Incentives or Bribery?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by llamafarm, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. llamafarm

    llamafarm New Member

    Question. How far have you all gone to get the behaviors that you need? I need him to stop hitting me and kicking me. His most natural response to most requests or comments that I have is to come to me and hit me or act like he is about to. He has a psychiatrist, a counselor, medications., been on behavior plans. I haven't called the police yet. I want to take care of it on my own. But we are getting to that point... where do I draw the line? so... have you paid off your kid to not hit you? We paid off on the last behavioral contract. So many minutes with-o hitting, swearing, calling me names (45 mins) got him a sticker. Ten stickers earned him a dollar. So many problems arise. Once he gets the money he must go to the store immediately. It takes days to earn enough stickers. If he is mad he won't care, he hits anyway.

    I am at the point of giving him an amount of money, for only one rule followed. Don't hit/kick. Seems rediculous but money is his incentive. grrr. Amazing how helpless you feel with no control over your 11 year old and a ten year old watching every move.
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    My difficult child is the same way. He gets his allowance money and wants to go to the store RIGHT NOW!!!!! If I can't (or won't, most likely) it becomes a huge issue that ends in a complete meltdown because he can't have his way. I'm not sure that paying him is the answer because it just replaces one problem with another.

    If it continues and he really is not controlable, I would say that calling the police has to be an option. I undertand wanting to take care of things yourself. I am the same way. "What will the neighbors think?" is what always runs through my mind, but you have to be able to keep yourself and your daughter safe.
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    If I knew then what I know now - I would have ABSOLUTELY called the police on my 11 year old.

    Just to let you know, at that age, unless somebody is bleeding, officers will not "arrest" him but should give him a good scare and a stern "talking to". They will also make a report.
    If these violent behaviors continue, you are going to want to start racking up those reports in order to argue for more services.

    DO NOT WAIT until somebody is seriously injured.

    First, because that is waaaayyyy over the line

    Second, because a felony is a felony regardless of the age. You want to get some intervention before the violence gets to the felony stage.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Does he kick you once or do it repeatedly? I understand not wanting to involve police but there comes a point where safety is a factor and you have another child to consider. If he can't hurt you, will he go after her? If not today, then tomorrow? Has he already and she's too scared to tell you? He is also old enough to get that there are and will be real world consequences for his actions, that he cannot continue like this, towards you or anyone else.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I don't see any medications in your signature. Is he taking any to help him control his outbursts? Was the diagnosis done by a child psychiatrist? Has he had a neuro/psychological evaluation?

    Lots of questions, I know. It helps us try to help. Sending hugs, DDD
  6. llamafarm

    llamafarm New Member

    I thought I just posted, didn't show up...I wonder where it went? difficult child is on abilify, celexa, citalopram, and vyvanse. His diagnosis was done by an autism program, psychologist, and a child psychologist. CP wonders about his diagnosis of aspergers. I do too. But something just isn't right.
  7. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I don't know how your PD is, but if you have to call them, make sure you tell dispatch that the call involves a mentally ill child because you want an officer that is specially trained if they have one.
  8. HopeRemains

    HopeRemains New Member

    Hi there! I feel as if I am in the same boat. difficult child is constantly hitting/kicking husband and my youngest son, who is 3. Unless he is very out of control, he doesn't do it to me (very often anymore), because I have always been consistant in swift discipline for these actions. Unfortunately, the *swift discipline* turns into rages 90% of the time. That is because I have always used timeouts, which I am currently trying to figure out an alternative for- to no avail.

    I've tried the rewards charts; he likes them and is excited about them for a week or so, then they lose all credit and the bad behavior begins again. I don't think that money is a good way to get him to behave, as others have pointed out, it replaces one problem with another. However, in general, ALL rewards programs have ended in catastrope for us, and I don't think money is much different than giving a small prize. I've tried giving him the choice of a movie he'd like to watch and a family night as a reward, many, many things. All of them have failed because if he didn't earn it, it caused meltdowns! He is always asking for one more chance... (which I don't give often because I don't want to backpeddle).

