Happy to have found this board~First time here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cadydid, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. cadydid

    cadydid New Member

    Good Morning !

    My name is Cady. I'm 40 yrs, happily married(for the most part), with three kids. 2 girls, 18 and 16. One son, 13 diagnosis with ADHD, ODD, and PTSD. To say life is stressful would be an understatement. I'm looking for someone or something that understands what I am going through.

    My son, while an amazing human being, is more than a handful. While I understand that his anger filled outbursts (or explosions as he calls them) is something that he can not always control, no one else around me seems to understand that. Especially my husband(my son's step father). He thinks that because he is 13 that he is old enough to control himself. That alone causes enough stress for me that at times I think I am going to lose my mind. I love my husband and I love my son, but it's almost like they are forcing me to choose. I am nearing my wits end, and do not know what to do.

    It seems like I do not get a break no matter where I am.. I deal with it at work, at home, and even at the grocery store. I'm either getting called by the husband saying something the son has done, or the son calling me telling something his step-father has done. The fact that they are like two peas in a pod does not help lol

    I could go on and on (trust me on this :D) but I feel I have gone on long enough. Any suggestions you an provide, any words of wisdom, will be eagerly accepted. Any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Parenting a difficult child can be very hard on a marriage...even a very good marriage. Both parents want what is best for the child, but in the absence of a clear solution to the child's issues there is going to be conflict.

    Is your child currently getting any therapy? Do you think family therapy would help improve the relationship between father and stepson?
  3. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    Welcome too!

    I understand.....I have a good marriage that suffers like this too

    My son is 22 now and my husband is constantly finding fault with him over little
    things...and vice versa.

    Howver my 21yr old (2nd son) can be quite disrectful towards me and do you think husband says much to him? This boy adores his father which is very pleasant and I suppose the difficult child is very attached to me as the primary carer.

    I think at times husband resents our son (difficult child) for the restrictions that having a young adult difficult child brings to us At this stage we should be relatively free to enjoy each other company again but not so.

    It is indeed hard to manage a family around these things.

    just to calrify I have 4 sons....22.21.18 15.
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome.

    I can understand completely what you are going through with your son and his step-father. My husband is not the biological father to my difficult child either. In the beginning it was very hard for him to understand that she could not just "behave". He like your husband thought she should just be able to control herself because we are the parents and we told her to. I wish it was that easy. We have been together for 10 years. My daughter has put us through the ringer, she has been 10 handfuls!!!! I used to fight with my husband constantly in defense of my daughter's illnesses. It took quite some time for him to understand and truthfully I still think he has trouble grasping the idea that my daughter just can't help some of her behaviors. I dragged him to every meeting at the school, at the hospitals, therapists, court and where ever else I was warranted to go. I asked him to read books and pamphlets that would explain in detail what my daughter goes through. He has since made great strides. He tries. Maybe you could get your husband to come along for the meetings and learn about your childs needs. It helps to know exactly what you are dealing with. If he was educted maybe he would be more understanding.

    Good luck and God bless. :)
  5. robinm1922

    robinm1922 One day at a time


    I know exactly what you are going through, the short of my situation been with my husband since difficult child was 2 1/2 we married when she was 5 and she in now 15. She started having problems last year and was diagnosis with major depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), just found out she may have ADD as well.
    My husband (I love him so much!) is supportive of me but not so much of my difficult child. She has some serious issues with her birth father which has left her very resentful of men.
    I tried to explain to husband that he was in the perfect position to be a friend and not a disciplinarian, with my husband it is all about school. The one big area we are having problems in! She has nose dived with her grades and it is very hard to figure out how to handle that. He is not very good a taking hints so I had to be very blunt. I told him he had to trust that I was going to handle this in what I feel is in her best interest. I didn't leave him a choice and he has been really good at that so far. I see him chewing his cheeks but so far so good.
    The big thing is going to be report cards. That will by my husband's true test, something tells me he is going to chew holes in his cheeks. Time to prepare him for the grades!
    The hardest part is going to be explaining to him why I am not going to punish her for bad grades. She was in crisis most of this grading period and it took a long time to get her out of it. I have a hard time punishing her for something that was out of her control. That is the part husband doesn't quite get.

    The only thing that worked for me was laying down the law, since he has backed off some she is responding to him so much better.
    I know you will find a lot of support here, I know I don't feel so alone anymore.

