why is everything a personal attack on "him"??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sjexpress, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    difficult child has gotten ridiculous with his carrying on that everyone hates him and everyone does things to him on purpose! In baseball if he strikes out or gets thrown out by an outfielder, the umpire is an idiot and made a bad call. If it happens again in the same game, the umpires hate him! Then difficult child procedes to rant and rave and carry on in the dugout till even his teammates tell him to stop. Then difficult child comes to me crying that no one on the team likes him! Honestly, I don't think any of them do because difficult child is so difficult! This is on any sports team he plays on.
    If difficult child is being mean or fighting with 4 yr. old little brother, the little guy "always" started it first and "made" difficult child be mean to 4 yr old. Now I know my 4 yr old can be an annoying little brother but come on...everytime?
    If anyone,anywhere,does anything to difficult child accidently...kick a ball and it hits him, throw a ball and it hits him, bangs into him, etc... according to difficult child, it is done on purpose and he carries on about it and feels he must retaliate by doing the same thing back! When I try to explain that duh, accidents happen, of course he can not see it that way.
    What is up with this and why does he think this way? Can anyone give me some insight into his thought process? I'd love any advice you can offer! Thanks!!
    Oh, if I didn't mention this...absolutely nothing that happens or goes wrong is difficult child's fault. He takes no blame for anything.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is a great way to avoid responsibility, isn't it? Mom gets caught up in "everyone isn't mean to you", giving him attention. Mom gets caught up in "he didn't start it, you know he didn't" rather than a consequence. It gets attention, drives adults bonkers (big payoff there, always a lot of fun for a difficult child), and at least some of the time someone will do something nice to prove that either they, or someone else, doesn't hate difficult child.

    Win-win-win all the way around at least occasionally, and at least they know they upset Mom!!!

    Or that is what we were told.

    Try, "How do you figure that?" "Really" "okay" "If that is what you want" and even "Hmmm" like you are not paying attention.

    If you MUST address it, tell him he is justifying, or manipulating.

    Sit him down ONE time, preferably you and husband. Explain that when he says these things he is either manipulating so that others will not see his mistake or will feel sorry for him, or that he is justifying his own bad behavior. He knows that others do not hate him, mostly they don't even know him so they cannot hate him. From this moment on you will NOT listen to this or give it any of your time or worry.

    From that point on if you address the "X hates me" you say either "justifying" or "manipulating", depending on what it is. Then if itis because his bad behavior you give him the consequence. Do NOT argue, discuss or otherwise reply at any time in any other way.

    I was actually SHOCKED at how fast it stopped happening when he stopped getting any reaction but this. If it doesn't stop in just a couple of weeks, start adding a chore every time he says it.

    For example "The Ump called me out. He hates me!" "difficult child, please pick up that gum wrapper and put it in the garbage." or "You know I hate peas. You HATE me." "difficult child please take out the trash."

    Make ALL of your responses as calm and polite as if you had just asked a stranger what time it is. Sooner or later the "Everyone hates me" game gets boring and difficult child will find something else to drive you nuts/

    You can, if you are feeling cheery, start singing the song Everybody hates me, nobody likes me, I'm gonna eat some worms! Bite their little heads off, slurp out the insides (make a slurping sound instead of saying the word for maximum giggles) I'm gonna eat some worms."

    Then once in a while, when you are about to lose it over the "They hate me" game, ask him, quite calmly and pleasantly (as if you were offering him his favorite candy bar) if he would like some worms?

    He may not laugh, but it will at least shock him. If he says "You don't love me or blah blah blah" just ignore it. Anything you say to that is playing his game and the LAST thing you want to do.

    Can you tell that Wiz tried this a couple of times over the years???
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I was taught to just respond with "Regardless..." and then go on to your original point. As in:

    Mom "difficult child it is NOT OK to hit your little brother."

    difficult child "But HE started it. He hates me."

    Mom "Regardless....it is NOT OK to hit your little brother".

    difficult child "But I told you, he hit me first! You don't believe me! I know you hate me!"

    Mom "Regardless..it is NOT OK to hit your little brother".

