Just dont know where to turn

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sallyed, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. sallyed

    sallyed New Member

    Hi , Im new here and hoping that someone can give me some advice .
    I am happily married with three children 9 , 5 and 2 , my 9 year old was recently diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and i just cant tell you how hard life is .
    Firstly he is like Jekyl and Hyde sometimes you could not wish for a nicer boy yo spend your time with and other times he is just the devil himself ,
    Take tonight for example i let him out to play with his friend in the street i get a call from the friends mum they have been throwing stuff at this older man who lives on the street , swearing at him and making lewd gestures to him !!
    he gets into trouble at school all the time and as soon as i ask him to do something could be as simple as brushing his teeth he starts screaming and shouting hurling abuse . My husband is holding back from giving him a real good hiding but i honestly dont know what to do , we went to the psychologist who was useless just sat and played games with him , i need answers lol not how to play tic tac toe
    sorry for the rant but i am at breaking point
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome. Glad you have found your way here because you really need a place to be able to let off steam, tell it as it is and find compassionate people who understand and have a lot of experience and wisdom to share. I am relatively new here too and am still very much learning on the job :)
    I totally understand your comment about Jekyll and Hyde - this is what my son reminds me of too, though I've never actually framed it like that... I have found that I definitely have the power to bring out his Dr Jekyll (this was the nice one in the original story :) ) or to trigger his frightening Mr Hyde... but sometimes one is just too plain tired, stressed, human, frustrated to be able to play at super mum and super dad...
    Swearing and making lewd gestures is also the kind of thing that draws my son... though he increasingly understands that it is socially disapproved of. The throwing stuff is not good... how did you deal with it afterwards? People talk about the importance of consequences and I am sure that is right but the trouble is imposing them... if your son is anything like mine (and I suspect he is), he will not accept consequences and if he is punished it seems to make no difference, or make things worse... So the "real hiding", while doubtless momentarily satisfying as a release for all your husband's stress, anger and frustration, will do absolutely nothing to make your son change for the better. I would imagine.
    What I have found works is:
    1. Rewards - promising a reward in the near future if he behaves in a (pre-defined, obviously) desirable way
    2. Speaking to him respectfully and in a friendly tone. This often produces surprising results. Believe me I totally understand how near-impossible this is when the child is being rude, defiant, aggressive and all the rest of it... but what I do see and understand, though I am sometimes not super-human enough to remember it without fail, is that my boy is not actually trying to annoy and upset me on purpose with his behaviour; he is extremely sensitive and gets extremely upset and affected by my annoyance and upset... Yesterday I got really cross with him about something he was doing and he said "I want to be dead!" He is four years old! I thought oh my god, if I behave like this towards him enough times he really is going to get depressed and suicidal. It is TREMENDOUSLY hard. You need all the support, professional and personal, you can get, to enable you both to deal with him in ways that are productive, loving and consistent. These children are often really out of control. I believe they really need to see control and reasonableness being modelled and this is what is so, so hard when all your buttons are being pushed and you feel like you are at the end of your tether.
    3. Praise, encouragement and affection. These things are far more effective for my boy (and I would imagine yours) than criticism, blame, anger, etc. At the same time there are limits that need to be respected and there are times when one gets cross. I find that my son has a kind of absolute radar that knows when I am acting out of good intention and love for him and when I am just stressed and more in my own wounded self than mature parent mode, if you see what I mean. He will accept discipline from the former but not from the latter.
    These are my experiences that I can share with you. Others will be along with more insight. Hugs. There is light at the end of the tunnel, though it may not be immediately visible...
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Where do you live? How was his early development. Was he always this way?
  4. dmf

    dmf New Member

    Hi Sallyed,
    I am so there with you!! I only joined yesterday as I was at the same place as you. I have no advice for you (sorry) but I share your pain.
    Know you are not alone (as is obvious by the forum we are on!) and we can get through this (at least I bloody well hope so!!!!!!) without any major catastrophes.
    Keep smiling and use your friends and family and sounding/whinging boards.
  5. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Sorry things are going rough! I also only joined yesterday...

