difficult child has NO shame

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mstang67chic, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    And it's disgusting. I've kept my mouth shut and had husband deal with this issue but it hasn't taken so apparently I'm going to have to say something to difficult child. I've avoided it because I thought it would embarass him but looks like he needs it.

    Yes, he's a teen age boy and yes, they do this particular thing. A lot. But if he's going to do it, I would REALLY appreciate it if he SHUT. HIS. DOOR. His room is right off the living room and his bed is in direct view of the door way. Yes, he does it under covers but still. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

    I don't really need to see this. If embarassing him (unintentionally) doesn't do the trick, any suggestions? It's not happening all the time but enough and honestly, it shouldn't even have become an issue.
  2. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    At 18, I would consider this major disrespect and acting out. Of course he can close his door. I don't think this deserves a quiet, adult discussion - I think I would make it a cast-iron rule that all 'private' activities MUST be precisely that. Consequences? What would really hit home? Make it major and painful so that one test of your resolve is enough for him to decide not to do it anymore.

    My $0.02, not worth the paper it's written on!
  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Go over and shut the door! Hopefully this will be enough embarrassment and the point will be made.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I disagree that it's disrespect. At 18 most young adults would be horrified to let their parents see this. I feel it's a red flag that his particular kid just doesn't "get it." Has he always had such poor social skills and such an inability to follow social norms? Frankly, I think it's a lot more than just being disrespectful. I find it an indication that there is much wrong with this young man and that he needs help beyond what he is currently getting.
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Honestly, I think he will (embarassed or not) laugh and say "that's what guys do" when I bring it up. He may surprise me and not do it, but that's my guess.

    His social skills have always been below where they should be. Always. If someone new comes to the house, he's right there telling them his life story and showing every single thing in his room. Once he was with us for a few years, I really started wondering if there wasn't more going on than what we had been told from the docs. I've tried for years to have more testing done, brought up things I'd noticed, etc. Nothing happened. Personally, I think he's on the spectrum somewhere. High functioning but there nonetheless.

    With his age now though (18) and his complete unwillingness to do anything to help himself, I don't know what husband and I would be able to accomplish. Yes, we could probably fairly easily take him to court and get guardianship. Would it help? No. Even if we did that and, for example, got him into a group home....he wouldn't cooperate. Or if he did, it would be for show because he is the master of saying all the right things. That is assuming that we would be able to get him to step one foot into a group home, much less live there. (or wherever...just an example)

    Other things are off too. You know how typical teen's get all upset and "whatEVER" when you ask them to do something they don't want to do? He's like that literaly ALL THE TIME. I can't even explain something to him (why he can't do something or why he should be doing this or that) without getting that almost as soon as I open my mouth. It's typical teen to the nth power. It's his way or he does nothing. Period and there's no talking to him. (Even something like, he needs to take the trash out on a different day than normal because of a holiday. You would no sooner say "the trash needs taken out tonight be....." and he's off. )

    I can't stand to live with him anymore but until we get some sort of insurance in place for him to be out, he can't leave. There's no way he would be able to stay on his medications otherwise as they are $1000/month without insurance. But....he's not so bad that I can convince others there's something else there, and not so good that he can (or will) be able to live completely independently.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My closest friend has an Aspie son who is 30. He was diagnosed at 21. Sadly, it's only been 10 years since Aspergers/Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified have been acknowleged. Before that it was called "severe" ADHD. Her son also will not help himself. He is doing ok. He has an IQ of 160, but is on Disabililty. He flew to Chile to meet and marry his wife. They came back to the US and moved into low income housing, but at least they are still together. Her son was always overly friendly, but socially inappropriate and never felt like he had friends so he had s few serious meltdowns. He was misdiagnosed with bipolar and was on medications for years until he quit. He is a brilliant young man and a wonderful person. Although he has trouble holding jobs, he has been a missionary abroad. It's sad that they knew nothing about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) except the very worse such a short time ago---so many people lost out. I wish you and him well.
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well.........geesh. Not sure what to say, except insist that the doors on his room be shut any time he is in there. Model to him that is what people do, i.e. you and husband. Doors are boundaries, and here is how we use them. Sounds remedial, but some of these kids really are only emotionally 2/3rd of their chronological age.

    in my opinion I would not stress out that he is being "disrespectful", but I would feel more that he is just not getting any social ques that would signal to him that this is not OK. He is caught up in his own little world, obviously fantasy world, and unaware that anyone else may be offended.

