New Here, at wits end, please help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by chrisb, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    After yet another morning of fighting with one of my children, I googled ODD and was extremely depressed to find that they fit every single behavior perfectly. I'm laying it out here because I'm just so frustrated and I need help.

    I have a daughter who is 8 and a son who is 6, we are long past the point where temper tantrums should no longer be a part of our daily life. I just don't know what to do about it. I have described it to others in the past this way - they think they are prisoners of war and they have to resist for resistance sake. One will hit the other and I will tell them they need to go to their room for 5 minutes. Usually they will not move without threat of further punishment, if this is given they will do whatever they can on the way up to **** me off - throw things, knock things down, hit me, hit something else, slam doors, etc. 95% of the time, a 5 minute time-out in their room turns into an hour or more because of their behavior between the time I gave the initial punishment and when they finally went to their room. They often tell me that whatever punishment I am offering is something they are fine with. "I don't need that toy". I have to ratchet up punishments extremely high to get them to take them seriously and when I do finally reach the point where I've gotten past their 'I can take it' they then move to throwing a full blown tantrum over whatever it is, crying, screaming, wailing loudly. If I touch them during a fight (like to pick them up say by the armpits and carry them to their room) they will react as if I am beating them by screaming and accusing me of hurting them.

    I feel like I yell constantly, because if I don't yell its literally like I am not there. Anything I say has zero bearing with them, they will not take my suggestions, even when given nicely at a time when we are not fighting. It's as if they think I'm an idiot and nothing I say could possibly be true. When my daughter was 3, my husband once came home to us having a fight on the lawn about what a telephone pole was, because she would not believe me when I told her.

    They both attend a montessori school, not a traditional public school, so they have no school problems. This is because the method allows the children significantly liberty and freedom in how they do their work, without which I am 100% positive we would have serious issues. The school does not have homework. The idea of trying to force them to do homework they don't want to do is probably a huge contributor to we went with this school.

    I am not a strict parent, we don't keep a clean house really. They watch almost no tv at home and play very very little computer/video games. (They do watch TV at my parents house when we are there) They have a few responsibilities that I require of them, but mostly I am not a taskmaster. We fight about basic things that I feel like at 6 and 8 I shouldn't have to fight my children on. Brushing hair, getting shoes on, taking a bath (but I just took one last week!), getting strapped in in the car. My daughter responds to every single request with 'Why?' - not because she doesn't understand why, I've explained why 100 times for each task, what she really means is 'Why should I do what you want?'. My son takes however you phrased it and interprets it as literally as possible and spits it back at you. Example: 'Please pick up your backpack and hang it on the hook' 'I don't know where it is!' (in an angry voice, without any attempt to look, its right behind him), 'It's right there' (pointing) 'Well that that means it is right here' (pointing to a spot on the ground). He basically uses this technique to manufacture an excuse not to comply.

    I don't think I handle this whole thing very well. Most of our fights end in screaming, partially because I'm so frustrated and angry. I've hurt myself several times in anger (grabbing something and clenching and shaking it I will pull my neck, pounding my hand on the table out of anger I've brused my palm) and a handful of times I've resorted to spanking, which I don't want to do and I'm ashamed I have done it. I am strong willed myself and I'm positive they got this personality trait from my and my father through me. The stories of what my father and uncles did to my grandmother are legendary and disturbing (and my father is proud of it and eggs my children on - which is a whole 'nother problem). My parents didn't use corporal punishment with us (except, like me, for maybe a handful of times when I think my mother just got too frustrated) - my father always said the only reason he didn't do it was because it wasn't effective - his father used to discipline with his belt and my dad said it never stopped him from misbehaving. I fought constantly with my mother and I can feel in myself that I have an automatic resistance to being told what to do still now. I am usually against the grain of society, I'm the one who doesn't like the popular show/actor/device, etc that everyone else raves about. The more adamant people are about how great something is, the more resistant I am to trying it. I am fairly self-aware and introspective, so I try to notice this and work around it, but it definitely comes into play with my kids. I'm reluctant to give in to their demands for probably the same reasons they are reluctant to give into mine. I can remember distinctly not wanting to do something specifically because I was told, preferring to do it when I wasn't asked at all, often waiting until my mother was literally at wits end before giving in and doing it.

