Waking up difficult children

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by FTN, May 24, 2008.

  1. FTN

    FTN New Member

    My cousin was beaten by his step-father when he in elementary school. I remember him being rather violent and disagreeable when he had to be awoken. I'm seeing the same thing in difficult child. Is this a fairly common trait in difficult children?
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Explain violent and disagreeable. And is this with the 10 year old?
  3. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Think it is more an individual thing. For some people, just the shock of being woken before the body says it is ready makes the mind get cranky. I know that in my family NO ONE woke my father or brother by touching any body part above the waist -- just too dangerous -- and these were/are two of the gentlest, kindest men you could ever meet, not a mean streak in their body.
  4. FTN

    FTN New Member

    Just severe crankiness: argumentative, refuses to move, slams doors on way to bed, stomps, etc.
  5. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    That pretty much goes with the age, I think. You're entering adolescence and puberty at 10. Both of my kids did that. It got better as they got older. It also helps if they have a set bedtime and then announcements before hand, such as bed time is 30 minutes, finish up whatever you're doing. Then again at 15 minutes, etc.
  6. FTN

    FTN New Member

    But she has always done it.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Some people are just very grumpy when they're tired, either first thing in the morning, late at night or both.

    I've posted before about how I woke difficult child 1 when he was refusing to get moving in the mornings (and he would get grumpy). I used a mist spray bottle set on "jet" and would squirt it under the bedclothes, inside the pyjama leg if I could. It also meant I was out of range. There's no way you can go back to sleep when your pyjamas are wet and clinging to you.

    I don't know if it's part of any difficult child-ness, or simply an individual variation, But I wouldn't be putting up with it. She would have a choice - "be polite and non-violent to me when I wake you, or in future you must be responsible for getting yourself up and moving."
    If it's someone who's too young for this to work with, then I would still be requiring some degree of self-control or I would use heavier techniques that meant the person got thoroughly woken but I was safely out of range; such as stripping the bedclothes from the bed, or turning up the stereo really loudly, with distinctively unpopular music playing. You could ring the changes with the choice of music, trying to find something different and even more - stimulating, shall we say? - each time. You could work your way back through the decades, maybe dip into some other countries, and find some wonderfully effective 'classics'. It would also add a touch of humour to the proceedings and it's very hard to stay angry when you've got the giggles.

    Some music choices (besides Barry Manilow, who seems to be a favourite for this sort of thing) - Hermann's Hermits with "Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" from about 1965 (a British group); a thing from about 1978 called "Mashed Potato, Yeah" (I kid you not); "Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush (good, but very different with piercing high notes); and for something I like but he would never have heard - Yothu Yindi, an Aussie indigenous group who feature didgeridoos with electric guitars in "Treaty" - she would think you were being invaded.

  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm a little confused as the question was regarding waking up you difficult child but you are talking about grumpiness when going to bed.....

    I guess I'll give my opinion on both. You difficult child is only 10, athough I'm not sure what her issues are or what diagnosis she may have. But I would say on the waking thing, it's pretty natural that some folks are morning people (I am) and others are grumps in the morning. It also may have to do with sleep issues. In other words, does she have a hard time going to sleep at night? Does she sleep solidly or fitfully? It could be that she is not getting enough sleep and therefore is still very tired in the morning. It also could be as simple as her not being a morning person.

    In regards to bedtime. I don't believe I have ever met or spoken with a parent who has not had a bedtime struggle from time to time. Not knowing what your daughter's issues are, it could be that she is hyperfocusing on something at bedtime and you are pulling her away without warning. It could be that she has bad dreams and doesn't want to go to bed. It could be that she does not want to be alone. It could be that she is just plain onery at night and tired.

    What I would suggest to you is working on a quiet and consistant bedtime ritual. Make is something a little fun for her. Make it the same time every school night. Take the time to talk softly with her, perhaps rub her back, read a story together. Have her do her school reading at night out loud to you. Then you have a book that you read together that you can read outloud that will relax her as she lays and listens.

    As far as getting her up. I think some folks are just going to be grumpy. Is she taking a medication that could affect her mood in the morning? I know when my son first started taking seroquel he was really hard to wake up in the morning. I would go in 15 minutes early to give him time to get that heavy head feeling under control.

    So, while I believe the bedtime and morning struggles are fairly common, you have to decide if you believe difficult child crosses that line. I say as long as she is not breaking any of your house rules, let her grumble. I mean, slamming doors is not allowed in our home so I wouldn't allow that. But if my difficult child wanted to stomp up the stairs and mumble, as long as he went, so be it.

