Overwhelmed Newbie

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by OverwhelmedMa, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Hello Everyone!

    I recently stumbled across your forum and so grateful. I have several close friends but none of which can relate to my roller coaster home. I feel isolated from any since of normality.

    My husband has a ten year old son and an eight year old daughter from a previous relationship. There biological mother's rights were terminated almost seven years ago. She has no contact with the children. My husband and I have lived together for about a year and a half. The children never met any of my husbands dates/girlfriends prior to my relationship with him. We are recently married and still have yet to experience the wedded bliss most newlyweds experience.

    Our daughter has many behavior issues which are extremely overwhelming: lying, stealing, manipulative, destruction of objects, disrespectful, temper tantrums (last for hours and sometimes days), arguing, blames others for her actions, NO REMORSE, seriously ungrateful (feels she is owed), and despite consequences the behavior continues. She is often exhibits deliberate and calculated defiance towards my husband and me. I am often the target of her angry outrages but my husband does experience them too. She does really well in school and has never had any behavior issues there.

    Many of the behaviors were exhibited prior to my relationship with my husband but were never addressed. My husband used the laissez-faire method of parenting.

    She was recently caught forging my signature on a school assignment and she has self-mutilated one time. She picked around her eye and from a distance, it looked as if she had a black eye. She also makes-up elaborate stories where she is the victim.

    About six months ago, we took our daughter to a therapist. We have not seen any changes in her behavior and both believe she has escalated. Her therapist has never given us any useful tips on modifying her behavior or coping mechanisms. At one point, I sought out advice from an acquaintance that is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and he suggested a behavior modification plan. We put a plan into place but like any other method of positive/negative consequences; we did not see any improvement in behavior. Last Thursday, we called him because she was out-of-control and did not receive a phone call back until Tuesday of this week to confirm our Wednesday counseling session. When we went to the session, we explained the events and escalation of behavior. He suggested we use the "prison guard" method. Cut off all emotional and physical ties to the child for a minimum of 24 hours until the behavior improved. I never heard of doing such a thing with a child and was curious if anyone has heard of this?

    Since we have not been receiving the level of care we feel necessary for our daughter, we have scheduled an appointment for her to be evaluated at a different facility. Next week, we have an orientation for my husband and I to attend regarding what the evaluation entails and the services that can be offered depending on the outcome of the evaluation.

    Now that I have spewed a small but long glimpse into my world, does anyone have any suggestions?

    How do you cope with outrages?
    How do you discipline a child that has "done nothing wrong" and is not remorseful of any actions?
    How do you maintain a decent environment for your child when one is on a rampage?
    Any suggestions on the evaluations?
    How about parenting books and websites?

    I know this is a long post but any help is appreciated.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Start here http://www.livesinthebalance.org/ and grab the book "The Explosive Child" ASAP. Others will be along with questions and suggestions a bit more detailed, but know that you are not alone in this. You've found a wonderful place here with people that "get it".
  3. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    OverwhelmedMa, welcome! Can I borrow your username? I think it would fit many of us here.

    You are brave to take on your daughter's issues. I can address some of your questions, and others will be along too as you've got a lot going on.

    To start with, what were some of the characteristics of her bio-mom? Likely she had some mental health issues which affected your daughter even at a young age (she was with her bio-mom for about a year, right?) and even in utero (not saying drugs -- even stress can affect the fetus). A good mental health history would be important -- on your husband's side too (talking genetics from both parents here).

    Physical health too -- make sure she gets a good physical every year. Both of my sons were found to be anemic at one time -- not saying she is -- just that sometimes surprising physical issues crop up which can help explain things, like the anemia did for my son's lassitude, irritability and failing grades). Does she have any chronic complaints like stomach problems, constipation, allergies etc? Is there a family history of any specific physical ailments? Those can be helpful indicators of what's going on in general.

    How is her appetite? Is she picky about food? Hoard food? Is she sensitive to tags on her shirt, or other sensations that drive her wild?

    Prison guard method -- this bombed for us; it was recommended for one of our sons and he ending up poking himself with pins alone in his room (with all the furniture moved out of it). Conventional behavior plans often don't work for our kids.

