Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by house of cards, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    The Queen has been acting strange with injuries lately. She tells us she is having the same problem as anyone she knows has, for example, a friend at school had a broken ankle, she complains that her's is bothering her and starts wraping it in brace bandages. I complained of back pain, yup she has it too. This has gone on for the last 6 things or so.

    I know it is made up because I told her we would have to cancel bowling because of her injury(I lied, there was no bowling) and she admitted to faking it and said she was fine.

    Anyway it is a small thing that drives me crazy, I tend to give mild attention and ignore it, like for the back pain thing I suggested that she lay flat on the floor for awhile, but I was wondering for those of you with the anxious, needy kids, do you deal with this?? Any advice?
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  2. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    How do I deal with it? Poorly.

    My oldest constantly complained about this or that, whaling loudly and with great dramatics like the world was ending. I felt ignoring it and walking away the best approach. Then one day:

    He had a rough fall on the snowboard, lay in the snow and whaled that it hurt (like always). I said, "Let's go in the lodge and rest."

    "No! it hurts!"

    "OK if you won't get up, I will go get the ski patrol."

    "No! I don't want the ski patrol!"


    He gets up complains, whines, whales and slowly walks to the lodge. Then I notice he was kind of pale and continues to complain (usually it stops with in 10 min.). So I do call for a ski patrol, who calls an ambulance. I made this kid walk to the lodge with a level 3 ruptured spleen!

    Now every time he complains I feel terribly guilty. I have taken to learning more about first aid, and now poke "does it hurt here?", look for swelling, make him lay still for a while. He usually stops after 10 min. I am hoping that I recognize real problems better, and drive him crazy for the fake. But in reality I have no idea what to really do.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    easy child 2 complains about EVERYTHING. It drives me crazy, too. If she gets a paper cut at her mom's on Friday, she will be sure to show us where it was on Wednesday when she's at our house. It makes me nuts. If she scratches her skin and it leaves a welt or a red mark, even if it doesn't break the skin, we hear about it for hours. If she feels a slight bit off when she wakes up in the morning, she's too sick to go to school (gotta blame granny for allowing this one, tho...)

    I just do my best to discern if there might be something real or not, and play it from there. I'd feel bad for the spleen thing, too, but really, you can't expect differently from yourself when they cry wolf all the time. Its a standing rule in our house that if you're too sick for school, you'll spend the day in bed with no tv (unless there's physical proof of illness, like fever, etc). If its pain, I usually say "ah, man, we were going to go skating, too. Guess we'll have to cancel." or "We were going to go swimming at the indoor pool, can't go there with open sores..." The kicker to that is that we DO go on a lot of physical activity outings, and we do can them if she's complaining (or I take wee difficult child alone). It has curbed it, but hasn't stopped it.

    Sorry I'm not much help. The whining drives me nuts, and I realize people have different tolerance levels, but when you know its for attention, or its for attention 99.9% of the time, ugh...

    Oh, and easy child 2 will trip or something, not even fall, and she'll loudly yell out to everyone "I'm Ok! I'm not hurt!" when no one EVER asks. Wee difficult child has started doing it, and that's pretty darned annoying, too.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  4. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Aeroena, Wow, that had to be a scary experience. I would of probably done the same thing thou, yet I get it, with this kids you don't really know when it is for real or not.
    Kinda like with Major, he screams bloody murder for all kinds of mild things so I don't rush to see what's up, well 1 time he had slit his arm open and needed stitches and I just calmly mosey over to him, I still feel bad, too

    Shari, yes she complains about any tiny little thing that she actually has as well. She has told me she is bleeding only to find I needed my glasses to see a tiny red dot. This pretending to have the injury is new though.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Kathie--

    Obviously blood and/or visible swelling gets real attention....but usually--we try not to make a big deal out of injuries. Our first reaction to a report of an injury is pretty nonchalant. Really? You're hurt?

    My daughter is definitely into the attention. When relatives visit--difficult child will experience a whole range of traumas...which will buy tons of sympathy from Grandma and Grandpa--including extra treats. Not to mention that she will enjoy the fun of watching Mom and Dad get chastised for not catering to her every need the instant tears appeared. Ugghh!

    My son is a bit of a challenge...because while he is a drama queen and definitely exaggerates the extent of his injury--he is also very accident prone. So we have to be a little more cautious in eliminating the "real" symptoms from the "fake" ones if there has been an actual accident, such as a fall from his bike.

  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dealt with this with both of my difficult children. The Oldest had significant health problems, so it was sometimes tough to tell what was "real" and what wasn't. In both cases, what I found helpful was to put them off a bit and wait for a distraction.. whether it be a phone call from a friend, or a tv program. If they were in REAL pain or distress, no amount of distraction would help. If they suddenly zoned out during a tv program (and only complained during the commercials), or if they were suddenly giggling while on the phone to a friend, they were "caught." Unless it was an extreme emergency, "wait and see" was a good tactic.

