Typical kid versus difficult child behaviors....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by timer lady, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've been observing the tweedles for the past month or so trying to decide typical 12-13 y/o behaviors versus difficult child outlandishness.

    It's a toss up at this stage of the game.

    However, I've had to put on the "brakes" of typical or "normal" kid stuff because it tends to escalate into major difficult child issues.

    Case in point, the weekend I took kt down to my dad's for the annual cook off. There was a point during that very stimulating evening that kt was showing off & singing & dancing with her cousin in a fairly age appropriate (but loud) manner.

    AND I could see the escalation in her eyes...the inability to put the brakes on, if you will. Very quietly I asked kt to take 5 & catch her breath.

    Ten minutes later, she'd gone into a disturbing dissociative state.

    It's very difficult to balance the needs for our difficult children to have normal experiences while watching their "inability" to handle the same at their level.

    I'm rambling here....

    As kt is scheduled to be home soon, I keep hearing how typical she is being; in the next sentence I hear how minutes later she's falling apart.

    Have you noticed the same in your difficult children? How did you balance this phenomenon? Were/are your difficult children able to accept cues?

  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Linda, my difficult child does have the ups and downs of typical to GFGness as well. However, it is not in the same episode. It IS usually within a few hours, but nothing as extreme as kt. My difficult child could be laughing and joking with me for several hours and then turn on a dime and be vicious and mean. I have learned that it will pass and I tend to speak calmly or ignore. She heads off to her room and within an hour can come out all loving and sweet and calm again.

    I find her room to be very soothing to her. There is NO computer (she does not have any access) but there is a TV and radio and phone (house phone#) in there. Sometimes she is calmed within minutes of just taking a break away alone.

    I do not know if the extremes are typical or not, I always chalked them up to GFGness. The ups and downs I suspect are typical teen, but the extremes and quick changes...I think are difficult child.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I really am not good at this on a parent level but I can tell you some of this on a personal level.

    I have had a really hard time self regulating myself when it comes to certain subjects where people tend to get rather giggly and goofy. Namely sex. I ramp it up. I find I cant simply have a stupid funny teasing joking conversation with a bunch of people because it tends to make me hyped up. I tend to go way overboard and say and do things that so called normal people wouldnt say or do. Its the hypersexuality in me. I step things up a notch. I have learned its better for me to either stay quiet and just kinda smile or grin or if Im in a chat maybe type a lol and not say anything else or simply leave.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    There are two Duckies, really. The easy child that I have most of the time... and the other one. I find that she has next to no ability to regulate herself when she is in difficult child mode. She actually needs me to tell her how things are going for her, there's almost a disconnect (or nonrecognition) between her mind, body & behaviors. But, she does an excellent job when she is in easy child mode. So I become her inner dialog when she can't hear her own voice. It slowly seems to be working: her bad periods are fewer and far between plus they aren't as long lasting as before. So I guess I'm teaching her to make the connection and listen to what her voice is saying.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I noticed this type of thing with T much more than with N. It still can be a problem at times, although now it is much more seldom.

    With T I had to be ever watchful for signs that the situation was esculating. And if I saw he was approaching that point, I had to tell him to take a break from whatever the activity was the same as you did for kt.

    Like I said, it doesn't happen as much these days. I don't know if age has helped or if he just started to pick up on when his behavior was getting to be "too much."
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I definitely notice this with difficult child. He can switch on a dime. One minute he'll be doing normal kid stuff and the next it's over the top difficult child.
  7. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I think with mine it's always been (for the most part) typical kid behavior whether typical teen or younger. But he takes everything to such an extreme that a lot of times it comes across as difficult child. At least to husband and I. He definately has his difficult child only moments but it's usually a combination.
  8. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    It truly is an enigma for me. I think that I need to just relax while I figure this out. Let the kid moments happen as they will & deal with any GFGness as it happens.

    It's a hard sell when you've been conditioned to total chaos. :hammer:

    Thanks for the input ladies. :flower:

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What I notice - is that WE notice difficult child behaviour when outsiders only see typical teen and try to discourage us from intervening. And it becomes a Catch 22 situation - if we intervene and we've successfully prevented an escalation, then only we notice and onlookers do not see that we were justified. But if we don't intervene and it escalates - sometimes onlookers will comment, or sometimes they will not care about it but also not see the problems continuing after we've gone home.

