what do you all do

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lothlorien, May 28, 2008.

  1. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    when difficult child is raging and destroying their rooms? Literally, the door jam and door are broken. The closet door is broken. There are holes in the walls and a broken desk drawer?

    I'm seriously about to take EVERYTHING out of the room. It just makes me nuts that she is destroying my house. Yeah, it's her room, since now we lock her in (which is what we were told to do by the psychiatrist, since she will destroy everything in her path and hits and kicks anyone in her path too.) but it's my house. She is destroying things in my house. ARRRRRRRG

    Today she was kicking and hitting the babysitter, while I was out. I was literally gone 45 minutes. When I came home, there were legos and toys all over the floor in the kitchen and living room. She was chucking them at the sitter and my son, so I made her go up in her room. This time the door molding is destroyed. Pretty soon, there won't even be a door or door jam there and we will have to replace it. How many doors are we going to have to replace?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    When my kids are raging to this degree, I call the psychiatrist and talk about medication changes. Missy's not on the right medications/doses if she's raging to this extent. Is she still taking Concerta?

    When my son was in serious rage mode following his manic reaction to Zoloft, we used to lead him outside and let him throw hard-boiled eggs on the driveway. I know it's strange, but he was allowed to get his anger out in a way that was acceptable to us and didn't destroy the house.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Missy is 7 right?

    I would take everything hard out of her room. No hard desk or chairs. Get her a bean bag chair and her mattress and box spring on the floor. Only soft toys. I would go so far as tacking thick sponge board on the walls that she cant hurt if she throws herself at or damage if she kicks it. Maybe old quilts? Or Im sure they actually sell this stuff to make padded walls. Or maybe even line the walls with a foam rubber and seal with a spray on rubber. For the doors...I would maybe do those half doors so you can put her in but still see in...ya know what I mean?

    Im thinking of these things because I know that when I want to rage...I want to rage and throw things and tantrum...but then its over with. If her room was safe to do it in, then it would be better. Maybe the walls could even be made so she could write on them. Dont know...just throwing out ideas. The foam might possibly contain noise too.
  4. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    She won't listen to anything I suggest. I have to threaten her to even go to her room. If she's out, then she comes after me and just screams and doesn't stop. If I go outside, she follows me, screaming. If I go in my room, she body slams my door. She's 75 pounds now. I tried to close the door and go in the basement, she opens the door and screams. I just need to have her away from me, when she's like that.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Im sorry Loth. I dont know what to suggest except a hug.
  6. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Do you need to call the doctor?
  7. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Oh, Loth - I'm so sorry to hear this.

    Initially, probably even a bit younger than Missy, if thank you destroyed something it got pitched and was not replaced (including doors). We had reversed the lock on his bedroom door when he was 4, and the kid not only broke the door but also completely knocked the doorframe out of the wall. I absolutely totally understand the concept of needing that moment or ten to catch your breath and have physical distance before you address the raging, but for us at least, the locked bedroom door just didn't work.

    I wouldn't repair holes in walls, doors, molding, etc., until you are putting the house on the market or she has moved. Or, on a more positive note, until she's gone a significant amount of time without destroying things. Every time I fixed or replaced something, thank you would either trash the repaired area or move on to something new. It was a recipe for *major* resentment and anger on my part. thank you destroyed his and Boo's bedroom door... gosh, 10 years ago? It's just now getting replaced and only because we're doing major renovations around here.

    To be honest, my house is still barren. Anything I had of sentimental value or for decorative purposes was demolished by thank you a long time ago. When I finally clued in, shortly after arriving on the board, I took what was left and boxed it up. It's still boxed up because he is still occasionally in our home and while I don't think he would destroy things, his discovery of the power of pawn shops has given him a whole new bag of tricks (not that there's anything of value left at this point - ugh). We *just* purchased halfway decent lamps - up to this point, anything we might have brought into the house was very carefully screened for breakability and how much it would hurt if/when it was launched in a rage.

    I had to chuckle about the legos. I did a rant the first or second Christmas I was on the board that legos *must* have been invented by a difficult child because they not only multiply spontaneously, but they show up in the oddest places. And of course, there's that throwing thing.