    But if this is the only thing that you think might work, by all means, give it a try! It doesn't mean you will have to keep paying him forever, just getting him into the habit of keeping his hands and feet to himself. Good luck and update on if it's worked out for you.
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    llamafarm and hope... I cant remember if anyone has suggested these two books yet...

    The Explosive Child by Ross Greene
    What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You by Doug Riley.

    both of these books talk about the kid that traditional parenting ideas do not work for.... helps us view it in a different way but also helps by giving IDEAS for other ways to handle these situations.

    Just in case you are interested.... you can do a search here too to see how others view and use these books and ideas.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You have two problems... an immediate short term major issue, and a long-term problem.
    The short-term one is that the problem behaviors are unsafe for difficult child or for others. You can't just ignore these (like you can with some behaviors), yet so many approaches don't work. Others have given you some good advice for this stage.

    The longer-term problem... you need to listen to your Mommy-gut. There is either more going on, or something else entirely. Something about the diagnosis list isn't right. Not because you didn't get a reasonable evaluation team - you did better than many of us - but... there can be so many layers, and things are not always obvious, and then there's the whole complicating factor of who knows about what, when... because sometimes the problem "should" be obvious but the right person doesn't know about the right test, so it gets missed...

    ADHD is a tricky diagnosis. Its symptoms can belong to a range of OTHER dxes... from Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)... to who knows what else. Plus... there's a wide range of dxes that can and often DO go "with" ADHD (co-morbid). One way or the other, these "missing" dxes might be the root cause of the behavior...

    Ditto on the recommended books, by the way - The Explosive Child changed how I viewed my child... and pretty much every other "problem" kid I run into in life... It starts with challenging a basic assumption about kids - because everyone knows that "kids do well if they want to"... right? Nope. "Kids do well if they CAN". So, if they aren't doing well... there's got to be a reason. Its a REALLY good read, even if you don't become an expert on collaborative problem solving.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, I totally understand your situation. I lived with a violent child for years. What I will say may seem harsh but is said to help and not to hurt or judge.

    The violence MUST STOP. No matter what else is going on, the violence absolutely must be stopped. How long has the hitting been going on? Is it a long term, since he was little problem? Did it start suddenly or just gradually build up? Is it new, since he started on medications or on a certain medication?

    I looked at your medication list. Is he taking 4 medications? If so, what is the fourth? Citalopram and Celexa are the same medication. Some of the medications he is on may cause or contribute to aggression. Vyvanse is a stimulant and those can certainly contribute to aggression. Some people, especially children, become violent on antidepressants. Did the aggression start before or after either of these medications was started? Did the amount/level/type of aggression or his choice of targets change after he started taking either medication?

    Abilify is an atypical antipsychotic and should help curb the aggression and help with depression. What impact did taking abilify have on his violence? We had a lot of luck with risperdal (risperidone) for quite a long time with my son. If the abilify isn't helping, then maybe trying risperdal or seroquel or another atyp antipsychotic could help.

    WHo oversees his medications? Why is each prescribed? Has anyone ever thought he could be bipolar? I ask this NOT because I think he has bipolar, but because children with bipolar present VERY differently than adults and because medications can cause havoc in a person with bipolar. You might check The Balanced Mind foundation (used to be the Child and Adolescent Bipolar foudnation) for info to learn more about bipolar. Or get a copy of The Bipolar Child by Papalous to learn more. There is an online tool to see if your child might have bipolar that is called the Child Bipolar Questionaire or CBQ that you can get via this link: . It was designed with input from the author of the Bipolar Child and does NOT tell you that yes he is or no he isn't bipolar. It just gives you a tool to take to his doctors to help evaluate what is going on.

    I am NOT saying I think he is bipolar. I am saying that I think maybe it would help to think about it. I do think that bipolar is overdx'd in kids, but that doesn't mean that some kids don't have it.

    The book What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You by Riley is a must. You have to know why he is exploding before anythign will change. You also have to take big steps to keep everyone safe. The violence is not a new behavior from the sounds of things. You MUST make it the MAJOR priority - even more important than school, in my opinion. He can't learn if he can't be around people because he keeps hurting them. Sooner or later it will be aimed at others and then you have some huge problems.

