More party mayhem

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Short summary of events: J went to a birthday celebration at a children's farm this afternoon - animals to see and touch, a tractor ride, birthday tea (including cake and pancakes). The parents left the children there for the two hours. When I went to pick J up, he was sitting quietly next to the birthday boy (one of his special friends) watching the opening of the presents - shortly after, though (as always when he sees me), he started to get a bit manic, insisting on other kids going outside to play, hugging a little boy (another of his buddies) and saying he wanted to take him home, that kind of thing. Anyway, I decide it's better we go, he thanks the boy and his mother nicely, we go out. He goes to sit on a small tractor that is parked near the cars (really a mini thing) and I tell him to get in the car; he comes but I see him put something in his pocket and looking guilty. I ask what it is, he doesn't want to show me, says I am going to be cross. Finally he does show me - it's the key to the tractor with an attached penknife, quite sharp, which he starts waving around. I obviously insist that it is put back and after I have done so he goes ballistic - shouting, screaming, refusing to put his seat belt on, insulting me (in 4 year old terms). I managed to stay relatively calm, not get pulled into the stress and intensity. He continued raging for most of the ride home (about 20 minutes). At one point he said "I'm going to get a knife and hurt you!" When I said "Jacob!" very sharply, he said sorry and that he did not mean it... I do not usually give consequences but I am honestly worried about this stealing, fascination with knives and insulting me and I said he could not ride his new quad bike which someone has just given him as a present that evening (not a good idea anyway after all the excitement of the party) because he had done these things. He protested and shouted and screamed but then, most surprisingly, stopped, said he was sleepy and wanted his dodo (bet you don't know what that is :)) and from then on and the rest of the evening - supper, bath, story and bed - was pleasant and co-operative. He accepted not to ride the bike without fuss, saying it was dark anyway. We talked about what had happened, I stressed how we are not allowed to take things that do not belong to us - he seemed to consider this, looking rather surprised as though it was a new idea to him (though he knows it). When I asked him why he thought he had been so naughty he said "Because I was sleepy"...
    I am perplexed by all this. He was obviously tired and on a high after the party. Any lingering doubts I may have that J is like most other children really disappeared this afternoon - no other kids were raging and insulting their parents as they left the place... And then the sudden switch out of it... He never really rages for that long and this was a long time for him - then suddenly calm and reason descend.
    I would be curious to know what people make of it.
     
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well, since I just posted a situation that happened within the last hour, different story same issue, out of control then all of a sudden reasonable.... I just get sick of trying to figure it all out. I gave medications at 9 so not medication time. I think it was triggered by the sounds outside. He is just at all times lately, on low impulse control mode so as long as there is nothing triggering him he is fine. If something triggers him, there is sudden change. Whatever the reasons for the lessened impulse control/lack of a filter for appropriate words and actions... medications, seizures, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), growth still it is exhausting to go thru over and over. I got too relaxed.... had all day Friday great. Oh well.

    It does sound like J has some impulse issues. Complicated by the fact that kids at 4 often take what they want even though they know the rules technically. It is the toddler/preschool property law. I see it, its mine. I had it before, its mine. You have it, but I want it, its mine.

    I really dont think he is thinking he wants to stab you...when little guys say that (or developmentally disabled kids who are like little guys) I translate in my head... I am so mad at you right now and I dont like not getting my way. They are so flooded with feelings that they just say whatever shocking thing they can to let you know this is a big deal to them. And maybe just maybe you will give in...lol. You didn't sound like you felt afraid, but were just upset he chose those kinds of words, am I getting that right?

    I actually think his agreeing to your limits was a huge deal. Good for him. That is a jewel of a skill.

    Do you think in future, you can just do a time limit so you leave activities with a chance of leaving on a high. If you look at all the recent meltdowns, what is the longest he went without the beginnings of a spiral down? If you leave a gathering 15 minutes earlier than the shortest time, and just go home...no trips etc. maybe you can avoid this becomming a transition upset pattern. Just speaking from experience. Maybe it wont be an issue for him, but just fair warning that it could.

    The party sounded fun by the way. Too bad the end was a little hairy.
     
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks Buddy. Yes, I wasn't seriously afraid that J would hurt me but more shocked over the violence of the imagery.
    I realise that I am not at all prepared (is anyone) for J getting bigger and older. At the moment, despite all the occasions when I feel so angry and button-pushed by him, he is still basically cute and adorable. But what happens when this goes... and what you have left is increasingly violent, aggressive and defiant? I do fear all that... not that I allow myself to dwell on it much, but sometimes it occurs.
    Yes, I think we can safely say that J has impulse control problems :)
     
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    lol

    :jumphappy: :clubbing: :help: :dance:



    :capitulate:I surrender!
     
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you have a differently wired child. If this were me I'd be much more concerned about the "violent" language than the taking of the key. All of my k ids have tried taking something at least once...I think that is more typical, as long as it isn't chronic, than violent language. What the language means, or why he does it, I have no idea.