    By age 7, anything that was thrown at a living being automatically was thrown away, period. Didn't matter if it was brand new - it was gone. The other kids' things were very carefully stored in their own space and thank you didn't have access to them.

    I am a firm believer in restraining a raging child, Loth. When I mastered doing it without emotion, it was hands down the most effective tool we had in dealing with that flat out raging. We were trained by therapist so that thank you and husband and I were able to be safe, and we had it well documented in thank you's records that we were trained. My take on it is that when a kid is raging, even when the initial revving up is intentional (as it was so often with thank you), there's a point where he completely and truly lost control. His raging was like a wild animal - no rhyme and no chance of reasoning. By restraining him, I took control of the situation completely and without question. I think he had/has some sensory issues along with all the rest of it - restraints would actually calm him (as long as I kept my mouth shut - he of course never kept his mouth shut, LOL). The time for processing is not during the restraint, but a significant amount of time afterwards. Restraints are the one sure thing I would do again in a heartbeat, the one thing I know was the right choice for our family. It probably saved a door or two and a couple of walls, the TV, to say nothing of the other kids.

    Gosh, I had kind of forgotten those days. They were beyond hard and certainly there were/are parts of our home that look like they've been bombed as a result of his raging. Thinking back on it, I guess there came a point where the holes and damage were secondary to what was going on with him and what was involved in just getting through a day. To be honest, there is some damage I've intentionally left alone - it's no longer a source of anger or resentment or grief, just kind of a reminder of... I don't know, what we've survived? What he can be capable of? How we need to be sure safety is always #1? Something, anyway.

    I do think a call to psychiatrist and therapist is in order, to hopefully hammer out a way to safely manage her raging. A gentle hug to you.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Here's what we do- it might not be the right answer for you. First, if possible, redirect it to something outside. difficult child has spent a lot of time outside hitting trees with a hammer. This is no problem- not good for the trees, I'm sure, but there are worse things. Second, try to keep it non-destructive in the house- this rarely works- not really raging if it does. Thirdly- he can go to his room and if he destroys whatever, I ignore it at the time. Whatever doors or trim come off, stay off. I would not replace the difficult child's door for a long time- we have been there done that. We currently have holes in the walls- I can't afford to have them repaired. We have to live with them. The natural consequences are much more than that- just wait until her friends or someone she wants to impress comes over. That is the real natural consequence. If she is destroying something of yours personally- draw the line- that is basket A in my book. (Really, the house is too in a way but when he's raging it is a little late to bring that up.)

    So- that is where we are- keep in mind, I'm dealing with a 13yo boy, not a little girl.

    PS- I did not remove anything from his room- if he destroyed it, he lived with it.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    We followed Sue's path, especially with wm. He was the more destructive. We were taught to restrain by psychiatrist & therapist; documented each restraint.

    wm lost anything that he used as a "weapon", intentionally or not.

    A call to psychiatrist is not out of line - in fact, I'd do it right away tomorrow.

    Once crisis team was involved we called them on a regular basis; they would come out & take care of the situation. Many times, they would make the call about transport to ER or not. If they weren't available to transport I'd call our mental health case manager or 911. Again, it depends on the degree of physical aggression & your instinct.

    In my mind, this is all about safety ~ both your difficult children & your entire family's safety.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The others have given good advice. I so remember those days. We still have them but now difficult child's rages don't last as long. There are still holes in all the doors upstairs and in some of the walls. We too have a lock on difficult child's room, advice also given by the psychiatrist. We don't use it much at all anymore but at the time we had to for safety sake. We always called the psychiatrist after times like these. Almost always a medication adjustment was needed.

    Many gentle hugs to you, I know how exhausted you must be.
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I agree with the others' suggestions. Miss KT's room does not have a door, because she tore it off the hinges and threw it at me. There are still holes in her walls. I have no intention of fixing anything until I'm sure she won't be coming back.
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    We just moved into this house about three years ago. No intention on moving. I'm going to ask about training on restraining. I can't live like this anymore. Though having her in her room is more peaceful for me. I've almost come to the point where I'm glad that she's put in one place, but I think one more time and the door is going to be completely destroyed. Right now, the molding needs to come off, because the nails are sticking out and it's a danger to her and Mighty Mouse. husband will have to fix that. If we had the money right now (which we don't) I would put a solid core door there.

