Does He Think This Is A Threat?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We were at my in-laws this afternoon to see father in law for his birthday. While we were there difficult child was acting like his normal, annoying self. Wants to be the center of mother in law's attention. Gets annoyed when she wants to sit and talk with husband and me. Keeps telling me that he wants to go home. When are we going home? I told him that if he wanted to walk home I would give him my key to the house and he could walk home. No, that's not what he wants. He wants ALL of us to go home. husband tells him that we're not ready to go home. Finally he plops himself down, practically on top of mother in law, and says he wants her to scratch his back, but he doesn't say it as nicely as that. That's keeps him mostly quiet for about half an hour. Eventually he pulls her slipper off of her feet and throws it across the room. I say, "difficult child, stop doing that!" That completely sets him off. I have to learn that he's joking around and I have to be nicer to him. On and on about how everything is my fault. mother in law tries to get his attention, but he just looks at her and and says, "Stop!! I'm dealing with mom." So, husband and I say it's time to go home. He says that he's not leaving. husband, easy child and I pack up and leave. About 10 minutes later mother in law calls to tell me that difficult child is walking home. He told her to drive him home (we live around the corner and down the block from them, so it's a realatively short walk from there to her) and she said no, that she would not. If he wanted to ask father in law if he would drive him him, that was fine, but she wasn't going to. So, he walked.

    He gets in the door. I was reading a book. He walks in and says to me, "You can't even say hi?" I looked up and said, "Hi." That didn't go over well. He then started in again about how I have to learn to let him joke around and I have to learn to be nice. Everything was about me and how it's all my fault. The best was when he said to me that if I didn't learn to be nicer to him he was going to start cursing at me and then dad would be mad at me because dad would know that it's all my fault.

    Does he think that I take that as a threat? I laughed.
  2. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Sounds like my spectrum difficult child. Tries to rationalize, but has a totally different way of looking at a situation than a typical person.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    sounds very very familiar....................
  4. llamafarm

    llamafarm Member

    No kidding.. oh so familiar. I love the non-logical (at least to me) threats... when I think rationally about them later.
  5. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I feel so sorry for you! Doesn't matter how you look at it, its still embaressing!
    We had exactly the same situation 2 weeks ago with mother in law.....:(
    My son wanted all mother in law attention.....started well, but as his inappropriate way of seeking attention increased the more she focussed on sweat little brother who was doing all the right moves, smiling, hugging, kissing.....
    So after it really started escalating....spitting, showing inappropriate signs to me, exct....I became quiet and withdrown...mother in law read it as I dont want her tocisit, she excused herself saying she is justa bother to us....bla bla feeling like a pig.....
    And dear difficult child not having a slightest clue wat he did that was so bad!!!!!
    So today is Sunday again...the day we envite mother in law to have tea....but I cant go through that again! And its out of the question to go and visit her....because he finds it boring, gets all grumpy, needs me to entertain him outside ALL THE TIME!
    So, yes....I know how you feel! I really dont know what to do or how to handle this in the future!!!!!?????
  6. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Lovelyboy, can your family (with- mother in law) do an activity that is difficult child centered (since it becomes that way anyway and what he is craving)? Or can you visit mother in law without difficult child, so she gets the attention she wants?
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    It's not a terrible idea, but then I ask why do things have to be difficult child centered? If things are always difficult child centered they are ALWAYS going to expect to be the center of attention and life just does not work that way.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Bunny -
    We made our life completely difficult child-centred for about 5 years.
    It took that long... to get to the bottom of everything AND start finding answers.
    Now? If you didn't know better, you'd never guess he's a difficult child - and certainly not in "friendly circles" like family and friends.
    But... it depends on what you're starting with... what your gut-feel is on dxes, etc., whether doctors. agree yet or not. Because... for some kinds of dxes, this approach DOES backfire.

    (sorry - no easy answer, but... thought I'd toss the perspective out there)
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    This is just my personal opinion here, but I think that if things are ALWAYS difficult child centered, then easy child loses out. Why can't easy child ever be the center of attention? Or me? Or husband? Or one of the cousins? I understand why making life difficult child centered can work, but I just think that in the end it might cause more problems that it was worth.
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I only have one kid, but I get what you are saying. I imagine it depends on how you define it too. I mean, there are some things that in the homes of any person with a disability are going to be permanently changed (difficult child centered I guess) as a family system. One is not going to allow foods or animals that can cause allergic reactions etc. One is not going to do sudden transitions if it is well known that their neurological system can't handle it and it would cause epic issues that make life no fun for anyone, one is not going to talk in long complicated sentences when communicating about things that difficult child is to be included on....

    But, within those parameters, the activities chosen and the focus of the activity does need to rotate. I have many shopping trips where we buy gifts for others and Q is NOT allowed to buy anything. It is about the person we are going to celebrate with. When at their party (family usually) he can do what calms in a separate room during singing etc.... but he can't dictate when we sing.

    I dont know if that even applies to any of this, but I do think it is important to teach them to their ability, that we need to consider other people. All the while honoring the fact that there are genuine limitations and things we must arrange for, and that is not their fault or selfishness on their part. Disabled people do need extra time and care and consideration. It just is that way. Managing that without teaching them to feel entitled is tricky. easy child's and other people in general do need attention, their feelings are every bit as important. Balancing that all out, I can't imagine being a parent to one. I dont envy you.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I understand EXACTLY where you are coming from...

    When difficult child was around 9, the therapist we were working with at the time suggested making difficult child the center of everything...that she would be happiest if we gave her the first, the largest and the best of everything (and this was suggested right in front of our then 6-year-old DS). IOW - if we were serving ice cream, we needed to be sure to give difficult child the largest bowl and make sure to give it to her first. THEN, and only then, would difficult child be assured of our love because then (in difficult child's mind) everything would "be as it should be".

