not so fun night...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Winnielg, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    Well I guess the honeymoon 24 hours after our D-Day appointment is over. difficult child was pretty calm all day yesterday and relatively non combative. Although he had wanted to go to some girl's house we had never heard of, my husband had had a drink so was not going to drive him (and I am no longer driving him per safety). Ok so here is the funny ha-ha part ..... My husband said she could come here and difficult child said "we have a bad family dynamic - why should she be subjected to that ?" My husband asked him if he was serious as he is the cause of the dynamic and difficult child said something like "Well that's your interpretation". LMAO. To live in his reality. Really.

    So, I digress, Last night difficult child stole soda from kitchen. I know it may sound weird to some but he has his own cabinet full of stuff (including soda) and it is a house rule that he stay out of our cabinet as he gorges himself on inappropriate, or just all, food. Anyway he constantly sneaks and steals as he does not deem this rule significant and therefore does not feel the need to follow it.

    Last night my husband watched him hurry from kitchen with soda so he upped the ante and told him he was turning off Internet and cell phone for a week. difficult child wanted to know what for all innocent and husband just looked at him and calmly stated "for going into our cabinet and stealing soda because you must be out of your supply". difficult child told him not to lie to himself and then husband left room.

    The issue came later when difficult child decided he would not take his medications unless the Internet and phone were turned back on and started a circular irrational argument with husband for more than 30 minutes. He said a ton of hurtful things, as usual, and my husband informed him of the choice he was making. If he did not take his medications here would be no more violin lessons and he would be pulled from the musical group he is in. Honestly if he does not take his medications I would think the end of June plan would go into effect now.

    I do not even know how to explain the weird escalating argument without going into detail but I think that anyone who reads this with a difficult child similar will know exactly what I am saying.

    My husband disengaged and left the den. difficult child pounded on the den table downstairs a bunch of times while I sat transfixed in fear upstairs in the LR - after about 30 minutes he stormed upstairs and went to his room. My husband asked if he took his medications and he claimed yes. Usually the rule is for him to take them in front of us but my husband was so battle weary that he took his word for it. Not sure how I feel about that but difficult child went in room and to bed so I guess I should be grateful episode was over.

    Thanks for listening.
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Ah, yes. That round and round arguing with a difficult child. Been there, done that. It pretty much sucks the life right out of you. Sorry it was a bad night. I hope that today gets better.
  3. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Ah the circular arguing. My difficult child is a queen at it. I have always said that difficult children would make the best lawyers. Round and round until everyone is dizzy. So sorry. It is not fun. At least the D date is near.
  4. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    You guys are he best. I just told my husband that I posted and did not know how to even begin explaining the circular arguing. He laughed when I read your replies. It DOES suck the life right out of you. Sigh. I used to say difficult child should become a tort lawyer. Lol.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yup we could build a difficult child merry go round if we all met up.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Have you/husband read The Explosive Child? There might be ideas to get out of the trap difficult child is setting.
  7. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    Yes we utilized some of the ideas in explosive child over the years. Like most things it would work for a time bug then peter out. Maybe I should revisit it again.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, dear, that sounds so familiar!
    I sure hope he took his medications.
    Lol about the bad family dynamic! Isn't it interesting how they somehow are aware of reality, but only a skewed, partial reality? And of course, they have no responsibility toward changing that dynamic.
  9. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    After a particularly arduous circular argument with difficult child, I privately told husband that I thought these never ending, exhausting circuitous arguments were "mental masturbation" for difficult child, because I swear he got off on it. I hated those days with a passion.
  10. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    :hugs: been there done that and it hoovers. Long time ago we learned that nothing good ever came from circular arguing and did our very best not to end up there. And found ourselves there again and again.

    By the way, my difficult child is grounded for approximately 200 years, will not have his favourite dinosaur figure back before year 2358, will be allowed back to practise his favourite sport sometime when he is in his eighties and will never again have a soda. Or something like that. Yeah, giving him consequences and not getting sucked to circular arguing and upping the ante always worked that well :sigh:

    I don't have any real advice but I have come to believe that it is very important to saviour the things difficult children are good at/get joy/that are positive influences to them and build to their strengths. They are usually not very good at learning from huge punishments and consequences and are not good in adapting after something that has influenced them positively is taken away from them.

    Some would say that going that route makes me a pushover and I do get that. But at least with mine nothing good has ever come from taking positive things out from his life. He has learned from some huge consequences but they have been so that he has been able to save the things most important to him (like when he was kicked out from his junior team, lost a chance to live at home and had to learn to live independently three hours from home in city he knew about no one, lost his reputation and most of the friends he may have had, was branded as an untrustworthy and slimy thief for foreseeable future, took a huge step back in his career dreams and faced a private and public humiliation, but because he was able to keep the most important thing, his sport, he did continue to try and has earned back some of his old standings and has learned a lot.) If he is left with nothing to work for, or if he can't see the way to climb out of the hole he has dug for himself (and it doesn't take a lot for him to not see a way out and can happen even if you spell it out for him) he simply keeps on digging and apparently hopes he will eventually get out from the other side.

    And during circular arguing it is amazing how deep he can dig himself in very short time.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I get it! I'm just thinking about how to get you to 18! LOL
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    True confessions.....I can totally relate. My posts about finding other options are not because I haven't and don't use them, and logical and appropriate consequences adapted to each difficult child's level will happen, real world teaching and all....

    But your post made me smile because when moving last summer I took more things out of my closet that were taken away from Q than my own stuff. Except for a particular bat never being used to bang things again, none of it helped. ( but I still have a rule if you throw it, it's mine. That rule worked....easy and concrete. He never threw high value (to him) items).

