Contrary Kid

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Byrd, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. Byrd

    Byrd New Member

    I have always known that our third son was challenging. We have referred to him as "contrary," or "strong-willed," or a "spitfire." But today at the doctor's office, she called him ODD. It surprised me.

    I guess having taught for 10 years I always thought that I would see the difference between just difficult and abnormally difficult. But as I was struggling to keep my son in the exam room after having allowed the nurse to prick his finger, I wonder if I have just grown accustomed to the abnormality I call my life.

    My son throws fits...angry outbursts where he throws things, screams names at everyone, hits anyone close by, and absolutely refuses to comply with any kind of behavior management. This happens when he deems that he has been crossed. It happens about once every two to three days.

    Some times its worse than others. I remember trying to put him in a time out once and spending 45 minutes returning him to it until I finally gave up and swatted his bottom instead. It's always worse if you try to stop him. And even the threat of another swat won't stop him most of the time.

    This is not a new thing for him either. He has always been this way. When he was two I remember my father telling me that I was just not firm enough with him. But it's not a matter of being firm. And its not a matter of too little praise either. I always try to find things that my boys are doing well and praise them.

    I don't know. Part of me feels like knowing that this isn't normal makes it easier to understand. Part of me feels like knowing that this isn't normal makes it worse.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Welcome to the board. Your son sounds similar to how my oldest was as a toddler. You could have easily labeled him as ODD. But in his case, it's actually ADHD plus a ton of anxiety thrown in just to keep things interesting. His oppositional behavior comes as a response to a variety of environmental triggers: being told "no", being afraid of something, being out of his comfort zone, etc.

    My middle child was also difficult but in different ways. He would get "stuck" on wanting something -- as if his very life depended on getting this "thing", and any attempt to deny or otherwise keep him from obtaining this thing sent him into a nuclear meltdown. And his diagnosis is now bipolar disorder.

    So I wouldn't just accept an ODD diagnosis at face value. You'll want to dig a little deeper, and with a mental healthcare provider who is qualified to conduct a thorough evaluation and assessment -- a neuropsychologist is a good place to start. A pediatric psychiatrist will probably be your next visit after that.

    You're absolutely right that this has nothing to do with parenting skills. It's biological. The good news is that there is help for your child out there, and there is support for you, too. And that's what we're here for!

    When you get a chance, please create a signature for yourself (see the User CP link above) so that we know a little more about you.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Byrd, welcome.
    He sounds like my son! I had a rough day with-him today. He argued with-absolutely every single thing I said. I actually slammed on the brakes and pulled over at one point. Sigh.
    I know what you mean about accepting the abnormality and thinking it's rough, but not a diagnosis.
    But I agree with-gcvmom, that you need to have some testing done and uncover some rocks. ODD to me is an adjective, not a diagnosis.
    I put my son through psycho-educational testing and it helped a lot, to show me how far advanced he was in current events, poltics and sociology, (5 gr levels ahead) and how far behind in math (K level, when he was in 3rd gr). He was faking his way through school in a big way.
    It also explained how frustrated he was and part of the reason for his explosions.
    But not all the reasons.

    Frankly, exploding every 3 days isn't that bad (keep in mind that we're talking about an ODD kid, not a regular kid!!!) My son exploded several times a day when he was a toddler, and once we got things under control, it was 5 X a wk, then 3X a wk, then once a wk. It took months (maybe yrs). And he still explodes (today was one of those days, but at least I knew the reason. I posted about it on a football thread.)

    Everything with-these kids is exaggerated and magnified. Not to say that absolutely nothing is legit, just that they overreact to situations. Sometimes it's due to what's going on in their minds. Sometimes it's a food allergy that is making them cranky.Sometimes it's an Learning Disability (LD) that is making them frustrated. Sometimes they're overstimulated by fluorescent lights or loud noises.
    One thing I think most of our kids have in common is not being able to project the consequences of their behavior into the future. Or onto other people. Then they are either in total denial, or totally remorseful, and they don't "get" what happened.
    As you noted, you discipline and discipline and discipline and they just don't get it.