    Best of luck!
  6. tunaq

    tunaq New Member

    {hugs} i can sort of understand both sides being a step mom with a similar situation. yes to a certain point your son should be responsible for his actions, but to another point, your husband needs to realize he is just a child too. these are just my beliefs, so please don't get mad because i am learning all this too. our boys are both at the age with hormones adding to any pre-existing issues, but it is our job as parents to help them learn to control things and to be responsible for their actions. the best thing i can offer is the same thing others have suggested to me as well and it is family counseling. there maybe an underlying issue for the reasons they both act this way. it was even suggested to me to see a seperate counselor to just have a safe place to vent for yourself and get the sanity you need and maybe some sound advice as well.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, there and welcome :) You may want to do a signature like I did below and give us some background on your son so that we can't help you better. We really don't know much.
    Glad you're here!
  8. cadydid

    cadydid New Member

    Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome :)

    A little more back round on my son.. He has been in counseling for almost 4 years now. We have had to kiss a few frogs to get to the prince of a counselor we have now. His current counselor is worth my weight in gold. He is currently under an IEP and receives services under an SED waiver.

    Alot of the issues that exist between my husband and my son are because of their fathers. My son's father has chosen not to have anything to do with him because he is afraid that I will take him to court for child support (longggg story), so naturally my son has resentment that he directs to the closest male, my husband.

    My husband was raised with a step-father that was less than affectionate, more on the side of indifference. My husband was on his own for 15 years before we got married. So while I think he is capable of being a great father and a dad, I don't think he knows how to be a dad.

    My son divides his time between the middle school, and an alternative school. I am lucky in that I have not had much trouble with the school until this year. They brought a "therapy coordinator" onboard at the alternative school this year who seems to think she is the key to transforming the kids there into model citizens. All of a sudden there are communication issues, failure to abide by his IEP provisions, and just an over all "we know whats better for him than you do because have degrees and you dont" :mad:

    As for me... I tried seeing my own counselor, but all they did was tell me I needed less stress in my life (ummm duhhh????:mad:) Because of my health insurance, I can only go one place, and I do not want to go there. So in the mean time, I take it one day at a time, and pray that I do not lose my sanity in the process ;)
  9. compassion

    compassion Member

    Welcome Catydid!!!! Compassion
  10. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the boards!
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I just wanted to jump in and welcome you as well!! :)
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm amazed. So many posts, and nobody has yet suggested you read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene!

    Seriously though, it really is a darn good book and will help YOU to understand and therefore handle your son. You then either get your husband to read the book, or you sit him down and explain it all to him (which will help reinforce the information in your own head). You will both need to be on the same page, preferably with your husband taking a big step back and letting you handle things, at least to get it all on track.

    I'm currently reading the 3rd edition thoroughly (I almost memorised the 2nd editinion, this one is even better, although somewhat different). We've been doing this for a few years and I'm STILL learning more stuff to help us continue on from here. We have already seen some really good improvement.

    Welcome to te site, we can help.

  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he ever been evaluated?
  14. pleez_help

    pleez_help New Member

    This seems to be a common problem here. We too, have our ups and downs. My husband picks at difficult child for everything. I feel that husband can not see the good, only the bad. Big hugs to you.
  15. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Hi, it's been a while since I have been on this board but it is a wonderful place. I have been fortunate for the past year that my son is doing much better in general and learning to control his anger better.

    Hubby and I have had arguments about difficult child and his anger. He just thinks he needs to control. Well yes he does, I agree but it's a process of learning how to do that. Hubby doesn't and never has had anger issues so his son isn't allowed to either, I guess.

    I had anger problems in my teens as well. My mom did not take me to a doctor or provide medications. Good or bad it's what happened. I still have anger sometimes but no where like I did when I was a teen. I even broke my hand once hitting a wall. My dad had anger issues, I did/do, now my son does. I found that as I started getting older and more mature I did indeed learn how to cope and control it. I firmly believe my son is doing the same. He still has outburst occassionally.

    What upsets me is when other people "think" they know my son. One lady ask if my son could go somewhere and I was very hesitant for very good reasons. She looked at me like I was nuts. I felt like saying "lady I have lived with this kid for 15 years and I know what makes him tick and get ticked off, don't try to stand there and act like I am crazy because I won't let him go to a certain place". And then you have the people that just don't get it and have to have it explained to them. difficult child's girlfriend got him all riled up one day because she wouldn't shut her trap. I called her on it the next day when I was alone with her. I wasn't ugly with her I just politely ask her not to keep on and on about something when she sees his getting all bent out of shape. I know him well enough that when he starts getting aggitated you just need to leave him alone until he calms down. If you don't it just ecalates and gets totally out of control. What is the purpose of that? What good does it do? Nothing in my book. I am not saying walk on egg shells but you know best how to handle your son.

    Hang in there and again you have found a great place for advice, suggestions and comfort.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Cadydid, welcome!

    You're problem is very common. First of all, these kids can test even Mother Teresa's patience.
    Second, if you and your spouse are not on the same page when it comes to parenting, any "normal" problem will become hugely magnified.

