Meltdowns and Manipulation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    It was a he\\ of a morning! Manster had insomnia so I let him sleep in a little bit since I didn't have to rush out to daycare and work. I had the funeral of my friend's nephew today. The daycare called to say they were leaving to the field trip at 8:30, which was in five minutes. The field trips NEVER leave that early. But since manster had the stomach flu Monday and we didn't get the flyer I got caught having to plan on the fly. Not exactly a good way for an aspie to start their day. The group was going to a "carnival" at the local community college. Manster cried and pleaded that he would so much rather go to a funeral than a carnival and insisted I take him. I couldn't. He's too young to deal with that kind of heavy grieving (unless of course it was a personal tragedy for him in which case there is no choice). He would ask a thousand questions about why this boy took his life and I didn't want him to go there. He was such a mess, calling me names and begging to be rescued from the field trip. This was about as bad as they get and it was horrible. He even took my phone to call grandma who was willing to take him but 1. I was already to the carnival and running late to the funeral at this point and 2. I wanted him to work through this so he could work on coping skills and know that he could do it.

    During this 40 minutes meltdown I was extorted into agreeing to buy him a new (used) DS game and pick him up early. Of course when I picked him up at 2:15 he was fine and had a great time but I was on the hook for the game. On the way to pick it up he told me I might want to be aware that this gig worked out pretty well for him and not only did he have fun at the carnival, he also got a bonus and this could work well in the future. I guess on the good side I can use this experience as a reminder next time he experiences this level of anxiety about an event.

    The funeral was profoundly sad and I am exhaused on many levels.

    Looking forward to bed and glad that tomorrow is another day!
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Sometimes we learn as we go. I would be willing to bet that you were not in the best spopt emotionally to make a good decision, so you were easier to manipulate. Funerals are always hard, but they are harder when someone takes their own life. Hugs to you and your friend.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you had such a stressful morning. It can be so hard to get our kids going esp if the schedule changes.

    It was pretty bold of him to come out and tell you that his morning outburst (tantrum?) netted him a fun field trip AND a bonus so he might try it again. I would have been VERY hard pressed to let him actually have teh game IF in fact I went through with paying for it.

    You are setting a precedent here that if he has a big enough fit when you are running late then he can hold you hostage until you promise him whatever his heart is set on.

    Of course you said you woudl BUY the game. That does NOT mean he needs unlimited access to it. But I spent many many years being twisted up in that breeze by the flapping of Wiz' gums as he played similar manipulative games.

    At the very LEAST I would let Mr. Manster know that from now on you will not be held to any "contract" agreement or promise that he extorts from you. Let him know that the manipulation worked this time, but this is the last time.

    No contract is enforceable under the law if any party is extorted into it.

    And, now that he knows that he won on this manipulation he is BOUND to try it even harder for a while. It will take a lot of work on your part to stick to the new rules about this situation, but if you don't it will get a LOT worse in absolutely no time at ALL!

    I am sorry it was a rough day. I hope you got some time to unwind this evening.
  4. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    I've fallen for the extortion too, sad to say.

    Family travelled 1500 miles and wanted to see difficult child; he said he would only meet them and behave if he got a game out of it.

  5. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    It's really hard when your in that situation. It's so much easier short term to give into the extortion just to get things where they need to be. Don't be too hard on yourself - take this as lesson number 502 in the difficult child rule book! But just remember - rule 101 is that parents/guardians of difficult child's are older and wiser and learn more quickly!!! You may have lost the battle - but you will win the war!:warrior:

  6. WSM

    WSM New Member

    <Snort> I'd buy him the game because I promised and I keep my promises.

    Then I'd confiscate the DS because he threw a temper tantrum and was uncooperative.

    And if I felt particularly snarky, I'd say, "Ya know, this gig worked out okay for me too. Not only did I get you to cooperate, I got the extra bonus of teaching you that new things like the carnaval can be fun, AND I got the extra, extra bonus of showing you that manipulations won't work out the way you think they will."

    But I've never had any success with my difficult child, so I'd be the last person to listen to when it comes to parenting advise.

    I'm so sorry though that your day was so hard and hope today will be more smooth.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2009
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    WSM - I like your thinking!

    I'll have to remember that...
  8. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks ladies, this truly was a learning experience for me. I love you guys :) ML
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I think that every single one of us has fallen into the situation you ended up in. I did quite a number of times I am sure.

    It is by comparing notes that we can figure out a way to handle what our kids come up with, LOL!

    In the vein of comparing notes, Wiz used to have a bizarre belief that sort of fits here.

    When he was in first to fourth grade he was always SO curious about New Year's Eve, and adults staying up to midnight. He simply could NOT image what we were doing, with most adults being up so late.

    He got it into his head that adults stayed up late on New Year's Eve to compare notes about our kids and think up new ways to make them totally miserable in the coming year!!!!!!

    Once the thought of it, it became part of his "reality" for quite a while. I found it to be a RIOT!!!! I almost wished it was true, at least at times, because then I might have had some idea how to cope with him!!!

    Just remember, you are allowed to change the rules with NO WARNING. It actually is a good thing, because it can help our aspies learn to handle the unexpected.

    And there are very few mistakes you will make that you will be the only one who ever makes. Usually there is another parent around who has already screwed up similarly and can commiserate!
  10. ML

    ML Guest

    Thank you Susie! I sure needed that. Your Wiz cracks me up lol.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I know I have fallen into that trap at times, husband more so than me. I love the ideas others offered. Hugs to you.