    So we've all learned different approaches.

    Can you give some examples of what happened immediately b4 your son threw his recent fits? Did someone turn off the TV? Tell him to come for dinner? Take away a video game? Decide not to go to the grocery store, or decide at the last min to go to the store?

    Is there a diff between how he behaves at school and at home?
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2009
  4. Byrd

    Byrd New Member

    Thank you for your responses. It feels so great to have others to talk with who might just understand a little more than my friends now do.

    I wanted to give an example of the daily trouble we have. This morning we were going to go to the free movie at the theater. DS2 was sitting on a chair in the living room making clicking noises with his tongue while my other two were getting ready. DS3* came into the room and started yelling at his brother to stop. DS2 didn't. DS3* made a fist, threatening him. DS2 screamed and kicked him. DS3* started to scream and "growl," then chased his brother down and hit him 4-5 times...all the while I'm trying to stop him.

    This happens a lot. But DS2 doesn't have to kick DS3* to get that reaction. DS2 might just be annoying his brother inadvertantly. He might accidentally brush against him. He might be sitting in his spot. He might be eating too loud. He might be breathing...

    The thing is, if DS3* feels like something bothered him and he can pin it on someone else, he'll hunt them down and pummel them. This happens on a daily basis. The meltdown stuff usually happens when I try to intervene to the point of forcing him into a timeout or swatting his bottom. If I do that, then he directs his anger at me. He calls me names, he threatens me, he yells, he throws things or knocks things over.

    Honestly, and I know it sounds horrible, it's almost easier to just keep his brothers from bugging him and never having to reprimand him. I just find that when I try to impose a consequence, the problem gets bigger. But then again, I don't want him to just get away with it. I feel like we're almost held hostage by his behavior.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist for an evaluation. I'm not in the mood to type that most of us here don't believe that ODD is a helpful or stand alone diagnosis. Something else usually goes along with it, and you really need a neuropsychologist evaluation to see what it may be (and at his age, you can get some really good early interventions).

    I think exploding every three days is A LOT. We all have our own perspective based on our Most kids don't explode at all. I would definitely start th evaluation wagon moving, and a pediatrician or the school district alone will probably not be of much help. Also, therapists often don't really get it. They tell us to do behavioral modification and most of our kids are wired differently and don't respond to typical behavioral therapy, such as charts, rewards, or time outs (some won't even go into time outs). Besides, he's not "bad"...he has something going on that makes him different, lower in frustration, more impulsive, etc. It's best to find out what. Does he have any speech or social delays or sensory issues? Any psychiatric problems on either side of your son's family tree? Substance abuse? These are all clues.

    The earlier you are pushed in the right direction, the better the prognosis and the sooner your life can get better. Welcome to the board :D
  6. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Welcome, Byrd!

    So sorry for all you're going through. My feeling is that ODD is a perfectly good way to describe symptoms, but it doesn't really get at the cause. ODD usually (if not always) is accompanied by other conditions -- you'll see a range of them on this board: ADHD, bipolar, autism spectrum, etc. Treating the underlying condition can help with the ODD behavior.

    Lots of parents here recommend a neuropsychologist. Another option is a child & adolescent psychiatrist. That's the route we went, and it has been helpful. We still have issues with difficult child, but we seem to have the physical aggression under control now. We went through a lot of horrible stuff when he was younger.

    People will always tell you to use rewards & punishment, but our kids just aren't wired that way. I went through dozens of different incentive programs before seeing the psychiatrist (child psychiatrist), who told me that they will likely never work for him. His brain chemistry is different.

    There's lots of good advice and emotional support here. And no one will blame your parenting skills for your child's issues.