    I STILL think that therapist is nuts.

    To my way of thinking, that sets DS up for a lifetime of being "not as good" or "not as important" as his sister. To have him always sacrifice the time, attention, activities and playthings in deference to difficult child's wants and needs. (And there's enough of that happening by default as it is).

    difficult child, like it or not, cannot expect to be the center of everything all the time. That's just life.
  12. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Isn't difficult child the center of negative attention anyway? I think we think we are getting our message of "the world does not revolve around you" across to our difficult child's, but honestly, in some cases our thinking is wrong. Some of our difficult child's are egocentric and whether we like it or not they will be until their brains have reached a level of maturity/understanding. So, it really can become a battle or accomodations can be made to make the experiences better for everyone. For many of our kids this is not a lifestyle choice, their disability prevents them taking the perspective of others. Now, I have to say, I feel and react in the same ways at times- it seems that if my boundaries are clear enough and I am consistent that my difficult child will learn, but so far~not so much with the learning about "others first".
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I agree. And in many ways, when you have a difficult child in the family, you do a lot of accomodating as a matter of course...

    I think it gets tough when you are also trying to teach other children about being "fair" and "taking turns" and the usual lessons of childhood.

    Here's an example from our home:

    In order to appease difficult child - she must be the "winner" of every game (any game, it doesn't matter).

    DS has learned that if he wants to play a game with difficult child, he MUST let difficult child win.
    For difficult child, this is "as it should be"....

    but DS doesn't like always having to be the "loser",
    So most of the time, DS chooses not to play with difficult child at all.
    This makes difficult child angry.
    DS has learned to walk away and lock himself in his bedroom when she is angry.

    So the "accomodation" of always letting difficult child be the "winner" does not actually work out to keep difficult child appeased - it just keeps DS locked in his bedroom.
    Meanwhile, difficult child is angry that he will not play games with her.

    So while in the short run, these things look like they are working - in the long run, it's a lose-lose.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  14. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Daisy, I really think we are parenting twins!! LOL!!

    That happens in our house, too. When difficult child and easy child play together it's ALWAYS by difficult child's rules. easy child is never allowed to make up any rules to whatever game they are playing. Sometimes, easy child doesn't want to play by difficult child's rules and he'll walk away, which almost always leaves difficult child screaming. So, in cases like that, the idea of making our house difficult child-centered backfires in all of us. easy child has to lock himself away in his room to get away from difficult child, difficult child winds up having a screaming fit because he can't get his way, and I am the lucky parent having to try to restore calm.

    We're going to have to deal with this in the next fews months. easy child receives his first communion at the end of April and, like we did with difficult child, we're planning a big party for him. Now, I've already started prepping difficult child that it's easy child's big day. That he had his big day when he recieved communion and that he will have his own big day again int he fall when he receives confirmation. His answer to me was that easy child is an "idiot who doesn't deserve a big day" all to himself. Now, whether he's just saying that to push my buttons or whether that is something that he really believes, I don't know. But, it's just another level of anxiety to add on top the anxiety that I already have to deal with. Honestly, I worry that he will do something to spoil easy child's day because easy child will be the center of attention on that day.

    difficult children are the center of attention more than they realize, and it's usually for all the wrong reasons. difficult child families are difficult child centered, whether it's be design or not. I just don't think that it has to be something like what was suggested to Daisy. difficult child gets the best and brightest of everything. That's only going to burn them in the end because the rest of the world is not going to do it and they won't be equipped to handle suddenly not being the center of everyon's universe.
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yes, I agree....that is what I was kind of saying too, there are some disability related things that we have to accept and slowly work on in a skill building way if it is at all possible. But in DF's example.....
    I would have to agree.... and certainly talk like that should NOT be in front of a child. UGGGG.

    If I had a hypothetical ice cream issue like that, my kid can't wait...wants it first, worried about not getting any or whatever his issues are..... I maybe-one option-- would have it dished up before any kids even came in... that is a way to reduce his anxiety and NOT make him the center of the universe. There is a balance, but it is sure not easy to find especially in the heat of a not so fun moment.
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    It's so funny that you mention this. That's EXACTLY how we handle serving desserts or snacks in our house. The dishes are all prepared and placed at everyone's "spot" before the kids are allowed into the kitchen. I don't know how anyone else handles serving dessert - but this is what we had to work out to keep the peace in our house.

    Is that a necessary accomodation? Yes.

    Does it make difficult child the center of the universe? No.
  17. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Hmm, I don't know if my posts are being misinterpreted. My original response was not to DF (it was to another poster within this thread) regarding a more difficult child centered activity (instead of tea with grandma). This was said not to make the whole world revolve around the difficult child, but to possibly have an activity that didn't alienate grandma and frustrate everyone else. My difficult child is coping with the fact that even though he begs his brothers to play with him, the brothers have learned not to because of difficult child's self-centered behavior. Another instance was that school did accomodate my difficult child by letting him go first in every line, especially the lunch line...then we went to a family camp where at least one child in every family has a disabilty, when difficult child insisted on being first there he was not allowed because everyone had trouble waiting.
  18. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I didn't think your response was to me specifically, but I did think you had a very good point. Sometimes in order to have any peace at all - accomodations MUST be made that account for the fact that a difficult child often does not possess the skills necessary to cooperate and take turns.
  19. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    That's it exactly, DF. :)
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Which is why we ended up not playing "games" at all... we found other activities that didn't involve "turns" or "who goes first" - like playing music together (not quite a "band" but that kind of idea)... things that were totally cooperative, rather than competitive. (it helps if the kids have a bit of musical talent...)