Update on husband giving up on son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pinevalley, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Thank you so much to all who wrote and gave me advice about my difficult child and my husband. I really appreciate all the good advice, and you helped me understand my situation. My husband has calmed down a lot today, and he has helped difficult child to fix the hole in our wall. I want to get all of us into family counseling, because I know that husband should learn how to handle our son without ultimatums and fights. I agree with your comments that husband sounds just like a difficult child, and he really needs to understand that there are better ways of dealing with a kid like difficult child. All husband keeps saying is that difficult child is old enough to understand how to listen and follow rules, and he keeps giving orders to our son. My husband does not deal with stress well at all, and he doesn't like having a teen-ager in the house. I wish that husband would read The Explosive Child, but he is not interested in any self-help books. That is why we really need to talk to a therapist, because husband may listen to someone independent telling him about difficult child. I told husband today that I was going to make an appointment with a family couselor, and he said that he would go with us. difficult child had a complete workup of tests done by a neurophycologist 6 months ago, and the doctor recommended behavior therapy for our son. difficult child was seeing a psychologist for the past year, but we stopped a few months ago when we were on vacation. difficult child has not been seeing anyone for the last 3 months, and I now understand that he needs to talk to someone. Again, thank you so much for your advice and reassuring words. You have helped me to see that I am not completely alone with the problems in my family.
  2. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Its a good start when your husband agrees to go with you to counseling. Hope you find some answers or at least ways to deal with your difficult child. Don't expect miracles, but small steps will lead you in the right direction for your family....thinking of you as you take these steps to help your family....
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm so glad you've got a plan to go to counseling. It will really help, especially if you can be specific about what's been going on. I have wasted whole sessions just getting caught up and then there's no time to come up with-strategies. I've learned to bring notes, take notes, and talk fast, to let the therapist talk more.
    The sooner you get your appointment., the better. Good luck!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm glad you're going to counselling.

    husband is right to a certain extent - difficult child IS old enough to know better. But he is a difficult child, and KNOWING better and DOING better are two very different things.

    Here's something for husband - if you learnt to swim when you were three years old, you will expect your child to learn to swim at three years old. But what if you learnt early because you had a backyard pool, and your child simply isn't around water enough to have the opportunity to learn? Or suppose your child has the opportunity, but simply isn't as physically capable, perhaps has some slight spasticity that makes him much more uncoordinated until he's about 8 years old. Your child may need special help to learn, you can't just take a kid of more than three years old, say, "By now you should know how to swim," and throw them in the deep end.

    We have an Aussie TV program (one of those lifestyle things) which had a segment on teaching your dog how to swim. Why should you need to do this? Surely ALL dogs can swim! Apparently not so, some dogs are amazing at it and others almost drown every time they try, and lose their nerve. You can work with them, but it takes work and patience.

    We so often forget that our kids are individuals, and expect them to all reach the same milestones at the same age. Life just isn't like this. difficult child kids often are much slower to mature, no matter how intelligent they are. This frustrates them as much as it does us.

    A suggestion for you - try to teach "Explosive Child" concept and methods to husband. OK, he won't read it - my husband simply couldn't get into it either. So by explaining it to him and discussing it with him, it consolidated the information in MY mind, made it easier for me to apply it. husband learned. Of course, when you begin this, any person not on the same page can quickly become the ogre in the child's eyes. If husband is not going to try it, he needs to learn to back off and call you in to handle things, until he's got the knack. He must not step in to try to fix things (especially not give an ultimatum - ask him when an ultimatum last worked on him?) but should leave it to you and observe.

    I also summarised the book, did my own book review, so I could teach the others in my family without having to pay t he overdue library fines i would have otherwise accrued! It all helped.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    hey, glad to hear things are calmer.

    Please have your husband take a look at http://www.loveandlogic.com

    I think it really might work for him. I know it was the ONLY thing my husband ever looked at, and it just clicked with him. My husband had the same type of feelings, so maybe this will help.