    So I know that my children's behavior is not due to my indulgence, giving in to bad behavior or letting them get away with things. When I commit to something, I will take it to the point it needs to be taken to in order to win the battle of wills. I know that may not necessarily be the right solution, but my point is that I definitely don't encourage behavior by giving in to their temper tantrums. So at age 8, it doesn't make sense to me that she should say headbutt me in the stomach because she doesn't like what I'm saying (as she did this morning at school dropoff) because that has *never* gotten her what she wanted and only ever brought more punishment down. I'm starting to realize that this has to be ODD because a normal child would have long ago realized they weren't getting what they wanted out of the deal.

    My husband has none of these issues - his parents are the passive agressive types who barely even suggest one should do something. I don't think they ever yelled at him. Sometimes they can get my kids to do things, but when my kids don't want to they walk all over them. My kids have turned my husband into a yeller, even with his far-larger patience and the fact that he spends less time with the kids during the day (since he goes to work early comes home late) which lets him be more patient than me, they still take him to the point of anger and frustration and yelling daily.

    Okay, I'm writing a dang book, I have to stop now, thank you to anyone who read this far. As I said in the title, I'm at my wits end and don't even really know where to start to improve our situation.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    Others will be along later... but wanted you to know that we hear you!

    I think you'll find, around here, that the ODD label is not taken as a workable diagnosis... and it doesn't sound like you have a diagnosis of anything. ODD, you see, describes a range of behaviors, but tells nothing about the cause or effective ways to deal with it. When kids are young, it serves some purpose as a "placeholder" diagnosis... as in, the doctors know something is wrong but don't have the answers yet. So... please bear with us as we ask some questions!

    Can you give us some history on your children, and on the whole family situation?
    For example:
    - what age did the problems begin?
    - are these your biological kids? is husband the biological dad as well?
    - have they ever been evaluated for these issues, say by a psychologist or psychiatrist?
    - any history of disorders in the family tree? such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Aspergers, ADHD, bi-polar, etc.

    It helps if you create a signature... there are lots of members on this board, and it helps us keep track of the situation at hand when responding to posts.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Get the book The Explosive Child by Ross Greene ASAP. Also, I wouldn't be so ready to put the ODD label on them. There are so many diagnoses that mimic ODD in a lot of ways. Try looking at the behaviors in a different way. Instead of assuming why they are doing it (I know, it's human nature) try to find out from them WHY. They may not be able to tell you but if you keep a calm, patient manner and voice, you might be amazed at what you learn. My son carried the ODD diagnosis for 4 years and was disciplined A LOT (including the occasional spanking from me) as is common practice for ODD ("they need to learn who's boss!"). We just found out a few months ago that it wasn't ODD at all. He was on the autism spectrum. All the punishment, especially at public school, and very high expectations to conform ended up causing extreme anxiety and eventually severe depression. If I had not just readily accepted the ODD diagnosis and dug deeper to find the CAUSE, he wouldn't be such an emotional mess right now.

    The other thing I would do is have them evaluated by a neuropsychiatrist/neuropsychologist or at least a child psychiatrist. I have to agree that "something" is going on and you are not going to figure it out on your own. You might also want to look into counseling for yourself. Having difficult child's can be extremely emotionally draining, to say the least and it helps to have an experienced 3rd party help process things more objectively. It's very hard not to take our kids' behavior personally.

    Others will be along with questions to help figure out what might be going on and where to steer you for help. You have definitely come to the right place. The experience and support from the parents hear has kept me sane for a year now. Welcome to our little corner of the world but I am so sorry you are in a place where you needed to find us.

