Connect the Dots

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JJJ, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Why can't difficult children connect the dots???? Some seem to be able to connect A to B, OR, B to C, but rarely can any of them connect A to B to C!!!!

    Eeyore has a list of 12 things he wants. These are all pretty reasonable wants...minutes on his cell phone, a ride to the movies with his girlfriend, etc. A couple are 'bigger'...get his driving permit, get a job, etc. I spent hours creating a contract to allow him to earn each of the items he asked for, we worked on it in family therapy. Eeyore is still frustrated because he didn't "agree to work for those things" and he still just wants to get them cause he thinks he is ready.

    Sadly, Piglet passed him long ago on the "teenager" things she is allowed to do. And Tigger is starting to get more freedom -- because he is showing greater responsibility and maturity than Eeyore. I know it is hard to see your younger siblings getting to do what you want so badly. What I do not get is having a detailed, reasonable list of steps to take to get to do those things and REFUSING to do it. I considered that he wasn't capable of doing the steps -- but that doesn't seem to be the issue, it seems to be more refusal (you can't make me!!).

    Last week, Eeyore tried out for the school volleyball team. Everyone made it and he was excited. He quit today because he wanted to hang out near his girlfriends practice instead of go to his own. Of course, he quit the team!!

    We can see...

    A. Quit the team.
    B. No need to stay after school.
    C. Get picked up at 3pm when I pick up the others.

    Eeyore will not make that connection. In his mind...

    A. Want to hang out near girlfriend's practice.
    B. Quit my team to create freetime
    C. Have parents drive out special to get me whenever I call.

    It cost about $8 in gas to go get him. That would be $40/week and way, way beyond his allowence even if he paid for the gas!!!
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Will his therapist work with this on him?
  3. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Yes, therapist will work with him but she can only see him once a month. The school social worker is good but I think her experience with cognitive distortions is limited. I'm trying to communicate more frequently with her and his awesome IEP case manager.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    difficult child 1 doesn't make the connection either. He's played soccer for 7 years. This year he decided to join Boy Scouts. Ok, no problem.....except he wants to go on ALL the activities they do which is $20 here and $60 there. When I tell him I can't afford something, he complains about ME being so poor....not realizing that he cannot be left alone or even worse, be left with his brother (WWIII?). Soccer registration was due last week and he's decided not to do soccer this year (they have scholarships to help with cost) because he wants to use that money for scouting activities (they do NOT have scholarships). He doesn't realize there is a difference. He wants what he wants and there's no reason why he shouldn't be allowed to. Sorry, now that I read this, I realize I confused myself. Sorry if it confuses you too. Anyway, when you find the answer to their logic and how to change it, let me know. Mine are twins and difficult child 1 totally does not get why difficult child 2 (obsessively responsible) can do things he can't. Every explanation I give him is ME putting him he says. Good luck.
  5. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Honestly, I think that sometimes they "can't" connect the dots because they don't want. Because having to connect those dots means that they might actually have to work towards something and I think that alot of these kids just think that these are things they are owed. I get this with difficult child, too. He has allowance money burning a hole in his pocket and he wants me to take him to the toy store. husband and I tell him that we don't think he has behaved well enough to earn a trip to the toy store, which then turns into a tanturm, and the urns it around by saying that I'm not taking him because I don't love him. Not true. He was give a detailed list of what was expected if he wanted to be taken to the toy store, and none of it was hard. It was all stuff he could easily do if he chose to, but he doesn't want to do it. He just wants me to take him, no matter how good or bad he behaves.

    It's already starting with driving. difficult child will be 13 soon and he keeps talking about how when he's 16 he's going to learn how to drive. I keep telling him that just because he turns 16 does not mean that I have to allow him to get a leaners permit. He needs to prove that he has enough control of his emotions and his anger to be trusted with something that could be turned into a deadly weapon. He says I don't him to learn to drive because I don't love home, which is what I think he says when he knows that I'm right, but won't admit it. He just doesn't get it. I'm starting to wonder if he ever will.
  6. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    easy child/difficult child 3 is almost 18, is a "typical teen," in many ways, and is able to think rationally, that is, when it suits her. She doesn't have a car and since we've moved, isn't on our insurance. Bottom line, she has to depend on us for transportation to and from work. It costs us about $4-$5/day, depending on which car we use. She works an average of 4 days/week. She makes minimum wage. The other day she volunteered to work a short shift, just 2 hours:hammer:. We tried to explain to her that she isn't even making minimum wage given the cost of transportation. in my humble opinion she just doesn't want to "get" it. I don't think that lightbulb moment will hit until she has her own car, has to fill her own tank.

    on the other hand, difficult child 2 will probably never have this sort of lightbulb moment. He is unable to see things from anyone's point of view but his own and seems unable to prioritize his wants. When he was living at home and he wanted something, he had to have whatever he wanted ASAP, didn't matter if I was on the telephone, busy working, preparing dinner, etc... If he didn't get what he wanted, he would "melt."

    When he was calm and I tried to talk to him, he would nod his head and seem to understand. He would repeat back what I told him almost word for word. However, the next time the same sort of issue came up, he would be right back to "melt-down" mode if he didn't get what he wanted. To this day, he wants what he wants when he wants it, end of story. No matter how much his life coach, todoc, etc. try to get him to understand that life doesn't always work this way, it doesn't make a dent in his thought processes.

    Then there is difficult child 1. He acted the same way as difficult child 2, "melting" if he didn't get what he wanted when he wanted it. The big difference was that difficult child 1 did have the capacity to understand things from other people's point of view. He just refused to do so. The world had to revolve around him. He had to be in control of everything and from a very young age always considered husband and I, his teachers, and all other adults as his equals. difficult child 1 learned that he can't always have immediate gratification, and to respect others point of view only after he had been living on his own for awhile.

    I'm glad you have an excellent case manager for Eyeore and hope she can get through to him. If she can, please, please, let me borrow her for difficult child 2, lol... SFR
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I hear you. DS surpassed difficult child with priviledges some time ago....much sooner than I expected. I mean, you could sort of see it coming....but I guess I assumed that difficult child would up her game once she saw her little brother "catching up" with her.

    I do wonder how much of this is "can't" connect the dots and how much is "won't" connect the dots? I have no doubt that there are some concepts that these kids genuinely do not understand....but on the other hand, I do think there are times when they choose not to "get it" in order to get their own way.
  8. Methuselah

    Methuselah New Member

    With my difficult children, the latter is true. They won't follow the logical progression of dots, because the progression puts their truth--their choices and behaviors--as the cause for the consequences in their life. They will do everything and anything to not see their own truth--lie, blame others, gaslight, etc. I have drawn pictures, flow charts, acted things out, etc., and they still won't see it nor accept it. I always ask them, "How's that thinking working for you? Are you getting what you want?" They just stare at me. :-/