My son is not getting it!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovelyboy, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I had a huge fight with my son this morning because he is of opinion that I am his maid! He actually told me this! So I stopped ironing his stuff and said I will not wipe his bum or anything in the future if he doesnt pay me.....I am not his mommy anymore! He got very I said ok I will be mommy again if he stops swearing at me, spitting at me, burping, ordering me around and treat me with some respect! He strongly believe that I am his maid...there to serve him! I told him he must start acting like a child and not speak to me like he is my superior.... he then told me he can because he is 45 yr old! I said no he is 8 yr old...he strongly disagrees with me and seems as if he believes he is 45 yr old!!!!! I also told him he must stop parenting his little brother...he told me he is his little brothers father!!!!OMW! Is this for real!!!?
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    He could have been messing with you or he could have been in a delusional state. The fact that he got anxious when you said you wouldn't be the mommy anymore makes me think he was messing with you. Has he had any reality testing done recently? If he persists in his "I'm 45" delusion, I would definitely share it with the psychiatrist. There is testing that can tell how grounded in reality a child is.
  3. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    stop doing anything for him but the bare minimum. tell him you are only going to do what the law requires you do to. provide him with food(doesn't have to be anything he likes), clean clothes/linens and a place to stay. make sure he attends school. take away any and all electronics and toys. those are not things you HAVE to give him. He will need something for stimulation though. i suggest a dictionary. lol.... after a few days of that maybe he will be willing to treat you better in order to earn the right to access the other stuff.
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I wish I had an answer for you, but unfortunately, I don't. My difficult child is very similar. He expects me to take care of everything for him ("Because YOU'RE the mother"), but then when it comes time for mom to lay down a rule then all bets are off. He says that he does not have to listen to me because no one is in charge of him except himself.

    Then he can't understand why I say that I won't do something with him or for him.

    Very frustrating.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Classical flag for insecure attachment.
    This doesn't always work - but the only thing we've found that DOES work is to make relationship-building THE absolute number-one priority. Its counter-intuitive, takes tons of time, effort, money and creativity. But you're not going to get through to him, until he TRUSTS you.
    There can be all sorts of reasons for a kid to become somewhat detached... this is NOT the classical Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) of a kid who had multiple primary caregivers and inconsistent care as a baby/toddler. Rather... even when appropriately attached as a small child, experiences in life can break that attachment - for example, undiagnosed problems mean that the situation at school is hopeless, and parent's cannot do anything about it... child gives up trusting and asking for help. Its now "me against the world", and typically, they are out for whatever they can get before they crash and burn.
    Its ugly. Its a tough road.
    But yours is young enough that there's still hope.
    (its much harder at 18)
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    lol my son would love a dictionary, especially the charts and the presidents listed etc...loves those extra parts. I went on strike this summer.... I told Q if he didn't put his dishes in the kitchen sink then I was done doing they sat there (i did rinse the dirty stuff so it didn't stink) until we ran out and then, bummer, no dishes for him to use.... I had some paper plates and bowls and he hated it... He now puts his dishes in the sink
  7. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Thanx....all makes sense!!!!
    I like the strike thing, but what got to me.....yesterday when I said I will not iron his things....ok I was a bit rude....I threw it aside.....he became so anxious! He was crying histerical....pleading....asking for forgiveness....even telling me Jesus says that we need to forgive. Then I reminded him the bible also says to honor your parents....ok this caused another argument.....
    Regarding the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) I actually want to read up on this because his behaviour actually just started becoming a problem last year after a huge family crisis where he was anxious that his dad might leave......What also worries me is that I feal bad when I say I will not be his mommy anymore.....maybe I need to tell him I will always love him, but not doing mommy things? Because he was adopted at birth I worry for him to feel rejected!?
    And then to put the cherry on the top....I dont always know exactly how much he understands of the situation because of his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)!?
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) definitely complicates things.
    Don't go looking up Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) - its too extreme, and won't really apply.
    There's a thread around here recently about "insecure attachment" - Buddy looked up some good stuff, as it was a topic of discussion. THAT would be more likely.

