Way too dependent

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It amazes me how dependent difficult child is for the type of child he is. I wouldn't expect someone who throws around such verbal abuse along with all of his other behavior to be this dependent.

    He wants someone with him all of the time! He prefers husband but if not him then me. It starts in the morning with him wanting someone to get up with him no matter how early it is. All day long he wants someone to do something with him,. I do get that he gets lonely because he doesn't have friends, but whatever he is doing he wants someone to do it with him whether it's watching tv or playing Wii, etc...

    He needs someone to tuck him in every night which is fine because right now he lets husband read to him and sometimes me. However, he wants to be covered up in a specific way and if he wakes up in the middle of the night for whatever reason he comes in our room and asks husband to cover him back up.

    We are trying to foster independence and the "life coach" we have working with him is as well.

    Does anyone else have a difficult child who is around this age (13) and still so dependent (I do realize he is functioning at a much younger level but this still seems excessive).
  2. Farmwife

    Farmwife Member

    My difficult child isn't too independant either. His needs are unique of course but there are those average/typical 16 y.o. things he is a bit delayed in doing. It can be frustrating sometimes like when he is lonesome and needy which means husband and I cannot have a private conversation because he needs to be a part of everything and butts in. That neediness also translates into an affectionate kid who still wants a hug every night before bed unless he is mad at us for him being bad, lol.

    difficult child is sort of timid which really impacts his development, he is sort of sheltered. I can sense hesitation when crossing streets like he is still nervously in the *ooh scary* check both ways a 100 times stage like a much younger kid. He never really learned to swim because he is just too scared and lacking in confidence.

    So, yeah...we have some things that a typical teen would have learned, outgrown or lost interest in. He even played with legos until he was in 8th grade. (I don't see that as so bad) We also have a lot of things other kids his age don't. It's like he makes up for his deficiencies with a head start in other things. He seems to have no street smarts but a whole ton of common sense, if that even makes sense. He is capable of very mature thought and decisions when he slows down and uses his higher thought process. (though he usually shuts it down to be one of the crowd)

    I just chalk it all up to more difficult child quirkiness. Sometimes it is a bother but for the most part the mommy in me sees it as a small worry of things we still need to hover over and to give him encouragement while he develops at his own pace. *shrug* At least it isn't an outburst!! ;)

    Brief side story: difficult child had a habit of CONSTANTLY needing affection and reinforcement around the 3rd and 4th grade. He would literally need a hug at every commercial break during a t.v. show, a hug everytime someone was affectionate or romantic on a t.v. show, every time I walked into a room, in the middle of cooking dinner. It kind of worried me because it almost seemed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I also realized that to reject his affection would be hurtful even though I feared he may grow up "strange". I humored him and he did eventually grow out of it and is fine, he is also naturally huggy which is sweet and now it isn't at all out of place. Sometimes now he hugs me out of the blue when he is happy or maybe feeling bad about a behavior the previous day. When he felt secure he just sort of moved on from the obsessive super needy stage. Now he is just an average sweety and will probably need a wife someday who likes to cuddle, no harm in that. We are down from 30-50 hugs a day to like 3 at a maximum but usually just one, maybe two.:laugh:
  3. dashcat

