Same Old difficult child Nonsense

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    We went away on vacation the day after school let out, so I really didn't consider summer vacation to start until this week.

    husband went back to work on Monday and I'm home with the kids. easy child has a few sports camps that he's signed up for, the first of which is next week, but difficult child has nothing planned, and he expects easy child to play with him. All. The. Time. I have tried to explain to difficult child a million ways from Sunday that this is easy child's summer vacation, too, and he does not want to spend every second of every day of it entertaining his older brother. difficult child doesn't care. He's "bored" and he wants easy child play with him. No amount of redirection seems to help. As usual, difficult child wants what he wants when he wants it and the feelings and needs of other people don't matter.

    We're on day two of being home and he started already. easy child, who has spend a good part of the day willingly playing with his brother, wanted to "relax in [his] room" for a few minutes. difficult child wanted easy child to continue to play with him. Now, if difficult child would just give easy child a few minutes he would take a few minutes, relax, and then be willing to play. No. difficult child starts stomping his feet on the floor ("I'm not stomping. I'm marching!"), knocking incessantly on easy child's locked bedroom door, screaming that easy child is "a retard", shaking the handle to easy child's door in an attempt to force his way into easy child's room. This lasts five minutes, until he goes into his own room, slamming the door behind him. While this is going on I'm telling difficult child to stop bother easy child and just give him a few minutes. I don't want to touch him because the minute I do that escalates everything into a physical confrontation.

    Just as I predicted, ten minutes later, difficult child knocks on easy child's door (again, but nicely this time) and asks if he wants to play Dungeons and Dragons. Of course, easy child says yes, and that is what they are doing right now.

    This goes on every day. I can't relax and do anything because I'm always waiting for the next issue to pop up. I am never going to make it through the summer. I can't wait for the weeks that easy child has sports camps.
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear you!
    Poor easy child. Poor you!
    Our difficult children have no clue, the effect the have on others.
    I'm thinking you're going to have to artificially create ways to remove difficult child from easy child's orbit every day, such as trips to the grocery store, walks around the block, that sort of thing.
    Good luck! It's not easy.
    I hate the commercials that show people actually looking forward to vacations and all packing the car together ...
  3. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Too bad we're not closer. My baby boy, who is the same age as your difficult child, is sitting home doing nothing because his d and d buddies are all at sleepaway camp and he refused to go. My difficult child just banned baby boy from his x-box for a week for screaming at me and shrieking when I asked him to accompany difficult child and I on an errand. I can't drive at night anymore due to cataracts so difficult child was going to take me. Where we had to go is up a steep driveway so difficult child asked baby boy to come so he could drop off the cat carriers I had borrowed so I wouldn't have to walk up the hill. Instead, difficult child had to pull into the driveway and then back out into traffic, which scares me. He is a new driver. My baby boy is a easy child - I can't imagine dealing with him if he was a difficult child...

    All I can say is, at least there's no homework.

    PS - Was difficult child happy with his earth science regents score?
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Svengahndi, that was so nice of you to remember! Yes, he got a 92 and he was really happy with it. He hoped for better on his math regents (88), but I told him that I never got an 88 on a math regents and he should be proud.

    Hopefully, today will be better. difficult child has an appointment with the therapist this morning, and the sun is finally shining, so I'm hoping that easy child will want to go bicycle riding after lunch. At least it's a little bit of separation.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That has got to be so hard for your easy child. easy child needs some "me" time.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    That's exactly why I push easy child to go all the sports camps that he wants to. Well, I don't actually "push" him, because he begs to go. He loves it there. It's costs alot in the end, but it's worth it for me because it makes easy child happy to be doing something that he really likes. He's my athlete.

    Another reason I like it is because it gives me a chance to breath. When easy child is out of the house I don't have always be "on", listening to what they are doing, waiting for the next issue to crop up.

    difficult child screamed bloody murder last summer because easy child spent almost the whole month of August at various sports camps. He thought it was "stupid" that easy child would want to spend so much time at sports camps and away from difficult child.
  7. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Does your difficult child hgave any friends of his own? Or hobby? Could you help him find something he would be enthusiastic about and that would be something of his own. Something easy child has no part? What enjoyable (at least for him) things or activities you or his dad do with just him without easy child?

