how do you dicipline when no consequences work??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by superthor1022, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. superthor1022

    superthor1022 New Member

    My wife and I can not fiigure out how to dicipline our 8 yr old difficult child when he simply does not care about any consequence that we give him. Is it best to just let him run rampant over us and continue to destroy our home (hole in walls, broken doors, etc...)? I feel like I need to be more calm with him but feel like my wife needs to be more stearn with him. difficult child coniually calls my wife an Ass face, stupid, idiot, has told her that he is going to kill her, etc. He does not say any of those things to me; I washed his mouth out with soap (not a proud parenting moment!)and don't know if that is why I am sparred -somewhat- from the verbal abuse.

    Do you take things away from your child when he/she acts up?
    How do you discipline when they are in a fit of rage (or after the fit of rage as trying to do anything during the fit is useless.)

    I am wondering what has worked for others?
  2. Medication for difficult child and trying to remain calm in the storm would be my two quick answers.

    You will certainly get more detailed help from others.


    I feel your pain.
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    What triggers his outbursts?
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The ONLY thing that worked for us, was to get to the bottom of "why"... and the "why" was a RAFT of missed dxes.

    That "ODD" diagnosis? all that tells you is that your child is showing problem behaviours. You already knew that... the diagnosis just makes it "official" that it isn't just your parenting. Beyond that? ODD is useless.
    Something ELSE is triggering the behaviour.

    What is his birth-family history like? MI/MH issues, any Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) on that tree, etc.? Sometimes, that gives a clue.

    Who provided the dxes you list?
    What professionals are currently involved in his life?
    What was he like as a toddler? when did the issues begin? did they get worse when school started?

    The questions aren't to be nosy, but... to see if there is more info in the background that might help some other parents see into your situation.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    If your child is truly out of control (and I mean they are actually INCAPABLE of self-control) then no, consequences will be useless.

    Instead, you may have to think in terms of "containment". Instead of thinking in terms of what a child that age *should* be able to do - you need to parent according to what your child is actually capable of doing.

    If your child has rages - you need to provide a safe place to rage where he cannot hurt himself. Remove glass items and other breakables from his bedroom. If that means he cannot have certain things in his room - then it is what it is. He can rage without breaking anything or injuring himself until he regains control. Then when it is over - it is over.

    Consequences, when appropriate, need to be logical. He puts a hole in the wall during a rage? He can help fix it.
  6. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    We could have set Kanga on fire and that would not have been a big enough consequence to change her behavior.

    What evaluations has he had already? I'm assuming he has not had a full neuropsychologist+psychiatric work up as he's still stuck with that awful placeholder diagnosis ODD. Like InsaneCdn said, without getting to the "why" it is hard to figure out how to reach the child.
  7. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Threatening to kill her is a big flag for me. Figuring out what's really going on is needed asap so your wife doesn't get really hurt, or one of your other children, your pets, friends, etc.

    My daughter would rage and the only thing I could do was contain her to her room (holding the door closed, sitting in front of it) or to do a giant hug to her, sit her between me, facing out and wrap my arms and legs around her until she calmed (which usually meant crying). I know that there are certain ways one can hold a raging child that is safe, there should be something online with some details. I could never punish her for those moments, it's not like she was being bad to just be bad. She was being aggressive because something triggered it that she couldn't control.

    My husband fought the medication for a couple years, and in that time things got way worse. The medication has been beyond helpful. There are a lot of options out there. For her she just couldn't help it. No matter how much she wanted to be good, it was too hard for her brain. Now she's able to concentrate better, feels better about herself, does better in school, it's like a whole new child.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Threatening to kill is a big red flag for me too. I'd take him to a new psychiatrist. I think more is going on than ODD. Does he have any remorse when he says mean things or does wrong things?
  9. superthor1022

    superthor1022 New Member

    So his rages could start from something as little as telling him to brush his teeth. If he doesn't want to brush his teeth then he will throw a fit. IF-IF we insist that he brush his teeth then he gets more and more angry. As far as the verbal abuses, they aren't always in a "rage" they sometimes are just because we asked him to do somthing or clean something or whatever. We have really tried to focus on what triggers the rages with little valuable data. He started the fits at a young age of 2 or so.

