daughter-12 raging, destructive behavior ... help!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by myfirstandlast, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. He says the reason he is doing it, is because I took away the mid-week visit to Grandma's house. But the major problems did not start until last night and this morning, and I told the kids about not going to Grandma's during the week back on Tuesday.

    Last night he wouldn't get off the Wii until more than a half hour after his time was up and he was told several times. He just kept saying he wasn't at a "save spot" ... I told him it didn't matter, his time was up. Finally I went down and turned off the TV. He stormed to his room.

    This morning, he got on the computer early and when I told daughter-10 she could get on, as she doesn't usually get morning computer, he blew up again. He threw all of his books and some other stuff from his room on his floor. At some point, he had encopresis. I told him he had to clean up his things, or I would box them up and give them away. I had just cleaned his room completely, very recently. I said, after that, you need to take a shower. He smelled very bad.

    He fought and argued, but did pick up the books (very valuable to him) and not the other stuff. I tried to talk to him, and he raged at me. I walked away to cool off. He barricaded his door with his mattress and some other stuff. I was able to get through and put things back, and told him he needed to shower. I went out and he barricaded it again, with more stuff this time. I had to leave to take daughter-14 somewhere, so I left him with his stepdad. He never came out of his room.

    I told him he was going to lose his door for the second offense; I'll just take it off the hinges. We finally unblocked the door. It took another hour to get him into the shower after that. When he finally came out of the bathroom, there was shampoo and toothpaste and water EVERYWHERE ... on the walls, the mirror, allowed it to run down the drain, wet toilet paper in the sink, who knows if the drain is clogged full of it.

    Don't know what to do. He says he's on a hunger strike until I give back the midweek visit. He says he will continue to do things to make me mad until I kick him out of the house. He is very, very stubborn. He put his hands on me last night, and I growled at him to NEVER, EVER lay a hand on me. He backed down, but he came at me again today. Didn't touch me, but screamed at the top of his lungs, stomped, etc.


    What's up with the midweek thing, you're probably wondering. His father had a midweek visit as well as every other weekend. His father's mother ALWAYS picked him up from school and took him to their house; dad wasn't even always there for HIS parenting time. Grandma and me have a long and painful history ... stuff I will only share in private ... she has done horrible, hurtful things to me. Now she thinks that I am ending midweek visits to hurt her, and I'm not ... I'm doing what I believe is in my kids' best interests. Their father passed away in September. I didn't change "his" parenting time schedule until now ... trying to keep some consistency in the kids' routines. They had quit almost all of their extra-curriculars when he died. Grandma was a link to their dad. But I'm feeling now, it's too much of a reminder that he's gone, besides being inconvenient (she won't even provide transportation back to my house) and the kids are now involved in MANY after-school activities, meetings, appointments, games, etc. to where scheduling anything is a nightmare. I wasn't planning to take away the every-other weekend visit ... just trying to smooth out a stressful and hectic schedule.

    Now what? He's determined to do everything he can to make me mad or annoy me until I send him to live with his Grandma. Hubby is trying hard to be patient but he's at wit's end and wants to ground him for eternity at this point. I'm just not very far behind him ... haven't dealt with raging since early '05 when we were going through a lot of other changes. I have the book "The Explosive Child" and I'm trying to catch a few paragraphs here and there as a refresher. We have company coming today of all days, no I can't reschedule ... they are coming from four hours away and they're 1/2 hour from here. All my husband's family. *sigh*
  2. Lostparent

    Lostparent New Member

    Has your son recieved any grief counseling?This my help if he is acting up because of the sudden reality that if dad is gone.It can't be easy for any child to go through.I wish you luck and remember that you and your husband have to remain a team in front of him even if you disagree.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Ok, Just shooting from the hip here and I'm sort of out of time because I've got difficult child 2 home with a sore throat and the other buggers will be home from school shortly.

    1. seems like you're "going tentative" with him. What I mean is that you gave him 1/2 hr. past time on the WII.

    2. you've threatened to box up all of his stuff and give it away

    3. you'll take the door off the hinges

    4. you're trying to engage him during a rage


    1. try to spell things out. "15, then 10, then 5 then 2 minute warning" when it's almost time to turn off the tv, stereo, computer, video game, etc. There's ALWAYS a save point within 15 mins.