    Book -- The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. There is a newer edition out since I purchased it, but either will do. This book can explain many of your questions about how to handle the rages.

    How to take care of easy child -- separate them if you can, explain that you will protect easy child, that none of this is easy child's fault, acknowledge easy child's anger or sadness and don't try to talk easy child out of it, easy child may need to talk to a therapist too. Save up a little energy to spend time with easy child, even a quick game of Uno goes a long way.

    Self-mutilation -- could that be anxiety instead of a more deliberate type of self-mutilation? My younger son is a picker and had sores on his arms for awhile -- looked like cigarette burns. For him it was anxiety, but now that I think of it, part of it could be anger -- anger at himself, and at the world.

    She will need help understand why her bio-mom is out of the picture. That could (does) account for some of her rage. Don't be surprised that she takes it out on you -- the mom always gets it. You may even be threatening to her because you are loving and caring toward her, and this feels risky and unfamiliar to her.

    And finally the most important part -- take good care of yourself even though you are living in a nightmare. You are still YOU. Do stuff you like, read or listen to music, whatever you like. Eat well and get enough sleep (easy to say -- I'm terrible at this). See your friends -- don't talk about the kid. They won't get it, and you'll feel even more isolated.

    Keep posting and asking questions and getting lots of support.


    P.S. With the holidays coming, keep it real low-key. Don't even mention Christmas unless you have to. Holidays are notorious for destabilizing our kids.
  4. Thank you. I will order a copy of the book. I already started looking at the website.

    I also forgot to mention the food issues we are having. She plays games with food. She does not like this or that even though she has eaten the same thing several times. She gets full after two bite but wants a dessert. I am concerned that since she is starting to control food it will turn into an eating disorder.

    Currently the rule is if you do not eat what is served, you do not get dessert. My husband and I will give a warning about playing games with food. If it continues after everyone finishes (our son eats super slow), the food is thrown away. If she starts escalating, we will take dessert away for a week. Tonight we had leftovers. She told me the turkey was nasty and she did not like it because it was no longer fresh. She had no problem with the leftover mashed potatoes and gravy.
  5. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    Hey again,
    There lots of other websites about sensory processing disorder. That was my fist step on the journey with both my kids.

    She may truly mean it that she can't eat the turkey if it's not fresh. Sensory kids can really react to differences in the texture, taste and smell of food. Regarding the dessert, she may be craving carbs. Many of our kids do (and the moms too -- bring on the baked goods!)

    Do you notice any sensory issues in your son or your husband? I personally have sensory issues -- I think many of us do. Mine are auditory and visual -- can't stand loud noise, and I find visual clutter really overwhelming.

    You've made some really good observations about your daughter.

  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Overwhelmed, and welcome!

    I've never heard of the "prison guard" approach, at least not in the home setting (we went thru an extended period of no contact with- our son when he was probably 10, but that was in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and ... well, it's a long story but basically a very different setting and situation). I'm not real sure that I agree with- this idea in the home setting, for a couple of reasons. I'm assuming you are trying to build a relationship with- your stepdaughter, and it seems counterproductive to withdraw physical and emotional contact. I would also guess, just based on my personal experience, that she would up the ante if you do withdraw all contact (maybe, anyway). With my kiddo at that age, he was all about controlling us - by raging, he guaranteed he would have our total attention and that he would be in control of the situation. Obviously, if you've got a kid who has violent/destructive rages, you cannot simply ignore it. I absolutely *do* buy into emotional neutrality. My anger/frustration/sadness/any emotion at all was fuel for my son's rages. I used to be a screamer, and things would escalate pretty darn quickly around here. When I learned to keep control of my own emotions and remain neutral, no matter what, my son didn't escalate quite so much. The added benefit was that I got to stay in control of the situation (with my son, it was all about power and control and attention), so he didn't get quite the payoff he was looking for. When I turned into ranting lunatic frustrated mom, he had the control.

    I have used "extinction" before, but usually for relatively short periods of time and only for selected behaviors (for example, ignoring my son's rather salty name-calling when directed at me).