  6. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Marguerite, I liked the analogy about a child and father learning to swim, and how it is hard to expect all kids to reach the same milestones at the same time. My husband has no patience for kids who need more help than others, and it is really hard for him to change his behavior. We don't have any other kids at home either, so my husband is not really around any other kids except difficult child. I have talked to lots of other parents, especially adoptive parents, and the behavior of our difficult child is not so surprising to me. However I am going to reread The Explosive Child and summarize it for my husband. I don't know much about the Love and Logic books, but I will check that out too. thanks,
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Something else for husband, following the same analogy - the kid who may be having more trouble than usual learning to swim, may be far more adept in other areas such as kicking a ball or solving spatial problems. A difficulty in one area does not mean equal problems in all areas - sometimes the very reason one task is difficult, makes other tasks easy.

    difficult child 3 is ADHD as well as autistic, so his ability to focus is limited, except for things he can lose himself in. Because he's been using computers since he was a baby, plus his extreme obsession with numbers and letters from infancy, PLUS his amazing problem-solving ability, he's become very adept at sorting out computer problems.

    Now, husband is also one of the best - at his job, people come to him and ask for advice. It's not his official job, but he's become a de facto computer tech. But at home he and difficult child 3 seem to be on an equal footing. I see difficult child 3 anxious, having difficulty with writing tasks and finding some things very confronting, but faced with a computer problem he suddenly seems to be calm, self-assured and extremely capable. He's also very patient with those who are not so adept, which is lovely. And all this seems so far away from what we would expect, of a kid with his disabilities.

    Other kids have dismissed difficult child 3 as a 'retard', then suddenly discovered him able to get their computer games to higher levels than was thought possible, in minutes. Their disdain turns to awe as they ask for tips from the kid they previously had been teasing unmercifully; and difficult child 3 is so forgiving he will sit down and teach someone who was bullying him five minutes earlier.

    It's that unusual disparity which you often see with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and ADHD, that may help reassure your husband - this kid needs help in some areas but you will find he has hidden talents in others. He just needs his confidence in himself boosted and supported until he finds his feet.

    You all need a lot of help, but please assure husband from me, the effort will be worthwhile not only for difficult child, but for husband as well. husband is the adult here, he should be the one more capable of reaching down to whatever level difficult child can currently handle, and leading him through learning the 'bloke stuff' that fathers are so good at. Get them both out in the workshop, maybe making something simple working with tools. They need this sort of good productive and encouraging time together. My difficult child 1 has a really good brain but he is handicapped by the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and ADHD. He always could work well with his hands and despite being highly intelligent, knows he cannot manage too much academically yet and so is looking for an apprenticeship where he can work with his hands. At 23 he will be older than most apprentices, but this is what he wants to do. Maybe one day he will be able to hold things together to get some more formal qualifications; just not yet. That doesn't mean we can't hold a stimulating conversation with him - he is good company, he enjoys spending time with his father. But there have been times when I despaired of him ever being able to even tie his own shoes or open his mouth to take a bite of food and then chew. Now - he's come a long way.

    With your difficult child, the arguing and defiance can also imply hidden talents, especially a keenly developed sense of right and wrong (from his point of view). You need to find a way to harness this rather than try to control it. Kids like this need to be led rather than blocked. If you try blocking them you find it's a case of irresistible force meeting the immovable object, and it becomes a contest of wills, the original aim gone. Better to not engage a battle that will be a struggle to win - one day you won't win and that is not good. There are other ways rather then battle - diplomacy is better. Reason. Information. Communication. "I will help you to understand so you can make the correct decision, son," works better than "Do as I say because I said so!" When you can help your own child make good decisions for himself and own them, you have won the ultimate battle as a parent.

  8. onmyknees

    onmyknees New Member

    I think counseling is a great first step. I know many men want to "quick fix" a situation, and it's just not that easy most of the time. My husband has many a time said he's "done" with our difficult child or that he can't take it anymore. I have to step back emotionally and realize that he is easily frustrated and in the heat of the moment (or day..lol), that it's easy to say things you don't really mean. Counseling has helped my husband a lot, I pray it will help you guys too.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It's that unusual disparity which you often see with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and ADHD, that may help reassure your husband - this kid needs help in some areas but you will find he has hidden talents in others. He just needs his confidence in himself boosted and supported until he finds his feet

    Good point, Marg.

    OnMyKNees, I love your avatar! :smile: