Which came first-the chicken or the meltdown?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Pookybear66, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    I guess it's my turn to post an update about my ds. I haven't posted much this week as its been a busy one. I took today to catch up on everyone else's posts so here goes. Sorry ahead of time for the length.

    The Halloween craft night last Saturday went okay. Ds was a bit rambunctious but it wasn't really a big deal as the other kids were running around too. He did listen but wasn't really interested in the crafts. Okay, typical 8yo boy stuff.
    Sunday-don't remember anything noteworthy.
    Monday-We had the worst night in a while. Ds had a club afterschool so got home 45min later than reg day. He had to do homework. Normally he gets 1/2 hr break of whatever he wants to do. Too much homework so not going to work. Well that was meltdown #1. Shortlived though and he managed to do some math.
    Then I remembered I hadn't made the muffins for easy child's snack to bring to preschool. I needed bananas. So quick dinner and off to store. Everybody could go and we'd get ice cream after dinner. Well quick dinner turned out to be running late. Store did not have bananas, and easy child fell asleep in car on way there.
    So its 7pm and I am starting to have a meltdown of my own because nothing is going right. I say to husband that we need to skip icecream and go to other store and get bananas and then go home to finish homework and put easy child to bed. Ds starts in-"But you said, that's not fair...."
    He kept up. I told him to "shut up" and we went to follow new plan.
    Found bananas at 2nd store and started to feel better. But I also had wanted icecream and reallized I was not "acting very well" so bought pudding and apologized to Ds. He was better after this.

    Tuesday-Ds was angel doing math homework. Learning simple geometry and really understood. High-fiving me and saying how easy it was. Ahh, what we all live for. I smiled and reveled in it with husband.

    Wednesday-Early morning EEG test. It appeared to go fine but of course the early morning and stress of it all left me very weary. Probably Ds as well. He came home for a bit after to finish up some homework before returning to school. Of course, he didn't want to return to school and was carrying on. I simply said-"Do your homework quickly now and go back for recess, or don't and stay inside for recess when you get to school. But you are going to school either way." Mostly so I could nap! Well, he calmed down and did about half the work before it was time to return so we finished it that night under a bit of complaining but ultimately he did it. by the way, I think the test went fine but we will know officially next week sometime.

    Thursday-Came home and had his usual 1/2 hr break of TV. Then outside to play with friends which went well so we stayed out a bit longer than normal (nice cool day and wkend will rain so thought that was good too!). Anyway, he was admittedly probably on the hungry side, but anyway went in to turn on TV again. I said "No -homework time". He started meltdown. I said I will start dinner. He asked what we were having-chicken I said. He screamed "I don't like chicken. What else is there?" Now know that I am not one to make ev1 different things each night and we all try to sit as family most nights. So he says he wants chicken nuggets. Again, not so big a deal as they're the same. But, I had moved this into Basket A as I did not see a valid reason for him not to eat the chicken-he usually does. So the episode escalated into yelling that he hated me and I was "the meanest mom ever". Why can't I ever be nice??
    He refused to do his homework until he got chicken nuggets. I told him to sit and calm down. He refused to sit and stood just to see what I would do. I GENTLY helped him to be seated a few times. He yelled some more and just eventually went to his room. I asked him to do homework and tried to remain calm through whole thing. I think I did pretty well. So, total meltdown time was a hour. Then when husband came home he asked him to make him some chicken nuggets. I stepped up and said no-he said I wasn't asking you. So I quickly explained situation and husband backed me up. Ds was hungry and came over and ate chicken. He did homework after that. And never said another word about the episode.

    So why do our difficult child's meltdwon over something as stupid as chicken nuggets? Why did the powers above make us the meanest moms ever? Why was he as good as gold on Tuesday? And my husband wants to know how he can turn this anger on and off like a lightswitch? Also, is tomorrow a good day or a bad day?
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Sounds like some rough patches with some good patches as well. It sounds like most of his meltdowns were short lived!

    Does my difficult child ever meltdown over something as stupid as chicken nuggets? YES! So many of his meltdowns are over things that make you go huh? For my difficult child food can be a huge trigger and in the past not worth the rages that would ensue.

    Why did the powers above make us the meanest moms ever? Someone had to get those titles:) Isn't it funny how often we are the meanest moms ever-like every time they don't get their own way!