    Sit down an write a safety plan. Who does what, goes where, etc... when difficult child is violent. Your daughter must especially be protected. This is going to sound really mean, but I seriously doubt you have any idea of how violent he is to her. Chances are that when you can't see or it is late at night, he is taking his anger out on her. She isn't going to open up until he is out of the home or has been safe for several MONTHS. If she tells he will hurt her worse. She may also think he is violent because he is sick so he can't help it.

    I KNOW HOW THIS HURTS TO THINK ABOUT. I really do. My son hurt his sister and I for years. husband and I spent over 5 YEARS never leaving them in a room together with-o adult supervision. If we went to potty we took the same sex child to the bathroom with us. I would have Jess stand in the shower or tub so I had a little privacy and husband would do the same with Wiz. If we didn't, Jess was bruised or bleeding when we returned to the room. We were terrified and NO ONE really believed us. not for a long time. Then one night the cat got me up and insisted I follow her. She led me to my daughter's room. Wiz was strangling her. She was sound asleep until he came in and woke her up with his hands around her throat. We were terrified and so angry at him. I was truly afraid that if I paid any attentiont o him at that moment that I would kill him. Not "kill him" as in he would be in trouble. Kill him as in he would never breathe or move or do anything ever again and I would go to prison until I could kill myself. It took about a split second to realize that I was not safe to be around him right then. I took care of my daughter and screamed my husband awake to come and take care of Wiz. thank you was with Jess and I.

    It was awful. My son ended up spending 4 months in a psychiatric hospital and my daughter got a LOT of therapy. We took her to the pediatrician the next morning after the incident and the doctor reported us to CPS - I asked her to. I knew it had to be reported and I wanted their help to get all of us the help we needed.

    My son was 12 at the time. Not much older than your difficult child. It took three months for my daughter to be able to sleep through the night in her own bed. She spent a lot of nights sleeping with husband and I because she was so scared at night.

    I can't write much more now, but there IS hope and help. Right now my son is 20 and in college wtih straight As, has held a job for 4+ yrs, lives with my parents about 15 min away and is a loving son and brother and has a great relationship with his siblings. I will write more later but have to go now.

    PLEASE contact the domestic violence center in your area and get an intake appointment. This IS DV and they can help. they may or may not have much experience with kids who hit parents, but they can still help you. I got a lot of hel pfrom our dv center.
  12. llamafarm

    llamafarm New Member

    Susiestar thanks for your input. Yes, he is on four medications. Celexa (generic citalopram), Tenex was the one I missed, vyvanse and abilify. My husband and I have wondered about bi-polar, but as many have told us he is never not himself. What I have heard is that there would be times that his personality would be not his normal self. My husband still guesses it might be there. I am certain we need more evaluations. I will be looking at the books that were recommended. He began this sort of behavior at the end of second grade, medications stayed the same when it started then added to what he had to help with the aggression. The abilify has seemed to lessen the behavior. Only know this because when we took him off of it a year ago he was out of control.. Off to the counselor today, to discuss and have him discuss. Of course as far as I see it has no impact, but it does keep him busy. after that he goes to respite until evening. Tomorrow husband is home and I get to go to work in the evening.
    Keeping difficult child busy keeps him from aiming his aggression at me. And as I said he aims it mostly at me. The aggression at this point that he shows his sis is only for my benefit (as far as I know). If I don't respond right to his hitting me he tries a nudge at his sis. This does get response. I take her and lock ourselves in my bedroom. He calms down and goes on as if nothing has happened.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    You might as the counselor if they have a copy of the bipolar child that you could borrow. Also look up that questionaire. I haven't ever heard that a bipolar person wasn't himself. That is an odd description and certainly not quantifiable. I strongly recommend buying the other book I recommended. It will work no matter what the diagnosis is. You could get The Bipolar Child at the library also. It is the best, most comprehensive book that I have seen. I was NTO impressed with the "everything guide to bipolar" by a long shot.

    Gotta run! Have a good day!