How would you handle this?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by cadydid, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. cadydid

    cadydid New Member

    My son has come up with the excuse, "Im just kidding" when ever he does or says something that he is not supposed to be doing. This comes into play when he is bugging his sisters or pushing husband's buttons. I'm usually pretty good at coming up with something to deter a behavior, but this one has got me stumped. husband wants to give him a taste of his own medicine, but I know that is a disaster waiting to happen. I can see the meltdowns and rage coming now.

    I have tried brining this up to his therpist, but he is pretty much brushing it off as not a big deal. I have tried explaning that it is HUGE issue in our house right now, but he is not willing to address it. His case manager feels the same as I do, but can not over ride his therapist. I have not encountered this from him before, so it is new territory for me.

    Any suggestions you can provide will be greatly appreciated. I'm near my wits end with it and just simply do not know which way to go.
  2. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I don't know if this is exactly what you are looking for, but I think an appropriate comment would be "mean is not funny" or we don't "kid" about hurting others or saying hurtful things and then consequence the behavior. It might be yet another opportunity to go over better ways to play, tease or to be heard.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Whether he's kidding or not about something he's doing or saying to someone else, the reaction it causes in that person is what's important. He needs to understand that ANYTHING he does, kidding or not, that causes pain or distress to another person is NOT O.K. It's all about establishing boundaries and sticking to them. I think I would decide on a plan of action for consequences he earns whenever he does something hurtful that he tries to pass off as a "just kidding" act. Tell him up front what is going to happen (loss of privilege, extra chore, whatever) and then get ready to implement consistently. No warnings. Just respond with the consequence whenever it happens. You can review each incident after he serves his penalty and ask for feedback on what he can do to prevent it from happening next time.

    Hopefully, if he is made fully aware of the ramifications and then you follow through, over time he will stop. And hopefully you won't have too huge of a meltdown because of this. That doesn't mean you won't have resistance at first. I would fully expect a major hissy fit the first few times you implement the consequence. But it should taper off after some time.

    Anyway, that's just my 2 cents. Good luck!
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I pretty much agree with the advice offered so far. If it's any consolation, my difficult child does the same thing. She will be completely out of line with her insulting, rude remarks and then try to pass it off as "O I'm only joking!".

    We make her apologize for ANY rude remarks regardless of excuses. And yes, we will do the "Yeah, that's not funny..." too.

    And there is no "taste of her own medicine". The second she even thinks that someone might be making a joke about her, no matter how small, she becomes totally infuriated.

    Hope this helps...

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    My son did that for a long time. Rarely does it any more (Thank heaven!).
    It took a LOT of reprimands on my part to get him to stop.
    I did try sarcasm a cpl times and it really hurt his feelings. I made it clear that I was doing it to illustrate his behavior toward other people.
    I have no idea, frankly, what finally made it stop. But we never brought it to the therapist's attention because we had other fish to fry.
    I know how aggravating it can be. He is testing his limits. And being passive-aggressive.
    You just have to stay on it.
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    I hear you! been there done that....and actually still doing it somewhat.

    When difficult child started at first and it was clear it was an "issue", we first had a talk with him about boundries and joking. (what is ok, what isn't and how to know) After that, a few reminders of the talk. Once THAT didn't really get anywhere, we basically were just blunt.

    "It wasn't funny"

    "I don't care, joking or not, you know better"

    Or something that told him that we were absolutely not buying it and to knock it off. Now that he's older, I pretty much tell him that I don't appreciate his humor and don't want to be around him when he's in a "joking" mood, then make him go to another room. For him though, I think a lot of times it's a button issue. He delights in pushing mine and husband's buttons and this is one of his ways. The less we engage, the less fun it is for him.

    I don't know if any of this could work for you but that's my 2 cents worth. Hope you figure out hoovers.
  7. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Why don't you try role playing? Have you and husband do it infront of him. Have husband do something similar to the stuff difficult child is doing to you or whomever else in household and have him watch. When it's over ask him how it made him feel to watch it, did he think it was funny?

    Nothing too extreme ofcourse, yet give him the opportunity to see for himself what his behaviors look like.

    sorry it can be so so frustrating i know.

  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    You are correct. This is a HUGE issue. We have seen it in our home also. I believe left unaddressed will lead a child to learn to use that excuse for everything. When it started in our home, I would be very up front about it, "No, you were not kidding and that is not acceptable." Whenever you say or do ANYTHING that can be seen as mean and hurtful, you have to suffer the consequences" "We do not hurt others when we kid around and you are old enough to know when something is wrong to do."

    If my child tries to convince me otherwise, "Mom, I was just kidding!" then I reply, "It did not look or sound like you were kidding." and follow through with whatever discipline is called for.

    Kids have to learn that even kidding and having fun has boundaries.

    Your therapist should address every single issue that you bring up. If he/she does not believe it is important, than he/she should be meeting with you in private to obtain more information as to why you think it is a problem or to explain to you why he/she doesn't think it is.
  9. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Words hurt.
    The most recent situation I dealt with is swearing. the excuse 'they are only words. It is just a joke. I am not serious.'
    How does that hurt you and other people?

    What I did/do is immediately stop the show...what ever is going on...done. now.
    The first time I said it.
    The second time I said what would happen (close the funtime, friends go home, ...)
    third time: consequences.
    After that the first time is THE END.

    they react,fuss, fume, ect.
    when that is over then they want to talk about it.
    when I am ready to talk then ask "How did what you did hurt you and other people?"
    Until the offender has that part in line they are not having guests, sharing the room with others, on the entertainments ect.
    Bored? REad a book. Take a nap. Take a bath.

    For me intentionally annoying,hurtful, mean is not tolerable. Teasing is mean.
  10. Numina

    Numina New Member

    I think it's a big deal if he's going around annoying people. He thinks because he's joking he can get away with bullying.

    Can you put it in a hypothetical he can understand? Say, 'How would you feel if someone said something hurtful to you?' Of course if you have something concrete that has happened, that would help. Ask if that would make it hurt less and excuse the behavior?

    He needs to somehow be put in the other person's shoes so he can see it from their perspective.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Acouple of things:

    1) Where did he learn this from? I think you need to do some digging and find out. Because if someone was doing this to him, and usibng "I was only kidding" as a way to totally remove his 'right' to stand up for himself, then he needs to know how to defend himself from this kind of nasty thing.

    2) He needs to know that this is what some people do, when they want to take a chance and say/do something mean, but still do it without having to take responsibility for their words/actions. This is not acceptable, from anyone.

    A good friend of mine was tortured by her father like this, all the time she was growing up. He would say really mean things like, "You're a fat freak," but when she got upset he would say, "I was only kidding." Her failure to see it as funny was then added to the previous insult; not only was she a fat freak, she had no sense of humour either. In this way, it can be a really effective weapon for someone.

    Maybe another thing you could add to your armoury in fighting this, is to point out, "If you have to explain you were only kidding, then you've gone way too far. 'Only kidding' does NOT give you a free pass to be mean, rude or a bully."

    Good luck with nipping this in the bud. I agree with the idea of role play, it can be a useful technique with ADHD kids.