Am I putting my younger children at risk?


New Member
I often wonder if I am putting my younger children at risk for developing behavior problems by exposing them to their older brother's behavior. I am starting to see the younger kids display similar behaviors (hitting themselves when angry, yelling & throwing things) as difficult child. I'm really concerned about my youngest who has never known any other way of life than the one we're now living. My youngest son did have the chance to experience a more "normal" life before the major onset of difficult child's behaviors.
I have done a little research on my own but haven't really found the answers to my concerns and we haven't even found a dr that will give us a definite diagnosis (the search for a neuropsychologist starts monday a.m.), let alone address the issue of the effects of the behavior in the home.

Does anyone have any info or advice for me. I'm scared to death that my other kids will continue down the same path as my difficult child and I don't think I can handle that.


New Member
I think at a young age that often kids do follow the "monkey see monkey do" thought process. I'm not sure yet if it can be unlearned.

I have problems with youngest easy child following what she sees her big brothers do. I tell her to go to her room and she'll pick herself up from a tantrum like nothings happened and say "Ok" and head off to her room. Then 2-3 minutes later she'll call me from her bedroom door and say "Mommy, I'm done, can I come out now?" and I say yes and its over with. Now if I can just get her older brothers trained to respond like her, I'd be living the easy life! LOL

I wish I had a magic wand and could make it all better for you! Hang in there! I know how hard trying to get the diagnosis right is. I'm still going through it and oldest difficult child started this merry-go-round when he was in Kindergarten. He's headed to 6th grade Monday.


Well-Known Member
I am so sorry. I am lucky in that our oldest is easy child and an excellent role model for our difficult child.
At one point, we had a family meeting and told easy child that when difficult child hit her between the legs (a new fave of his when he was about 7), she had permission to hit him back, once and once only. She knew better than to smash his head into a cement wall (LOL) or we wouldn't have given her permission. But we needed to create an immediate consequence that was delivered from the source. The first cple times it happened, difficult child came running and screaming to us. I had forgotten the agreement and became alarmed and asked what happened. easy child said, "You gave me permission to hit him when he did that."
"OH! Yeah. Okay. difficult child, go to your room."
Then we'd walk away. easy child was empowered, difficult child disempowered. Plus, he had nowhere to turn. I hadn't realized that we had been adding fuel to the flames by putting them both in Time Out when they fought. You don't have "fair" consequences with-a difficult child and have to make up your own rules!
That only lasted a few wks and the behavior stopped.
Sorry, I'm not sure that helps you at all, just that it's a different approach to things.

Is your difficult child adopted? You have written in your bio that he's got attachment issues so that's why I ask.
What do you do when he throws things? What are the consequences?
Just wondering.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I think it's a worry for any easy child in the house. But I found that easy child's generally respond to rules and consequences. It might take a few times for them to realize copying behavior isn't going to work, but they usually get it.

Grandson Darrin has been exposed to a major difficult child at his paternal grandparent's house. While I had him today he was attempting some pretty big defiant behaviors. Nana just kept putting him in Time Out. lol Although I did warn easy child so she'd know to look for it to nip this new behavior in the bud. Darrin's a smart kid. It won't take him long to figure out the adults in his life won't tolerate such behaviors.

Coping behavior is normal. Consistancy will teach that it doesn't pay off. easy child's can get this concept.



New Member
I have noticed that PCs respond well to the consequences of their behaviors and that they seem to learn quickly from the repercussions of their actions.

difficult child is my stepson. I have been with husband since difficult child was 2 1/2 months old..(we also dated prior to that when we were in Highschool). I have been a constant in his life since then and we always had a really close relationship (until recently...his behavior has really taken a toll on our relationship..this is one of the things I regret about this battle...I really miss my son). He never really bonded with bio mom...she used toys and free reign to make him happy, she never really tried to be a parent to him. I had him constantly (usually no less than 4 days a week) before we got custody. In 2000 when difficult child was 3 we got custody and then the bio mom moved out of state and only saw him twice a year until she approached us about terminating her has not had visitation with him since he was 6.

As for when he throws things...we have followed the psychiatric's advice...if the object is thrown in anger as he's going to time out after his time out he must clean up any messes he made on his way to time out. Sometimes he'll throw things just because he's mad about what what ever object he throws we simply take away and we tell him when he can be more responsible and take better care of his things he can have them back.