Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by totoro, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    OK lets say... your 6.7 yo (who has been in swimming classes since 6mos old)
    has planted herself in the pool and is refusing to get out... we are in Tucson. Not our home... she is manic, violent. It started when I asked her to wear a hat for a little bit to get a break from the sun... which means she can't obsessively sit under water.
    So she went under anyway... then started screaming at me, because the hat was wet and she couldn't see.
    I told her she could either stop going under or get out and stay out of the sun for a little bit. (this is the kid who has been stuck in the swimming thought since last Tuesday)
    So the screaming escalates she starts throwing things at me and splashing me...I count... she says "NO I AM NOT GETTING OUT"
    You ruined it Mom I am not doing anything you say, you can't make me.... on and on...
    we get up because now it has gone on for 15 minutes and she is in the middle of the pool screaming at us, splashing, throwing things...
    So we go inside, leave the screen door open, YES I can see her and there is also a HUGE picture window that we can see her through...
    So she proceeds to come back and forth to the screen window and spit and throw water, objects... whatever she can think of at us, while screaming... after each assault... she hucks herself back into the pool...
    We end up locking the doors...
    Just sit and watch her...
    After over an hour of this, she has just climbed out and wrapped herself up in a towel. SHe is just sitting on a lounge chair talking to herself...

    No I am not taking her to a hospital... she has done this sort of thing a lot before... she is manic.

    I am just curious what you would do besides take her to a hospital?
    We will give her a PRN and try to get her into a bath.

    I think the SUN of Tucson has really triggered some Mania, It has for me... I am not sleeping...

    We went from NO sun to full blown sun...

    I just don't know what else we could have done in this instance... Yes we could have dragged her out, and restrained her, sure we could have smacked her... but I am not into violence and do not believe in it.
    I thought and so did husband to let her get it out of her system...
    she is not able to learn a lesson at this point, she is out of control.
    She will feel bad later. If she remembers, we can talk about...

    I am tired of restraining the poor kid.

    Any ideas of what we could do? or could have done? It is hard because this is not our home.

    She was safe... let's just get that out of the way. We were only 15 ft from her at all times. She can swim.

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Well, I'd have called for medical transport and taken her to a hospital. If you don't want to do that, maybe a call to her psychiatrist for a medication adjustment????
  3. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Early on when difficult child started having rages like this we discovered that if we could remove him from the scene we could often head off the worst of it or calm him down more quickly. Our agreement was that the parent who wasn't involved in the collision would try and coax him to the van. We'd drive around a bit, maybe stop somewhere for a snack. We'd call ahead to make sure the family disappeared while he re-entered and settled into another activity or got ready for bed. It's not exactly the most convenient plan for the family but it sure beats 2-3 hours of raging.

    I know it's a lot different situation when you're not at home. In your case I might have offered some alternatives to the hat such as spray-on sunblock offered and a handheld umbrella to try and head it off at the pass. Easy for me to say, since I wasn't in your sandals.

    I've never called for transport to the hospital but he's been able to calm without prn medications.
  4. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Thinking back to that age, I must say you have more patience then I. But I think you did the right thing. With mood disorder children(and I have had to learn this) it is sometimes better to let them wear themselves out. Just keep them safe and let them have their tantrum. No good will come from disciplining them in that state anyway.(in my humble opinion).

    Once she is calm then try to talk to her. I always tried to explain that there are consequences for actions, and try to help difficult child see a different possible action/solution.

    I am no expert, and still struggle with difficult child's mood swings/cycling. I don't have any hospital advise, never had to go that route.

    Take a minute to calm yourself(if needed) and remember, sometimes there is nothing you can do other then keep them safe.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Other than trying to find a possible alternative to the hat, I think I'd have done pretty much what you did. Back off and let the war rage without you.
  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I guess the only thing I could TRY (I know how you feel, I'd have such an urge to dive in and drag her out!) and disarm the situation.

    "Oh, I know I hate when that happens...would you like to give me the hat and I'll try and dry it out." "What would you like me to do to help the situation?" ( a la throw it back in her lap!) "You know what? Forget about the sun...husband will run to the store and get some Solarcaine for the sunburn you're about to get" "Honey? Would you mind coming out and putting some sunblock on me? I can't get this spot on the back of my neck and I KNOW that you can get it! I sure don't want old lady skin before I have to!"

