my 5 year old son an his hitting, shouting, controlling over clothes he wears sleepin

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by quirkymummy, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. quirkymummy

    quirkymummy New Member

    My little boy has always been really alert from a young age always waking to fed every hour as a baby and met all his development stages. When he hit 16 months he started to get challenging as most babies/toddlers do and i hoped it was just a stage.
    A few months a go he told me he wanted to die i thought i was hearing things.
    His behaviour is all over the place one minute he can be really loving and caring and give loads of kisses the next minute he is hitting and saying he hates you and you are breaking his heart.
    This morning i couldnt get him into school i had to try 15 pairs of pants on him and he said they were all to tight and it is the same with his socks.
    I have time out sometimes he stays in time out sometimes it can a stand of for hours.
    Then theres his mid week melt down at bed time were he trashes his bedroom and i have to remove everything from his room and he hits me and i continually put him back to bed and this goes on for upto 3 hours.
    so far the school havent reported any problems he only started in september.
    I have done numerous parenting courses and i am doing a psychology degree and have older children.
    my partner thinks alot of these illnesses like adhd and bi-polar are illnesses constructed by doctors and society and everytime i discuss going to the doctors i am talked out of it. i feel like i am completely failing as a parent sometimes.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I'm glad you found us, but sorry that you had to.

    I agree with you, not your partner. Your son needs to be evaluated and in my opinion and longtime experience, the best evaluations come from neuropsychs. If this were my child, I would schedule a neuropsychologist evaluation (which you can find at childrens and university hosptials). There can be a wait because they are popular, but they in my opinion well worth it. To me, your c hild's behavior sounds like he is wired differently and will not respond to normal parenting methods that, say, a behavioral therapist may suggest. Our kids need different but early interventions.

    Does your child's GENETIC family tree have any psychiatric disorders in it, on either side, even if he has never seen his biological father? He is 50% your genes and 50% his father's. Disorders can be inherited.

    It is sad that people still feel that neurological differences and psychiatric disorders are inventions of society, but I guarantee you that nobody here agrees with that. I urge you to get him help as early as possible so that he can have a better childhood and succeed in school and so that you can also have a more peaceful life. It sounds as if he has sensory problems (trying on many pants and socks...probably they are not comfortable to him). Sensory issues don't stand alone very often and usually accompany things such as autistic spectrum disorder (Aspergers) or a childhood mood disorder.

    Did you have a normal pregnancy and birth? Did he hit all of his milestones on time? Does he make good eye contact with you and strangers and can he relate well to his same age peers? Can he transition from o ne activity to another or does that trigger a meltdown?

    You can also call your school district for testing. I personally favor private testing because the school tends to skimp, but you actually may want to do both so that the school district is ready for him and can maybe accommodate him. But I wouldn't wait any longer to evaluate him. The earlier you start interventions, the better our children can do in the long run.

    Welcome again!
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Quirkymummy.
    I disagree with-your partner.
    Get an evaluation for your son.
    I have spent mornings just like the one you described.
    Your son is very frustrated and when he is calm, go through his clothes and get rid of the ones he won't wear.
    Get two or three pr of what he likes/loves and just use those. As he grows, expect a hissy fit like that for every 1" of growth. When he's 15 or so, he'll finally speak the words, "Mom, this doesn't fit. I need new jeans." (Miracle!!!!)
    Let him sleep in whatever he wants to. Choose your battles.
    You can always cover him up in the middle of the night if it's too cold.
    My son has fallen asleep in a coat, with-a dump truck squished against his cheek so it left a mark. We just chuckled.
    When he was really little, we bought him army fatigue footie pjs. He wore them out of the mall. At first we protested, but the clerks all thought it was funny. Whatever.
    I hear you!
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I'm another one who disagree with your partner. It's not that you're a failure as a parent. It's just that he is wired a little differently than the other kids. If you were really that bad of a parent the older kids would be behaving this way, too. Get your son evaluated and see what they say. You never know what will come up. And my son is just like yours: school angel, home devil. When I tell the teachers what he behaves like at home they look at me like I have two heads and am from Mars. He's perfect in school, so they can imagine that he's not perfect everywhere else. I get that part, and it's very frustrating.

