She is so consistent in her inconsistency!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by luvmyottb, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Well, all I can say is she is a definite roller coaster. We've had a really good 5-6 week period with no hitting, verbal nasties, etc.

    But it is beginning to unravel again. difficult child has had 4 or 5 meltdowns in the last 10 days with full on hitting, screaming, kicking and general *****iness. She does seem to follow a pattern of pretty good behavior and then rolls into the nasties again.

    Ok, so last night in Walgreens, picking up a prescription she decides she needs pencils and lead for school. OK. I should know better and not have taken her in the store, but hindsight is everything. The badgering starts with I need the package of $7 mechanical pencils, 2 new spirals, pencil grips, erasers and more.

    I said no...and the badgering increases and increases and increases. Well, I am embarassed to say I blew in Walgreens. NO, I scream and I stomp off just like my difficult child to the cashier. We argue in front of the cashier(Why am I doing this???, I know better) and head to the car. She stands in front of the drivers side and says Mom I'm sorry. I ask her to move and I tell her I need a timeout and not to talk to me.

    So she whacks me with her sack of pencils and gets angrier. I push her to the side so I can get in and of course she pushes right back.:furious: and of course stands in front of my door again. She kicks me and I in all my childishness kick back. She backs off and I can get in the car at least.
    Ok so if any employee from Walgreens witnessed this exchange in the parking lot, I am afraid of child protective services coming to get my difficult child and charging me with abuse. :sheepish: Silence the whole way home which makes her feel confused, but I just can't talk to her. We get home, she does her spelling with Dad and I go in to tuck her into bed. We both admit wrongdoing, talk and makeup.

    But, the physical aggression has reared its head again and this is not how I want her to deal with her anger. 4 or 5 times in the last 10 days again.

    Triggers this week..I said no to guacomole, riding in the car to the airport (had to drag her out of the car with best friend from out of town watching), just the word no to something perhaps very trivial to me will cause a vapor lock.

    Does anyone keep a journal of meltdowns? I just started doing so. Thanks for listening. Today will be better.
  2. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I don't have much advice as we deal with the same behavior here in spurts - just wanted to send ((hugs)) and say sorry things are escalating again!
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I'm sorry things have been so rough for you.

    A few thoughts:

    Have you read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? It has been helpful for many of us in handling our extra-challenging children.

    Was Vyvanse added recently? Has she been worse since it was added? Some children with mood disorders don't do well on ADHD stimulants.

    If the word "no" is a trigger, try not to use it. If she wants $7 pencils in Walgreens, you can say, "Those are a little on the pricey side. Can we find pencils that are acceptable to both of us?" I also make a point before ANY shopping trip to set the lmits (for example, "We're going to pick up a prescription at Walgreens, and that's it for this trip.") If she wants guacomole and you don't want her to have it, you can say, "How about some dinner first and then we'll go for the guacomole?" or "Would you like cheese or fruit?"

    I know you know this, but you can't answer her violence with violence of your own. It teaches her that violence is OK, and that's not the lesson you want her to learn. If she becomes violent, it is something that must be reported to the psychiatrist and dealt with.

    I think keeping a journal of meltdowns is a great idea -- very useful to anyone treating your difficult child.
  4. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    I have Explosive Child on my bedside table. I absolutely know not to answer violence with violence. It just escalated last night and I snapped. Not a good thing. I have got to the point where I don't take her shopping with me and made a mistake last night. I just didn't anticipate the blowout. :sad-very:

    I am the one in the family who is the most patient with her and gets what she goes through and heads it off. She tends to act this explosive with me and not husband. Is is safer with me than him?

    She has been on stimulants for over 2 years and we have improvement at school, but I do think they make her more prone to be irritable and go off the deep end. Vyvanse is better than Adderall.

    If she doesn't have the stimulant, the school part crumbles. As it is already, she may not pass the 4th grade.

    I have reported the physical aggression to psychiatrist and therapist. They have no real answers other than taking her to ER for admittance. By the time I would get to a hospital, she is more than calm. Her rages don't last long.

    I am waiting for new testing for IEP to see if we have any new developments since 2nd grade. The wait is driving me nuts and I call the school at least 3 times a week.

    Thanks for listening to me.
  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I have found it always harder to handle their hissys after a good period. It is like a little anxiety attack of your/my own (oh no, not this again). I think it is very understandable. It takes awhile of the ups and downs before you KNOW not to believe things are over and to just be able to enjoy the moments while you have them and transition back into warrior mom parenting smoothly.
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Wish I could tell you it gets better... wait a minute, I actually did take thank you to pick up rx's last night and ... it *does* get better!!! ;) I don't think he asked me for a thing. Weeburt and Diva were another story, but last night in the drug store, thank you looked like a easy child! ;) Holy cow, lightbulb moment.

    At age 9, I didn't take thank you anywhere other than psychiatrist and therapist. Didn't matter if I went to the gas station for gas, the bank, wherever... there would always be something that he wanted that he wasn't going to get that would trigger a meltdown and generalized chaos. "The Explosive Child" defines that as the optimist in our kids - they just *know* someday they'll get their way. Could take years but once they *do*, it's reinforcing that tantruming all over again.

    thank you's relatively rare stable periods always left me off balance. Most of the time I knew what to expect - exactly as you put it, the roller coaster. On those rare times when he chilled out for more than a couple of days, I was a nervous wreck, LOL.

    I never kept a journal of meltdowns but I'm a disorganized wimp - had I been able to find pen and paper, I'm pretty sure I would have just been too glad to have survived another round and would not have had the emotional strength to document. I think it would've been helpful, so kudos to you for doing it.

    I do agree with avoiding the word "no". I actually do this with all my kids now. If we're going out, I state up front that I will not be buying anything but X, Y, Z, so don't ask. If they want something that would be a "no" answer at home, I offer alternatives if possible, or "later" or for thank you a more concrete "at 4:30". Of course, I have to be on top of it at 4:30, but... avoiding "no" really does seem to help.

    Hang in there!
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?


    My wee difficult child behaves much the same way. He's almost 6 now. I kept a journal for over 2 years. Some days were just notes and fragments. Other days were all out novels and vents. But every day I at least tried to note the overall tone of the day, any high points and low points, and any stimulus that he either tolerated or didn't tolerate. I got it down to a pretty good science. When work got rough last spring, I backed off the journal. Now I keep my posts here and my emails to my mom, those serve as my "journal" if I need.

    difficult child 1 is almost 19. difficult child 2 is almost 6. I've been dealing with difficult child's for 16 years now and I *still* struggle when we come off a good/stable period. Personally, I think the downward spiral is harder for me to deal with than the day ins and day outs of difficult child-dom that last weeks or months on end. I just get in a "zone". When he's not on target, I deal with it. When he's on target and I'm in the "good" zone, I don't want to come out of it and its HARD. I wish I could tell you some magic that works to make it easier, but I don't have any, I just try to brace myself for the impending roller coaster ride and remind myself that this particular hill won't last forever, either.