Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by novangel, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. novangel

    novangel Guest

    He just WON'T listen! I ask him over and over (literally hundreds of times!!) to PLEASE not do certain things. Don't climb on the counters, don't use my furniture for a playground, there's no need to have the TV volume on 58 (his hearing is fine I had it checked) and he always says "ok" but then goes right back to doing what I asked him not to do 10-20 mintues later, or the next day. What the hell!? He's 8 years old. I know he knows the rules. I even wrote him a note and stuck it in his room as a reminder and he still disregards. I asked him why and he says he doesn't know. Come on, dude!!

    Is this part of ADHD or just a defiance problem?? I still insist that he's ODD and Learning Disability (LD) just like the neuro psychiatric evaluation said. Counsellor says ADHD. I don't know WTF to think anymore... :rollingpin: it's not like i'm asking too much.
  2. novangel

    novangel Guest

    Oh, and another thing he likes to do is turn the hallway light on, look at me and then go in his room and shut the door. Why do you need the hall lights on if your going just shut the door to your room? I told him (also a million times) please don't leave it on because I want to keep the electric bill down, the hallway lights use a ton of lightbulbs. I swear the look he gives me is 'i know this pisses you off so that's why I am doing it'. People would think I am just being harsh but I swear he does things just to antagonize me but I don't know's almost like he enjoys the negative attention. I don't was a relationship like that with him! What's the deal?? This weekend has just not been the best. My patience level is zero right now. :(
  3. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Ah.... I know the feeling VERY well. My difficult child is 10 now and still has to be told a gazillion times to brush his teeth and get a shower. It makes me nuts. My easy child has such a great routine and is so compliant with EVERYTHING.

    It is so frustrating I know. Sorry you are having such a rough time.

    Relish the good days.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'd be removing lightbulbs. Part of it could also just be a matter of being 8 and being male. I known plenty of "grown" males who act just the same.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think you need to give him a reason to comply - no I don't mean you have to explain yourself each and every time you have a simple request -

    I mean as in: we keep the volume down on the TV out of respect for other people. If you cannot use the TV respectfully - you may not use it at all.

    Then when it is too ask him to turn it down. If he does? Great! If he does not? You shut it off! Lock the electrical cord with one of those mini padlocks that can fit right through the prongs. He yells, screams has a fit? You say - well maybe next time you'll use the TV more respectfully.

    Wait a couple hours...

    Plug in the television and try again.

    He'll think twice before disregarding your request to turn it down. If he ignores you anyway? Shut it off again!
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Daisy's got a point, in that explaining why can help. But you have to rally be careful to not seem as if all you are doing, is opposing him - because that teaches a kid that being oppositional is a valid coping strategy.

    I really LOATHE the term Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It implies that the child is choosing, deliberately and coldly, to do exactly what you have asked him not to do. And I do not believe this is the case except in very rare circumstances. It does not sound like it here.

    Actually, I think you are. It doesn't seem to make sense, but I really do think there are two possibilities you need to have on the table:

    1) When caught by the impulse of "I want to do that NOW" he just forgets the rules even though in the cold light of day he could probably recite them verbatim. difficult child 3 at school, knew the rules included not hitting other kids and not climbing trees. But at home he would climb trees so he would forget at school, then get into trouble. As for hitting other kids - they would make him angry and he would lash out.

    2) He might still have the rules in mind, but the drive in him (for all sorts of reasons) is stronger. You need to find out why and deal with that more directly, including listening to his why and working with him to find more acceptable alternatives.

    With DaisyFace's suggestions, I would take it further away from discipline and more towards natural consequences. That way you are not the ogre, life is. Or circumstances. Natural consequences. For example, the hallway light - if you remove the light bulb, you could tell him it burned out from over-use. Or show him the power bill, tell him you need to make those numbers smaller.

    But I do think it is is important to find out why he feels he has to do this. Right now I think he is getting into a pattern of choosing to do what he wants even in the face of your direct disapproval. Some people would define this as ODD; I think it is much more complex and needs to be dealt with by the direct approach. When he does this, follow him. Go into his room and ask him quietly, "Can you tell me why you needed to turn the hall light on? Do you need it on AS you go into your room? Now your door is shut, can I switch the light off now?"

    Kids have their reasons and if those reasons are really, really strong, they will over-ride your rules. So you need to find out HIS "why"s and try to get him to take on board your own. But his have to be considered, so they can be dealt with.

    For example - I'm wondering if there is something in his room that scares him a little, in the full dark. He feels the need for some light to spill into his room until he gets to turn on his own room light switch. Once his room light is on, the hall light may not be needed any more.

