When is a easy child not a easy child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    And when is "I'm bored" a secret code for some bigger issue?

    We drove 125 miles this morning to drop difficult child 1 off at a sleep-away camp for kids with bowel diseases. I dragged easy child and difficult child 2 along for the ride, which went amazingly well. easy child had her Gameboy and her artbox, and she sat happily playing and drawing and looking out the window at the scenery. She sat in the back seat with difficult child 2, who kept himself entertained with his Gameboy and his iPod. difficult child 1 sat up front with me and it was all in all an uneventful trip.

    Before getting to the camp, we stopped for lunch and everyone got out to stretch their legs, use the facilities, etc.

    We got back on the road and arrived at the camp within 30 minutes. I dropped all three kids and difficult child 1's luggage at the first check-in spot where there were several dozen people waiting for shuttles, and then parked the car. By the time I got up the hill 5 minutes later, easy child was looking really annoyed and her first words to me were a whiney "I'm bored. When can we leave?" In hindsight, it was really kind of an abrupt mood change.

    For some reason, none of the shuttles stopped by us, so we decided to walk up to the camp... maybe a 300 yard walk, so not a big deal. It was a little warm, but walking was better than standing because there was a nice breeze. And the kids got to look over a bridge at some fish in a pond on the way. But easy child's attitude continued to deteriorate.

    We got up to the dining hall for the second check-in, and it's air-conditioned, but she is continuing to whine about being bored and not wanting to be here. I tell her and difficult child 2 to go find a place to sit down while I help difficult child 1 check in. Then he and I join the others at the table where they are sitting. difficult child 2 goes outside to sit on a deck. I'm not really paying close attention to the other two, but suddenly difficult child 1 is exclaiming and holding his arm and then shows me this 2.5" gash on his forearm where easy child has scratched him because, I learn, he put a piece of lettuce on her shoulder!

    Now, this reaction of hers really seems to be an over-the-top response to a fairly innocuous prank. At least that's my take on it. I ask her why on earth she would hurt him like that and she starts doing this tap dance about how he's been bugging her all day (???) and won't leave her alone! And then she starts to deflect my question and asks why the boys never get in trouble when they hurt her... It is rare that anyone do something to intentionally inflict pain on her like she did to difficult child 1 today. I countered that we weren't discussing the PAST, her immediate behavior right here and now was the issue. That just shut her up and got me daggers instead. I did get her to reluctantly apologize to difficult child 1, but I am mystified.

    So I start to really think about this the rest of today and I'm wondering if there's some kind of anxiety going on with her? Maybe something to do with the crowd of strangers that were there at the camp? Is whining to me that she's bored really her attempt to tell me she's feeling uncomfortable with the situation? Did she really lash out like that because her anxiety was just unbearable by that time? She's been to this place two other times, so it's not totally unfamiliar, but still...

    She remained very grouchy and angry AT ME the rest of the time in the hall. Soon, we left and went over to the medical building where I made easy child and difficult child 2 wait outside where there were some adult counselors greeting campers. The counselors said they'd visit while difficult child 1 and I took care of his final step of the check-in process, and by the time we were done and went back outside, easy child's attitude had shifted to a more quiet and contemplative mode.

    We all walked up to difficult child 1's cabin to say our good-byes. On the way, easy child seemed more relaxed and tried to make small talk with me, commenting on the wildflowers along the way. And by the time we got back to our car, she was trying to be more conversational and even a little humble.

    I know that life with two difficult child brothers is hard for her sometimes, but in all honesty, there wasn't anything that happened that should have triggered such a violent reaction from her.

    Whatcha think?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I think I'd take her out alone today and over drinks at Starbucks try to get her to spill what happened yesterday. Something doesn't add up, and I'd want to know what's going on with her.
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I like smallworld's suggest. It shows easy child that you care about what is going on with her. Based on Piglet at that age, she's starting the hormonal ride and will be moody for a while (but hopefully not to difficult child levels!)
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ditto what SW and JJJ said. That's about the age easy child/difficult child started to get that way but now I"m thinking she is a difficult child so who knows?
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    With Piglet, it was a phase that lasted about 18 months but she seems to be over it. Here's hoping it is a phase!!!
  6. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i'll think outside the box....

    allergies :)

    what type does she suffer from? if its anything seasonal/tree/grass et.al showing up at camp might have REALLY made them flair--allegra or not.

    hence, drastic mood change.

    just a thought--could be wrong, of course....she could have just suddenedly been b-o-r-e-d...or less than pleased that the attentional focus was all about difficult child ::inserting appropriate eyeroll::
  7. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    OOPS...ignore me--wrong kid, ROFLMAO!

    (maybe easy child has unDX'd allergies too!)
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have what I consider a pretty perfect child in my fourteen year old. I'd say that a difficult child is a child without respect who sabotages himself or hurts other repeatedly for no good reason. No child never loses it or has a mild temper fit or THAT isn't normal either!
  9. Mom2oddson

    Mom2oddson Active Member

    and sometimes, it's the tiniest thing that breaks the camels back. How many times have we snapped at our difficult children over little things because we had reached the end of our rope. It could of been her last straw.
  10. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I was going to start my own thread that read easy child is acting a little GFGish, then I saw your thread and thought I would join in. My easy child is 7 and is usually very well behaved. The last few days she has been tough. Not listening as well as usual and bugging to stay up later, have another snack, the one more minute thing, etc.... , difficult child has been great on the lighter side though ... having them both in rare form would send me right over the edge. I am going to have to bring easy child back to reality and throw some sore of punishment her way. Gonna chat with husband tonight and figure out a plan !
  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Shelly, if a child is usually well-behaved, I always feel it's worth it to do a little detective work to find out why she suddenly becomes out-of-sorts before just lobbing punishments her way. Dr. Ross Greene of The Explosive Child fame believes that children do well when they can. Something is getting in your easy child's way. If you can figure out what that is, she'll feel understood, respected and go back to being a easy child. If you punish her, she'll feel angry, resentful and keep misbehaving. JMHO.
  12. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Thanks smallworld I will definetly take your advice. She is a great kid (usually, LOL) I think she may have been alittle bored the last few days. Alot of her friends go to daycare so she is trying to entertain herself but she is nagging me and pushing more than normal. I will have a chat with her and she if something else is going on .....
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It might be the early end of puberty and hormonal stuff going on... Her chest has started to develop and she suddenly has hips this year, lol.

    I did sit down and talked with her about why she says "I'm bored" just minutes after arriving someplace unfamiliar where there are a lot of people. She denied any feelings of anxiety or discomfort with the situation... I know she does have some anxiety -- this is my kid who was phobic over palm trees as a toddler, preschooler, and even into the 1st grade. She also still sleeps with a nightlight and suffers from enuresis... sigh. When her blood sugar is low, she can be downright nasty -- that's when she is MOSt difficult child-ish. She WILL sabotage herself when it gets this way. She'll refuse to eat and she'll become violent. We've learned to make sure she doesn't skip meals.

    For now, I'll just keep my eye on it.