  7. tiredsahm

    tiredsahm New Member

    My 9 yr.old daughter is likewise....she sees a pediatric psychologist (she has both ODD and ADHD) and pychiatrist. She takes Focalin for her ADHD, but the ODD is purely behavioral, and her therapist says I should not let her know that she is pushing my buttons. The key is to remain calm (which sometimes is just impossible; you can go crazy!) and be matter-of-factly. When you praise him, simply say good job, you must be proud of yourself. Make him feel good about himself.
    I take away privileges - tv, computer and playing DS sometimes for a whole week. The worst part for me? She is apathetic. Everything is I don't care!
    So I will have to let her fall on her face and make her learn the hard way. Needless to say, it is affecting her socially. It hurts of course to see your child hurt herself, but I think she is old enough to make choices.:sad-very:
  8. tiredsahm

    tiredsahm New Member

    My 9 yr.old daughter is likewise....she sees a pediatric psychologist (she has both ODD and ADHD) and pychiatrist. She takes Focalin for her ADHD, but the ODD is purely behavioral, and her therapist says I should not let her know that she is pushing my buttons. The key is to remain calm (which sometimes is just impossible; you can go crazy!) and be matter-of-factly. When you praise him, simply say good job, you must be proud of yourself. Make him feel good about himself.
    I take away privileges - tv, computer and playing DS sometimes for a whole week. The worst part for me? She is apathetic. Everything is I don't care!
    So I will have to let her fall on her face and make her learn the hard way. Needless to say, it is affecting her socially. It hurts of course to see your child hurt herself, but I think she is old enough to make choices.:sad-very:
  9. Byrd

    Byrd New Member

    I talked with my parents about it. My step-mom works with children all along the autism spectrum. My dad grew up in the 50s and believes that behavior is learned. Between the two of them, I've looked at a few things with regard to my DS3*.

    This behavior always happens when I am present. It has never happened (to my knowledge) when I am not there. It will happen with my husband, but only if I am there too. If it's just tantrums. This one bothers me the most. I am the common factor. What is it that I have taught him (or not taught him) that makes it ok to do this around me?

    DS3* directs his anger at the "perpetrator." He doesn't take it out on passive bystanders. If I intervene, I become a perpetrator and his anger is directed at me.

    The tantrums mainly happen at home and are almost always the result of an argument between DS3* and a sibling.

    Spanking and time-outs have NEVER worked. Not even as a toddler. DS3* will respond to the threat of a swat from husband, but it's only a deterrent.

    DS3* is very capable of behaving kindly and compassionately, but even with consistent rewards for good behavior he can't seem to keep himself from exploding sometimes.

    I'm calling a friend today who is a child/adolescent psychiatric to get a referral. The least we will do is evaluate and maybe learn some new techniques (although I feel like I've tried most of them).
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist. With all due respect to your parents, even being around kids or being an educator is not the same thing and their opinions won't help you if your child does not respond to typical behavioral therapies or deterrents. By the way, that's the norm for all of our many of our kids begin by misbehaving only for mom. It CAN and often DOES eventually spread to others. Remember, Dad isn't around as much and many kids can maintain better at school due to the structure of it. If you're thinking it's your parenting, in my opinion it probably isn't. He is the most comfortable toward you so he feels safe acting out on you, which doesn't help much.

    All I can advise is that if this was my child rather than going to a therapist, I'd do the neuropsychologist bit right away. This is a psychologist with extra training in the brain and in the opinion of many on this board they test the most and are best at pinpointing problems and deficits that can cause frustration and issues with our children. Most health care professionals do not do this intensive type of testing and many of us find it very useful.

    The 50's are over. I was born in 1953. The theories then have been proven invalid. When I was a kid, autism was thought to be a form of schizophrenia and caused by "refrigerator mothers." Obviously we've made a lot of progress.

    If you're interested, NeuroPsychs can be found at university and children's hospitals. Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I studied education back in the 70s when the attitude was swinging away from the beleif that learning problems were hereditary (or non-existent) and that environment played an important part. Environment was all, in fact. My sister adopted two children when each was over 6 months old. They each had a rough start but she was told that if she gave them a loving, consistent home that all the early problems would simply vanish away. Not true.

