when to tell him we are going to see someone

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by amy1129, May 31, 2011.

  1. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    Hi again, its me the confused mom....

    OK so my social is going to meet my son next Tuesday. I asked her how and when to tell him. Oh my dear lovely daughter told him that if he doesnt get better, that mommy and daddy are going to send you to a therapist. So needless to say he isnt too thrilled with the idea. I told that a therapist is a great person, that they try and unscramble your brain and help you with your "angry's" I told him if we cant help him, that we may have to go see one, he screamed
    So she said not to tell him that we couldnt help him and off we go to see her. She said to tell him where we are going, when, and why. She suggested that we tell him that we have been talking to her for some help and that she wants to meet him. Originally she couldnt see him for quite awhile because of his school and her schedule is booked for afterschool, I said I dont mind taking him out of school if it means you meeting him earlier. (I only have 8 fully covered visits with her) She didnt want to take him out of his routine, I said I'll deal. :)

    My dilema is when to tell him. If I tell him now I fear he will worry and worry until then and maybe be angry for a week when I tell him. If I tell him say the day before I will feel like I am springing it on him and he may feel blind sided. I dunno when to tell him, any thoughts?

    I also have to come up with a plan for when we go to the neuro psychiatric evaluation that is June 21.

    thank you
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    This is a difficult one. I think it's right that if you give too much warning, that can lead to needless and prolonged anxiety. My own judgement in similar situations is to mention the upcoming event the day before and then again in the morning. This is partly because time to a 4 year old (particularly my son, I think, who seems to have really little sense of time) is so different to an adult's, so that there is no need to give great advance warning. How is your son's sense of time?
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    What struck me most was your use of words. If you used those exact words, "unscramble your brain" then I really don't blame the kid for screaming and being scared. I know what it means, you know what it means, your 10y/o might even know what that phrase means, but 7 y/os are much more literal. The kid might really be thinking that like in a cartoon, his head will be cut open and scrambled.

    Try explaining it again. No threat of an appointment, just to see what he thinks of the idea. Since therapy, therapist, and social worker might already be "tainted" words to him, use "feelings Dr" or any other phrase you feel comfortable with. Explain that it's talking and games, and he can tell the "feelings Dr" ANYTHING, even big secrets he might not want to tell you. Then if he seems receptive, you can give him a heads up for the appointment time. If he's resistant, he's going to be resistant no matter what. I paid 5 copays to have a therapist "try" talking to DD1 just to have her groan for every response. (she was on the wrong medications at the time)
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Yes, as was said these kids especially tend to take phrases in a very literal sense. Most of the therapists and testing doctors I've seen or taken Kiddo to introduced themselves by their first names instead of Dr So-and-So, so maybe try using just the first and last name rather than any titles when you do tell him where you're going. "We're to see John Smith, he would like to meet you."

    As for when, every kid is different. Mine has told me she wants to know, but not until after school on the day of, then she's not fretting about it prior to that. When he goes to the pediatrician or dentist, what timing have you found works best? You already know how to handle him for those, so that's a good dry run to try out different timing, or ask him how much warning he wants on when his next appointment with a known doctor he would prefer.

    I'll take it as a given you know now not to let big sis know anything and to be more careful that she doesn't overhear anything either.
  5. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Your son is probably very different than mine (no kid is alike, right?!), but here is what I told him a week before the appointment: "there is a lady, her name is ....., and she wants to meet you. She is going to help you act good. She is going to help us not scream so much and be more peaceful" My difficult child is 4 years old and tells me he wants to be good but can't. He was very receptive to how I told him about therapy. He told me he really wants to see that lady. Does he agknowlage that his behavior needs to be adjusted, or maybe that family life is chaotic, or anything along that line? If he sees anything wrong with your situation, use that to your advantage. And I agree with the others: don't use any big title, just her name (first or last). Good luck!
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    At age five it really depends on your child. Some kids will require little or no advance warning and explanation. Seriously. Mom packs them up in the car with nothing more than a "We're going to talk to a lady today, and we'll get MacDonalds on the way home".

