Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gotta love it....

Still struggling with Corazon's inconsistent behaviors. If something is worrying/bothering her, I cannot tell what it is yet. In addition, Corazon in in this stage where she is trying on "normal" kid behaviors (not the nice ones) with a RAD-like, need-to-control-everything, twist. Our biggest current issue is that she has to argue with everything I say because I am "wrong." Dozens of times each day she will find some seeming inconsistency or error in what I say or do and then she will crisply tell me that I am wrong. She will enunciate each of her words with a drama and flair that would be comical if it weren't so annoying. This morning for example she was helping me get breakfast and asked if she should get the yogurt out. I said "no we don't have any yogurt y'all would like." She said "mom, you are wrong. We do have yogurt." I repeated what I said verbatim and asked her to get the toast started. Instead of starting the toast, she went to the refrigerator, opened it, walked over to where I was and put her face right in front of mine and slowly said "Mom, you.are. wrong. We. do. have. yogurt!" I stopped what I was doing and said, "ok, what do you want to do about it now?" She said "I really wanted yogurt and I just wanted to tell you that we have yogurt because you said we didn't and you are wrong." I said "ok. Now what?" So she asked if she should take it out and put it in a bowl. I said "sure." She put the last of the yogurt into a dish while I finished putting the rest of breakfast together for everyone. As they got seated I put the bowl with the last of the yogurt in front of her and walked off. She nearly fell off her chair as she exclaimed "why are you giving this to me, I don't like plain yogurt!" I said "I know, none of you do." She said "I know but I thought you should give it to someone else not me." That made perfect sense to me. Guess who did not enjoy her breakfast?

She has taken to doing certain things that should be no big deal except that they are irritating because she needs me to be her audience. For example, she will chatter on and on about "nothing" just like her friend down the street. When they are together it is silly and fun and annoying and too loud but not atypical of normal girls their age. It's not a big deal except that in Corazon's case it never stops. Never. She does it whenever there is an adult within earshot and she does it really loudly. She will interrupt me a dozen times in a 2 minute conversation with someone else to chatter about random disconnected things. If I check her and send her off she starts talking in nonsensical syllables, loudly, and then laughing. She then gets lost in this and seemingly cannot stop. She will do this for hours until she annoys everyone anywhere near her but she will keep it up as she follows us around because it's no fun without an audience, I suppose.

Then there's the pouting. Her friend "pouts" whenever she doesn't get her way so Corazon has taken to pouting. Of course, she now pouts about everything and at everyone--siblings, parents, other adults. If I ask or tell her to do something, she frowns and pouts. If she has to do something she doesn't feel like doing at the moment (schoolwork), or has forgotten to do (brush teeth), or needs to do (stop yelling at me)... she pouts. If I hand her something she needs to put away... she frowns and pouts. All the while she stands there pouting at me. The more I notice it, the more she does it. I tell her to stop or else...and she continues to do it. So finally, thanks to the wisdom of another RAD mom (thanks Christine) I was reminded that "prescribing the problem" could help. Silly me. I have prescribed the problem dozens of times but somehow I managed to not even think of this in dealing with the pouting and nonsense chatter. So starting Saturday, I gave her pouting time and chatter time every. single. time. she did those things. Guess chatter since yesterday morning. And the pouting seems to be diminishing by the hour. Now if I can just figure out how to fix her need to tell me/show me I am wrong about everything. I am thinking I could prescribe something but just not sure how to do that yet. Suggestions?


Lee said...

Ay yi yi! If you fix the wrong parent thing I will nominate you for sainthood! My eldest is still there at times--like a few weeks at a shot and then it disappears. There is no discernable trigger to it which is the baffling thing to me. There has to be one and I just.can'

Mama Drama Times Two said...

We tell our guy to write it down - (sort of like a complaint list) "If you write it down, we'll be happy to look at it later (specify a time at least several hours later) or we'll let you know when we are ready to look at your list (if they really need reining in....) So far it is too much work for him to write it down...he really just wants the emotional tangle and adrenaline rush of the fight...and when we don't give it to him, it isn't any fun and he stops.

Highlights magazine used to have this monthly puzzle feature where you'd have to find and circle the things that were "hidden" in the picture or find and circle the things that were "wrong" with the picture. Perhaps purchasing a puzzle book or two and when she starts up - give her the puzzle book saying "Thanks for reminding me: You are telling us with your behavior that you want to find things that are wrong. Here you go." Done cheerfully a few times the constant correction will lose it's cachet, and she may get hooked on puzzle books instead.

If those two suggestions dont work: Take 3 ibuprophen, a Mike's Hard Lemonade and a hot shower and go to bed. Works for me.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

Geesh. I wish I had some meaningful suggestions to offer (as you so kindly did today for me and my pee-er....) The only other thing I can think of at this late hour is doing someof the crazy silly chatter stuff right back (as you hum and twirl and loudly sing the national anthem and do jumping jacks etc. while she tries to show you her home work... and then say "oh - but I thought you liked that, because you are always doing it with us....and then keep doing it (lovingly of course, but in a crazy Mary-Poppins on Red Bull sort of way)

RADMomINohio said...

That's a good question.. I can't think of any prescribing that couldn't potentially backfire. But what popped into my brain is to maybe try saying something like "Thank you for caring enough to pay close attention to what I'm doing" and give her a hug. It's causing a reaction she might not like in her mindset. But I can't say I've tried it. It just goes along that style of parenting I've had to learn with Penelope. Do the opposite of your initial reaction. For the most part.

In attachment therapy, Penelope has a pledge that she has had to learn and remember. "I'm not the boss, that's okay. Mommy will take care of me." When Penelope gets "bossy" telling me how to do something or she knows more about how to do something than me. "No, you are suppose to do it this way." I say "Who's the boss? Are you the boss?" and she will correct herself. But that's when she isn't in the kind of mindset Corazon is in. It took us a while to get here. Earlier in therapy, I would ask her to say the pledge. She would struggle with the words if she didn't want to accept them. I would have her repeat them until it was easier for her and then recognize her for being strong enough to say it.

Dia por Dia said...

Lee, Same here. There is no trigger that I can tell but I think it is related to her overall anxiety issues. Mama Drama--great advice. We do the write things down for tattling and trying to get others in trouble and that has worked wonders for our 2 oldest. I am definitely trying some of the other advice especially the ibuprofen :-)

RadMom--the mantra thing usually works for us but only increased pouting (other issue we are working on) but I am so going to try the thanks for caring approach. Will keep y'all posted.

Thank you so much for the advice.

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