I feel like the worst mom ever.....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Amy, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. Amy

    Amy New Member

    Hi, everyone. I'm new here. I have a 6 1/2 year old son who has not been formally diagnosed with ODD, but I know that's what he has. We are waiting for our appointment for a formal evaluation at the local Childrens' Hospital. My son is in first grade and he does fine at school. Occassionally he has trouble listening, but his teacher says it's nothing he doesn't see in all the other first graders. It's at home that my son acts out. He is defiant almost constantly, telling us, "I'm the boss. You can't make me. You're an idiot. Do you even have a brain? I won't do it. I hate you," or some version of that refrain almost constantly. He has his good days, but his bad days are terrible. He refuses to go to time out and has to be dragged there. He screams and has tantrums that shake the house. I know his ODD is probably related, at least in part, to anxiety as his behavior often gets worse when he's scared or nervous about something. But he can also act out for no real reason, like when he's told it's time for bed or that it's time to turn off the TV or just generally when he's told no about something.

    He's a wonderful child in so many ways and we adore him, but his behavior is just so hard on me and my husband and our 4 year old daughter. I feel like a terrible mother because sometimes I get so angry with him I feel like I could snap. I never do, thank god. But it's really taking a toll on us all. I'm just so afraid that nothing will work. We saw a child psychiatrist about a year and a half ago and at that time he suggested some things we could try and he didn't think our son needed a full evaluation. But his suggestions haven't worked and I know we need to move onto something more, hence the evaluation we've scheduled. I just feel hopeless right now and really scared and tired. Anyway, thanks for listening to me ramble!
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Sounds to me like you're an awesome mom! You're trying to find answers and going about it he right way. You haven't killed him even though I'm sure the images of ways he could die have flashed through your mind. You love him, no, actually, you adore him!

    ODD rarely (not never, but rarely) stands alone. It is usually co-morbid with something else. Hopefully, the evaluation will help you with this.

    While you're waiting for the evaluation, I'd recommend you read The Explosive Child. It helps give you a handle on the way he is thinking and some good tips on how to work with him to help him control his rage.

    In meantime, welcome and so sorry you have to be here. You've found a great group with lots of support.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You're a great mom. You're taking him for an evaluation, and many parents are in denial and won't do that. ODD almost never stands alone so I hope he's having an intensive evaluation with every possibility explored. I have a few questions:
    1/ How was his early development? Did he talk on time and well? Does he maybe have PRECOCIOUS speech--almost like an adult? Does he make good eye contact with strangers and interact appropriately with his peers? Can he make transitions? Does he play well with toys?

    2/Any psychiatric or neurological disorders in the family tree? Any substance abuse?

    3/What kind of professional will be evaluating him? I prefer NeuroPsychs.

    Others will come along. Welcome to the board!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Meowbunny gave you a good recommendation - "Explosive Child" by Ross Greene - darn good book for making life easier. it's a matter of changing how you handle him, turning things on their head and seeing it all from a different and more productive point of view.

    Look at what you're doing now - is it working? Clearly not. And yet it's what we all were raised with, it's what everybody else does, it's what you are told to do, to be a good parent. But it is not working.

    First rule - if it's not working, don't do it.

    Second rule - only engage in battles you know you can win.

    Third rule - become his advocate and helper, not his obstacle. And to know how to do that, read the book. And work out WHY he is reacting - kids are not generally oppositional as an immediate response, unless they have learned to be. And if this has been learned, it can be unlearned - but not by the same methods it was first taken on board.

    This also works on PCs and education boards.

    Good luck with the evaluation, welcome to the site, you are NOT a bad mother so stop beating yourself up, and do keep us posted on how you go. Any questions - we're here.

  5. Amy

    Amy New Member

    Thanks, guys, for the warm welcome! In answer to your questions:

    1) His early development was right on track. He did talk on time and well and now he does sometimes have precocious speech, but not always. He does make good eye contact and has an easy time making friends with peers, but I would probably describe him as "quirky" at times. Just sort of goofy and silly. Not all the time, but often enough. It doesn't seem to have any affect on his frienships, though. Transitions are very hard for him. He does play well with toys and always has.

    2)My mother-in-law is bipolar, but I would say she has a mild case of it. My sister-in-law was ODD as a child, although I see no evidence of it now, in adulthood. My father is a recovered alcoholic and both his parents died of the disease.

    3) I honestly don't know if it's a neuropsychologist we are scheduled to see. Should I call and request that?

    Thanks for the help and the understanding!!
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    HI and welcome. One doctors opinion doesn't weigh very heavy with me. It certainly NEVER spoke more than my maternal instincts. When things/people/places/doctors who didn't know my son very well gave opinions on his diagnosis - that's what they were. Opinions.

    A few things I've learned with a 17 yo difficult child.

    If it doesn't feel right - you can switch doctors/therapists/etc.
    If it goes against my grain - it's probably wrong for me and mine
    Just because a person went to college does not mean they've spent time with MY kid in OUR particular situation. Variables are everything. NO one kid fits into a hole or square.

