I need to whine....

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by Aeliza, Dec 5, 2014.

  1. Aeliza

    Aeliza Well-Known Member

    I feel like a failure. I'm the mom with the two boys in a restaurant that refuse to sit down. My DH has trouble getting them to sit still too. One boy "C" has a sensitivity issue and has trouble controlling his body. We are aware this can be an issue with him. His twin brother "K" won't sit still for other reasons. He's defiant. He gets angry very easily and will do battle in the middle of the restaurant. He talks back and will call names. Taking them out for some air doesn't do anything. Time-outs don't do anything. They'll sometimes help with C but rarely for K these days. K will play very nicely with C then suddenly do something to hurt C or upset C. He will say things to us when we need to discipline. When we are able to sit and talk to K about his actions, it seems like he really doesn't know why he gets angry but only that he can't stop himself from saying what he says and doing the stuff he does. At first, I thought he was just trying to manipulate us in some way, but I really do feel he doesn't know how or why it's happening. DH is worried he has bipolar. I'm wondering ODD or some other emotional or mood issue. Either way, he's going to be getting help soon. We have an appointment with a doctor to discuss this next week.
    But, meanwhile, it's so hard to go out and see all these families with kids who sit at the table and just be present. Maybe at home, those kids are full of energy or even drive their parents insane, but during that one moment in time in a restaurant where we are, they are sitting at the table being a part of the family. I'm not saying these kids are always happy looking, but they sit and don't squirm or argue and scream at their parents or siblings. They are coloring nicely, looking bored, or talking to their parents calmly. I'm talking about kids that are my boys' age or younger!
    What am I doing wrong? DH nor I allow them to run around or kick the chairs or make a lot of noise, but it seems to happen anyway. We try so hard to get them to calm their bodies and try to behave at least somewhat in a restaurant. We've been lucky so far that the places we go to are patient with us and our boys, but I'm waiting for the day we'll be kicked out. I'm really surprised we haven't been yet! I will say that they aren't always like this, but it's not often they do behave in an acceptable manner. We do try to have them sit at the table at home when we eat. We always eat together at the table for dinner, so it's not like they don't have practice. 
    I'm just so overwhelmed with K. He's so moody and cranky! He really doesn't think anyone at school likes him. He says I, his daddy, nor C love him, but they he says he doesn't know why he says that either. He doesn't say that out of anger either. I don't coddle him, but I do tell him that he isn't changing my mind when I tell him I love him. I do whether he believes it or not. ALL of us tell him how much we love him and I give him examples to prove it. He doesn't seem to believe it, though I think he does and won't admit it. I don't know why his esteem and confidence are so low! He's been so self conscious of his looks and his accomplishments since he's been 3 years old. That's right. 3! He's been very aware of his looks and not at all happy about it. He doesn't think he's ugly, he just doesn't want to look stupid in front of anyone. He's a good looking boy and everyone tells me that. He still complains about how he looks in clothes and he's 6 now. He thinks he looks stupid in long sleeves and pants...in the cold weather! I try not to argue that part because he'll figure that out on his own, but his teacher at school will and has sent home notes about dressing K in appropriate clothing during the cold seasons. He's very competitive at school. He seems to be having a hard time relating to his friends. He doesn't trust them. He doesn't think they like him and he pushes them away so he doesn't get hurt. I see him in class and he does get along with them, but he doesn't seem to believe they want to be his friend. I've expressed this to his teacher and she's trying to figure things out too. It's hard since he's disruptive in class and he gets in trouble for this. He doesn't trust his teacher either so it's going to be hard for her to work with him and his relations to other people.
    Am I missing something? Am I doing something wrong?
  2. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    First of all, the clothes thing is the "style".  I just graded 5th graders papers where they said that "long sleeves and pants are out".  So it is probably a fashion thing he is picking up from the kids at school--especially if he is concerned about the right look.  At 6, I would say that pants are non-negotiable, but he can wear a t-shirt with a sweatshirt over it.  That way, if he gets warm, he can take off the sweatshirt, but at least he would have "appropriate" clothes for school.  And honestly, because we talk to the 5th graders about it, it does become a safety issue in the winter.  If there is a prolonged drill, they could end up outside for a long time with just the short sleeve, and that is a problem.
    As for restaurant behavior, been there, done that.  We have had to walk out once because the boys were so bad!  We also didn't take them out at all for a 2 year period.  When we started back, it was short times, before they could be really hungry or anxious--and always family restaurants.  We started with something like ice cream, where the wait was short, and the duration of the "snack" was short.  We would gradually lengthen the time out by making different choices, to help them learn what was expected in time periods they could control.  Even now, we sometimes have to order a basket of bread before anything else, just to get over the "I'm starved" stage, as one of mine can't make a decision about anything if he is pushed too far past he meal time.
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  3. kingeomer