    Why was hs as good as gold on Tuesday? I don't know but don't you wish you could bottle it?

    How can he turn this anger on and off like a light switch? My difficult child can do that at times too I think. Mostly though something triggers it and it just triggers difficult child. With mine he is learning to get it over it more quickly.

    Will tomorrow (now today) be a good or bad day? Wish I had that crystal ball but I'm sending good vibes your way that it turns out to be a great one!
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Pookybear, I'm sorry you've been having a rough time with DS. Meltdowns are frustrating, for sure, but in my experience they're almost always triggered because our little darlings haven't learned to be flexible and they have a low frustration tolerance.

    I think you should go back and take a closer look at The Explosive Child. in my humble opinion, food doesn't belong in Basket A. In our household, it belongs in Basket C. It just isn't worth an hour-long meltdown to me. Is it to you? Especially until you know exactly what you're dealing with in terms of a diagnosis, I would not fight with your son about food choices. The only items in Basket A in our household are going to school, going to therapy and taking medications. The rest falls into Basket B (items we will negotiate) or Basket C (just not worth fighting about). You definitely have to know when to pick your battles.

    Now I understand your wanting to cook one meal for everyone. I'm the same way. So I've gotten creative with a few recipes that allow me to put one meal on the table, but give the kids lots of choice in how they eat it. For example, I makes tacos with all the fixings in separate bowls and the kids choose toppings they feel like eating. Or pasta with different toppings (red sauce, cheese or sauteed veggies). It's a little more work in terms of planning and prepping, but worth it in the long run for keeping the peace.

    In addition, you should realize that your son probably wasn't melting down about chicken nuggets at all. He was tired and hungry from his afternoon of play and frustrated that you were asking him to do homework. When my kids are hungry after a long day, but I still rushing around getting dinner on the table, I put out a "snack" that would have found its way on to the dinner table anyway (like a fruit salad or veggies and dip). The kids are happy because they're able to take the edge off their intense hunger, and I'm happy because I'm getting healthy food into them and keeping the peace while getting dinner on the table.

    Just wanted to give you another way of looking at things. I hope you have a calm weekend.
  4. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I'm sorry he is being a pain.
  5. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Sharon-thanks for the answers LOL and the support. I too hope today will be fine. My guess is it will because its Friday and the teacher doesn't give homework over the wkend unless its a project sort of thing.

    small-Thanks also for the support. I know that in the grand scheme of things it wasn't a big deal. But at the time it was. I guess I have some difficult child tendencies myself. I am reading "THE Book". I am almost done with it. I know I shouldn't have put food in the A basket but I was being stubborn. I was working on principal. There really was no "good" reason he needed chicken nuggets. He DID eventually eat the family chicken and do his homework.
    It's actually kind of funny because this morning he wanted to take pudding for his school snack. I really didn't want him to. He said-"wait a minute this is kinda like the chicken nugget thing last night". I laughed and said "yea and how did that work out for you?". He said "you didn't let me have them. But this is different. It's okay to bring a pudding. We can have a non-healthy snack once in a while." He was being calm and nicely presenting his point. I offered him some other choices. He said no and since he was still being calm and there was only 10 min before bus time-I let him have the pudding.
    All I want him to do is stop yelling at me. I didn't sign up to be abused by my kid. It's really uncalled for and very tiring but we're working on it. Both of us!
  6. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Son is twelve and he still meltdowns over trivial issues. In fact, he did this morning. Why? Because he didn't have anything green to wear. When does he ask me to find SOMETHING green? Fifteen minutes before I have to leave for work and I'm blow drying my hair in a hurry.

    Two things that Son struggles with: Frustration and regulation of emotions. What does that spell? M-E-L-T-D-O-W-N.

    Actually, Daughter at 17 still struggles. Just yesterday she informed me that I was the reason she was thinking about killing herself (Don't fret. She uses it as a manipulation. Done it for years!). Why would my children want to take her life?

    Because I asked her to pick up that disgusting mess of a room of hers.

    husband and I just had it remodeled. Daughter got a beautiful new bed and I had it painted GREEN like she wanted. It has lovely new carpet and SILLY me, I get really annoyed when there's GARBAGE ALL OVER IT! Plus, what do I see last night? She had taken a marker and wrote on a lovely nightstand that belonged to her deceased Grandmother! Her reason? "I was bored".