    I know your easy child does many sports and know all too well what kind of time commitment that tends to be for family. And I think you have said your difficult child is not interested of organized sports and that is of course fine. But I have noticed that sometimes while parents take their little kids to little league and play ball with them in park, they may not be as active when introducing their kids to other type of interests. And often our difficult children are not go-getters but need all kind of help and some pushing from parents to find their interests and find positive ways to occupy their time. And often, if kid is not into sports or music, parents don't help them find something else with same enthusiasm.

    Your difficult child (and also your easy child) would greatly benefit something fun and positive he could enjoy and be proud of and that would be totally separate from your easy child's activities. And with which you show as much interest and enthusiasm as for your easy child's hobbies.
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Suzir, difficult child likes to bowl and cook. And play video games. That's it!! And not necessarily in that order!

    He's started already this morning. I asked easy child if he wanted to go on a bike ride after lunch and he asked if we could go to the playground up at school. I said either one was fine. I told difficult child this was the plan, and asked if he wanted to come to the playground with us (he neve learned to ride a bike) and he started telling easy child, "You said you would play with ME after lunch! Why the hell did you make plans with mom? Either you play with me, or I'm taking over your guys and I'll use them in battles!" I tried to explain to difficult child that there is a whole, long afternoon "after lunch," but in difficult child's black and white thinking "after lunch" means the minute easy child finishes eating and puts his dishes in the sink. Time to play!!

    I'll have to talk to easy child and see if he'll go out with me later. He's usually pretty bendable and he will probably say he'll go later in ghe afternoon.

    *I need to get out of the house and away fro difficult child for a while, even if easy child doesn't.
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Could you cultivate something out of that? I know that cooking clubs are extremely popular hobby for kids around here. Maybe you have some too? Or even just take interest and help him develop his cooking interest at your home? And make sure to make big thing out of it? Invite grandparents etc. and make sure everyone hears it's difficult child's cooking and asks questions from him how he did this or that.

    And considering how popular gaming is, I'm sure there are some activities surrounding that. You can't really expect difficult child to be active in that. You have to find the info and even push him. I'm sure your easy child didn't find, signed up and paid himself when he entered to his first little league team. Don't expect difficult child to do that.

    I don't want to sound mean, but doesn't that sound a little bit like "Hey, would you like to come and watch your little brother being awesome and doing things you can't even though you are older and cheer for him and try to kill your time while he is being his awesome self?" to you? I of course don't mean that would be something you imply but something he hears. I have found out, and my difficult child tends to be very proud of his little brother, that the limit kids can handle cheering for their siblings from sidelines is rather limited. And it has to be rather even or it gets even lower. You often mention the good moments with your difficult child being when he helps easy child with easy child's sport training or things like that. How often do easy child help or cheer for difficult child (with you parents and you cheering by) for his achievements or interests? That could be very important to your difficult child. It is often so easy to cheer our sport or music kids, but if only some kids in the family do sport or music, it easily creates imbalance where only those kids' achievements are recognized and celebrated.

    Your difficult child for example did well at his end of school year exams if I remember correctly and tends to have good grades. What kind of family celebration you had to recognize that achievement? Are you and your husband able to spend enough positive, quality time alone with your difficult child and giving him positive recognition and feeling that you enjoy his company and doing things with him and appreciate his interests and consider them just as valuable as his brother's?

    I really don't want to sound pushy, but knowing very well what time commitment a sport kid tends to be, I wonder if your difficult child feels he is always drawing a shorter stick.

    If anything it seems he is quite socially immature. Does he have friends and how much is he able to spend time with them? Especially now during the vacation? It is of course nice for siblings to play, but to me it doesn't sound too common for a teen to want to play a lot with five years younger sibling. Or them to have much common plays. Could you invite difficult child's friends more to your house to spend time with him, if socialising elsewhere is difficult for him?
  10. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Bunny -

    88 on algebra is awesome. Under the new rules, kids can now get a mastery notation on their diplomas if they get 85 or better on all 3 science and math regents. Your son is 1/3 there. Mine refused to even consider accelerated math.

    It really is funny because my son also loves to cook and bowl. He is talking about joining the bowling team at the HS next year! Does your HS have one? My son did agree to do stage crew for a kids show in town, which is a couple of nights a week, and is attending Venture crew meetings where he plays pool. Oddly, we have realized that he is actually very good at it.

    Maybe next summer you should send easy child to sleepaway camp. I sent babyboy last summer for 8 weeks because things were so horrible between him and easy child now 17. It gave the family a break from their fighting and insured babyboy's safety. easy child isn't violent but he was double babyboy's size last summer and thought nothing of sitting on him, flipping him and the like. Babyboy has grown bigger and stronger and easy child has slimmed down so it's not as bad this year.

