Update on J

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    J had a big tantrum this evening. I suppose that's the word for it - one could also call it an explosion, or a grand voiding of emotion/fatigue/over-stimulation.
    We had a quiet morning at home, J watching television and me reading him stories, then he went out for a bit to visit the 3 year old little girl he regularly plays with (and whose grandmother owns land in the village with chickens, geese and donkeys for the children to ride on and goats for them to milk!), then lunch, more stories, then he went to his pony riding lesson - his grand passion - then he went off to see the little girl again. When he came back, he started kind of going crazy, screaming and shouting he wanted to watch television, lying on the floor and kicking his legs, making huge amounts of noise. I refused, basically because I'd said in the morning that 3 hours was (more than) enough, as it is. Finally got him calm enough to sit and do colouring with me but he lasted for about 5 minutes before rushing upstairs, coming down with his football kit on shouting he wanted to go out and play football, having another tantrum when I said (calmly), no, it was nearly bedtime, he wasn't going out again. Up to then I had been reasonably kind and patient but when he started being rude, insulting, I got cross and he stopped. Started to calm, got in the bath, story, sleep.
    Somewhere in it all he had supper, and a lot so he was hungry, but I forget at which point.
    Obviously an accumulation of hunger and tiredness but how familiar are these kind of scenes to folks here? People might perhaps talk about medications but actually I feel myself moving away from the notion of medications to deal with this kind of stuff. While he is holding together at school and we are more or less holding it together (accent on the less at times) outside of school, I simply cannot justify giving him strong medication with all the attendant side effects just to make him easier for me to deal with.
    He started a social group therapy at the local children's psychology centre last week - just one other boy in it (don't know what his issue is) and another little girl to join it - and the psychologist said to me afterwards they had played together very well and the children had talked about a lot of things to them... so I guess it's a kind of children's therapy??
    J is SO sweet much of the time... really a delightful kid... and then these horrible times in between, largely centred on when he doesn't get what he wants... but I feel less worried, less desperate about it all. He listens to me more than he did, always comes back at the time I tell him to now when he goes out to play, is never violent towards me any more, has stopped wetting the bed at night and is now completely dry - there are signs of hope! But he's always going to be something of a difficult child, I think... for bad AND for good.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I found a full and active day required quite a bit of planning on my part to keep Duckie from melting down. I always packed a snack, preferably one that would stay with her or perk her up such as string cheese or an apple. We also packed water so she wouldn't get dehydrated. I also built in down time between stimulating activies whenever possible so she'd be able to calm herself down.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, transitioning to home is always a tough one. My difficult child always tantrummed when I picked him up from school or a friend's house.
    After his first psychiatric hospital stay, they gave him clonidine, which helped immensely. The hard part is getting him to take it when he's raging. Kind of a done-deal at that point.

    I think TM's idea to have little breaks in between, and a snack, and water is a good idea. Getting my difficult child to slow down in between everything was extremely difficult. He would race into the house with-the neighbors, they would throw open the pantry door and take all the little sippy drinks and snacks and make it disappear like a hoard of locusts, and run out the door again. I had no idea how much difficult child ate and drank and how much the other kids did!
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with the other input. Transitioning is often really difficult. Hunger and thirst are not minor issues for difficult children they just plain have to be avoided. Calm and rest are imperative. It is exhausting to make sure every day is adaptable to our difficult children needs but when they are young it just can't be avoided. Hang in there. DDD
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well... he did take snacks and drink with him to the pony riding (I didn't take him, he went with a neighbour whose little girl also rides). But what happened was that AS SOON as he got back from riding, he rushed out again saying he was going to play with the little girl. Maybe that's at the heart of what is wrong and difficult about J's personality or - not to put the blame on him - our dynamics. It's okay for him to go and the little girl's mother tells me it is okay for him to call round but it is obviously not okay for him just to take off without asking me or discussing what time he should be back - but he was off before I could stop him and rushing after him would just cause a big scene that I wanted, truth be told, to avoid... Of course I did say he had to ask and talk to me before he goes but I know he'll do it again, probably without thinking. This is J all over - when he wants to do something, he rushes off in the moment, without thinking. And I have learnt to avoid many battles - but not the ones I think are worth fighting.
    So that is partly why he was so over-stimulated. He always wants excitement and stimulation even though he often needs quietness and calm.
  6. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Maybe he was "overtired" and didn't recognize how to help himself (which would have been to begin readying for bed and going to sleep). I look at him getting ready to play football as a rudimentary attempt to help himself calm or get rid of whatever feeling "overtired" feels like. Afterall, you encourage him to engage in physical activity and sports, those things have positive connotations for him - you approve of them AND they make him feel good. I would, in a calm moment, reflect with him that he seemed very tired and offer that it is ok for him to try a bath to calm and see if he recognizes that he begins to feel sleepy.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    medications. It's not the end of the world. I've been on Ritalin for years now, and I haven't had a SINGLE side-effect. But everyone in our family knows that if Mom is going off the deep end... she's either short on sleep, or needs her medications. The medications give me a quality of life that I cannot know otherwise.