  4. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    I understand the diagnosis thing, I honestly don't care much about diagnosis, I just want to improve our family situation. However, from what I see with my kids - they have those symptoms and I don't see symptoms of other things. Though I suppose if people had suggestions for what kinds of other issues we could be looking at, I could see if it fit at all. They have excellent (far better than normal) attention spans, they are otherwise pretty happy and affectionate and normal. They are very shy kids it takes them a long time to warm up to people. They haven't had any trauma in their lives and haven't even had any opportunity for potential abuse I would be unaware of. I've read protecting the gift, I'm not a complacent person, I look carefully for signs of these things. Maybe there is something I don't see, I don't know. My daughter bites her nails, maybe she might have some anxiety.

    husband and I are the biological parents of both. My daughter (now 8) was a very easy going baby, around 15-18 months she started what seemed like the typical toddler issues, but compared to others I know, she was more difficult than most. It has ebbed and flowed over the years, but she's always been like this. My son as well, he was less easy going as an infant, was more difficult to get to sleep, etc as a baby, but not bad, but he was even worse than my daughter as a toddler. He is extremely stubborn and always has been. It was extremely frustrating when he was little because he knew what he wanted, wouldn't accept anything but but couldn't communicate it properly but went ballistic when he didn't get it. Things like pushing the button on the elevator. Things I couldn't undo if I did them wrong. We walked on eggshells around him for fear of setting him off by not giving him the choice of opening the door or whatever.

    They have not been evaluated at all.

    As for history. I have ADD (for which I take Ritalin occasionally), Anxiety (mostly mild but I take Xanax for my fear of flying) & Depression (which I take Wellbutrin for). As I said there is a family history of this kind of behavior, me and my brothers displayed it and my father & uncles as well. My husband has no issues and is the most well-adjusted person I've ever met, I'm so lucky he married me!
  5. Chaosuncontained

    Chaosuncontained New Member

    I am so sorry. I can feel just how frusterated you really are.

    I have a 9 year old son. He has some pretty serious problems. He has ADHD. He was dignosed at age 4. At age 8 he was dignosed with a mood disorder. Monday he was dignosed with Severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I am NOT saying that your children have any of these disorders. I'm just letting you know that I KNOW you are having a hard time with behaviour issues. And I feel your pain.

    Some of the things that Carson's does are as follows: He can't do his work at school. He crawls under his desk. He chews on his shirt. This is from his anxiety of seeing a paper he has to do in a short amounth of time and it seems daunting. He is very emmotional. He gets his feeling hurt easily. He is quick to anger. He (this year) has bitten one child on the ankle, "pretended" to bite a child on the neck and popped a child in the face. He has run away from his teachers (left the school building and hid in the parking lot). He's been in OCS (on Campus Suspension) for two days. He has been in the principals office twice.

    These things don't just happen at school. He argues with us (or tries to). He has been violent to his siblings. I am able to exert more control at hime that the school can--but only because I have been with him since birth and know his quirks and how to head them off at the pass.

    Have you looked online for symptoms for ADHD? Anger/agression is one.

    Are your children having problems at school? Or is it mainly at home?

    There are so many here who are so educated and able to give you advice an encouragement. You have started in the right place!! HUGS
  6. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    I'm not sure I know how to go about getting them evaluated - how do you find one? Which is better a neuropsychiatrist or neuropsychologist? I'm not keen on medicating them so maybe I should start with a neuropsychologist?

    I myself am under the care of a psychiatrist (who prescribes the drugs I take) but we just discussed yesterday having me start therapy again, so I plan to do that, perhaps that can help on my side of things, I know I don't handle the situation well.
  7. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome to the board!

    Generally, I have many questions I ask newcomers, but you pretty much have your issues identified already, but I don't think you realize it.

    First you described your children, then you described yourself and your father. in my opinion you are raising "mini-me"s You have been cloned, and your kids seem to have the same personality traits that both you and your father have.

    Generally, this is a good plan of attack for raising kids. Don't back down. How successful are you currently with this tactic? How successful was your mom with this tactic? Of course, you are now a productive, responsible adult, but when she stood her ground with you did it get you to do what you were supposed to? Did it result in a peaceful cooperative home? You had answered that already, so I know the answers.
    And your big epiphany:
    THAT in a nutshell is your problem. NO ONE wants to compromise. So, what to do about it? How to bring about peace in the home?

