family reunion coming up need advice

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Liahona, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I and my sister both have difficult child's. difficult child 1 is more violent and sneaky. Hers is more defiant and sensory problems. He is also half difficult child 1's age. We're both worried about this family reunion coming up. Both our kids need very specific rules, but not the same rules. For example, difficult child 1 needs no touching, no rough housing. Hers thrives on rough housing and hard touch because of his sensory issues. These boys are like oil and water. The rest of the family says they are willing to help my sister. These are the same family members though that ridicule me for how I parent. Then there are the rest of my kids who have been traumatized by difficult child 1 and if his rules aren't followed they aren't going to feel safe. If anyone has any advice I'd really appreciate it. How have you had a family reunion with multiple difficult children from different families?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing you don't have the option we've always taken... we just don't go. It isn't worth it, for my family. There is just no way to provide the correct atmosphere and controls, in the midst of that much chaos - and the need for rules that are totally opposite for others... just doesn't fly.

    Maybe somebody else has done it and lived??
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Unfortunately, everyone is coming from out of state to our state. If we don't go when we're only an hour away when others are coming from across the country I would never be forgiven.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Wicked catch 22 isn't it? If difficult children or even pcs act out you also may never be forgiven.

    Can you keep him close to you or husband and coach him and family members through? Have a quick escape plan. Doesn't have to be the whole family, but just you or husband taking difficult child out as quickly as possible if things start to escalate.

    Fortunately I don't have this problem.
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Could you hire a trained sitter? Maybe one that works through respite care? Or if you don't have a trained person to shadow difficult child 1, maybe hire a regular sitter for your other easier kids and you and husband shadow difficult child 1?
    I really cannot come up with lots of ideas...
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    We have calm down room. (Grandma's room.) And I could ask my (other) sister to watch the other kids. I'll have to explain to her that they won't know what to do about rough housing and to remove them. And difficult child 2's bathroom schedule. And his fascination with water (there will be a pool.) I could pawn Buster and Elsie off on my cousins. Then I could watch difficult child 1 and remove him when he starts to escalate. We'll probably spend lots of time in the rooms in front of electronics. But its only for 2 days. Thanks guys.

    Oh Keista, in my family boys can do no wrong. One of the reasons my family thinks I'm nuts. To them its ok for a boy to be abusive to the rest of the family. If difficult child 1 goes off the deep end the family will cover it up and pretend nothing happened. I have a problem with this. One of the girls do something wrong though and she is evil, unrighteous, and going to hell.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'll be thinking of you and wishing you well! It sounds like a very tough situation. ((((hugs))))
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Does difficult child 1 want to go? With it being so close, could you arrange for him to join you just for some of the time?
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Travis couldn't rough house because someone would get hurt, and he has no "off" switch. (super human strength and never realized when he was hurting someone)

    While there weren't other difficult children in husband's family as far as kids their age (thank heaven), there were Travis and Nichole..........and that was enough. Although Nichole could usually hold it together quite nicely for such long as she and Travis were basically kept at a distance. Rough housing was NOT allowed period, in any form by my kids and I didn't give a darn who didn't like it or though I was mean about it. Mine had strict rules to follow or the wrath of mom to answer to, and it would be swift.

    It helped, but you're not going to probably have a difficult child freebie when having a family gathering. That's just a fact of life. If it were me? My kids would be following MY rules (I've always been super strict anyway) and it avoided a lot of potential issues. We could still have the occasional difficult child moment......or melt down.....but they were few and far between. I didn't worry about what other family members thought or felt about it. And since it was husband's family.........uh, there was no one I could ally with except mother in law....who never objected to my rules on matter of principal. I was Mom and I overruled everyone. Know what I mean?? (see why I adored her? LOL )

    With my kids I discovered the more relaxed I let myself be, often the more relaxed and less hyped up they were, which also helped because something like this would have Travis going full tilt a week or more in advance.

    And we still out of the blue managed to have a major autistic meltdown/zone out thing in the middle of a perfectly lovely holiday dinner one year.......and we never did actually figure out the trigger....right out in the middle of the street in front of brother in law's house. *sigh* Why? Because it happens.

    You do what you need to do to keep your own kids on an even keel and don't worry about someone else's kid. You have your own hands full as it is. What they do or don't think about your parenting is their issue, not yours.