    Others will need more preparation. If yours is one that frets a great deal or is going to be all worked up, I'm make the advance warning short.

    Some kids will never ask why and if they don't, I'd suggest not offering the reason or giving them as little info as possible, especially when you're in the early stages and really don't have an explanation. Agree with not putting a title such as therapist or psychiatrist to the person. Man, woman, doctor--be general. If you must explain because you're asked, put it in context with issues the rest of the family sees doctors for: Mom goes to see the doctor a lot because of ear infections, Brother goes to the dentist a lot because he gets lots of cavities, and you're going to see this lady because you have a really, really hard time with _____. That way it focuses the attention on the behavior, and puts it in context with the rest of the family instead of isolating them out.

  7. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    WOW!! You guys Rock!! Everything you said make so much sense. Yes Ktllc, he does understand his issues, to a point of course. He always asks why is he so angry all time or why do I have anger issues. We have spoken in the past that mommy and daddy dont like yelling all the time, dont you want us to not yell? he gets it but he says either "cause I want to do it" or "I cant help it". SO I think that is the right approach. I am thinking of telling him today, he goes to P/T once a week and that is really the only time we are alone and when is normally my good boy, no anger during these times, weird. by the way he goes to P/T for tight muscles in his leg after his cast came off for a broken heel and foot.

    Thank you all again, I will follow up as to how telling him goes.
  8. seriously

    seriously New Member

    If it seems like a good idea you could be very low key about it and say it's just like going to PT - just a chance to see if someone can help him with his problems. Make it sound like it's just part of the routine of life.
  9. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    I told him and it went really well. I picked him up from school to go to PT and was like...."hey remember when me and you talked and started to talk about therapy?" He kinda went yeah is a crying nervous voice. I said "so daddy and I have been talking to her to get some tips on how to help you be not angry, and she wants to meet you" he was silent, but not combative. I said her name is _______ and he said thats a weird name. I said "so what ya think about that? wouldnt it be so cool if she can help us stop yelling and you being so angry?" he shook his head and the conversation was over. Went so much better than I thought it would, but I know my boy, I have a feeling monday night and tuesday morning is going to rough.

    thank you for your advice, I dont know what I would have done without you guys!
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Sounds like that chat went pretty well. Maybe have one every day until the appointment, and please, for your son's sake, explain the "unscramble the brain" thing to him. It's an idiom, a figure of speech, not your brain for real, but how you think.

    It's been haunting me to the point I asked my 15 y/o son what he would think if I told him I was taking him to see someone who could help "unscramble his brain" Son said, "Ah, I'd be concerned." then stared blankly and finally asked why I was asking. I asked why he'd be concerned and he said that it sounded like I was thinking surgery and although he has his problems, he doesn't want anyone messing with his brain. Yes, my son is an Aspie, but he's quite good with language and idioms and recognizing puns and sarcasm and such, and he's 15.

    Here's a non-Aspie ex. DD1 tans beautifully. I always fawned over that fact to her from a young age. First day in the sun and she's a nice deep tan, and that's with SPF30. When she was 6, unbeknownst to me, mother in law complimented her tan, but instead of saying tan used the word brown. Suddenly, DD1 did NOT want to go swimming, she REFUSED to go to the park. Insisted on getting sprayed 3x with the sunscreen. Spent hours in the tub scrubbing herself. She wanted her skin to be white. I got everyone that she admired to reinforce the fact that her tan was BEAUTIFUL. She just did not want it anymore. After days of this and hours of her crying over her skin color, and hours of talking to her and assuring her, I finally got it out of her that she did not want to be brown like some of the kids at school. (this isn't a race thing, so let's please not go there) WTH? Then I got it out of her that that was what mother in law called her - brown Even though I explained what mother in law meant, she wasn't believing me, so I had mother in law explain to her that by brown she meant the same thing as tan. After that, no problems. In fact I think it was her 'darkest' summer ever. Point is, kids get these crazy notions in their heads, and especially emotionally sensitive kids will have a hard time getting those crazy notions out of their heads without some serious guidance.
  11. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    Ya know, I am not sure he remembers that conversation, I dont know what will happen if I bring it up again. See, when he is in a "mood" whether it be angry, rage, or in that case emotional, he was crying with his head in the pillow and couldnt/wouldnt look at me. I have noticed that he doesnt seem to have much memory of that time. Whether he blocks it subsonciously or doesnt want to remember it, I dont know. But I fear that if I try and explain or unexplain the unscramble your brain comment, it may confuse him. The social worker even said that was a bad choice of words, but that is was spilled out of my mouth in that moment.

