difficult child Behavior I Hate The Most

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I'm sure that my difficult child is not the only one who does this, but it drives me up the wall! difficult child wants to be treated a certain way. He wants love, respect, kindness, all of the things that a child needs, wants, and deserves. If he thinks you are being mean to him, or if easy child calls him a name (idiot is the one most often thrown around in our house, and it's usually difficult child who starts it) you would think that the world was going to end from the way that he carries on.

    But if you turn the tables around, and it's difficult child who is rude to someone, the rules of the game change completely. He does not have to treat anyone with kindess or respect. He can call easy child any name he wants and we should just be okay with that, but if easy child does it to him? Temper tamtrum mode!

    On occasions when he has done something to easy child, name calling for example, I have tried to tell him that if it were easy child doing it to him he would be having a fit about it and demanding apologies left and right. Why is it okay for him to do it to easy child and not have to say that he's sorry for it? His answer is always, "I would not care. He can call me names. It doesn't bother me." Really?

    How do you all handle things like this? Apparently, I need to new way to approach this because I'm not getting anywhere with this. I told him this morning that he wants respect from everyone, but respect needs to be earned. If he treats people with respect, they will respect him back. Maybe he's too young to understand that concept. I would bring it up to the therapist, but apparently he's too concerned with the whole "no one loves me" saga.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Bunny. Yes, hear you... difficult child-dom and a certain selfishness do seem to go hand in hand.
    I have to say that I don't think 12 is too young at all to understand the concept of "do as you would be done by"... I think much younger children can "get this". Of course, some adults also never grasp it, but that's another question.
    How do you get your boy to have some inkling that he would be happier and others would be happier if he behaved more co-operatively and reasonably? Well, I guess part of the problem is not that he necessarily wants or chooses to be rude but that he cannot control his impulses very well. So he blurts out the hurtful comment, the aggressive response, because he has not been able to control it. I think this has to become more conscious a process, perhaps, so that he is really "picked up" each time he makes one of these unskilful remarks and you work with him to redo the scene more appropriately. Easier said than done, believe me I know it... And change, if it comes, will come slowly.
    What you have to keep in mind is that your son is the biggest loser from his behaviour, and will be the biggest loser. He lacks social skills and social skills are really the foundation of success in life. Trying to look at ifrom the point of view of his being "handicapped" rather than deliberately obnoxious would probably help. But, I repeat, I understand how FHTI... which is an acronym I leave you to work out for yourself. :)
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Video. Seriously, can you video him reacting when someone calls him a name. I don't think he's lying when he says he wouldn't care. I think he believes that in the moment, or doesn't remember how he really does react, or maybe doesn't really understand in "normal" terms how his reaction actually comes off to other ppl. If you video and SHOW him. Look, you were upset, you were yelling, etc. THEN if he denies it go from there, but I have a feeling he'll come up with another explanation (similar to the reasons changing as to why you "don't love him")

    My friend's daughter had a similar thing with other kids being "mean" to her. They weren't. There were just other things that the other kids were better at, but this girl considered that as them being "mean" to her. I think she's finally stopped that, but it went on for years. Friend was constantly explaining to her that the other kids were NOT being "mean" but hey were just better than her at some things, just like she was MUCH better at other things. Was she being "mean" when she did things better? NO. Again, it took a few years for this girl to "get it". by the way the only valid diagnosis she has is anxiety. There's something else going on so investigating other dxes, but nothing seems to "fit".
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The two go together. Until difficult child can wrap his head around the whole empathy and perception concepts... he's not going to feel loved, and he's not going to show respect. From his perspective, he's been on the short end of the stick for SO many years that the whole world owes him, big time. Doesn't make it true... but until the perception changes, the behavior is totally predictable.

    Trying to fix the symptoms, usually only makes it worse. But its really hard to work through the process of getting to where you ALL need to be...
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree with Malika, and this is one of those cases where a page from Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) techniques can cross all disability areas.