    2. don't make idle threats. YOU have to live up to what you're proclaiming when you let him know consequenses.

    3. is he calm now? If so, you need to be sure that HE knows that if he EVER resorts to physical violence again, he will officially be considered a danger to himself and others and he will be taken by ambulence to the ER with a possible psychiatric hold put on him. Then do it. It doesn't matter whether company is going to be there in 2 mins. He touches you, he's going to be reported to the authorities. DON'T EVER TOLERATE PHYSICAL VIOLENCE BUT DON'T TELL HIM YOU'LL DO THIS AND NOT FOLLOW THROUGH!!!

    4. since grandma mid-week visits are no longer convenient you need to sit quietly with him alone and explain why this isn't currently working out (appts, clubs, etc.). Basket B "how can we work this out so that we're both a little bit happy".

    5. is he in counseling? If so, you need to let the therapist know that this is going on.

    6. can't remember your signature - is he on medications? If so, talk to his psychiatrist. I don't know much about medications, but some can cause different side effects.

    7. when he's starting to rage, don't engage him. Walk away, hum in your brain, flat monotone responses.

    My one aspie (difficult child 1) has a hair trigger and most of the above work with him. I cannot speak with any type of authority, as I feel I'm shooting from the hip 99% of the time, but maybe some of these can help.


    Let us know how it goes!


  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion this young man needs a lot of help. First of all, his father committed suicide (which is not only devastating to kids, but a red flag for bipolar disorder--not saying he has it, but it's a red flag). How long has it been since he passed away? The kids probably loved him, even if he was abusive--that's how most kids are. I'd have your son re-evaluated to see if things look the same as they did before. If he is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), he would have a lot of trouble with routine changes, including switching from playing the Wii to not playing the Wii. I have a spectrum son.
    It sounds like YOU are under a lot of stress too. Maybe, while son is being re-evaluated, you can get some family counseling. It seems that maybe your son wants to see grandma as a connection to his father. I think it would be a good idea to get very involved in some sort of therapy that your Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) son can relate to (I know that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids have trouble sometimes with conventional therapy).
    You've all been through so much and in my opinion your family needs outside help so you can hand it to an impartial outsider.
    Good luck.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Well, obviously DS was not ready for these visits to end. I think it is worth revisiting the decision. At least having another conversation with him that helps him understand it.
  6. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi and welcome!

    First off, I cannot agree strongly enough with Beth re: physical violence. It was a huge issue in our home and ... well, quite frankly, you all deserve to be safe. He's had his one mistake. Future violence or threats of violence will result in 911 being called and transport to ER for psychiatric evaluation, period. I always worry when a kid crosses that line the first time because, in our experience at least, it became much easier for him to cross the line again.

    Scheduling is rough. It really doesn't sound to me that you're cutting Grandma out to cut her out but because life has gone on and the kids are involved in other things. I'm sure you've explained this to him but based on my extremely limited knowledge of High-Functioning Autism (HFA)/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), perhaps this change in routine is something he's having a hard time getting a grasp on... can you lay it out for him in concrete terms? Make a chart to show how you have to be here now, there then, driving time, plus dinner, baths, homework, etc? Just a wild suggestion but I'm wondering if something really concrete and visual might help him understand the issue? Another thought would be to see if Grandma will drive one way (or have your son ask her, self-advocacy?)?

    I think I'd probably ignore requests to live with G-ma. Was going to suggest gently reinforcing that that isn't and never will be an option, but on second thought, for some kids that would be throwing down the gauntlet - "let me show *you*, Mom". Probably best to just ignore. :wink:

    Generally I've always tried to follow logical consequences - you make a mess, you clean it up. *But*... I suspect making him clean the bathroom would have just been more fuel for his fire, and if it had (when it has) happened in my home, I would've just bit my tongue and cleaned it up. I have been known to dispense single servings of shampoo and toothpaste.

    Hang in there!
  7. Star*

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

    Hi there & Welcome -

    You know I was lurking - and felt so strongly about what I am going to say to you I stopped going to dinner until i finish this.

    You make too many threats. It's confusing to your son. Every time you make a threat, you loose 2 steps backwards with these kids.

