Is there sanity at the end of the tunneL?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by suellen51, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. suellen51

    suellen51 New Member

    Hi to all!

    I am a single mom with a 10 year old who was recently diagnosed ODD. He has been this way for around a year now. Life is a constant battle! I had to stop homeschooling him or I thought I would lose my mind. He is controlling, manipulating, and thinks he is my peer. I am 51 years old and I am running on empty! We just started therapy for him last month and it has gotten a little better. But if we are around each other too much trouble always brews, The constant drama is sending me over the edge! The next step is medications. If that doesn't work I am going to have to send him away 3 hours from my home to a special home for troubled kids. I love my boy bit right now I do not like who he is. I wish is normal all the time and fins it hard to even be in the same room with him for more than 15 minutes! No one should have to live like this...including ME!!!!!!!:mad:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Suellen. Glad you're here. Sorry you had to join us though :(.

    Why don't you tell us more about your son's history? ODD is kind of a throwaway diagnosis--and it doesn't stand alone. If that's what your therapist came up with, I would get a much more intensive evaluation because ODD doesn't mean a whole lot and won't help a whole lot either. You need to know WHY he is behaving in an ODD fashion. Often after you treat the bigger problem, the ODD goes away. That happened here.

    Tell us all about his early development: any speech delays, quirks, any problems relating to his same-age peers, problems making eye contact, trouble with sensory issues, is he socially or life skill clueless? How does he do in school?

    Are there any psychiatric problems or substance abuse issues on either side of the family tree? You may want to do a signature like I did below. We would love to give our mommy input into how to help you. We have a lot of smart people here. I think you can get help for him and probably not have to send him away at such a young age. He hasn't really been evaluated yet by the best and brightest (NeuroPsychs and/or Child Psychiatrists). Take a deep breath and calm down. There is hope.
  3. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    Welcome to the board! I am really sorry to hear that you are in this situation. I know what you are going through. My 9 year old has Aspergers, ADHD, Bipolar disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Anxiety disorder. At this very moment he is throwing things around because he is punished from his computer and games because of something that happened at school today. Its not easy living with a child who is constantly pushing the limits and making everyone around you miserable. Just hang in there! People here give excellent advice because they know exactly how you feel. If they are not going through it, then they know someone who is.
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member


    I would recommend for you to read, "The Manipulative Child" (I borrowed a copy from the local library). It gives some insight on what is going on with this behavior and some tools to work through it. The main thing I learned is not to fuel the fire. The manipulator will change subjects until you no longer have an answer (or until you give in to what they want.). Always keep the focus on the issue. An example:
    "Mom, I am going to my friend's house after school tomorrow. I'll be home for supper."
    "You can not go to your friend's house you need to be home to get your homework done."
    "I am sure I will not have homework"
    "You need to come home."
    "That's not fair."
    "You need to come home." (always stay calm and matter of fact.)
    "But so and so always gets to go to places after school."
    "You need to come home." (don't explain how so and so has different rules or your difficult child will find something in that to form an excuse)
    "I can do my homework after supper."
    "You need to come home."
    No arguing each excuse, just keep the focus on the schedule you have set up. Bring him back to that original issue.

    You do not need to explain every excuse, your son needs to respect the family rules without questions. That doesn't mean you never let plans be changed, but it is really about his attitude toward your rules right now. My kids love to push every button and manipulate life to be the way they want it to be. I mistakenly gave them a little too much power with my attitude of, "If you can figure out how to do it, you may." Instead of making them independent, I enabled the manipulation.

    Then, continue to search for a cause. My difficult child's psychiatrist told us that true ODD is diagnosed at a very early age, kids don't just get it at age 10. My difficult child's ODD was linked to deep anxiety. It was considered ODD Characteristics. I do notice that as his anxiety rises, so does the ODD characteristics.

    I hope you have a good evening tonight.
  5. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Hi and welcome :)

    It can be so challenging at times, you feel as though there's nothing left inside to give. it's also not a great feeling like you said when you don't know if you can stand being in the same room as them for any portion of time or drama errupts. They, at least my difficult child craves "negative" attention and when she's in a mood will go to any extent to get that from me.

