Does It Really Ever Get Easier

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by LOOKING FOR SANITY, Feb 9, 2009.



    This morning at 7 i told Travis time to put socks and shoes on lets get moving. That started an all out rampage. He hate socks, socks are stupid he's not wearing socks and he is not going to school! That is what he told me. I told him if he didnt get ready now i was going to ground him. So Anyway.... You can see the way this proceeded. He ended up tearing my bathroom dumpin stuff out kicking the walls, the door, dumping stuff out everywhere screaming to the top of his lungs. What do you do? Todat it was over socks, last week it was over sloppy joe sandwiches. Where does it end. I feel like I have no control over him and he is only 10 what do I do when he is 15 or 16?
  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Honestly? No, not easier. The issues change and while some will fade, others become more prominent. Then new ones emerge as they hit puberty.

    You don't have a signature, so I'm not sure of the history of your difficult child. Have you read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? It has helped many a parent on this forum, me included. Buy a copy or see if your library has one.

    Socks? Maybe it's a sensory thing. I know I have a difficult child nephew that HATED shoes. I mean, he wore them only when he absolutely HAD to like to school. However, the second he got home, off the shoes came. Even when the weather was cold outside, he would be barefoot. My sister in law didn't fight it. When he was home he didn't have to wear them.

    Again, I would highly recommend The Explosive Child.
  3. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    Ditto on The Explosive Child.... my difficult child is 10 too and lately he hasn't been having these meltdowns before school, but it could come back!! The last ones were a couple of weeks ago. He will get dressed and then at the last minute decide he doesn't want to wear the clothes he has on, goes upstairs, pulls out all the clothes and throws them on the floor, and cries while he's trying to find something to wear.

    It may or may not be a sensory issues with socks. If it's socks he's complaining about every day, then, well, it's probably a sensory thing. However, with my difficult child it changes. I think it was perhaps anxiety about going to school... who really knows? It could be a combo sensory/anxiety issue (??) I'm grasping at straws too. :confused:

    I guess the trick here is to find ways to keep these meltdowns from happening. Maybe the night before you talk to him about which socks he wants to wear.... give him a choice between 2 outfits or something. My difficult child has to wear all cotton. He hates anything itchy.... interestingly enough, I'm the same way. It's just that I know that about myself and control what I buy and wear. Get him to communicate as much as you can when he's not having the meltdown. (I know, ....hard to do). The book The Explosive child will teach you to prioritize how you handle different behaviors, i.e., decide what is worth incurring a meltdown over and decide what is not worth incurring a meltdown over. You say you don't have control over him and from what I understand from Mr. Greene's book, is that by knowing what to do in pre-prioritized and defined situations, you actually DO have control over him. When you can prevent a meltdown and help him communicate how to respond the right way, the idea is that he will eventually learn how to cope.

    Anyways, maybe this will give you a little incentive to check out the book. If nothing else, it made me not feel so helpless and insane. We still have issues, but by being more prepared, my inner peace is much better.
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I would start with trying to talk with him today about what was wrong this morning. Why was he upset about the socks?
    Like was said before, maybe it is something bigger, maybe it is sensory, anxiety, too much overload in the am.
    Sometimes kids feel overwhelmed.
    For us, N needs to have things go very slow. One step at a time. She picks out her clothes.
    For K, heck if she doesn't want to she doesn't need to, because it will stop a huge blowup and a bad day at school. She may also realize it is better to wear socks next time.
    You can also slip the socks into his backpack, then he may realize he needs them, they are in there. Or tell him you put them in there just in case. A compromise.
    Like Dazed said, things change.