    dashcat Member


    My daughter was a little like this - and still is in some ways. In her case, much of it is attention-seeking, but it can be exhausting. We "tucked her in" till she went to college! I actually enjoyed that and miss it. She is 19 now and, as recent as a month ago, would still need to crawl in bed with me on occasion. She's living with her dad now, so I doubt that she'll be doing that! Her other tihing with me (and it drove me stark raving mad) was to show me endless videos on YouTube. I dreaded this. Hang in there. You're not alone.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    You had to have known I would chime in lol. I can relate. I want a life coach too! Does your son ask you to bring things to him he is capable of getting himself? It's hard sometimes for me to separate how much of it is being a spoiled only and how much is clinical. You are so not alone!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Funny you should post this just now. I just got a call from camp and difficult child isn't feeling well and wants me to pick him up. Never mind that it's after 10:00 p.m. and I'm in my pjs and over an hr away ... (and I spent 3 hrs at the dentist getting a crown and just want to go to bed with-an ice pack, but I'm not bothering to tell him that)
    My difficult child loves cuddling, but for some reason, wants to sleep on the floor and the wood floor is too hard for me. We gave him easy child's old dorm bunk bed but he rarely sleeps up there, probably because the cats don't like it and he likes their company. But usually, he likes having someone with-him. He is very dependent, and I completely agree, it is baffling how these kids can spew invectives and throw stuff at us, yet be so totally dependent.
    Life coach? You have a life coach? You must live in a big city. I'm jealous. I want a life coach to move in with us.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My difficult child 2 was somewhat like this up until about the last year. Getting ready for school, getting ready for bed, the usual routine things he just had to have someone hovering to tell him what to do or supervise. He has always had me sing to him at night and I was getting really tired of it. It wasn't cute anymore and with the other demands on me, I just didn't have the energy or the enthusiasm. I wasn't very nice and flat out told him no, I was too tired and although I still love him, he needed to just go to bed. He complained a lot at first, but now it's not an issue any more. Both difficult child's will ask me to do stuff for them that they can easily do themselves but don't want to. If it's at the wrong time or flat out inappropriate for me to do, I do not hesitate to say no and explain why I'm saying no. Usually it's a matter of them needing to consider that they are completely capable of doing for themselves and that what I'm in the midst of doing cannot be interrupted and/or I'm just not up to it. I try to talk to all of them about the benefits of becoming more independent, behaving more maturely, (looser restrictions on what they get to do, privileges gained, etc.) so that it's a meaningful process and not a power struggle. This is a big deal for difficult child 1 right now because he's realizing that he could have gotten his driver's permit 6 months ago if he'd had his act together. But now he's going to be 16 in a few weeks and will have to wait until the end of the first semester (February) to see if his grades and behavior merit a trip to the DMV. I think this talking point (plus a recent medication tweak) have finally gotten his attention, but only time will tell.

    I have to add that since my dad died and my whole family witnessed my open grieving over the loss, they have been MUCH more empathetic towards me. If I'm having a bad day, all I have to do is say so, and they are suddenly much more cooperative and helpful towards me. I think there's something to be said for teaching our kids that their parents are human and have needs too, and that at some point their mindset has to shift away from their own needs, if only for a little while.

    Good luck, Sharon. This is a tough transition for a lot of difficult child's.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Altho Wee is only 8, he is much like you describe.

    Every single morning, he yells for me from his bed. Even tho he is perfectly capable of whatever it is he is after, and I won't get up and do it for him, he has to tell me what he wants, and I have to tell him to do it.

    Lately, I have been thinking about it from the perspective of almost having a perpetual toddler. It hoovers.

    I wish I had advice. I try to push Wee towards independence, also. I give him money and send him into the store to make a purchase. I will go to the back pasture and leave him inside watching a movie, and make him use the phone to call me. I make him use the microwave. Skills that aren't all that big of a deal at 8, but will be at 10-12-15, and I think he'd have no clue if I don't start working towards them now.

    Wish I had answers. All I have is empathy.
  8. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My difficult child is very similiar. I have to tuck him in every night or he cannot sleep. Many times he will refuse to do something for himself that he could do, so many times it does not get done......like eating. The rule is you can eat dinner or have a pb&j. You have to make your own sandwich. He will throw a fit and refuse to make his own sandwich and refuse to eat. Luckily he is small but not emaciated.

    It is hard when you get verbally bashed to be lovey dovey. I have told my difficult child that I just cannot tuck him in, he has been too mean. I don't do it often, but I have done it.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    FW-Glad you get so much positives in the way of affection-husband is mostly the recipient of that here (although lately I'm sometimes at the receiving end). Usually I get the do this, I can't do this, etc... demands (as does husband).

    Dash-Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. The tucking in part is kind of nice (but again usually a husband thing). What really drives us crazy is when he is up at 4:00 a.m. to go to the bathroom and wakes us up to cover him up just so.

    ML-Yep-that's the part that is so frustrating. He is so capable of a lot of this and it is hard to know what is clinical and what isn't!

    Terry-Life coach is my nickname for the person who comes into the house to help difficult child learn more independent skills (unfortunately when we lose county services at the end of September we also lose the life coach). I would love to have this guy move in with us as he is great with difficult child!

    Gvcmom-It's nice your family is being more empathetic. I like how you handle things with explaining to difficult child why you are saying no and to do it themselves. We've been trying the same (with no results so far though).

    Shari-I think it's great you are having Wee do those things now! It will pay off (we have done some of that and difficult child is really good with the microwave and purchasing things on his own).

    CM-It's nice that your difficult child will make a PB & J. I think that is one area we have been not consistent enough in. difficult child will make something else to eat but I like the idea that it's only one other choice. Our difficult child gets so enraged over food that we haven't pushed it.

    Thank you everyone-your support means tons!