Angry Son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lekami, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. lekami

    lekami New Member

    Hello everyone, I am new to the boards. I googled "difficult children parent support forum" and a couple clicks and some reading I am.
    I read the post from JJJ...and that is my son spot on.
    It is ONLY at home. and Only with me and my d/h. He is perfect at Preschool, perfect for Nana & Papa, perfect for EVERYONE. :mad:
    My son's behavior is fairly recent, I mean he hasn't always been this way. And I know that children act up, and throw tantrums etc. but his is WAY more then that. It's getting to the point where I am getting scared to be with him. Not scared in the sense that he'll hurt me, but I just start to panic because I don't know how to deal with him. I am constantly trying to smother him with niceness so he won't "turn" on me.
    My mother told me that when he won't listen and is hitting etc. to spank his bottom. Well that doesn't
    work! He doesn't like it but it doesn't stop him from whatever he was doing. It almost triggers him to really explode.
    I was told to just ignore him. that doesn't work. It makes him angrier. And he'll just do whatever he was doing right in front of my face to annoy me.
    I try to do things with him as much as I can, as I have a fairly new baby at home, and a very active 19 month old who is just now starting to mimic everything my son is doing, Right down to his ear splitting screams, to the hitting. I'm seriously exhausted. I have no idea what to do, or where to start to get him help. How do you start??? How can my child be the sweetest boy, one minute laughing because he's smothering my face in kisses then turn to this thing that gets so angry and grabs onto my leg as tight as he can possibly squeeze and hit me and SCREAMMM because I won't let him have some Fruit snacks or he's been banned from the PS3!?
    I'm really scared that how he is now, and how I am toward him when he's like that is going to affect our relationship greatly when he's older. I'm tired from lack of sleep from having a little one, and I have no Patience. I don't want him to reflect on his childhood memories with memories of his mother always getting mad at him and how her face always looked so angry because she's holding everything inside not to reach out and smack him! :(
    Sorry for the long post. I just don't know what to do.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a granddaughter who will be 3 in July and she acts a lot like you describe. Only difference is she acts that way in front of others too as you can see because I can tell you I see it! She is a brat! Personally I think she is going to have a diagnosis at some point if her parents will ever take her in but that will be a wait and see. She has huge red flags right now and some really bad genes swimming in her.

    She throws huge temper tantrums, hits, cusses, will throw things at you, lock herself in the bathroom, deliberately do things you tell her not to do, etc.

    I can barely hear my son and daughter in law when I call up there for the racket she makes in the background. Unfortunately, it is something I know only too well because I lived it before. It seems that my sons switched My ADHD son got the difficult child child and my bipolar son got the mild child! It is so weird.

    I have tried to "suggest" methods that I think might help with my difficult child granddaughter but to no avail. Sigh.
  3. my son began like this and at 15, the same. a shrink explained that my son used so much energy keeping it together that he would blow in his safety zone which very often is with the mom. i spent years hearing how crazy and depressed i was and it became true. then the professionals decided my son was like this because i was "crazy and depressed" and then i got angry.
    you will run into people like this who blame you. persist until you find someone who will say that blame is misplaced and is a typical response when you have a child like this. don't doubt yourself, its a waste of you and your family's time and energy. use the enrgy for finding professional help and more than likely you will need this energy to defend your younger kids.
    The book "1-2-3 Magic" helped somewhat, too
  4. janna57

    janna57 Guest

    Hi. This is my first post, and this sounds like my 3 yo gs. He is totally different with my daughter and I. He listens to his with no problem. He is an angel at daycare and even shy. My daughter lives with me, and she has 50/50 custody of my gs. The parents alternate custody every other week. Although, my daughter is planning on filing for primary custody, soon. We both agree that he needs more stability.

    He can be so sweet and loving and the most adorable child. But, can turn quickly into an evil twin. He will throw things when he is frustrated. He has hit me and his mom. He tries to be bossy. Actually, he kinda does rule this household. I am very concerned about him. My daughter did take him for an evaluation. They did offer a wrap around, who would be with him most of the day. However, he is an angel at daycare. He has no problem listening to others. I realize that is normal kid behavior, as my kids did that, too. However, it is the rage in him that scares me. I am scared that this will escalate if she does not try to nip this in the bud. She seems to be procrastinating on this now. She gets upset when I talk to her about it.

    Distraction is about the best method that we can use with him. By diverting his attention to something else when he is ready to escalate. However, we can not always distract him so easy.

    Sometimes the thought of autism spectrum disorder enters my mind. He is obssessed with cars, and always acts like he is fixing the tires. He loves to take the wheels off the cars. But, he is affectionate, so that conflicts with the autism theory.

