An invite to a birthday party equals

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by zba189, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. zba189

    zba189 Guest

    48 hours of stress :(.

    difficult child has been invited to a birthday party today. This is not his first friend party, he has done this before. Yet, he is overcome with anxiety. Something that seems so simple and so much a part of childhood has been a struggle these last few days and I feel bad for him. difficult child wants to go, but is so worried about things that he can't fight down the anxiety to go.

    Although I'm not best friends with the little boy's mom, she and I have spoken several times. Her little boy has his own difficult child issues and she is a wonderful mom who gets it. The party is going to be at their house for two hours. She said that they didn't invite the whole class but kept the numbers small.

    I've spent two days breaking things down into little pieces. I've called the boy's mom to see if she could give me a small rundown so I could prepare difficult child for the party. Nothing has helped. It has been meltdown after meltdown.

    I told him to make a decision, go or don't go. Neither one is the end of the world but that I wasn't going to be baited into making the decision for him. I don't care if he goes or not. He wants me to say, "you can't go because of your behavior". Then it becomes my fault and he can be angry with me and not himself.

    His plan was for me to go with him to the party and sit with him. To be honest with you, I'm uncomfortable with this solution. He's almost seven, there won't be any other moms at the party. I'm fearful that me being there will cause him more grief with his peers. Am I being unreasonable?
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What about going with him and just hanging out in the background very inconspicuously for a little while. Go admire the host's back yard or casually look at their family photos on the shelf, etc. Let him know (ahead of time) you'll stay for a little bit and that you'll be leaving for a few minutes and be right back. Say something like, "I have to go pick up X from store Y quickly, and I'll be right back." Go run a quick errand that only takes 15 minutes or so (or just drive around the block and listen to the radio) and then come back and see how he's doing. The idea is to let him know you are there for him, but that he has to try to manage for a few minutes on his own. You can't expect him to just deal with it at this age when his anxiety is clearly a big issue right now. But you can set things up for him to succeed in small increments. Perhaps with time you will be able to extend the amount of time he's coping on his own until the magic day arrives when he doesn't need you there. Sort of a desensitization process. Your efforts to talk him through it ahead of time are admirable, but I don't think that at his young age he can truly project that far in time and emotionally process it. I think at this point, I wouldn't push the issue. If he wants to go, then just say okay and drop it. Then take him and be prepared to linger.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Another thought is to tell him you'll wait in the car while he's inside. Bring a book to read. He can always come outside and check in with you when his anxiety gets too high. I know it's not how you'd like to spend your afternoon, but these social events are an important part of development even for neurotypical kids. This is something he truly needs your help with getting through.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I really like Gvcmom's ideas!
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    At that age, most of the parents stay in our area -- even parents of pcs.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I've gone along and volunteered to help the hosting parent in the kitchen. That way she gets some much-needed help plus I am on the spot if needed. Best of both worlds. But do set this up ahead, don't just turn up and expect your help to be welcomed, she may have everything organised in the expectation of having to cope on her own, and having someone turn up THEN to help out, when it could have been organised earlier and she could have maybe saved a bit of money and bother, can be annoying.

  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Marg's suggestion what exactly what I was going to say.