    His birth mother is ADD - non medicated and very managed. His birthfather is basically a sociopath. We dont' have a full medical history of him. He has little (if any at all) remorse when he is done. He will apologize when asked, but with basically no emotion in it. He also does not want any type of physical touch during these fits. No hugging, no restraining, etc. It will deepen the rage.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Who provided the dxes? What kind of testing was done?

    Other things that help at this stage (not with difficult child but with finding answers) are to keep a log, journal, or start building a parent report (it's in site resources under a different title...) This would enable you to see patterns that aren't so obvious on a day to day basis.

    For starters, it sounds like there are sensory issues involved. A detailed Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment for sensory and motor skills issues is probably in order if it hasn't been done. But there is likely more involved than "just" sensory issues.

    The rage isn't necessarily related to the last trigger - that's just the proverbial last straw. Your child may be under serious "overload" all day every day, has had more than enough before the day is done, and a good night's sleep (IF he gets one) isn't enough to undo all the damage from yesterday, so today starts with a deficit... does that make sense?
  11. superthor1022

    superthor1022 New Member

    It totally makes sense. I agree that he starts with a deficit every day. He was diagnosis'd by Fraser. They are suppose to be one of the best in MN for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and such. However, I feel like we were very rushed through and then it took them about 6 months to finally get us our reports. They couldn't find them. I am really trying to build my knowledge so that when we do have him restested I can be armed with the right questions to ask.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    While you're doing that... get a private, full-scale Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done. The Occupational Therapist (OT) has therapies, accommodations and interventions that help for sensory overload... and that has just GOT to be ONE of the issues... Know what I mean??

    There's a challenge with the autism spectrum... a kid can have a couple of KEY items, and be definitely Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Asperger's. Or... a kid can have all sorts of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)-ish traits and issues... and NOT meet the criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)/Asperger's (i.e. my difficult child). Sensory issues often go with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)... but you can have sensory issues, and not have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Ditto for motor skills issues (Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) is the diagnosis if you don't have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)-ish motor skills problems). I don't know where the cut-off is for all of the other 'traits'. But I do know that an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation is worth paying for, if there is any hint of either sensory or motor skills issues.

    Occupational Therapist (OT) therapy (and the interventions and accomodations they recommend) may help reduce some of that "overload" even while you search for a more comprehensive answer.

    How is he around noisy environments? (separate, additional line of thought...)
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take him to a neuropsychologist who works or once worked at Mayo Clinic. We got a ten hour evaluation that rocked from some neuropsychologist who had been at Mayo then moved to Wisconsin. I can't imagine any better place for a neuropsychologist to get his internship than there. There will probably be a long waiting list for any decent neuropsychologist...they are very much in demand because they are such good/through diagnosticians.

    I am not sure he is Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or neurologically impaired at all though. He could have a mental illness too. It is not the norm for any child to threaten to kill somebody. I would want to make sure a psychiatrist (maybe also trained at Mayo) is also involved. Most likely, your child will need medication. I'm not always pro-medication, but you want to keep your wife don't know if he's blowing smoke or if he means what he is saying.

    Good luck and keep us posted :)
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Have you read "The Explosive Child" (by R. Greene)? That has some interesting info that changed our approach to parenting and help some.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to our corner of the world. Your difficult child sounds a lot like mine at that age (he used to threaten to kill me and would be much worse to me than my husband-even though he has come a long way he still is much more respectful to my husband). I would definitely have him evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team (child pyschologist, child psychiatrist, and a neuropsychologist). They can give you a much broader picture. I would be sure to document what you see and how often it occurs (of course, when my difficult child was 8 I would have needed to be documenting 24/7).

    Consequences when my son was that age didn't mean anything to him. We tried to keep them as natural as possible but we also couldn't consequence everything. We did use a lot of the ideas from The Explosive Child.
  16. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Hello ST. Have you journaled what he's DOING before you make the request that sets him off? That was my key with difficult child 1. If he was in the middle of something when I made the demand, he'd rage. But I really started to pay attention to what he was doing and giving him a "time warning" like "when the next commercial comes on you need to ..." or "when you are done with that level in the game, you need to ..." or "when you're finished doing _________, you need to ...". Those really helped. He cannot switch gears like most kids can.