    As far as the clothes are concerned, I fall squarely into the "pick your battles" corner. Since difficult child was about 3 or 4 he has wanted to sleep in his clothes. For me, I just could not be bothered to fight with him. As long as he put clean clothes on in the morning he could sleep in whatever he wanted. difficult child used to fight with me about his clothes, too. Then I told him that he could pick what he wanted to wear, as long as when he picked a pair of pants, he had to wear the shirt that went with it (this was when he was young and everything had something that went with it). Once he realized that he had come control over what he could wear, getting him dressed became much easier. Not that we still didn't have clothing issues sometimes, but they were a little fewer and father between.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hello and welcome. You are so not alone here! It really sounds like your son has some sensory issues. As one who knows this very very well, this is not likely to go away by itself, My son has gone back and forth from wanting tight clothes to not being able to stand anything that presses. He has had days where he will wear 5 or more undies and socks! Other times he can only wear sweats, thank heaven sports pants are big right now.

    Imagine if you had thousands of mosquito bites all over your body and they never went away. (not pretending this is what he feels, just imagine that level of discomfort, or even pain)..... One would never let a person suffer like that....

    Occupational Therapy is a great place to specifically address this, and goes along well with a neuropsychology evaluation.

    How is his play? Does he have any special talents/interests? How is his speech and language and pre-reading/reading development? How does he do with food? Sensitive to noises, lights, changes in plans, low frustration tolerance, difficulty following directions (dont assume it is willfull), fine motor issues?

    These symptoms are actually hopeful because there is a lot of well researched and effective therapy out there. Please do not wait for him to end up with a casual label by misinformed people like "behavior problem" etc. Your son is telling you he is suffering by saying he wants to die at a young age. He likely does not want to die, he wants his discomfort, maybe even real pain and struggles to go away. It is our jobs of course to read the message beneath the message. I do understand that shock, as my son is saying it right now too.

    Whether or not your partner agrees with a label of a child...... the schools and society are not set up for these kids. It is our job to give our kids a soft place to grow up.... at least as much as we can. The longer we wait the more frustration, behavior challenges, harder to change things will happen. One hard and fast fact (research proves this).... EARLY intervention is better than later. So the arguement to wait and see is a big big gamble. A gamble on your child's life. Is this your partner's child? These days, the only people who are going to know about a diagnosis are the ones you choose to tell.

    I would encourage you to really stand up for your beliefs here. Trust your gut because I dont think I am alone here in saying that I have had many times I did not and then we have regrets and lost opportunities.

    I am sending you big HUGS and lots of support.
  6. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Sounds like my youngest difficult child when he was five. Anxiety and sensory issues. With clothes we did as Bunny suggested- let him choose the clothes that he can tolerate (tagless, soft, cotton shirts and lined running pants) and it mostly eliminated those battles.
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    If you and your partner are not on the same page, it will make a difficult situation a zillion times worse. I know this from personal experience. Your partner is totally wrong!! You must find a way to educate your partner, to make your partner understand that these illnesses are real!! Your child is asking for help in the only way he knows how. He needs to be evaluated as soon as possible so a treatment plan can be put in place. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to change challenging behaviors.

    Even before you have the results and a treatment plan, it's important for you and your partner to present a united front when dealing with negative behavior. It's extremely important that your child sees you act as a team. I can't stress this enough!! I learned this the hard way. It almost cost me my marriage.

    For now, I would suggest choosing your battles wisely, ignoring the small things as much as possible. Please do not feel like you're failing as a parent!! So many of us have been in the same place you're in now. It is obvious that you love your son deeply and want to help him.

    Sending many hugs your way... SFR
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Hello and Welcome!

