Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jabber, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. jabber

    jabber New Member

    I am at my witts end. I have 7 kids, 4 are grown and on their own (that's another story) but I have 3 still at home. My 12 yr. old son, 10 yr. old son and 7 yr. old daughter. The younger 2 are adopted (at birth). My 10 yr. old has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. My daughter doesn't have any reallly obvious issues except a horrible temper, as does the 10 yr. old. They fight constantly, and it's becoming very physical. It is so bad that they cannot be in the same room without fighting. Today they fought as they were GETTING OFF THE SCHOOL BUS!! I mean, they have to walk about 10 yds. from the bus stop to our front door and by the time they ran in the door they were both screaming, crying, my daughter had been shoved down on the driveway (being the smaller of the two she often gets the short end of the stick when things get physical). This happens almost every day!! They truly seem to hate each other and I don't know what to do. I have tried everything I can think of and nothing seems to help them get along. I know it is common for sibs to fight but this is WAY out of control. PLEASE, if anyone has any suggestions I would be SO THANKFUL!!
  2. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    I only have one child, so I don't have anything to offer as to how to get two to stop fighting (I couldn't figure out how to get ours to stop fighting with us :faint: ). I do have two nephews (10 and 8) who aren't difficult children who fight like that, so it seems to be fairly common (and in their case, too, it's always the littler one who gets hurt). So I'm sure someone will have some good suggestions soon. I did want to welcome you to the board, though.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Quick! Get a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene! It'll give you an idea as to how she's processing stuff.

    Next, you've got to come up with what'll motivate them to knock it off. Does either child have an IEP? If so, you may be able to get a mini bus for that one and then they'll be commuting on seperate buses.

    I'll throw some more out there once I've gotten time to mull this over!

  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I just wanted to say Welcome! I'm more in the shoes like rm (and I love your response, rm!), so I can't help with this one. But, Bless you- anyone who has raised 7 kids has Kuddos from me!!

    Hang in there- others will be along who can offer better advice..

    Oh- have there been any other issues with any of them- other that the one being diagnosis'd with bipolar? Do you know if there are any mental health issues (even depression or anxiety) with the bio-parents of the youngest ones?

    PS_ I just read Beth's post- that is a great idea- that book has helped us immensely!!
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Hello jabber and welcome. I'm sorry you had to find us.

    I would think that I would use a basket approach for the kids (like in The Explosive Child by Ross Greene). Meaning you place behaviors in "baskets" and focus on the most pressing or important problems first and address the others as the Basket A items show improvement.

    You might want to make violence a Basket A item and bickering a Basket B item in this case. What this means is that you're willing to face a meltdown from one or both kids when you deliver a consequence for violence because it won't be tolerated ever. You may want to pick and choose when you consequence for bickering because it's just not as pressing as the physical fighting.
  6. jabber

    jabber New Member

    Thanks so much everyone, and I will order the book right away! My 10 yr. old has and IEP but doesn't qualify for the short bus. His birth parents were both alcoholic/drug users. Last we saw mom she had gotten clean but unfortunately not soon enough for my son. He was born a "coke baby" and was on an apnea moniter for his first 8 months of life. I blame her for most of what Tyler is going through. My 7yr. old daughter hasn't had any testing yet. Her birth mom lived with a crack dealer (NOT her birth dad) but claimed "she only tried it once". Yeah, right..... At any rate, her issues are not as severe as Tyler's. Boy, that girl is gonna need some anger management though!

    Again, thanks for the welcome and advice - now I need to go order The Explosive Child. I live with two of them!!

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have one adopted child who had a similar in utero history. Have you had these kids evaluated by a neuropsychologist? They can have damage from alcohol (it's even worse than the cocaine). My son is on the autism spectrum, doing well, but they think he may have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) because of birthmom's drug use. He had crack in his system when he was born and had open heart surgery. But, really, he's doing amazing :)
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi, welcome!

    Your kids are way more extreme than mine, but at one point, we had easy child babysitting our difficult child and she would call us 3 or 4 X during our only night out, and cry into the phone, and then hand the ph to difficult child and he would shout unto the ph. Lovely.
    We threatened to ground both of them if they didn't cut it out.
    We didn't take sides, just said they were both responsible.
    It worked.
    However, your kids have more issues going on so I think you're going to have to separate them and role play so they realize what their triggers are. (A word, a gesture, it doesn't take much.) I am not above bribing to get from point A to point B. IOW, "If X shoves you on the bus and you ignore it, I'll give you 50 cents. If he calls you a name and you ignore it, I'll give you another 50 cents. If you come straight into the house and walk 50 ft behind him and don't talk to him, I"ll give you a candy bar." Sounds awful, but it's a quick way to teach a behavior. Eventually, you won't have to do the bribes. I somehow don't think a professional psychiatric would recommend that, LOL! The main thing is to get them to wake up to what they are doing and somehow stop it. The conscience and maturity will come much, much later.
  9. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I get the same thing in my house, especially between my 10 yo with BiPolar (BP) and my 8 yo with no diagnosis but probably ADHD and anxiety. They are like oil and water. My girl wants to get into everyones business and tell them how to behave and my boy just wants an excuse to unload all his inner tensions and bad moods.

    I have found it very helpful when the medications are working well for the BiPolar (BP), nothing else really helps. And for my daughter, it is a work in progress trying to teach her to respect boundries and leave her brother alone when he is struggling.

    I also separate them as much as possible, and get them involved in outside activities so they don't have so much time together. I also will drive any kid having trouble on the bus to/from school, the bus can be rough. They use to fight about getting on the bus so I started driving my oldest...after about 2 months, he wanted to go back on the bus and hasn't been much of a problem since...knock on wood.