    It's not all genetic. It's not all environmental. We are all a mixture. Your father is under the influence of beliefs common in his generation. Be prepared for him to be hostile to the idea of any psychiatric/psychologist involvement, ebcause his generation also believes that it's all mumbo jumbo. My mother in law is a retired nurse whose atrtitude to mental health professions is very begative, because in her day it WAS a very inexact science, often very famaging. Not these days.

    It's late at night here, I can only put some comments together in brief. I'll post more when I have more time.

    But just quickly - you are the main focus of his raging and you wonder why - it's because you are his mother, he knows you love him and he feels safe with you. Life is difficult for him, it doesn't come as easy for him as it does for others and he gets angry and resentful very easily, and can't handle it. He can't let it go with everyone, but with you he feels safe. You will still love him.

    WHat to do - you've already had a neuropsychologist recommended. Go for it. The ODD diagnosis is simply descritpive and is the outward manifestation of something else going on inside. ODD isn't the cause of his explosive nature and lack of impulse control. Neither is it bad parenting - why are your other kids OK?

    But there are things you can do in the meantime, to begin to effect change NOW.

    If you've been reading your way around the site, you will have stumbled onto a commonly-recommended book, "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. You ask what techniques you can use to handle him - read the book. If you can't get your hands on a copy for a few days, then Google it. Read our discussions on the book on this site - go to Early Childhood forum and read the stickies there. If you van, make a special trip to the library if you can, and get a copy from them.
    There are also other books you wiull get recommended, I have read a lot of books too. Many boooks help me understand my kids better. But only this one gives me a roadmap back to sanity and a different (and effective at last) method of handling my problem child.

    It's not a cure, at all. But it has helped me finally see my way through, to have the resources and energy to at last fight my way through out of the woods. Instead of being lost in the dark and trapped in a tangle of brambles, suddenly the trees have parted and I'm walking through the woods but on a wide gravel path.

    Finally - this is also in the book, but I'm reinforcing this. You need to not try any discipline method that isn't working. Dump it. It's better to not attempt discipline, than to attempt it and fail to make it work. Choose your battles.

    And take notes. Write stuff down, keep a computer diary. Log everything. Try to go back in your memory and make notes.

    A lot of the raging etc is about his need to control what is happening to him and around him. With discipline, parents try to assert control. With kids like this, that's like a red rag to a bull. But often, we don't need to control our kids as much as we try to, there are areas where we can let the child have what he wants, because it's not a huge issue for us really. PPLus when we stop assering our own controls and let natural consequences do a lot of discipline for us, we are no longer the big bogeyman trying to contrl our child. To the child, out attempts to control can simply look like bullying, like we're bigger than them and we're just trying to prove that we're exerting this. So try to change your mindset form a position of "I must stay in control, I must be obviously in charge" towards a position of being his helper, his facilitator, instead. Again, the book helps.

    An example I often use regarding how to use natural consequences - your kid wants to run outside and play in the snow. You could stand at the door and say, "You are not to go outside without your coat!" An impulsive child will be too desperate to go out and play; the delay in putting on a coat is getting in the way of fun NOW. And you are also standing in the way. As a result, his response is likely to be oppositional - he doesn't want his coat, he's not cold, he can do without, get out of the way. And the more you try to insist, the more he will rage and the bigger his investment in insiting he doesn't need his coat.

    But if you don't make a big deal of it, if you just let him rush out - he will quickly feel the cold and once the cold is greater than the fun component, he will be back inside. Meanwhile if you have anticcipated, and are standing at the door ready to hand him his coat - you have what you wanted. He has what he needs, and he saw that YOU provided it. You didn't make a fuss about it so at no stage was it a "child vs parent" struggle. In fact, it was "child needed parental help and appreciated it" situation.