    And yes - a crisis like that, especially if the original attachment is not as strong as it might have been... can make the relationship more insecure.

    In which case... you don't want to "threaten" detachment. Its the whole counter-intuitive approach of building the relationship...
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Something my mom did to one of my brothers was the concept of the 'team'. He had to follow the rules or he was off the team. Being on the team meant mom (and other siblings) did things like wash your clothes, do your dishes, fix your meals. Being off the team meant none of that happened. This took away the 'I'm not your mother anymore' aspect of it and still allowed for the consequence. I think he went a week being off the team before deciding to help around the house.

    I don't know if this would be good for insecure attachment. I've been meaning to look into that myself for difficult child 1.
  10. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Thanx.....yes I am trying very hard to explain to him the whole concept of rules, team, family....he thinks its stupid and cant see why there need to be rules, taking others into account, exct. maybe its that 'theory of mind' thing....
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He's 8, right?

    Keep in mind that so many of our difficult children are behind their peers in terms of "development". That includes... concepts of self, others, teamwork, etc. Plain old ADHD can cut 2-4 years off maturity. Add in other stuff... at one point, we used to say that our difficult child was "2 going on 22" - that was the range of behaviors and maturity/imaturity displayed on a DAILY basis.

    Until we got to the bottom of multiple dxes and got REAL working solutions... difficult child just didn't get it either. He's learning now - fast.
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Just my opinion, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), attachment or not any of it.... I would not say you are not going to be anything to him with the adoption situation. It will play in his head, even if he was a typical kid neurologically. Just one more thing to have to sort out then. Unless you really mean it?? but I remember my dad saying he didn't love me once...he was so mad, really hea meant he didn't love what I was doing, but that was in teh OLDEN days and so no psycho babble to tell him to say it differently. I held on to that during every conflict and threw it back at him each and every time. sometimes I really did wonder and sometimes I just knew it would give me leverage as a teen.

    You have enough on your plate to risk that, just MHO.
  13. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We're working on that. I always invite him in the kitchen to cook with me (he loves that) and last night before I started getting dinner ready he was telling me that they are starting their sewing projects in Family Consumer Science (Home Easy Child. the the rest of us old fogies) he was asking me if he could borrow a needle and thread and if I could help him practice his sewing skills this weekend. I told him I would be more than happy to do that with him. Then he asked me if I wuld teach him how to cross stitch (my obsession in this life) because every year I make a few ornaments and he wanted to make one for himself. So, I helped him pick an easy design that was all one color and taught him how to stitch. He didn't get very far on the ornament, but he liked spending the time with me.
  14. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Thanx Buddy...yes I was way off!!!!!!
    Thought I would do some patching up and putting things in context maybe....try to explain that I will always be his mommy but that I meant doing mommy things.....but I will not go there again!BIG mistake!
    We had a great day today....lots of hugs and tickles!
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A point I want to make, that I have often made before - kids on the spectrum often (almost always?) see themselves as everyone's equal. They are the only true egalitarians in the world. And while we might SAY that we want everyone to be equal - when it comes to our kids and how they treat us, we do not want them to be as equal as all that!

    Seriously though, these kids especially when younger cannot get into anybody else's head. They can only see the world, and other people, through their own eyes. This does relate to the theory of mind problems, but what it means for you, in practical terms, is that our kids have great difficulty with social strata. You are fully equal to him, in his eyes. Perhaps less so, because you require standards of behaviour from him, that you do not show to him. This is normal - as parents, we require obedience from our children. But are you obedient to him? Of course not, because you are the parent.

    The trouble is with these kids - they take a long time, sometimes forever, to get this concept. So you need to change tack. Instead of trying to command obedience and respect, you have to treat the child the way you want the child to treat you. This seems like giving in, like allowing the child to rule. But given the alternatives (and this does work) - 'normal' parenting not only doesn't work on these kids, it backfires.