    My biggest doubt is that when you're dealing with a child who shows no remorse and who engages very intently on disruptive/destructive behavior, withdrawing contact until it "improves" (on its own??) seems a bit goofy. My kid was the energizer bunny when he was raging - I doubt our home would still be standing if I had just withdrawn. Had I withdrawn my attention... well, thank you would have just kept on going until I had to reengage.

    My son never responded well to reward/consequence type behavior plans - in fact, positive reinforcement would provoke negative behaviors, while negative reinforcers (time outs, spanking when he was young and I was still clueless, loss of a toy or activity) actually reinforced the negative behaviors. I can't tell you how many therapists, psychiatrists, teachers, SWs, and other professionals we dealt with who didn't get this. They simply refused to believe it - until they saw it in action. That said, I think it's probably a good idea to look at other resources - 6 months with- a therapist is plenty of time, in my humble opinion, for a therapist to get a bit more clued in to the particular behaviors and needs of a child and the family.

    Some practical stuff that we implemented in our home during the dark days of major rages: All sharp objects (knives, forks, tools) were stored in locked tool boxes (keyed locks, with key on a chain around my neck 24/7). All medications/cleaners/chemicals/toxic stuff in keyed tool box. Since my difficult child liked to throw things, nothing came into my home that wasn't evaluated first for it's hurt potential/breakability. Ceramic lamps got broken fairly early on. After that, it was cheapo fake brass lamps - yes, they were fairly heavy, but I was still fast enough to catch them and/or dodge them. Plastic plates and cups. No match box cars - a lot of nerf kind of toys for him. Obviously, no toy guns/knives/swords. Nothing breakable in his room.

    With another kiddo in the home, I think a very helpful thing to do would be to have a safety plan for when she does rage. In my home, when thank you would start raging, I'd wheel oldest into the kitchen (raging was usually in our family room or thank you's bedroom), and then my youngest son would get my daughter and go into my bedroom and lock the door. Toys/TV were kept in my room for these times. I kept a cell phone on me so I could call 911 if necessary. When the kids were all older, we got a keyed lock for the door at the top of our stairs (where the 2 youngest kids' rooms are) - when I would tell them to, they'd head upstairs, lock the door, and play video games up there. Anything to keep them out of the line of fire. When the other kids were safe, I'd focus on thank you. We used therapeutic restraints when he was younger (we were trained by his therapist on how to do this safely, and the fact we were trained was well documented in thank you's chart - no one should restrain a child without proper training). By age 9, our therapist told us to the restraints because of his size and the danger of someone getting hurt. If he was violent, I'd call 911 for transport to hospital. If he was just spewing his verbal garbage, I would try to de-fuse the situation.

    As far as discipline, I pretty much gave up on traditional kind of consequences. What's the point in ground a kid who realistically could bolt out the front door and disappear for hours? It's impossible to take away a valued toy when he's already destroyed them all. I relied more on logical consequences, or tried to anyway. He broke his bedroom door - he had to pick up the pieces. He threw the garbage can all over the kitchen - he cleaned it up. I have to admit I wasn't terribly successful in this because he was never terribly compliant (or remorseful), but... I really did try to keep it real in terms of logical consequences. I also early on figured out that school was just going to have to deal with- school issues - I had enough problems at home, LOL. If he didn't turn in homework, or was disruptive or whatever at school, I expected school to deal with it. He didn't get consequences at home for behaviors at school.

    The one book that I would highly recommend is "The Explosive Child". I'm not big on self-help books, but this one was ... well, it was just so many things to me. First off, I *swear* he was writing about my son. I giggled through the book the first time around, just out of sheer relief that someone really got a child like mine. It's was also very helpful in getting me to prioritize what behaviors were in need of immediate attention, and which ones could be dealt with- later. For me, the physical violence was always the priority. Name-calling, lying, etc., were not so urgent - but it's different for every family. It also really helped me to get a glimpse into my son's head - how he saw himself (at the ripe old age of 6) as my equal, how he was optimistic (he just knew he was going to "win" and how long it took to win just didn't matter). Really excellent excellent book.