    Good luck!
  4. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    sjexpress if I haven't mentioned this before in another thread, WOW your difficult child and mine could be twins ! Same age and your signature is so similar to mine. My difficult child will blame me if he stubs his toe upstairs in his room and I am down in the kitchen making dinner. It grates my nerves but I try very hard to just ignore it and not feed into it. He has gone so far as to say we all hate him and why did I even give birth to him. It hurts so much but I realize he has issues and I try not to take it personal. My difficult child take NO BLAME for anything and is a master manipulator who has an answer for everything. I read the other posts and will plan on implementing some of their ideas. Let me know how it goes. AGAIN FOR THE HUNDRETH TIME, THIS SITE IS MY SAVING GRACE!
  5. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    Your post with these quotes:
    "My difficult child will blame me if he stubs his toe upstairs in his room and I am down in the kitchen making dinner." " He has gone so far as to say we all hate him and why did I even give birth to him." had me cracking up. Things like this happen frequently in our home! I too am glad I found this site an love to use the ideas offered. Hey, you never know what can help!
  6. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    My difficult child is older, but still does this and used to do it all the time. If he tripped and we were in the store? He screamed that I pushed him or kicked him. Nice, that makes everyone stare.

    We were playing catch one time when he was 6 or so. Then we moved on to keep away 500 (everytime you catch the ball you get 100 points and whoever gets to 500 first wins). easy child threw the ball, I blocked difficult child and he bounced of my arm and hit his head on a rock and it split open. He immediately started screaming that I pushed him. I had to take him to the ER, and he kept screaming at me the whole way. We got to the ER and the intake RN took us back and asked difficult child what happened. I just sat still with my mouth shut. He told her that I pushed him. She looked at me and I just shrugged and looked at him. She asked how I pushed him and he said we were playing 500. She asked what it was and he explained it.

    I somehow left with my son and without CSD being called, but man was I scared. I knew he needed to have his head looked at, but at the same time I knew what he was gonna say.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    You've had some good suggestions so far - but nobody has yet mentioned this one. BLAME.

    Often this happens because of us, because we are trying to teach consequences, and with some kids (especially the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-ish ones who are focussed on identifying the 'rules' that define the world around them, and who pick up on perceived patterns FAST) they focus on blame and try to find where to assign the blame for what has gone wrong. Add in to this the resentment and "it's not my fault" of a typical teen and you have a recipe for what you describe.

    First - go back and think about your own responses to him now and in the past. Also to your other kids. Also think about other influential people in his life - teachers, other family members, close friends (if any). Do they also focus on blame to any extent?

    It's okay if you find that you have. It is natural, often appropriate to a certain extent. But some kids begin to focus on it TOO much, and there we have to intervene.

    Next - change your own behaviour. This is most important. When something bad happens to you, or he does something bad and the consequences are unpleasant, don't focus on fault, just focus on "bad things happen sometimes". If you can find enough "bad things happen sometimes and it's not always about blame," then where it IS connected directly as a consequence, let him know about the connection, where it is obvious. But otherwise, leave it. Work on emphasising that often it's not about blame. Instead, he should focus on how he can precent it next time. It's STILL not about blame, but it can be about how I can improve. Fumbled the ball at the game? Maybe get in some more passing practice to hone the brain pathways that help with hand-eye coordination.

    Also linked to this is - sometimes the ball just goes astray. To assume the ball hitting him was directed towards him deliberately, is to assume that the person kicking the ball has skills better than David Beckham AND feels sufficient resentment towards him to make them want to waste such skill on him. Frankly, he is not that important, and the ball-kicker cannot be that skilled.
    The trouble is, the more you try to convince him that it wasn't deliberate, the more he will be focussed on "well, if HE isn't to blame, who is?" Still blame-focussed, so he needs to get right away from blame, before worrying about who is responsible.

    Another angle - if there IS a chance the ball was aimed at him deliberately, it is only a chance. When he retaliates, it is 100% deliberate and that is out of balance with the original incident. This means that the blame-focussed other kid is going to be deliberately aiming at difficult child next time, which perpetuates it. It also builds a lot more anger and resentment in difficult child than is healthy.