    Another option you could have tried - the child is rushing out into the snow. Instead of saying, "Not without your coat!" you could say, "Which coat do you want - the red one or the blue one?"
    The child has choice, has has not been "ordered around" but common sense is prevailing.

    It's a matter of keeping your eye on the further goal. This isn't always easy when the child's behaviour has us on the ropes and we have become purely reflexive, reactive only. To best handle a chhild like this we need to be proactive and to also constantly watch to lay groundwork. We try to avoid confrontation but in ways which are heading towards raging. However, when the child is calmer we work towards resolving problems and planning ahead for any issues we might anticipate. We teach when we can, we pull back when it's causing problems. But always we are worknig towards helping our child learn better ways.

    We need to get inside the kids' heads to do this, again the book helps there.

    These methods will also work for easy child kids. For kids you teach. For a wide range of situations. These methods also can make your life easier, not more difficult. They don't need to involve charts, stickers, etc (not unless you want to include them as part of a mutually-agreed reward scheme). You take what you can use and toss out the rest.

    And you can begin this any time you're ready. You don't need an expert to show you how. Of course, all expert advice is worth considering, they cna always add to the wisdom needed. But you need to recognise the wisdom and capability in yourself too (and also in your child - he doesn't want to be a bad kid, few kids do).

    You can do this yourself, at leats to make a start.

    It always comes doewn to us, and to the child, when we're trying to resolve behaviour issues and learning problems. experts can advise, they can suggest, they can even set up therapy. But we need to follow through and practice stuff ourselves too. And it's a team effort, always.

    Gotta go. Bedtime is way past.

    Help is here, so many of us can recognise our own families in your descriptions.

    Welcome. Stick around. Pick our brains, dump on us when you need to. I'll be back when I've caught up on sleep etc.

  12. Byrd

    Byrd New Member

    Thank you Marg for your thoughts. I appreciate them. It's funny, but the comment that others can see their own families in my descriptions makes the most impact. I guess we don't want to feel alone.

    With regard to the evaluation...I will definitely be taking difficult child to be tested. I see no problem with it and can only imagine that it will benefit us in the long run. After all, knowledge is power.

    Natural consequences. It's funny that you mention this. I have been a teacher for 10 years (and actually one that very often is given the challenging children because of my style). I have always used Love & Logic - the idea that every action has a consequence, either good or bad. I do this with my boys at home all the time. I give them choices..."Do you want bubbles in your bath or no bubbles?" "Do you want to go to bed now or in five minutes?"

    The problem arises when difficult child decides to attack someone. I don't have a choice I can give him because it is a safety issue. And the only natural consequence is to remove him from the room...which he hates! My dad suggested that when he does this, everyone else gets up and leaves (gives him a time-out without him moving).

    I do notice that when I inundate the boys with the point of silliness "Do you want to put your right sock on first or your left sock?" "Do you want to brush your hair first or your teeth?" They tend to behave better. They do get frustrated with all of my choices though. But I really do feel like I give them as many choices as possible and allow them to learn through natural consequences as long as it is not a safety issue. I have always done this well.

    Well, my exchange student just woke up and we need to get him some breakfast. He just arrived from Germany last night.

    Thanks again for the support and advice. Keep it coming.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Your mention of a safety issue reminded me of Marg's story about a time when an entire classroom was removed from a raging child. Can you repeat it, Marg? We had a discussion about whether it was more disruptive for the kids if the kid was dragged out, or if they all had to leave.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm grabbing a few minutes here, I justchecked in briefly. So bear with me.

    It happened to difficult child 3. He'd been given contradictory instructions by two different teachers. He was also not well known by the rest of the staff (he was only at this school one term).

