This takes difficult child to a whole new level...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Shari, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    We are very rural "country people". Call us what you like. We hunt to provide meat. Now that we are down to 2 kids at home instead of 4, its not as much the necessity as it was, but we still kill a deer and turkey each year to eat.
    easy child 2 went out to shoot her bow and arrow. difficult child 1 wanted to shoot, also. All of our kids have been around bows and guns their entire lives. difficult child has NEVER been inappropriate with his bow and arrow, so we packed up and out the door. He has had 6 REALLY GOOD days. He has shot a bow and arrow since he was 3 and a half with his dad and brothers. Safety has been emphasized EACH AND EVERY TIME the bow comes out. Yet...
    difficult child DREW HIS BOW ON easy child!
    I was about 10 steps behind him, I lunged at him and threw the bow and arrow to the ground and brought him to the house. He has been screaming at me now for 40 minutes - at first calling me names, cursing at me, and saying he wished he'd have drawn it on me. Now he's crying because he's sorry, he didn't want to hurt his sister.
    The arrows have field tips on them, which means, for those who don't know, at that distance and with his small bow, he probably would not have hurt easy child had he released it - but PROBABLY isn't good enough. He will not be shooting a bow and arrow for a LONG, LONG time.
    This just opens a whole new door...a door I'm not sure I can handle.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member scary for you. And for easy child. Glad you got to him before he let that arrow fly.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    How scary indeed! Rule #1, treat all weapons as dangerous and never ever point at anyone. PERIOD! Which I am sure you have taught the kids from before they even thought of looking at a weapon.

    I can understand how concerned you are now. Last Spring I went through the same thoughts with my difficult child and knives - he loves knives and uses them safely and appropriatly for the most part but he had entered a mind frame that I found myself "misplacing" the knives and "forgetting" or not knowing where they were when he asked. I know he would not knowingly use a knife on someone, however, when he became angry, he would most likely not hesitate so I banned him from them unless I was directly supervising.

    I am glad he is realizing what just happened. Once he has calmed down, you can talk to him about why it happened (if he knows).
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I've had it. I've just so incredibally had it.
    difficult child had a good weekend last weekend. His school is closed this week, so I stayed home with him monday and he was WONDERFUL. It was a great day, and I so rarely get the "good" difficult child.
    He stayed with his uncle the rest of the week, and he was really good for him, too. I thougth perhaps maybe we're getting on top of his behavior again with the increase in Risperdal (and maybe we are, but...)
    I had 4 full days of my regular routine but without difficult child, and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed my job - even did GOOD at it, remembered that I do like it sometimes. I enjoyed my evenings. I enjoyed my mornings. I enjoyed my LIFE. I don't enjoy this crap and its getting harder and harder to swallow.
    difficult child 1 never even did this. Bio dad never did this. I'm just...i don't even know....done.
  5. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    our knife block has been locked up since April! If a butter knife aint sharp enough you're SOL here, LOL
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, how upsetting.
    It seems even more unfair when they behave so well and then pull a stunt like that.
    Sounds like he's too young for a good diagnosis, too.
    I know how emotionally exhausted you are. been there done that, too many times!!!
  7. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Shari, I am sorry. Both my husband and I hunt, with bows. My difficult child has shot a bow before, and likes to shoot my 22. The guns are kept up, and difficult child has neverbeen innappropriate with either of them. This would send me over the edge also. difficult child has been hunting with us when we got an animal, he has helped us cut with the processing. Hugs, and I would not allow him to use his bow untill next year. I would be done also. I would also be curious to know if he truly understands what would happen if he shot someone with the bow, he is 6 right?
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    There is no way field tip would be safe if he hit her in the eye or ear or certain areas of the abdomen or chest with it. He could have blinded or severely injured or even killed her. I'm sure he knows that deep down, but was this just some sort of a disconnect? It sounds as though all weapons will have to be locked in your house from now on.

    I know that you must have written this in the heat of your very well deserved anger. Do you have any ideas as to what comes next? Beyond locking him in a dungeon or tower? ;)
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Shari, he's got impulse control, and he's still fairly young.

    You reacted fast and hard. That was a very strong lesson you gave him. Here's hoping you got through to him.

    Frankly, I think a suitable punishment would be, he's not permitted to hunt again with a bow and arrow until he's earned the right, by showing he can be responsible and sensible.

