how do you handle explosions in front of friends?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ch574, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. ch574

    ch574 New Member

    Specifically, when your difficult child explodes on one of HIS friends, who happens to be the "typical" son or daughter of one of your friends?

    Prior to understanding that my swift, confrontational discipline style was actually making things worse, I would've immediately removed my son from the group, told him firmly that X was not allowed because of Y, and insisted that he go apologize to his friend. Starting around 6 or 7 months ago, My difficult child started saying "no" to me when I told him to apologize. -I would give him the choice of apologizing or sitting in time out... which worked for a little while, but more and more, he would choose time out. Now he'll choose neither. In fact, as soon as a situation erupts and I stand up, I can tell by the look in his eyes that he's not going to cooperate if I attempt to make amends or discipline him in any way.

    Since I'm still in the early stages of learning to navigate this road (psychiatric #4 appointment/interview in 2 weeks)... what can I do short of cancelling our social lives altogether? He shut his eyes and literally screamed in the face of a little girl tonight. I can clearly see all the things that led to his explosion (sometimes I'd like to scream at this little girl too), but I still feel like this behavior is unacceptable and I need to act on it as a parent.

    HOW DO YOU HANDLE THESE MOMENTS??? The moments when you know your friends are just shaking their heads, waiting for you to do something... and you know that if you so much as move a muscle, you're going to make it worse.

  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I still removed Duckie even if it meant further escalation for her. I figured that the other people didn't need to put up with her poor behavior despite the cause. Besides, she would still escalate but at a slightly slower pace is all.
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    At this age, I'd supervise closely, not leaving the children alone. Intervene quickly when you see the things happening that are starting to trigger a meltdown. Plan social outings for times of the day and days of the week when they're less tired and aren't coming off stresses of other activities. Remove from the scene if needed.

    This is just me, but I never push a child to apologize if they don't sincerely mean it. Think what it would be like for you if you were in a work situation and got it into it with a co-worker and your boss forced you to apologize whether you meant it or not. You might do it if forced, but you would be lying. Same with our kids.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I would remove my child, even if it risked meltdown, because to allow it to continue is telling everyone else that I will put up with it and that I apparently expect them to as well. Removing difficult child meant removing the probllem from other people too, which was only good for them.

    I would try to get an apology, but only if it had a chance of working. Usually I would have to 'get through' to my child, to make it clear that what they were doing was unaccptable. If my kid was not getting the message, or was still screaming in defiance that everyone else was being mean and he/she wasn't the problem, then I had to be prepared to remove the child all the way to home, if necessary.

    Any apology has to be sincere. If that means having to wait until the next day - so be it. But if you have to wait, you sometimes need to get your child to apologise in writing.

    Sometimes little kids just are too tired to keep maintainng the good behaviour. Kids push each other's buttons, especially if there is another kid invading their space or handling their things. Somtimes they just can't hold things togeter for very long. That's another reason sometimes to be prepared to stop the event and cancel things from that point.

    It happens sometimes.

    When difficult child 3 had a friend over one day, I had been working hard to keep things on an even keel. The young friend (I suspect has ADHD) was very upset when difficult child 3 tried to hold his hand or give him a hug. BOys don't touch each other, clearly was how he was brought up. difficult child 3, on the other hand, was still very socially immature and had no problem with touching or hugging a friend. Apart from this they were getting on very well, I just had to keep stopping difficult child 3 from crossing physical boundaries.
    They were eating ice blocks (icy poles) while climbing the big gum tree in our front yard, when I suspect difficult child 3 tried to hold his friend's handagain. Next thing, difficult child 3 is out of the tree head first, crying. I worried about him having concussion (which he did) but he wascrying because in the fall he'd dropped his ice block and it took him a couple of minutes to find it again.
    Friend, meanwhile, climbed back down out of the tree in a hurry, looked terribly upset (and worried, in case I was angry with him for pushing difficult child 3) and tried to comfort difficult child 3, without having to touch him.

    So although nobody had done anything wrong (as far as Icould determine or wanted to do anything about), I still had to call the other boy's mother to come fetch him, because I needed to take difficult child 3 to the doctor to get him checked out. He was 5 years old and had just fallen 3 metres out of a tree and landed on his head in the rockery.

    I think the other boy might have thought he was being punished, being sent home, but in the rush I did try to make it clear, I wasn't sending him away angry, I just couldn't keep him at our house any more because I now had a possible medical emergency to deal with.

    The other thing you can always do, is what I did in this situation - when things were not so hectic, I made ap oint of talking to this boy and explaining things to him, that I had sent him home so I could put all my attention on difficult child 3 when he needed it. difficult child 3 wouldn't have been permitted to keep playing, because when we got back from the doctor's he had to go have a rest and have quiet time.

    So in a crisis, you not only have your difficult child to deal with, but te other kid needs to be kept safe and also understand that they are not being punished. They often can take it to heart. If you can explain that perhaps difficult child is just tired andcranky, needs to be taken out of the situation so he can rest up and calm himself, most kids will understand. Often it's at that point that I can begin to explain about my difficult child, to recruit the other kid as a friend or support.