    What I REALLY hate - the family members who lecture you on how to raise a child, even to the point of saying, "Maybe he's not really autistic; maybe you're just over-anxious to what is really, just normal behaviour. I mean, look at you - poised like a cat to jump in, when he's only having a wrestle on the floor with his cousins."
    Then, when one of the cousins gets hurt accidentally, or hurts difficult child 3 and he punches them back, I get criticised because I haven't socialised him properly, because I'm too over-protective. "If only you let him mix more with other kids, this sort of thing wouldn't happen."
    Then it's the hand on the forearm while they look closely at you, head cocked to one side and a half smile of reassurance, as if to say that they're only telling you this for your own good. Meanwhile THEIR kids, totally undisciplined, are the ones with a younger cousin in a headlock, pounding someone into the floor. And if you comment, it's "They're just being kids - nothing wrong with it. After all, I turned out OK..." (I might dispute this) "...this is just another example of you being over-protective."
    There is nothing you can say to these people, which is why they never change.

    The only time I feel really understood is when we're on an outing with other parents of similar kids. That's when sometimes another parent may spot an impending problem before the parent does (maybe a split second before). I remember on day we were at bowling and one kid had just started pacing around the room. Most people didn't notice, but I saw one mother nudge this boys' mother and quietly ask, "Is he getting a bit anxious? Do you need to do anything or can he bring himself out of it?"
    The mother, who had briefly had her back turned, quickly sized up the situation and began saying her goodbyes. But it had been noticed with enough warning for her to not have to rush. She was able to leave gracefully without a last minute dash for the door after him.

  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Marg, you're making my hair turn gray!!!
  11. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What I REALLY hate - the family members who lecture you on how to raise a child, even to the point of saying, "Maybe he's not really autistic; maybe you're just over-anxious to what is really, just normal behaviour. I mean, look at you - poised like a cat to jump in, when he's only having a wrestle on the floor with his cousins."
    Then, when one of the cousins gets hurt accidentally, or hurts difficult child 3 and he punches them back, I get criticised because I haven't socialised him properly, because I'm too over-protective. "If only you let him mix more with other kids, this sort of thing wouldn't happen." </div></div>

    Oh Marg, I hate this too. And I have gotten it so much! Just had my last round of it at Christmas with family. I got a lecture on how it's "just normal kid behavior...they all act like that...you just don't know enough about it" to "this child needs more discipline" by the end of their stay. And they don't even get it that they are saying those two conflicting things. There's got to be someone to blame for the whole thing and I'm a good candidate for some reason...I was careful to pack the blame up with- them when they left this year...keep what you brought. I've had plenty!

    I didn't realize others had this going on with- family. We've actually spent far less time with- family in the past 2 to 3 years simply because of it and the lack of support. We all seem to do much better at my house if we have some like minded people around for support.

    My son has a lot of trouble de-ramping (is that a word) or unramping (nope, it doesn't look right either). And he gets ramped up easily especially around other kids. I hear the voice level rise and the tone change. It gets pushed too far many times. This is his biggest hurdle socially. I need to throw in there though that my easy child can get it going on himself as well. They are 11.
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I experience the same issues. Seems to scare away any friends that he may have at the time. He can have me in tears and a short time later nothing happened. I have trouble getting past that. Do you have a behavior plan? difficult child knows what is expected. Hard to follow, as he doesn't think he should have a "plan". This does work for others.
  13. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Linda, I think this is as much of a matter of temperament as gfgness. difficult child is of course more susceptible to outside pressures building up quickly but my two easy child's have very different styles of dealing with it. My 13 year old son is a pretty steady state type kid--he'll do a lot of sounding off on things but blows only occasionally but thoroughly. Faced with a similar set of circumstances my daughter would complain some along the way and then it's the waterworks for her.
  14. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">she'd gone into a disturbing dissociative state. </div></div>

    Linda, what happens when she does this? Can you describe it?

    Rob has always been such an enigma to everyone around him I've secretly wondered about this for him.

  15. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I'll pm you.
  16. jodyice

    jodyice New Member

    With my difficult child, he can be in typical teen mode and switch on a dime as well, but getting him back out of difficult child mode, may take hours. Since psychiatrist prescribed Zyprexa when he can't stop, that's what we've been doing, cause he will wind himself up so much he definately can't put the breaks on without that bit of help. I know it's not a solution to the bigger problem, but it has not made us take any trips to the emergency department the past few days. (I've had to use one the past 3 out of 4 days since we've got the prescription).
  17. Janna

    Janna New Member


    Having 3 (well, 2 1/2) difficult child's, I cannot tell you what "normal" is. So, big help I am huh? :hammer:

    All 3 of my children take behaviors to another level. I see alot of what Janet was describing in herself within Dylan. He gets into a conversation with someone, and they're paying attention to him, immediately he's louder, crazier, his entire persona changes. It's hard to redirect or calm him. You're lucky you have that with kt.

    I wish I had some advice or words of wisdom. I can send hugs, though, my friend.