Arrgghh!! I really dislike meltdowns

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by KC but no sunshine band, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. Hello all,


    I have been so happy lately... no meltdowns, no issues, stress was down to a minimum. Then, poof... my son decides the last two mornings that he doesn't have to focus to get ready for school; he can take a half an hour or more to get dressed. Yesterday I spoke with him about it and let him know that this was unacceptable. He is very bright and he knows this anyways but likes to push the envelope. (so to speak) This morning we went through the same routine... he took his sweet time getting dressed for school. This leaves him a very small window for eating his breakfast, brushing his teeth, taking his medications, and getting on the bus. When he came downstairs, he took extra time just to figure out which cereal he wanted for breakfast. When I asked him to focus and move quickly, he tried to tell me that he can't help it... "that's the way I am." :hammer: At that point, I told him that I didn't buy his reasoning because it was an excuse. This of course, started a meltdown.... "You NEVER buy my reasons!", he screamed. I told him that if in fact he tells me a valid reason that I do buy them but this was an excuse because I know he is capable of focusing and getting things done more quickly. I also informed him that he was getting a sandwich for lunch today being as he took so long to get ready. He was supposed to have pizza for lunch. He tried begging and pleading but when he found that this wasn't working he went into a full blown rage. That is when he took the cereal box and banged it very hard on the table two or three times while it was open. You've probably guessed by now.... my dining area is showered in Golden Grahams cereal. That finished my patience. I told him that he wasn't getting breakfast now that he had spilled it all over and he had better clean it up. He started to fume some more and I saw another round about to come when I told him that if he didn't do as I said, I would call the bus driver and tell her not to come because he would be walking to school. (I would never do this as his school is across the city-but he believes me and that is what counts at this point) He worked on cleaning up the cereal for about 4 or 5 minutes but due to time restraints, I told him to get his shoes on and take his medications. By the time the bus had arrived, he was ready and eating toast that he took with him on the bus. He had settled down and seemed to be ok. :crazy2:

    Now I am left with the mess in the kitchen and the emotional emptiness. (For just having a full night's sleep, I am drained already and could easily crawl back into bed) To make matters worse, I have to work the evening shift tonight and won't be able to follow through with him tonight.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I feel I did the right things but YIKES! :faint: This takes so much out of us as parents.
    Sorry this is such a long post.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I know the feeling! You just stand there and it's so draining. A good night's sleep does help, in the long run, though. Sigh.

    I guess, armchair quarterbacking here, knowing that he was dawdling, I wouldn't have said anything back when he said, "I can't help it--that's the way I am." You fed into it by saying that was an excuse. It's hard to know that at the time, but clearly, by dawdling, something was not clicking and he was ready for some antics. For your part, it's like walking on ice. You have to be on the lookout for cues.
    I'm glad he didn't call your bluff about walking to school, LOL!

    We're now working with-my son on only giving him 2 warnings for everything, and then facing natural consquences. The hard part is keeping our mouths shut. So far, for a week, he has gotten up for school every day and out the door on time, but he's pretending he can go to bed whenever he wants, and that wasn't part of the program. We talk at the child psychiatric's ofc, and by the time we come home, difficult child has his own rendition of what the plan is. Sigh. Next time, we write it down and have him sign it!

    Can you call your difficult child from work and follow through that way? What is your plan? (IOW, what would it be if you were home?) Can you remove his video games or whatever you do, beforehand? Can husband pinch hit for you?

    Good luck!
  3. ShakinThingzUp

    ShakinThingzUp New Member


    The only suggestion I can think of is rather than deal with everything as he does it to see if there's anything you can do to prevent it from happening.

    Help him lay out his clothes the night before, have a hand in fixing his lunch the night before, etc. If these are done the night before it may cut down on some of the time he is wasting.

    As for responses..... in the "heat of the moment" I am quick to respond back as I shouldn't (the temper in me) but usually I can look back and think of a better way to respond... perhaps, when he says "That's just the way that I am," you could say "Well, what do you think we can do to change 'the way that you are'?"

    Give him a chance to help with the solution? Sometimes making them feel like they have a bit of control over the situation (when they really don't) helps them feel better about behaving.

    God Bless!
  4. KateM

    KateM Member

    My son has alot of difficulty focusing in the mornings before his medications kick in. He takes Concerta as soon as he wakes,but it doesn't start to take effect for 30-60 minutes.

    When he was younger and dawdling was more of an issue, we had him choose his breakfast the night before.Having time after he was completely ready for school to watch TV or check his emails was an incentive for him to get ready quickly.

    It's hard on everybody when the day gets off to a rough start. Hope the rest of your day is better!
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Have you tried giving him his medications before he gets out of bed? My friend used to do that -- she'd semi-wake her son, have him swallow and let him go back to sleep for another 30 minutes. It really helped with morning routines.

    For my daughter, it was a timer. Things were pretty much set up and agreed upon the night before. In the morning, it was a timer was turned on to give her 20 minutes to eat breakfast and brush her teeth; 10 minutes to get dressed (no way could she put on clothes and then eat -- clothes would not be clean); etc. If something was not completed when the timer when off, I'd just hope she had time to finish it after other things were done. She was known to go to school in slippers or pj tops and jeans; hair uncombed; teeth not brushed; cold breakfast at recess time. It was her choice if she was ready or not. I didn't bother arguing with her about it. I simply would tell her the timer had gone off and it was time to do the next thing. If she hurried, she'd have time to finish up the last item. Oddly, she still more or less works on the timer theory -- she will state when something will be done and that's that.

    Good luck! I'd do almost anything (including tape my mouth shut) to avoid morning meltdowns.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I wholeheartedly agree that choosing everything you can the night before is the key to an easier morning.

    But that is for tomorrow.

    Don't buy more expensive cereal he likes this time around. Teh next box should be corn flakes or something cheap and boring because he spilled it all over.

    Also, if you have cleaned it up, PUT IT BACK!! If this is worth the fight (and we all know sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't) then leave the cereal all over and have HIM clean it up before he gets dinner. Natural consequences.

    IF the battle over that, or the anxiety for you, is too great, then don't worry this time. Sweep it up, go on about your day. I have done both, depending on how stable the child was and how much I could handle.

    If I don't have things ready the night before, I jsut don't cope in the am, so I kind of understand.


  7. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with the other posters about giving medications before your son gets out of bed. We give difficult child his medications about 30 min before he's supposed to get up. By the time he's up and around the medications have kicked in and things are smoother.

    Breakfast is scheduled and timed. Breakfast option is chosen the night before and written on difficult child's schedule for the next day, so that there's less faffing about first thing in the morning. One thing we have done is to limit the number of choices for breakfast. E.g. you can have cereal (we only keep one kind on hand at a time) or toast with butter.

    Hope things settle down. Hugs.