Good for a difficult child??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I guess it depends on how you look at it. Feel free to tell me if you think I'm being too lax here... really, I'm trying to get a better foothold on that.

    difficult child had an approved campout with his group Thurs night. He had a great time but got minimal sleep (which does effect him) and his depakote had to be given differently than normal (it has to be prescribed as twice a day instead of all of it in the morning or insurance won't pay for it). He came home hyper yesterday, which I expected, so I gave him the second depakote right away, figuring I could get him back on schedule this morning. I gave him dinner, he took a shower and he went to bed.

    I woke him up this morning to give him medications- he took them then went back to sleep. He had an appointment to get an eye exam at 11:30. I went back to get him out of bed and he started to rage- a little. I told him that he had to go or he wouldn't have a new pair of glasses for this school year. I gave him another warning about 10 mins later. He got up about 20 mins. later- sorry- too late. He got angry and grabbed both my arms. I stayed calm and didn't get angry - I just said calmly that I was not going to take him now, he missed his appointment and this was no way to get anything he wanted. He looked at me like he knew he wanted to "go off" then he stopped himself and left the room.

    He went to another room and hit a wall, not hard enough to put a hole in it. I went on about my business and then we left and ran errands. He was agitated all day but I could tell that he was trying to control it- I had told him that he would have to earn the money to pay the "no show" cost and he got upset for that. He wanted to earn money for spending on vacation. He started doing chores but then after I reminded him of this, he ranted a minute then went to the porch. He didn't slam a door or leave the yard or anything- he just sat on the porch about 2 mins. then came back in. He said he didn't mind doing work but he thought he should earn something. I said ok, well, you won't get the new glasses (natural consequence) and you have to pay back whatever I have to pay for being a "no show", but, I can take half your earned money per week so you pay it back that way. He said ok and proceeded to do his work.

    This probably sounds so "coddling" to many- but for my difficult child, this is a major improvement day. I guess because when it was more than obvious that he was about to lose control, he walked away or stopped or told me what was bugging him and it never escalated into a dramatic crisis. To me, that was a success!! I'm sure all days won't be like this, but I hope I remeber this one when things are worse.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I think he did a great job of holding it together, despite being obviously angry about how things were working out. And I don't think the pay-back arrangement is unreasonable either.

    As tempting as it is to come down hard on difficult child's (mine anyway) I think we have to understand that we risk escalating things and then they don't learn anything from the situation. By working out a solution that is agreeable to you both, he comes away from this (hopefully) understanding the consequence for his actions and buying into it as well.

    Again, I think it's great that he handled it as well as he did!
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Sounds good to me! I think you handled that well and it is indeed a step forward for difficult child. Walking away is an important step for difficult child to learn. Good for him.

    He still faces the consequence and the making arrangements to pay it back is reasonable.

    Good job to you and difficult child!
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    You have to stop doubting yourself so much. You both did great.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thank you! I guess this takes a parent of a difficult child to understand why this feels like a successful day! LOL!
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Honestly, I think parents of an average child would consider this a success. He didn't get what he wanted, he didn't have a temper tantrum. You found a way to get him to do what you wanted (pay you back somehow) and have him cooperate. For the parent of a child with issues, it is a great success.

    In other words, you done good.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a great way for MOM to handle things. AND it sounds like he is working very hard to not blow up.

    As for the 1/2 to the no-show fee and 1/2 to him, I think that it will save you a TON of problems.

    My dad (my expert on kids, esp boys, in the middle school/jr high age) would recommend this. We did it with Wiz many times. If ALL the $$ goes to fees, or to pay for stuff he breaks, then your difficult child has very little incentive to keep working. I know my parents get much better results when they use this method than when they use all the $ to pay for the fee.

    Also, kids who have a little bit of "walking around $$" are MUCH less likely to NOT steal than kids who do not have that little bit of $. They are even more likely to save to a larger goal - I have $$ so I could buy this pice of junk, but I want a new game, so I can live with-o the junk and then get my game sooner.

    Takes time to come to this realization, but many kids do come to this decison - or so my dad has always claimed.

    By little bit of $$ he always meant enough to get a coke and candy bar. It was the rule of thumb he used with my bro and I, and taught us to use with our kids. So it was $0.25 for the candy and $0.30 for coke when I was first able to go for a walk to the corner store, and now it is $1.39 for the coke and $0.89 for the candy bar. But it is what we used.

    I tink you and your difficult child do a pretty good job of listening to how each other thinks and approaching problems collaboratively. glad to see your difficult child working to control his temper!
  8. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    I'd say it was successful, too. Great job both of you.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    No! I think it sounds perfect.
    In fact, I had something similar happen with-my difficult child today. He is grounded from playing with-his friends (in particular, going to anyone else's house because ... well, you know all about that!) and of course, he is trying to negotiate. Today he asked if, instead of going to B's house, could B come over here? I said no, but of course, difficult child said he was going to talk to husband. husband and I talked about it and I said no. Flat out no. No negotiating on this until we talk to the child psychiatric on Wed., in reg. to difficult child's behavior last wk. And I've told difficult child that several times.
    So husband told difficult child and I waited for the meltdown.
    Nothing happened. Wow.
    There's a first time for everything.
    Just a few min. ago, I called him into my ofc and asked him why he didn't have a tantrum.
    He told me he was shocked when husband told him no. (I think, too shocked to react.) He was convinced he would earn it back.
    He also told me that part of it was the medication (wow, the first time he admitted it helped him!!!!) and said something along the lines of how he is thinking (it took him a good ten min. to get the explanation out but I waited and didn't put words in his mouth), and just the fact that he is thinking instead of reacting is a great thing. I told him that and I said he is growing up.

    To any other parent, this would sound bizarre, but hey, these are difficult child's we're talking about. :)
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Now, if I could just do something about this new tendency to try to get the last word in all the time! That one really annoys me.... any suggestions?
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Hey, it is your thread - you may have the last word if you want.

    In other times, I don't know. I sometimes have that tendency myself. I think it is because I don't feel "the end" unless I have ended it - just in case someone is waiting for something from me.

    And, if you start it, you can end it any way you want.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    No, NO, Andy!! Not here on the board! I was talking about difficult child's new tendency sometimes to have to get the last word in. LOL!!

    Sorry it came across that way!!
  13. ML

    ML Guest

    Progress not perfection!! Good job both of you
  14. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    :rofl: I am sorry - guess I wasn't thinking right? (not unusual but don't let the kids know I ever admit it)

    That last word can be a frustration! Don't have any advise either. But the way I am going on this one it is probably best that I don't? :)
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Another here who thinks you handled it beautifully!:)