Theories on conduct disorders THEN vs.NOW?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sweetiegirlz, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member

    :geek: This question came up in my college class some months back. I did ask my teacher about conduct disorders and this generation, vs. the 70's and before.

    1) Why did we not seem to have this trend as kids? I remember being parented in do or die fashion. and school was not the school of today as in truant, gangs, attitude, drugs, etc.

    Was it just that kids were not DIAGNOSED and studies were few back then?

    Was it diet related? Parenting change related? Divorce rate related?

    I know I know. I am probably asking something like what came first the chicken or the egg! :hammer:

    But anything you have read or heard in studies etc as to WHY would probably help me understand my difficult child's behavior better. :reading:

    By the way, teacher told me that years and years ago, conduct disorders have always been "around" just never diagnosed and kids who had them turned to alcoholism or such to cope, instead of therapy or medications.
  2. MelissaH

    MelissaH New Member

    I think it truly is a combination of everything, environment and lack of diagnosis. I think the reason we see it now more is because of all the "outlets" kids with CD have and seem "acceptable". Way back when things were a lot more strict and some stuff that kids get away with today, I know I would have never even thought about doing for fear that my mom could read my thoughts!!!!
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think that conduct disorders were just as prevalent then as they are now, but a lot of factors make them more obvious

    I don't think people understood the nature of the disorders back then as much as they do now. A lot of kids with ADHD, ADD, Bipolar, etc were just labelled discipline cases. When I was little, the diagnosis of Asperger's just wasn't wasn't even included in the DSM at that point.

    I think the more structured nature of society in the past probably helped provide some of the children with CDs, with the orderly routine they need in order to trhrive (others would have just not fit in with such a heavily structured existence...see discipline cases, above)

    I remember being labelled a prima donna and a princess when I was growing up. Noises, bright lights, certain food textures, certain clothing textures were near impossible for me to deal with, but I was just called spoilt. If I were growing up today, they might have realized much earlier on that I am on the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) spectrum. Hard to say...

    But then there were lots of ad hoc interventions too...had a gym teacher in primary school who used to send me out to run on the track for an hour at lunch time. She just knew that I needed to get the wiggles out in order to settle down for the afternoon half of school. I think there were lots of intuitive people around who just provided the help we all needed, without really knowing why we needed it. They just accepted that we did, found a solution and moved on.

    I'm not sure if this answers your question...I'm just rambling a bit. Great question, though...

  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I agree with Trinity on the structure being there that isn't today.

    Also, there's so much electronic distraction today that doesn't burn the energy that we did running around with the neighborhood kids. Then you add that there are very few neighborhood kids around due to the need for afterschool programs so moms can work to keep a roof over their families heads, the social skills are lacking. Kick in the fact that kids are so scheduled running from pillar to post and our kids have a hard time blending into these clubs, teams, etc. the social skills are even further impacted. :smile:

    I also agree with Trinity that I'm also just rambling!! :smile: Great topic!

  5. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think Columbine changed everything.
    Nowdays kids are seen as much more dangerous than they were while I was growing up.

    by the way, I would have been considered a difficult child as a teen. My mother sent me away to a boarding school in my 8th grade year. There just weren't alot of options then.

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Like adults with mental illness, children who were "different" were stashed away. I well remember a little girl who was "mentally retarded" as it was called back then being sent to a home. She only surfaced for holidays and was usually hidden inside and her sister and brother never talked about her. Even worse (gasp) she had SEIZURES, and I'm not quite sure why you were supposed to hide that, but this family did. My mom told me about this little girl in whispers and made me swear never to tell anyone about her because she's a secret. We've come a long way. We have a long way still to go. I personally don't feel anything has changed at all other than recognition that mental illness/differences are not the parent's fault, are nothing shameful, can be inherited, and are largely genetic. And things are far more out in the open. Also, treatment options are better, although far from perfect.
  7. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    I guess being only 23, that a good majority of you all HAVE difficult child's my I really cannot say much for that time period, only the dreaded "when I was your age" stories I have heard from my parents, but it seems to me that kids back then just DID NOT HAVE THE OPTION of behaving that way, for fear of suffering their parents' wrath. Don't get me wrong, after the experiences I have had with our 13 year old difficult child, I am NOT one of those that will try to tell you that all the kid needs is a good kick in the A@#, but I can say, that, nowdays, it is nearly impossible to assert yourself as a parent. It seems that we are all expected to raise our children passive-agressively. Methods that used to be used on a daily basis are now considered "abusive" or just "insane". But at the same time, there are a lot more resources available presently to handle children with these types of disorders, but it is still all so new. Think about this, most of us on here KNOW what the "bipolar children" thing is all about, but someone who doesn't deal with this on a regular basis, this is STILL SO NEW, and NOT very widely ACCEPTED idea. It is still being developed and maybe another 15 or 20 years from now, the mental health powers that be will have this all straightened out, but by then, there will be even MORE new diagnosis's and even LESS freedom to discipline children, and the cycle will continue. Eventually, robots will be raising children for us, and will have a pre-scripted retaliation for EVERY situation, and how many of you think that our robots will be OVER WORKED and PROGRAMMING JAMMED by the end of the first week?!?!?!?!
  8. I think it is a combination of many things.

