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Thread: Handled myself poorly with ds today

  1. #1
    pepperlc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Handled myself poorly with ds today

    Its really hot here and the kids had full day sports camps this past week. Today we went into DC and had to walk a bit to get the museum. Wandered around in the crowded building for about 1 1/2 hours and then went to lunch.

    Jacob was amazing up to this point. He ate lunch nicely then all of a sudden there was a switch. His mouth started to run non-stop. He kept repeating things over and over again loudly. I got frustrated and yelled at him.

    We decided it was time to leave and he was better after we got outside. It was even hotter and we had to walk about 3-4 blocks to get back to the car. The sprinklers were running along the Mall so I let the kids go through them as long as they kept walking and stayed out of the puddles. I knew they would be wet but that was ok. Wet from walking through the water is different than going into a sprinkler.

    We were about 10 cars from the corner where we were parked and Jacob went and stood directly in front of a sprinkler and got drenched. In response I told him he couldn't get the ice cream we were going for when we got back home.

    He freaked out. Started crying and screaming. Then I took his arm firmly and "guided" him across a major road towards the car. I was pretty calm up to this point. It took a lot to get him to the car but I finally did. He was hitting and pinching me as we went because he didn't want me to touch him. We got to the car and here is where things went from bad to worse. I told him he couldn't sit in the middle row of the car and had to sit in the back (someone had to) because he didn't listen to me and he hit me. Well he freaked even more. I started screaming and threatening but really what am I going to do. I can't leave him in a major city alone and at this point I couldn't give in.

    Oh how I love the power struggle. I finally dragged in out of the car and had my other 2 kids get in. I then pushed him into the back row and put up the seat. My mom and her boyfriend were with us so someone really did have to sit back there and I wasn't making the 2 70 year olds do it. There was a lot of screaming. I got my phone and called dh and said loudly that I was bringing Jacob home to him. Once the car started moving he calmed down and was good the entire way home (about 30 minutes because of traffic). He went to his room nicely (because dh told him to) and stayed there for a few hours. He may have fallen asleep - he said he did and then said he didn't so who knows.

    I saw this battle coming and it still happened. I know I could have handled things better but I don't know how. I can't reward him for not listening and hurting me, right? How could I have prevented this power struggle?

    My mom's boyfriend both told me how amazing I was and how I was a hero today. I was far from both. In fact I think I was a failure.

    Sorry I had to vent. Now its off to bed. I am exhausted.
    karen

  2. #2
    sugarsue is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Big hugs Karen. I can TOTALLY relate. Sierra has one thing she does that sends me through the roof. She will whine, beg, plead, demand something and when she's worried I am getting mad, she will whine, beg, plead wondering if I'm mad and please don't be mad. It makes me completely insane because it shows me shes in an unreasonable state and there is nothing I can do to stop it. Even standing still in one spot saying nothing doesn't work. Ignoring her doesn't work, reasoning with her, nothing.

    Day before yesterday I flipped because she would not be quiet. I went to my room to get away from it and she followed me. I told her if she came in after me she would get yelled at. She kept at it. So I flipped and started yelling and I said the words I've never said before "WHY CAN'T YOU JUST SHUT UP?!" Then I made it worse by yelling "now you made me tell you to shut up, why can't you just stop talking when I tell you I'm about to lose it?" Then I realized there was no coming back so I locked myself into the bathroom and took a shower. I kept yelling "why, why, why" and stuff like that over and over in the shower. I was really nuts at the time.

    She and I were able to talk about it later. She said she'll never learn to be quiet in those moments. I told her then she would either continue to be yelled at or I'll be taking a lot of showers

    So you are not alone. Those moments we don't feel proud of ourselves and we feel like bad mothers. It's hard to remember all those times we did handle it well and all those hours in the day that we don't flip out. I worry Sierra will only remember those times and not all the good times.