    I do understand the necessity to live this way, by the way. Although we don't ourselves, we're not far removed from the days and places in our family histories where we DID have to hunt to supplement our larder. In my own family, we didn't hunt but we did farm, and we did at times have to kill stock for meat. I remember helping my father butcher the meat. You learn fast how to sharpen the knives! But if my father had ANY thoughts that I could be at all irresponsible with the tools, I wouldn't have even been allowed in the room.

    There are other, less interesting, tasks associated with hunting for your food. How about teaching him how to work the hides? Tanning? Fleshing (not nice)? ANY such task that can be done without any edged tool or weapon.

    And if he needs target practice - then he can use those toy arrows with suction cups...

  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Shari, maybe it's just me, but, no matter how much he's been around hunting, this particular child would never have a weapon in his hands again. As you saw, he could use it on a person. Not worth the chance. There are reasons that some people can't buy guns, and I don't think it's a "lesson" that can be learned. If he gets a wild impulse to do something crazy, he may. Why on earth take that chance? JMO
  11. ML

    ML Guest

    I think you reacted appropriately and that he will need to earn back the right to participte in these activities. 6 is still pretty young and that impulse control is a toughie. Don't let this incident take away from the other great things that have happened this week. I know you will administer the proper discipline and precautions for prevention. Great big hugs, Michele
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Shari, I'm assuming by now that things have calmed down and you've had a chance to talk things out. How's it going?
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am sorry. This is so hard on moms. Any violence from our kids is hard on us. have you made a plan to address this?

    I completely understand that you need to hunt for meat. While we don't hunt, my brother does - when he can afford to take the time.

    I know you said wee difficult child had a good week. But it was only ONE week. It doesn't matter how much training he has had - or at what age it started. First of all he is only 6. Neurotypical six year olds have a lot of trouble with impulse control. Yours has had a lot of trouble with impulse control most of his short life.

    Your son has also been quite violent for a long time. Some of the time you haven't really realized how violent he has been. That happens because we become used to handling it - we just get so much of it from our difficult children. You have posted many times about how violent he has been to you or one of the other kids.

    I really feel that he is too young to handle the responsibility of a bow or gun. He doesn't really comprehend the damage it could do. he also, in the heat of the moment, could WANT to inflict that level of harm on someone who has upset him. He has inflicted other harm on you. Until he is capable of making safe choices for a period of years, he has no business handling any weapon. If he was out hunting with his dad and got mad - what would stop him from shooting at dad? And what would dad do to get help out in the woods or wherever you hunt? What would then happen to difficult child when he realized the harm he had caused? Are you and husband ready to let him handle that level of guilt for the rest of his life?

    With his impulse control it is NOT unreasonable to think he might seriously harm someone with a bow or a gun.

    Please make sure he is not able to get his hands on a bow or gun for a LONG time.

    I am sorry if this upsets you.



    ps. I will still and always support you - no matter if you follow what I suggest or not..
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    This is what is so upsetting about this. He was angry at easy child 2 for making him shut the door and he did this with intent. He wasn't playing around. Would he have actually released the arrow? I don't know. I would hope not, but I don't know. As I said, this opens a whole new door to me, because he took an actual weapon that can killl; a weapon he has seen used to kill; and aimed it at a person ON PURPOSE. He wasn't out of control; he wasn't raging; he walked 100 yards after the incident that made him angry (she made him close the house door), caught up to easy child 2, and did it. It wasnt even heat of the moment. (which is still not excusable, but I hope I'm conveying what I see the difference to be here...I'm not always good at explaining).
    Thank you all for the thoughts and support. Nothing said upsets me, I realize the risk we took allowing difficult child to shoot a bow and arrow or bb gun. And while difficult child's are a common thread here, I know weapons are not. I do appreciate the understanding of that, tho.
    All weapons are locked up all the time, including wee difficult child's and easy child's. In the instances that difficult child 1 was really walking the line, we removed them all from the home and will do it again in a heartbeat if we feel its necessary. The kids have never had access to the guns or bows unless one of us get them out for them. husband, easy child 1, and I each have a keyring with all our keys on it, and the keys to these things are kept there. (I thougth we had a spare at home, but we do not)
    I realize this is not removing all risk, but we've made a conscious decision that we aren't going to live in total fear all the time. We choose to keep the guns and make it as safe as possible. That's almost an oxymoron, isn't it? But that's what we've decided.
    I realize it was also a risk letting him handle a bow and arrow or the bb gun, but we feel that it is safer that the kids, even difficult child, are exposed to the guns if they're going to be around them at all. It takes the mystery out of them if he would happen to find one lying around.
    But difficult child will not be handling either of his weapons for a long time - the remainder of this year and possibly longer. When easy child 1 asked last year if he could get difficult child a bb gun for Christmas, my immediate reaction was not only "NO!" but "HE!! NO!!!". Then as we thought about it and talked about it, and the fact that he had never even so much as aimed his bow at a chicken in the 2 years he'd been shooting his bow, we decided that yes, he could, with the same ground rules as the bow had. When he does get to shoot again, he will now have to re-earn it. We've always been selective about when he's allowed to shoot and when he's not. If he's "off" when he asks, we've always told him no, and told him it was because he was not being safe. Its still not a 100% safegaurd, but its what we've done. He's asked several times over the weekend about his bow, and we've not sugar coated it - he screwed up bigtime, he won't be shooting again until he shows us he can handle it (which has been explained), and its going to take a long time, but we're watching for him to show us.
    He screwed up in an arena where there is no room for mistakes.