    I'm about to tell you to do stuff, knowing full well, you may refuse simply because you are being "told" what to do. So, as much as I hate to break it to you, if you want your kids to change, YOU have to change.
    Really? I mean, why were you arguing with her? You explained, she did not believe. Why was it so important for you to have this 3 y/o believe something she couldn't fully understand? What were you going to accomplish by continuing such an argument? You're right, she's wrong. Mom ALWAYS has to be right (this is your own admission) I'm sure this was just one of many similar incidents.

    Hmmmmmmmmm This could be why a Montessori school is so succesfull with them. Montessori, gives them choices, gives them the opportunity to figure out for themselves the appropriate answers. That's not the case at home. It's mom's way or no way. For 'regular' kids this may work, but you aren't raising regular kids. You're raising carbon copies of yourself - kids who HATE being TOLD what to do, what to think, what to believe.

    Simple answer. It's not what YOU want, it's what's necessary. Ppl don't leave the house until they are fully dressed. They won't get shoes on, they don't go. Won't brush hair, can't go out. Don't strap into the car seat, car does not move. These are simple issues with natural consequences, but just by sheer programming, your kids are trying to find ways to PROVE MOM WRONG.

    If you're still reading my response, you might think I'm being judgmental. Far from it. I am/was pretty much the same way. Even before I had kids, my motto was "I'm always right! On the rare occasion that I am wrong, i admit I'm wrong, which, by default, MAKES me right!" I'd argue with ppl just to prove them wrong or myself right. Unfortunately this did not get me very far in life.

    I used to allow my kids to engage me in never ending arguments. Then one day I realized that I did NOT have to teach them EVERYTHING right NOW. Now, if they question me about something, I carefully consider what the ultimate goal is. If it's sheer knowledge, then I give them the information I know, and if they don't believe me, they can research it on the internet. If it's not that important to them, they'll drop it, but if they think I'm wrong, they will research a topic until they either believe what I'm telling them, or they find one teeny weeny little fact that I got wrong. They LOVE it when I'm proven "wrong" I give them their win (power) and eat a sufficient amount of crow. And what I just taught them were research skills, information about whatever the topic was, and learning to pick your battles. When it comes to basics - brushing hair, teeth, putting on shoes - the natural consequences come into play, and ultimately it's my job to make sure they grow up safe, and become responsible adults who understand the social implications of BASIC proper grooming. So, they want to wear their Halloween costume while shopping in June - whatever. They may start the latest fashion trend. Who knows?
  8. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    I myself have ADD. I don't see it in my kids - they have almost unusually good attention spans. One reason we chose Montessori for my daughter when she entered preschool was because at the pre-preschool we went to (one hour a week, parents stay, the teacher just does some preschooly things like playtime and circle time) - she was always still focused on the task when the teacher moved everyone to something new. All the other kids were happy to drop it and move on, but my daughter was upset she would miss out because by the time she was done with blocks and ready to move to playdough they were packing up the playdough, etc. Anyway, montessori lets them choose the work and both of them have always worked hard from they set foot in the classroom until they leave with little distractions. At home they will often work on their workbooks (the typical curriculum kind like brainquest) for hours with no prompting (since we never tell them they have to do this, they enjoy it.

    They don't have much problems at school, but this is I think because we have chosen to send them to a Montessori school where they have significant control over when and how they do their work. The school & classroom are very small. That isn't to say they haven't had an occasional issue, but I think we sidestepped the school problem by choosing an environment that works well for them. My son has in the past come in and laid on the floor and refused to do anything for example. In a normal classroom this might be a big problem, but they are okay with letting him come around on his own and wait for him to be ready to work.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK, I'm seeing several things that probably need further evaluation.

    1) nailbiting/anxiety - this stuff is usually a sign that there are other things going on. Things you probably don't even know about - and things that are subtle enough that the child doesn't even really understand what is going on.

    2) Sleep issues with the younger child - sleep issues can be a primary issue (not sleeping well really messes human beings up good and proper), or secondary (anxiety, for example, really messes with our sleep) - but in any case, needs to be dealt with

    3) sounds like perhaps some delayed communication problems with the younger child? This is a red-flag for various developmental issues, including things like Asperger's and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - but obviously, at the high-functioning end! Or there could be other reasons for communication problems.

