My son's biggest problem

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thinking about it a bit the last few days, it occurs to me that my son's biggest problem is really his inappropriate use of language - this is what gets him into trouble all the time, in the sense of the negative view that people who don't KNOW him take of him. He is too harsh, too "rude", often too vulgar in his speech. For example, when a friend of mine told him off about something (she is French and so inclined to do this to children :)), he picked up a stone and said "I'm going to kill you!" She knows him, she knows he is sweet and impulsive but not really violent, she didn't get upset by it - my ghastly neighbour overheard it and put a different construction on it, spreading it around the village what a "nasty", violent boy he is... When I went to pick him up today from school, an older girl was telling him to come out of somewhere he shouldn't have been - he was saying to her something that would be equivalent to "Shut it!" She didn't seem upset or surprised, but to my view that is aggressive and inappropriate speech for a 4 year old. Or anyone, come to that.
    We have an appointment with another speech therapist tomorrow - one that has worked with hyperactive children. Is this something that I should mention to her, is it an area she might be concerned with? Other than that, are there any suggestions as to how I might get him to understand how damaging this way of talking is to him, and others...?
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    Yes, definitely mention it to the speech therapist.

    Just repeatedly tell him that that is not appropriate language. Give him concrete examples of what he should/can say. Instead of "I'm going to kill you" try "I don't like what you just said to me" Instead of "Shut it" try "Please be quiet, I'm busy right now" Of course you give him what ever words you want him to use in these situations. He needs more/different words to express himself. LOL I asked for exactly that kind of advice here recently! LOL

    He's feeling all sorts of things, but only has a 4 y/o vocabulary to process the emotions and express them.
  3. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    I had and still have to some degree the same problem with my son. I have to redirect him alot with some of his statements/words.

    It is very frustrating but usually he will correct himself, unless of course he is really upset then there is no talking to him...

    I think with gentle reminders from you it may get better over time. Good Luck !!
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    You mean there's no magic cure?! Oh dear, another illusion shattered.... :)
    I should also have said - and this is the 64,000 dollar part, of course - that I feel it is probably not just lack of words or expressions available to him but that my son actually likes the dangerous/forbidden/aggressive nature of the language he often uses. It attracts him. Which goes along with the territory. I think for the moment he is too young to properly understand the social inappropriateness. I hope that this will improve over time.
    I will indeed mention it to the therapist then.
  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Did he say "ferme ta gueule!" to the older girl? If so he likes the shock value and the social inappropriateness. I would try to find out if he picked up that expression at school. If that is the case, the village children are not as well behaved as their parents would have you think.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    This is a HUGE problem with many young difficult children regardless of what their diagnosis is. The "normal" kids learn at a very young age when and where certain language is appropriate. They will use it amongst themselves, but NEVER within earshot of adults. difficult children, for various reasons, don't 'get that'.

    LOL This is at least the second time I had to do a double take on one of your posts. Seems you enjoy sarcasm very much - me too!

