Trying to find out why my step-son acts like he does

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ali Peck, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. Ali Peck

    Ali Peck New Member

    My stepson is 4 and a half years old. Just started pre-k. He has been pushing other children at school. He will walk by his little sister and just push her down, smile and walk away. He steals at daycare and school now. He lies about it. He sneaks things that he knows he should not at home and other places. He is aware that what he is doing is wrong it seems but he has no fear of the consequense. You talk to him about his misbehavior when he does something wrong and it's like talking to a brick wall. His eyes glaze over and he just looks at you with this blank stare.He will say he understands but you know he just says it. He has no control over his impulsives it seems. He has had this behavior for years and it's only getting worse. He sneaks into the kitchen, steals food from the cuboards or wher ever he can get into to get it. We have to lock up everything. He will eat frozen meals from the freezer. He climbs on top of the refrigerater to get into cereal that we have hidden. He will get the food and go into his room, make a huge mess and most of the time he tries to hide it but sometimes he does not care to. He has become very defiant to me lately. Say's no when you ask him to do anything, constantly whines and cries over the simpliest things. He does these things every single day. He will get punished and continue to do them. It's like he has no real concept of right and wrong and no fear of getting in trouble. This has gone on for years and lately is only getting worse. I don't know what else to do. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions of possible disorders he may have.
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.
    Sorry you had to find us - but you've come to the right place.
    If you've seen some of the other posts... you'll know that we like to ask questions.
    The reason is... so much "depends". Any one behavior or problem or challenge can have multiple "causes". And how you deal with it depends on the cause.

    If this is a step-son, there will be some history.
    From your post, there are other kids at home as well.

    Does this child live with you full time? or shared custody?
    How long has he been with you?
    Who all else lives at home?
    What history is there to his early years?
    Any family history of disorders? such as... ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), depression, bi-polar, and so on?
    Has he ever had a comprehensive evaluation?

    Others will be along with more questions... and maybe some feedback.
     
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    What you describe is not normal, in case you had any doubts. I suggest you schedule him for a neuro-psychological evaluation. You might have to go through the pediatrician, who would than refer you to a psychiatrist/psychologist/developmental pediatrican. The key is to get that thorough evaluation at the end.
    In the mean time, to survive try not to assume anything: " he knows it's wrong" is not that clear. My son also gives me those blank stares... My son also steals food (got a little better)... also has those tantrums and aggressive impulse.
    He has been in therapy for 4 months now, and it has helped a lot. We have not "fixed" him, but the therapist help us deal with it.
    Try to lower your expectations, try to make him talk about how he feels, why he acts the way he does. At that age, it is not an easy task but it might give you some important clues.
    What trigered us to get some help was my son statement after a HUGE meltdown: "I want to be good but I can't, do you think the lady can help me?" We had mentioned therapy, that's why he mentioned "the lady".
    This forum will help you think and analyse your own situation.
    Welcome to our little corner of the world!
     
  4. Ali Peck

    Ali Peck New Member

    Yes, there are 4 other kids in the house. I have 3 kids and so does my husband. He has had full custody for his 3 for the last 2 years. The mother is in and out of his kids lives. She will have them everyother weekend, then she just did visitation lately because of her lifestyle and she really does not want to be a mom fulltime. His children are 6, 4 and 2. My kid's are 13, 11 and 7. With my younger 2, I share custody with their dad. My oldest has recently moved back to California to live with her dad. There is a lot of history with his side and the mother. My stepson though has done all those things I have mentioned and really it's just the tip of the iceburg. He does have a speech impetament and he is slower mentally. We have not taken him to the doctor but we are going to. It's finally become to much and his behavior is not normal at all for his age. His mother did do drugs with him when she was pregnant, to what extent, I don't know. I can't explain his bahavior fully. When you ask him why did something he was not supposed to, he says that he doesn't know most of the time. Like he has no right and wrong button. I know something is not right in his brain though. I really appreciate the feedback and you taking the time to listen.
     
  5. Ali Peck

    Ali Peck New Member

    Yes, there are 4 other kids in the house. I have 3 kids and so does my husband. He has had full custody for his 3 for the last 2 years. The mother is in and out of his kids lives. She will have them everyother weekend, then she just did visitation lately because of her lifestyle and she really does not want to be a mom fulltime. His children are 6, 4 and 2. My kid's are 13, 11 and 7. With my younger 2, I share custody with their dad. My oldest has recently moved back to California to live with her dad. There is a lot of history with his side and the mother. My stepson though has done all those things I have mentioned and really it's just the tip of the iceburg. He does have a speech impetament and he is slower mentally. We have not taken him to the doctor but we are going to. It's finally become to much and his behavior is not normal at all for his age. His mother did do drugs with him when she was pregnant, to what extent, I don't know. I can't explain his bahavior fully. When you ask him why did something he was not supposed to, he says that he doesn't know most of the time. Like he has no right and wrong button. I know something is not right in his brain though. I really appreciate the feedback and you taking the time to listen. ​
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the board!

    Well, everyone asked all the questions I was going to asked, so I have a few comments.

    Early disruption in any child's life can cause mild to serious attachment issues in which the child has had too many caregivers and no longer bonds to people the way other kids do. These kids tend to act uncaring toward others and often have very poor impulse control with rages. They don't like to be hugged, except on their terms, IF you are the parent, but tend to go off and hug strangers because it's "safe" to them. They do not understand or like the idea of "love."

    Also, if ex did drugs while pregnant, she also drank. Fetal alcohol syndrome or effects are likely to have taken place. Is he small for his age? Any dysmorphic features? If not, does he have zilch attention span and a lack of ability to remember things from one day to the next? You already said he doesn't seem to "get" right from wrong, which is a big symptom of fetal alcohol affects.


    I adopted a child exposed to drugs/drinking in utero. It does affect the kids! I think you should see a neuropsychologist who is familiar with pre-natal substance abuse. Among the common problems are behaviors like you mentioned, a very poor memory, inability to connect the dots, low IQ or normal IQ with a limited ability to remember things from day-to-day and extreme hyperactivity that may or may not respond to medication. Autism is also common in drug exposed kids (my son has this...fortunately he did not get the bad behavior). You need an expert.

    Good luck. I don't think it's wise to put this off.
     
  7. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    If there is any question of autism it should be tested for very soon. Early intervention can work wonders.

    Welcome to the board. This is a great place.
     
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I remember something that helped difficult child 1 when he was this age was drawing a picture of how he was feeling after an incident or a picture of how he was feeling right before the incident. It would get him started talking about what he was feeling right before the incident
     
  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Ali! First I want to make sure that your screen name isn't a variation of your actual name...privacy is important on a forum such as ours.

    Second: Welcome to the crowd!

    Third: I agree with what's being said here...there's a lot to deal with in the situation, so I think it would be wise to have a neuropsychologist done. A developmental pediatrician might be the way to go...there are definately things afoot!

    So glad you're here with us!

    Beth
     
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