    4) ADD runs in the family. I'd have to say your chances are pretty slim that the kids don't have at least SOME of that in them. I'm ADD, and from a long history of ADD/ADHD... and yes, it runs strongly in the genes! SO, for a minimum, I'd assume that they have some sort of developmental issues. Maybe not classical ADD/ADHD - because you are right, that usually involves focus management - but there are other things that go with ADD/ADHD - like challenges with executive functions (plan, organize, inhibit, shift, initiate...).

    Don't get hung up on the "fear of labels". Unfortunately, without them, we don't get the help we need for our kids. There is NO help anywhere without some form of diagnosis, and the right outside help is pretty much dependent on the right diagnosis. You are going to have to get to the bottom of this.

    In particular, with your older child, I'd be concerned about hidden disabilities.
    a) How are her motor skills? throwing a ball, playing sports, tieing shoes, buttons, scissors, writing... if there are even hints of issues along this line, an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation would be good - they can test for motor issues AND for sensory issues, plus OTs have therapies that help. No diagnosis from an Occupational Therapist (OT) - but results are valuable to others who do evaluate. And Occupational Therapist (OT) reports have some value at school.
    b) Ask her if she has trouble hearing or understanding the teacher. This may NOT be a hearing problem (it might - those go undetected too)... but rather, an auditory processing problem. In which case, a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation is in order - but you will specifically have to push for testing this "auditory discrimination" or "auditory filtering" issue - its a fairly new test. Problems in this area are HUGE in terms of impact - but some minor accommodations and interventions make a big difference.

    Younger child - communications issues should probably warrant a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) evaluation as well... for the same reasons, AND for Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) - which is difficulty processing verbal language.
  10. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    Thanks, this is helpful.

    Yes, I get this. I don't want you to think though that the only tactic I've ever tried is my way or the highway. I'm not sure I understand what the alternative is. It's not like this is the only thing I've ever done. I've tried just ignoring the hitting for example. Sometimes we tell them to hit us again, which just makes them madder. I've ignored their fighting and tried to let them figure it out on their own. I've tried some gentle parenting techniques. Maybe I haven't tried them effectively enough, I don't know.

    I can somewhat agree, but with a caveat. I have already compromised. The things we are fighting about in general are worn down to a few core issues I am unwilling to let go. Like: We do not hit. The couple of things like hair brushing and things that are necessary. I rarely try to force anything further on them. I never tell them how to dress for example, except an occasional plea to bring a jacket or something, which I generally let them do what they want. I am all for them learning their own consequences, but there are things that I can't do that on and that's where we fight.

    I understand this. I'm not sure how to change and of course it isn't easy.

    Well at the time I was pretty flabergasted that she wouldn't believe me when I pointed to the item and told her what it was. We have of course since learned that they won't believe us. We have had many fights like over 8 years sure, but we don't fight about everything. I have given up trying to teach them anything. It's just that every so often I forget that they won't believe anything I say and try to tell them something. I'm not exaggerating when I say they believe nothing. Nothing. It's extremely depressing for me to deal with regularly. So yeah, sometimes I do push back and say 'why can't you believe anything I say?'

    I didn't say I always have to be right. What I meant was that when I commit to something, like 'we don't hit, you will go to your room'. They WILL go to their room. That's the point that I'm uncompromising on. I meant that when it becomes a battle of wills for them to do something they are supposed to do, etc I can push them back as hard as they push. I don't do this on other arguments, I've often ended arguments by basically saying 'whatever, believe what you want'.

    It is, it is exactly why we chose it. The method of teaching isn't a lecture method, its a learn for yourself method. They have to see for themselves, figure it out for themselves.

    I think the real problem is the natural consequences to these actions all fall on me. For example, brushing hair. She could go weeks and not care if her hair is brushed. *I* care about whether people think I am taking care of my child. The natural consequences - her going so long that her classmates start teasing her - isn't acceptable to me. One of their chores, as recommended by their school, is to pack their lunch. But I can't let them go to school without a lunch, as much as I'd love to. They have also proven to have a very high tolerance for consquences.

