And the meanest mom of the year award goes to..........

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by buddy, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. buddy

    buddy New Member

    So, we survived another major meltdown today.... Here is the story:

    difficult child is a collector. He picks stuff up off the ground. He collects pamphlest/papers, tennis balls, golf balls, rocks, shells, acorns, etc. Lately while bending over he will sneak and pick up cigarette butts thrown on the ground. We do pocket checks and he usually has eyes directly on him but... I have tried his losing tv time etc (his favorite thing-sports tv). Not effective yet.

    He woke yesterday morning and smelled like ashes so I knew he snuck some in his bed. SOOO GROSSSSSSSSS.. I said, OK i have to protect you and I have told you before that if you are sneaking these in your pockets then you can't have pockets. So when he was doing something I cut like the front pockets in 4 pair of pants. He never said anything so I figured well??? This morning getting ready for horseback riding and he put on a pair and yelled...HEY! did you cut my pockets? I reminded him that he was warned about that and then I told him when the warning didn't work I was going to do it. He creammed that they felt funny, he is gonna cut up all my clothes, his hands are gonna get cold, he is going to "tell on" me to all his friends, etc. I again explained that my job is to keep him safe and those chemicals are not good for him (he puts them in his mouth etc. no actual smoking-he is afraid of fire and is not alone enough that we wouldn't see the smoke coming I can smell it too easily). He is really worried it will give him cancer just having touched it and put it in his mouth, but it doesn't stop the compulsion. He asks me all the time, WHY do I do this???
    He usually doesn't cry unless really mad or panicked. I guess this was one of those times, but it was a really sad cry too. He took all his nice pants and put them in a trash bag and ran to the dumpsters. I told him if he threw them in he was going in to get them! (he had to before when he threw a photo album away).
    He said he was going to kill me, that I am the worst mom ever, he kicked and hit the car and smashed me in the back with the garbage bag (luckily it was light this time).
    It is so hard to give a logical consequence, and I am very careful about it usually...but this has to stop and I really think if he can't keep them in his pocket then it will help.
    He finally calmed when I said if for 3 weeks there are no cigarette butts we can sew up the pockets and if for 6 weeks I will buy you a new pair of pants. Once his mind is off things for a while then he usually stops the problem behavior...for a while at least.

    He made it safely to hb riding and hugged his horse for a long time. GUILT... oh well. May not have been the best choice but I hope it works.

    PS I am locking up he scissors and knives as usual!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Have you tried sweatpants or windpants without pockets? That might be more tolerable to him that cutting the pockets. For Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids, I can see where the change in the way the jeans "should" feel would be difficult to handle. Maybe get a few pairs of sweats and use them as a visual reminder that he will have to wear "these" instead of jeans if he can't stop. I don't know, just a thought. At least the sweats will always feel like sweats and he can earn the jeans back without changing the way the jeans feel. I don't know, it was just something I would have to do with my difficult child if he ever collected anything like that.

    Isn't it amazing how changes can really through our little guys so off kilter?
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Good idea.. I will consider that, though probably would lead to even more fits since he loves his pants. He actually wore them just fine after the fit. And I suspect he would find just as many arguments for that. Bottom line was he didn't want to stop collecting the cigs. and he always falls apart when he has a consequence. Oh, the pockets weren't cut OUT, sorry, just cut at the seam so internally the feel is pretty much the same except when he puts his hands in they could go through!
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    in my opinion it was a smart and logical consequence for the problem. Has he been checked recently for any and all deficiencies - vitamin, mineral, etc...? Get the doctor to run all of these tests you can. This sounds a LOT like pica, a compulsion to eat non-food items. While not always caused by a mineral or vitamin deficiency, that is the easiest cause to treat. Given his metabolic issues, it seems like a likely cause and one that might help actually solve the problem rather than just prevent him from keeping the items. At least solve the part that has him putting them in his mouth. Although some kids just mouth everything - thank you was AWFUL about mouthing, would have licked every shelf in the grocery if I didn't keep having fits about it (major eeeeuuuuuwww factor for me, having taken sanitation class in college!)
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh yeah, he just puts them in his mouth kind of pretend smoking plus he just likes to smell them. That's his thing, smelling stuff. Although he does do the licking thing from time to time. I agree......huge eeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwww! (once he did actually swallow the insides of one of those squishy balls you can win in a gaming center with tickets...
    who knows what country and what chemicals are in those things and within 24 hours he had the weirdest rash you ever saw. They isolated him and eventually said it was psoriasis. (sp?) it as not hives for sure. It was like outline circles all over his body which eventually kind of flaked and it went away in about a month. It was awful and never has come back. I still think his immune system went crazy with whatever was in the ball.
    Still, the thought that he is driven by some deficiency....very interesting. i am going to ask.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Instead of cutting the threads at the bottom of the pocket... you could also sew the pockets closed at the top (machine - not hand... machine stitches are harder to get out).

    Or threaten that he has to wear a kilt? Or a lungi? (kind of hard to ride a horse in either of those... not sure if riding britches have pockets?)
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    insane cdn, lol He would probably think a kilt was cool.
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Its a great consequence! I'll have to keep it in the back of my mind for future use.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Pica is NOT always caused by a deficiency, but it can be. It can also be neurological and might be a side effect from his surgery. But at least the deficiency should be ruled out. tests done a few years ago would not be valid because it could be a recent thing. You also might experiment with essential oils to see if some of those would fill the need instead of things he picks up. I sometimes put a few drops of peppermint and/or eucalyptus oil on a cloth for my kids when they get colds. The rubs with those in them irritate their skin. If you can provide whatever smells he is driven to seek out, or a substitute for them, maybe he would not focus on yucky things? Just another type of sensory input that might help. You can go to health food stores or Whole Foods and they have testers of a lot of essential oils, so you and difficult child could smell them before you buy.

    just fyi, psoriasis is an immune disorder. If it flared once it may again and some people with psoriasis later develop psoriatic arthritis. I have it but a very atypical form. If/when it ever gets bad, there are new medications to treat it. Chances are if it flared when he was young it will at some point in the future. So it is a diagnosis that you will need to keep on all his forms, even if you don't see signs for years. It is a strange, tricky disease.

    As for pica, it just occurred to me because his metabolic problems with medications. He might be getting the right nutrients in his diet but his body might not be able to use the properly. My body refuses to use or make vit D, so I know bodies can do this even though some docs have argued with me over it. But they come around when nothing gets my D levels to rise more than 3 points on their tests.