    Focussing on blame makes you angry and has you increasingly focussing on unfairness and more blame. This can really consume you and if YOU do it, this passes onto your children and sets them up for a life of avoiding personal responsibility.

    It can be a bigger task than you realise, to change from blame-focussed to "sometimes it just happens that way." It can be a very hard lesson especially for kids who really need to understand the cause and effect in the world; the alternative, chaos, can be too scary. But this lesson, when learned, can make a world of difference in everybody concerned.

    We each as parents harbour a lot of resentment in being saddled with a difficult child kid. When that kid misbehaves, often our resentment comes to the surface and we find ourselves saying, "See? I told you that would happen if you didn't stop doing it! Serves you right!"

    We need instead to stay calm and ask the child, "What happened?" "How can you contribute to a better outcome next time?"

    Especially at first, he will try to duck responsibility. "HE did it! Not me! I was minding my own business..." and you need to step in and say, "Stop! This isn't about blame. If you want to only concentrate on blame, you have to understand that chaos theory means a butterfly could flap its wings in Japan and a cyclone happen in the Caribbean - everything is connected, but not always responsibility."

    Chaos theory might help, actually. It's a way of saying that something happens here - a tree falls over from a gale, for example - an animals become homeless. More animals invade your garage during cold weather, and the favourite baseball mitt stored in the shed gets chewed by some crittur. All because a tree blew over in the woods - but the tree is not to blame. What could have been done to protect the baseball mitt? Maybe don't keep it in the shed. But is the owner of the mitt to blame for it being chewed? Not really, It just happened. He could have improved the outcome by storing it more carefully over winter and maybe he can learn from the experience. But he can also take comfort that some creature had a better chance of survival, because the baseball mitt gave it some nourishment, briefly.

    There are many ways to look at a situation. I suggest that a difficult child focussed on blame needs to be deflected from it and taught that in life, sometimes bad things happen for no reason. But even then, we can learn from it and remember, in order to produce a better outcome next time.

  8. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    I'm surprised Marg didn't mention this story - she wasn't there at the time but knows it.

    difficult child 3 went through a stage like this (still does to some extent).

    One day when Marg was away he was being especially bad. We were at home alone so I shocked him a little when I adopted the line S**t Happens - live with it with him. It surprised him enough that I was able explain that occasionally [often!] things don't work out as we would expect or wish.

    These days we use the more publicly acceptable It Happens and he realises that [Shock/Horror] the world does NOT revolve around him - usually.

    Marg's Man
  9. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I'm not sure if this is relevant to your situation, but I found it interesting...I've been reading "Bipolar Kids," by Rosalie Greenberg, and she has a section where she distinguishes between "irritable depression" and "irritable mania." She describes irritable depression as being directed inward, with feelings of worthlessness, blaming one's self for everything, and feeling like a failure. She describes irritable mania as being directed outward, blaming others for everything, and never taking responsibility for one's own mistakes.

    I haven't read any of your other posts, so please don't take this as a suggestion that your difficult child is bipolar. The title of this thread just reminded me of what I read last night.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Mine too...though it's getting better. Since Miss KT is an only child (Sons #1 and 2 are my stepsons, and #1 never lived with us), she used to blame the cat for anything that went wrong around here. At school, it was always someone or something else that "caused" the issue. Unfortunately, her father is the same way.

    Very frustrating, I know.
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I've come to believe this is an integral symptom/problem for so many of our difficult children. The ability to accept responsibility for everyday incidents comes with maturity ~ our "little wonders" are many times delayed emotionally.

    Marg made a very valid point ~ there are times when life just bites. A stubbed toe cannot be blamed on anyone else. husband & I never accepted (I still don't) the "blame game" from either of the tweedles. It's a waste of time ~ I concentrate on the next time; what can be done differently, if anything.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The trouble is, it's a hard lesson for kids to learn, especially when a lot of our discipline (or the teacher's discipline) has been focussed on "X is done, Y happens therefore they are always connected."

    Teaching your child to actively NOT look for the blame in a situation can be trickier than you would think. But frankly, the trickier you find it, the more important it is to teach this lesson.