Good visit with-difficult child & need advice

Finally had a good visit with difficult child. difficult child is on 2 week "freeze" for throwing a temper tantrum at Residential Treatment Center (RTC). This means no weekend home visits. I went to see him last Sunday and he was being extremely manipulative. When it was clear he wasn't going to get his way he became rude and I left. The whole visit didn't even last 10 minutes.

Today I decided to visit and I brought my dad with me. difficult child has always loved grandpa and they horse around a lot. Well immediately difficult child wanted to be moody and I could tell he was going to again manipulate, fail because I won't give in and then get rude or out of control. But grandpa hadn't seen him and weeks and he immediately grabbed him and hugged him and gently teased him. difficult child couldn't help but laugh. I just stayed quiet for a bit and joined in the fun gradually. It wasn't long before he warmed up and was his usual funny, playful self.

Once he was in a better mood we lightly touched on the subject of his "freeze". He got it because he couldn't get his way with the staff and has been trying ever since to get his way. Basically he doesn't get along with one of the kids there and wants to be moved to another team. difficult child is not in physical danger and the staff want him to learn coping skills when dealing with someone you don't like. You just can't run away from unpleasant people. My dad pointed out that maybe this kid is having a really hard time being away from his family. difficult child seemed to take this in because he piped up and said "he hasn't even earned an 8 hour pass yet". That's the initial first pass you get for good behavior, it usually comes after 3 or 4 weeks there. difficult child says that kid has been there for 2 months which means he isn't making any progress. My dad and I expressed empathy for the kid and difficult child was listening. He didn't say anything but I could see the wheels in there turning.

We stayed for about an hour and left him in a better mood than we found him. My question is that towards the end of the visit difficult child asked me to bring him soap, toothpaste, and his electric toothbrush. Now he is provided all these things at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but he wants the electric toothbrush and he wants the paste we use at home and the "manly" soap (that's what he calls that scented Axe type stuff) I usually buy for him at home. Is it okay for me to bring him these things? What if difficult child's dad brought them? He is supposed to visit him Sunday? Does that send the same message as me bringing the items? Part of me wants to but part of me wonders if he is testing the waters to see how much I will do for him. I didn't promise anything because I'm truly undecided. difficult child also asked me to visit him tomorrow. This is a first because he's never wanted me to visit twice in a weekend.

Thanks for listening.


New Member
This puts you in a tough position...I hope this doesn't come across wrong, because I have always maintained that our difficult child's choosing to rage at us IS NOT personal. However, I have always noticed certain changes in our difficult child's behavior, depending on who is present at the time, and also if there is something that she wants.

Again, this is NOT personal, but it is one of the mysteries of these behavioral disorders...but consider what happens if you DO go back tomorrow, and not having grandpa with you to lighten things up a bit, and now that he has what he wants from you, he could possibly not be as pleasant. Leaving things on such a good note this time may be a very helpful thing for you and for his treatment, and going in again this weekend and having an argument and him raging at you would certainly make both of you feel worse.

Are you allowed phone calls? If you are, my suggestion would be to call your son. If he is in an okay mood on the phone, explain to him that you are torn between coming again in the same weekend and just sending the items with his father, and explain the reasons why on BOTH sides. Obviously, you WANT to see him, but you also don't want to lose the positive contact you had with him at the last visit. See how he reacts. If he is receptive to the idea of dad bringing his things, then I would say it would be okay. If he would rather you bring them, you could try to make a deal with him. For example,tell him you will bring the items he requested, but that he must try very hard to remain calm and positive during the visit, and at the end of the visit you will give him the things he has asked for. If he loses his temper, and rage ensues, the items go home with you and you will bring them so that he can try again next time.

Of course there is always the possibility that when you talk to him, he will be in a very oppositional mood and not willing to discuss the option, and there is also the possibility that the suggestion of sending these things with someone else will set him off. If that's the case, then in my opinion, you would be better off to give him his space until next time, even if that means that he has to wait for his things.

Just my thoughts, maybe someone else has a better idea???


New Member
<span style='font-family: Georgia'> <span style='font-size: 14pt'> <span style="color: #993399"> hmmmm. i understant that he wants these thing, but what does staff say? do they think it would be rewarding him in spite of inappropriate behaviors? okay, i get the electric's what he's used to & there are those pesky sensory issues. axe soap is a luxury tho.

i also think it does him not harm to wait for you next visit. doesn't learn anything from having his wishes fulfilled as quickly as possible.

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