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We've got stubborness in both areas, but in the a.m. it's occasionally almost violent. I have to stand back and make sure my difficult child doesn't slug me.
    We now give him 3 "happy" warnings to wake up. If he does not get up, we do not yell. He stays home from school and email his teacher to request an unexused absence, so he has extra work to do and may have to go to the principal's ofc. That pretty much nips most of it in the bud.

    At night, he still argues, so we just take away CDs, lights, anything distracting. I have to make sure I take them when he's out of the room or he can be very physical.

    The rest of the family whines and grumbles but nothing that would set anyone off.
  10. tryinghard

    tryinghard New Member

    We have to give our difficult child five minute wake ups for about 20 minutes. This seems to give him enough time to get the juices going and be less grumpy. My brother was grumpy no matter what when he woke up and as a 32 year old man...still is!
  11. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    difficult child II can wake up angry or cuddly, depends, lately it's angry
    difficult child I hates waking up period, he has always been grumpy, angry and pokey (slow moving) when you wake him up. I could taser him and he still would not get up (don't worry i know tasers are illegal)
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Is she getting help for her possible abuse issues yet? Has anything changed? I recall that this child had many, many issues, some because of her mother, some because of your behavior toward her, some because of the family's hostility toward her father, etc. There were many possible variables.
    An Child Psychiatrist is better to ask than us. It's such a broad question.
    Have you changed your interaction with this child? Any family counseling?
    We are not trained--and we don't know exactly what her background is...or what is going on at home. Many difficult child's wake up cranky for a variety of reasons, and that is one of many reasons they need professional help.
    Many kids wake up grumpy, but they get over it. If she doesn't, I'm assuming something deeper is wrong and, if my recollection is correct, the problems run deep and are spread throughout the family. I hope you have leaped ahead and gotten this child, and the rest of the family, the help you so desperately need...if this is the family I remember, nothing will get much better until you get solid professional help...all of you. Good luck.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child is all over the place when it comes to waking up. Can be grumpy or not. The problem for us is we never know so we don't know if saying good morning will be met with a smile or a scowl (or something worse).
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I don't think you have to be a difficult child or have been beaten in order to be grumpy when you wake up.

    What is the family's way of dealing with your sGFG when she behaves this way?
  15. FTN

    FTN New Member

    Unfortunately, nothing has changed. Her mother, SO, still hasn't gotten her into counseling. I'm about to give her the ultimatum or I'm jumping ship. easy child #1 is set on moving out even if she can't quite afford it to be away from difficult child. I've been helping easy child #2 with her SATs and getting into college ASAP so she can be away as well. SO is, I hate to say it, a terrible mother who refuses to get her difficult child and herself help.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It's frustrating to be living in the situation, but not having any legal authority (as a biological parent) to be able to do anything about it. There is only so much you can do in your situation.

    I would even suggest that difficult child's behavior could be at least partially fueled by her mother's lack of response, for lack of a better word. When I was very ill a year ago, my daughter's anxiety spiraled in a big way and she was melting down and raging daily.

    As far as the grumpiness, etc...I am not now nor have I ever been a morning person. It doesn't matter what time of day I get up, I'm not chatty. At all. I'm not even fully awake for 30 minutes to an hour. There is very little conversation at our house in the mornings. What conversation there is just consists of the necessities. easy child is the same way. difficult child is the only one who gets up and wants to chat. As she entered teenage-hood, she's become much more grumpy when she gets up but it doesn't last too long. Usually once she's eaten, she's fine...which is a very subjective term in itself.

    Bedtime with my kids was a battle for years....for both easy child and difficult child. I made deals with them that if they got to bed on time and without arguing they could watch tv or read a book or color...whatever...for 30 minutes. That seemed to help some. on the other hand, if they didn't get to bed on time, bed time was 15 minutes earlier the next night. That part worked better for easy child than for difficult child because for difficult child tomorrow was not right now and she very much lived in the moment.

    I don't allow slamming of doors. My kids know that I will remove their door if they slam them. But, I get A LOT of stomping out of difficult child. That's fine.
  17. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    maybe ask your psychiatrist for some melatonin , a natural substance that resets the biological clock and improves sleep , there are also sleep systems as well which help - PM me for details
  18. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Allan, Melatonin is available over the counter here in any vitamin section of any store. It doesn't work for everyone though, and you are correct that the pediatrician should be consulted regarding dosage and possible unwanted drug interactions.