    Still, I have a vivid memory of Oldest, at about 7 years old, being brought to my door by a well-intentioned neighbor. Neighbor kids had told me she had "fallen down the hill" .. and I told them to help her home. I didn't rush to her aid. A neighbor mom *carried* Oldest to my door, with an admonishing "I think she's really hurt" ... Oldest was crying, but I sensed it wasn't real ... she said her ankle hurt.. no swelling, no redness, and after ice and tv, she forgot all about it. But boy, that mother tried to put a biiiig guilt trip on me.
  7. My difficult child is a big whiner and complains about aches and pains all the time. I find myself doubting him every time. I never know when to believe him or not. Sometimes it is just my best guess if it is real or not. It drives me nuts!
  8. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I can tell if difficult child 1 is really sick by her reaction to two things: 1, if she doesn't go to school, her Papaw comes over (they are like oil and water), and 2) she goes to the doctor. If she doesn't argue with this, she's sick. If she does, she goes to school.

    She's learned, though, that it has to be something quantifiable. And... If she's caught, for instance, trying to get on the computer, she's grounded on top of it.

    difficult child 2 will go to school even if he's puking, so we have to watch. If he so much as says his stomach is upset - in passing - we take his temp and watch him till the bus comes. He's one of those who would rather NOT stay home.
  9. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Thank you all for your insight. I like the distraction test, I wish she would just figure out how much attention she could get by doing what she is suppose to do like chores, schoolwork...nah guess it is easier to play helpless.

    And when do they outgrow this?
  10. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    After I posted that yesterday about my oblivious difficult child 2... He bumped his hand on the closet doorknob and ran around the house crying and screaming that he'd broken it. I tried to get him to let me see it, but he wouldn't unwrap the towel around it because "it won't stop bleeding!"

    I had a meeting I had to go to. So I collared him and sat him down, unwrapped the hand and...

    Not even a red mark. Not a scratch. Certainly not broken and bleeding.

    I pointed out to him that if he wanted attention, there were better ways to get it, and since he had been running and causing a commotion, it was time for him to settle down and play quietly.

    husband was at work, so a friend was hanging out with the kids. When I got home from the meeting, difficult child 1 was on the phone and difficult child 2 wrapped up in his action figures. Quietly. And apparently had been the whole time. So he got some attention for THAT.

    Someday... They grow out of it someday... I hope.
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    HOC -

    I had a friend when I was younger that was a true hypochondriac. IT wore us out completely - we referred to her as an emotional vampire. She literally would drain all of us completely dry. At first (as a young girl) I thought her husband of 6 years was a cruel and uncaring man. Of course we all gave her sympathy for THAT. Then she would get us to do little things like bring her something to eat, vacuum her house, watch her son. At first you think - "I am really doing a good deed." eventually you start to avoid people like her like the plague.

    I came to her aid one day and found her reading a medical encyclopedia with the latest "ailment" she had. I was furious. I was trying to understand just what she was doing. None of it made sense. WE ended up parting ways - after I got married to my x (she introduced us so that should have been my first clue she was nuts)

    My thoughts with a child doing the same thing are to have her get a complete physical with blood draws, rectal exam, eye exam, hearing exam - the works as they say. Get all the results back and make the physician sign something that says she does check out to be in A-ok shape. Not to say something could not go wrong later - but at least for now you know there is nothing to complain about.

    I don't know if it's a medical curiosity - where kids are fascinated with blood and bandaids and bandages OR if it's more basic in attention seeking behaviors or a combination of both. There is of course a cure for hypochondriacs and most that are true hypos will tell you they ARE doing it for attention but don't know how to stop. Congnitive behavior therapy can be very helpful if she is diagnosis with this as a disease.

    If not - why not concoct some "cure all" of applecider vinegar, a tablespoon of garlic juice, some honey and keep in in a bottle. THe next time she complains of a fictitious ailment - give her a dose of that or something else like Castor oil and let her system "purge" the illness.

    I think mostly our kids just want our time. THey want our attention and in a multiple sibling home she may feel she's not getting her share of equal time so puts on the bandages and limps around to gain the sympathy of her friends or to get out of class a little early to have someone carry her books or just be "special" for the day.

    I would also take a moment and read her the story of the boy that cried wolf - the real fairy tale version. Just you and her - I did this with Dude when he was younger and it worked WONDERS - and stuck with him. HE never limped around or played with crutches or wheel chairs again. Another thing I did was to take Dude to the Childrens Cancer ward (we took little dollar store gifts) and let him see REAL children with REAL life-threatening diseases, no hair, sick, pale and hooked up to machines, tubes and some so weak they just laid there - THAT made a huge impact on his life. And left a lasting impression.

    Maybe something in here will help - and I would PROBABLY take her to the Cancer ward on a day when she had her foot bandaged and hobbled around on borrowed crutches. I bet she'd leave them at the hospital.

  12. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Star, I love your idea of a "cure all". My concern is this is a little past just complaining(at which she is a pro), my gut tells me it is attention and anxiety combined, but I can see it growing into something if not handled right. I do hope the counselling she just started helps her with calming skills for the anxiety, that would help her life long. The attention seeking, well, I can hope she outgrows it.