    I hope you all manage to have a good time.

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If your family is so mean to your child, does it matter if they are angry? in my opinion...I wouldn't go. Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen with non-stop criticism. the family sounds very dysfunctional and not very nice...
  11. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Not taking difficult child 1 would cause a meltdown because he wants to see grandma (who adores him) and he would be terrified of being by himself.

    Lisa, it still hurts. I know I shouldn't let it, but it does. Reading about your family rules is comforting though. Yes, my kids will have to follow my rules, but the other difficult child won't and he will set them off. Then we'll retreat into the hotel room and play gamecube or watch tv.

    I wonder though, how did you relax and still get them all ready? By the time we are all ready to go out the door anywhere I'm frazzled.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    These tips don't solve the whole problem, but they help... I only have 4 (ok, two are dogs, but... some days they are the biggest difficult children in the house!)
    1) Plan ahead and be prepared... even if you have to take extra suitcases to do it (ignore husband's complaints about all the luggage!). Pack outfits together. Ideally, each kid would only have stuff that is mix-and-match... for example, 2 bottoms, 4 tops, doesn't matter which goes with what.
    2) Every piece of clothing has to be "easy". It doesn't matter if it's sweat pants for the younger ones instead of jeans... whatever is fast and easy for all of you.
    3) Take a separate large suitcase or two, or pop-up laundry containers... keep all the laundry separate. That way, the suitcases only have clean clothes.
  13. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Heck, it is only for two days...they could wear the same clothes the whole time!
  14. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Decades ago when I "knew" difficult child would not be able to handle the intensity of a reunion I hired "a friend" (youngish but mature teen) just for difficult child. It worked well for me because difficult child felt special and was easily directed when her "friend" said "why don't you and I go play a different game" or "go for a walk" or go to the room and watch xyz. Fingers crossed things work out for you too. Hugs DDD
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I have twice brought a pca to our was so nice. We always go to the same place and it is only for an afternoon so that helps...routine and all (Q likes this beach). I let him walk off on his own there (but have to be able to see him) and bring a fishing pole. I have also arrived late on tough days (still really have to play each day by ear). Mine too just cant get into any rough housing. Last year at our pool someone held him under and he got scared...but then did it to a niece at the lake...reason 1,345,388 that he has direct view supervision. I keep a phone on me and will call 911 if needed now...sigh.
  16. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Insane, thanks for the ideas.

    JJJ, if there was a like button I'd have clicked for that. Sometimes you just have to let go of the little things.

    Yeah, I'm worried about the pool. But can't do much about that worry until we get there. Then I can establish rules and boundaries. If I try to do it now I'll just get a bunch of confused kids.

    Sounds like my best option is to have someone there just for difficult child 1 and someone for the other difficult children and someone for the pcs.
  17. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Ok.....luckily my son loves his older that helps in our situation. I agree....a socialy acceptable rule is alway: no one hurt each other! Even your sisters difficult child needs to know this! I will be watching them and ask your sister to intervene if you see some one being rough!
    I agree...a close friend can also help. What me and hubby do is to take turns to entertain difficult child.....maybe one will take him for a walk, or play ball outside or watch a bit of movie...Obviously the family dont understand this and think kiddo is just being spoiled and manipulative! Wont help even to try and explain it! If you dont live with a difficult child, especialy some one on the autism spectrum.....oh boy, you will never understand!
    What also helped some times: Me and difficult child decided before the time on a non verbal signal, maybe showing thumb up, thumb half way down and showing down.....if he feels his tolerance is getting lower.....and then decides what plan of action will be taken.....This helped my son feel saver! In our case my son said if he starts to feel this way, I must just make some space for him to come and sit closely next to me.....or we can go for a walk.
    Ok....the problem is if you go for a walk, sometimes he doesnt wants me to go back in....and then the pressure starts building upfrom the other family members.....I do understand that its difficult because even though my son thinks he loves rough play I can always see him getting more emotionaly upset and then he doesnt want to stop.....maybe then you can intervene and say ok.....time for ice cream or something salty, or whatever you know brings your difficult child down? Sometimes I will also intervene if the pressure is building up and say....ok I think its time to go and play outside and get some fresh air????
    Will be thinking of you! This might be very stressfull, but just remember....this to will pass! And maybe even try a little bit of bribing if needed! :)