    I feel that when they say, It doesn't bother me, some know it does but that is a defense, because in truth, they can't control it but they dont understand that, feel badly and cover up by acting tough---I dont care is used a lot around my home, and it is clear from when things settle down and a situation comes up where the things that he doesn't care about are desired....hmmmm all of a sudden he does care and it does bother him. Another thing is that in some cases it really doesn't bother them to a degree, depending on the situation and the kid.

    Two other past discussions hit home for me, we had a recent discussion on this board about Theory of Mind. This is not a they have it or they dont idea. It is that it is often an impairment to some degree (and also depending on their emotional state, physical state, neurologically integrated state...) where they really don't register the other person's perspective. They may have the cognitive ability to learn about it, but they may not really "get" it at the needed moments. It is super super frustrating to live with but it may be a true disability skill issue. There are methods to work on these things, social skills training that includes social stories, groups where they practice these skills in games and real life activities with other kids, etc. Again, there are many resources through Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) teaching/therapy resources since this topic hits this population really hard. Of course it is part of many disability areas, just really BIG in the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) world.

    I will share a PM I sent to another mom dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) because we are having a discussion about some issues with our kids. I will not reveal her issue, just my general thoughts about my home and my experience, of course take it for what it is worth in your world, and I would be happy to hear other perspectives, I think this is a huge life skill area for our kids that can make or break their reaching their potential in the future. I dont think it is helpless, or hopeless....just that it does require direct teaching of the skills to help them. Kind of like expecting a kid to do calculus and being frustrated with them for not doing well even before we teach addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, algegra....etc.......(and when they know parts of the process we can't expect them to just generalize it without direct teaching).

    Remember, I was talking to another mom of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids and really looking through those glasses, but I think for those kids who have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)-like traits and other issues that impair social abilities, it is very similar. (there is a wonderful dual certified teacher that long ago consulted for my son, she is like a crazy good teacher who ended up developing a program that is teaching through gentle approaches and strong advocacy in the districts she works in to get otehrs on board, she was the ONE person I ever saw mix EBD kids and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids together in a beautiful supportive program for all of them, there are commonalities, it just takes the right person, right perspective to help support them and I am not her for sure. I believe she now just does consult, seminars, administrative kinds of things--it is often the good ones that leave our kids!).

    This is a super question and I am willing to bet it hits a nerve for nearly all of us here. In each situation there are different causes and different abilities. But I would believe that most of them involve both the impulse control issue and the not being able to take another's persepctive/being very egocentric...both of which are in most of their full control. After the night I had last night, this is super relevant to my life. Thanks for bringing it up.
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    And then... Buddy makes some very valuable points, based on experience, but also it occurs to me that some of this is about "power". These kids really want power - mine is like that - and I do know that what is underneath the hunger for that is a sense of lack, of loss, of poverty of self, insecurity, anxiety, all that... But still it manifests as quite obnoxious behaviour sometimes that really seems to want to hurt, to upset, to rile... So as much as there is an inability to control impulse, there is also a not wanting to control the impulse. I do see this dynamic very much in play with my boy, and he is just nearing five... He has an almost uncanny maturity when it comes to asserting himself, never being the loser, never seeming to "lose face". He will insult, attack, do all of this if he feels he has been made to look small or weak. And underneath it all, of course, is a sense of smallness or weakness...
    So your boy perhaps - here is a bit of armchair psychology - really feels like the vulnerable person in your house. His brother is smaller and younger yet he "gets it", he has the social skills, the normality, he receives approval and love for that. Your boy perhaps feels mawkish, unloved, in comparison and uses the only weapons he feels he has at his disposal - unpleasant power games - to seem to be "top dog" and thereby cover up all his feelings of lack and vulnerability. I think, if your boy is anything like mine (and he probably is), that underneath all this tough guy stuff is actually a desperately sensitive and loving soul that does not know how to interact with his environment to get the love he so much wants.
    But you are on the ground... I am just doing a bit of intuitive guessing.
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This is a huge theme in Reactive Attachment Disorder books, therapy, etc. It is their way of surviving emotionally in a world where there is not as secure of a base as with other, typically developing children. Again, not OUR fault, it is the way things went down, the way they are now wired... I think this is a very real possibility for many and for mine it is a layer on the other issues.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not



    I hear ya! It frustrates the heck outta me, too!