    An example might be easiest. I need a task done. "difficult child 3, will you please fetch the bags from the car?"
    His response often is, "I can't, I'm busy. You do it."
    A 'normal' parental response would be, "I said get the bags! I'm not asking, I'm telling you! Fetch the bags or no more gaming for the rest of the day!"
    [Now, if I said 'no more gaming', I would be hard-pressed to enforce it, because this kid can find ways to access his games that I don't think the game makers have even realised exist. I would have a huge fight on my hands, no work would be done by either of us and difficult child 3 would have huge resentment and would be further away from ever getting the lesson].
    My better response is, "Honey, I need your help. I have already brought in half the shopping and put it away. I still have a lot to do and it's work, not games. If you pause your game for a few minutes it will be alright. But in the shopping bags I have milk, I do not want it to get warm in the car."
    Logic works. Teamwork works. "I am already doing X" works.

    It is also very important to not be a doormat. Comparison works for us now, because difficult child 3 is now 17 and does have some level of theory of mind. yes, they can get it. It just takes longer.

    Another example - difficult child 3 has a daily job of feeding the hens. He is often reluctant to leave a game to go do this, although he will still do it if he realises he forgot and it's 10 pm. But I can say to him, "Honey, the chickens need feed and water. Eggs need to be collected. You need to do it as soon as possible because a storm is on the way. Do it now and you will stay dry. Wait too long and you will have to do it in the rain."

    Two nights ago I was cooking peas in a pot on the stove. difficult child 3 commented to easy child that he doesn't know how to cook peas.
    "Are you serious?" she said to him. "Then tomorrow night you should cook the peas. Let Mum talk you through it, but you do it. It's easy, it's as easy as cooking pasta and I know you can do that."
    So last night when it was time to cook the peas, I called difficult child 3. He came right away to help although he was a bit apprehensive and that can also show in a bit of belligerence. "I shouldn't do this, I don't know what to do."
    "I'll talk you through it. it's okay," I told him. We went out to the garden. I told him we needed to pick some mint.
    "I don't know where it is," he said. "This is not our garden, it's easy child's."
    But he knows what mint looks like, so he soon found it. I talked him through picking it ("pinch back the longer shoots") and he brought it inside, put it in the saucepan, put in some water. I told him to put in a teaspoon of cooking salt (showed him where it was in his sister's kitchen). Then I got him to measure peas in another container until it looked like the right amount for all of us. Then on the stove to boil.
    At dinner, he said the peas were just right. Okay, I turned them down when they boiled and I arranged the timing. But he felt a sense of accomplishment and next time will be far more willing to help because he has done it before.

    I also have to give difficult child 3 as much notice as possible of a change in routine, or change in plans. He finds it very upsetting when plans change, or he can't remember being told something. For example, we need to head home in the next day or so but I'm not sure whether we will leave today or tomorrow. This is really bothering difficult child 3, but because he is older and more mature now, he understands why we have this uncertainty - new baby in the family, and she can't organise herself.

    He's come a long way.

    An example from the past - difficult child 3 was about 11 years old, having surgery on a ganglion on his wrist. We were in the doctor's waiting room and difficult child 3 did his usual thing of rummaging in the toybox for baby books to read. he is a good reader, but chooses only books he has read before, so he had not progressed beyond "Spot" at the time. He also could not read silently, and I did not want to see a waiting room full of people disturbed. But there was a baby there, six months old. I suggested that difficult child 3 could read a book to the baby (who was getting a bit restless). He loved that idea and took a selection of Spot books to the baby.
    "Baby, which one would you like me to read?" [baby waved hand aimlessly] "This one? okay, good choice." and he began to read. "Where is Spot? Is he under the table? Look baby, can you see where Spot is?"
    He was trying to engage the baby, in exactly the same way I would try to engage him (at age 11) in a book. He really thought the baby was able to think the same way he could. of course people in the room thought he was just pretending and being sweet, but I knew. I supported difficult child 3 through this if he began to get impatient at the baby's lack of verbal response or apparent inattention. "It's okay, the baby is too young to talk yet. But look, her eyes are following you and she seems happy to be getting read to. Keep going, you're doing great."