    I tried hard to avoid stimulating situations when Sonic was little. With time he has calmed down and J. can calm down too, but I think he could use some interventions. When do they start doing that in France?
     
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I guess "they" don't start doing it - you have to initiate and push for interventions (but that's probably true everywhere) and they can start as young as you like, really. J has so far seen a child psychiatrist in the public sector (she said she was almost certain he had ADHD, but really just on the basis of seeing him a couple of times), a child psychiatrist in the private sector (who said he was hyperactive but not attention deficit), "psychomotricien" (movement psychologist - who said he had some signs of ADHD but none of the attention or concentration problems), a speech therapist (who said he was basically normal for his age), a school psychologist (who said he was normal for his age), a neuro-psychologist (who just gave the IQ test for young children, according to which his IQ is normal with some red flags over visual-spatial reasoning) and a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker. No, just joking about the last three... The psychomotricien is going to consult with the child psychiatrist and possibly recommend interventions after that. Oh, and I rang an Occupational Therapist (OT) who hasn't responded yet...
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Will be interesting to see what the psycho (teehee my abbreviation for him) guy says to psychiatrist. I hope the Occupational Therapist (OT) folks call, I do wonder if they can help with some of the impulse stuff.

    I always feel for people who's kids fall in the middle of typical and truly impaired world--just in terms of finding help. Of course it is better for him in the long run not to be severely disabled! But some of these subtle (to the outside) issues can be so disruptive to the child and the family because no one sees it and there is just not as much help.
     
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have often said that it would have been easier if Miss KT had had a sign listing her issues...because she looks "normal," the docs initially assumed it was me overreacting etc.

    Malika, I do think you need to be looking towards the future, when Jacob is older and bigger and actually able to carry through on what he says, even if he doesn't mean it except as something he says out of frustration. Here the schools are so focused on the zero tolerance for threats, whether serious or not, that this could land him in a lot of trouble down the line. Hope the Occupational Therapist (OT) calls back soon.
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Any chance of finding out what was served at the party? esp. given the recent thread about food dyes and such?
     
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Very good thought IC... you have seen that Malika, did you see the food? or ask? interesting....
     
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's a good point, Buddy. The confusion with J is that he is obviously bright (not brilliant, not gifted) and wanting to learn - and, presumably, to "fit in" at school. So during class time he is focused and attentive and poses no behaviour problems. Given the way he is the rest of the time, that is frankly nothing short of a minor miracle that I don't really understand... There are some problems socially at school, I would say - from what I have observed, he is not attentive to when he is too much for other children, he is too brusque, too impulsive, probably acting like a rather younger child most of the time and the little girls in particular find him a nuisance or unwelcome or "too naughty" at times; he has friends and seems liked by them but their relationship is also more conflictual than some others - but at the moment life at school is manageable and he really likes it there and loves going. The school has never called me or complained about his behaviour (thank heaven for small mercies) and the teacher basically wants to dismiss the idea that there is anything "wrong" with him. But he clearly has issues.
    As for the diet thing and additives... could be, could be. But then why was he sitting quietly when I arrived? Certainly he was kind of "beyond" in his language and out of control-ness, more than he usually is when he doesn't get his way...
    To me it's now obvious and undeniable that there is something going on for J beyond the "normal". I've no idea what others see in him, given that there is little popular understanding of things like ADHD or sensory integration or any of that. I suspect most people would put his behaviour down to the fact that I am on my own with him and he doesn't have a full-time father... And, indeed, that remains a moot point. When we got to the farm yesterday, for example, he refused to put his jacket on. I was insisting, he just refused and was running around. The farmer (I presume), who was obviously in charge of the event, just said to him in a very clear, authoritative but not unkind way "I am the boss here and you will put your jacket on!". And J quietly complied...
     
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, I actually think he does have issues.

    Every country is different, I am learning. If he were here, you would probably get taken more seriously. As it is, you have to wait until he is six. Keep doing what you are...you are doing a good job; the best anyone can expect with a difficult child. Eventually the school will probably see some of what you see. Many of the k ids maintain well in school when they are young, but it usually starts to fall apart a little when they get older and suddenly they say, "OH! Guess what? Your son has some issues!" Duh! :)

    Very often our kids won't listen to us, but do listen to non-parents. I haven't figured that one out yet, but I do know it's true :/
     
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh for sure, I often let another parent intervene, not being lazy, but because I know it will make more of an impression. Especially men. If Q gets too anxious about it though, he is likely to lose control and say whatever....not physically, just verbally he will say something like I dont care or shut up you B-word. etc. If it is just an authority and he may miss out on the thing he is doing, he can often suck it up.... and I typically know that I will pay for that later. But I'd prefer that to happen, to deal with it in private.

