How to handle difficult child/easy child friction?


Here we go again!
difficult child 2 is incredibly annoying and provocative these days since we're tweaking medications. He absolutely infuriates easy child (and even difficult child 1) and she is becoming a shrieking, verbally abusive and threatening little witch because of the level of her frustration -- she verbalizes why she's so harsh around him very well and seems justified, but I can't condone her behavior one bit and I tell her as much. I'm starting to worry about her anger issues with respect to him and hoping it doesn't spill over into her other relationships. difficult child 2 seems to delight in bothering his sibs and whether I'm driving in the car or in the house, I have to separate him from the others or all heck breaks loose. And even when they are separated, he still manages to find a way to bug someone.

How do you all deal with disciplining kids who are out of control like this?

Time outs fail because he goes right back to it not long after he's out of time-out (as evidenced by the 1/2 dozen or so he had on the 4th).

Revocation of privileges fail because he continues with the offensive behavior after he's done complaining about how unfair I am.

Physical punishment fails because it only works for as long as his memory of it (very short) and it's just not right.

Do I need to just sit on him all day? Send the others away?

I am so sick of playing referee and listening to everyone else cry foul (even husband, now)! Tomorrow is our 2nd opinion psychiatrist appointment., but that's not going to fix everything in an instant. I really need some advice on how to manage the rest of this summer without losing my mind or any more hair.


Well-Known Member
I would buy the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Green. It's helped a lot of us. Also, watch him as much as you need to. I know it's a pain, but hopefully you'll get some much needed help soon. Remember that Depakote takes EIGHT WEEKS and to reach a good level to help. Hugs.


Here we go again!
I have the book and have read about 1/2. It's hard to carve out time to read around here since my three-ringed circus is so incredibly demanding of my attention :wink:

I guess there are just no easy solutions right now and I'll have to soldier on as best I can. He's only going on his third week for Depakote and just increased to 750mg last night (labs from last Friday showed a level of 60).

Sure wish there was a better pharmacalogical solution to addressing this behavior. It's maddening to have to wait soooo long to see any benefit!!! I shudder to think what further issues we'd be dealing with if this was in the middle of the school year! :eek:


Active Member
I would ignore most of the housework and be outside with them as much as you can. pack their lunch, take a walk, keep them out of the house as much as you can. summer will be over before you know it.
ant was always good when we walked to the lake and went fishing for the afternoon, or took bike hikes.


New Member
I hate to recommend what I'm doing to anyone else, because it is life consuming. It means not much personal time during the day for me except potty breaks. But we've been doing it for 3 weeks now and things have calmed down BIG TIME.

I have blocked out 30 minute time periods from the time I wake up, until the time the kids go to sleep. Each 30 minutes each kid does something different. TV time (they get to choose whats on), playstation/gamecube time, computer time, reading time, journal time (write about their day in a spiral), parent time (individual time with me or husband) and family time.

I make family time the largest block of time. I do this from 1130-200. This allows me time to take them to a movie, roller skating, to the park, pool, whatever. But even if I stay at home and play UNO or a board game, family time is not optional, everyone must participate. I schedule breakfast, after breakfast I have outside time. They go in the backyard and play, or we go for a walk in the neighborhood. When we come home, its reading time for the kids, while I jump in the shower really quick. Then its lunch, then family time, then the afternoon is spent in 30 minute intervals changing each activity each kid does. But it is mandatory for my difficult children. They must do what is on the schedule and I tell them it is to keep them from getting into trouble. They seem to understand that and are happy to be playing and not driving anyone nuts. My oldest difficult child is my worst about getting on nerves.

Anyways, I would pick things that work in your house. It all depends on what activities your kids enjoy and what they are allowed to do. If they like jumping on the trampoline, have that be a 30 minute period. Just keep each kid doing something different each 30 minutes, so they stay away from eachother. The only together time is supervised by you during family time.

Not sure if it will work for anyone else but us. I just didn't know what else to do. My difficult children were driving me to drink a week into summer. This has helped and I don't even mind having to skip my shows on tv, because my house is so much more pleasant.

Good luck!


Here we go again!
Housework?! Ha-ha! What's THAT? :wink:

That's a good idea, though... just packing up and heading out for the great outdoors. The past few weeks have been chaotic with my daughter being injured and unable to go outside (she can now, though), out of town guests, family events to attend, etc. But I think now I can breathe a bit easier and we can get out more.

Thanks :thumb:


Here we go again!
I salute you for managing to coordinate such a large group of kids and keep things balanced like you are! :salute:

I've never been good at daily scheduling like that, but it would probably do us all a lot of good. I think we'll be trying to get out more and finding more activities for all to do (at least until camp starts at the end of the month).

difficult child 2 does better with his behavior if he has a gross motor outlet for his energy.

Gotta do something, because there's no sign of things getting beetter anytime soon... :warrior:


Well-Known Member
Isn't there an old saying...maybe from the Bible. "An idle mind
is the Devil's workshop." There is alot of truth in that and
knowing what you are going to do alleviates the stress of making
up ideas. DDD


New Member
I'm not good at daily schedule keeping either, so I just put it all in excel and kept trying it each day. I haven't actually looked to see if anyone is getting cheated out of time on something, but no one has complained since the first few days. I had to spend time at night adjusting the schedule in the beginning. The first few days of figuring out what worked and what didn't were more difficult, but now I have a rain day plan and a non-rain day plan. It's been pouring down here in Texas, so rain day plan has won out most often. The kids usually tell me when its time to switch activities and they are so busy, they stopped driving eachother crazy. Its really helped.

I hope taking the kids out helps you! I know how frustrating staying at home can be with difficult children and PCs mixed.


New Member
I, too, keep mine as busy as possible as I can totally relate to sibling rivalry! I have all boys 12,6,2, and difficult child,12, hurts and annoys easy child 1,6, all the time!
difficult child loves basketball so when I see him getting worked up it's outside he goes, even if it's really hot and I make him play b-ball even if it's just for 10 min. I really notice a change in behavior when everyone has an activity to do and we stay on task.
It is exhausting but you are trading exhaustion from breaking up fights to exhaustion of being busy and organized.
It's not perfect but it helps.