    I just about melted-down when I heard that!

    I'm the reason she cries.
    I'm the reason she feels sad.
    I'm the reason she hates herself.
    I'm the reason her life is miserable.

    Now I just wished I would be the reason she would keep her room picked up!

    Of course, once said and done she's talking all excited about going to the homecoming dance and what a great time she is going to have.

    "Hey Mom, can you give me some money to go to the game tonight?"

  7. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    OMG Dazed - that will be my life in a few years! Help me! Someone hide me quick! Don't let them find me till its over!
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Did today go better?

    I bet is really was refreashing to hear difficult child negotiate in a calm manner about the pudding.

    Next time you are in a showdown over supper, maybe suggesting his meal idea for another time. "We can have nuggets Saturday for lunch or Sunday night but tonight is this dish." or "Nuggets do sound good, however, plans have already been set for this other dish. How about you plan a nugget meal for Saturday noon? Make a list of what we need. It will be fun to make a meal together." Also, would he have been able to choose a side veggie "Should we have corn or green beans tonight?"

    However, I know about showdowns and by the time we get to that point, there really is no pleasing difficult child. For some reason, they do not see common ground as a win-win, they only view it as we get part of our wishes and they don't get all of theirs. Will come with maturity.

    I am glad you apologized over the ice cream. Kids do not understand our timelines especially when it interfers with their plans. What kind of ice cream was planned? Would a small bowl after homework have worked? Maybe a home made banana split? Just an idea for next time? Though I probably would have done what you did in changing plans.

    You have had an extremely busy week. I hope you have lots of Tuesday's in your future and difficult child finds more pudding episodes to calmly negotiate.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ah, the old Chicken Nugget Meltdown Scenario!!!

    Sounds familiar!

    I cannot tell you how many times I have stood in front of the stove, making dinner from SCRATCH and difficult child starts screaming at me that he wants something else. that he hates me, I'm mean and the worst mother in the world.
    I tell him 1) That he cannot berate me or he will go to his room. Then I make him calm down by standing there quietly. (Actually, it's shades of The Manipulative Child, "stop, pause, redirect," but I didn't know that until after I read it. :) )
    2) That he is welcome to eat his food of choice AFTER he eats whatever I have cooked. Sometimes he'll even take things out of the fridge and cupboard and get them ready for his "real" meal.
    9 times out of 10, he is too full after my meal to make his preferred meal. :) :) :)

    The idea is to initially agree with-them, to diffuse the anger, and then find a way around it.
    Maybe it's to give your difficult child a snack in the meantime so he won't be hungry while you're cooking.

    I've had my difficult child scream at me that he doesn't want the snack, either. So I've learned to put it next to him and walk away. There's something about walking away that works like magic with-him.

    Nice that you could resolve the grocery store issue with-a pudding compromise. Yay!
    I know how that feels. been there done that.

    Best of luck.
  10. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Andy-Yes, things went better on Friday because I didn't "bother him". AND, we had breakfast for dinner. Someone here had written something about their experience, and I was reminded we hadn't done that in a long time. It was yummy for me too!

    I did suggest to him all the things you said Andy. The lunch thing was not what he wanted. The veggie thing was set for dinner that night so not really an option as we didn't have much in the house that night. I WAS making his favorite noodles but we didn't even get that far to discuss them.

    The ice cream thing just was not going to work that night which is why I chose an alternate plan. It was already 7:30. My kids usually start bedtime routine @8 which means no more food after that. Plus, he still had homework to do and ended up staying up till 8:30. So, I'm not sure there would of been anything to do differently except for me to not have mentioned the ice cream LOL! thanks for the well wishes.

    Terry-Thanks for the support also. I actually do the "you can eat something else if you're still hungry" thing as well. He did in fact have a sandwich after the chicken. I ended up splitting my chicken with him because since he was being such a snot I didn't make him any of his own. So, there wasn't quite enough for him. But then I said to him, next time please behave nicely and I can make you the kind you want. (It all started with a question of whether he wanted a breast with italian spices or just garlic). Sometimes its just a lose-lose situation for me. Mostly though I can deal with that-just wish he would stop screaming at me!
  11. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    LOL.......yeah, chicken nuggets......I feel like I'm doing something right for once after reading all these posts! I'm one that lets the kids make their own dinners cuz I got tired of cooking for an hour and I'm the only one eating it cuz they say they don't want it. We may eat different things, but we're eating together.