    Schedule. During the week, things are more predicatable. On, the weekend? Face it... you are a bit of a free spirit, and that collides with J's need for (not desire for... LOL) structure. But one of the absolutely key factors is... enough calories and fluids, frequently enough. Even K2 - my almost-easy child (most of the time) - can only handle two of the three major stressors: hungry, tired, over-stimulated... all three, and she's as "done" as any full-blown difficult child. (difficult child can only handle ONE... i.e. hungry is fine, but not hungry and tired, or hungry and over-stimulated, etc.)
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello IC. Maybe you have never had a single side-effect from Ritalin but that is, frankly, rare. I belong to a French forum for parents of ADHD kids and while the large majority seem to welcome and support the taking of stimulants, many of them also report loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, growth problems, as standard. Those are not minor things!! Disturbed sleep patterns particularly concerns me. I just feel... well, know really.... that if we can get by without medications, it will be best all round. If more challenging for me, yes.... but we will have to see how things evolve.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My two boys also took ritalin and had no side effects from them. Well, they may have eaten a tad bit less at lunch but I dont think it was very noticeable because Jamie was still trading his desserts for other kids veggies and Cory always wanted an extra milk.

    They certainly had no stunted growth, at least if it did that was a good thing because my shortest child is 6 foot tall. The one who was on ritalin the longest is 6'5.5"...lol. Oh and sleep, both of them were in bed early. Yes they got up early but that wasnt an issue.. School starts early here.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I'm so glad you are seeing an overall trend toward better days. I.think the issues morph over time if they are true difficult child's. You are still seeing that he gets an idea and if it is strongly desired he goes for it with no tolerance for delay and no thought of consequence. Q is the same and trying to stop him is a huge risk but necessary at times. As you said, when really needed.

    We still work on this. It's pretty important to be able to stop and think or to wait for a tiny bit to do something. Of course some level is expected when kids are younger but gotta start somewhere, smile.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I understand your apprehension for medications. And to me what you describe is still close enough to "normal" (whatever that is) that I can easily see why you are not ready for medications yet. J is not hitting you, he is not totalling a house so he is basically just keeping a lot of noise. That is not dangerous. It's clear there was contributing factors and most of the time you can work on those. Not always and at times he may get meltdowns even with your best effort to minimize those stressors. And that is okay. If his meltdowns turn worse instead of getting better, if he has them frequently (in that case they can begin to influence his self-image), then you may want to think about medication again. And also of course if his impulsiveness starts to affect his peer relationships or schooling too much.

    To me it sounds like that J's ability to have emotional control is about two years behind. This kind of temper tantrum would be totally normal for three year old. And tantrums there he hit you would be totally normal behaviour for two year old. So it seems that while J is maturing he is just coming little bit behind the others. That of course is very common to ADHD and if the gap doesn't get bigger but stays about the same, you are probably able to deal with it. With my difficult child the gap has gotten little bigger over the years (maybe four years now) and he has developed some other problems along the way, but still, now at nineteen he is maturing, just doing it little later than his peers. And I have my hopes up that one day he may even catch them on this.