    That being said, you asked for suggestions, I don't know if it would work, but it seems that she really, really has trouble with transitioning, so if you make it her idea OR that she's helping YOU, she might fall for it before it gets hostile.

    Sorry you had to go through this!

  7. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Yeah, I don't know... she is in bed now. Poor thing. She is just a mess.
    If she was a tiny bit more stable I would expect more from her.
    We have gone over this every day... It is once again her stuck thinking. Once she is going she can't stop.
    It is like the snakes, we were going for a walk the other day, and the RattleSnakes are just coming out of hibernation... she is obsessed with snakes. So, she goes running off of the trail and starts trying to flip huge rocks to find a Rattler!!!
    I did not let that go on. She is so impulsive.

    But we have had talks and sunscreen lathering sessions, we talk about how we swim for this amount of time and then we take a break... I even have table set up with clay and moon sand and toys in the shade!!!
    I wasn't even going to make her get out... It was because she had to stop going under water... she wants to chase this little purple toy that spins under water...
    "The purple snitch" like Harry Potter... whose dumb idea was that???

    The other thing is N is not doing very well either, she is on Sensory overload and anxiety is on HIGH!!! RED ALERT!!!

    I appreciate it... We are just in limbo right now... and don't really have anyone to go to for medication changes or anything like that yet... I am making notes of all of this for Thursdays apt.

    Thanks guys. We have been trying to keep her as calm as possible, but it is so hard... she wants to GO all of the time.
  8. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Personally, I would've have removed her from the pool and that would be the end of it. Restrain if necessary. You made a simple request, gave her choices (hat or come out of pool) and she refused to comply, then flew off the handle. Manic or no, it's unacceptable behavior (very easy for me to say *now*, being 10 years removed from the joys of raging young difficult children). But, from a distance, what has happened is she's gotten the reinforcement of she can do whatever she wants with no consequences. On top of it, she can rage however long she wants, again with no consequences. I'm sorry, but spitting has *always* been a hot button for me. To me, it's the epitome of disrespect. For her to come back and do it over and over? Nope, not going to happen.

    The goal is to get her to the point where she can function in a community. This is not functioning.

    I know it's hard to predict what's going to set our kids off, but I really think it's important to follow through once a request has been made, regardless of their reaction.
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?


    I usually go that route, but we have gotten nowhere with it (here) when she is full blown manic... and since her medications are being adjusted and she is in the middle of transition... I felt like letting her blow it out was better than fighting it out in My in-laws home... I fully know what you are saying... and agree with you. I do partially feel like we should have pulled her out...

    But with the sun kicking in her mania and all of the above I sort of feel like she really doesn't have full control of herself, this morning she was crying and saying her brain didn't feel like it was hers, she was poking her sister and saying she felt out of control and started crying, and saying she had no control over her body, and could someone else have taken control of her???

    So we haven't eased up entirely but we are trying to cut her some slack while we are here...

    The old routine will resume once home and semi stable... It is just so hard the travel, with medication changes and doctor changes and Mania... I am wondering if anyone has had to do this!!!???? I am trying to be strict to a point... she seems so fragile at times. She was a wreck when she came in... I had a talk with her and she went to bed.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Yes spitting is my all time low also... I had to restrain myself. This Mommy is having to show some real restraint this past week... Some days I want to SMACK someone...
  11. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    It usually worked for me to say something like, "Ok, you don't have to wear the hat. You'll be the one with the sunburn, not me". Usually, whoever was refusing would eventually put it on. I would also not go swimming again for a while. Other than that, I probably would have done what you did.
  12. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Hugs to you--Were there other people at the pool watching this manic tantrum? Because this was a public place, I probably would have tried to get a hold of her and get her inside...I know hold downs/restraints don't do anything...but prevent the child my harming herself and/or others, but I have such a hard time letting my difficult child rage in public.....

    What I've done...when I know my little one was freaking out due to being in a new allow certain things...which don't normally happen at home...such as an extra ice cream or treat. I've also given in and purchased a toy rather than have a fight...but I've also taken the toy away pretty quickly once a problem arises.

    I don't think you put her in any type of danger allowing her to be you said you had a clear view and she knows how to swim.

    Maybe the sunburn would be the natural consequence....but I can't imagine a manic girl with a severe sun burn !!!!! :tongue:

    Good luck--
  13. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    No, it was not public. It is my in-laws pool. Which is why I could sit inside the house and watch her... The neighbors on either side are gone as well. I think long and hard about these things. I am not ones of those that make others suffer with me!!! LOL
    If it was at a public pool it would have been out pronto!!!
    Part of the reason I let it play out was because we were in the privacy of our house...
    She is up now and knows she is on a very short leash... so to speak. N got a balloon... K did not. K is OK with this. N got Ice cream... K did not. K is OK with these things.
    She seems to know she was wrong, very wrong.