    I like Marg's idea to read The Explosive Child. Get your husband to read it, too. Talk about it together. Come up with ideas for which items to put in which baskets (you'll know what I mean when you read it. It's all about prioritizing and choosing your battles).
    It sounds like there is quite a background with-the bio dad and step-parenting. Sigh. So sorry.

    Have you tried a reward system for your son, or at least compliments, when he can control himself? For example, when he throws up his hands and yells, as opposed to kicking out a window? When my son got to the point where he'd threaten me with-his fist, instead of actually hitting me, I'd always compliment him and say, "I know how hard it is to control yourself and I noticed that you thought about hitting me but you didn't. I'm very proud of you. You're growing up."

    Now, a strict disciplinarian would hit the roof that any kid would even threaten someone with-a fist, but after you've been to h*ll and back with-these kids, you take what you can get and keep working with-it.
    Also, I have to remember not to provoke him. Things I say that would make a regular kid roll his eyes, make my son explode and break things. At first I resented it ... having to walk on eggshells, not knowing what I could and couldn't say. But over the months, I learned to just zip my lip. The less said, the better. That is not walking on eggshells. It is being prudent.

    My son hasn't threatened me physically for several months. :)

    Now, we're working on his verbal responses. We're trying to go from, "OKAY! I HEARD you!" to "Yes, Mom. I'll do it as soon as I turn off the game."

    One day at a time, one step at a time.
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    P.S. Your avatar is funny. :)
  18. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Cadydid: My son is adhd...and I was prepared to guide my adhd kid to learn to control himself because it was a lifelong intrest of mine...the developemental skills to
    clear communication and appropriate expression of emotional states.
    It seems to me that it is the transission from one developemental stage into another that poses the greater stress on anyone (and everyone around them). To say that at one age or another ANYONE "has control" is over simplified I think. What I feel does happen in my family of two is that our ablility to respect onesself and others increases with experiance. Keeping the communication open and clear and clean is a challenge but when it is working it is a happy place.
    Thirteen has unique challenges...hormones as I recall, and testostorone means alot. Men who are not themselves attending to care of the developement of others have alot of nerve to advance what others "should" or "should not" know when all to often weither in the home or absorded with other interests males do not vest time and attention to learn what is going on under their own noses. The
    first thing I wonder when a child is acting out is What attention do they get if they do not act out?

    When I was growing up the home atmosphere could be summed up as a hot and cold ongoing war. My motivation to creat a safe nurturing and meaningful homelife for my child is the product of my seeding my manure pile I was strapped with. So when an adult man chooses to decide that the manure piled up under and around him does not require him to pick out what he is growing by his choices and efforts...well, he may have a big circle of people who will co-sign that brand of manure but I do not buy it myself.
    I think more aptly your husband has to determine what is important to himself. Because sacrificing the developement of youths for grown men is just not really very helpful.
    For me its like this. Revisiting the privations of ones past is important. The bad things and the good things are what give us the basis for our lives. I have a problem with the adult who looks to the past privation and says "poor adult person had not enough this and not enough that and now does not have the abillity to
    pay attention to factor next" There are more books and professionals and 800# and web sites an adult today who is sitting upon a pity potty and won't wipe is just draininng the energy because they can. If that man is such a worthy person he will pay attention and get it FOR this 13 year old boy. Not because as a man he has a belief in his brain set. OK?
    No he is not the bio dad. So what. He lives with the boy. HE has a relationship and as adult the quality of that relationship is ALL ON HIM. Not his father, the boys father, you, ect. IT is all about what he as a man is doing. If he is being hurtful...not helping, mininmizing (oh you can control Yourself at your age)
    beliitling the boy, his diagnosis, ect then what is that?
    It boils down to hurt or help...hurt or help. Doing zero is abandonment.
    He the boy, is already abandoned by one adult male...his father. ANd that boy is so not alone with that treatment.
  19. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hello kadydid. Nice to meet you and read a bit about your family. Hopefully we can share some of our own experiences, strategies, successes and failures. There is a lot of support. Hope we can help but you are definitely not alone anymore.
  20. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hello and welcome. Glad you found us, sorry you had to. My advice is read, read read. The more you know the more you can help your son. The explosive child is good, but I also like love and logic for Teens, How to talk so your teen will listen, and listen so your teen will talk, and I have just started on the manipulative child(really odd and scary title but so far a great book)

    I just love counselors who tell you that you need less stress in your life. How do I do that? That is just not helpful. I see a counselor myself once in a blue moon, but other than that I try to take time for me and do something I want. The best stressbuster I have found is a long hard workout(and I am fat and middle aged) not fun to watch but I feel better. lol.