Impulse Control

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Dec 6, 2007.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My difficult child 1 has really been having some trouble with personal boundaries and impulse control lately, and I'm not sure what to make of all this.

    I wrote a short time ago about his taking my bra and underwear several times over the course of a week or two, based on the funny behaviors I observed during that time but didn't really know what was going on until his dad finally caught him wearing it under his clothes. (Hasn't done this again since getting caught as far as I can tell). I haven't addressed this and wanted to see if it would continue.

    Before that, he took my cell phone to school without permission (he doesn't have his own and really wants one, but is clearly not ready for this responsibility). Drove me nuts not knowing where it was that day. He lost his Gameboy priviledges for that.

    He downloaded some games onto my phone and accessed the internet with it -- all without my knowledge until I noticed my phone bill was $40 higher this month and then figured out what happened. Needless to say, I made him pay for the charges (he still had some birthday money and he gets an allowance of $1 per year of age every month.)

    He got on my computer and played games until 2am one night -- so I set up a password to restrict his access. His dad thought he was ready for a TV in his room (against my wishes), and I caught him up watching cartoons at 1am on a school night! I unplugged the TV and took it out of his room that very minute.

    He takes things of his brother's without permission -- games, mostly, but I caught him one day sneaking out of his brother's room with a handful of coins. We talk and talk and talk about how that's not right or fair. About how important TRUST is to have, and how tough it is to get that back once you break it with someone.

    This morning, he tried interrupting me several times during a phone call (despite my repeated asking him to stop) to ask for money for his school book fair today (hadn't told me about it until today), and even went so far as to stick a note in my face while I was trying to finish up the call. When I hung up I said that since he was so rude I was not going to give him the money today and that he'd have to wait until tomorrow. Later today, I found out he took money from my wallet anyway to buy the book he wanted (he started out telling me about it in a round-about, half-truth way: I saved money from my lunch the last two days to buy the book, it only cost a dollar, well it actually cost about nine dollars, well, I actually took the money from your wallet). He tried to justify by saying he wanted to buy it for his brother's birthday (which is this weekend), it's a book his brother would really like (and he'd like it too) and he got the last one they had, blah, blah, blah. I told him he has to pay back the money, and that I was REALLY upset and disappointed that he would STEAL from me, and then try to LIE about it.

    Thinking back, all of these behaviors were at least initiated in the mornings or evenings when his medications either haven't kicked in or have worn off. Most of the time he is remorseful and apologetic -- says he doesn't know why he did it, or sometimes he will defend or explain away his behaviors as if they are somehow justified. How much of this is the ADHD/impulse control, how much is normal teenage stuff, and how much is more serious in nature that should be dealt with in a clinical setting?

    Thanks in advance for the feedback!
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Oh, my! He's been keeping himself busy hasn't he?

    Are you sure there isn't a mood disorder in the mix? (asking because alot of that is reminding me of Nichole)

    Personally, I'd toss the book into the trash. AND make him pay you back. Stealing is a major No No around here.

    It doesn't sound to me like his medications are working very well if he's having these gaps when they're not effective.

    The tv stunt is pretty much normal kid stuff. Which is why mine were never allowed one in their rooms. I know cuz I had one in MY room as a teen. lmao

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm always wondering when he had his last evaluation. Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist? Sometimes, near the teen years, new stuff comes out that didn't show before...
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, we know there's mood disorder stuff in the gene pool :wink: so maybe I need to get him back in to see the psychiatrist or at the very least the therapist to discuss this further.

    And his dad REALLY has an impulse control issue -- it's one of the things I'm steamed about right now (he went to Vegas last weekend to see his parents 'cuz it was his dad's birthday and he doesn't see them too often -- asked me how much $ he could take and I gave him a number of $100. When he got back, I found receipts for ATM and credit card advances totalling $1000!!! :faint:
  5. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Mania from the Lexapro?
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hmmm... if it is, it's NOTHING like what we've gone through with his brother, or the hypomania I think I see in his dad a lot of times. The Lexapro actually helped his mood -- he used to be grumpy and anxious more often than not. He's much more relaxed now. Maybe too relaxed? :smile: But again, I see most of these problems when the stims wear off. I'll call to talk to the office today.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi and welcome -

    Sorry I haven't been here sooner for you. I've been suffering with my own little bout of "funk".

    My son is a sticky fingered, thief. He's been told over and over and over and over to respect boundaries, possessions, things, and finally here is what we ended up living like. If you think it's "over the top" then call me when you have to do it and let me know what you think then - it was the ONLY way after 11 years to get him to respect anything and then read what he did.

    We counted every bit of piggy bank and rolled coins and put a note in with the coins that said HERE is how much we have, and that there was another note in an undisclosed location. When the money ended up missing - we automatically blamed difficult child and told him it would be that way until NO money came up missing for a years time. He stole my rolled coins - my one little pleasure to buy something new just for myself. It was over $40.00 -

    Steal coins -
    Get yard detail from hades-
    That equaled minimum wage per hour until the money was pd. back.

    He stole a 3 carat and platinum diamond ring - had it in his closet on the FLOOR for his girlfriend. Even took a nice gift box out of my jewelry box.

    This prompted us to get a safe and all jewels were put in there. The combination was left to memory and a copy was sent to my Mom.

    Steel jewels-
    Get safe-
    Memorize combination and store copy of number at moms

    He kept breaking into my bedroom and stealing my lotions, gels, deodorant, and watching TV he was not allowed to.