    As for the discipline, I decided not to punish for things said in a rage. difficult child 1 would spew some of the most hurtful things when he was in the rage that he wouldn't even think of when in a "normal" frame of mind. And as someone else said, the consequences need to logical to HIM. Hole in the wall - fix the whole, throw something - pick it up, etc but not until the rage is completely over (for difficult child 1 that can be up to a half hour later).

    I am going to Private Message you the name/location of the neuropsychologist we used in the Cities. He was wonderful and totally "right on the nose". ODD is not helpful at all and can even be damaging if the school deals with that like ours did. Also, an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation is definitely called for.

    Glad you're sticking around. You'll love this place!!!
  17. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    My difficult child 1's bio-dad is also a sociopath. I think with difficult child 1 we are battling some of the mental illness that turned his dad into what he is. It has been a very hard road but with lots of therapy, medications, and work on my part difficult child 1 is more emotionally mature than his bio-dad. I think difficult child 1 will not turn out like his bio-dad. He does not enjoy hurting people. I am still working with difficult child 1. What I have found to work best as consequences are pointing out natural consequences. "If you are not nice the other kids won't want to play with you." "If you don't shower. You will stink and the other kids will make fun of you." "If you hurt your brother I can't trust you and you can't be alone with him." "If you threaten to hurt me you can't be with me." I have been very blunt, very strict, and its not fun. (My husband thinks I need to be stricter, too.) We have also had a time out room where difficult child 1 could go to rage safely.

    The others have given you great advice about testing. Good luck and welcome.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the board. Im going to tell you what my son who is now 26 has told me about his behavior when he was a kid. He has said that while we did everything we could do...and he fully realizes he was a total pain in the rear, nothing we could have done was going to drastically alter his behavior because that was simply how he wanted to act. He knows now that he was an idiot and ruined his life and if he could do things over again he would behave so much better but he cant. He really screwed the pooch for himself. I had him in every kind of therapy from the time he was 4 until I just gave up at 17.

    The best things we did were to make him responsible for his own actions. That is mighty hard at 8. I would think he needs to be on some kind of medication at least for the ADD and probably something for calming down his rages. I would bet my left arm that he has some form of impulse control disorder. He may have temper dysregulation disorder. You do have to discipline him somehow though. Some people have an issue with discipline but that means to teach. You need to work on teaching him better ways. It may mean plenty of doing the same thing over and over. He calls his mom bad names, he goes into the bathroom and says the bad names to the mirror for 15 minutes. He keeps doing it, next time its 30 minutes. He throws things, he loses the things he throws.

    Dr Phil talks about Commando Parenting in one of his books and this is something you have to go into and your child cannot win this war. Take everything out of his room except for his mattress, blankets and pillows, a couple of changes of clothes and a few stuffed animals. Everything else is in another room. You have to be able to control him. Check out Dr Phils book that has this in it. I think its Family First but you can probably get the info on his website. I also like The Defiant Child by Doug Riley.
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What is the background story of your child? If he had a very chaotic infancy/toddlerhood, he could well be on the attachment disorder spectrum and, yes, many of them act like little anti-social children who have no consciences. They need help from a therapist who understands attachment problems (no, most of them do not). I have read that a child with a psychopathic parent is at higher risk to have the personality traits (genetics) to become one himself/herself. Can this be reversed? I think so. We adopted another child whose birthmother was a total drug addict putting him at huge risk to also become never happened.

    The more you tell us, the more we can help. ((((Hugs)))) from all of us. Especially me. I know what it's like to have a child who responds to absolutely nothing. He is no longer with us because he hurt our pets and our two younger adopted children. Do you have other kids and how are they doing regarding his behavior?

    PS--Ok, duh, I missed the post about birth adoptions and open adoptions (I doubt the open part has anything to do with the behavior). You still need to take the genetics into account. Do you know anything at all about this sociopathic father's other children, if he has any? Do THEY have issues too? Did birthmother use drugs or drink during her pregnancy? This is also huge. That affects the developing brain.
  20. superthor1022

    superthor1022 New Member

    @midwestmom- difficult child was adopted from birth (we were at the hospital when he was born.) Birth mom is 'normal'. She may have ADD but is undiagnosed. Birthfather is out of the picture but is described to us as a sociopath. Has some obvoius mental health concerns. I have no idea what they are though. My other children are also adopted (both from a very young infancy.) Both are very well rounded and do very well with helping to calm, re-direct, etc. difficult child.