    K doesn't want to die right now, but she has other issues. Some better some worse. SHe is less violent, we have learned and are learning what her triggers are, how to talk to her. It is a give and take with her.
    We have learned to ID her anxiety, if it is getting bad, then I know not to push her.
    Last night she was getting worked up and amped. So we did not push her.
    THis morning she was very depressed, so we had to help her brush her teeth, and get dresses.
    Do I like it, NO, but my kid is messed up at times. I am working on trying to teach her how to ask for help and how to figure out that she is getting out of control and that we are just trying to help her.
    We call it her engine, is her engine too high, too low or just right?
    Read the book, it really gives you some insight and good ideas. Doesn't work for all, but it does help.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I absolutely disagree that it CAN'T get easier. It got WAY easier for my child. He is 15 and raged with the best of them at one time. Now he's a well-behaved, contented kid doing well since we now know why he is different and how to help him. I have a few questions to ask you:

    1/Who diagnosed him? Is he on any medication? Has he been? Did anything help in the long term?

    2/Are there any psychiatric or substance abuse issues on the either side of the family tree? You may want to do a signature like I did below. The more info we have, the more we can try to help you.

    3/How was his early development? Speech, eye contact, interaction with same-age peers, did he play normally with toys, have a good imagination, ever repeat by rote stuff he hears on television, any sensitivities to noise/food/texture? Did he like to cuddle? At age ten how are his social skills with kids his own age. Will he look strangers in the eyes with ease? How does he do in school? Does he seem sort of "clueless" about the things that other kids seem to pick up by osmosis? Does he sometimes seem like he's in his own world, especially in unfamiliar places? Any obsessive interests? Does any of this ring a bell?

    3/My suggestion is to not try to do it yourself, not even with the help of Ross Greene and his awesome book "The Explosive Child." That is kind of something you use while you try to find out the root cause and there IS a root cause. I highly recommend you take your child for a full battery evaluation by a private NeuroPsychologist. in my opinion and long experience they do the best testisng and evaluating of any professionals. They actually DO testing rather than sitting with you, listening to symptoms, and, after an hour, deciding what is wrong and why and often pulling out the prescription pad. Our neuropsychologist (not to be mistaken for a Neurologist--they are different) tested our son for ten hours in two hour increments, and he did a great job of nailing all his issues and THAT is when my son turned around.
    The kids do not have to turn out to be troublesome at all. But you do have to get the right kind of treatment or they are at high risk to move on to drug abuse and other fun stuff. I wish you lots of luck, and stay positive. Get the neuropsychologist evaluation. NeuroPsychs are at children's and university hospitals. Insist on a referral from your pediatrician even if he balks.
  6. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    If I HAD to say whether it was "easier" or "harder" with my son when he was 10 or now when he's 13 (and getting a moustache)....I'd have to say it's easier now. (Oh PLEASE don't strike me down for saying that...!!!) Could it be that hormones are actually helping him? I dunno.

    It could get easier....don't give up!! Keep pluggin'. I've been promised that some day the lightbulb will come on and I'm still waiting.
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    Fo rme, some days are easier than others, but it is never and wil never be easy with difficult children. :) I find it helpful not to compare or feel entitled like theya re certain age it SHOULD be that way. My difficult child is 15 and in many ways currently is acting age 2-5. Cpmpassion
  8. eekysign

    eekysign New Member

    Sis left for her very cold-wintered boarding school insisting she was NOT going to wear anything but knee-length skirts. "I hate long pants, pants are stupid, ugh, no way am I wearing pants".

    We let her go off with only one pair of dress slacks that she insisted she would "never" wear. Figured she'd change her mind once the cold hit. It was mid-November when she called, begging for pants, very apologetic. ;)

    So yes, it can get easier. Sis used to be the same way about her socks. And jackets. And pants. And, well, anything she could make an issue of. It's probably a sensory thing, I agree.
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I don't think it gets easier, I think we as parents evolve within it, we after a period of time I think begin to accept more of what it is we are dealing with. We struggle to find our place within it i think.

    For me, 4 years ago I was having major panic attacks on my way to work and as i raisd home to get her when the school would call. Now, no more panic attacks just an occasional sob here and there than I move forward again.

    You will find your way and we will all be here to help. It's definetley not an easy job but soo worth it, it's like we are the ultimate mom's and we're chosen for this special job. Tha'Tourette's Syndrome kinda how i like to spin it. :)

    Sending you alot of hugs and support
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    My own opinion is a combination. I think we as parents learn more with time, experience can be an awesome teacher. And as our kids grow and mature the lessons we have fought so hard for so many years to teach them finally begin to take hold.