    I want feedback. I just don't know how to implement it. As I said above, I think I must have sounded more totalitarian than I am. I don't push much on them, just the basics, but we fight about those so often I'm losing my mind. I can try to keep in mind to let go of those times when they are arguing basic facts with me, but I don't often try to teach them anything already.

    It's just so tiring, day in and day out to be pushed to the brink.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I'm sorry you are having a hard time.

    Sometimes it's best to know exactly what is going on in order to make things better. Most of us think of ODD as a secondary diagnosis to a bigger one. If your kids can not accept "no", can not take a five minute time out and are violent toward each other, you, etc., throw things etc...there are hidden problems going on. Children who do not have problems do not do these things. I've raised five to age 18 so far and have one who is 15. This is not normal childhood behavior and it isn't your fault.
    Whether or not you want to see what is wrong is your option. I recommend a NeuroPsychologist for both kids. Since they don't go to traditional school, you don't know how they interact in a mainstream evironment. My guess is they would have a lot of trouble. in my opinion they need help now rather than later. Eventually, the issues will have to be faced. in my opinion it won't be solved by behavioral methods. I think, in that department, you are doing what you should do. But our kids rarely fit a tidy mold...traditional discipline usually doesn't work for children who are "differently" wired.
    JMO. Take care. And good luck, whatever you decide to do :)
  12. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    Sorry, I wasn't clear. He was harder to get to sleep as an infant. He sleeps fine now, actually they are both extremely deep sleepers. They fall asleep pretty quickly at night and don't wake up. As a result, they both still wet the bed regularly. Maybe that is an issue, but I'm pretty sure its because they are such deep sleepers. The traditional advice of 'wake them up to go to the bathroom before you go to sleep' results in my daughter resisting like we were attempting to torture her. She never remembers it the next day. I feel pretty sure the deep sleep is the culprit there, not any psychological issues.

    Again, sorry no - he talked at the usual times, I just meant before he could talk or communicate thoughts properly (the same times normal kids can't do these things) he knew what he wanted, but couldn't tell us. Also, before he was old enough to understand things like the fact that we don't know what he wants if he doesn't tell us. Often the problem wasn't that he didn't know how to say 'I want to open the door' but that he didn't know that he should say it or we wouldn't automatically know.

    I could maybe see some of the executive functioning. My son can be frustrating sometimes because we ask him to do something like get dressed and we'll come back and he's just laying on the floor doing nothing. But he seems to be able to plan things he wants to do well enough.

    None. She is very athletic (they both are) and plays various sports like softball as well or better than her peers (although she isn't aggressive in sports which holds her back in say basketball). She has beautiful handwriting. My son is having a harder time with handwriting than my daughter did, but his teachers don't think he's at all behind where he should be.

    Hmm, I've never heard of this, I'll have to look into it more.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Chris -
    You have two options... well, make that three.
    1) something you are doing is not a fit for your particular kids...
    2) your kids have hidden problems/issues that need help and you haven't found these yet...
    OR... both.

    I'd be voting for "both", just because... for so many of us around here with our challenging kids... we had to do both to get any results.

    The biggest difference between ME and KEISTA is that she'd be pushng option 1) first, and I'd be pushing option 2) first. And then somebody else will come along and tell you that you have to do both at the same time.

    We have ALL, to some extent, been there done that. It takes knowledge, and trial-and-error, and time... but it is amazing what changes happen as we work through the process.
  14. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    Thanks, it is frustrating because it is so hard to know whether we are operating within normal or not. But I do see my friends kids. I see my friends tell their kids to sit down for 5 minutes for a time-out because they misbehaved and the child sits and sulks and then behaves better. Whereas in public I feel so helpless when they misbehave because getting my child to sit for a time-out would probably have to involve holding them down while they scream. My parents of course can't help because to them this is normal, this is what they dealt with.
  15. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    Yeah, I guess today I just came to an epiphany that it IS that. I think up until now I have kinda coasted along assuming that if we just wait long enough they will outgrow the behaviors, like most kids outgrow the terrible twos. It just doesn't seem to be happening.