    I have to describe it as a manifestation of the disability - I call it "difficult child Universe":

    difficult child lives in difficult child Universe. They are the center of difficult child Universe - and everything and everyone revolves around difficult child. Any time something/someone interacts with difficult child Universe in a positive way...then all is as it should be and the cosmos maintains its rightful order. But if someone/something defies the laws of difficult child Universe? The very fabric of the space/time continuum has been destroyed! And there will be no peace until the cosmos returns to its rightful and perfect order....

    That's how we describe it over here, anyway. It helps us deal a little better with difficult child's outbursts because it gives us perspective on how universe-shattering these relatively minor issues can be for her.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Not that you are necessarily dealing with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). There can be serious attachment problems that happen later (Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is first two years of life). And lack of attachment or even insecure attachment, can be a BIG problem if there are other problems in the kid's life...
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Daisy, that is almost exactly how I describe it too, only I call it difficult child World. I have said on more than one occasion that I would reall love to live in difficult child World because it must be great to expect everything to be your own way.

    I believe that what I'm dealing with is a manifestation of his feeling about where he stands in the family. With difficult child and easy child, it's not just the idea that difficult child can do what he wants and get away with it, it's the controlling and bullying behavior that difficult child exhibits towards easy child. I can understand why he feel that way sometimes. If I tell easy child to brush his teeth, easy child's response is, "Yes, mama," and he trots off to the bathroom to do as he was asked to do. If I tell difficult child to brush his teeth I get a temper tantrum that can last for quite a while, screaming about how he doesn't want to brush his teeth. So, he has to face consequences for his behavioral choices and to him it looks like easy child is more love, more wanted, more needed, when in reality if he would simply do as I asked him the first time, or if he would simply say, "Can I do it in five minutes?" he would not need to feel like easy child is loved more. Speak nicely with me and I will work with difficult child until the cows come home. Does that make sense? We've discussed this with the therapist, and he sees exactly what I'm saying, but getting difficult child to get it is a whole other issue.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    There's your clue!

    difficult child is 12. easy child is 7.

    At 7, kids are far more responsive than at 12.
    I went through literally dozens of parenting books, and found small tidbits here and there that were useful, even if the whole book wasn't...
    One great idea was this: (this is the original, for easy child kids... see notes below for difficult children...)

    ** Once kids get to be tweens, they are wanting some control, some responsibility, and some flexibility. Direct orders tend to be rebelled against. Try putting a time parameter into the request, or posing it as a question... "Johnny, please get your teeth brushed in the next 15 minutes", or "Johnny, what time do you plan to get your tooth-brushing done?"

    ** difficult child kids, of course, are notorious for making sure these tactics don't work either. But... sometimes they do, and its worth a try.

    For our difficult child... we started with the "15 minute" thing. Now, its day-parts (morning, afternoon, evening)... "Johnny, recycling needs to be collected, when do you plan to do it?"... I'll usually get "later"... "no, I need a plan... morning, afternoon, or evening..." and he will actually pick one. Half the time, it gets done. The other half, I give him a 15-min reminder toward the end of the time period (e.g. just before supper... recycling not done yet, you have 15 mins). THAT works about another 50%. So, I'm getting 75% compliance. The other 25%? usually there's something else going on that I need to get to the bottom of, before he's in any shape to be interacting on a normal level with the rest of the world.