    I know this will not be helpfull in this specific situation, but I tried something really different the other night, with positive results.
    My son was starting to work himself up into a tantrum, and instead of me trying to do 'all the right things', I just started to tickle and play with him (but this woudn't have worked if the reason for his tantrum was aggitation)....Sometimes just catching them by surprise, reacting totally different from what they expected...has positive outcomes! Huggs for you
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Who did the diagnosis and when?
    Is he on any medications?
    Does he show the same behaviors at school, or just at home?
  7. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    I have often said the same thing about my 10 yr old Daniel. His therapist and even his teacher have worked with him on calming behaviors ie: counting, warm bath, removing himself from the situation that is upsetting him. Some have worked but not all. His teacher this past year was awesome in working with him. He had a signal for her (hand on his forehead) to let her know that he was having a problem. It had been arranged that when he did this she would let him go either to a male teacher that he respected or the asst prinicipal that he respected. Sometimes all it took was a cool down period outside the classroom on the bench. It is so much harder now that school is out. ACK
    We have an 90 min drive to his psychiatrist and therapist every two weeks. He has said things to me that are so mean on these drives that it hurts my heart. I have learned to pick my battles with him and generally just keep quiet when he is going on and on. A short while later he will calm down and say to me "Mom, I bet those mean things I said to you really hurt your feelings and I am sorry. I don't know why I act that way".
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sallyed, can you give us more information about your son and his early years? Anything genetic on either side such as depression or bipolar or alcoholism?

    How were his early years? Did he meet his milestones on time? Does he play well with others and does he do okay in school?

    How do you discipline him and your other kids? What country do you live in? Has he ever seen any doctors? Medications?
  9. sallyed

    sallyed New Member

    Hi again ,
    and thanks it is nice to know we are not alone , in answer to some of the questions we were diagnosed by the psychologist , we went to see the pediatrician who told me what sort of shoe i should use to smack my son with !! needless to say we didnt go there again .
    He takes Ritalin on a morning he was on concerta but i found that he wouldnt eat all day so they took him off it and put him on ritalin,
    As i type i am battling with already and it is 6.30 am !!!
    there is no history on either side of the family of depression alcholhism or anything like that. I am thinking though that we might have to go for a visit to the psychiatrist though and possibly get a re evaluation.
    With regards to discipline i feel that we have tried everything !!!which is why i suppose i feel like there is just no way to go
  10. sallyed

    sallyed New Member

    he has bad behaviour at school too he gets himself into all sorts of trouble fighting and calling out in class.
  11. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    You can learn alot about a kid by playing games. The doctor was watching how your son reacts to challenges, follows the rules, and how he responds to the outcome of the game. The game also can relax a child (if it is not frustrating them) to where a conversation can be held without direct eye contact. Your difficult child can answer questions without feeling that all the attention is on him. If it is getting frustrating, the doctor can try to figure out why, what is it that is overwhelming about a simple game? Some kids like to change the rules along the way, is your son one of those kids? These are things the doctor was looking for to help get to know your child better.
    I by accident learned that my difficult child had trouble with the game Chutes and Ladders (at age 13). It has you going from left to right and then right to left up the board. You would think that by age 13 one can stop for a second to figure out which way you are suppose to move but he did not. He wanted to go left to right and start on the left side instead of coming back right to left. I used to think like you, "What is the use of games outside entertainment?" until I had my lightbulb moment with Chutes and Ladders. Even the easiest of games comes with some skills and talents with the biggest one the sportsmanship. Some people play for the fun, some play for the win and will try to manipulate the game if need be to win. Some struggle with the skill it takes - like taking turns, moving the correct way, ect.
    If you are still seeing this particular doctor or if you are lining up a new one, ask them about the importance of games. He or she should be willing and able to tell you what he/she gets out of each particular game. Maybe have your difficult child sit in the waiting room for a short time while you visit with the doctor about the strategy behind the process he or she chooses.
  12. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    Andy is right on about the games. I know that Daniel's previous psychologist played games with him. She advised me that Daniel has a major problem with losing. He will cheat or manipulate a game so he can win. We tried to play Sorry here but he removed all the Sorry cards that said "go back _ spaces). Without them in the game, if he starts the game off he generally wins. When you try to play Yahtzee with him he will play with the dice in the cup to get them to come out like he wants them to.
    Psychologist said this indicated poor self worth...he HAS to win to feel better about himself. Sadly he has lost ALL of his friends in the past six months because of this problem. If someone he is playing with gets one up on him he blows up and gets aggressive. This even happened at school in PE....he was OUT and the kid that put him out was told "I know where you live and will come over with a knife and cut your guts out". He spent the rest of the day in ISS.