reasoning, poor thing.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
So last night we were outside letting the girls get some fresh air, they were riding there bikes on the driveway. The neighbor boy comes over on his bike, then gets his little motorized tractor... so they ride for about 30 minutes, while we are talking to his Mom. They all take off to his house, a few minutes late girls come back and difficult child 1 is very animated and says "Can I play at Davies house?" It was 6:30 and they are still recovering and difficult child is not allowed on playdates by herself yet. (I have tried to explain this to her before about safety, her medications, etc) She starts getting elevated and saying no... we tell her she can walk him home and come right back, his Mom sends her home. Trying to help.
Anyway this little scene sends difficult child into a day and half "thing", she has been cycling anyway pretty bad lately, it has been up early mania, quickly down, up again... so today she is up early on a tirade about the tooth fairy where is her present? Then yelling about where is her prize from me? Meanwhile I am still groggy and trying to decipher it all, figure it out, try to explain her weekly "Good Job" card comes at the end of the week sometimes... starts yelling at me sobbing, runs into her room slams door... sinks into depression, lays with husband later, amps back up starts back on the why can't I have play dates? Why don't I have any friends? She is sobbing hysterically, It takes me forever to get her back down... this goes on again... I take her to the park later and she ends up following a girl much younger than her, keeps saying "hi" to everyone, is like a stalker... wants to be someones friend so bad. I have to keep redirecting her and she is getting mad and elevated and angry, yelling at me "I just want a friend" "why doesn't anyone like me?" Then she goes on about how she "Needs a boyfriend and she needs more than a friend, a boyfriend!" "I am old enough" Ugh.

This has happened before, the whole time I am trying to help her and her sister, who is angry also... it just rips my heart out. I want her to have friends, she is so out going and happy, she love everyone, but she is overbearing. and a bit immature.
She is so socially unaware at times.
I am not able to let her go by herself yet, due to her age, instability, medication instability and we don't know anyone near by who "gets it".
And she has been on the Buspar for about 12 days now and we are seeing nothing!!!

I hate this... how do you explain this to your kids and deal with this...
I have tried everything to find a social group for her...


Have you tried role-playing? Maybe check out some of the books on social skills training. They may be more geared towards the autistic kids, but you'll find some useful strategies.

I know it's hard. When easy child was 3 we lived in an area where there just weren't kids his age. He was really into the Winnie the Pooh at the time and would say, "I wish I had a friend like Christopher Robin." It's heartbreaking.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
You could be describing N at 5 yrs old. :slap: (just add ages from there lmao)

Are they positive you're not dealing with bipolar? Or is it her age that has them referring to it as just a mood disorder? Maybe the abilify needs to be increased to help level out her moods.

Sorry she's doing the yo yo thing. I know how draining that can be.



Mom? What's a difficult child?
We have done the role playing it all depends on her cycling... I have all of these little social skills cards and stories... somedays it helps others. nothing.
Yes she is BiPolar (BP)... it is all because of the DSM. They are waiting until puberty or whatever, she has the ultra-ultra-rapid-cycling which made her psychiatrist not want to give her the diagnosis yet. Until she is "stable" with her BiPolar (BP)...
Thanks guys...


T, when do you talk next with the psychiatrist? Her Abilify dose is probably not high enough, and in my humble opinion Buspar may not be enough to touch this level of anxiety (a lot of docs refer to Buspar as an "anxiety-lite" medication). From your description, it really sounds as if she could use a mood stabilizer (I know you've talked to the psychiatrist about it and she's reluctant, but the time may have come).

I understand how heartbreaking it is to watch difficult child 1 try to make friends, but I'm not sure all the interventions in the world will work until you get her stable medication-wise. Having lived through some of this with my kids (who albeit were older when it started), the goal was to keep them calm until the medications kicked in. No other expectations, because honestly, they couldn't handle much of anything else.

In easy child's case, she gets very insistent on having playdates, too. It is kind of a need for instant gratification to alleviate the pain of her anxiety and depression. So we arrange short playdates here. Is there anyway the neighbor boy would play at your house while you and his mom visit over coffee? That might solve the problem of difficult child insisting on playing at his house?

Sorry you're still struggling. It ain't easy. Hope you get some answers about the medications soon. Hugs.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Poor little one....kt still has some of those same issues, as does wm. Social skills & getting on with peers, in my humble opinion, is one of the last things learned for our difficult children.

Makes for lonely young ones. All I can offer is role playing - practicing & modeling friendship. The give & take.

My heart is breaking for your little one. Pixie has the same issues.

Maybe we could move IL closer to ID, and they could play together?



Well-Known Member
My son was sort of like that when he was little. He'd say "hi" to everyone, but didn't really know how to play. Has your child ever been assessed by a neuropsychologist for maybe high functioning autism/Aspergers? These kids don't get social skills, and need specific training and interventions. It isn't something they learn by watching others or in the conventional ways. They do have low frustration levels, sensory issues, and other kids see them as "weird." Sometimes it can even seem like bipolar cycling when it's not, and sometimes/often kids have both. My Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified son was misdiagnosed with bipolar, but it sounds like your little one has lots of moodswings. Mine had bad tantrums as a kid, obsession (when he gets an idea in his head, he can't get rid of it so we hear about it non-stop, which can lead to crying even now) and other quirky behaviors. He was on Buspar for a while. It didn't really do anything for him. I think he was on it to try to help him sleep, but it was a long time ago and his list of medications is so long I keep forgetting all of them. He's actually better off medications and on interventions.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Thanks everyone, It sounds pretty common for our g'sfg. But it is still hard to watch and listen to.
MidwestMom- Her nuero-psychiatric evaluation was pretty intense, 10 hours and he felt very strongly that she was not on the spectrum... as did her psychiatrist in Chicago... I don't know? I have also read that Early Onset Bi-Polar (EOBP) can look and mimic autism a lot.. If I could get her in a class or social group even if it was autism based at this point I would.

