Monday, January 20, 2014

Fight for Control

The cracks started to show.  Emma was eating less and less at meals and more and more snacks started disappearing.  I knew that we had a food sneaking issue but I didn't realize the severity of the problem. 

Friday I sat Emma down at the dinner table and told her that she would eat her dinner because there would be no late night snack raid to the kitchen.  She screamed.  Really?  The food wasn't bad, it was food she had eaten before.  She threw some of it on the floor.  She was caught and was given more.  I really don't like forcing a child to eat but this had gotten out of hand.  With her ADHD medication her doctor has complained about her lack of weight gain.  The crying and carrying on about eating a meal gave me a clue that this was something more.

Emma does not have the typical eating problem of hoarding and such.  She has not been denied food in her past.  Food has become her control point and it was so very sneaky.  Just eating a little less and a little less while taking a little more and more at night.  She was successful until she went a little too far and it got caught in my radar.  What was an annoyance suddenly became a glaring problem.

Over the last week I have been really working on stopping the late night kitchen raids.  As I have clamped down, the crying and tantrums have returned.  Thankfully they don't go on for hours like they used to, but they do go on long enough for everyone in the house to be annoyed.

Emma stayed two nights in the garage while I worked on her room.  The last night she got into my paints, thousands of toys and she gets into my stuff.  I expected it.  She is banned from the garage.

All my pictures and a lot of craft stuff was in the FROG.  The kids helped me to strip the room.  It was the fastest strip job we have ever done.  Now I have messes all over the rest of the house.

Saturday night Emma was in the FROG.  She went down to the bathroom and I went up to check her room.  She is slick, we have all been watching her yet she was able to sneak food up.  When she walked up I was holding it in my hand.  Whew, the cracks got blown apart, she went into a full rage.  Kicking, screaming, yelling at me, tearing up her stuff rage.  She started pulling at her bedding so I removed the mattress topper.  She had one book in the room and she ripped it up, it went in the trash. 

Seeing that rage made me realize how sneaky she was with her control issue.  Every time she snuck a cookie she felt the power.  Every time she took something from my stash at my desk she felt a rush of power.  Whenever she snuck into grandma's room and took her candy she felt empowered.  We didn't even realize that this was going on.  She was stealing the control and we had no clue.

But, now I know.  Now I have her door alarmed and her room is isolated.  I am working on rearranging food and snacks within the house.  My desk stash will be secured. 

I have told her not to purchase extras at school.  I will call the cafeteria and make that request.  I can not control the classroom and I will not even attempt that.  other kids may give her their snacks and such.  The only way to defuse that moment of control is to tell her that isn't my area of control, it belongs to her teacher.  So whatever her teacher does and says in the classroom is the rule there.

Now I wait.  I am looking for the next area where she will try to take control.  I am on to her ways now and she is a bright one. 

So go the dance. If she only knew that giving that control up to me would not be so bad.  If she only trusted me with the power and could just be a kid.  If only.....


  1. Makes me want to cry. They are so desperate for power. How deep are their hurts! I wish there was quick fix.

  2. This is so Jeff and Adam in my past.

  3. yes. OH yes. Poor kiddo. If she only knew how she is hurting herself.
    We have more passive aggressive stuff here. I had three.... THREE kids doing the passive aggressive control games tonight. SIGH. After an hour I finally fully clued in and read them the Passive Aggressive chart. It's kind of like reading the riot act. They start howling because their cover is blown. ha. Then I set the timer to give them a chance to turn it around. Missy tried one more tactic then gave in. (She was pretending she didn't know what the numeral 99 looked like for her homework). Then she spontaneously apologized and I swallowed my irritation and blessed her for choosing to be honest. The timer range and James never gave in. Pieter is showing his colors. He's little and he's new.... so trying to be careful and gentle, but FIRM and not allow this nonsense to take over. He's actually very good at it already he's 3.5!!!

  4. I am so thankful for your blog. Have really been struggling with one of my boys in the last 10 days. And now I can see that it is an issue of control. Something has changed in his little heart and he is afraid to just be a kid again. Will the hurt ever heal?! Wish I could just make it all better for him. Parenting is hard and wonderful all at the same time.