    kingeomer Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I think Sharon has a good idea with the restaurants, maybe scale back the dinners out and start with ice cream out, something small.  Maybe make it a competition to see if they can be the best behaved kids there (if competition is their motivation, if it's not, it probably won't work).  As for K and his esteem issues, is there a counselor he could see at school?  A counselor would be able to help him identify his feelings and hopefully work through them where he can see that he is valued by the people who love and like him.  
  4. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    My kids are not quite 5, so younger than yours, but we have the same problem at restaurants, and honestly, we just rarely go because it's stressful.  If we do go, it's some place very kid friendly and even then it's a struggle to keep them seated and behaving somewhat reasonably.
    Maybe you are already doing this, but I would ask to have K evaluated by the school.  They should have some sort of student study or child study team that can meet and recommend an eval.  It would also be helpful to get a comprehensive eval with a child development clinic of some sort.  The student study team in your school can probably tell you what's in your area, or talk to the school counselor.  Also, talk to the pedi about doing some bloodwork to check for issues that might be causing the cranky and irritable moods - certain vitamin deficiencies can cause mood problems.
    You are not doing anything wrong!!  But there are things you can do to try to figure out what is going on and if there are things you can do to make it better.
  5. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    We just don't take the kids out to eat.  It's just too much hassle with the misbehaving and not eating food we're overpaying for. There's no enjoyment in it, so we stay home. 
  6. Aeliza

    Aeliza Well-Known Member

    We are getting him some help. We tried one therapist and K would not talk to him at all. We think he'll relate better to a woman therapist. So he's seeing another one this week. I've talked with the school counselor. She said she'd talk with K but it didn't seem like anything happened from that....or that she even talked to him. His teacher is aware we are getting him help, so I'm thinking she's not bothering to contact the school counselor herself.
    I talked with his doctor and he never suggested a blood test. I can ask I suppose. K does seem very tired often. Not fatgued, but he complains about not getting enough sleep.
  7. MNTwinSquared

    MNTwinSquared Well-Known Member

    I would get him evaluated at school.  You can request an evaluation for those reasons you list and they (the school team) has to get back to you within 10 days with an answer, during which time they will observe him and hopefully see what you are seeing.  IEP (Individual education plans) encompass a great number of things.  I am assuming he isn't on one already.  They can help put the child in those 'social' situations and hopefully help. 
  8. Oneplus2more

    Oneplus2more Well-Known Member

    Aww sweetie, I don't know what to tell you except hang in there! You are a great mom, you are working to find some answers.  My oldest, the one undergoing the neuropsych eval, is also very moody and not very interested in being social with the family. She wants to have friends, but will never initiate any interactions, I think mostly out of fear of being rejected. We have talked to her about this a million times. She will wait every time for the other kid to approach her to start a converation or suggest they play together, no matter how many times they have played in the past. We've talked to her a million time about initiating conversation, other kids like ot be asked to play too, etc. I hope the Dr has some ideas or referrals for you that will help.
  9. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Lack of sleep can be a major culprit in all sorts of behavioral and mood issues, so that is something to take into consideration, too.  Ask your pedi about melatonin - that makes a huge difference for a lot of kids.
    I know of the kids I work with, sleep issues can be either the cause of or a symptom of another issue.  Definitely ask for a school eval, too.  That can take some time to get a meeting set up, etc., so don't be afraid to ask for it.  If you ask the school to look into it, they have to have an official team meeting to start that process.
  10. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    How do they act 1:1 with you? If I take just 1 out it's so different.
    Both of my boys together are loud and boisterous (maybe boysterous...) in restaurants. It's gotten better- we talk about expectations before hand and I really try to limit unsuccessful situations before they start. Some environments aren't great for mine- fancy, or quiet, romantic places we do not go to. Fast-casual (Noodle & Co, Chipotle, etc) usually work out ok, places with a long wait don't. I try to get mine out playing outside if at all possible beforehand, entertain them with doing jobs (getting napkins, straws, etc) or going to the bathroom while we wait. Then, if DH & I are together, we have a policy of not waiting to pay as a family. He'll take the kids to the car & load them in while I wait for my credit card to be run.
    Spot-It might be a good game to bring with you on the next trip. 
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