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I probable am but I'm fed up with it all...

(49 Posts)
molepom Sat 23-Jul-11 15:57:59

DS (8 but with ADHD and other learning difficulties which means he's not as clued up as other of his age)

He has been hording food in his room for no other reason than he could not even eating it. Today I found it, all of it. Chocolate, eggs, icing sugar, fruit, veg, fish fingers bascially anything he thought I wouldnt notice.

I've had enough, I am forever shopping, cleaning, clearing out rooms and picking up moldy food but today I lost it.

This morning I made him clear out his room of everything, and I mean everything, with the excpetion of the bunk bed. Toys, clothes, chest of draws, wardrobe, posters, pictures, rugs etc.

He cried thinking that I was going to bin them all but when I explained that he is to clear it all out so I can give it a bloody good and deep clean he is to put the entire lot back. Him alone.

There is to be no food and no eating until everything is back and cleaned.

This started at 10 this morning, I've been on my hands and knees and scrubbed the carpet, skirting, walls, celing, windows, the beds, the matresses and it was worth doing.

He is STILL trying to put stuff away, I refuse to help him. I believe him when he said he was sorry about the eggs and the shampoo (which I discovered while cleaning said carpet) and he hasnt eaten since breakfast at around 8 this morning.

What can I do now?

Do I give in, help him and we can eat or do I stick to my guns?

molepom Sat 23-Jul-11 15:58:23

excuse the spelling in title, I'm tired and didnt notice.

thisisyesterday Sat 23-Jul-11 16:00:34

i would help him, and give him some lunch

denying him food is really ott

thisisyesterday Sat 23-Jul-11 16:02:27

(i would also keep him out of the kitchen so he can't steal more!)

molepom Sat 23-Jul-11 16:03:47

easier said then done when you are asleep.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sat 23-Jul-11 16:09:17

There is to be no food and no eating until everything is back and cleaned

That's fine if the whole process only takes a few hours but, as you've been at it since 10am this morning and given that your ds hasn't eaten since 8am, a break and a snack is now long overdue.

After a suitable rest period, he carry on until dinnertime but I personally would be giving him a hand to speed things up as, IMO, it would be unreasonable to expect an 8 year old to spend the entire day until bedtime sorting out their room.

The alternative is that you call a halt now and live with the partially completed chore overnight.

Jdore Sat 23-Jul-11 16:10:24

My Ds1 has Aspergers +Dyspraxia, I would do as you have done molepom but I would let him have a break for some food, he would then have to continue to do as he was asked to do.You know your son and what he is capable of. Its really difficult to follow these things through at the best of times, more so when you throw Sn into the equation.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 23-Jul-11 16:11:18

I think you are being unreasonable. He is 8. He has ADHD and other problems. You cannot punish him for that.

This is not to say that you let them do whatever they like! My two have autism and my youngest is being assessed for ADHD at the moment. I know that it's challenging. It's a totally different world and you have to understand it, move in it, in order to get the best out of them and to guide them. You must discipline, you must challenge unacceptable behaviour, you must teach them how to function in this world, because it's this world they have to live in. But you have to do it in a different way. In the same way that the curriculum is differentiated to meet their needs, we must 'differetiate' our parenting.

Going in there, all guns blazing and having an all day punishment for what is likely to be an obsession or compulsion of his, is not going to have the best outcome for him or you.

Jdore Sat 23-Jul-11 16:14:34

The trouble is The MB is that I always remember that too latesad I do feel I'm to hard on him because he has to live in this world.Poor ds1

altinkum Sat 23-Jul-11 16:15:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BelleEnd Sat 23-Jul-11 16:15:08

I think YAB a bit U with regards to holding back food. Surely if he thinks you're going to withold food to punish him, that will make the hoarding worse??? Otherwise, I don't think YABU, and I am giving you a pat on the back, a little hug and a brew

altinkum Sat 23-Jul-11 16:17:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Sat 23-Jul-11 16:18:14

I'd make hima sandwich for his lunch and have one with him, but stick to my guns about making him get everything out and put it all back on his own.

Can you put a lock on the kitchen door, OP?

susiedaisy Sat 23-Jul-11 16:22:19

He is hiding food, and you are on mumsnet asking whether you should let him have food??

I haven't been there and I can't imagine what it is like for any of you.

I understand that you must have felt at breaking point and I am sorry, I'm almost brave enough to break the no hugs rule for you.

But please give him something to eat. It's not fair to make him wait until everything is back in it's place. You've given him a good scare (when he thought you were throwing everything away), you've punished him (by making him do the putting back on his own) but it's not fair to punish him twice by making him go hungry too.

He's probably feeling very upset about all this as well, he knows you are angry and he's said he was sorry. I think you need to reassure him a bit, tell him you love him, make him a sandwich and explain that he still has to put his things back alone. But don't expect too much from him when he is so young, has those difficulties and is probably upset and very sorry. Let him do some of it tomorrow. Just say "that's enough for today, we can have something to eat now and you can carry on tomorrow." Then give him a hug and tell him he's done a good job so far.

You can still follow through on the punishment by making him do the work alone tomorrow, but you have to feed him now, it's over eight hours since his breakfast.

As for the stealing of food, can you fit those cupboard locks, or lock the kitchen door at night. Or have something noisy hanging on his bedroom door and the kitchen door (like a windchime) so if he sneaks down in the night you will hear him. Or get one of those awful oinking pigs for the fridge.

Anything so that he knows he can't take food easily or quietly anymore.

valiumredhead Sat 23-Jul-11 16:24:52

Give him some lunch FGS you have been at it since breakfast and it's 4.30 now!

Yes make him tidy up but don't withhold food.

molepom Sat 23-Jul-11 16:31:45

There are locks on everything but he still manages to get in (he's a clever little thing when he wants to be).

He eating a sandwich now but he HAS to finish the job (there isnt much left, it's the playing and faffing about in between that's made it drag on this long).

Altinkum - I'm not sure what it is you are trying to say, I'm not punishing him because of his conditions, I'm punishing him because I'm sick to death of cleaning rotton eggs out of the carpets and wood floors (I know what he's trying to do, he's trying to make chicks hatch but despite me, the teachers and family telling im over and over that they are not those types of eggs he just doesnt get it) the rest of the food is just a continuation of that theme and something I'm just going to have to deal with. I know this.

I just want him to realise that when he continues to do something like this, even after me telling and asking him not to time and time again, there will be a punishment and he will have to deal with it.

He's had his sandwich now and to be fair, he's gone up and is putting stuff away. I cant say that he hasnt eaten ALL day because he has eaten, he's just asked for another piece of fruit (which I forgot when making the original post that I let him have 2 earlier as they have can have fruit when they want). So it's not as though he's starving.

molepom Sat 23-Jul-11 16:33:32

Guess I'm just fustrated with it all.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Sat 23-Jul-11 16:34:46

I would also suggest that you institute a daily or weekly regime of inspecting his room to make sure that there is no secret stash of perishable foodstuff.

Explain to him that the reason you are so insistent on no foodstuffs in the bedroom is that it is unhygienic and can attract rodents and other nasties.

Have you attempted to discover why he's stealing/hoarding food? Are there food issues at mealtimes? Does he feel he's not getting enough to eat or that he's required to eat everything on his plate?

Stealing/hoarding food may have nothing to do with food per se, and he may be using it as a substitute for love/security and storing it as a means of comfort, or keeping it in reserve for times of lack.

It's also possible that it could be that stealing food is his way of exercising some control over elements of his life, or he may be doing it simply to get one over on you if he feels that you've been unreasonable or, if not yourself, another individual who may have made him feel powerless.

The reason for his behaviour may be obscure, but there will be one and hopefully you'll be able to tease it out of him and take appropriate action to help him break the habit.

InFlames Sat 23-Jul-11 16:36:35

YABU as several have said - he's hiding food, so you withhold food ... Is it a usual punishment in your house because it seems clear where the behaviour is coming from if it is ... I wouldn't ever withhold food as a punishment, tho think cleaning room was necessary and he should replace everything himself - maybe take something non-vital away u you want to punish?

molepom Sat 23-Jul-11 16:43:07

I can say hand on heart he has no food issues. He has a very healthy appitite, there isnt much he doesnt like, he's not forced to eat if he doesnt want to at mealtimes, and if he wants more there is always something left over for him.

I have a weekly inspection of his room believe it or not (all this was found in the gap under his chest of drawers which as you know yourselves it's not a place you'd think to look), it was only while having a clear out of small clothes did I see a couple of crisp packets. I did laugh when I saw it as it's a blody great hiding place and I would have never have thought of it in a million years. It just stinks when I disturbed the broken eggs, how I never smelt the fishfinger I'll never know.

Getting a handle on things may be along the right lines. Things have definatly worsened since his dad left without telling us. Although that was 12 months ago, i wonder if that is it?

molepom Sat 23-Jul-11 16:45:13

No, this is the first time I have ever told him he wasnt allowed to eat until such and such was done. To be fair I didnt think it would take this long either. It's not as though I'm leaving him to it. I am upstairs on the landing, trying to encourage him to get a move on.

TheMagnificentBathykolpian Sat 23-Jul-11 16:45:18

When you punish a behaviour that is taking place because of a condition and which would not take place if that condition did not exist, you are in effect punishing that condition. That was the point.

I get that you're frustrated. It's frustrating. God knows I for one tear my hair out when I just can't find a way to get something through, to put something in a way that they can understand. But that's my failure, not theirs.

It makes me so frustrated sometimes that I want to cry.

But you have got to remember what you're working with. And tailor your approach accordingly.

Why is he hiding food? Why does he feel the need to do that? How can you meet that need in a different way? A box for him to place food into? First in his bedroom, working out into the landing, then the stairs, then downstairs, then finally the box is in the kitchen. Something like that.

To deal with the behaviour, you have to understand it. It is no good just trying to punish the behaviour out of him. It won't work. You need strategies.

InFlames Sat 23-Jul-11 16:47:31

Like that idea Magnificent - a place where he can 'hide' eggs etc til it clicks they're not going to hatch?

valiumredhead Sat 23-Jul-11 16:47:37

How on earth was he hiding so much food without you noticing -it must've honked ?

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