    I'm sure you already know this, but it's not the pants OR the socks...and it really doesn't matter how many pairs you try. If that's the issue he has chosen to battle about - then THAT's the battle you are going to get. Now, there's lots of good advice about why he may be battling over socks and pants (sensory issues, growth spurts, etc) - but that's little help in the heat of the moment.

    He's 5. Can he put on his own outfit?

    And can you be OK with whatever he picks? If not - why not? Is it worth going twenty rounds every morning over clothing?
  9. HMBgal

    HMBgal Active Member

    Adding to the chorus: kids do good if they can (Explosive Child), have a look at the Out of Sync Child and Out of Sync Child Has Fun. And yeah, pick your battles...sounds like some sensory stuff going on. And why is your partner being so stubborn about this? It is hard to turn around our ideas as we get older, but if my husband could turn around, anyone can!
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I haven't read the other responses since I'm at work so this may be redundant but (1) get a neuro/psycholgical evaluation (2) do not listen to others because you know in your heart that he has a problem and deserves help and (3) seek out clothes with no tags made from soft fabric...some people buy nice but used clothing so there is no roughness. Lastly I suggest that you keep a daily journal (it does not have to be more than a few simple words) so you can track exactly when he has problems and see if there is an identifiable pattern. Sometimes radical improvement comes from simple schedule changes. Sending good luck and hugs your way. DDD
  11. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Correct me if I'm reading this wrong, but you seem to be saying that the child is trying to pick a fight. I believe, for a five year old, that if socks and pants are causing meltdowns- it probably really is the socks and pants that are the trouble (and possibly ratcheted up a notch because of knowing that to get his needs met he will need to fight for it).
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I agree with whatamess, in this case.... if it is sensory, it is not a battle like an ODD type of battle, it is pain and discomfort and not being able to handle it. I tried on a wool sweater yesterday, so cute and really thought maybe I would use it for Christmas.... UMMMM couldn't leave it on for more than a few minutes without getting crabby etc.

    Until it is clear there are no sensory issues (and put with the other things, I am making a big educated guess that it is) a behavior plan will not help. Of course you can start behaviors if he gets the wrong kind of intervention and the underlying issue of the sensory stuff is not addressed or it gets too much attention for the behavior not the issue (If that makes sense, I have done it so know what I mean, but hard to explain).
  13. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I'm saying it is entirely possible that SOMETHING is wrong....something very real...but socks and pants may be a symptom and not a cause.

    My child used to have huge rages over socks and shoes and baths and shampoos and I approached it as a sensory issue. For years I tried to appease her and soothe her by buying products that wouldn't cause any irritation - to no avail.

    Finally, it turned out that she had emotional issues. IOW - she was feeling overwhelmed by her emotions with no way to really explain or express what was while she did not "pick a fight" per se - she DID end up venting those emotions by having these kinds of meltdowns. So while I was focused on shoes (because the child was saying the shoes were the problem), the REAL issue may have been that the child was afraid to go to school, or not feeling well that morning, or there was a kid in class that she didn't want to see....etc etc etc

    So my advice was meant to help Quirky look beyond socks and pants...
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    OK, I see.... Daisy Face, I thought you were saying that it didn't much matter if there was a sensory issue, that it was the behavior that mattered. I agree (if I understand you now) then, IF you have tried sensory interventions (or any intervention for that matter) appropriately, with professional help and for a long enough trial, it is definately true to look elsewhere. I do know one kid who just likes to put on clothes and switch outfits because of self esteem issues and control issues, but texture and physical complaints for her are not there. .