    Is there a family history of substance abuse, depression/mood disorders, suicide? Did bio mom drink/use during the pregnancy? How did your daughter hit developmental milestones - slow, accelerated, on target? It's *great* that she's doing well in school - don't take that personally. Sometimes kids are able to hold it together in more unfamiliar settings, while unleashing in more comfortable ones. The fact that she can and is holding it together in school is, I think, a very positive sign.

    As far as type of evaluation - a lot depends on family history and her development, in my humble opinion. If she was delayed, or precocious, in her development, I'd probably lean more towards a neuropsychologist or neurodevelopmental evaluation. If there's a family history of mental illness (diagnosed or not), I'd lean more towards a psychiatric evaluation. I think finding a good therapist is essential, more for you and your husband - getting input on managing behaviors from a professional who gets your child is priceless. I do believe there's benefit in therapy for even young kids, but in my son's case, we've only seen him sporadically use the tools he's learned (and he started therapy 15 years ago, LOL). Don't expect to see dramatic changes overnight - but the advice you and husband get from a good therapist who is working with your daughter should at least be helping you guys to manage the behaviors. In our experience, finding a good therapist was challenging. Some really know their stuff and some... not so much. If you're not happy with- a therapist (or psychiatrist or whomever), I wouldn't spend a whole lot of time trying to make it work. They work for you - they need to make an effort to meet your needs and address your concerns.

    Anyway... sorry this got so long. I'm glad you found us!
  7. To start with, what were some of the characteristics of her bio-mom?
    She was a drug addict and used meth. My husband said she did not use during pregnancy but started back up after birth. Bio-mom has approx 7 kids. None are in her custody and she has lost all rights. My husband also had a drug problem. When difficult child was around a year and a half, he came home to her burned on her neck. The bio-mom refused to take her to the hospital and claimed it was a burn from the wall heater. The burn was not consistent with heater and looked like a deliberate curling iron burn. My husband took difficult child to hospital and was truthful with hospital regarding his and her drug use. The children were removed and my husband went to rehab. The children were put into foster care and once he completed rehab, counseling, ect…the children were returned to him. Bio-mom’s rights were terminated. She did not attend rehab nor seek psychiatric help like CPS required. difficult child’s current therapist actually was involved in the CPS case. He told me some of the past psychiatric issues bio-mom had.
    husband has some depression. He has been sober for almost seven years. His sister has bipolar and is an addict. His mother has anxiety issues but she is not treated. We do not have bio-mom’s history.

    She is in good health. Never complains of any stomachaches or headaches unless she is in a fit of rage. She is RARELY sick. Those

    Appetite depends on mood. She is the typical child when it comes to eating veggies but other than that she eats everything. She does play games with food and will not like something when she feels the need to control.

    She and our son both know bio-mom is out of the picture because of her drug use. She takes out almost ALL her rage on me. It peaks when my husband is at work. Recently, she went to school telling the teacher I was going to die any day. She also said they had to cut off a chunk of my stomach and a finger. Since she has never had issues at school, the teacher believed her. She continued coming to school for about a week and a half stating, “Any day she is going to die.” It then abruptly stopped. Don’t get me wrong, I am not the only person she targets. My husband and her g-ma gets her rages too. I am just the typical target.
  8. The food issues are inconsistent and typically revolve around moods. When she is in a good mood, she eats really well and loves it. When she is in a bad mood or looking to control, she does not want to eat a chosen food. I cook often and "semi-cater" to the both kids likes and dislikes. If I am making chicken with fancy sauce for dinner, I pull out chicken for the kids before I add sauce. I also cook my husband faves with a different meal for the kids. I am completely open to suggestions or possible medical issues with the food, but it appears to be a control issue rather than a sensory issue. Like I mentioned, the dislikes are inconsistent. One day she like spaghetti, the next week she hates it...One day she likes rice, next week she hates it. None of which are consistent.

    My nephew has autism and is sensory sensitive. I have not observed any of the sensory issues with our daughter.