    I have your sons clone - encopretic, beligerant, destructive, hateful, threatening, physically violent (ONCE).

    I am an overcomer of domestic violence. I did not have a good relationship with my xmil. She babied her son (my x). Eventually her kids killed her. My DF hung on for the ride - but barely and it nearly destroyed us. I don't have other children, but have 2 huge dogs that had PTSD from difficult child's behavior.

    My son is now 17 and living in a group home.

    If I were to go back over your post - the first thing I come to is the mattress deal. The next time he blocks his door from you - take the dang thing out in the garage and let him sleep on the box springs - if he puts that up - take that out too and let him sleep on the floor.

    If he throws things after you have cleaned (and while I don't recommend YOU clean his room I get the idea that either you clean it or go crazy) and they are on the floor - he has choices - either pick them up within X amount of minutes or PACK THEM UP.

    If he does something and you say "We're taking your door" TAKE IT - NOT next time - put it with the mattress and box springs - and if he doesn't earn them back by X date - donate his junk. Sleeping on the floor never killed anyone.

    Then you have the argument about the Wii- NO maam - that dang thing would be put up with the books - he could EARN time on it with good behavior - but to just keep letting HIM control your house and make excuses - OH I am not at a place where I can stop - BOLONGA - pulling the plug was good - but there should not need to be a I pull the plug and he stomps off routine - YOU SAY IT - you give a time limit - and THAT IS IT. THese kids have very black and white thinking - and can't be parented with normal parenting skills - you are going to have to become WARRIOR MOM.

    And the thing in the bathroom ? HUH- yeah I'll tell you what - HIS BUTT wouldn't have left that room until it was ALL wiped up and clean for someone else to use. I guess you could have gone and gotten his mattress and blocked the door until it was done - but why? You are the parent - you said it - he needs to do it. And knock off all this horse apples about I'm going to do this and that to make you angry.

    WOW what an amateur manipulator - and THAT is a good thing because it means YOU still have time to ONE UP him - if you can get tough about your parenting with him. OTHERWISE you may as well write WELCOME across your chest and wait for him to wipe his feet on you.

    As far as taking away the weekend - NO EARNING THAT BACK - you said it- IT IS DONE and he has WHOM to thank for that? HIMSELF.
    DO NOT GIVE IN. THese kids like to win - and if you back down - for whatever reason - HE Wins and you are back to parenting without a spine. HE will eat you alive.

    I'm not saying go militant parent on him, but you have to establish house rules, and post them for all to see, and next to that consequences - and then type it out in duplicate - and he signs it - gets a copy and YOU sign it. He'll spend more time trying to find a loophole in your rules than you can think about.

    Now to address the hitting issue: I guess I would say - if you want him to think it's okay to hit - lets say a cop, his girlfriends, your daughters - people at school - then fine - don't do anything serious about his hitting you. BIG BIG NO NO. You tell him - IF YOU THREATEN or ATTEMPT to be PHYSICAL WITH ME _ I will call the police - and THEN DO IT. It sends a definite message that if you do A - B will happen and Momma ain't kidding.

    No more, no more. You can also include on your list of rules and consequences PULLING A FULL RILEY - this is where you take EVERYTHING out of his room because he is so destructive and box it up and he can earn one thing at a time back.

    So you have to get creative - short term punishments in consistant doses DOES WORK but it takes years. And as far as the encopresis? Don't make a big deal about it -make HIM wash out his poopy drawers outside away from the house in a bucket and then rinse and bring them in to wash. Mine never got tired of washing his poopy underwear outside - but at least I didn't have to try to do it myself in the house and GAG DF. There should also be a consequence for hiding poopy drawers as well. And whenyou find them in spades - OUT he goes to the poop wash bucket with gloves, soap (in a minature bottle) and a hose and I don't give a dang HOW cold it is - out you go. No one wants to smell that. ANd get some 20 mule team borax to wash the poopy stuff in - it helps with the odor.