    We fixed up her room last fall, in the hopes that she would be thrilled with the way her room looked. She loved it, but I guess the novelty wore off.

    The door was taken off last summer, because of the damage she was doing, but psychiatrist said to put it back on and lock her in, when she rages.

    Last week, I called my neighbor over, because I was so afraid that CPS would be at my door. She was screaming out her window and slamming her body against the door. I was seriously afraid that she was going to dislocate her shoulder and I'd get arrested for it. It's a tough pill to swallow.....being afraid of your own child. Today, she was screaming at me that she was going to murder me.

    I've been tempted to call 911, but as husband has worked for a police department for several years, he is dead set against it, for fear that it would be opening that proverbial can of worms, ya know?

    I have an appointment next week with three different docs for her...Neuro, psychiatrist and neurodevolopmental doctor. I really wish I could deal with them all at once.

    Thank you all for your responses.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hang in there! I know what you mean by not living in your house long- we haven't even been int this one for 2 years. Just remember, we don't necessarily have to know where the road leads to know the right road to take. Do what feels right for you and yours- it will be ok.
  14. Christy

    Christy New Member

    My son has destructive rages as well. He will hit, kick, and destroy everything in his path during an episode. After trashing his room a few times, we got smart and removed everything but the mattress, bedding, pillow, and a stuffed animal. This is all he needs for sleeping and there is nothing to destroy. We took off the door to the room and the closet. As first, getting him to his room during a tantrum was the hard part but he is becoming accustomed to it and tends to run upstairs when he gets upset. I stand in the doorway until I feel he is safe and then let him be alone. If he is enraged, he will throw his mattress around the room or throw himself down on it. Sometimes he punches or kicks the walls. After a few times I tell him that damage isn't tolerated and I'll restrain him if he continues. He likes to baricade himself in the closet blocking the door with his mattress. It's remakable how quickly he calms down when there is little fuel around to throw on his fire!

    I hope you gets some relief soon from all the rage.
    Take Care,
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hey, Loth. Suggestion on the solid core door...find the habitat for humanity store in your area. They have a thrift store in most larger cities, sometimes its hard to find - neither of ours are listed in the phone book, but they exist. Maybe salvation army or goodwill or redcross can get you pointed in the right direction.
    Probably won't be pretty, but chances are you can get a solid door cheap. Solid door was a must for my difficult child. In fact, if our house was sheet rock, I'd be in the same boat. Our house is ancient, and has painted wood paneling over plaster over slatboard. You can hit it with a hammer and not break thru. And all solid wood doors.
    There are some advantages to living in a house as old as Laura Ingalls.:crazy1:
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Great idea, Shari!

    Yes, remove everything. Just leave a mattress. (No hard parts, plus, they're heavy to move.)

    When my son rages like that, I have been known to call my big guy friends. They race over but usually by the time they have arrived, 1/2 hr later, things have calmed down. My husband has thrown difficult child into his room, but I cannot do that--he weighs in at 102, very close to my wt.
    75 lbs is too much for you to handle, so The Hold won't work any more unless your husband is a big army kind of guy.

    I know how you feel.
    So sorry.
  17. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Loth! Sorry to hear about you having to deal with this. I have to say, we got rid of the Concerta, added Abilify (he's on too high a dose right now, but we see psychiatrist tomorrow) and the raging is completely gone.

    My only regret is that I didn't take him off the Concerta years ago. Huge difference! He still gets mad and says and does some stupid stuff, but he's not been destructive/raging in well over a month.

    Take care!

  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Oh Loth. I am so sorry.

    In addition to the beating your house is taking, your mommy heart must be breaking. I wish I had some sage advice.

  19. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    I'm sending you some extra strength I have lying around because currently I'm doing other battles. Dude seems to be in a place where rages are a rareity.