    As far as his complete opposition, all of the time. Sigh. Isn't that the definition of a difficult child? I know, groan.

    Have his medications been evaluated lately?

  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    I hate it when they get old enough to figure out it won't really fall off!!!
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well if he really wont keep the door shut and you can visibly see him from the living room couch....how bout keeping a really strong super soaker water gun loaded up and take aim? LOL. Maybe a few times of getting interrupted by a cold blast of water would cause him to make sure the door was shut.

    Cory used to have this problem when he was in his early teens but stopped when we started telling everyone we could find about his habits. It embarrassed him too much. Hey...maybe put up flyers on the front porch advertising the next show!
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Does sound like more going on than just being nasty...tho I do think its dair to point out to him that not closing his door is disrespectful - repeatedly...

    How does he handle other sexual topics? Not suggesting it, just trying to get a feel for where he is, but how would he handle you talking about your sex life? Would it be matter of fact for him, or would he die?
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    mstang, you said, "Honestly, I think he will (embarassed or not) laugh and say "that's what guys do" when I bring it up. He may surprise me and not do it, but that's my guess."

    The thing is, you should step up and say what needs to be said. Do it with humour as well, don't just go in guns blazing expressing disgust.

    He COULD be doing this deliberately to be confronting, or he could just be simply a thoughtless kid. It really makes no difference, because YOU can horrify him, far more than he can hope to horrify you.

    You have so much more ammunition than you realise.

    1) You are an adult.

    2) You are a parent figure.

    3) You are female.

    All of these can be used to thoroughly embarrass him. Do not fear for his fragile little ego, or worry you are going to give him hang-ups - frankly, he NEEDS a few more hang-ups! So go for broke.

    First, if you go over to shut the door, do make sure you talk to him as well, making eye contact, BEFORE you shut the door. Say something like, "If you absolutely MUST 'relieve your inner tension', then do it discreetly. If you were sharing an apartment with someone they would give you heaps for being so obvious."

    If THAT doesn't embarrass him enough, then the next time you say, "In this house, we perform sexual acts, solo or as a couple, in private. Mind you, if you would like that to change then I will let your father know that it is OK by you if we leave our door open from now on when we're having sex. And I'll not worry any more about keeping my voice down."

    Each time, you up the ante, making it clear that:

    1) You and your husband are sexually active and enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sex life.

    2) This is YOUR house, YOU set the rules. Respect must be shown to all housemates.

    3) Privacy is best, regardless of where you live.

    "Shaking hands with the unemployed" is best done in private because it's an important habit to get into. I posted a few months ago about my oddball cleaning man, who difficult child 1 witnessed being arrested on a city train - he had been "spanking the monkey" while riding the train home, thinking it was an empty train carriage and totally not seeing the signs warning of closed circuit television. At least, I HOPE it was an empty train... my cleaner is definitely difficult child, bipolar.

    Whatever you do, do not show disgust, do not show horror. The most effective way to shut this down is to use humour. Collect things you can say to him.

    "That reminds me; I must buy more toothpicks."

    "Put it away, little boy, it's too small to be out."

    "Put it away before it catches cold."

    "I can give you some depilatory cream - for the hairs on the palms of your hands."

    "Doing that in public just screams at all observers that you're unable to get a girlfriend."

    "Keep THAT up and you'll get RSI."

    "Don't expect ME to kiss it better when you've rubbed all the skin off."

    I know some of these are cruel, but if he is doing what he is doing to horrify, shock and be cruel, he has to learn that he cannot win this argument.

    Once your kids realise that you not only can't be shocked, but you can turn the tables back on them to a horrifying extent, they will back away quietly as from a tiger about to charge. I got husband on side with all this; he became more demonstrative in front of the kids (not to any obscene extent; we do have SOME standards) just enough to have the kids under control.

    A positive side effect - the kids knew we wouldn't get red-faced and mumble if they had questions about sex, so they were more willing to come and ask US instead of their ignorant friends. They still hold back a lot, but when questions MUST be asked, we get asked. The girls ask me to go in with them to the doctor, for things like pap smears or similar.