Thanks so much


New Member
i know it is hard! my heart breaks for my son when he comes home and asks why his friends don't play with-him anymore at recess.(his agression has just skyrocketed since dec).

he has trouble recognizing social skills and just doesn't get it when i try to explain. he just keeps say "why do you change the subject to when i am bad?" not realizing that when he acts out he scares his friends.

i wish there was an answer. i just hope that the therapy helps.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
It is so hard for our difficult children-mine wants to be everyone's friend. If he meets them once he considers them a friend. When we go to the pool in the summer and he meets someone I feel bad because he doesn't get sometimes that they don't want to hang out with him.


New Member
I had similar issues with my youngest. when he started on Abilify in 2nd grade it did help a lot. but he still has the frustration tolerance of a peanut.

Just one thought, since it sounds like you are already doing evertyhing and then some to deal with it.

If you are going to go the sticker chart route, do it on a day by day basis. Even that may be too long. Also take a good look at whether it is just upping hte anxiety and frustration or whether you think it is doing any good. We gave it up, then once our kids were medicated ok they have been more amenable to consequences, rewards etc. May not be worth it right now. I am not sure they work too well with our types of kiddos.

When do you go back and see the psychiatrist?

hang in there.


New Member
Sending children this age with these kinds of problems can be stressful, I am sure. The one thing that comes to my mind is trying the "group" playdates, where the parents are all there and the kids all play together. This is a good way to ease your daughter into the scene and still be there to intervene if things start to get hairy. Also, it is a great way to get some free time and be able to have somewhat of a social life. You get a chance to socialize with the other mothers while the kids play, and if you can get them to understand your child's problems at this age, then if you remain close with them as the children grow up, they are more likely to become part of your support group. It is nice to have friends that you don't have to explain your child to, and also nice to have people around that you don't have to defend yourself or justify things to. Also, if most of the kids are around the same age, they will be in school together, and already being comfortable with your difficult child's personality, they are much more likely to be understanding and considerate of her as they get older than some of the other kids in class who don't know what it's like to try to interact with a "difficult" playmate.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
I do believe she might need her Abilify upped and I really feel she needs a Mood Stabilizer NOW! This has been a horrible couple of weeks... we go back on the 18th. husband is going with me this time.
The sticker charts rewards etc don't really seem to have much affect... she is just so unstable. She want to be a good girl so bad, but is incapable of any consistant behavior... It is funny her pre-school teacher sees no problem at school. Yet difficult child feels alone. The kids like her, yet she has formed no connections. Her teacher doesn't really get it. Because difficult child is nice and tries hard, she is perfect! She doesn't see the social problems. I have sat and watched and observed...difficult child all alone. Or playing by herself, yet with the kids, all over the place not making sense half the time.

As far as play dates if I had a group to play with, we would be playing... part of the problem with 2 g'sfg is all of the appointments... instabilities, let alone finding someone who I can trust, who understands, that I could be friends with, and their child meshes with mine... the list goes on.
She has a play date once a week with one of her oldest friends. But as they get older their differences are becoming painfully aparent... She needs kids that will be kind to her at this point. Bottom line most people are afraid of mental illness... and they know something is different about her.
It is just good to hear that she is not the only one. I know she will find a friend, but even when she does I don't think it will be enough!!!LOL


New Member
I wish, as someone else did already too, that you were closer, and our children could play together! I have a 5.5 yo and she loves making new friends and she is extremely tolerant and accepting of other's needs and preferences, well, most others except her sisters!!!! It surprises me how much she can adapt her own agenda to fit those of the children she plays with, no matter how difficult it may be. She is DEFINITELY a difficult child-in-training though, I think she has a mood disorder of some kind, but I have been hesitating to get her started in the mental health system yet, simply because it already seems that it consumes so much of our life to go through it with one, that I can't imagine the stress to have two of them with all the medications to keep straight, appointments to get to, and etc.

When I first came here, there were a few things that I always thought and found out that they were not the case. First thing was, I thought that our difficult child was on an awful lot of medication for her age, and I just KNEW there was something wrong with that picture.... however, since I have been here, I have seen the cocktail of medications that some of the others' children are taking, and I finally realized that she isn't alone! I also realized, through paying close attention to some things, that our difficult child probably IS improperly medicated, but it isn't because she is taking too much, it is because she is taking the wrong kind. The second thing was that I thought that my 5 yo easy child was too young to be exhibiting signs of such extreme disorders that young, and that maybe I was just not doing things right on the parenting spectrum...then I find out that she isn't alone either! Many parents here have younger children that are being treated and medicated for truly diagnosis'd disorders just as the older ones are, and that has been comforting to me.