Hi. I'm new

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by kfmewes, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. kfmewes

    kfmewes New Member

    Hi, My name is Kat. I have 2 kids but my son is my problem child. He constantly lies, steals, ignores rules and blames everything on everyone else, including me. Today he had a police officer come and talk to him at school because he swiped some little girl's Nintendo DS. He also got suspended for one day, it's a really good thing I don't have class tomorrow. He goes to see his psychiatrist tomorrow but, she will just give him more excuses to explain his behavior.
    We have tried everything with this kid, he has been grounded off and on (more on than off) for what seems like forever, we have taken everything away from him. He has been in counseling for 4 years and we have tried all of their suggestion and nothing has worked. I am really at a loss because I have no idea what to do anymore. I really don't want him to ruin his life by becoming a criminal at such a young age but, it looks like that is exactly where he is headed.
    At this point, I am really looking for people to talk to who understand what is going on and won't treat me like the worst mom in the world for punishing him. It's not like I hit him or anything, all I did was take Halloween away and that apparently made me the worst mom ever.
    Anyway, thanks to those of you who actually sat and read through all of my whining. I am really hoping to make some friends here that will be supportive of my situation and not judgmental.
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Kat, and welcome! You are definitely not the worst mom in the world (I am).

    I also took Halloween away from my son - for 3 years running. I have to admit, more than a decade later, I regret it, but I'm getting old and find myself getting ridiculously maudlin at times. ;) At the time I took those days away from him? I was at my complete wits end and was still working under the (false, in my son's case) assumption that loss of privileges would have an impact on him. My kid was also grounded for the majority of his life from age 6 to 9. Hindsight being 20/20, I would have tried something different. Not sure what - but if you are doing something consistently and there is not a change in behavior, it's time to get creative and try something different.

    Can you tell us how old he is? Does he have any "diagnosis"? How does he do in school, besides the behavior problems? Any family history of mood disorders/alcoholism/drug use/suicide? What kinds of evaluations has he had? How was his early development? Has the therapist adjusted his/her suggestions as he/she has seen prior suggestions not work? If the psychiatrist is just feeding into his litany of excuses, it may be time to find a new one. The last thing you need is someone reinforcing the "rules-don't-apply-to-me" mentality that a lot of our kids have.

    Did he say why he took the DS? Did the visit with- the officer make much of an impact?

    No judgment here. I think most of us have gotten those goofy looks from parents/family members who just don't grasp the concept of a kid who does not respond to more traditional parenting strategies. We know how you're feeling - you are most certainly not alone. Again, welcome!
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to our safe haven.

    I have questions that can hep us help you. Unfortunately, I have found through the years that counselors and talk therapists tend to be very poor diagnosticians. Also, our differently wired kids don't necessarily respond to their parenting suggestions, which can be frustrating. So I'm sorry if I sound nosy...I'm trying to help. Ready?

    1/ Has he ever been diagnosed by intensive testing, such as a neuropsychologist? Ever tried any medicaton? How old is he?

    2/How was his early development, including his eye contact with strangers, his ability to transition from one activity to anoather, his speech, his motor skills, his pottying, and his ability to relate well to his same age peers. Does he have any strange quirks or intensive interests that take away from everything else? Does he know how to have a give and take conversation or does he get in your face while monologueing or else just mostly say "yes" "no" "I don't know." Does he make any strange, annoying high pitched sounds or copy what he hears on television?

    3/Any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of his GENETIC family tree?

    you may want to do a signature of your family, like I did below. That will help us too.
  4. kfmewes

    kfmewes New Member

    He has never really had any kind of real evaluation. I live in Idaho and they prefer to do only what they are forced to. He was diagnosed with anxiety and ADD and is currently taking Concerta and Zoloft. We have seen a little change in his school work but nothing else.
    He is 11 and he did really well developmentally he didn't have anything going on that was abnormal, as far as we were told.
    He will occasionally repeat a particular line from a tv show or movie if he thinks it is funny and he is obsessed with video games but, I think that is because we don't let him play them. Video games are his favorite thing to steal from people. He has no problems communicating, except for the lying.
    His bio father is a drug addict and an alcoholic. He is also constantly in and out of jail. He was abusive and we have not been together for several years now, since my son was about 1 1/2 years old. But he has pulled some stunts where he or his family members have taken off with both him and his sister (I think this has a lot to do with some of his problems) I have bipolar disorder with an anxiety disorder. I have been on medication for about 5 years now and doing pretty well.
    As part of my major, I have taken some psychology classes, which I know make me in no way and expert but, I really think that he has ODD. So many of the symptoms match his but, the psychiatrist that he see won't listen to me. I would love to be able to take him to someone else but, because of his insurance I can only take him to this one.

