Fighting with his pancakes

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tired Cheryl, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member


    This afternoon I heard arguing coming out of the kitchen and found difficult child fighting with his pancakes. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that they were making him mad because he could not cut them. I replied that in fact, he was doing a very nice job of cutting them up, then sat with him while he finished eating. He remained agitated but this did not progress to generalizing towards me.
    husband walks in and I ask him if he heard the commotion. He says no so I fill him in. He then tries to explain (not so calmly) to difficult child why he should not argue with objects

    I remind husband that on the way to the neuropsychologist evaluation two weeks ago difficult child was arguing with his shoes. (This was relayed to psychiatrists as well)

    Calling neuro tomorrow.

  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This sounds familiar. it's connected to anxiety and frustration. Some people talk to inanimate objects - doesn't mean they're crazy.

    Now, if they hear the objects argue back...

  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My kids are told to punch a pillow rather than a person when they're feeling angry. Why is it so wrong to argue with pancakes or shoes if you're having a hard time dealing with them? It's better than directing the anger toward a person.
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    He's three. Three year old talk to inanimate objects. For that matter, fifty-nine year olds talk to inanimate objects.
  5. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    My concern is not so much that my almost four year old is talking to inanimate objects rather, the degree of anger and frustration that he was displaying towards them.

    I just hate that my son is angry at the world (me, his teachers, his sister, shoes, pancakes, etc)!
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    difficult child is near my grandson's age. Honestly I chuckled at your post. I hope I didn't offend.

    But I've seen this sort of thing with alot of toddlers, the argueing/talking with inanimate objects. I've seen Darrin do it, and it makes me chuckle.

    Pancakes can be a PITA to eat. The main reason I don't particularily like the darn things. I can't tolerate a rubbery pancake, they are hard to cut. The thought of one drowned in syrup kills my appetite. I like 'em crisp on the outside with just enough syrup and butter to sweeten. Since to get them that way is nothing less than a miracle for me, I stay away from them. lol

    Darrin on the other hand is obsessed with pancakes. He doesn't cut them. He picks them up and eats them like a piece of bread. Of course he can't stand syrup either. lol My kids used to pick them up and dip them into a small puddle of syrup when they were toddlers. Less mess and no fuss.

    Don't even get me started with toddlers and shoes. :rofl:

    What is wrong with him directing his anger at what he is angry at? Makes sense to me.

    I know I've been known to curse my car when I get a flat, or growl at the computer when it starts to act weird. I'd list alot of other examples but you get the idea. lol

  7. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    yeah, I know that toddlers can be frustrated by life in general , easy child was a toddler not that long ago.

    It is just hard when you live with someone that is upset to one degree or another from the minute he wakes up to the minute he finally falls asleep.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, so it's the level of the anger. I understand now.

    Are there some ways you can simplify such tasks to make them easier for him to handle and acheive? Like what I did with the pancakes for my own kids when they were little?

    Sometimes have Occupational Therapist (OT) for the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) helps on the levels of frustration/anger. If the lil guy has alot of sensory issues it might be that he's more irritated by his environment than actually angry. Occupational Therapist (OT)'s have some pretty good techniques to help them become less sensitive to the world. Takes time and patience, but I've seen it work wonders with my friend's son.

    If doctor hasn't mentioned it, you might ask. There are Early Intervention programs in most counties, and they have Occupational Therapist (OT)'s who'll even come to your home for therapy sessions.

  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    When frustrated, difficult child children will quickly look for someone or something to blame. Once I was standing still in the hallway and difficult child walked down the hall and bumped into me and it was MY fault for being there. I've heard him go off on the "stupid walls" for the same reason.

    Especially in the younger years it is important to help relieve those repeating frustration areas. ie Replace tie shoes with slip ons or velcro, buy all the same style of socks, shorts, etc.

    Develop a routine for meals that reduces frustration. Our pancake routine used to go like this--takes a lot longer but cuts meltdowns considerably:
    Do you want your pancakes frozen or heated up?
    Cut up or whole?
    Syrup on the pancake or in a dish for dipping?
  10. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Your family eats frozen pancakes?? Still frozen??
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I always make homemade but I would freeze the leftovers. When difficult child was around 3-4 he would munch on a pancake or waffle that had just been out of the freezer for a few minutes.