    He has a lot of chaos in his early life. His parents fought constantly in front of him. His father was actually violent towards his mother. Also, his dad sorta kidnapped him at the age of 22 months, when there was no legal agreement. My daughter had full physical custody of him until the custody was decided by the judge when they both fought over custody of him. His father had him for three weeks. During that time, he had no contact with his mom. (long story, but the father kept him from my daughter)

    Fortunately, they are no longer in a relationship, together. They broke up several months ago.

    So, his dad has anger issues.(with women) My daughter is in recovery for drug addiction. However, she was in active opiate addiction during her pregnancy. She was prescribed methadone towards the end of her pregnancy.(when she finally admitted to drug abuse, her ob dr. agreed this was the best plan)

    I believe there is cause for concern. I believe that my daughter's main fear of pursuing this further is that she may be to blame for his behavior. She believes that she may have caused brain damage by abusing opiates while she was pregnant. I keep telling her that whatever it is, we need to address it. Well, I say "we" because she is a single mom, and I have been there helping to raise my grandson since he was born. And, trust me, he is a handful. And, I love him, adore him, and he is about the most important priority in my life.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Janna, welcome. For your best benefit, you will do better if you begin your own thread introducing yourself and the issue concerning you at the moment. otherwise your problems risk being swamped in people's focus on the presenting problem for this specific thread. However, read all you can and post where you have support or advice - it is how it all works here.

    Back to lekami - Janna57 actually has some good thoughts here. I was thinking along similar lines. So Janna, hitch along to my response, it probably has relevance to you too.

    Not good. He will pick up on this and if he is in power and not you, then you as parent are always on the back foot. Very bad for him.

    Also not good. It teaches him that hitting is a way to control and is acceptable.

    A child who is better at school and with others - again, this is familiar. Our problem kids who have even partial control over their behaviour, will hold it together more desperately for people they feel less sure of. In the same way that kids tend to behave better at a friend's house or when friends are visiting...

    Janna57, you raised the possibility of autism in your grandson. I must admit, I do think it needs to be considered here in your son's case, lekami. Or ADHD, at the very least. These kids are desperately trying to be good. But they will behave worst for the people who they feel safest with. They know you love them unconditionally and so when they just can't hold it any more, it is with you that it lets go.

    Other things to consider - the need for the child to feel in control. The world can be a confusing, contradictory place and the child often feels that if only he can make everyone and everything follow the rules as he understands them to be, everything will behave as it should. Part of a young child's rules are -
    I have to ask nicely if I want something. And they have to give it to me."
    Especially in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids (that is the umbrella term that covers autism, among other things) you will find the child's behaviour and reactions a mirror to your own. IN this way I used to find easy child 2/difficult child 2 responding to my serving her water (because she'd already had her daily allowance of fruit juice) standing there with her hands on her hips and saying to me, "I said I wanted JUICE! Don't you ever listen?" She was 3 at the time.

    It really takes a neuropsychologist to thoroughly assess this and along the way, other possible conditions can get identified and dealt with as best as possible. There is no cure but an early diagnosis can help you find ways to cope and to provide what appropriate support is needed.

    But YOU as the parent need to do most of it. Doctors can only do so much. There is no magic bullet. No magic treatment. The child, and you, are the most important parts of the picture to help. If this is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), you can find the child is the one most determined to do well, but always let down by the disability getting in the way. They need an advocate to help them get around the obstacles until they themselves have learned to be more adaptable.

    So what do you do?

    1) Make an appointment with a neuropsychologist. Get the GP to refer you.

    2) Find out as much as you can. This can help with giving detailed information to the doctor as well as provide a running history. A good start is to go to and look for their online unofficial Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. You can't use this to officially diagnose, but it can give you a strong indication. Print it out whatever the score, and take the printout to the doctor. If you're unsure how to answer the questions, or concerned you're perhaps being too generous or too harsh, click on each question for a more specific guide to answer accurately.

    3) Keep a good diary of the events. You will value this in years to come. It also helps to make notes of the good stuff, to help you keep in perspective. In this way you can remember such gems as we have with difficult child 3 - at age 8 he said to us, "I'm getting really good at pretending to be normal."

    4) You can do this in conjunction with school etc - keep a daily written communication habit going on. I used to have what we called a "Communication Book" travelling to and fro in difficult child 3's schoolbag. I would write in it anything possibly relevant, such as "He was very difficult this morning, hard to get moving." The teacher might write, "He was fine when he arrived, behaved well in the first session but had a chip on his shoulder wen he came in from recess."

    5) This is very important - get your hands on "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It can really help you see the child and his issues in a different light. If you want a preview of the book, there is a Sticky on this page on how to adapt the book to younger children. Also already suggested are Love and Logic. Get reading - it really helps.