    You have a right to be the parent - you have a right to be safe in your own home. You have a right to tell this kid that if he does A, B will most assuredly happen and follow through with it.
    You both have a right to talk to a therapist for help because after 14 years of battling this - I'm worn out and the only thing that helped was our family therapist. It helped DF understand me, my son - our past life - it helped everyone to stop feeling sorry for themselves and playing the role of victim - (which your son is trying to do now) it helped with loss, daily grief, and it helped me to be able to still have a good man like DF in my life because there is no such thing as a lesser man when it comes to difficult child - he's only doing the best he can - just like you - but if you all really want to do the best you can seek a good therapist.

    You won't regret it - This is going to be a battle through his teens, and for some into their 20's and 30's - you are going to need all the insight and help you can get. Take care of yourself, and my best heartfelt advice - don't let this child run you - take back the control and take a huge helping of hugs from me and everyone here - it's a long battle and not for the weak - we're very special to be chosen as parents of these kids - because we're tough - just don't let him wear you down.

    Many, many hugs - We're here for you !

  8. Ah, finally got logged back in. :)

    He is in group grief counseling. He enjoys it (he's always *hated* counseling) and is participating and looks forward to it. His little sister attends as well, and likes it too.

    He calmed down when company got here, and has been fine since. I sat him down after they left to discuss how we could have handled our disagreement better. After having time to consider each others' opinions, we found an option (Basket B) that suited us both. He's been fine since.

    I think the explosion had to do with an unexpected change in his schedule that he had no say in. Recipe for disaster.

    I *am* firm about consequences (the books WOULD have gone to Goodwill had he not picked them up by the deadline) and he is aware of this. I have to be careful what I say I'll do, because rather than motivate him, the loss of certain privileges such as computer makes him so moody and depressed and angry that it isn't worth it. There is never an improvement in attitude or behavior with that type of punishment.

    He is also very aware that I will call 911 and have him held if he hits me. We had this talk ... he's tried to pull the "I'll call 911" trick on ME before. Usually about things like me not making a dinner choice that he likes (that means I'm starving him) or something minor. He's actually been WAY better—more in control, more happy at home, more loving—since his father's death. He had a real *loyalty* thing with his dad, and was always cold and indifferent to me, ever since the divorce. We've grown much closer in the past few months.

    We are still working on the encopresis. He has seen a pediatric gastroenterologist, and takes 2 T of mineral oil each night. He is still balking at any diet changes; he's a very picky eater.

    Last time we were at daughter-14's psychiatric, in the waiting room was a low-functioning autistic boy. He was well behaved in the beginning, but as his wait time increased, he started to lose control, and eventually had to be subdued. I later told hubby, "You have to realize THAT is what we are dealing with, but on the other end of the spectrum. You can't treat him like he's simply disobeying ... there's more to it than that. It's like punishing someone for being short. You can help me by learning more about the autism spectrum and how to avoid those kind of meltdowns."

    Sometimes he is outright defiant. But most of the time, he is simply hyperfocused on what he's doing. Taking away his DS would trigger an event, as would closing a book he's reading. He has some odd compulsion to finish a level, or a page, before he can put something down. This has been going on forever. There is no recognition of "NOW" ... he always has to get to a point where he can stop. It really doesn't seem like defiant behavior. If I had a nickel for every time I've heard "just a minute" or "I'm hurrying" or "let me finish this one page/level" ... and if you LET him, he is fine. Content. If you take the book or the game, he blows.

    Thanks for letting me vent ... it sure was a long weekend.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I totally understand the Spectrum Kid and the need to finish. I have a son like that. It's not defiance--it's part of the disorder. These kids are very hard to discipline because they react to and think so differently than "typical" kids. They don't express themselves well either and it's really hard to communicate with them. You have my empathy.
  10. "It's not defiance--it's part of the disorder."

    OMG would you please tell my husband this!? LOL
  11. RobinD

    RobinD New Member

    He sounds like he wan'Tourette's Syndrome complete control of things! It is hard to get these kids to do what the are suppose to do. Boy the are good at manipulating the situation as well. And can tire you out so easily, let alone stress you out!

    I hope things will get better!

    Robin from Wisconsin
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I'm so glad he settled down. I love basket b. If it wasn't for basket b, I'd "b" a basket case!!! Ok, it's a stretch, but it's a joke!

  13. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    A few things here:

    I agree that one cannot threaten but not follow thru - that's a set-up for disaster in two ways - you feel (are) powerless and helpless, and it teaches kids that you're all talk - so they learn nothing.