    It is interesting that he was calm appearing, but do you think that it just goes from sitting calm to outburst? It looks like that for Q sometimes on the outside, but I think he is stewing inside... maybe not thoughts, but neurologically on edge for sure....and one little thing can set it off then. He is not regulated at that moment. Could whatever is going on....and maybe the food puts him at that edge....be putting him in a place like that?
     
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    What "caused" the outburst was the fact that I took away the key and the little penknife that he had taken and wanted. If it weren't for that, the chances are we would have escaped without incident and he would have fallen asleep in the car... So outbursts are not inevitable, I think, but predicated on what is absolutely the ruling dynamic of J's life, which is that he wants what he wants and will not surrender his desire without an almighty fuss. What was different yesterday was the intensity and length of the outburst, which may have been additive- or too-much-sugar related. When there is no issue of being thwarted in some way, he is a delightful child. I suspect that is true of quite a few difficult children. And perhaps is the difference with your boy, Buddy, in that Q's outbursts are caused by seizures that he really cannot help? If I wanted to be old-fashioned (in the sense of a few centuries old :)), I could say that J has a character flaw...
     
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Don't forget to journal the day. From the outside looking in it sure seems like one consistent trigger is sleepiness. If you don't have seatbelt or carseat laws where you live perhaps you could bring a pillow and his blanket in the backseat of the car so he can chill and comfort himself...once out of view of the other children, lol, of course. It is wonderful that he is included in so many peer activities. Many of our challenging children end up socially isolated. That's a plus. Hugs. DDD
     
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks, DDD - the journal is on the shopping list :) I do worry about the social isolation thing, particularly in a culture in which difference is not much recognised or valued, really. And that's difficult everywhere, I realise. We've had the experience of J being invited to friends of mine's houses to play with their children but we don't get invited together again because J is just so rambunctious and high-energy and there is usually some scene about him taking the other child's toys without asking or not respecting their space in some way. He definitely gets on best with other active boys; the calm, reflective, introverted type really don't go for him at all (unless they are years older). At the same time, he is very sociable and outgoing, really wants to connect with people, so it is kind of sad for these kind of kids, isn't it? His teacher said to me he is charismatic and the other kids are drawn to him - one of the parents went in to complain to her because their son was talking about J all the time and even calling his cousins J's name, which I find rather a silly complaint :) But he's really one of a kind, absolutely not someone who will blend into a crowd and that makes life difficult as well as more interesting, doesn't it?
     
  17. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    With all three of my difficult child's I found that they "visited" far more successfully if I wasn't around. There's just something about having Mom present that confuses the issue...or at least with mine it did. Glad to "read" your shopping list. Hugs DDD
     
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I saw the mother of the birthday boy this morning and we chatted a little. She is an assistant at the school and really a nice woman - very enthusiastic, open and warm (rather different to the teacher :)) Anyway, after telling me what a great time the children had at the farm, I did ask her what they had had to eat - no sweets, just pancakes and various fillings and cake... She seemed really surprised when I told her that J had had such a big tantrum after the party - and as if she didn't understand. They never see these tantrums at school. I know that is a frequent pattern with difficult children - why is that?? You would think the behaviour would be universal if they "cannot help it"...
     
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Well, since I have an equal opportunity tantrum kid, I get what you are saying. But even with him, there are times he can control it better than others. I know we have said this many times here...sometimes they are really holding it together to be able to do a strongly preferred activity. By the time they are done, they are spent. Access to those abilities are lower.

    Heck to some degree I bet most of us are like this. We are great at work, then crabby and take it out on family when we get home. Mental exhaustion is worse than physical if you ask me. Physical for me makes me tired. Mental makes me crabby and like I can't cope as well.

    It is well known that people with neurological issues get fatigued easier. They may not show it outwardly, but their ability to access the parts of their brains that helps them be in control may be overwhelmed. Then, they actually look less tired, maybe hyper if that is an issue. Really it is that they can't calm. Same can be true for temperment. Just a theory...
     
  20. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hmm, that's interesting, Buddy. Certainly makes sense. J really has a long day at school - from 9 to 6.30 pm (if he didn't love it and ask for it, I wouldn't put him in the "garderie" - if we stick at this long enough, I will have you all speaking some French :) - after school finishes at 4.30) and he must be so exhausted at the end. As it goes, on the Friday night he didn't get as much sleep as usual, waking unusually early, so he would have been tired at the party. I really do need to be far more clued up about the practical things with J than I have been - the tiredness, the hunger, the stimulation. Also, the older he gets, the more and more sensitive and fussy he seems to become to sensory things. I'm sure it's all related (even if I don't know how).
    All that said, I remain surprised, pleasantly surprised, at how well J does in school. I had thought at the beginning that there would be more problems than there has been... It's his familiar little world where he feels safe, I suppose. I would really recommend small size schools to ALL kids with issues, though of course it isn't always possible for people. Unless they fancy moving to the middle of nowhere :)
     
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