    Is there any way you can get together a D and D group? If you have Patch in your town, maybe put up an ad looking for kids to play. Do it at a neutral place, like the library, at first. Maybe that would get him to stop focusing on easy child.

    Good luck. HS is often a really good thing for kids like these because there are so many activities and clubs that virtually any kid can find something to do.
  11. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I asked husband to take difficult child bowling today, more because easy child and I need a break from him being up our butts for the last three days, but also because that is something that the two of them do together and I think that difficult child needs that (he's always in the kitchen with me) His answer? He'll do that on Sunday (yep, four days from now) because he wants to throw the football with easy child today.

    His therapist told him yesterday that she thinks he wants to play with his brother rather than his friends because he can bully his brother into doing what difficult child wants to do, and he can't do that with kids his own age. Wth his friends he has to compromise, and he doesn't want to do that. He wants things his way all the tme. I told her that I think she hit a very large nail squarely on the head.

    Next week easy child goes to baseball camp, so I will be able to take difficult child bowling during the week, if he wants to go. I also plan on asking him of he wants to call his friends and see if anyone wants to go and play mini golf, or something like that.

    Sven, sending easy child to sleep away camp isn't an option. Football starts the third week of July and he needs to be here for the training camp and practices. And husband would never allow it. Good heavens, he won't let me send difficult child away, he certainly would neve let me send easy child away, although I think that the separation would do everyone some good.
  12. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Well, even one week at sleep away camp might be a good thing. You can see how things look next spring. I can't believe football starts so early for such young kids. Our HS team starts mid-August.

    Maybe you can make a schedule with your older son rather than just let each day play out. For instance, we go bowling on Monday, Wed and Fri, to the pool on Tuesday and Thursday, mini-golf, etc. Build specific time for him and easy child to hang out together in to it. If he knows what will go on each day, it might make it easier. It's kind of like when they're in school, they know what will happen at whatever time. It gives kids some sense of security.

    I do agree that this is probably about the older boy being able to push the younger one around. I doubt it's being done on a conscious level. When easy child used to torture babyboy, we would tell him to be careful because babyboy was going to get bigger and one day, he'd put easy child's butt through the wall. Seriously, though, easy child's baby name was "Baby Huey" because he was so big and sturdy so it's not likely that babyboy will be as big as him, though maybe he'll be taller. Ironically, easy child's best friend amongst his siblings is oldest boy, who is not quite 6 years older. Oldest boy is mildly Aspie, so he is pretty immature. Even at almost 23, he is still young for his age. In fact, I think he just lost his job to easy child... but he doesn't seem to mind, I guess because he'll get it back when school starts again.

    Can easy child spend some time overnights with the grandparents? How about difficult child?

    I feel for you. I'm stressed enough about what goes on in my house and I'm in the city at work all day! I'd seriously consider just running away if I had to be home 24/7.
  13. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    The football league that easy child plays in starts the third week of July. Last year was his first year playing, so I don't know if that's early compared to other leagues.

    I am going to be speaking to mother in law today about sleepovers, but she will only do one night for each of them. She takes them separately, so they each have special Gram time. husband and I are going away for a long weekend the first weekend in August, and my in-laws are watching the kids then, too.
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    It can well be, that your difficult child likes to play with your easy child, because it is easier for him. He may have difficulties in negotiating, compromising and other politics in peer level relationships. Relationships with younger kid are easier and less stressful for him. That is rather typical for socially challenged kid. But social skills are called skills for a reason, so it would be important for him to have more peer level interactions. Preferably in situations and environments that are easier and enjoyable for him.

    Does he really love mini-golfing? If so, it is a good way to meet with friends because it is somewhat organized. But if it is more a thing like 'you too have to do something active and out of house', maybe adding peer level social interaction is not the best plan? Maybe asking friends to your house to game (easy environment and activity to difficult child) and taking difficult child and easy child to mini golf (more enjoable to easy child, organized activity letting difficult child boss him around less and difficult child having to deal with only one uncomfortable factor at the time.)

    Do you think your difficult child may think his dad likes more to spend time with easy child and has more interest to easy child's favourite activities than his? If so, it may cause some intense jealousy issues. Would your husband be willing to consider scheduling regular, as frequent and as long time to kid's favourite activities alone with both of his sons? How about you?