    And - probably the best thing we ever did as a tired, worn out, fleeting health family? We sought out the best psychologist we could find - liked him, trusted him and we ALL (entire family) went to therapy. I needed someone else to sit back and say "Here's what I see that you're doing which isnt' working." and then offer suggestions to formulate a battle plan where DF and I are united -learn the in's and out's of effective communication - How to dissarm a difficult child, how to SPEAK so you are heard, how to be silent so you are heard, and how to pick and choose our battles.

    Without having a battle plan to literally battle difficult child in our home - we wouldn't have ever made it. And by no means is that any reference to a success story - our road and life with difficult child was littered with books, medicines, Residential Treatment Center (RTC)'s, hospitals,elimination diets, begging, pleading, crying - hoping, and mostly praying.

    My engagement would have ended in divorce before I got married if DF hadn't gotten on board with the therapist - and eventually he got to where he enjoyed going and finding out what we were going to do next to sabotage difficult child's "evil plot" - what we did worked for us.

    I'd say if you didn't get success with the last psychiatric, find another one, and if that one isn't a match - find another one and so on.

    Good luck -
    While you're waiting for an evaluation - what would be wrong with trying some elimination diets to see if his behavior is linked to something he's eating. It's a far cry from therapy - but it's a start. difficult child can't to this day eat anything with red dye in it - Hawiian punch sends him to the moon and back with a very nasty attitude. Allergies are another thought. Just throwing out suggestions - not trying to make you think he doesn't have ODD.

  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    OH - and ps.

    If you feel like the worst Mom in the world - you need to start working on yourself, your self esteem and HOW to detach from the situations your sons choices. He HAS a choice and so do you - if you don't take care of yourself and tap all the resources that are available NOW - your son WILL divide and conquer the house.

    You are going to have to have a VERY positive attitude moreso than guilt to deal with a kid like yours. Start now to improve yourself - and it will improve your son in the long run.

    You shouldn't have to feel like you do. You CAN feel different - you just need help to get there - I call it rhino skin - eventually we all develop a suit of it to protect us from the things that kids sling and hurl our way - By coming here - it tells me that you are searching for answers - THAT is the beginning of a true WARRIOR Mom - in a rhino suit.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Does he melt down within a few minutes after getting home from school?
  9. Lostfan108

    Lostfan108 New Member

    My difficult child II is the same as your son, medications made him worse at 1st but now we seem to have the right mix and doses and I am finally seeing results. We also have an in home therapist through the state once a week, that works with me on a bhavior modification chart. But it is hard when you feel helpless or on the verge of a break down over your child, this I can relate to. I would read the Explosive child with an open mind, I did, and took what I thought I could use from it and left the rest. Bigs hugs from someone who knows your pain!
  10. Amy

    Amy New Member

    Yes! Sometimes he doesn't even make it all the way through the door before it starts. Yelling, crying, talking ugly, hurling insults. It doesn't happen everyday, but I'd say more days than not.
  11. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    If you were the worst mom ever you wouldn't be here! We have all been in your boat - some days more than others! You are seeking help and trying to do the best by your difficult child. Keep at it! Keep seeking information. Info is power for you and your difficult child. Don't give up - keep strong and keep persevering. The more you know the more you can help everyone involved. You're on the right track. That's why we are all here. Welcome and keep us informed.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It really sounds like you are an awesome but overworked mom. NOT a horrible mom. Your son is very challenging. So is your vision of yourself. It happens to most of us, that is why therapy helps.

    Go for the full evaluation. See what they say.

    I can honestly say that my sweet, loveable, always willing to hug mom can have days he just dissolves when he walks in the door. He goes off differently than your son, but he goes off.

    I found that SCHOOL was a huge sensory trigger. What I do is provide the sensory things he seeks out, this helps him self-calm. Also, if he seems to be having a "meltdown morning" he stays home. School knows I will call him in sick, they know why, and it is in his 504 plan. As long as grades are not a problem, then the principal could care less.

    This is our plan. It won't work for you. Your son needs an Occupational Therapy exam in addition to the psychiatrist (with the md) and the neuropsychologist exam. I have a feeling you will find he is working so hard to hold it together at school he just cannot cope when he gets home.

    He KNOWS you love him, and you won't hurt him. This is WHY he shows you all the horrible behaviors. Don't change the love, adore and won't hurt him factors, find ways to change the other issues that are setting him off.

    It is very hard to understand, but our kids are hardest and most awful to the people they know will always love them. They are nice to the people they think might leave. Stinks to be a parent in this equation, but at least you know he feels loved.

    Get the evaluations. Ask the occupational therapist abour Sensory Integration issues. Keep coming back here. While we may not have a solution, we always have a hug!


  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome. Others have given great advice. Be sure to be taking care of yourself. Do nice things for you!
  14. PersonalEnigma

    PersonalEnigma New Member

    Welcome to the board. I'm pretty new here too. I understand how easy it is to feel like you're a horrible mom. I've been there a few times with difficult child. Just remember that no matter what you still love him and that things will get better. Just take it one day at a time. Everyone on here is very supportive and there is so much experience to draw from. I learn a ton just lurking and reading everyone's posts.
  15. ML

    ML Guest

    Welcome to site and I agree with the others that you are a great mom!