    How long that takes depends on the child.

    At 10 my own Travis could quite easily and reg make ME want to rip my hair out. I was literally counting up to his 18th birthday like it was some magic number. lol (which by the way it isn't)

    If there were books when my kids were little, I didn't know about them. (too bad for me) So I stumbled along with what I knew and what I learned along the way that "worked" for us.

    Lucky for my kids sensory issues....such as clothing tags, seams on socks, the feel of certain foods, ect were never a big deal because I'd had the same issues as a kid. We learned to work around them. Nichole wore her socks wrong side out for ages......actually, I think she still does. lol

    I learned to prevent a huge volume of meltdowns by establishing a strict routine and sticking to it, even when life got in the way. This was vital to both my difficult children, and it took alot of stress off of them knowing what was going to happen at a given time of the day.

    When my difficult children were still in grade school I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. When they were teens........OMG I wanted them back in grade school again! (lol) As adults there are still issues. But they are far different issues than when they were kids. All that hard work paid off in the long run.

    So, yeah. It can get easier. It just takes alot of work to get there.:D
  11. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, it gets easier. When you find a better way.

    Your goal is not to control him. It is to guide & teach him.

    It does seem like we should be able to get compliance out of our children. It stinks that some children just will never comply with the way you want to parent them.

    Look for different ways. Think out of the box. If he does not want to wear socks and shoes - what are the alternatives? Ask him. Society tells us we have to wear shoes. It is safer to wear shoes. What does he suggest since he hates it so much?

    See where I am going here?

    It is difficult and it does not feel 'right'. But, it is still parenting. Just because they do not do as we say - does not mean we are not still trying to parent.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It depends on the child and what's wrong with him. There are plenty of young difficult children who turn out fine. You need to get the RIGHT kind of help and the RIGHT diagnosis. I would not give up. Not everyone is troubled forever because they start out that way ;)
  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I think it can get easier, as we as parents learn better coping skills and come to a better understanding of our childrens' issues. I deal much better with my son now than I did 2 yrs ago, well for the most part. There will always be days.
  14. artana

    artana New Member

    I think that it can get easier, but that depends on some things.

    1) Does the child have a severe enough issue that he needs extra help? I say that because some kids who are explosive (such as mine was last semester) can learn to handle that part of their character and slowly make progress with a lot of support and sometimes medications. Others need much more support and this could be a constant struggle. Everyone here will recommend an evaluation be done. I think it's a great idea, because it lets you know what you're dealing with.

    2) Are you flexible and willing to try different strategies? Honestly, my 7-year-old boy had me tearing my hair out. I couldn't take him anywhere. The tantrums when the sensory issues kicked in were awful and nothing I did seemed to make any difference. Now, with the help of a behavior therapist, we have a behavior plan at home that is giving me room to breathe, that has eased some of the stress between my SO and I, and that the children seem to be responding to. But, I don't know if this will work three years from now, I just know I got a breather for now.

    3) How big a support system have you established for yourself and the child? As I said, I have a breather, but that was after contacting: gifted advocate, behavior therapist, Occupational Therapist (OT) (at school), sped teacher(at school), psychologist for child, family friend who used to be child psychologist, this board, a gifted board, and the principal. I have to constantly make sure the right people are talking to each other, but when they do my job gets a bit easier because there are professionals saying what I, as a mom, cannot say with authority. I also have to constantly watch the boards and ask questions so that I can learn about options I never considered.

    There are probably more factors than I can write up here, but I think for me, these are the main ones that help today be better than three months ago.

    I hope this helps.
  15. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    For me, "easier" is a relative term. The behavior changed as the kids got older in that it "morphed" into different types of behavior, it that makes sense ... different ages, different challenges (some were worse, some weren't).. but what got "easier" was that I was better able to deal with it as I learned to take care of myself, to practice detachment, and to get a better handle on my own reactions to everything. Took lots of therapy (for myself) and lots of practice.
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Ya know.......I guess our kids could ask that same question.