    Susan

  3. #3
    zoeyz is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I guess you could have told him, when he got himself drenched in the sprinkler, that he is directly disobeying what you told him and that you and he will discuss the consequences when you get home. But in the heat of the moment, I probably would have had the same reaction you did. Looking back on it, if it were my kid, I might have seen it as an impulse control issue, not necessarily one of defiance (I don't know what it was in your situation). Some days are like this though... sorry it was a bad one!

  4. #4
    sugarsue is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Hey Karen, I was thinking about this again this morning and I'm wondering if you have read The Explosive Child. I can't remember if I've asked you this before. It sounds like this is a good instance where you could put it in the A B or C buckets that the book talk about.

    I'm wondering, if he is wet from the sprinkler or puddles, is he OK being wet? Or would he then become upset and out of control too? I am just wondering if you ignore his behavor and avoid the tantrum, maybe this is better over all for the family and for him. It depends on where the item falls, as one that is vital (safety), important (worth negotiating) or not important (ignore).

    Susan

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    Karen,

    Oh how I have been there, done that!

  6. #6
    pepperlc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I have told Faith to shut up before. She talks non-stop sometimes. I can be cute but sometimes...

  7. #7
    psilverman is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Well, I've been worse for less...

    ...so please don't beat yourself up.

    The only things I thought of were that it may have been a little confusing that walking through the sprinklers and getting kind of wet was ok, but standing in front of the sprinkler and getting drenched was not. I know my ds gets the MOST frustrated when he feels he is being wrongly accused, or when he really did not understand and thus feels me scolding him is unjust. He is better when he "knows" he was wrong (maybe doesn't know WHY he did it, but knew he wasn't supposed to). So, I'm thinking maybe some of that is what set him off. Or, as you indicated, it could have just been the long, hot, tiring day and boom. We've all been there!

    In any case, I think you handled it as you had to. You are right, you can't leave him, you just have to "make it work." Hugs to you. Sounds like a tough day!

  8. #8
    LL2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Listen to your mom's boyfriend - and also thank the deity of your choice that you've got some awesome older-generation folks around that really keep their eyes open and respond to what is actually happening rather than bleating on endlessly about how kids used to be, what parents used to do, etc.

    I think you did a great job with a very difficult situation. One thing that is very easy for me to do is that I get into a comprehensive "punishment mode" and we both end up wallowing in it because there's no way out. It is incredibly hard to do "in the moment", but here are two things I do to try and prevent that dynamic:

    1) Put the consequence out there ahead of time. Sometimes this is TOTALLY not possible, I fully admit. But when I see my kids doing something (like getting partially into sprinklers) that has the potential to go south (getting doused), I try to put the consequence out there ahead of time and in concrete terms, something like, "Sure, you can walk along the sprinklers, but if anyone goes past (whatever boundary), that person will not get ice cream later." Get verbal agreement and eye contact when possible. You'll still get "push back" if they disobey, but at least they have seen a clear cause and effect situation.

    2) Break up the sins. It sounds like you did a pretty good job of this - the ice cream was because of the sprinklers and sitting in the back row was a consequence of him hitting you, etc. while you were crossing the street. I don't know if you had the option of pausing (with two other kids and two 70 year olds!) and trying to calm him down a little bit so that you could set up the second consequence (cooperate or back row) and give him a chance to avoid it, but in an ideal situation (yeah, lots of those around, right?!), that's what I would try to do.

    That having been said, it also sounds like he was just "off" to start with, with the non-stop talking. My DS used to get like that - he would get completely overstimulated and be beyond reaching. That has gradually changed with therapy, time, etc. but trust me, I've had my car-stuffing days! Hang in there.

  9. #9
    pepperlc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Thanks. I have been thinking about it. You're right. I didn't set the consequence out there right away but I also didn't pull him aside and look him in the eye and lay out the rules.

  10. #10
    Dani is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default An impossible situation.

    Seriously, Karen. Hindsight is always 20/20, but in the moment there was just too much going on. You were on a busy road in a busy city with other family members, and you were all hot and tired.

    Have a big glass a wine, a big bowl of ice cream, or both, and let it go.



    Danielle

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