    Kids fears are very strong, very concrete. When I was little, I shared a bedroom with three sisters. I could not reach the switch for the light but had to rely on them to turn it on. Until the light was on, the room was a scary place. At night I had nightmares and night terrors, turning on the light was a huge help for me. Of course, I was not permitted a night light. I would have loved my own low-wattage bed lamp, knowing I could turn it on if I needed it would have helped. The nightmares and night terrors eased off as I got into my teens but they continued until I was married. I am certain that if I had been given a bed lamp when little, this would have resolved many years earlier. Things did ease off a lot for me once I was able to organise my own bed lamp. So I really do understand kids who feel they need light. Something is happening in his head that makes it most imperative for him to have that hall light on at some point. Fid out why, when and how, and work WITH him in this.

    Also, you mention a lot of things he does that he shouldn't. Some kids with ADHD have serious impulse control issues. They know the rules but the spur of the moment stuff - the rules just don't figure. I have to do it now. Intense curiosity can be a factor. Example - when difficult child 3 was born, his godmother came to visit with her teenage kids. Her son was 12 and ADHD. Lovely kids, but the boy was always a handful. He of course got bored (breeding women talking about babies) and after he had seen enough of the baby, he looked around. I had a balcony outside my room and he went out there. Looking down he could see below, a roof of a lower floor which had paving pebbles on it. It was actually there to allow access to the air conditioning units for the wing below. it was NOT public access and if he had stopped to think, he would have realised this. But it still might not have been enough - there were machines and things down there, he wanted a closer look. So he wandered off, wandered downstairs, walked through another patient's room downstairs to get access to the balcony, climbed over the balcony and went for a walk on the roof in the maintenance area. The patient called the nurses who called security. The first we knew of it was when the boy was brought back to us (he cooperated openly, told them who he was there to visit) and we were told to get him out of the hospital fast. My friend had to leave earlier than she wanted, because she realised he just couldn't be trusted to follow the rules. In his mind it was OK to do what he did because there was no sign saying he couldn't. He didn't have the common sense to tell him that if you have to climb over the balcony to get access, it is not for the public to go there.

    All through that boy's childhood and adolescence, there were incidents like this. He really was a lovely kid, basically honest and caring. But oh, the scrapes he got into! At his 21st, instead of childhood photos marking various points of his life, his mother put up X-rays. He's turned into a decent, responsible young man who has learned from his mistakes (he made enough of them!) and is a valued employee at a major TV network. But his mother's grey hair is mostly down to him!

    You need to find out what is driving your son to do what he does. And once you know, then work within that framework to get what you want. Whatever discipline method, whatever consequences - it needs to be enforceable and consistent. There is no point saying to a kid, "Don't do that again or I'll do X" if there is no way you can or will do X. We stopped sending difficult child 3 to his room, when he would not go by himself and when us taking him there became a huge physical ordeal with no lesson learned. We had to find alternatives that would work. being sent to their room worked for the other kids. But with difficult child 3 - he needed to talk at us. So if we didn't want to listen, We would go to OUR room!

    I found the greatest improvement in difficult child 3, when I started reading 'The Explosive Chid" by Ross Greene. I was only reading the book; I didn't feel I was doing anything different. But I must have been. I just don't know what. But he began to improve, for me. He got worse, for husband. It took longer for husband to get on board with Explosive Child simply because I had to read it first and explain it to him. That takes time. But that delay meant that difficult child 3 perceived husband as the focus of his problems and conflict.

    Some kids, most kids, learn by traditional parenting. We try to raise our kids the way we were raised. But some kids, our kids, are much more imitative than we were. These are the kids who "Do as I do" and not "Do as I say". To various extremes. When you say to such a kid, "Because I said so, that's why!" you need to be prepared for that kid doing exactly the same back to you at some stage. And to that kid - YOU said it, so it must be ok for him to say it. We found with our two younger kids, we had to change how we handled them and model for them, the behaviour we wanted from them.

    That's not to say I didn't smack my kids at times. But we phased it out as soon as we could because it was the wrong way to go. Again.

    ADHD can explain everything you describe. And it doesn't have to just be ADHD - some kids just can't seem to walk on the ground, they have to get around as much as possible without touching the ground. At school easy child 2/difficult child 2 used to get into trouble constantly for walking on the handrails, for walking along any narrow bit of pipework or building trim. Then the school brought in some circus performers and we discovered - easy child 2/difficult child 2 is a natural. She began working professionally as a stiltwalker when she was 10 years old. But along the way she learned how to do it safely, and organised her own insurance.