    Janna57, parents always worry about being blamed - and rightly so. Not because we ARE to blame necessarily, but we do get blamed. It is too easy to point the finger first, instead of knuckling down and trying to help. Janna57, if your daughter abused opiates while pregnant or not - I doubt it is related. Babies in utero are very resilient. Opiates of all drugs are among the least damaging, in terms of organ damage. If she took so much that she was in a coma and suffered oxygen deficit, the baby's hemoglobin is still designed differently in order to carry oxygen much more efficiently than the mother's and even then he would not have suffered problem if his mother did not.
    I took strong opiates during my pregnancy with difficult child 3. It was prescribed (I'm on stronger doses now) and I did try to cut back as much as I could. But I took no opiates when pregnant with difficult child 1 and he also has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Same with easy child 2/difficult child 2 - I took no opiates while pregnant.

    If methadone (or heroin) caused autism, I think we'd have heard. I certainly would have, considering I have been on morphine for most of difficult child 3's life.

    I can understand her concern. There is also the concern that doctors will be instantly dismissive of any concerns expressed by someone who is a recovering addict. This is wrong, but natural. However, a good mother will put concern for her own reputation and what people think of her, to one side if it means her child can get help.

    Janna, get your daughter to lurk here or join. She will find sympathy and understanding here. Nobody will judge her for her past.

    Lekami, it is possible for a kid with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) to seem perfectly OK for a long time. It is especially if you as a mother are highly in tune to your baby and almost instinctively meet his every need. Such kids do well in their own routine for longer, because you ARE doing so many things right. It is when the daily pressures increase past a point of tolerance, that you begin to see problem behaviours.

    What affects their tolerance? Expectations of others can sometimes be too high (for them - they could be normal expectations). Or something in their environment is inconsistent or stressful. Or they could be getting bullied. We found problems with difficult child 3 when it came to school writing tasks. Now he as a highly capable child with his reading, but his hands hurt when he tried to control a pencil and so he began to really avoid assigned writing/drawing tasks. Most kids love drawing class. difficult child 3 hated it, would refuse and become a real problem. Now we know other things we could have done but it is too late for most of them. difficult child 3 has qualified for school use of a computer to do his writing tasks and this gets us through.


  6. seg

    seg Guest

    This is my first post on this website, and like many I googled support group for parents with difficult children. My 3yr. old son who will be 4 in August sounds like so many of these children. And like some the behavior is only seen at home. He acts this way with me. my ex(his dad), grandparents, aunts and uncles. They all seem to dismiss it as boys will be boys. But I know in my heart that it is much more. This behavior began about 10 months ago. And I know that his father and I are partially to blame. We split aprox. 9 months ago, I took the boys and moved out to get away from his verbally abusive father. Not more then 1 week later his dad had moved his new girlfriend and her daughters (11 and 13) into his home. My son is very very aggressive at home with family says negative and sometimes very hurtful things. he is constently hittng and kicking his older brother (6 yr). Screaming and exploding that the drop of a dime. It's almost as if someone has tripped a switch in him and he loses it. He throws any object he can get his hands on. But when he is at preschool his teachers tell me he is the most well behaved most helpful child they have?!?!?!?!?!? So he saves it all for when he gets home. He has his 4yr check up the first week of July and I fully intend to bring this up with his dr. I am hoping to find a therapist that will help me work with him in better parenting skills, and how to deal with his anger.
  7. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Something to add to your list - Go to your local library and look for the book, "The Manipulative Child". It may help in keeping that unwanted behavior from becoming a habit to manipulate you. It also will give you confidence to stay detached (try your best not to let your emotions get involved - that is a very common trap that our kids are good at drawing us into).

    Kids know that they can play our emotions in a way they can not play teachers and others outside the family.

    Somewhere along the line, he has decided that screaming is the fastest way of getting what he wants. You have a very difficult task of being consistent with him because of the two younger siblings. Many times it does seem easier to just give in to what he wants to keep the peace. My suggestion would be to as much as possible stop everything that is going on when he starts screaming and make that the focus of the moment. "You may not scream or hit! I have no idea what you want - I can not understand you! Please calm down and ask politely." Even if you know your answer will be no because supper is in 5 minutes, make him go through the process of asking. With the two younger ones, I know it will be difficult to give difficult child your undivided attention but do so as much as you can when he starts this behavior. You will be helping him to learn how to properly get what he wants. If he doesn't settle down in a few minutes then a time out in his room is in order. Tell him that when he feels angry and doesn't want to be polite than he should spend some time alone in his room until he is ready to be nice. Also thank him when he does ask properly.

    I don't like the ignoring advice for most situations. When you ignore, there is no chance of teaching. The child has not figured out that a different way is better. I like to sympathize with the child by letting him/her know that you understand he/she is upset but that they do have the ability of choosing how to behave.

    Same as with spankings - when you spank, it may send the message to STOP but it does not teach what the correct behavior should have been.

    Follow your mommy instinct. You feel that something is outside the boundaries of normal than you should have it checked out.