    So it sounds like everyone recommends The Explosive Child? There are a bunch of books on amazon and I was trying to figure out which would be best to start with. I will also pursue getting an evaluation for them, but does anyone have recommendations for how you go about finding one?

    And I do think its both. I am not responding the best way I could. I know I'm not. I'm far from perfect. But I don't think its just me. While no one else in their life seems to get the same level of defiance from them, others have had similar problems.
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Chris - if your parents think this is "normal"... then - whatever you are dealing with runs in the family!

    And no, you don't have to sit there and take it. There is help. On that front... you'll find members of this board will tend to be behind you.

    Sleep - yes, your kids have sleep issues. But its not a quantity issue, its a quality issue.
    If they fall asleep in less than 10 minutes, they have a sleep problem.
    If they sleep so soundly that they can't wake to go to the washroom... they have sleep problems.
    We were there - for years. Doctors would not believe us.
    We found the motor skills fatigue issue... which was part of it, but didn't solve it.
    Lately... medications for other reasons have returned difficult child to quality sleep, and the difference is growing every day.

    There are ways around the bedwetting problem... but don't bother with the "alarm" concept.
    Cutting way back on fluids after supper helps.
    For some kids, it is partly caused by an intollerance for milk protein - try taking them off milk for a week or two - ALL milk products - and see if it makes a difference. It should be noticable, if this is a problem - if you don't see any difference, then milk protein intollerance gets ruled out.
    You are wise to NOT be making a big deal about it, because obviously they are not doing this on purpose.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The book... one of the reasons so many of us recommend The Explosive Child is that it presents an alternative view of challenging kids. Just wrapping your brain around that alternative view, in my experience, was worth the book.

    It also presents a different way of approching the problem. One that has worked for many of "our" kids. Personally, we haven't gone that formal - already did some of it. But... it is an approach, and one that in my opinion really doesn't have too much downside. If it doesn't work for you at all... fine, go try something else. But the book is worth it even if the approach isn't exactly what works for you.
  18. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    here is my oversimplified, take it or leave it .02 (the important stuff was covered above)

    in my humble opinion, they are desperately craving structure and a literal schedule of the day---it seems to me both kids have considerable difficulty with transitions.

    easier said than done, i know.

    but for example--the arguments over bathing/dressing--make a chart, actually step by step (even if it sounds ridiculous, like put socks on before shoes--write it down, in correct order) and explain to daughter that "now that she's older, wink wink, this is HER routine and she needs to do each step every day". I'd even put specific TIMES. like,
    7am: wake up
    7:05 bathroom
    7:08 take pj's off/put in hamper
    7:10 (dressing/hair/whatever routine, step by step)
    7:30 come downstairs for breakfast.

    or whatever you do.

    and instead of arguing, just point to the list and ask what she needs to do next. then praise the heck out of her when she DOES IT...even if it isnt perfect.

    and do similar style firm routines/steps where you can, in writing, for whatever you can (caution: if they are VERY literal, be careful that you arent dropping everything for dinner at 5:07 pm every single day!) the in writing part will take the arguing over it part away---some kids need the visual to hammer the point home, and they need the can be overwhelming and way too generalized to just say "get ready" them, they "ARE READY"--unbrushed hair and all.

    again, WAY oversimplified, but WAY underestimated. the power of routines is that it teaches kids what to expect next, and for those who need that concreteness it reduces a ton of frustration and friction.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Excellent point...
    Applies for all sorts of reasons, including: kids with verbal or auditory issues also do far better with "written".
    Its one of those "fits most" things... the only time it doesn't work is for kids with a language disability - i.e. serious dyslexia etc. - in which case... use pictures.
  20. chrisb

    chrisb New Member

    I just snagged some whiteboard chore charts of amazon last week - I could definitely use them to give this a try. What I struggle with is that I am not good at routines myself, so I have a very hard time enforcing them for my kids sake. :p