    Find out what is driving him, and work from there. Because whatever you're doing now is not working. And it's not a matter of your fault or not. It just IS.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think you should have him re-evaluated. Sounds like more than ADHD to me. There are many other things that cause ADHD like symptoms.

    I don't think it is defiance. I think he can't help it; can't stay still. I'd take him to a neuropsychologist. How was his early development and his milestones? Does he know how to socialize with his same age peers?

    Good luck :)
  8. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I'm sorry to say it but if you have a neuro psychiatric report *performed by a licensed neuropsychologist or neuropsychiatrist* that diagnosed your child as ODD I would seriously question the validity of the report.

    As many others on this board will tell you, they had children who were originally diagnosed "ODD". Pretty much all of these children were later diagnosed with other disorders. Many are diagnosed with multiple conditions. Unfortunately, the behaviors you describe could be attributed to lots of other things besides defiance. Bipolar hypomania is an obvious example that would fit your description. It certainly sounds like he has significant impulse control problems which would fit with the ADHD diagnosis. And of course there's the part of the behavior that is just sheer kid stuff - look, that got her attention I'll do it again and see if it works again.

    What you are describing could be a personality trait-type problem, a discipline problem or psychiatric illness, sensory or language processing problems - or a mixture of all of them. These are some questions that may help you figure this out -

    1. Does he turn the TV sound up even when no one else is in the room? Does he really like/dislike particular fabrics? Does he absolutely love trampolines? Does he complain when there's a tag in his shirt rubbing his neck or the seams in his socks are wrong?
    2. Does he show the same problem behaviors everywhere - home, school, friends homes, church, etc.?
    3. Is there a cyclical pattern to the behaviors - even a daily pattern?
    4. Does he seem to be afraid of the dark? Does he have bad nightmares or night terrors?
    5. Is he able to go to sleep without any problem?
    6. Are his sleep patterns stable? That is, does he consistently sleep about the same amount of time most nights and go to sleep/wake up at the same time each day?
    7. Is he abusive to animals that you know of?
    8. Are there times when he seems able to control these behaviors - at a funeral for example or around elderly or disabled people who could be hurt by his behaviors?
    9. Have you tried behavioral techniques like removing priviledges or "natural" consequences for things with any success? If this has not worked have you done it consistently for at least a month at a time?
    10. Are all adults in the home consistent with your son in the way they handle problem behaviors?

    Try to take time every day for yourself like a short walk or keeping a journal. The more you lose your cool the worse the behaviors will be. Cool distance on your part is more likely to work well. Fewer or even no words is ideal (still working on that one here). Breaking the house rules is rewarded with an unspoken response if possible like unplugging the TV.

    Best wishes -

  9. novangel

    novangel Guest

    Bipolar? No. I keep coming here to get support and people keep trying to dismiss my son's diagnosis. I'm sorry if an ODD/Learning Disability (LD) diagnosis doesn't jive with most of you but it's either that (like the Neuro psychiatric said after a 6 hour evaluation) or ADHD which his councellor suspects...I don't know which but he has some symptoms of both, but not extreme either way so it's hard to tell at this point but we know Learning Disability (LD) for sure. Whatever it is it's nothing major, I just had a bad weekend and am raising a son alone. I will get things figured out but this board is not going to work out for me. Thank you anyway.
  10. Heloise

    Heloise Guest

    Hello Novangel,

    You perception and intuition count. While I can't say what kind of problem it is, I can say that I've experienced enough of that look you are describing and the frustration of how it feels to describe it to others. The problem my now-19-year old experiences is probably not the same as your son's, and yet the anguish of receiving that look could be quite similar.

  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We're not trying to dismiss his diagnosis - just that, as you yourself have noted, the label (whichever one) doesn't seem to explain everything and doesn't seem to give you any help in what to do for him (and for yourself).

    If he's got Learning Disability (LD), or ADHD, or any one of a number of other disorders, then he is likely to have a shorter fuse anyway as well as being less able to learn social appropriateness the way other kids do. That will lead to him (or any other child) developing oppositional reactions to discipline which is where the diagnosis often comes from.

    You work with whatever labels you're given. Right now we're struggling with a problem that doesn't seem to have a label, that could well be a subset of his autism diagnosis. Or not. Very frustrating. Sometimes it seems we get past one hurdle, and another ten appear on the horizon!

    Hang in there. All ideas here are pooled from a collective parent direction, we are not professionals. So take stuff or not, as you choose. I'm sorry if you have felt unsupported or challenged - I don't think that was anybody's intention.