Don't wake the butterfly, or you'll set off WWIII

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by PlainJane, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    Sorry for the dramatic title...
    But I feel like everything with difficult child is part of the butterfly effect :/

    He and little brother were done playing toy cars and I asked them to clean up, fully aware I was waking the butterfly...
    My little guy, who is almost 21 months, starts to clean up. (What a new experience my second child has been)

    difficult child starts saying "I will never clean up. WHen you tell me to clean up, I will never clean up, I hate you, you're bad...Of course this gets louder and louder. I do hand over hand, and "help" him to clean. If I don't do this, he will drag the situation long enough for my little guy to clean up all the toys. I've been doing hand over hand for clean up, something suggested by his therapists when he was 2, since he was 2...and we've gone from it causing complete physical melt downs with hitting and kicking, to just verbally abusive language now. Yeah for progress.

    But long story short, it doesn't end when we are done cleaning. It just snow balls, as now he is looking to take his anger out. Fast forward an hour later, and the pooh has hit the fan. UGH!! All because he was asked to clean up a few cars. I know kids don't like to clean up, but this is ridiculous!!

    And I am starting to worry that my little guy shouldnt be seeing this display of behavior. I notice my younger son is watching more and more, almost in confusion and fright that my son explodes at such small requests...

    I just hate when I think to myself that asking difficult child to clean up/ put on his hat/ any random request that this little request is going to set off a huge problem....and now with my younger one, I am starting to see how a typical child would behave...

    No point to this post. Just venting!!:fantasysmiley:
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    What was difficult child doing when you said to pick up? Did you give him a "time warning" or 2 before he was expected to pick up? Change of mindset is very hard on our kids. Giving "countdowns" has helped tremendously with difficult child 1. If he is in the middle of a game when I ask, he will (only recently) ask if he can wait till he's done with that level or game or whatever (natural break). I always tell him that's fine as long as he does it AS SOON AS it's finished, no going on until my requested task is done. Interrupting what he's doing without warning and expecting him to stop immediately to do it is a big no, no.

    As for little guy, let him go do something else (have a special snack for picking up) somewhere else (another room) after he's done picking up 1/2 of the mess. That rewards little guy for doing the right thing, gets him out of the way, AND lets difficult child know what CAN happen if he complies (even if it is hand-over-hand). Reward the task, not the process when it comes to difficult child.

    Don't know if any of that will help but it's what came to mind.
  3. PlainJane

    PlainJane Every dog has his day....

    Thank you for your response and advice. We've been doing all those things, especially warnings. It just seems difficult child must argue everything. Warnings do soften the blow sometimes, but sometimes it seems nothing helps.
    Good idea to get my younger son out of the situation. I often get caught up in difficult child and his behavior, and I forget to remove my younger son, then when all is simmering down I see the younger one just standing there taking it all in.
    One day at a time right? lol easy for me to say when they are both sleeping!
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I LOVE it when my kids are both sleeping. I can breathe and think all at the same time. I just thought by doing those things with little guy can play a three-fold part. Remove the audience, reward compliance, show difficult child a benefit. Hope it works.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Does he need to clean up all of the toys since this is such a huge battle? What about doing a "backwards chain " sort of a behavioral approach.... the visual field and change of activity (since we know he has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)) may be overwhelming. Can you pick up all but six toys...then you take turns picking up the last six... mommy one... difficult child one.... mommy two...difficult child two... mommy three, difficult child three yeah yeah yeah!!! These kinds of tasks (more than for verbal or social exchanges) do have good supportive research for using more strict behavioral methods...not in a mean way, just in a do it (not a huge pressured thing) and get an immediate reward even if it is the classic m&M.... you may not need to take turns...maybe just do three then after a week five then add as time goes and his frustration tolerance builds/allows. But it can often be easier to do this than to say you only have to pick up five...and after mom or brother pick up the rest, does that make sense? the amount that is there to work on might just be too much for now.

    A first/then visual can help too.... I used to always have a white board that I morphed into whatever my son needed..I brought it everywhere...even fast food restaurants.... It said 1. FIRST............ 2. THEN and under it I drew lame pics but he got it or had velcro pics I stuck on it (a loop strip was there already) so I could say...first, eat....then play

    first pick up, then treat or movie or story or whatever more preferred activity you can think of.

    COuld be a bust but just throwing it out there I have seen it work with LOTS of kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in home and in school....
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    When I was growing up, we had a BIG toybox, and... kid-sized shovels.
    We SHOVELED them in.
    It was WAY faster, and WAY more fun.