    Class teacher gave difficult child 3 his Communication Book and told him to put it on his desk. Then he left. Next teacher called the class together and said, "We are all going to the school hall to watch a film (difficult child 3 gets anxious watching a new film). difficult child 3 said, "Class teacher said Ihave to put this book on his desk."
    New teacher said, "All the calss must now go to the hall. You are too late to put the book on the desk, you should have done it before."
    difficult child 3 went to the hall but increasingly agitated and by the time he got to the hall he was raging because the new teacher wouldn't listen to him or let him do what he had been asked to do. difficult child 3 began throwing chairs around in his raging. The principal was called and meanwhile the rest of the school were removed from the hall while they waited for difficult child 3 to calm down. I think the principal took the book from difficult child 3 and promised to put it on class teacher's desk for him. difficult child 3 was calmed down enough to be removed, the rest of the school went into the hall, difficult child 3 was in the principal's office getting debriefed. difficult child 3 was not punished - the class teacher understood that the conflicting instructions plus infexibility of new teacher were contributing factors, and difficult child 3 simply couldn't control his outburst when sufficiently enraged. Punishment wouldn't have achieved anything; difficult child 3 was already extremely contrite. I suspect thye gave him some chores to do, that was the level of punishment. Class teacher said to me, "I understand now why you say that Communication Book's location/movement should NEVER be the child's responsibility. The book is too important."

    I was pleased that the end problem was handled so compassionately, but annoyed that the new teacher allowed it to escalate. Class teacher said to me, "I wish I had been there, bnut I had to be in a meeting. If I had been tere I would simply have said to him, "Run back and put the book on my desk, then come to the hall.' I know I could have trusted him to do exactly what he was told."

    THis incident was a part factor in us removing him - we were happy with how class teacher was, and principal - but there were just too many other teachers who didn't have the understanding needed to avoid escalations, and every escalation was a step backwards in difficult child 3's progress and especially in trying to REDUCE his extreme anxiety. Perhaps because of this incident, we had a return to the nausea when attending school and we knew it would just be a matter of time before the daily vomitting began. But we didn't go away mad, not at all.

    If they had tried to physically remove difficult child 3 as an alternative, it would have been much messier. Someone would have been injured, it would have taken longer and there would have been a lot more paperwork to fill out. The other kids were only kept waiting for about five minutes. Being in a room on your own throwing a tantrum - the tantrum wears off much faster when you're deprived of an audience, it starts to feel very silly.

    Gotta run now! Off Occupational Therapist (OT) meet easy child 2/difficult child 2 and check out her florist for the wedding bouquets... see? They CAN grow up to be (sort of) normal...

  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Marg!
  16. Byrd

    Byrd New Member

    Thanks Marg.

    I talked with an adolescent psychiatric friend of mine who recommended a child psychiatrist to us. She also said that with all that I told her, the diagnosis fits...and that there is probably something else there as well (ADD, ADHD).

    I made an appointment for next week with the child psychiatric. And I have started making anecdotal notes about the days with difficult child. I'm amazed how much time I spend working through things with him. And I'm a bit excited about the possibility of finding new ways to help difficult child and alleviate this aspect of our lives. I guess it's a bit like a forget how nice it feels not to have one until you are suffering. I would love to just live in the joy of normalcy.

    difficult child started kinder today. He did great. Pretty anxious and there were a few moments that I thought he was going to blow, but he didn't. And he was excited about it this afternoon when I picked him up. I just hope that tomorrow morning goes as smoothly!:D
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Just checking your thread. I just posted a note about my son. Talk about contrary. Arrgh.
    I wish you the best.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome! It sure seems like you have a challenge. Like the others here, I find ODD to be a string of letters. Means about as much in regards to my kids as it does when it shows up in a bowl of alphabet soup.

    Each of my kids could at some point be diagnosed with ODD. My oldest, now out of high school and almost 18, has Aspergers. He was the poster child for ODD for a long time. Nothing the docs suggested in the way of behavior mod had any effect. Some worked for a couple of days, others not at all and some made things worse.