    If he does bring it up or ask I will certainly try and backtrack that comment.

    OK and how weird is it that he is not as bad as he normally is. I get all these appointments lined up and he starts acting better. Not sure if it us, sort of being used to it or us not facing him with challenges, its so weird, but he doesnt rage as much, I am not yelling as much. typical of me, like when your kid is sick with a high fever for days and you bring him to to dr and his fever has broke, you feel like a goof.

    oh well
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    Oh, good old Murphy! That always seems to happen to us to - for everything, not just difficult child stuff.

    I hear ya about the explaining thing. Because if it was forgotten, and brought up again, UHG! Here's where I end up playing 20 questions with the kids. (they call me Lecture Lady and Question Lady) Questioning gets tricky too since you want to make sure the questions aren't "leading" (I still don't know what types of things my son had nightmares about at 4 because he wouldn't tell, and I wasn't going to ask specific yes/no questions and put bad ideas into his head.)

    Enjoy the relative peace you're having now.
  13. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Hi amy1129,
    Choice of words are hard to choose from with our kids isn't it?!!! I told my then 4 year old we needed to talk to someone to help us all not yell and be able to talk nice to each other. I also told him that when other people are told what is wrong, they can help us better how to handle how"mad" we get and how to calm down! I told him this way when we went to his pediatrician and the Pysch Dr, although he still didn't want me to say what was going on,and got mad, but he knew what to expect. I agree about how they are sick , we call, go in, and they are fine! Ugghh!!!! Weird timing,same as for the behavior issues!
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    The only thing I have ever said to my son when we have gone to see a therapist of any description is that we are going to see "Dr Spot". Dr Spot is a leopard who is a psychiatrist (!), a character in a rather earnest and very well-meaning book he has called "Zak has ADHD" (Zak being a zebra)... He accepts this without ever asking any more questions about it.
  15. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    spoke too soon, last night we had an apt with the allergist and on the way he asked if this was the "weird ladys name" dr apt and I said no this is for your asthma....he said oh ok, "when is that apt cause I am trying to be good so you wont take me there". I felt bad but didnt know what to say, I said do you have any questions for mumma and he said no. fast forward a few hours, he became the boy I am used to, I was yelling at him in the parking lot and he screamed back "YOU HATE ME", let it be known I was yelling at him because he was sprinting in the parking lot with cars flying in and out, I was yelling cause he wasnt listening to me.....then in the car he grabbed a lollipop from the front seat and I grabbed it from him, he screamed again, "you said i could have this" (I didnt) and he began kicking the back of my seat. Ahhh, let the night begin.
  16. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    This is why I really suggest minimizing the amount and timing of advance conversation and information about appointments. Most very young children with underlying neurological issues can't help what's happening, and many will be very sensitive to suggetions there's something "wrong". I usually took the low road with all kinds of doctor appointments--I might mention we're heading to the doctor but I didn't mention vaccines until the very last minute unless they asked. This approach isn't right for every child, but in my opinion there's no sense in extra unneeded fretting.
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    in my opinion he's scared he's gonna get his "brain unscrambled"