Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazymama30, May 22, 2008.

  1. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    easy child had a concert tonight. husband and difficult child did other things, and easy child and I went to the orchestra concert. I finally figured out where to sit so I could see her. :laughing:

    If at all possible we usually do not take difficult child to these things as he just gets over stimulated and very bored, and a good time is had by NONE!!!

    Should I be taking him to these things to try to teach him how to sit through them? He does go to a few things, but only if we have no choice. I just wonder if I am too over protective. He is 10, but he is a difficult child. I was thinking about this as I watched other kids climbing on the folding chair holders and doing things that could maim or blind them, and half of their parents watched!!:sweating:

    OK, I answered my own question, difficult child will NOT go to concerts if at all possible.
  2. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I say no. That's a basket C item for sure.

    If there is a way for you to see that concert without having to bring difficult child, then go do it. You know you will have a nice time.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sometimes the best way is to do it in very short bursts and leave BEFORE he becomes a problem. You need a series of little successes to be able to build to longer successes.

    For example - someone was posting about needing to teach her son table manners. Fo a kid with awful table manners, sitting through a five course meal at a formal dining occasion would be torture, as it would be for their parents. But there are ways to break it down to manageable pieces.
    husband & I had just dropped difficult child 1 & easy child 2/difficult child 2 at Central railway station in the city, to go off to camp (Young Carers). We were in the city on a Sunday summer evening with difficult child 3. We would need to buy dinner before going home, there was nobody at home but us three, for the next week. husband had the next day off work.
    So we decided to treat ourselves and go to a fancy seafood restaurant in Sydney - Doyles on the Strand (if ever you're in Sydney, this is a must).
    We made difficult child 3 come in with us and sit. The restaurant was fairly empty, we had a table two tables away from the nearest and in a darker corner (near the kitchen - a compromise). It was almost too early for dinner, probably why the place was so empty. So we made difficult child 3 sit with us and look at the menu. We helped him select his meal, allowing him a lot of leeway in having something we knew he would enjoy. Then once the order was placed (politely) we let him leave the table; there is a small harbour beach right outside and he wanted to paddle. (if we'd had a table outside, we could have almost sat beside him).
    When the meal arrived we went to fetch him. Of course, had had fallen over in the water and was saturated, but the waiter brought a sheet of plastic for him to sit on. While difficult child 3 ate we required polite table manners but when he had finished we let him go outside again. For each course, he had to sit and order politely, and then eat it with some semblance of acceptability, but because we gave him frequent relaxing play breaks he didn't find it too stressful. neither did we. OK, we left with a sopping wet kid and he had to sit on a plastic sheet in the car, but we all had fond memories. By ordering each course separately, it meant we could leave at any time. But his reward for sticking it out was the big bowl of ice cream for dessert (while I had creme brulee).

    At other times we let him play his Nintendo DS at the table as long as we aren't ordering or eating. I know it's appalling manners but it means he is slowly learning, slowly getting the idea of what is required and also doing it in a way he can handle.

    You can do the same thing with a concert - sit away from other people, near the exit or near the aisle up the back and bring something quiet to occupy him. If he gets too fractious, take him outside preferably BEFORE he whinges. Tell yourself that any time at the concert is a bonus, be prepared to spend the entire time outside in the foyer, so any time you spend inside is good. Slowly he should get used to concerts and not find them too taxing, especially if he knows he can go outside if he feels he needs to.

    We've had to do that with difficult child 3 sometimes, when we knew the topic of the concert was likely to make him anxious, for example.

    Good luck with it!

  4. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I think there is a point on both sides. Let me say first that my difficult child is the younger sib and there were many things I left him with a sitter for or his bonehead father so that it could be enjoyed by either easy child or myself.

    Two reasons. One, because he probably would not sit still and behave, and the other was pure selfishness - I wanted to enjoy myself without interuption.

    Having said that, I do also feel that there is benefit from your child learning to sit for things they don't enjoy without wreaking havoc on all! You have to pick and choose.

    I try and have the kids and I eat dinner in the dining room once a week - why? Because when we visit my mother (she's very, very formal) or someone person of that generation, or we go out to a nice rest to eat, I don't want to be embarassed. I think it is important that kids learn to put up with something they don't particularly enjoy from time to time.

    But you definately have to pick and choose!!

  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    There will come a time when difficult child will have to learn to sit through events he doesn't enjoy. Like Sharon, we've practiced with the tweedles. Not successful many times. Those times we just left.

    in my humble opinion, I'd get someone to attend with you, letting difficult child know ahead of time that if he acts out or cannot sit still, that the other person will be leaving with him early. Make it positive & a challenge at the same time ~ if he can make it 20 minutes it's a trip for ice cream. Less than 20 minutes home to a movie rental. This is a learning experience & one that needs repitition.

    We have used Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) workers for this in the past, especially with wm. wm can now sit through dinner at a fast food restaurant & for him that is HUGE!

    Just something to consider.
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Good thoughts from all. TL, I would definately have to do the ice cream for reward, as difficult child has absolutely no desire to go to ANYTHING like a orchestra concert. Well, as much as we love our children, 6th graders on the violin and other things like it are interesting. At least by the end of the year I can tell what they are playing.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    My difficult child grew up eating out at fancy resturaunts while visiting relatives and going to professional concerts (chamber orchestras, bands, vocals, ect.)

    He absolutely hates eating out (even the fun McD's and Burger King places) so has gotten real bad about even that. We usually do take outs for fast food places.

    He loves concerts and use to stay to the very end but with a 7:30pm start, they get way to late now so either gets picked up or taken home at intermission (we live 5 min away from the concert place so if I need to take him home I can return if someone is home with him.)

    Our problem is that while he has in the past done very well, since this last fall when he started having problems, he is getting more and more misbehaved. He will purposely do anything to get us to leave or not go to a resturaunt. (he has admitted to do so) I do believe that he just can not sit still anymore and lights bother him. It is frustrating to watch our boy "loose" his manners.

    When my kids were small, I have been known to walk out of a resturaunt before ordering making sure I explain to the waiter that, "I am sorry but my kids can not behave today - I need to get them out of here." (don't want them think I am disappointed in the service or anything.) They then usually get chewed out for such disrespectful behavior (usually fighting).

    However, now difficult child does have something going on that is behind this - I think if we do find a seizure disorder it could be the restuarant lights - store lights bother me sometimes. If something is annoying, it is hard to sit still and behave, especially if you can not recognize what is causing the anxiety. Could be a crowded restuarant also (I can't stand crowds myself and my anxiety will increase in a crowd). Lights, sound, customers can make for an overstimulated place for difficult child's.

    I do like the idea of short visits - and I think it is o.k. for now to just know that the times you do take him will be spent on teaching him. I also like the idea of someone else taking him out if it is something you really need/want to participate in. For anything that costs a lot of money to attend, it adds to the stress of misbehavior so continue to avoid those for now.
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    in my opinion, I think it's better to have him do a few trials of these situations when it's not such a big deal if you have to leave or take him outside. It is a skill he eventually needs to learn, if not fake later on (does that make sense?). And I would certainly enlist the help of your husband to do this.

    We've done the tag-team approach with our difficult children before, with the agreement ahead of time as to whom is going to exit quietly with difficult child when the time comes so the other parent can stay and enjoy the event. Sometimes, if it's a particularly lengthy event, we'll switch off so the other parent can come back in and hear what's going on. Or might even have difficult child have another go at the situation after he's taken a break from it.

    I don't think forever avoiding situations is the answer. You kind of have to pick your battles, but also keep in mind you need to be training this child with whatever opportunities make sense and work for you/him.

    Just my 2 cents :)