    Thanks for the suggestion on my signature. I read the thing about making a signature but, I had just found out about his suspension and was apparently a little too upset to really pay attention.
  5. kfmewes

    kfmewes New Member

    Hi, answered most of the questions above but, he said he took the DS because the girl needed his help getting past part of the game but since he knows he is not even allowed to touch them because he is so obsessed with video games that he takes off with them. This is probably about the fifth or sixth DS he has taken off with. He said that talking to the officer was not fun and that the officer told him that if something like this happened again that it was likely that he would be hauled off to juvi. Of course, when he told me this I made sure to let him know that if he gets caught stealing and ends up in juvi that I will not be going down there to rescue him. I know that seems kind of harsh but he seems to think that he is going to be able to get away with anything and I am hoping that it will get the point across that he can't keep this stuff up.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just want to add in my welcome; glad you found us but sorry you needed to.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion you should have him neuropsychologist evaluatead, With all the things you have going on in his family tree (genetics) it would probably be better for him if he had a psychiatrist on board (the guy with the MD) after the neuropsychologist evaluation (they actually evaluate better than psychiatrists, but they can't do the follow up treatment). When you say "psychiatrists in Idaho" you can't mean all of them...?

    Almost all of our kids meet the criteria for ODD. It's just that ODD doesn't stand alone and is caused by some other, bigger disorder. Especially since four years of counseling and medications have not worked, I really think you should consider a complete evaluation and a psychiatrist for him as well.

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  8. cubsgirl

    cubsgirl Well-Known Member

    You have found a great group of non-judgmental people. I am new to posting, but I lurked for five years, so I got a good sense of how supportive this board is. I have no words of advice, just a big welcome!
  9. 4timmy

    4timmy New Member

    Welcome! You will find that this is the greatest forum for information and advise. There are folks here that will help you in ways you could never imagine. My advice is to listen. My difficult child was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD when he was in 3rd grade. I joined this forum with many other explanations of some of the things he did and I was told to get a neuro psyche. I'm GLAD I did because there were sooooo many more things going on with him. I was able to get him on an IEP at school and get him into a program that has helped him tremendously. He's 12 now and the challenges with adolescence are beginning. So...

    I highly suggest you get your difficult child in for another evaluation and begin turning the course through his teenage years. Do not leave this forum. Check in and get advice as much as you need it. This is a place where you can dump all of your demons and there is always someone who has more demons and can tell you what to do with them!!! No one will judge you here.
  10. kfmewes

    kfmewes New Member

    He sees a psychiatrist but all she is concerned with is keeping him on medications. In fact, she will not see him if he is not on medications. I really don't mean all psychiatrists but, since his insurance only allows him to see a psychiatrist through the state, we have no choice. There is only the one and she is really not doing a great job. She doesn't talk to him about what is causing the behavior or how he is feeling, all she does is see if his medications are working and if he is having any side effects. It seems she could really care less about what the underlying issues are.

    How do you go about getting a neuropsychologist exam done? Does his psychiatrist have to do it or sign off on it? If she does, there is very little chance that I can get her to cooperate. She really doesn't listen to what we have to say.
  11. Cyberthrasher

    Cyberthrasher New Member

    I'm Kat's husband, Allen. She told me how supportive things are here, so here I am because I'm at the end of the same rope.

