Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Picked J up from school at 4.30 to take him to roller skating class. He immediately asked for something to eat - I only had cheese, one he does not particularly like. My cupboard was bare and I needed to go shopping while he had his class (full on work again at the moment) so there was nothing else to bring. He does eat something at school at about 3.30... anyway, we segued neatly into meltdown - shouting and crying that he was tired, didn't want to go to roller skating, with lots of extravagant statements in capital letters along the lines of ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME, i HAVE TO DO SPORT! GYM, TENNIS, ROLLER SKATING... I WANT TO GO HOME! I NEVER GO HOME!" etc, etc. I stopped the car, cuddled him, told him we would go get him something to eat. He carried on, upping the stakes - NO ONE LIKES ME! i'VE GOT A BROKEN LEG! I was sympathetic but when he carried on and on whining, I did start to lose it a bit and get cross...
    i contemplated going back home, as he was clearly tired and frustrated after the school day. However, in the end I decided not to do this - for his sake, not mine. I don't think it's good to abandon things that he does actually enjoy and need to do on the impulse of the moment, setting up a habit of givng things up. So, right or wrong, we carried on and went to a boulangerie on the way. After some wholemeal bread, orange juice and a lemon tart, he cheered up greatly and went off quite happily to his class. On the way home afterwards, I said to him teasingly: "Are you just trying to make me feel sad when you say no-one likes you" and he immediately grinned mischievously and said: "yes!" So we had a moment of insight.
    I also asked him, when he was rested, bathed and fed, whether he was glad he had gone roller skating and he very readily said that yes, he was...
    So I think the moral of the story is come equipped with things he will eat and don't necessarily give in to what looks like real overload.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with the plan for the future. In our case, we would have abandoned the plans for today only and made it very clear to difficult child 1 that it was only going to be for this ONE time. If I had done what you did (and managed to be right), there is no guarantee that it would not have gotten worse. difficult child 1 has a tendency to carry the "issue" into the activity which usually ends badly and makes me regret going in the first place.

    Glad things turned out the way they did for you. Wish I could get that lucky.
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Oh, it sounds like real overload, but you fixed it with some food! If he hadn't had something to eat, I imagine it would not have gone well at all.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, mea culpa, IC :)
    I guess the main difference, TeDo, is age... At five years old, J will forget and move on very quickly, as long as the "irritant" is removed. What interests, me, too is the "manipulativeness" (though I don't feel this is the right word, it sounds too harsh) of his attempts to get me to do what he wants - he really is sophisticated in knowing what buttons to press. I don't really make a judgement about it, but I do observe it.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Although I'm not posting much lately I have to say that your son consistently is hungry after school. Many times you have had a post school meltdown and a rough transition because your "baby" is either hungry or expresses his stress by identifying his problem as hunger.

    Yeah, I know I sound like an old broken record but invest a couple of bucks in a lunch box with nuts, drinks, dried fruit or whatever and keep it in the car. It will make him feel special, it will save you a headache and it will also give you those extra minutes you need to start dinner when you're finally home. Hugs. DDD
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, good idea, DDD... Trouble is J is so picky about food and his tastes change completely unpredictably - yesterday or the day before, for example, he readily ate the cheese that he spurned tonight... He'll mostly eat peanuts, though, and I should keep a constant supply of those. The only thing he'll eat with relish and consistency is, of course, the sweet stuff.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Does he like dried fruit? Because... peanuts + dried fruit = good blood-sugar combo... some fast-acting, some long-acting, fiber, protein, fat, carb...
  8. Luckily, my difficult child is not fussy about food. Two of his very predictable triggers are 1.transitioning from school (so many meltdowns happen within seconds of him getting into vehicle) 2. Him telling me he is hungry and me not having food and drink available RIGHT THAT SECOND.
    Needless to say, I am rarely without some type of food and water and I tend to panic a little when I am just because I know how predictable this set of triggers is for my difficult child. Even chewing gum helps him in the rare case I don't have any real food available.
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i'd ask what, if anything, he actually DOES eat at 3:30.

    if he's as fickle as you say, the answer might actually be nothing at all. even if its a structured snacktime, it doesnt mean he actually eats his snack...he could toss it, trade it or whatever--obviously even if he does eat it, its not enough to sustain him. if its not a structured snack time and kids are still heavy in activity, well, he's probably too busy to actually stop and eat.