    Who knows??? It will happen again... she is so unstable.
    It will probably happen again tomorrow!!!
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I'm stuck too. And I will tell you that total days of unending sunshine after living in OH where there are about 32 actual days of total blistering sunshine all year - made me just ill.

    I can't ever live in FL due to it - I get depressed if I don't have overcast and rainy days. They also help with my migraines so I don't think it is that far-fetched to believe it could have something to do with sensory overload and mania. The girls are used to overcast skies and AZ is .....just cheery and sunny a lot.

    As far as her raging in the pool? I guess my first thought was bait and switch. Which works sometimes in a pinch for those embarrassing moments you just have to get them out of wherever. Bait and switch would be like - have a bag of something irresistible things that are not allowed unless there is a total melt down, like a new favorite toy or movie or something that breaks that drone thinking. The back side of this - is that if you do it over and over it becomes expected and then habit and you are back to square one.

    Ultimately the best thing to do albeit it seems to never ever never ever freaking ever work is to do what SLSH said and give her a choice - then remove her. After 11 years I can tell you that I grew very tired of doing this with seemingly no end in sight - but after 7th grade it DID work. SO we had to do the remove, restrain, regain for around 5 years to see any results. And at his age 11 or so - I couldn't hardly hold him anyway despite taking classes on therapeutic holds. Some of his rages were so violent - I felt like the ER was on call for us.

    I wish there was something I could tell you to help. Hugs to you all.

  15. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    Thanks for letting me know where you were....and yes...since you were at your in laws home...let it be.....Too bad the sun didn't knock her out....
  16. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Thank you Star* I actually like the idea of the bait and switch for here!!! We do the restrain and the get out NOW!!! like SLSH said... when we are home and a bit more stable... I am a restraint expert!!! As is husband!!! I actually have a few things "held back" that I have not given her... little bribes so to speak... just in case items. Emergency items... I usually have them for Psychotic episodes like out in public. But I will have to think in those terms of like a treat or something and then a talk or maybe a time out.
    This is just so fricken hard in this situation... I don't want to treat it like vacation, because we may have to come back and forth a few times, but I don't want her to hate these apt.

    We are walking a fine line this first time. Know what I mean???? And she has been a wreck everyday. I don't want her in trouble the whole time... she really doesn't get it right now. After she got out of the pool she was trying to take apart a table...

    Now she is happy as can be dancing around the room... with her little sweat pants pulled up to her armpits... quite the visual!!! Oh and they are pink leopard print!!! Little Miss Sunshine'ish!!!
  17. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    No great suggetsions - only big ((hugs)) Don't you just wanna rip them apart at that point. Your patience is overwhelming in a really good way. Every day is a struggle - your doing great - even if it doesn't feel like it!
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Totoro, seems to me you did the best that you could with the situation at hand. It is REALLY REALLY tempting to SMACK them, or make the situation a totally structured, locked down, my-way or that is it nightmare for everyone.

    I would be wondering if you could have a videocamera around, ready to go, to tape these for the docs?? It seems to me it might be very very helpful.

    I think at home letting her be at whatever level of structure/freedom seems to work for her and the rest of you is the best you can do. I wish I could tell you I knew what it would be.


  19. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    Well, I dunno Totoro. Our girls have a lot in common but can be so different. I think this may be because Duckie tends to be anxious while K's mood instability keeps her on an uneven keel. I think you did the best you could given the circumstances. For Duckie, though, I would have risked further escalation on her part by removing her from the pool. The rage tends to burn out of a lot quicker if I'm direct with her consequences, and she seems to push hard on her boundaries and is comforted by my being firm. But I know that's not necessarily the case with your difficult child.
  20. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    T, to me this was basket A and non-negotiable. It was a danger to her to be in the sun for too long. It is like holding hands when crossing the street. You have no choice. You do not want to hold my hand, you do not get to cross the street.

    Once she is able to listen to you for a few minutes I would ask her if she knows what happens with in the sun too long. She probably does not really understand the seriousness of sunburns. At the very least she should know that if she does get sunburned she will be unable to even go outside, let alone go swimming, for days.