Tail end of a long visit with grandparents; meltdown behavior

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ChiefDramatist, Jul 3, 2015.

  1. My girls and I have been out of state, visiting my elderly parents. It has been a long stay. Dad has been away on business since January, and is coming home in a few weeks. We are flying back to our own home in three days.

    Before we left home three weeks ago, Difficult Child was behaving normally (difficult, but normal for her). She has digressed significantly since we arrived.

    It has been ridiculously hot for the Seattle area, and parents' home does not have air conditioning. Neither of the girls fall sleep until nearly midnight because it is simply too hot, so sleep cycles are off. She has been very oppositional about taking her Rx, especially at night. They make her sleepy, and she doesn't want to go to bed because it is so hot... Even though she *knows* they will help her sleep.

    Her bipolar swings are swinging hard and fast. Ten minutes ago, she was at the tail end of a two hour tantrum, and now she is doing her "crazy laugh" (dubbed as such by herself and her sister), running through the sprinkler with her sister, having a grand old time.

    Also, her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) has come roaring back. She is fixated on getting a cell phone. Her dad and I have decided that is not something either she or her sister are going to get right now. We aren't anti-tech. They both have iPad minis. We just don't want her to have a cell right now. Anyway, today she was so angry, she snapped a plastic hairbrush in half (with her bare hands, not by hitting it against something hard) and threatened to intentionally dump a strawberry milkshake in the inside of Grandpa's really nice Lincoln.

    She has been threatening to hurt herself, has been hitting her sister, and even me. Her grandpa bought her a skateboard to play with while here, and the helmet can't be tight enough, even though I discovered the strap had been so tight, her skin was abraised and bleeding under her chin and on her neck. She has been stomping around, growling; when I refused to buy her a pair of shoes, she kicked me in the knee twice, right there in the shoe store.

    There have been basically a lot of awfulness.

    I'm just ranting basically... My parents simply don't understand, and my husband's parents (mother in law specifically) sat me down and told me I "needed to do something about her grandchildren and myself." @[email protected] If she only knew the lengths to which we have gone to DO SOMETHING. UGH UGH UGH!!!

    I'm so appreciative to have a place I can vent my frustrations where other parents understand.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    (((Hugs))) I'm sorry things are so rough right now. I so remember my son's intense mood swings and how when he was fixated on getting something out was horrible. I'm sorry there are people that don't get it. Things are then made even more difficult.
  3. rolleroaster

    rolleroaster New Member

    I am sorry :( Do the medications seem to help at all?

    Does she seem to feel sorry for what she does? I am just wondering because lately my daughter does not seem sorry at all, she says she hates us and I am starting to think she actually means it. She blames everyone for everything that goes wrong and never thinks anything is her fault. Is your daughter like this too?
  4. Unfortunately, yes. Most apologies seem very fake. Her words are so much more intensely hateful. It's the look in her eyes, you know? She is only eleven.

    I'm considering a medication re-evaluation, and even a psychiatrist switch. She is a kind, kind lady, and supposedly very well regarded, but my Mom Gut is just making me wonder if different or less medications might be better?

    {{hugs back to you}} We have been given a difficult burden -- us caregivers. I *know* that God hasn't given me more than I can handle (even if my brain and my heart scream otherwise most days).
  5. I think the hardest part is to see the mild disdain from the grandparents. I hurts to see it. These girls were doted upon just a few years ago, and now, because they are really both hard kids (though one is much harder), the grandparents seem to resent them. They only get to physically like see them once every two years or so! We just don't have the flexibility or financial resources to hop a plane and head halfway or all the way across the country to see them nearly as often as we would like to. Husband's parents refuse to fly, mine can't due to health issues and age, and driving those distances isn't feasible for either set. The situation just sucks in every way possible.

    As to the fixation part, how did you re-focus your child onto something else? She has daily meltdowns about it during the school year. She accuses me of not understanding, hating her, not seeing what is best for her, trying to convince me she is old enough/deserves it/is responsible/I owe it to her for her happiness. She had really dropped the subject for a good month, but then picked it up again when we got here... Stress induced, I'm sure. When I am feeling patient I roll my eyes to myself. When I am stress and tired, at worst I yell (which is just the worst thing I can do of course). Most days, I literally ignore the requests -- at the suggestion of my therapist. Perfect hair is her physical fixation right now, and getting a cell phone seems to be her need fixation. I just don't know how to help her through this! *i* don't even have an iPhone or Galaxy! I have a cheapie prepaid GoPhone as my cellular iPad is a much more effective way to keep in touch with my out-of-the-third-world husband.

    {{hugs}} and thanks for any suggestions in advance. I'd especially appreciate any de-escalating techniques.
  6. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I have a friend whose daughter like to have her head compressed. She squeezes it very tightly. I suggest padding the straps.

    It is hotter than heck here right now. I feel for them. I have window units even though they are against the rules on post.

    The cell phone thing is one of those things they all go through. It's just worse because of her issues. I would continue to ignore her.

    Get back home and give it a week then re-evaluate. She may simply be out of whack due to the trip.
  7. I'm in your neck of the woods right now, visiting from TAFB. You aren't allowed to put window units in on Post? INSANE!

    The compression thing is interesting. She has always had a thing for tight clothing and tight hair. I should try that! Thanks!
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok. This is the grandparent's problem, not your daughters. You don't blame or resent innocent children because they have disorders and difficulties. It is abuse. This says more about the grandparents than the kids and since they are hardly a part of your children's lives, it shouldn't affect them.

    An adults feelings never should take precedent over a young child. An adult can take care of himself/herself. A child is still in our care, still growing and learning. I hope you don't allow the grandparents to say negatives about them in front of them. That kind of stuff can stick with a child for life. Don't do it. Please. And tell them that you don't allow anyone to make negative comments about your girls in front of them or, if you don't want to hear it either, to yourself. You set the boundary. They need your protection and already have challenges that they are too young to be blamed for.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    This is a total Aspie trait, if the child has fixated or obsessed on different things since very early. It is hard to distract them. I never did learn how to and my twenty-one year old autie still has obsessions and we accept that about him as it is part of Aspergers and doesn't go away. He lives alone and does go to work and play sports so he can videogame all he likes when he is alone at home in his own apartment. None of my business and he is doing really well for somebody with his challenges and he is such an incredibly nice and police young man.

    An Aspie usually has very narrow interests, it doesn't change, and you can't change it. When they are adults, they tend to continue to have narrow interests and social skill issues. Now if your daughter has lots of friends and makes and keeps them easily, I would seriously question the Aspergers diagnosis. Social skills problems is the worst problem they have, along with trouble communicating well, EVEN IF THEY HAVE A GOOD VOCABULARY. They often don't know how to describe how they feel or to read how somebody else feels. My son learned how to gauge how others feel, but not all auties do learn that without interventions. That's a reason some seem to have no empathy...they tend to be expressionless. But they do have empathy if they understand it.

    If she is bright, but on the autism spectrum, you may very well not understand how her mind processes things. You wouldn't know unless you were explained in detail or read up on it a lot. They can't think like us and they don't, but they can be happy and live good lives, if accepted for who they are.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    I know that with my Difficult Child, things that are out of the ordinary, like traveling and staying in an unfamiliar place, will set him off. Maybe not right away, but they do tend to trigger him eventually. Maybe your girl is tired and just wants to go home to the things she knows. Plus she knows her dad is coming home soon. You and your daughters have developed your own routine since he has been away, and she knows that him coming home will mix things up a lot.