    I just always always look to see if there is a physical/neurological reason first because there is nothing like realizing you have been consequencing "behavior" that they really could not fix.
    At this point, my understanding here, but I realize it was just one post, is that behavioral interventions have been tried and they are not working. A couple of us did recommend THE EXPLOSIVE CHILD and to look at reducing power struggles is great for any situation. I would still for sure go to an Occupational Therapist (OT) and neuropsychologist and make sure there are not neuro and sensory issues going on here.

    by the way, while i encourage socks, for smelly shoes reasons and because we live in the cold NORTH USA!!!! I do not get into power struggles over this. Also not for a coat or hat or anything. He will ALWAYS come back and get things if he is cold or uncomfortable UNLESS i make a big deal out of it, sigh.
  15. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I agree, DF, that having other emotional issues can make sensory issues that much worse. Definitely a big picture issue. My difficult child still has anxiety, but making the clothing changes did have a positive impact on that particular issue.
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    "Big Picture Issue" - I absolutely agree!

    in my humble opinion - some clothing issues should be pretty easy for a parent to spot: 'itchy sweaters', 'scratchy tags', 'tight pants'...while other sensory things will be tougher to see (doesn't like black shirts, polyester blends are icky, that shirt smells funny, etc) but if they can be identified....then changing those things to give the child more comfort should help in a big way...

    but if Mom has gone through 15 pairs of pants in a single morning trying to find something the child will wear - I think it's time to look beyond the pants (even if the child is still saying "pants").

    It makes me wonder:

    What was the child wearing before it was time to get ready for school? Pajama pants? Jammies with footies? Sweats? Shorts? Would it be OK to just keep that on?

    Will the child wear the offending pants on non-school days? Will the child wear the pants if another adult besides Mom helps put them on? Will the child wear them if he puts them on himself?

    Does this only happen on school mornings? or every morning? Does the child want more control over his routine? Does he feel like he's being "rushed" and "forced" into school clothes before he's ready? Is Mom behaving in a way that makes the child feel anxious? (Maybe she is rushed, didn't have her coffee yet, not a morning person, etc)

    And, it may very well be sensory issues on top of something else: anxiety, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), etc

    It's hard to know without thoroughly investigating...
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    DF - I think that is exactly the issue...
    Whatever is going on, chances that it is "simply" a power struggle are a lot lower than the chances that there is "something else" going on.

    You gave a pretty good list of options...
    I'd add... major growth spurt. been there done that. In, like, less than 2 weeks at that age, difficult child went from clothes that were "too big" (how he likes them) to "way too small". I didn't believe him. NO WAY can they grow that fast.

    Oh yah?

    His FEET did that a few years later - went through 4 prs of winter boots in ONE season.
  18. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I just want to clarify - I never meant to imply that it was "simply a power struggle"...or that it should be addressed or disciplined as a behaviorial issue...

    But a young child who cannot express their inner turmoil very well does not always act out in a logical way. It is not always easy to follow a child's rationale.

    IOW - if the child consistently had a problem with a certain pair of sneakers - then Mom would see that those sneakers were the problem and could fix the issue by substituting a new pair of sneakers that fit better or were more cushioned or whatever.

    But what if putting the sneakers on in the morning means there will be gym class that day? And what if the child does not like gym? What if the thought of going to gym class stirs up all kinds of fears and strong emotions? Will the child be able to express his anxieties about gym class?

    Or will he instead protest putting on sneakers - ANY matter how many pairs his Mom tries? After all - using a child's logic, if he does not wear sneakers....then there will be no gym.

    So he's using the words "The sneakers are too tight" - and he is going to have a fit before wearing them...but the real issue is "Gym class is scary."

    Know what I mean??
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Exactly. I wasn't implying that you were saying its just a power struggle... was trying to make a point in general that way too often (including how school sees things) that is exactly what people think.

    And then to add to the sneakers thing... the gym example is a good one, an alternate problem is that he has to change shoes too often (inside/outside shoes with every break...), and it takes too much effort (motor skills issue)...

    Time is on their side, if they can get help started... for many of us, the help wasn't available 10 years ago when we needed it. To some extent, not all the help is available now either, but there is more.

    Wanna start over with your difficult child? <wink>
  20. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Actually IC if I could re do some things I really would like a do over! (then again????? lol)