    Desserts typically consist of a small cup of ice cream, snack size candy, jello, little debbie, but are not usually carb based. I always strive to make balanced meals. Both of our children are picky veggie eaters so I do not always serve a vegetable. Both of them only eat broc with cheese and corn. Lol.

    Thanks so much for your input. Any and all input and suggestions is appreciated! =)
  9. Slh,

    "My biggest doubt is that when you're dealing with a child who shows no remorse and who engages very intently on disruptive/destructive behavior, withdrawing contact until it "improves" (on its own??) seems a bit goofy. My kid was the energizer bunny when he was raging - I doubt our home would still be standing if I had just withdrawn. Had I withdrawn my attention... well, thank you would have just kept on going until I had to reengage.

    My son never responded well to reward/consequence type behavior plans - in fact, positive reinforcement would provoke negative behaviors, while negative reinforcers (time outs, spanking when he was young and I was still clueless, loss of a toy or activity) actually reinforced the negative behaviors. I can't tell you how many therapists, psychiatrists, teachers, SWs, and other professionals we dealt with who didn't get this. They simply refused to believe it - until they saw it in action. That said, I think it's probably a good idea to look at other resources - 6 months with- a therapist is plenty of time, in my humble opinion, for a therapist to get a bit more clued in to the particular behaviors and needs of a child and the family. "

    My concern of withdrawing during a rage is exactly as you described. We have removed shop objects and such throughout the home, but recently recovered children's scissors from her. I am not sure how she got them and most likely took the from school at one point. Last Saturday, while she was in her room she cut her jeans. I am sure it was attributed to the fact my husband and I refused to purchase her new jeans because she had plenty of them that were in great condition and fit. I am just glad it was not used in any other manner. Her rages will tear our house down if we let her. As you mentioned, typical rewards/consequences have not worked for us. She reacts the same way you described your son. On numerous occasions, this situation has put a wedge between my husband and I. He has a hard time coping with the behaviors and defends or minimizes it. Recently, he finally agreed to get her a psychiatric evaluation and realizes the behavior is not apart of normal childhood development. I think a lot of his defending has to do with his past mistakes. Thankfully, he is now beginning to see the downwards destruction and wants to seek help for her.

    In the end, I am concerned for her developing into a functioning child and adult. I do not see any positive out of allowing the behavior to continue without seeking out help. Yes for my own selfish reasons, I want the behavior to improve but in the end, she needs help.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there, hon. Things sound tough. As one who adopted older kids, let me share my insight with you. I could be right or wrong, but it sounds like this kids had as rocky a start as any kids in foster care and that they have had so many caregivers that they most likely have attachment disorder problems that a regular ole therapist is probably not capable of catching. I am going to send you another link (I know), but I am quite sure that, whatever else is going on, this is one of them...these kids had to learn to fend for themselves since infancy. They were abused and neglected and, in their earliest years, both were raised by drug addicts. You said hub thinks mom didn't use meth during her pregnancy, but he probably isn't sure. And if she drank, alcohol in a child's system in utero can cause brain damage, which is permanant. In short, you are not a typical blended family. These kids were thrown around just as much as any kid whom both of you could have adopted from the foster care system (and, indeed, they were in that system too along their way). They are not bad kids...or didn't start out that way. They are very damaged children who may be able to improve if you and hub are very serious about it. But you won't get results from typical parenting and I think withdrawing emotionally is very dangerous to kids who already think the only ones who will care for them is themselves. Here is a link on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD): Reactive Attachment Disorder. Ever adoptive mother and father knows this dreaded term, but there IS help (although it takes hard work). See if it fits...and, yes, these kids can grow up to be psychopaths if it isn't worked on. This explains it GREAT, although it says it's "rare." Well, it's not rare among kids who were adopted or who had no stability in their infancy and beyond.


    I hope this helps give you some focus. You are not going to be able to use 1, 2, 3 Magic or Timouts or even severe discipline to make these kids behave. They probably need to attach to you and their father first. You were their father's idea too, not theirs, and they couldn't be too happy about his marrying again. They love their birthmother, even with all her flaws and they can't see her (for good reasons, but they still may miss her). And they are 50% of her genes and 50% of your hubs. He also had his unstable moments. in my opinion this is a work in progress that will entail very difficult times and very hard work for the entire family with an uncertain outcome. But they're his kids...he's not going to abandon them. You kind of have to decide how committed you are to them because they are a package deal.

