what am i doing wrong here?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jennd23, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    I wanted today to be calm. I told him to clean up his toys and we'd go swimming. He just threw everything in the toy room and put his suit on.

    So i made him pick it all up. He started freaking out about it an hour ago and still won't calm down.

    Since he won't go to his room I went to mine. He got a hammer from the kitchen And started hitting the door with it! =-O

    Obviously we're not going swimming now but he doesn't get that its his fault we're not going. He calms down then asks to go again. Then freaks out when I say no. Uh you Just hammered my bedroom door. We aren't going anywhere. What am I supposed to do? Its the last day before school starts. I just wanted calm. Until now its been one of our best days for a while.
  2. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    Now literally five min later he got up off the couch went to the restroom came back and is fine. Joking about the wii.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Has he ever cleaned up his toys when you told him to? If so, did you use the same exact wording as you did the times that he did clean up his toys?

    I'm guessing he had to clean them up out of the living/family room or another place. Since he put them in the TOY room, they were indeed "cleaned up" from where you did not want them. He did EXACTLY as you asked and in his mind you reneged on the deal.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    It sounds like you need to be very specific about what "clean up your toys" means. According to him, he did pick up his toys and when that "wasn't good enough", he freaked out. That is typical in our house with my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son. I can't use vague terms like that unless I am prepared for his idea of picked up to be enough. The hammering on the door was not okay. I also have learned to give very clear warnings BEFORE I implement consequences. It was a long process for me but the pay-off is that we have less meltdowns because I am very clear about EXACTLY what I expect. I have also found that giving very clear fair warning ahead of time gives him a choice to continue the behavior or deal with the consequences.

    I hate to tell you this, but your son sounds more Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) the more you share your issues with his behavior and the circumstances surrounding them.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    How old is your son?
  6. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    He always cleans up and cleaning always includes putting things away not throwing them in another room. I say what to do with things. Put your cars in the car bucket. Bugs in bug box etc. I absolutely reneged on the deal. And swimming was conditional on a clean house (not entirely him cleaning obviously)

    When he's yelling and screaming like a fool there's no way im taking him to the pool. It was never we are Not going it was get yourself collected then we're going. The hammer sealed the deal. I just won't let that stuff go by with no consequence no matter what "letters " he has. And I can't imagine saying if you hammer ONE more hole in my door no swimming.

    Tedo I have no question he's somewhere on the spectrum. Just a matter of where.
  7. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    Oh and jjj he's 7
  8. keista

    keista New Member


    So sorry. Sounds like you did everything right, but he still melted down. Wish I had an answer for you.

    Once he's calmed down, is he ever willing to discuss what went on and what his motivations were? Son was able to start explaining his thought process (sometimes) at the age of 7.

    Once he did get calmed down and started joking about the Wii, did he bring up swimming again? Apologize for his behavior? If you bring it up, does his behavior escalate again or does he try to avoid the discussion?
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You'll get better at this... but you really have to learn to see this coming BEFORE he gets there.
    School starts tomorrow. Even for PCs, that = stress. Positive stress for some, negative stress for others... either excitement or dread. But either way, they are WIRED. Pretty much every single kid on the planet (well ok, thats a bit of an exaggeration - I'm sure some kids don't care either way, but I haven't met them yet) is wound up the day before school starts - for some its a whole week or a whole month ahead.

    I've learned that the week before school starts, school has already started. Anything we want to do "special" before school starts, gets done more than a week before school starts. That last week? back to routine - school hours for bedtime and wake time, packed-lunch equivalent lunches (so we're back in practice making them), back-pack loading practice, working the bugs out of the schedule. And NOTHING happens the day before school - or we're in trouble.

    Maybe that's just our house... but your post was kind of like looking in a historical mirror.... it took us a while to learn. And we're not even dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (well, some traits but nowhere near clinical cut-off for even Aspie).
  10. jennd23

    jennd23 New Member

    He doesn't want to talk about it. Sometimes he gets angry. Sometimes he cries. A lot of times I really think he forgets. He's asked several times if we can go swimming. I remind him that weare not swimming because of him hammering the door. He pouts gets a little mad blames me for making him hammer then gets over it.

    I was trying to keep a calm day which is honestly why I agreed to swimming. Yes to swimming should have meant no meltdown lol
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I don't know if this will help - the "what I would have done" routine. Chances are you already did this and still had problems.