    I put a lock on my bedroom door handle
    I called Direct TV and asked how to lock out channels and restrict time on tv (they are awesome for this)
    Bought him a plastic basket bright color with-his own toiletries

    He kept getting into our shed and snooping in Christmas stuff, halloween decorations - boxes of yard sale stuff and would leave it out all over the shed. ARGH -

    I bought a hinge lock for both doors, and 2 padlocks
    Memorized the combinations
    Sent a copy to my Mom

    I put locks on my bedroom, my spare bedroom, my office, and took ALL the soaps, shampoos, etc out of the bathroom. NOTHING was left under or in a cabinet. It was all kept in my room locked up.

    I took ALL my cleaning supplies, bug spray(that was so pretty on the ceiling in his room =he'd leave his bedroom window open and wait for moths and bugs to come in and then blast them with bug spray) so all of anything that sprayed or hissed, or was not his was locked up. Yes it was a pain.

    We put a lock over the thermostat.

    We put a time limit on PS2 and monitored the content

    We put a time limit on the computer and moved the second computer to a longer desk so our computers would be together and I could monitor what he was doing. The crud and filth he looked at - stopped. I put Net Nanny on the computer too because he had a friend that thought turning the computer on and off rapidly and in succession would allow you access to the computer without administrator passwords - it worked some how. So then I networked them and would log him on and log him off and then check his history.

    He broke into our shop (busted a window to get tools to fix his bike) and shoved his smaller friend through the window to unlock the door.

    We put bars on the window, fixed the glass and installed an alarm

    Through all this - I nearly lost my sanity.

    What he did?

    He figured out that when it was nice I left the windows open and he got a ladder and climbed through the window to access the bedrooms with locked doors.

    When I took a shower and didn't lock the office/closet for 4 minutes - he rushed in that room, snooped, ramsacked and took my walkman, stereo headphones, and other small things like batteries (had to be earned) and just junk.

    When he couldn't get into the shed? He got in the van and took out the flat screwdriver end of the tire iron and pryed the lock off the shed, LEFT THE DOOR WIDE OPEN and the lock inside. He said he and a friend were going to clean our little pool. They took all kinds of chemicals out and my over boots (2 pr. brand new) and a sump pump and left it ALL out to be cleaned up, killed the grass, ripped the pool liner and shorted out the sump so he and dumb thief friend could have been electrocuted.

    I never had a problem with him going into my purse - because I collect change AND I carry no cash. But if he ever HAD gone through my purse I would have beat him with it.

    Finally when there was nothing left to steal, pilfer, plunder at our home - he got with 2 thief/thug boys who already were on probation for breaking and entering homes. He went with them and became the idiot 16 year old look out on 3 home robberies. He got 90+ days in juvenile hall, $6,000.00 in restitution, 1,000 hours of community service and pleaded guilty to 2 counts of adult felony burglary...that will never be off his record. If he messes up ONE time - he goes to ADULT jail for SIX years. And then will start the probation process over PLUS additional time, fees, and community service. The other two that actually broke into the houses and stole things? Got probation only - again.

    Now my son is 17. He lives in a group home 3 hours from us. He is trying to get a GED despite the fact that he should be in high school and having the time of his life AND was a straight A student when he applied himself. (really). He was going to therapy and it helped more than anything but we've been going 11 years to therapy.

    It's not like he grew up in a house with people who have no manners or respect for others boundaries. He even broke into DF's room and stole his brand new underwear. Then left them on the floor of his room; loaded- as if to say - HERE's WHAT I THINK OF YOU.

    At the group home - he's breaking into the mans shops, taking things from other kids, and stealing bicycles in a SMALL neighborhood - the people there know what he's doing - they just don't like to 'cause' trouble with the law. So did juvenile hall and jail change him? Nope - less than 2 hours after being released to us - he was snooping in my stuff, accessed through a window left open for the breeze.

    All the things I've mentioned to you could help you - Or maybe not. But I just wanted to let you know - you are not alone. Oh and as far as taking HIS stuff in retribution - NEVER not once, no matter HOW badly I 'thought' it would solve this problem or brain glitch -proud to say not one time.

    Hope you find something in this that helps.
  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    If you see the behaviors when the stims wear off, it could be a combination of rebound and SSRI induced mania.
  9. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Wow -- that's definitely a situation to push you over the edge! I think you did exactly what you had to do. I certainly hope difficult child 1's problem doesn't escalate, which is another reason I'm trying to jump all over this now. husband tends to just shrug his shoulders over most of the stuff, except for the money issue, which hits his buttons.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Gcvmom, you're right to jump all over this now.

    My difficult child does all of the things that you describe your difficult child doing.
    He has no sense of boundaries, snoops through everyone else's things and takes anything that appeals to him.

    He used to steal his little brother's toys, and often pull them apart. He used to go through my and husband's dressers, night tables clothes pockets, everything...all in a frighteningly short time (5 min when we left our room door open by mistake). His impulsive behaviour has gotten slightly better on SSRI medications, but it's still awful.

    We installed locks on every door in the house. husband and I have keys to all of the doors. difficult child doesn't have any keys, not even to the front or back doors. As Star said with her difficult child, we lock up shampoo, bubble bath, lotion, dish soap, and anything else that difficult child might take. Everything in the house was locked down, and I carried my handbag with me everywhere.

    Soap, toothpaste, etc. were issued to difficult child when it was time to use them, and then they were returned to lock-down.

    Now that he's in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), they have implemented the same policy. He has a dresser, a small table, a bed, the book he's currently reading or the jigsaw puzzle he's currently working on in his room. Everything else is in lockdown and has to be issued to him with permission.

    It's not ideal, but difficult child just doesn't seem able to control himself right now. While he doesn't have the skill to do it from within, we've had to impose it from outside. I pray that he gets it eventually...he's already in trouble with the law and further trouble will not be good now that he's over 18 and able to be tried as an adult.

    Good luck, and all the best,