Mean Mom Sends Kid to Bed Without Dinner...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Christy, May 1, 2008.

  1. Christy

    Christy New Member

    well almost and then I caved and let him come down and eat.

    It all started with Tae Kwon Do. difficult child was completely wired and out of control. He was talking out, not doing the moves, hitting himself in the head with his belt, and bothering everyone around him. He is usually much better behaved and I was really annoyed and embarrassed by his behavior (also annoyed that the instrutor wasn't harder on him). So on the way home, I told him that I wasn't going to bring him to TKD if he wasn't going to participate appropriately. I also told him that he wasn't going out to play when we got home and that he was having dinner and going to bed (it's an evening class so this is not as harsh as it seems). So I sent him up to change out of his uniform and he had a fit about putting on pjs. 30 minutes of screaming later, he came downstairs. Then he had a fit because I would not let him sit at the counter and watch tv while he ate. I reminded him of his behavior at TKD and he went ballistic. I then fixed his plate and he demanded that more rice be put on his plate. I told him that there was plenty and after he had eaten his chicken he could have some more. This was not the answer he was looking for and he dumped his plate on the floor, screaming at me and calling me an idiot. Okay, this is where I snapped. I walked over, scooped up all 75 pounds of him and carried him upstairs. I told him that he was disrespectful and refused to take ownership of his behavior. I said that since he had dumped his plate, he was not eating dinner that night. husband who had arrived home form work somewhere in the middle of all this was came in to help me. difficult child screamed, cried, alternated between apologizing and threatening me with bodily harm if I did not let him eat. You would think it had been a week since his last meal-lol. Finally he settled down in his bed and was quiet and calm. I went to the other room and explained what was going on to husband. At this point I am starving and so is husband but we feel bad about eating if difficult child is going to bed without dinner. So I decide to allow him to come down and eat. I fix him a second plate that he eats without complaint and he has a few healthy snacks as well. At this point, his evening medications. are kicking in and he almost fall asleep at the counter. We go up and tuck him in and he's quickly sound asleep looking like a little angel.

    And now, since hindsight is always more clear, it is easy to see what I could have done differently:

    1. When signing up for TKD the instuctor made it clear that she was responsible for the students during classtime, ie, difficult child was her problem. Since I couldn't stand watching the fiasco, I could have gone out to car and read my book.

    2. The ride home is about twenty minutes so it was not a good idea to lay into difficult child when we were getting into the car. This just gave him 20 minutes to scream and rage about the injustice of a consequence. I could have told him after we got in the frontdoor. He would have had the same reaction but it would have been a more pleasent car ride.

    3. I could have given him more rice right away. Is it that big of a deal if he eats less chicken that evening?

    Oh well, maybe next time I will be smarter and not let my emotions help precipitate a meltdown. And unfortuanately, there is always a next time!

    Thanks for letting me share,
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Yeah, you could have done all of those things and I bet you will next time. Don't beat yourself up about it, though. That's how we learn.

    As to the no dinner, it wouldn't have hurt him and maybe taught him that he can't throw food around -- especially not rice since there is a shortage today. I know that with my daughter, I had to follow through on the consequences I gave her or have a darn good reason (I said it out of anger and was wrong with a sincere apology) or lose a lot of credibility. Feeling sorry for her was never a good reason to cave in. She'd use it to her advantage and let me know my word was worthless. So, be very careful about doling out a consequence and taking it back because you love him and want him happy. It can backfire.
  3. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Sorry you had such a rough time - it brought back memories of the days my difficult child used to be in gymnastics class before we stopped taking him due to his behaviors and my reactions. It all got to be too much.

    Our therapist suggested that we have an agreement BEFORE going to class. I was supposed to check in with the teacher and difficult child halfway through class, and if his behavior has been acceptable, he can stay. If not, he goes home. That's the only consequence. Then, next week, we add 10 minutes (or whatever increase makes sense) until check-in time, and so on.

    The idea is to get him to motivate himself to behave so he can stay, and to avoid me trying to motivate him with my long-winded lectures. (I'm extremely guilty of delivering long-winded lectures!) Also, to leave the misbehavior and consequence more "in the moment", then try to move on with the night. (I used to take away many privileges for one poor gymnastics class.) This was his suggestion for my difficult child, because for him the problem is impulse control and it's not very effective to punish all night for behaviors caused by poor impulse control.

    There were some days when I drove him home early from class saying, "You're not in trouble! But today was too hard for you at class," and some days that he could hold it together. This method worked to keep me sane and keep him (mostly) from melting down about it, but it was a bit embarrassing because none of the other kids had to be handled this way. It never solved the actual problem, though, that gymnastics was just too overstimulating for him and set him off most of the time. So we stopped going.

    Sitting in the car is a good idea but I found it all too stressful. Good luck!
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Ah, hindsight is always 20/20.

    But as MB said, you learn from it. Do try not to give a consequence that you can't or won't follow through on (easier said than done!)

    Hugs, warrior mom.
  5. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Thanks for your replies. Yes, I went back on my consequence which is a big mistake and the reality is that he would not have starved without dinner and since he dumped his plate, it is certainly a logical consequence but I just couldn't do it. Oh well-lesson learned.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Actually, he choose to go to bed without supper. You offered it and his actions turned the offer down. Just like when I make supper and the kids refuse to eat because they don't like it. I am not going to make something else - they eat what is made for supper that night or wait until the next meal to eat.

    Mean mom for not putting up with the temper tantrum. :pouting:

    Actually NOT! You are a very good mom. You have great plans for the next time. One more thing to try when disciplining is setting a time limit - instead of "no supper tonight" which you felt too guilty about, try "No supper while you are behaving like this. When you can show me that you can eat politely, you can come down for supper."

    I had a coversation with a teacher today who knew that I was at tears over difficult child's recent behaviors (because I was) - She said, "But we are working through this together." So, I know that I am not alone in this and I know that it is a process for everyone. It is not just difficult child who is learning.

    My mom had a saying, "Once your kids are able to live with, they move out." It is going to be a very long how many years for that?