    Does talking to my parents EVER get any easier? Will I ever have a morning where my Mother will come in and be able to ask me a question without me feeling like I have to fire back at her with ugly words and attitude.

    Think it doesn't happen at 7???? WRONG......oh very wrong.

    They may not think about it just like I wrote - BUT.....they do think about it, and it sets the tone for their day sometimes perpetuating one bad thing after another.

    WOULDN'T it be GREAT if we could talk to our kids better? Not perfect but better? Find that secret language or the Rosetta Stone to GFGness?

    It exists - it really does. It takes a lot of work for the rest of YOUR life because we, as adults ALSO get set in our ways and trying to understand that HOW we speak to our special needs kids IS NOT the BEST WAY to speak to them is as foreign as "Put on your socks we need to go." as we think it is. It sounded identified that socks MUSt be worn and WE NEED to go (or we're on a schedule) AND we asked niecly without yelling or barking.....yet in the mind and ear filters of our lovely 7 year old child it came out

    (with blasting hot air and a glass busting decible level) similar to the screeching of an owl during a full moon finding a martin in the swamp grass...


    yet that isnt' what we said AT ALL. But...that's what they heard.

    There is a little thing that can be learned and OH MY GOSH is it a lifesaver. It's called effective communication. It really opened my eyes to the fact that I did not take into consideration WHAT I was saying or HOW I was saying it.

    You said Put on your socks we need to leave.....and it was on. ON BIG TIME.

    What if you had trained yourself to say: Instead....
    Which socks did you choose to wear today? The white ones or black ones?
    And a normal response from a difficult child (whos already uptight about facing a school day that we have NO IDEA how stressful it is for him because of a number of things) would be....
    And instead of firing back -
    You said....
    "Well then today is stupid sock day and I proclaim in your name no socks are to be worn on your feet."
    END OF THAT.....
    Then you also add -
    We're leaving in 5 minutes.....and say NOTHING ELSE about the socks
    then you say in 3 minutes
    We're leaving in 3 minutes - and say NOTHING ELSE about anything
    then you say "ONE MINUTE WARNING".....I bet you can make it before I walk out that door.
    THEN wait one minute and say "
    TIMES UP.....I bet we can beat the bell at school."

    And in a good world - a competitive difficult child learns to hear a timer warning. THIS helps so much with any kid I've ever met.
    How about if you were in your office or at work.....and trying to do whatever....and your boss walked in and yelled - WE NEED TO GO NOW!
    Did you get a warning? (think about being 7 and not having the experience you do to get organized in a pinch and get out NOW) ......see?
    Do you think that would make you want to grumble to the boss....? Sure you had an idea you had to go but you lost track of time - because you are 7 and you have really no concept of time....really. But if that same boss walked in and said "Okay folks, we need to wrap up this project and get it out of here in 5 mins." then'de work harder to get done....and then he would say "3 minutes people." and you would know in your head - you have 2 30ish you KNOW what you can do in 2 minutes - and you can train a 7 year old to understand a concept of time also. Then you are finishing.....and VIola - you're done....ready and no grumbling about idiot boss....that rushes you.

    There's a really great book out called How to speak so your children will listen and how to listen so your children will speak that you can get through our website at and it will take you one week at a time in re-training YOURSELF and how people say very negative things every day but have NO idea that's how they are taken by children.
    There's one for teens too.....and I swear it's the most helpful thing I've ever used with my son.

    Therapy was the best thing I ever did for us as a family to LEARN how to enact effective communication - if you don't know how or never really learned how to be the captain of a ship - it would be hard to just jump on the ship and say AVAST ye - pull the jib, flop the main sail, weigh the anchor....I mean you get the meaning from movies,......but unless you are on a ship (or a sinking ship in difficult child cases) you have no clue how to communicate to your crew what you want. And in turn they have NO flippin' idea what a jib is or a main sail......Know what I mean???

    GO GET 'EM .........
    and yes it does get easier because knowledge is POWER in all aspects of life. As a Mom - you'll empower yourself with all the best tools to communicate with your kids.....and you will also learn how to detach. I figure if one doesn't help you the other certainly will prepare you.