    Just to add to the below question, whenever we have a "conversation" with him it's more like talking to a brick wall with the occasional "yeah" or "I don't know". Sometimes I think that's more along the line of him being scared of me though. Most of his bad behavior, especially the attitude, happens when I'm not around, either at work or working on projects. Kat and I have been married for 5 years now and I know that I've been the only male disciplinarian in his life, as well as the only stable male figure all together. I should also add that he's only been on the medication for a few months since I saw a post above which seemed like someone thought he had been on it for 4 years along with his counseling.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  12. totiredtofight

    totiredtofight New Member

    Hi and welcome ... i am also new but this is a great place .. you can come here vent tell us things most of us hide from outsiders with no judgment ... you will get advice and hope .. welcome
    As far as advice like i said i am also new however the children's mental hospital here give families free assessments of your difficult child even if they currently have a psychiatrist to see if something more can be done ..
    maybe one in your state does the same .. couldn't hurt
  13. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I was a difficult child (in some ways still am, I'm sure), and I lost Halloween for a number of years, too. Mattered more to me in the years when I would be out with friends instead of parents, so mostly I think I missed out on a little bit of fun and maybe a whole lot of cavity potential. Have you tried collaborative problem solving yet?
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome to both of you. I also post here with my husband. It has really helped us be on the same page.

    I think you need to have a list of specific questions for the psychiatrist and insist on answers.

    1) We need a neuropsychologist assessment on him to see what else could be going on. it would also help confirm the ADHD you are treating him for which would be a good thing for you and also for the school. it would help us get more services for him at school. Please will you write the referral? If you cannot, can you tell us who can?

    2)We are concerned at his problem behaviours and that they are not only not changing, but possibly escalating. The medications are helping him, thank you for that, but we need more. Can you help us access some counselling services for him that could help us directly work on his stealing, for example?

    I also want you to check - is this a psychiatrist, or a psychologist?

    It is highly likely form what you say that this doctor's main 'brief' is to medicate. Nothing else. in which case - ask for help to find someone who can fill in the gaps. it may be that this doctor is simply working by numbers, probably specialises in public health in bulk and reaches for the prescription pad every time a patient walks in the door. Doesn't do anything else because she's in a work pattern. You need to make it clear, and nag, that you need more.

    Also, I've found you need to not confront such a person. Acknowledge the help they give you but ask for their further help in getting something more specific. If they say, "I can do that," then say, "That is good news! When can you start?" Never seem critical, always seem deferential but make it clear - you want more from your son and you know that they can help you because they are so WISE...

    Good luck!

  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! I, too, took away Halloween and a birthday party. I felt like the worst mom in the world, too. When I realized that taking those things away did nothing to improve the behaviors, I stopped taking away what I felt was a little bit of normal & fun in an otherwise troubled childhood that she would look back on.

    I think there comes a point when you sit back and look at what you have tried and realize that traditional parenting is not going to work for this kid. It might for your other children, but not this one. So, get creative and look at the situation in a different way. Think of things that you normally would not ever entertain as a way to parent. Sometimes just changing things up give you a few months of peace and then you have to find new things to do again, but heck a few months of good is better than none.

    I really think you need more than this psychiatrist. And I agree with an evaluation. I do not think you have the right diagnosis yet. Just a gut feeling.
  16. kfmewes

    kfmewes New Member

    We have him in PSR and counseling with some really amazing people but, I didn't even think about needing a referral for the neuropsychologist exam. I will have to remember to ask for one.
  17. kfmewes

    kfmewes New Member

    No, what is it?
  18. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

  19. Cyberthrasher

    Cyberthrasher New Member

    That actually makes more sense to me then a lot of the other options that have been pointed out to us in the past. A lot of times I think I'm just too much of a "By the book" kind of person and perhaps that's a large contributor to our problems. But, I also strive to have both of our kids learn things by themselves (perhaps a little too much at times). I know we've tried similar approaches to what's listed on that site before, but maybe just not with the clear understanding of that's what we were trying to do. This could be something to bring up to his Counselor and PSR workers.
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi, I have been around here since dirt was invented and my kids are now into their mid adult lives and we are now working on the grandchildren...lol. I would not take away the fun childhood times. Looking back, you will regret that. They may actually forget it but you never will. Its just not worth it.

    As far as the psychiatrist, most now dont do more than dispense medications. If you are completely unhappy with this one, look on the back of the insurance card and call the number and ask for another one nearby. There has to be more than one. If nothing else, county mental health has to have one on staff. I have never known any private psychiatrists not to take medicaid either. But call that number on the back of the card, they can help you find one.

    As far as the neuropsychologist exam, you shouldnt need a referral but if you do, get it from your pediatrician if the psychiatrist isnt open to it. You can normally find neuropsychs at Childrens hospitals. If you simply cant find one, I would ask for a complete multi-disciplinary exam to help you figure out what is going on with him. They will do a ton of exams including physical, psychological and educational testing on him.