    Depending on your kid(s) - some kids HATE it, the rest LOVE it - you can make up a "clean up song".
    Pick a simple kids' song - like twinkle-twinkle, or mary had a little lamb - any of those.
    Then come up with words related to clean-up.
    I think she used "this is the way we..." and changed the verses to clean-up verses.
    ... wash our hands
    ... stack our toys
    ... etc.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would seriously worry that the younger son would be watching the older one and think he can mimic these behaviors. You dont want that. Maybe you need to send in the younger one to pick up his small amount of toys and then bring him out and reward him for doing his job. If the older one refuses, try some of the other tricks or just plain take his part of the toys and have them disappear until he is willing to pick them up. you can always keep the boys separate and let the younger one play alone until the older one wants to learn to pick up his toys.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    RE: taking his toys as DJ said...

    Once I knew that Q had the ability to clean (he really would pick things up and not see all of it... he had visual field issues for a while and we worked with a vision therapist) I did do that...

    I gave him till X time on a visual timer (and now i just say if not done by whatever time and he knows the time...might be by X TV show he wanted to watch....

    THEN it is MY turn. I use a black bag and pick up everything in the defined area. (by the way, I dont do this in front of him.... I do not pick fights or get angry and grab everything while yelling at him though it IS tempting at times... Once he goes to school or is on to another thing... I do my cleaning and it happens then) It all goes in the bag. I put it in my closet which is out of bounds to him. Once he starts cleaning... we can earn things back...(sometimes he can do other things to earn some back, just depends) .... Give a chance to really learn the pattern though even if he can clean he may have issues right now that are interfering so work through those first to help and then once he shows he can do it without falling apart you can consequence. I will say that if a consequence does not result in improved behavior over time, then it is likely that as most of us find out in such situations, he does not have all of the skills needed to do the task, behavior, or whatever it is you are working on.

    Cleaning takes far more than just doing it... like you said, he can do it hand over hand. maybe even on his own under certain situations. But if you look at all of the issues that often affect kids with autism (transitions, frustration tolerance, following directions issues, being overwhelmed etc...) you may need to work on those other issues too. I suspect he has other times he is very non compliant for similar reasons???? So, working on those things can spread to other times that you tell him what to do.

    In any method, like the hand over hand thing, if it does not produce results then it is time to move on to another plan. when people write plans for my son I schedule a review of the data every three weeks. It is amazing how people will just keep going with a plan just because they worked so hard to set it up and trained to do it or they just get in the routine of doing it that way. But when they finally come six months later and say it didn't work I about go nuts so now I put time lines in all of our plans.

    Have you read the explosive child or what your explosive child is trying to tell you? One other thing I was thinking is to ask yourself if this is one of the baskets (behavior groups put into "baskets") you are ready to work on? Once you make a list of ALL of the behaviors that are concerning and then put them into groups/priorities and then start working on them little by little.... it really can make a difference.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I found making clean up a game worked best with Wiz. "I can throw this in the box and make a LOUD clatter. I bet you can't!" and then he would "compete" to see who could make the most or loudest noise or whatever. Of course only with durable things, but it took the task from "clean up" which was NEVER met with a positive anything, to a "I can do it better and have more fun" thing. That is what got to Wiz - he had to be the most whatever.

    Then when he was about seven I learned that while he knew all the Barney songs, and had little siblings who still loved them, he loathed them. He also has ALWAYS hated it when I sang. I don't sing well. He hears in perfect pitch. Even as an infant he would cry inconsolably if I sang. Not with the radio or cd's or if husband sang, but if Mommy sang. So I used favorite story books said in a sing-songish chant when others sang lullabies. But if we needed to clean and he wouldn't? I broke out in Barney or Blue's Clues songs.

    When he was in jr high and being a brat at school, we told him that if he did not start doing what was expected (like not running a black market in office supplies he pilfered from teachers) , then husband and/or I would start using the school PA system to sing Barney songs dedicated to him. School thought it was AWESOME and totally would have let us sing to the whole school. ANY time, lol. They actually used the same thing wtih a few other kids who were misbehaving and had parents who liked creative problem solving (what the vice principal called it).

    Your son is too young to use Barney as a punishment, most likely. But there may be some way to use this at some point.

    Just don't EVER say it if you won't follow through with it. That is the kiss of death with a difficult child. You HAVE to get up and do what you said you would.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I try to remove easy child from the situation when difficult child starts throwing a fit. First of all, it's not something that easy child needs to witness. Second, I don't want him to copy difficult child's behavior. If you can bring your younger child into another room I think that would be your best bet.

    I understand all about those sleeping butterflies. So pretty, until you wake them!
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, my ! So sorry, Kimmie.

    You've gotten some great ideas and advice here. I concur.

  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I love the title of your thread. It is how I feel about difficult child so often!