Slobbing & Gobbing

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LadyM, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. LadyM

    LadyM Guest

    I've decided to pick one area of problem with difficult child a week and work on it. This week's project will be to get him into the routine of taking responsibility for cleaning up after himself.

    He has a mindset that kids shouldn't have to do certain things and that is is mom and dad's job to do his "dirty work". My husband calls it "slobbing and gobbing" the way difficult child roams around the house throughout the day making messes.

    It's very frustrating. I leave the house at 6:30a and don't come home until 5p to find difficult child (and dad as well sometimes) leaving messes for someone else to clean up.

    As far as difficult child goes, here are some common daily events:
    • Leave pee clothes and soggy towels in bathroom, bedroom, living room (towels only), etc.
    • Get something to eat and leave the mess all ovver the kitchen table
    • Get food out and not put it back properly (i.e. leaving the bread bag laying open, cereal boxes open, etc causing things to go stale.
    • Eating in areas he is not supposed to (i.e. living room, bedroom)
    • This is a BIG one--Not telling anyone that he has wet his bed and has used all of the clean sheets until late at night (his bedtime usually).
    • Not taking off school clothes when he gets home or bringing his uniforms down to be washed causing dad and i to run all over looksing for them late at night.
    • Bedroom is a general mess with clothes and peed sheets that weren't brought down for laundering.
    • Comes home from school and leaves coat, hat, school papers, etc stewn across the living room.
    • and much MUCH more

    If we catch him doing something he isn't supposed to, the immediate justification is, "well, you didn't tell me" when we've told him a million times. We also get "it's not my fault!" or "kids don't have to do this, you're bad parents".

    The other night he didn't tell us until 10pm that he had no clean sheets. We made him come downstairs and do his own wash (which did NOT go over well).

    HELP! I can't stand living in this pig pen anymore!
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Lady M, and welcome! ;)

    Wow ... I'm not sure I'd tackle the entire "slobbing & gobbing" (*love* the phrase) issue at one time. Maybe break it down into smaller parts. My priority would be the peed on clothing/bedding because I cannot stand the smell of urine, but that's just me (and I do have a totally incontinent kid, so it's a battle I fight daily too). ;)

    Do visual cues work? Perhaps a list by mirror (to be viewed when teeth are getting brushed)? Just a reminder that all sheets/towels/clothes are to be taken downstairs first thing in a.m. and again at night?

    I'd be tempted to let natural consequences kick in re: school uniforms. I'm assuming he'll get a consequence at school for not being in uniform - would that make an impact on him? Right now, you and husband are taking full responsibility for all of this. Maybe a night on a bed without sheets or a detention or 2 at school for being out of uniform would make more of an impression on him *and* at the same time relieve you and husband of having to always be the bad guys.

    At 14, I don't think it's unrealistic for him to start having some accountability for this. Getting clothes/bedding to the laundry room is totally reasonable, especially if you are able to help him by putting a cue (or several cues) in prominent places.

    I suspect this is going to take more than a week. I've finally got my 15-year-old trained to get stuff down to the washer, but with- my 12-year-old it's still a battle - and they're NT. ;)

    Again, welcome!
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi there!

    I agree with Slsh on the fact that trying to work on the whole "slobbing and gobbing" issue is a bit of a big job to tackle. (I also love that term!)

    14 is a bit old for the pee issue. Does he have a physical issue that is causing this problem or is it behavioral? I assume you have tried medication like DDAVP? Would he be adverse to using the adult diapers at night? It would save the sheets and bedding. He could do this in his room away from other kids so they wouldnt even know he was using them.

    Like Sue said, maybe giving him cues in the morning to bring down items and clothing. Also maybe have a box for him to place his backpack or school papers in each day.

    Have no clue how to make a kid stop being messy with food. If you figure it out, tell me! LOL.

    Good luck, I think this is going to take some time.
  4. LadyM

    LadyM Guest

    Thanks for the good advice. As I was writing the list, it occurred to me that this would have to be broken down, maybe one item on the list at a time and when he gets that down, move to the next.

    I wish I could leave visual clues. He has trouble reading (although he is getting better). husband and I tried to work with him on the reading bit but he was so difficult and keeping his attention was a chore.

    As far as wetting the bed, my understand is that autistic kids sleep very deeply and don't wake up to realize they have to go. I do believe; however, that it is behavioral to some degree. He does not wet himself during the day. It seems like there might be an element of laziness to.

    With regard to sending him to school out of uniform, they would send him home.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My aspie-lite kid was late in staying dry all night too. He slept like a log so it was a struggle. DDAVP worked well for him though. We tried all the other methods like waking him up late at night and taking him to potty, limiting liquids after dinner, etc. to no effect. That medication was a sanity saver for both of us. I think he was around 8 though if memory serves me correctly.

    If reading is a struggle, maybe try visual cues with pictures from online or magazines. You could find a picture of a boy with a laundry basket for example. Or for in the kitchen you could put a picture on the fridge of smiling milk or on the cabinet of smiling cereal boxes or something and tell him that the boxes etc are happy when they are put away. I dont know...just thinking.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Are you sure my son didn't move in with you and just change his name?

    I have a chore list for my son, who can read very well, and he has to check off the chores as he does them. He gets no electronic equipment or favors until his chores are done. Stripping his bed and spraying bleach on the mattress is high on the list!

    I like Janet's idea of a picture of a boy with-a laundry basket.

    Great that you decided to do one issue a week. I just typed in something similar on another thread and didn't see this until now.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A couple of concerns here.

    First, others have already addressed this, you have picked a lot of stuff under one heading. You are right to break it down. Seriously - just one of those things is a big issue. I don't know why, these kids have a lot of trouble in some of these areas. Be careful tat you haven't picked something that for various reasons he may have a lot more trouble learning. Sometimes the problem has a deeper cause which needs to be identified and treated. For example, attention/distractibility problems, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issues. The bedwetting could be Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), or it could be linked so some other area of brain development. You have to be careful to pick a problem that is thoroughly within his control.

    Second - don't give it a time frame. I doubt you can fix it in a week. But you may make good progress in a week. Certainly it's worth observing his progress (or not) with trying to work on this, to see how much progress you can make. But do read Explosive Child first, or at least some explanation of it, before you try. You need to also try to involve him a lot more in what you're trying to do, maybe ask him what he thinks he could try to work on, with your help. He's old enough to begin to take responsiblity here for his own personal development. Explosive Child also talks about this sort of planning ahead of time, as part of the plan.

    Your ultimate aim is for your child to eventually be independent, happy, productive. Our kids need a different path to get there, it often takes longer, but they can get there.