Suggestions on how to handle this...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, May 26, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee difficult child frequently asks me to help him do something, and whilst in the midst of doing that, asks me to help him do something else, and gets frustrated that I can only do one thing at a time.

    Example - tonigh the wanted to finish a plaque he's making for grandpa. While I was applying the finish, which he can not do, he started whining that he was hungry. I can't varnish a plaque and cook dinner at the same time. I tried to explain this, to no avail. I asked him which he wanted me to do, he wanted me to varnish the plaque, but the whining because he was hungry then turned into a full fledged meltdown because he didn't have anything to eat.

    Obviously, I should have fixed dinner, then resumed the plaque, but I'm trying to get him to make some connections here. that his choices had impacts on himself and others, and that I am not superhuman...

    And honestly, I'm tired. Waking up to a three year old screaming "mommy, I need/want (insert demand here - regardless if truly wanted OR ever met - it is still screamed)" every morning for years on end just wears you to a frazzle. Whatever that is.

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not sure what the immediate answer is- but, the long term answer is not to give into this- well, because it isn't humanly possible and he needs to learn, ultimately, that you cannot meet every need immediately. So, I guess, maybe a reminder before starting a project that once you start it will take "this" amount of time and it will need to be finished once it is started. So, if he needs a snack, or to potty, or whatever, do it beforehand. Than, once the project is started, too bad. He can suffer the consequences of waiting. That is just my opinion-
  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    As a mom who caused a caused a full-blown meltdown over a glass of water yesterday (silly me I thought he could wait a few minutes, boy was I wrong!), I can tell you that hind sight is always 20/20 but maybe offering a small snack that he could reach himself would have worked????? I couldn't agree more that your difficult child was being unreasonable but unfortunately they don't opperate on reason!

    Here's something you could try inorder to make your point. Ask difficult child to brush his teeth. When he is in the middle of brushing, tell him to go get dressed. Insist that he do it now. If he tries to put down the toothbrush, tell him he needs to finish brushing. He starts brushing again, tell him that you need him dressed now. Hopefully he will verbalize that it is not possible to do both things at the same time. Then you can ask him to think back to when he asked you to ______ and ______ at the same time. Was that possible? Was it reasonable to get upset because Mom could not do both things at once?

    I can sympathize with you when it comes to waking up to bellowing demands. That's how my day begins as well, argh!!!!

    Good Luck
  4. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well, you could be psychic.

    I found later in life with impatient son that it was BEST for ME and him and the house - if I said things like -

    "Okay you want help with this?"
    "yes" (says boy)
    "Well once I sit down to do X I'm not going to be able to do anything else until I complete this project for XX minutes." Then point to clock and give time Big hand on the X little hand on the X.
    "yeah" (says boy)
    So I'd start doing whatever it was and you betcha - Moooom I need a snack, my nose is sore, can you wash this, the dog ate my popsicle, there are men from Mars on the front lawn come and see, Sasquatch just ate our pinecones. And on and on.

    My reaction AFTER much practice was - Uh huh - you wanted to work on this and I told you I can not stop you will have to wait.

    then I'd get "BUT Moooooooooooom." and I would sometimes say "Okay this project must be finished once I started, I told you that when WE began to do it." and I emphasise WE because if I did something FOR my son - he sat there with me and sometimes either helped me to learn OR just sat there and watched = long gone were the days when I would say "Okay I'll do this for you and YOU go play." That set a very bad pattern to get into. Of Mom did XX (not really fun) and difficult child not only got his project done - but ALSO took time from things I needed to do AND got to play - that taught him nothing.

    Unless of course it was something where I NEEDED time to myself. Then I would always make sure to say something like "Well I'll finish this or do this for you - what are you going to do for me?"

    Like I said I learned this LATER in life - if I were going to take MY time to finish something for difficult child - our trade was HE did something for me. But as far as him interrupting me once I got started on HIS projects? no maam. I made it emphatically clear BEFORE by pointing to the clock and saying big hand / little hand etc. Short of the house being on fire - don't interrupt. And if the house IS on 911 from the yard and GET OUT.

    (which in our case after our house burned down 2 times - we all knew fire procedures)

    hope this helps.

    The biggest helper I found was if boy would sit there WITH ME really.