    And I will try to express this as discreetly as I can, keepingsite censors in mind. Use this on your son too, if you can bring yourslef to.
    difficult child 1's friends were shopping at the mall with us (a few years ago - they were still in high school). While I was busy with a shopkeeper, one of them told difficult child 1 a really rude joke. difficult child 1 dared the boy to tell me the same joke.
    So the boy, thinking to shock me (silly boy!) did. The joke was, "Why can't you ***[what your son is doing under the bedclothes] with these two fingers?" (he holds up two fingers).
    The answer - "Because they're mine."

    I just looked blankly at the boy (mind furiously working) and finally said, expressionless, "Why would that stop me?"

    The effect was almost magical. Since then they've never even used a swear word in my presence.

    I'm also intrigued by the "whatEVEERR" response - we see it here only in US TV and movies. We don't hear it. We might say, "whatever," but it has a totally different meaning (and is not disrespectful). For us, it means what it says - "whatever you prefer. Seriously. You choose." As in - "we could go have coffee, or tea - whatever."

    Sometimes an Aussie kid who's been watching too much US TV will try this on and be met with total uncomprehension, and a request for clarification. "Whatever what, darling? You want me to choose from options you are giving me? I didn't hear any options, so please explain."

    This doesn't mean our kids aren't disrespectful sometimes. Just that it is expressed differently here.

  12. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Heck, I'd walk into his room, grab a corner of the blanket, and trail it behind me on the way out the door.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Which reminds me - I know I've told you all about how I used to use a mist spray bottle set on JET to get difficult child 1 out of bed in a hurry...

  14. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Marg - :rofl: LOVE those one liners!

    I actually brought it up a couple of times yesterday. After he shut his door, he stayed in there for a while. (Not unusual no matter what the activity) When supper was ready I hollered through the door that it was ready and he needed to wash his hands first. He said that he wasn't eating so I told him Fine, but the SECOND you come out of that room, go wash your hands. (Which reminds me, I hardly see him wash his hands.....think I need to go through the house withy Lysol wipes :sick: )

    As for talking to him matter of factly....he and I have had lots of discussions regarding sexual or reproductive topics. He knows I don't really embarrass and that he can ask me anything. If it's something I don't really know about, I just tell him that and have him ask husband. Because of that AND because this has been brought up with him more than once by husband, I tackled this particular issue about half way between calm/matter of factly and mad. I basically told him that that is a private situation that needs to be done behind a closed door because no one really wants to see that. Even with it being done under the covers, it's still very obvious what's going on especially with his bed being in direct site from the other room. Then I told him that because he had been talked to about this previously and it's still going on, the next time I saw it, I would be dousing him with water in one way or another. That's the point that he kind of got mad and replied with "Alright Mom, that's enough. I get it." I just told him that obviously he didn't or it wouldn't keep happening and then walked away. For the record, he wasn't mad because of the topic. He gets like that ANY time we talk to him about something and HE feels the conversation has gone on long enough. (Again.....it's not something HE wants to discuss so if it even happens, the discussion should only be a couple of seconds.)

    I think though, that I will print out this thread, keep somewhere safe and use some of those one liners! ;)
  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Stang...he reminds me of difficult child 1. What would happen if he overheard you "asking a friend on the phone" what to do with your son who keeps doing this? I couldn't abuse it, but I got a lot of results with difficult child 1 by doing that...didn't bother him that I knew, but bothered him that I'd talk to someone else about it...

    Just a thought.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Another phrase for you to use on difficult child - it comes from the first "Big Brother" series in Australia. And the only reason I know THIS much, is because the show was actually included in difficult child 1's English course at the time, dealing with reality TV and the concept of what is reality, anyway?

    So we had to watch it. And one young couple on the show were getting a bit hot and heavy. Because this was the FIRST series, the kids on the show didn't realise that when they said there would be cameras EVERYWHERE and filming EVERYTHING, that it meant filming by infra-red as well.

    So these two kids were getting hot and heavy in the dark, although later on they swear nothing happened in the House (they got married about a year later). But the filmed activity of the movement of the bedcovers became known as "the dancing doona" or "the dancing duvet".

    Maybe that could be your code phrase with difficult child, next time he leaves the door open?

    "Hey, son - I can see that duvet dancing again!"

  17. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    That sounds about right! LOL Although I was thinking along the lines of "you got a frog trapped under that comforter?"