Problems at home/school only (or vice-versa)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jules71, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    It's been awhile since I posted. I hope everyone is doing well and getting back into the swing of things with school.

    I am curious how many of you have children who do well at school (behaviorly) but do NOT do well at home - or vice versa. One reason I ask is because I was reading something that a dr. of some sort had written indicating if they have trouble in one but not the other, then it is not ADHD.

    For those of you in this boat - what is your take on it?

    We are only into day 2 of school, but my first grader says he LOVES it - which is GREAT, but the second he gets out of there he is terrible and demanding, mean, etc. It may all come down to me/husband having ineffective parenting skills for this particular child.

    Does anyone have any ideas how to help him transition from school to home better?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The only thing I can relate to this is when my son was that age he was going to day care after school- I'm a single parent so he'd always had long days in day care while I worked. I noticed that there would be periods of time when difficult child would act up at school but be great at home. Then there were times when he'd be great at school but come home and yell and be angry- not violent, just angry. I spoke to the pediatrician since there were no true "difficult child" issues at that point. The pediatrician told me it is difficult for a lot of kids that age to meet the demands that everyone expects of them these days. He said my son was probably holding things in all day long trying to show his best behavior and was tired and needed to vent when he came home. He said the fact that he did this around me meant that he felt safe enough around me to vent- he told me to think about having a bad day at a job that I didn't like or couldn't be myself at, then coming home around family who I knew accepted me and loved me. He said it was a good sign if difficult child vented around me, not a bad sign. But, I could set boundaries for it- like, difficult child can yell in his room but not in my face, when difficult child can calm down he can talk to me about his day and anything bothering him, etc.

    Sorry I can't be more help.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm not sure about the ADHD but I do know for children with Bipolar (not saying your difficult child is) it is not unusual for them to hold it together in one environment or the other. I used to have a student that was angelic and then I heard how she raged and melted down at home-she was diagnosis's with-bipolar. My own son was, for a long time, unable to hold it together at school or home. Now he still has trouble at both places but does better at school.
  4. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    My son is exactly like that. He holds it together at school (male teacher), but the minute he walks in the front door off the bus he's HORRENDOUS, to say the least. I tolerated it all the way through elementary....(poor thing, had a hard time with transitions), now I'm SICK to death of it (he still has trouble with transitions, so what!). I'm now getting to the point where he has to GET A GRIP! There's NO excuse to treat me the way he matter what his day was like. My son had the exact same diagnosis when he was your child's age. Each year now it seems like they are adding something to it....*sigh*, it gets tiring. I wish I knew what to say, but we're still suffering and we tried it all.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's very common for kids to hold it together at school but not at home. It can also happen the other way; there are many factors.

  6. OpenWindow

    OpenWindow Active Member

    Ditto what klmno said. My difficult child, especially at your son's age, did much better at school than at home. He had a few rough years at school, but he's doing great now holding it together at school, only to take it out on everyone else once he's home.

    I don't think it means he's not ADHD.
  7. Dara

    Dara New Member

    Sammy is very much like that. A star student behavior wise in school or with babysitters
    or with anyone but at home its the other Sammy. The mean, demanding, tantruming, violent boy. It is very strange.
  8. tmay

    tmay New Member

    My son is exactly that. He has never had a behavior issue at school or friends' houses, church or anywhere else. But at home if you tell him "no" he goes into a rage and starts beating the walls, throwing things and becomes physically violent with me and his dad. It is so frustrating!!! We went to his school's open house the other night and both of his teachers talked about how good he is doing and how helpful he is in class. I am very thankful he is great at school, but it makes it hard to not take it personally the way he is at home with us.
    I think in our situation parenting skills has a bit to do with it because my husband has a hard time being the bad guy. I have been a full time mom since my son was born so I have always been with him more, thus I dished out the punishment more. But when my husband is home and I try to let him take over the bad guy position he fails miserably. We are going to a therapist for this and we are new at it still; we've only been going for a couple of months. I get so mentally wiped out and I worry sometimes what will happen to us if this continues.
    At the same time I don't think lack of good parenting skills can completely attribute to my son's violent behavior. I feel like for him to go to that extreme to get his way has to be more than our family dynamics. I am not convinced of the certainty of either of the diagnosis that have been thrown out (mood disorder, ODD) and have asked the psychiatrist for a neuropsychologist evaluation but have yet to hear from him. I guess I'm going to have to make myself known more to get something done.
    I agree with wakeupcall- Its time he stop thinking about only himself and "DEAL WITH IT!". No, you can't go to your friends right now and no, its not fair. Life's not fair, get used to it now. It will make adulthood alot easier!
    Sorry, got a little carried away.:teethy:
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    My take on it is that a difficult child child often only has so many functioning units per day, and they frequently shoot the wad at school.

    My best strategies for transition:
    Have a juice or small can of Sprite waiting in the car at pick-up or right away when they walk through the door. Very important--add a straw as it's sensory calming. Snacks that either have some resistance (very chewy) like licorice or beef jerky or a flavor pop (such as sweet tarts) can also work for some kids.

    If you're driving home, add some exercise to the back seat (hand weights, stretchy exercise bands) or distractions (etch a sketch, hand held video game).

    Give the child alone time upon arriving home, or on the way if you drive. This means keeping sibs away and not doing the usual What did you do at school today? chatter.

    Physical activity, however that works for you. We have a mini gym in the basement so kids can watch after school tv while playing.

    If the child has an IEP, the school may be able to help out. A classroom break with an aide late in the day may help vent some at school in an appropriate way, instead of on the family inappropriately. ie I heard of one boy who got five minutes to run around the gym right before leaving home and that did the trick for reducing stresses of the day.