    Just an FYI to try not to use sarcasm with J. Most 4 y/o kids don't have a clue about sarcasm, and tend to take such remarks seriously. At around 8 is when some kids start learning it. My 8 y/o only picks up on it half the time when I really make it obvious. Son was 12 when he finally started to pick up on it and understand the whole concept. He can identify it most of the time, but at 15 he still does a really lousy job at being sarcastic himself.
  7. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I have just been reading "Driven to Distraction", a book recommended by Insane about ADHD. It gives an interesting, and detailed persepective, on the probable brain disfunctioning that occurs in ADHD:
    "... the work of G. J.Chelune in 1986...posited that hyperactivity and impulsivity are basically a form of disinhibition. According to this hypothesis, many of the symptoms of ADD arise because the brain loses its ability to put on the brakes sufficiently. This is due to disturbed inhibition in the cortex, or outer layer, of the brain. Without cortical inhibition, the brain fails to block inappropriate responses and fails to send out appropriate inhibitory messages."
    This would explain very well why that "inhibitory" function is not present in terms of language. You are quite right, Keista - all the other kids know all this language, which is of course where J learnt it, but they never use it to or even in front of adult, which perhaps props up the latter's illusions - unlike J, who just doesn't seem to realise or understand the inappropriateness when he uses it. Yes, 3S, he said "Ferme!", which is the current slangy abbreviation and of course the kids are just kids - doing things behind their parents' backs that the parents jump down on them for.
    We went to see another speech therapist yesterday. She was much more relaxed, confident and knowledgeable (about kids like J) than the first one. She made some perceptive comments - immediately remarked on his lack of "inhibition" towards adults, that he sees adults and children as being on the same level, and wondered whether it was related to anxiety. She also talked about his need to have "presence", to dominate... so far so good in a way but she is "only" a speech therapist. She said he has no speech delays or problems but would still see if she could work with him... I am not quite sure what she would do but in the lack of any other good input at the moment, I'm very happy to go with this. Her remarks and approach made me feel we should be seeing a good therapist but there just aren't any that I know of here in the local town... would have to go to the city for that, an hour's journey away.
    I am open to drugs, sorry medications, whatever I've said. I have to be.... but there again I feel limited by what might be available here. Ritalin is the only drug that seems to be used for ADHD - can that be right, I have to find out. And stimulants will not, I think, work for J - coffee has no effect on him. And the medications in any case would not be for a couple of years. In the meantime, I would love people to understand that J's uninhibited behaviour is NOT because he is a bad lot or I am a bad parent...

    As for the "sarcasm", Keista, it goes along with being English! British humour... and actually J is very quick to pick up such verbal clues and does understand and "get" irony. Which all just goes to show how each child is such an individual territory, I suppose.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    Most definitely. Another way that your J is 'more advanced' than other kids :) My BFF's daughter learned to pick up on and use sarcasm at about age 4 as well it does happen, just not the norm.
  9. april1974

    april1974 New Member

    My M says very inapropriate things, he told the teacher he was going to bring a machine gun to school and shoot her...he doesn't filter what he is thinking, and of course there is the shock value, something we are working on, or trying to work on. Can't wait to hear what your speech therapist says.
  10. MrsMo

    MrsMo New Member

    Have you tried role-playing? I've recently started doing this with C and it's actually working. I've been able to get through to him in a way that I have never been able to before. C is also 4 years old like yours. So what I've been doing is I'll wait a quieter time of day and this is our "game" that we play together, no one else is around, no distractions. So I choose a behaviour or something he's done and we role-play doing it the "nice" way and doing it the "not nice" way and we take turns being the nice guy and then being the mean guy. While we're doing it, I'll stop him periodically and ask him "How do you feel right now?" and "How do you think I feel right now". And then we'll do it the "nice" or "better" way and talk about our feelings. I really think he's understanding now how his actions affect other people and how acting negatively makes him feel sad, mad, bad, sorry and that it's not a good feeling and that doing things the nicer way and cooperating make him feel GOOD inside. I've been really working lately on having him talk about feelings and that if he's feeling angry, sad, left out, to come and talk to me or husband and tell us. We will always have time for him; I will always have time to give him a hug. I think he needed to hear that. He is now talking more about his feelings and not letting himself get so worked up over things. I've actually seen a really big change in him and I hope we can continue down this road. We've also done role-playing to say "I'm sorry" because he was having a hard time saying sorry. I've also noticed that when he's getting himself into a "mood" if I come to him quietly and say "What's going on? Let's talk about this." he is more open to start talking to me about what's going on. This morning I gave him a hug and we talked about why he was feeling mad. Within minutes he was over it and happy, whereas before it would have been a terrible morning.

    Anyways, I don't know if any of this will help for you but our boys are the same age. As for your son saying inappropriate things, does he hear these phrases from other kids or adults in his life? If you find yourself using any of these words, even if it's not directed at him, you'll want to try really hard to stop saying them around him. I say this because my son was saying "shut up" a lot and we couldn't figure out why he'd be doing that. Then I realized it was because we would say it half-jokingly, to our cat (she's a siamese and can get very loud). I told C that it was a bad word and if he heard anyone using such and such words, that they would get a time-out. If he used the same words, he would get time-out too. Everyone goes by the same rules and we kind of made it his job to enforce it and he liked having that responsibility. My husband and I have gotten a few time-outs (LOL) but it worked to stop C from saying those words.