    Good luck and welcome to the board. Good people come here.
  11. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    Using strategies to make a kid to wanna behave is pretty outdated , especially with the new understanding that these kids lack many coping skills and really would prefer to do well if they could. The way to go in my humble opinion is get the latest editions of Ross Greene's the explosive child , lost at school and check out the websites - http://livesinthebalance.org and http://thinkkids.org - go through the missing skills and unsolved problems check list . It is important to lower the rope and calm the home and spend time on one on one chatting- meaning we listening and get her to speak using dialog questions focusing on non-emotive subjects , perspective taking , empathy , expressing how one feels , likes , what makes one sad, happy etc , connecting and bonding , having fun together etc . I try to avoid saying NO and rather have a cps discussion.

    Now cps is not a technique or magic bullet , it takes at least 40 experiences to learn to trust the process and acquire skills but every point on the way , you and her are learning. That is why general chatting , focusing on other peoples problems and concerns and how they try to address each others concerns and work it out together is important

    because you are a step mom , you are at a disadvantage and advantage - you are not her mom , but you can become her best friend , a mentor to her , your child has to learn to trust you.

    I recomend highly older sisters, buddy-tutors etc - these relationships promote skills and disussion , a trusting relationship

    it is not easy , many bumps in the road , important not to let the bad moments make you look for the quick fix

    here is a link to cps videos from both cps sites

    I hope this helps
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Overwelmedma,
    you've really got your hands full. I agree with-the others, you need a good diagnosis and need to get on the same page with-your husband, which is seems like you are doing, slowly.
    This poor girl has really had an awful start, has genetic issues, and probably some meth exposure. She has NO coping skills.

    The only time I've heard of withdrawing contact is with-dogs. Seriously. I train my dogs that way ... if they jump up, I ignore them. If they sit, I pet them. It works. But they are dogs.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member


    Some ideas here, not necessarily in total agreement with others, but I feel all views are worth expressing and you can take or leave stuff, depending on how well (or not) it seems to fit.

    First - these kids have had a rough start, it would be understandable for there to be attachment issues as well as a lot of anger issues. Let's assume for now that bio-mom did not use/abuse drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. Even if she was completely clean (or was not, but miraculously the kids have dodged that bullet) you still have the problem of the early physical abuse/emotional neglect coupled with their anger NOW that their bio-mom doesn't seem to care enough about them to get clean. It sends a message to the kids that they are just not worth it, and this alone would fuel a vast amount of anger as well as poor self-esteem. What these kids need is unconditional love and support, but by being difficult, this girl is constantly testing the limits of your love (and her father's) almost trying to trigger a self-fulfillnig prophecy. What she most needs in therapy, is help in understanding she is loved and lovable, even when she's being horrible.

    Next - there could well be other underlying disorders here complicating the picture. The sensory issues do sound legit to me, I don't think she's choosing to be difficult. However, when she is more anxious or more upset, she is less able to cope with sensory issues and hence what she ate yesterday is not acceptable today, if she is more upset. Also from my experience, my own difficult children (especially easy child 2/difficult child 2 ad now mother in law) would refuse to eat the same related meal on consecutive days. For example, I might have roast chicken on Monday night. That meant Tuesday I had to cook beef, or sausages, or lamb. Something completely different.

    What I usually try to do food-wise (difficult child 3 is a lot more forgiving) is if I have chicken on Monday, I might make a chicken risotto on Tuesday or chicken supreme, each of which uses leftover roast chicken. Or I might make chicken and avocado sandwiches for lunch.

    Problems we've had with food - texture. difficult child 3 won't touch creamy textures, although he will now eat mayonnaise on his sandwiches. But last night I whipped some cream with vanilla and sugar, and gave him a taste. He pulled a face and refused any more (but hey, he tried it - we've come a long way). easy child 2/difficult child 2 won't eat anything with "bits" in it. So only plain biscuits (I stopped baking biscuits and brownies) unless the bits are pure chocolate. Mostly, she will ONLY eat creamy stuff.