    which might explain why he's starving an hour later.
  10. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    How about having a supply of healthy snacks in a box at home. Every night or morning, you make him pick what he will eat after school. He takes it in the car and leaves it there until you pick him up. If you walk, he could simply put it in a small lunch box by the door and you pick it up when you're ready to go. If it is some you want to try, I would suggest you have at least 3 choices so he feels in control of his choice. It is just a suggestion, I can see already how this could go wrong a million different ways if he is in a trantruming mood no matter what.
  11. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I have a concern, and please only take this for what it is. If he is tantruming and raging over food and lack of it now at 5 and you "must" have it, what will happen in years to come? I say this because my 2 younger difficult children now have food issues big time. Started with school and them "mandatory" having to have snacks for that (school had them). Then they wanted snacks after school. As they aged it got to be far to much food and by then there was no way of cutting back, healthy food or not. They expected the food and yes, they raged! Doctors, therapists, etc have all talked to them but we have serious issues over this food. I'm just concerned that eventually this could end up there for you so just kind of giving a fyi or heads up type of thing. Nothing more.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    The thing is, trying to analyse J's tantrum in such a situation is a bilt like trying to analyse the whims of a mad king.... it doesn't bear much fruit. It's not just the food. I don't even know that it was mainly the food. J is stressed, exhausted, maybe some even word I don't even have vocab for, after school, holding it together all day with a teacher who down'st, it seems, make ANY special allowances for him and is on his back punitively much of the time. I'm sure he is a bit hungry, but this is the only time he will go crazy like that over food. Generally he eats very little, just enough for his needs. I think it was even just the way I presented the snack I DID have - cheese and water - because I said something like "I'm afraid it's only cheese and water", which immediately set him off whining and crying. I should have said, "Hey, J! Look!" - but then even that might have set him off because really it wasn't just the food. On the other hand, eating the food did change his mood around - but I think that was also because I was doing what he wanted, going to the boulangerie he suggested. You see what I mean about the mad king...
    I think what it comes down to is that he is in a school that is not really right for him, apart from the small numbers. I know this will seem odd, probably, but I so wish we could avoid school, or school didn't exist, or something... yes, yes, hippie-ville.... but it seems like such a grand, pressurised waste of time to me FOR THIRTEEN YEARS!! Oh my god.
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Malika, are you allowed to homeschool as we are in the States? Or online school like I am doing? Is that even an option there? I think you're right. He's working sooooo hard to keep it together during a full day of school with a punitive and uncaring teacher that by the time he comes home, he's just emotionally exhausted. You're d***ed if you do and d***ed if you don't. I don't see it getting any better with this teacher in the picture. I really feel for you. difficult child 1 had several teachers like that and a principal that was even worse. That's why we made the decision we did. I didn't like what they were doing to difficult child 1. I am so sorry J is having to suffer through this and dragging you down with it.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Malika, I think you are closer to the truth than you may be aware of.
    Chances are high that there are multiple factors - and the nature of this particular teacher is one major factor... but not the only one.

    Food helps - if you are tired, stressed, and generally out of sorts, and THEN are a bit low on blood sugar... things compound rapidly. So, the "food" factor is a valid pre-emptive strike. But if the problem were JUST a food or blood-sugar problem, it would be much easier to solve.

    We have had teachers like you describe... and that is before you factor in the cultural differences of Europe in general and France in particular.
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I think it's definitely related to school - the days when I pick him up from the play centre where he occasionally goes on Wednesdays, for example, there is never any such problem, even though he hasn't eaten for much longer then. At the play centre he plays (logical) and the staff are nice, friendly, human-seeming. J is coming to the end of his time with this teacher anyway as even if he stays on at the village school there is a change of building and teacher in September. Home schooling is possible in France (though rare) but it wouldn't be an option in our case. I need to earn a living, J needs to see and play with other kids, and I wouldn't want to teach him anyway... we need a break from each other! Which doesn't mean I don't think it's a good choice for some other children.
  16. Malika,
    I think you handled that well and you've got a good plan for the future to avoid those meltdowns. I can totally relate to that! When easy child daughter was little she would have 2 dance classes in a row and despite having fed her a hearty breakfast she would always be defiant or refuse to participate in the 2nd class. None of the other kids had a problem but daughter did. Finally I started carrying power bars in my purse and would give her a power bar in between classes - worked like a charm - no more meltdowns!

  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree, I think your mind and heart and adding up the issues and it sounds like (though it is not easy) you are figuring out what you really feel is best. HUGS to you my friend, change is not easy for any of us...and there are things that make it not do-able sometimes. I hope you can find an alternative.
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, you're right... change is not easy. The mechanics of what would be involved in changing schools for J, principally moving at least during the week, do not fill me with energy and enthusiasm... And so difficult to weigh in the balance the advantages of moving to a school "right" for him, or at least more right, with the importance of stability. If he was keeping the same teacher in September, the decision would be made - I would have no choice but to move him. But he will have a change of teacher and I wonder... should we try it out and see how it goes before making a move? What if the new teacher is nice (a young man, apparently, but that's all I know about him)/ good with kids? The quality of the teacher is SO important. Anyway, I have an interview with the alternative school in the big city next Thursday and will take it from there.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Any way to meet this new teacher ahead of time? or find out any "reputation" on him?
  20. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Apparently the current teacher met the new teacher on Tuesday for the first time so, yes, I will quiz her!