    PS - wee difficult child has been very accepting of his actions thus far. We will see how long that lasts - because this is not negotiable.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Shari, sounds like a good plan.
    It will be interesting to see if difficult child 1 lasts the yr with-o a meltdown while he is hunting with-you and he has nothing in his hands. It seems that the longer we take something away from our difficult child, the more of a bad reaction we get. We've had more success with-taking things for a wk or two, but not much longer. He'll work up to it and be on his best behavior, and then at the last second, has an incredible explosion that seems out of proportion to us. Then he's blown everything that was good up to that point and he doesn't get it.
    Best of luck.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    difficult child doesn't actually get to carry any weapons in the woods yet. He has his bow and bb gun, and he target shoots at the house, and someone is always "assigned" to him - someone who is not otherwise shooting, etc. But when we hunt, he doesn't carry. Not ready for that yet even before this. husband did let him shoot a possum with his bb gun once, tho, but they didn't go out hunting it.
    I am a bit caught in your thinking...difficult child is the same way - taking things away for too long with him seems counterproductive - but I just can't see taking his bow for 2 weeks in this deal. Besides that, its not an amount of TIME before he can have it back, but an amount of respect and responsibility for his own behavior that is really dictating when/if he gets it back.
  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Shari, this is the key.
    This isn't about difficult child losing a privilege like a favourite game because he was misbehaving. This is way different. Seems to me that the natural consequence of not using your weapon safely (not to mention pointing it in anger and with deliberation) is to not use it for a very long time.

    I think you're right on the money.

    Not nearly as serious, but along the same lines...the day my difficult child ran me off the road at the Go Kart track when he was 16 and eligible to get his learner's permit, was the day he was told that he will not even be allowed to study for the written driving test until he is 25. At that point we will reevaluate his maturity. I think this is the same type of thing. When giving difficult child a tool with which he can cause irreparable harm, you need to be sure he can handle it. All aspects of it.

    Sorry you're having to deal with this.

  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Exactly, Trinity. The car is the same way, and must be earned. "16" is irrelevent in my house.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Shari - it sounds as though you are doing all that can be done in this situation. I strongly feel that kids should learn gun safety. So often, at least here, there is a gun in the house - at least in many of their friends' homes. And if the gun is in any way accessible, well, I want MY kids to know how to be around it safely. This includes knowing when to LEAVE if someone is handling it unsafely. And you have to know HOW to handle teh weapon to know if it is being handled unsafely.

    We don't have guns, simply because we don't hunt. And don't have much time to target shoot. My dad has guns in a custom made, incredibly thick and heavy gun cabinet that he welded when he was a metal shop teacher. It is FAR thicker than any commercial gun cabinet I have ever seen. It also has a key lock AND a combination lock. So I have few worries about the kids being around Gpa's guns (or mine that are kept there).

    in my opinion you are right on target with the consequences of wee-difficult child's actions. I am sorry it was necessary to take these steps.


  20. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You are right on. In 2 weeks he will not be ready for the bow yet. Counterproductive or not, he needs to not have access to the weapons for a long while.

    Hugs, sorry that you are going through this.