    Another huge one is don't engage. State why you say no to something and don't engage. I'm slowly learning, say no and why so they have an explanation. I feel they need it at times. Than when they begin to carry on, be nasty, yell, throw fit have a consequence in place for that behavior and just carry it thru whatever it is with one warning to calm down and listen. If they don't calm than consequence. It's so hard because i always wanna engage for some reason, lol. Yet learning this has helped me even with my easy child (perfect child) we call it the other children of our families with whom do not struggle with mental illness. Not engaging i'm slowly realizing really does de escalate in time once they truly understand you mean what you say and say what you mean.

    ok, i've rambled it's late welcome again!! :) there are alot of awesome ppl here with whom with-o them i have no clue where i'd be right now
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    oh and sanity i'm learning is relative :)

    I"m beginning to learn that taking care of you is key, and creating your own sanity and quiet moments amist the chaos somewhere in a quiet place, i like the bathroom floor it's got a lock and it's the only place i'm safest from kids is soo important to find your safe zone.

    It helps me handle hard situations better when i get my "me" time, it can even be twenty minutes. oh and by the way i'm glad the therapy is helping somewhat that's a positive thing so early on, that's hopeful and something to build upon and feel good about

  7. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    well, if anyone finds my sanity could you please let me know?:heh:

    Hi and welcome!! sorry you're having such a hard time with- your difficult child.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Suellen--

    Welcome! I have to say that I am finding some "sanity" in the support offered in this forum. It is very helpful to post a problem and have at least a half-dozen other parents share stories of the same struggle. It makes me feel less isolated...and definitely less crazy.

    Of course it's not the same as having someone come in and take over for a little while--so you have to take your quiet moments where you can find them. I used to take my difficult child to playgrounds (anything fenced in and completely child-proofed) and just let her run around for a while while I relaxed on the sidelines. Because we were not interacting--it was a small mental break...and if she really tired herself out, the rest of the day would be a little bit easier.

    Hang in there! You are not alone...

  9. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Welcome,welcome,welcome. Shelter from the storm, hey? We are social animals and we do need to live in society with others. Children learn and we have an enormous job
    keeping ahead of the learning curve with our children.
    As a single mother of one boy I know the feeling and knowing that my child needs others to learn from and other kinds of relationships than what I as one person can provide on my own.
    It is so good that you are in therapy. We are also. And at first it was slow going, but as time goes on some very good improvements have developed.
    Frankly I do like the homeschooling and I also feel that it is important to be responsive to what is appropriate for a child to learn all that they do need to know.
    What I like about the public schools from my own education and for my child is that
    our society has lots of differant people in it and we do need to know each other.
    The structured learning that children receive in public schools is hotly debated on all sorts of fronts. However all children do learn and it is vital that everyone
    does know how to learn and how to get along with others.
    My son received help in social skills at school with the help of the conselors who put together a "friendship skill group" that met at lunch.
    Whatever pattern you have developed with your child is learned behavior, too. As the adult you are the one who sets the limits and defines the rules in your home.
    When I changed the plan for my son in our home it was tough for a couple days. And after that it has gone much better.
    What I say about manipulation as a parent is my kid is going to try and manipulate me and I do not have to spend a dime for that.
    What I did to reform my household was simple. I took away all the electronic devises, and gathered up everything that was not put away. I changed my sons room as a symbol for him that defines a new chapter and new rules.
    The thing is to change YOU change. You have to know what is needed and how to
    put it in motion. then you have to keep up the program.
    What is true for you you do know. When you are ready and have figured 'it' out then you will be ready to make the moves and redirect this relationship and point the child in the right direction.
    Sometimes the unintended message a child who is outside the school system learns is that they are "to different". The struggles a person goes through through life are
    developmental first and social second. Without time doing his work in growing up with others a child may misuderstand that he 'can not' rather than he has not had the oppertunity and did not learn these social lessons. Starting school now maybe a challenge for him both withing the class where he maynot have the materials grasped that his peers do at this point in their education, and being unaccustom to the structured learning setting. He will not be the first and he won't be the last and he can do it.
    Maybe you will need some interum placement where he learns new behavior. Either way avoidance will just instill the behavior relyed on now and it is not workable.