    My son's issues sound similar, in that the explosive temper seems out of proportion to the issue at hand. At 12, your son is plenty old enough NOT to have several warnings before turning off the Wii, or whatever the particular issue is at the time. Tell him once and be done. That said, I, too have problems in that I want to avoid a conflict. Time will tell in this house, today!

    When my son locked himself in his room recently, I decided to take back my house - I gave him 5 minutes to open up, then we broke down the door. No negotiating. It came off the hinges and is in the garage. I gave him 15 minutes to clean it up. No negotiating. We did ourselves and packed everything away.

    My philosophy is to be firm, consistent, and take action. Not that I can always accomplish this... :)
  14. Star*

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

    How are you today?

    Did you let him go to your xmils?

    Hope things are better today.
  15. Today is good. He was on the computer for too long, and claimed he didn't hear me say to get off, so he has some extra chores to do today.

    That is one learned thing: if I take away computer, I get nothing accomplished. If I make him "pay" for his extra time with extra chores, I win!! LOL

    We sat and talked about what was upsetting him about not going to his grandma's every Wednesday. His point of view is: NO change. He doesn't like routine changes, at all. My point of view is: three kids, growing up, tons of after-school activities, and I'd like ONE night a week that I can come home from work and not leave again! Without any fuss, we agreed that on Fridays, he can be picked up from his after-school activity by grandma, and she can either bring him home that night, or I'll pick him up after work, so there is no extra trip for me. Win-win. Giving him a say in any changes ALWAYS works better. I should have known there would be a backlash, but some things I learned about grandma made me want her to just disappear. :/

    I wrote her a long and pretty harsh letter, and I'm bringing it to my IC appointment this week. I bet at least 75% of it should be thrown out, but it was good to get it off my chest.

    We have grief counseling groups tonight. I talked with each child separately, and we are going to continue until at least the anniversary of his death, which was in early September. Then we'll decide whether we need to continue through the fall or longer.
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It is a good thing that you are all in grief counselling, but you also need some other counselling for your son. And family counselling with someone who understands the disorders you are dealing with. I know it is really tough to fit this in.

    I am sending a PM with some things I don't want to openly post.

  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Tried to send PM but it won't go through. Sorry.
  18. I didn't realize I had to enable PMs. Done. :)
  19. I think one of our issues might be that we don't medicate on weekends. I don't see the difference, but one day last week he forgot his Daytrana patch, and his step-sis said he was WAY more hyper and annoying to others on the bus.

    He really hates IC. I've tried several different counselors. He is smart, very smart. At one point when he was younger, I was literally carrying him in to sessions. Ain't happening any more. This is the first bad outburst we've seen in many months, if not a year. He struggled with school at the beginning of the year, right after the loss of his father, but he has pulled himself back up to all A's and B's for the second quarter.

    As I've mentioned somewhere else, he is more loving and helpful and just plain open since his dad died. He'd been very cold to me previous to that. Dad was against IC. Maybe if we approach it the right way, he'll be interested.

    He is almost completely mainstreamed in school, with the exception that his IEP puts him into a study skills class reserved for failing students. He has only had ONE discipline action in school, as young as 3 he's always been a joy to his teachers. His misbehavior seems to always revolve around me. Grandma lets him do as he pleases.
  20. Susibell2

    Susibell2 New Member

    This is my first time on here but I just had to post. This sounds so much like my 16 yr old son!! The always saying he just has to finish the level etc. He had bought a new video game fo rhis computer and when was told his time was up totally freaked to the point of crying hysterically. Needless to say he isn't allowed to play that game anymore. He insisted he had to beat the game. Thing is it isn't that way with all games.
    My son also lost his father (my ex) it was 3 yrs ago. My ex was abusive to all of us and would bad mouth me and my husband all the time.
    One difference is Jacob's problems all stem from a traumatic brain injury from a car accident when he waqs 5 months old. He's also been diagnosis'd with ADHD, Impulsivity disorder and conduct disorder.
    I'm afraid if I call the police when he gets violent they won't know how to handle it because of his brain injury. I had him evalulated at our local mental health center before and they basically told me he needs help but no one there specializes in head injuries and wouldn't know how to handle it!!!