    First, without a board like this and other avenues of sharing our own "little secrets" we would all just assume that we were alone in the troubles we have with our children. No way would we feel safe in sharing our difficult child stories with the neighbors, family or even school.

    These children were not diagnosed but simply the quirky kids or the "black sheep". You remember them, they ones that marched to their own drummer.

    Parenting techniques have changed over the years. When our parents were young they feared God. When we were young, we feared our parents. Some children these days don't seem to fear either.
  9. sweetiegirlz

    sweetiegirlz New Member


    You are soooo right! So much conflict between Love them/hate how they act would "jam anyone's program!"

    thanks for all the great replies!

    There was a time a few years ago, when I thought all these diagnoses were made up. I guess I am trying to reconcile that in my brain.
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    The way I remember growing up, there were some kids who were "retarded". they had Down's syndrome, or something else very obviously wrong with them. The only other "class" of "problem" kids that I remember were "hyper" kids.

    That was it. Either they were just fine, or they were retarded. By highschool, they were not retarded. They were mentally challenged. The hyper kids had ADHD. But that was it! I never EVER heard of autism until Rain Man. And after that, I (along with probably 75% of the ignorant population) thought that all people with autism were like that.

    Either the problem was not there, or it was not talked about. I agree there were not as many triggers. There certainly was not the instant gratification that there is today, and I bet that plays a huge part of it. There were no convenient meals, everything was homemade. There was not as much muck floating around in the air.

    TV changed a lot of it too. I remember watching Nick at Night with my mom when I was in Jr High & Highschool. It had Donna Reed reruns. When dad talked to Jeff and Mary, the response was "Yes Sir" or "yes Daddy". We watch Nick at Night now, and Home Improvement is on (and that show is what, 15 years old?). Dad says something to Brad and Randy and they laugh at him. Absolutely no respect for adults. And that is OK.

    I could go on for HOURS on this subject, but I am rather confident that I have bored you all to death already.
  11. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

  12. Debdeb1031

    Debdeb1031 New Member

    When i was a kid, i would play outside for hours with my friends...i knew when i had to come home for dinner, and i knew that i would suffer the consequences if i ever answered my mother SO grew up in Brooklyn and him and his friends would play for hours outside with a stick and a ball..nowadays, my kids have closets full of games and toys, playstations, tv in their rooms, etc, etc....and they have the nerve to whine that they are bored...there seems to be no room for imagination anymore...but easy child can play for hours with her doll houses and kitchen....whereas my difficult children cannot...
  13. branbran

    branbran New Member

    alongfortheride, well put. You are so right, my parents feared God and then I feared my parents!!! So true. Back in the "old days", you wouldn't even dream of smearing your families name. Kids back then were taught much better values, I mean everyone sobbed when Kennedy got shot. Could you imagine the country caring enough about our president to shed tears for him (even if he was a good one). I always say that I wish I could raise my kids in the 50's and 60's. And I do agree that our difficult child's have valid disorders and need much more than discipline, however the world was a safer place, the temptations weren't as risky and children weren't at liberty to watch sex and drugs on TV or listen to the voilence that is filling their ears in the music of today. So I think Conduct Disorders expand with the times. Pretty scary to think what the difficult child's of tomorrow are going to be like.
  14. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Having been born in 1950 with a lot of little undeclared, undiagnosed alphabet letters after my name, can tell you that life was horrible for me, so bad at 12 I tried to take my own life via a bottle of asprins, got caught before I overdosed....sigh Most parents on this board would have called 911 or made an appointment with a psychiatric doctor - I got a beating for it because of the shame I could have brought down on our house. Bad report cards = beatings (NOW I know I have some learning disabilities, but back then...). No impulse control, beatings again.

    Beatings or reform school - those were the two options for children with conduct disorders. They broke you or sent you away. People wax poetic about the "good old days" - makes me laugh because those were the days of absolute ignorance if you were the one who happened to have mental health issues. On the surface, its all good, cept when the front door closed - no one knew what went on.

    Years of abuse, because that is what it was, knowingly or unknowingly, brought to my invisible alphabet letters the ODD one. It was the one thing that probably saved my life.

    It was probably a good thing that the mentally retarded were kept in the house and away from everyone during that time period. People didn't handle "different" as well as they do today. If you marched to a different drummer you were pretty much s crewed back in the good old days

  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with Marcie. I was born in 1953. Nobody thought I had anything so they called me "mental." I raged at home (just like your difficult child's) and failed in school. There was no name for the things that were wrong with me and nobody talked about them back then. I think people hid their problem kids in the house and they were less able to travel when they were teens (not everyone had access to a car), but kids were disturbed since the beginning of time. By teen years, they were put away if "insane." Autistic kids were institutionalized. My friend has an autistic son and they wanted her to institutionalize him as an infant. This was in the 70's!!!! She had money to try to get him help and refused to put him in an institution, but that's what happened to autistic kids back then. Same with the mentally ill. They were there, but never seen and never heard. And they certainly didn't go to school with us!