    Like you, I modify what I make for the best compromise for individual tastes. I might cook a stew, for example, but puree the vegetables before I put the meat in to cook on a very low heat. Then to serve, I carefully remove chunks of meat for difficult child 3, cook a few extra plain steamed vegetables for him then serve the rest for the others.

    We have found a lot of things that helped over the years, I will go into more detail when you ask for it (because I need to be specific). But the food faddishness is usually genuine.

    With leftover cooked turkey - I sympathise with your daughter. It is much nicer when it is fresh; reheated is never the same. I personally do not like reheated poultry, unless it is carefully reheated in the microwave. Even then, I can't eat it as if it is the same meal as it was the night before. But you can turn it into something she might accept (such as risotto or supreme - I can give you the recipes).

    Fighting over food is not good. But the kids do need to eat a balanced meal, and it does need to be something they like. If their likes are too narrow, then they need to be expanded (again - I have systems that worked for us). But until then, we did accommodate them for the sake of peace in some areas of our lives at least, and as a starting point. We of course did not stay there, although we did for years. However, we have come a long way with all our kids and difficult child 3 especially is amazing in what he will now eat, compared to how he used to be. Interesting, easy child 2/difficult child 2 is still the faddiest eater, but she now heads her own household and is no longer my problem!

    We are now looking after mother in law's meals, mostly, and I am seeing a lot of easy child 2/difficult child 2's eating problems again. I'm having to get inventive again only this time I can't tell her, "If you don't eat what I prepared for you, there's no dessert." I'm cooking in her house!

    We had chicken two nights ago. We had fish last night. That means I can cook with the leftover chicken tonight. In fact, I have to cut this post short so I can get down to her house and begin cooking a chicken risotto, using chicken leftover from the roast. She will not touch leftover chicken, not even for sandwiches, although she will happily eat a chicken sandwich I prepare for her.

    Sometimes I really do feel sure I know where my kids got their GFGness from!

    Anyway, welcome and ask me for more specific info if you want. But I have already written at length in past threads over the years, if you want to go looking in the meantime.

    I would be getting your daughter checked out for possible Asperger's, too. Mind you, there are a lot of choices with her, when it comes to what could be wrong. But this should be on the list to check, at least. A number of things would explain what you report, but tis one seems to me to also fit the bill.

  14. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'd suggest really going after the underlying causes are of her behaviors before deciding on a treatment plan. I think you'll find "What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions" by Dr. Douglas Riley to be helpful.

  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome!

    I just wanted to say that the "food issue" may not be a food issue at all - it may be more about expressing her anger than anything else.

    My difficult child will rage about something one day, and then do a 180 and rage about the exact opposite thing the next day. So there is no "fixing" it, because the thing she is complaining about is not really the problem. So it really doesn't matter if you make her a special food....she's going to be upset anyway.

    It took me a while to figure out that she is raging because she is angry - not not because of the thing she has decided to scream about. It's as though she gets agry first, and then looks for an excuse to blow up.
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the possibility of attachment disorders. I am sure you will read up on that one.

    I disagree with ignoring the child for days on end - especially if they already have feelings of their loved ones (mom) ignoring, leaving them. That thought might already be in her mind.

    You have to stop trying to make her 'normal'. Just because most kids respond to discipline in usual fashion, does not mean she will. You & husband are going to have to really think out of the box and change up your parenting. Non-traditional parenting works best with difficult children. It may feel like you are giving in or not parenting enough, but you pick a few areas that you will not budge on (ie, Safety issues). Who cares if she eats something other than you cooked? As long as she prepares it....nothing lost. Make it not a power struggle by not caring if she makes herself a PB&J Sandwich for dinner.

    I am glad you are getting an evaluation. Having 2 parents that turned to drugs for possible self-medicating....chances are there are some inherited problems here.
    You may not be able to fix them, but learning how to cope with them before SHE turns to drugs is the key.