    Anyway, difficult child lately has been having meltdowns about doing her chore - the dishes. I have to admit that most of the meltdowns she has is when i'm emotional too. The calmer I am, the less time she has in meltdown or recovery. 'course when I'm in a mood I tend to forget that! LOL

    glad the day went much better for you.
  12. minnesotama

    minnesotama Guest

    I am new here. I have a son age 14 who has regular meltdowns too. He has been diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type and with learning disabilities. He used to be such a really dear sweet boy, but he has turned into someone else in the last couple of years. I am really ashamed to admit what I am about to but I need to tell someone. Three days ago he pretty much lost it when I clipped his fingernail too short. He punched me hard in the arm and called me a lot of cuss words. I was shocked and told him to get out of my room. As I guided him out and in an effort to lock my bedroom door, he came unglued when I said he would have consequences for his actions. For the first time in his life, he went extremely violent and pushed my door open, pushed me hard and punched me in the arm maybe 20 times as hard as he could. He is 6 feet tall. He is skinny, but he is strong. I am pretty fit and pretty strong, too, but I was not match for him. Fast forward: I could not believe he did this, and I called the police. He was arrested for battery and will go to juvenile court soon. His father acted like I overreacted. I am sick about this. I think I am in shock. I feel like I am in a nightmare. My other child, a girl aged 18, was partying non-stop and when I told her she could not live in my house and have that lifestyle, she left. She has been gone 9 days. She is hanging in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods of our metropolitan area. I was a good mother. I did all I could for these two. I was there for them always. I never hit them. I never abused them. I don't know how it turns out that I have kids like this. I am just crushed spiritually by the reality of this. Well, I am not sure if I posted in the right thread and if I didn't, I am sorry. I just needed so badly to find anyone else who has been through situations like I have. It is embarrassing to even talk about it.
  13. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Minnesotama-Thanks for the support. I will give it right back to you. I have no experience with a situation like yours. You may want to repost this as a separate post and see who has. Can any of the veteran posters here help with this?
  14. Mayapple5

    Mayapple5 New Member

    You can't blame yourself. I have learned the hard way, too. I homeschooled our two beautiful girls now 20 and 18, for 12 years, all through school. They have been raised in a Bible believing church and home where we say prayer before every meal and read Bible stories and have family time. We don't watch TV, we watch family oriented movies, violence is kept out of the home. Oh, we know about the world and all the things of the world. They have friends and have throughout their lives, plenty of them, all kinds of them, which we have monitored!

    He sister and her were inseperable, but then...well let me back up..

    The oldest went one year to Bob Jones University studying Accounting last year. South Carolina is a long way from Illinois! It was good for her. Then she met a boy here. Not who we felt God wanted for her. She didn't go back to school. this boy met the younger sister first, then when the older one came home from school, he saw her behind the other's back. My girls will never, ever be the same again. They will never have the relationship they had, the trust, the laughter and sharing is gone. It makes me sick and oh so sad :sad-very:. There is no trust any more between them. The older one forsook God for a while and went her own way, moved out to her bio mother's home (my oldest daughter) and became pregnant, lost the baby and had finally found her way back and wants to do things the right way. I cried the whole time. She has moved home and still wants this young man and wants to marry him, I can't change their minds, but I pray God can and will.

    I found out I am not at fault for all that has happened, it wasn't my parenting, or my husband's. It was nothing we did that caused her to quit school, to get pregnant, she knew the consequences of her actions. At some point in their lives they have to take responsibility for themselves. We have to take care of ourselves. We have to be healthy in mind and body and ready for them when they come to us for help, for advise, no matter what that may be, whether they are ready to hear what we have to say or not!

    I'm sorry if this has gotten long but I'm passionate about this as it is so fresh and it was so painful. I hope I can help others who have gone through what we went through. I know we can't get too religious here. But you can pm me and I can go through more with you if you would like.