    My daughter had a 4th grade teacher and an 8th grade teacher who SWORE she had ODD. She is as easy child as easy child gets in most regards. What the teachers were having problems with were Absence Seizures. They just look like she is daydreaming or staring off blankly. She can miss up to half of all that is said when the medications are not right. Most of the 4th grade teacher's problem was that she was mean to the girls who were little and cute. EVERY girl in her class for several years was sent to a doctor of some kind for "ODD". Mostly the woman was very very sensitive about her weight and anyone little, cute and not heavy enough to waddle was a problem. I am not exaggerating. This woman became PRINCIPAL and the school had an absolute explosion of girls she insisted be treated for ODD. I am friends with the guidance counsellor at the school and it was horrifying. The woman even insisted that many of the kids be put on medicine when she was teh problem not the kids. The school district had a fit because by telling parents the kids had to have medications or they couldnt' come to school then the school had to pay for the medications and the doctor visits. ALL the medications, not just what was given at school. Multiply that by over 40 girls and well, the school was in danger of going bankrupt.

    My youngest is very different than the other two. Multiple allergies and severe sensory integration disorder, ODD only fits him if a smell, texture, or sound overwhelms him or something itches. Or he gets hot. He wears a thin down vest in the winter most days. He will wear a hat, but that is all. He wore shorts on Christmas last year. My parents are appalled, but he is comfortable and doesn't complain if he is cold.

    Anyway, from my kids you can see that ODD is just a range of symptoms that can be caused by most anything.

    GEt the testing. neuropsychologist are often recommended here. I love the developmental pediatrician we saw. Just remember that if your instincts tell you something is wrong then it is wrong. period. Don't take an expert or doctor's word about something you feel is wrong. YOU are the expert in your child. period.

    As for only blowing up around you, well, it is a really un-fun way to get a compliment, isn't it? Our kids KNOW that many people don't like them or the way they behave. They blow up and/or act out only with people they fully trust and feel safe with. In your son's case he only feels safe enough to let it all out if you are there. Not even if your husband is there. (It is not uncommon to have this happen or to have it flipflop) It is his way of showing you that he trusts you to help him learn to handle this and still love him. Kinda heartbreaking that our kids only trust us to love them unconditionally, isn't it?

    I am glad you found us and joined in!
  19. Byrd

    Byrd New Member

    Well, we've made it through the first few days of school. I told my husband that I feel a bit like a dragonslayer in the morning. With each new argument difficult child sends my direction, I deflect it with a choice or a smile. So far, it's working ok.

    But boy is it exhausting! And a bit nervewracking. I'm always waiting for the big blowup. I have two other boys to get ready and to school on time. This one is the wild card and he can throw it all off. This morning he was challenging enough that the other two were going to be late, so I sent them walking to school while I helped difficult child to get ready.

    I am actually starting to look forward to the meeting with the dr. Just for some more insight into strategies to try.

    I have been working really hard on giving difficult child either/or choices and that seems to help. I've always done that, but sometimes I slack on it. So I'm just making sure that I meet every obstinant gesture with a choice. He still blows up about three times a day, but I feel like we're avoiding a lot more.

    I think difficult child may feel safest with me because husband is a bit tougher (like most dads are). Also, husband was away from us for work for almost 18 months of his early life (from 18 mo to 3 years). Not only that, but I have been home with difficult child for the past two years...primary care giver and all. You're right, it is a rough compliment to take, but I guess I'll take it.:mad:
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I feel a bit like a dragonslayer in the morning.

    I like the imagery!

    I'm always waiting for the big blowup. I have two other boys to get ready and to school on time. This one is the wild card and he can throw it all off. This morning he was challenging enough that the other two were going to be late, so I sent them walking to school while I helped difficult child to get ready.

    Great idea. Divide and conquer.

    I am actually starting to look forward to the meeting with the dr. Just for some more insight into strategies to try.

    I'm just making sure that I meet every obstinant gesture with a choice.

    Gosh, you're way more patient than I am! Good for you.

    He still blows up about three times a day, but I feel like we're avoiding a lot more.

    Sigh. Yeah, 3X a day ... we're down to really big blowups about once a mo. It's going to peak though, now that school is starting.
    I don't know how you do it.