    WHat I would have done when I found the toys not put away as I expected - I would have said, "I asked you to clean up your toys, you just moved the mess from here to there. You know what I mean, let's try this again. Get this done right so we can go for that swim."

    I think the problem was, he was so eager for tat swim he didn't want to delay it. He not only shifted the toys, he got his swimsuit on. He was eager. Too eager, I think. Which meant that the frustration when he got called on not doing it right, is what boiled over. You need to go a little bit easy on this kind of frustration, but no way can he get away with damaging the place. For us, the consequences of doing this sort of damage, requires restoration.

    Example - difficult child 3 got angry at his grandma's and went out, slamming the door hard. Glass in a small window beside the door shattered. difficult child 3 hadn't hit the window directly, but the force of his slam was responsible so he had to help fix the damage. He had to work with husband to measure the window, had to go find a piece of glass, had to pay for the glass (if it wasn't too expensive). End result was, grandma decided that little window was too risky to replace and asked for a board there instead. So difficult child 3 was made to do it under husband's supervision. He had well and truly calmed down because this took a week to get organised, but he still had to follow through because it was his temper that had caused the damage.

    Again the other night difficult child 3 was cranky because he had dropped the stylus from his Nintendo 3DS in his very messy bedroom and couldn't find it. When he left to come down to Grandma's (we go to dinner there every night) difficult child 3 slammed the gate really hard and the latch broke. Next day husband got difficult child 3 to work with him to replace the latch and repair the gate. As husband said, nobody had been hurt by the outburst but nobody should be inconvenienced either, when they hadn't been the ones to do the damage.

    Along the way, difficult child 3 not only learns that impulsive actions have consequences, but also the skills to make repairs.

    As I said - I'm probably not telling you anything you're not already doing yourself. If you are, then at least my story can help you realise you're not the only one going through this and spectrum kids especially can really have problems with transitioning. In your son's mind, he was already in the car on the way to go swimming. Everything else was a temporary inconvenience and he really could not understand, AT THAT MOMENT, why you "broke your word". But when he's calmer, you explain. However, in his mind he may still feel that he had no choice but to use the hammer because if you had not refused to leave immediately the toys were gone from where he had left them, he would not have gotten so mad. That is how Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids often think and trying to break that thought pattern cannot be done by willpower and obstinacy.

    There are steps, levels of arousal that we need to be aware of and learn to de-fuse. When he shoved stuff out of sight and thought that was enough, it indicates that the task required was eclipsed by the proposed reward. Which perhaps should not have been used as a reward since it was so highly valued. When the reward is so much bigger than the task, sometimes the task gets skipped. It can seem illogical to us, but kids can get over-excited and lose track.

    But 20:20 hindsight is a wonderful thing. We can get judgemental, we can feel guilty, or we can simply pick things up and keep on going. It's what we do when we love our kids.

    Sorry about the door - I would make sure he is involved at some stage with repair, even if it's just painting the new one. But not in any sense of punishment, but simply as a job to be done. If he seems to enjoy the work - good! And never forget to thank him or praise him for it, and do not keep reminding of the damage. Believe me, he will not forget. The lesson, the best lesson, is learning to make something good out of something bad, and this includes feelings.

  12. keista

    keista New Member

    That all sounds just like DD1 - anxiety and mood disorder. I always thought it was depression, but psychiatrist saw it as something else, and she was right.

    The only thing I can say is over-praise positive behavior, ignore tantrums as they are happening (except for safety/destruction issues) and discuss and redirect behavior once things have calmed down. Natural consequences for the bad behavior are a must - help fix/pay for the door. Traditional "punishments" don't usually do much to curb the behavior, but in my opinion still should be implemented when appropriate. An example of that would be if he has a meltdown on a playdate or at the pool, then he's 'grounded' from playdates or the pool for a week.

    DD1 is FINALLY understanding the difference between her moods and her behavior. Took a lot of effort to get her to this point. Although "talking to" a child is less desirable than talking with, if he won't engage in the conversation, keep "talking to" him and offering him options of expressing himself.
  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    jennd23, what Marg said (Thanks Marg for saying what I wanted to say is a much better way than I wanted to). It takes a lot of patience and practice to get this right but it DOES work.