    Now that he can explain himself I know the spongy texture of a nicely cooked pancake bugs him--he likes them thin and cooked to a crisp which probably explains why he liked them frozen way back then.
  12. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Actually, I think it's a positive that he realizes what he's frustrated at and directing his frustration at that specifically. If that makes any sense. So many of our difficult child's become frustrated and take it out on anything and anyone around him and we have no idea what set them off and, often, they can't articulate it either.

    That said, my difficult child does the same thing and she's 12. I've explained a hundred thousand times that a folder (or whatever) simply cannot be 'stupid' and try to redirect her to a more positive way to deal with her frustration. Sometimes just stopping for a moment and returning to it is all it takes. Collaborate with him to find another way to achieve what he wants that may get him there with less frustration.

    It does sound like your difficult child has a low frustration threshhold. I feel your pain.
  13. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Need to clarify about the shoe incident. We were riding in the car so he was not trying to put on or tie shoes. I heard him say, "Get down!, I told you to Get down." I asked him who he was talking to and he replied seriously, not kidding around) his shoes. I said, "Oh" and let it go.

    The "arguing" about getting down continued for another few minutes. I just found it very strange. It is almost like he has all of this anger/frustration that has to be vented in some way. At least he did not take off his shoes and throw them at my head which happens often nor, was he directing his feelings towards me.
  14. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I think I know what you're getting at. My difficult child has an incredibly hard time with personal accountability. It's not her fault, it's someone elses. Or it's the objects fault because it wouldn't do what she wanted it to. It's not her fault because she was having trouble cutting the pancakes. It's the pancakes fault for being hard to cut.

    We're still working on that one. Like I said, I've explained it a hundred thousand times and will probably have to do it another hundred thousand times.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    post was submitted twice...
  16. hopefloats

    hopefloats New Member

    Wow! Just reading these posts the two of you have written really makes me feel so much better. My son does those things also but I thought it was me! We haven't even gotten an evaluation yet. My son has those little conversations to himself and it's like he has to get it out. If something goes wrong its the somethings fault not his. I believe he has ODD but not quite sure yet. Feel your pain cheryl with the tantrums. My son has a thing with the sauce on pizza right now. He loves pizza but doesn't want the sauce on it.
  17. hopefloats

    hopefloats New Member

    Cheryl, it is very scary and heartbreaking with the amount of anger that the little ones can feel. My son is so angry 24/7. I hope I can learn some ways to calm him a little but it still breaks my heart.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, hon, my fourteen year old Spectrum kid still fights with things that way. He'll say, "Stupid, shoes" or "Stupid door!" For him it is easier to express himself out loud than quietly. Most of us say similar stuff in our heads when we are frustrated. He is just talking out loud. Maybe he processes things better when he voices it out loud--at least this is what I was told. I don't know what your son has, but I know it's common for kids on the Spectrum to talk to themselves. It gets dangerous too--because of this my son got a bipolar diagnosis. when Psychiatrist mistakenly thought he was hearing voices in his head.
  19. Jessica mom of 2

    Jessica mom of 2 New Member

    I have a child with lots of frustration issues...she gets mad so easy and at the smallest of things. She hits herself the wall etc. We ahve counted to 10, changed subject, gave her a squeeze ball (stress ball) with a smiley face on it and she said "THIS IS JUST A BALL AND ITS NOT GOING TO HELP ME FEEL BETTER!" She is 5 yrs old.

    Good luck to you!
  20. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    As strange as this sounds to someone new here, this is very, very normal behavior for many of our difficult child kids. Their tolerance level for stressors in their lives is very low and their need to express anger, frustration, disappointment is often very high. The fact that he knows where his frustration is coming from and is directing his anger at the appropriate stressor, and is expressing it verbally is actually a positive sign. Contrast this to a child being picked up from school loaded up with the stress of the school day and immediately hitting his sister and exploding in an hour long meltdown without having any clue as to why he's doing it.

    Sometimes the best thing to do when they are going off on their shoes, walls, etc. is to give them some quiet understanding. Something like "I'm sorry your shoes are giving you so much trouble right now. Let me know if you decide you want some help with those."