    That was a great post ....for me at least. We grow into this different way of parenting. Of course we try the easier typical way first! But if it never works? I've heard THAT is the definition of insanity, right? And many times I still respond out of that insanity. But I recognize it more and fix it or avoid it most of the time.
    Wish it was easier.
  13. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    LOL. On the grounded for 200 years comment in particular. We have always just taken away small things until just recently and usually for a finite period of time. For example if he were to do something that warranted a consequence maybe we would just turn off the Internet for the evening. Because it was ineffective to have it as a consequence for multiple days he just never got it. Lately though he has pushed so much and is still lucky to be living here that we are just so exhausted.

    I remember one of the first police episodes in our life when difficult child was in the eighth grade And we grounded him for the first time which was only for 24 hours where he had to sit in his room and do nothing but read or he could practice violin. That was the worst 24 hours ever he acted as if he was being tortured.

    Over the years through various therapists I feel like we've tried just about everything from reward based systems to being able to earn back privileges. We have worked with every specialist to come up with every plan. But in the end I really wonder if it was all for naught as as he is getting older he seems to view any authority as an affront. He even said to a police officer once "what are you going to do handcuff me ? inconvenience me ? F-off". So why I would think that he would follow rules of our home is interesting.

    Thank you so much for all of your support. So glad I found this forum.
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    That rule we had too. Though we only took things temporarily. After all, we could come up with nicer things to do with our time than go to work and earn money so we could buy ourselves closets full of toys to keep confiscated. So flying toys were confiscated only for certain time. First for an hour, then a day, then a week and in the end for a month. Then he braked that habit in his earlish teens, which was very nice considering that track and field was his first sport and while his forte were jumps he was also decent with javelin. Much too much power behind his throws at that point.

    But I digress. My point was, that as difficult as it is, and it gets more difficult the older they get, I have found it better to avoid too big consequences, taking everything off and situations or rules there it is possible or even easy to up the looming consequence quickly and even to the ridiculous degree. With mine it also felt that all those circular and stake upping arguments only made difficult child to dug his heels deeper and be more stubborn and inflexible. My better parenting moments were the ones when I was able to cut the argument (maybe making it silly, or diverting his attention to something else or simply by not getting myself get involved) short and give him time to work out the situation. Those were the times when he seemed to slowly learn to take in other point of views and be more flexible and reasonable with things. Still, if there is something I know is difficult for him, I try to do my best to avoid arguing and just introduce my point and give him time to think it through.

    How often I'm able to do that is of course another story. But when I can, it almost always goes better in the end.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm with SuZir and Buddy...

    We've found (now, remember, my difficult child isn't as old as yours yet, and this is from a few years back... so it may not help you but maybe others who find this thread) that the only negative consequences that worked were so obvious that they actually made sense to difficult child. We haven't had problems with throwing stuff - but if we did, the "you throw it, it's mine" would work. For us, if you lose or break a tool, you replace it. If you damage something, you fix it to the owners satisfaction, or pay a professional to do so. Verbally trash the cook, and the cook won't feel like making your favorites for a while. Fail to put your underwear in the wash and... you have no clean underwear.

    Taking away computer time as a consequence for non-computer-related behavior? He just wouldn't ever make that connection. Locking down the computer for abusing computer priveleges, works for our difficult child (but he still doesn't like it!)

    We have put a major focus on helping difficult child find his niche in life, and supporting him on getting an early start on that. Costs us WAY more than even a sport like hockey, but... we get WAY more benefits, too. Lots of step-wise incentives that tie into that whole concept... including "earning" specialized tools that he can't afford to buy for himself by demonstrating behavior associated with the maturity level required to operate the tool(s).
  16. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    This is a great thread. It gave me more ideas and also the realization that I do this to some degree. It drives husband nuts. He thinks I'm getting walked all over. I have found that this kind of parenting removes me from the enforcer seat. For example, if he doesn't take his medications he will have more hallucinations and a meltdown at school. I don't have to enforce anything.

    I guess I use a delicate balence between natural consequences and more traditional methods and just ignoring somethings. I am very impressed with how well you and your husband are on the same page and how well he handled difficult child by try to not engage.

    Giving difficult child 1 time to work out the solutions himself is something to work on. Of course at first this will require lots of my direction.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    (((((hugs))))) I understand how weary you are of the whole mess and how utterly frustrated you are.

    Those circular arguments can drive me totally bonkers if I am not careful. Depending on the situation, I would either walk away/pick up a book and ignore him or else give him a nonsense answer. It is hard to push for a reason why when the person answering says "purple cow" or "47" or "pi". At one point my darling, demented husband answered "pi" but rather than the word he gave the numbers. He added one number past the decimal point until difficult child gave up. It was pretty funny, esp once it dawned on Wiz what was going on, that we were NOT going to argue or reason or negotiate. Then he kept it up to see how far husband would go. I gave up trying not to laugh.
  18. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    OMG - that definitely explains it... and why after it is all over they feel so much better... while I feel like I have been run over by a truck...KSM
  19. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    KSM, Calamity got it exactly right. And I also feel like I am run over by a Mack Truck
  20. Winnielg

    Winnielg New Member

    I totally agree with the consequence to behavior being directly related to the act. This worked for us to
    An extent thru the middle of 11 th grade. All our difficult child cares about currently is his music program on the computer, Facebook (which equals the Internet) and texting (not even talking in the phone). He cares about nothing else, goes no where, has no other activities, wants or needs. So it has been really hard to have a direct consequence to an act now - most of the acts occur when we ask him to do anything and he becomes aggressive and menacing. It if he breaks a house rule like food in this room. I still have to buy him food so we are at a loss.

    If he eats all of his cereal which should
    last a week in a day then the consequence is he has no more cereal
    For the week. Bare bones but all
    we have or at least all we can think of.