    But try and get away from the kinds of direct orders that work for a 7 y/o. difficult child is 12. It wouldn't necessarily be working well with a easy child at 12! GFGism just makes it worse.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, but that's the point... that is why it is so (insert suitable adjective) hard with these kids... Your two sons are not actually on an equal footing; it is easy for your younger boy to comply dutifully; for your older boy, complying dutifully is just not, it seems, within his range of possibilities. It is not a skill he has. I don't know why, really, but that's how it seems to be with these differently wired children. I don't know how good the analogy is, but it is perhaps a bit like organising a race between a two-legged man and a one-legged one; when the one-legged chap loses, rather inevitably, he gets "consequences". So either you can treat the difficult child taking into account his disabilities and difficulties and have an easier time of it, or treat the two boys equally and get a whole lot of grief, stress and upset for all the family.
    Having said that, I personally find all of this blissfully easy in theory and sometimes excrutiatingly hard in practice. And I think it is probably MUCH easier when one just has one child.
  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    hate to tell you ladies...it is way more specific than that.... Dont you ALL know it is not about even your difficult child's??? It is all about MY difficult child!!!!! LOL!!!!

    Really though, I even tell school secretaries, if they would just get on board, it is all about my difficult child and the whole school system, city, state, USA would be fine if everyone understood this!:rofl:
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes - all of us outside difficult child Universe see this logic...

    but you may as well go outside and tell the sun it is time to set - it's just not gonna happen.

    Sadly, the only thing we've found that is the least bit successful (and by successful, I mean minor improvement) - is to sit down and try and negotiate logical rules. For example, no TV time until A, B, and C are done - does this seem fair to you, difficult child?

    And then, be prepared for many days when difficult child decides he is not interested in TV time, so therefore will refuse to do A, B, and C...
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Very similar here too. I love how you put your whole post. i can relate to every word. For my difficult child, we can rarely use a reward that is not in the near future. Things that he even says he wants desperately wear off as time goes on because he can't manage for that long.
  16. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We have done those things with him, and for difficult child it works really well. Being told, "There are two baskets of laundry that need to be folded. When would you like to do them" gives him a feeling of control over his time. And if he says to me, "Can I do it at" whatever time he suggests, as long as it works for both of us and he asked nicely, quietly, and politely, I have no problems with it.

    Today he is having a good morning. He was happy because we were baking and he says that his favorite thing to do it help me in the kitchen. Yesterday was just one of those mornings where he had no problem being rude to easy child, but had a cow when easy child was rude back to him.

    And I get the whole "it's all about difficult child" difficult child used to tell me that if I just gave him what he wanted he would not have to behave the way that he does. I think that it typical difficult child thinking.
  17. buddy

    buddy New Member

    My son says the same thing, if asked he will blame the consequence that happened after the behavior for his doing the behavior in the first place (if you would not take away my races -tv-, then I would not get so mad).

    Your description of your chore directions reminds me of a scool Q attended. It was the one thing I liked about the school. Each child had their school work listed on a page.... (incomplete example but...)

    math sheet
    reading sheet
    sensory table

    then they could do each one in the order they wanted. Another list was under the day's work that allowed them to pick the things that they liked a lot to do again once the top half of the list was done.

    of course there were other rewards and some things that were scheduled, but this was their daily way of tackeling work and the kids could pick the order of how they wanted to get the list completed.

    I should try that at home, actually writing it down and making sure some fun things are in there too. Thanks for the reminder.
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, Bunny, there's a coincidence... my son said that exact thing to me this afternoon...
  19. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    To get back to the opening thread - if we want to use collaborative problem solving we must not focus on behavior , kids don't like talking about behavior - we need to focus on the unmet need , concern or some problem - name calling is a solution to the problem , what is the problem, what are his concerns - get a good idea of his concerns and then work with him to get solutions

  20. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    in my humble opinion, I think that it's a control thing. He wants to contol easy child and I think he feels this need to control easy child because he feels that easy child is loved more than he is.