    When I wrote rages are becoming more and more rare I wondered - and thought. OMG what did I do to help him that this IS a rareity? And some things came to mind.

    As soon as I could I got him into CBT therapy. My number one suspicion was his anger. I felt if he could somehow get a grip on anger - he'd have 1/2 his problem licked.

    So we focused with the therapist on anger management skills. From age 6 - 18 - we have worked on that along with other things - but the focus has been HOW can Dude control his anger.

    He said he learned a lot - in knowing "Hey - it's okay to be angry - EVERYONE gets angry." but HOW you handle that anger and what you do with your anger can be the difference between you going to your room or going to jail. And of course jail is rarely an aversion to anger, but it's good to plant a crop of "could be" and hope for "never happens."

    We did the removal of nearly everything in our home, we had locks on all the other doors, everthing that could have been used to "hurt" me by breaking was packed up and locked up. It remains there today. My home is tastefully decorated with trinkets from garage sales, but they are meaningless trinkets. The stuff I cherish is packed away.

    So with those items gone - the house became the object of frustration and furniture, windows, even the car. So I learned how to to therapeutic holds, got my nose broken and said finally (for the billionth time) THIS IS INSANE no one lives like this. We pulled the full riley on the room - for months - and the holes got worse. I have a masters degree in plaster patch at this point which upon moving will finally pay off.

    We thought about and discussed a safe room with our psychiatrist, but thinking 5,10, 25 years down the road - could I actually picture a 23 year old man in a rental screaming and kicking padded walls of his own apartment? I mean age appropriate sure - but what else goes along with a padded anger /safe room?

    Coping skills. And I guess I would repeat that until I am blue in the face to you - find someone to work with her NOW at 7 and 75 lbs. to teach her some exercises to alleviate the rage when it builds up. As she gets older she'll learn new skills for her age - but now is a really REALLY good time to think - in 10 years at 17 - what and how do I see her handling her anger?

    We gave dude a ball bat and I used to put a tarp down for him to beat TV's up - and he would hit trees, and pound the ground with the bat and SCREAM like he was in pain at the top of his lungs. I got to that DONTGIVEADAMN with the neighbors and moved out to the country so he COULD rage outside and he did. But I had no training to know how to help him when he came down from a rage - no ability to know when or if NOW was the time to process with him what just happened. So I learned, and took classes for parents with our local NAMI groups and others....and despite pills, full rileys, removing it all from the house? The first time i saw and heard Dude USE the skills he had learned (but balked at) I cried.

    We both had gotten better at trigger words and how not to escalate a situation. And he said "Mom I need to GET OUTTA HERE and WALK." and instead of chasing him - I let him go. I found him outback with a stick in his hands but sitting on a stump doing breathing exercises and tension release exercises and he said the one he did where he tenses up all his muscles and holds it was the best one - but it takes time to learn how to do it so it helps.

    Once he started using those skills - less stuff got broken. I'm not saying NOTHING ever got punched or kicked But I knew to let him go, and about when I could approach him to talk about and process what got him so angry.

    So my vote would have to go for learning exercises, finding appropriate outlets for expressing anger, and as a Mom learning when to just let go and what I can and can't say that helps through effective communication.

    And pray for maturation. Had to laugh - our family says it has an anger curse - and while I'm the Mom and supposed to be the example - I got angry once to the point of exploding, threw stuff and Dude said to me what I had said to him when he was raging....and it worked.

    "I'll leave you alone with your thoughts to find a way to appropriately express your anger." - after I heard that from a 17 year old - I laughed so hard - I forgot what i was angry about.

    So it can work.

  20. navineja

    navineja New Member

    My youngest sister (now age 25) is a difficult child. One thing that worked for my mom- If Mom was able to see the signs of a coming rage early enough, she would go outside with lil' sis and a bag of the stuff that you stuff pillows or dolls with- can't think of what it is called. Then she would tell sis that she had to throw pieces of it as hard as she could until the bag was empty. Being light and fluffy, it wouldn't go anywhere and after about half the bag, she was either laughing or just too tired to even think about raging!
    I keep thinking that I need to try this myself with N.