It never fails to amaze me just how much I still have to remember and learn about these children. My oldest child is outside helping my husband/his father build me a vegetable garden. It’s backbreaking work and intense labor. So I thought I would do something nice for them and made chocolate milkshakes. Bad idea. My son nearly had a fit because I interrupted his activity. He has this mindset that once he starts work he has to keep going without a break. The obsessiveness rears its ugly head during the school year whenever he is studying. He spends an inordinate number of hours writing papers and rereading and studying information. Of course that usually results in As, which is probably why the pattern constantly repeats itself, because he cannot make himself believe tha he is smart enough to accomplish his goals without so much torment.
Anyway, back to the milkshake. So I told him that it was hot outside and he needed to drink something and I thought a milkshake would be fun. Then he started a diatribe about how he was working and I just started to walk away. I did not want to engage and just let his father handle the situation. My husband took the milkshake from my son and drank it himself and told me that my son had just drunk a bottle of water so there was no dehydration problem. He then thanked me and told me the milkshake was good.
I am not sure when the obsessiveness will stop and even with CBT it gets better and then he backslides. I know I should take my own advice that two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward. But I worry because when he starts that job on Tuesday if he doesn’t stop and eat/go to the bathroom/drink some water during the day he will not function, he will get surly and spout off at the boss. We try to tell him that he has to take breaks at work. That its part of the work day. I guess we will see. Luckily his job is only part-time and only for three hour blocks, three days a week, so maybe we won’t have to deal with too much crankiness.
I know we need to keep on keeping on….
-remind him when he is being overly obsessed
-remind him what strategies to use when he gets in a bad pattern
-remind him of the benefits of stopping and taking a break
-remind him that some things take time and need to be done in smaller blocks of time
-remind him that it is easier if you rest once in awhile
-remind him that it is not a competition (he competes with hmself to see how fast he can accomplish something)
-remind him that it is not a race to the finish
Remind myself that this too will get better in time and that he can drink the milkshake later.
Until next time,