leave difficult child and easy child home alone together!!! To date, I can't leave either of my difficult children home alone. However, in the summer, when difficult children are at camp, etc, I can leave easy child home by herself.

    This is one of the reasons I have exercise equipment in my basement. As you know, exercise is a major source of much needed stress relief for me too. While I truly believe it is a necessary part of life for you as well as for me, I don't think you're going to be able to leave your difficult child and easy child home alone together any more while you go to the health club. I know, it S*CKS!!!

    I think you're going to have to find a way to make difficult child go with you and husband. I wish I had some great ideas on how to do this. If this were a problem in my house, I would make part of my difficult children "Reward Time" contingent on good behavior while waiting for me at the health club. In the beginning, I know this would be difficult as difficult children ALWAYS have "melt-downs" with any sort of change to their schedules.

    I think you're on the right track in dangling some sort of carrot in front of your difficult child to get him to go to the health club without "melting." Now, you just need to figure out what kind of "carrot" will work.

    As for your easy child, I definitely think she should be held accountable for her actions!!! Violence is not excusable under any circumstances!!! However, that being said, I can understand why she feels so much anger towards her brother.

    in my humble opinion, I wouldn't make easy child go to the club too. I think she has a hard enough time dealing with her difficult child brother. I know my easy child has very mixed emotions about her difficult child brothers. She wrestles with these emotions all of the time. As a result, I try to give her as much space away from them as I can.

    Since easy child enjoys staying home alone, I would let her have the time you, husband, and difficult child are at the health club to herself. Maybe if she has a bit more time to herself, she'll be better able to cope with her brother.

    Anyway, all of the above is just MHO - Whatever you decide to do, I know it will be carefully thought out and will be the best decision for your family. I'm sorry you're going through so much garbage!!! Having difficult children definitely has a negative impact on daily life - What an understatement, lol!!!

    Hang in there. Keep us updated when you can. And, I'll be thinking of you...
    And, I think, "You deserve a break today..." too, lol!!! I STILL CAN'T GET THE McD's jingle out of my head, lol... WFEN
  6. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I understand the problem with leaving them home and agree with the pps, it is because of difficult children problems that it can't work smoothly so natural consequences say he should need to go with you for the club...but with incentives. I agree easy child needs the time of peace as much as you need the club. With all that said, I have 2 mild difficult children and require the younger one to stay in his room when I don't have anyother options but to leave them together, that along with a huge quilt trip about how I deserve to be able to leave the house works for me. Of course mine aren't to a major difficult child level and they are 21 and 16, and my 16 yo will stay in his room. Wish you success in finding a solution.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Our kids are very close in age. I often wonder why a boy and girl 6 years apart in age can not leave each other alone.

    Part of our difficult child's problem is how easy child treated him as she was growing up. difficult child just adores her and though she is the best babysitter ever for any other kid, you can not have her watch difficult child. I think she was a spoiled brat and all my attempts to have her accept a new kid in the house didn't work. Since everything wrong in her world is my fault, having a brother is also part of what is wrong in her world. Her world would be perfect without him in it - the thoughts of a diva.

    Now difficult child has decided he has had enough of her insults and is trying everything possible to get her kicked out of the house by pushing her buttons so that she will explode at him. Then of course, we are suppose to get mad at her and tell her to leave - the thoughts of a boy.

    We also tried the stay home while she is in her room, however, difficult child still felt he was home alone and could not handle it.

    It is hard having a babysitter in the house who can not babysit the one person you need her to watch once in awhile. I totally feel your frustration.

    (p.s., I think there is the word "not" missing in Timer Lady's last sentence)
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    thanks Adrianne - you're right. missed a word, must need more coffee.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry! I know how you feel.
    difficult child has started to act up again lately so we've been cutting back on our outings. But for a cpl of yrs, we were able to lv them home together, and pay easy child just like a regular sitter.
    However, she would call us in tears because she couldn't handle difficult child. Then he'd call and yell that she was being mean to him. We couldn't even finish our meal.
    I finally told them that they would both be grounded, no matter whose fault it was, if they called one more time.
    Guess what? They settled down.
    Ea time we went out after that, I reminded them that they would both be grounded. It worked.
    (You have to follow through, incl. cancelling baseball games and easy child dates. Not fun but very necessary.)
    easy child is anxoius to be out and about, bec she has her license, and difficult child is going through hormonal changes, so we've got a rough patch, but I have no doubt it will clear up.
    difficult child is also learning to stay home alone for an hr at a time. I know darn well he's sneaking sports games on his computer but there are worse things!

    Maybe you could step back and just run one quick errand while they are home alone, with-the promise of something good if they behave, and discipline if they don't. Then up the time to 1/2 hr, and so on.

    Just a thought. I feel for you.
  10. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sorry! It is frustrating. Our difficult child is an only child but I can't help feeling jealous when the neighbors can easily use a teenager in the neighborhood to sit their kids when I need to find a responsible adult that has experience with difficult children. I feel sorry for myself when other parents sign their kids up for fun camps and Saturday activities when the few attempts I have made to do likewise have ended in disaster.

    I think you know now that you can't leave easy child and difficult child home alone together. Sorry that this plan backfired on you. I undersatnd your desire to be able to go out and have some time with husband. Wish things would have gone bettter for you :(

  11. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    One of the things that kinda/sorta frustrates me...but I think I relatively quickly learned to cope with it, was the high cost of going out with my husband because we had a difficult child in the household. However, I valued "date night" with husband so much, I just learned to live with it. There were times, that I kept our date night a little on the short side, but we still went out relatively frequently. There were times that we went to inexpensive places to compensate for the "sitting" costs. For many many years, to longest vacation we took was two nights/three that we could afford to pay someone to stay with the kids. We got very creative having a few super responsible sitters available...trying hard never to burn anyone out and often paid a little extra, giving them lots of advice and warm fuzzies. It was hard, taxing and expensive...but in the end, I believe it was WELL worth it. Like Oprah says (although husband is VERY DOWN on the Oprah at the moment) this I KNOW FOR a responsible sitter, get out of the house and enjoy life.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks all! I appreciate all of your responses!

    If husband and I are going out for a date night we do wait until difficult child is sleeping and then easy child can handle it no problem. Due to his medications, once he is out he is usually out for the night.

    The health club part is hard because we both need our workouts (we're usually not with each other most of the time at the club as we do different things) and to do them at two separate times is almost impossible during the school year. There just isn't time for one to do a workout and then the other. This really was working for a long while and just in the last week started backfiring.

    For now I'm thinking of letting difficult child earn some money each time he goes to the health club without complaints or some game time since he loves playing games. Once he is there he is fine and has fun it's just the not wanting to go part.

    I think easy child doesn't like having difficult child around because she likes having the place to herself. I don't think we'll make her go but she wouldn't be with him if we did. He goes to the playroom, she would just sit on the couch in the main area doing her homework.

    Linda-I'm not insulted at all. The times we have left difficult child with easy child have been times when he is in a very calm mood, watching tv and perfectly content. We really monitor his mood before leaving (of course, that doesn't mean his mood couldn't change). Interestingly, he has never been violent with her when she watches him, bothers her yes (not all the time) but never violent, never even attempted to be. However, that isn't to say he couldn't be.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I can't offer any answers or advice to this- just wanted to send HUGS and support and many wishes that this phase passes soon or at least that you find a workable solution.