    I noted after that, often difficult child 3 would stop and talk to babies in the mall, but would talk at his own level and expect an answer. This was the beginning of him understanding that people's minds are different, and what happens in his head does not necessarily happen in others.

    Another example - easy child 2/difficult child 2, as an adult. Working in a shop on a cash register. Her register always would balance at the end of the day. Nobody else could match her record. She got impatient that other staff were often out by 10c here, $1 there. "Why can't they balance? You just have to keep your mind on the job and watch the money through the day, so you always know how much is there."
    She was shocked when I told her that her brain might work that way, but other people's brains do not. She was 21 at the time.

    Theory of mind can have subtle, far-reaching effects. But time will bring change. In the meantime, behave towards him as you want him to behave towards you. Think of him as a friend who is staying with you - a well-meaning but hamfisted friend. You show the friend love and respect, and repeatedly, gently remind your friend where the towels are kept, to put plates in the sink, and ask your friend to work alongside you as you prepare a meal or do the laundry. As you work, you chat. This also helps teach them how to socialise.

    Find your level. But no, you are not a servant not should you be. As for the "I'm 45" - it could just be his way of trying to define how he feels inside his head. If you need to (and if the doctor thinks it's not a reality issue) I would show him his birth certificate and have him do the maths. Then show him yours.

  16. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I have to treat my kids much like Marg suggested. Sometimes I do have a brain wrinkle or get in a hurry and say 'because I said so!' Then as soon as I think again most times I explain.

    I also do logical/natural consequences as much as possible.

    husband has a much harder time with this. It drives him up the wall that I explain so much and he thinks the kids run over the top of me.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The measure of your success will be how much you get, of what you want. Your ultimate goal is what you need to keep your eye on. Have a limited number of goals at any one time, and back off before meltdowns happen. Work on issues when the child is calm, and try to keep the child calm. Over time the child learns that you are helping him stay calm, and also helping him improve how he gets on with other people and achieves certain goals.

    Look up "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. I found it helped me a vast amount. I had to do without my book for over a year because a SpEd teacher friend borrowed it. She has now used it to write some fresh resource material for other school staff. It is very useful.

  18. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Thanx so so very much for your help!!!!
    Marg thanx for all the effort you have put into answering my post I really apresiate it...Will show it to husband so we can both implement it!
    I was so surprised this morning when I asked him to help me pack away the dishes.....has never done this before, because I thought he would say no...He LOVED helping me and even asked what else he can do for me!!!! He LOVED the positive feedback and 'teamwork'!
    Thanx to all of you your advice truely helps!
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I just got in town and did not read the other responses so forgive me if I am repetitious.

    I was told that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids don't understand that everyone is not equal...that parents are not the same as they that they get into trouble with authority figures. I don't think this is true of all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids, but I do think it's true of many. Also, they are very literal. If you say "I am n Occupational Therapist (OT) your mommy anymore" he could take it seriously and not get your point as to not doing things for him. He may actually think you are no longer mother and son.

    I don't think you can expect Son to get things out of context like "typical" children. Their tendency is to not understand social norms and to need special types of parenting. I always used to say my son just didn't "get it" no matter what "it" was. He has gotten much better as he has matured, but he is still very naive.
  20. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I have two suggestions - and I don't know anything about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids - but I do know about two things - One - How I like to be spoken to, and two - about the fears of abandonment from being adopted, dumped.....unwanted.

    There is a very excellent book out about effective communication that for me and my son - (hard headededest of the hard headedest) and the day I got it I put it to use and it was like a lightbulb moment for me. It's called How to Speak So your Children will Listen and HOw to Listen so your Children will speak." There are a lot of things in this world that we say - believing that we are asking, or saying something in a correct way to a child or a friend or a co-worker. Not ever meaning to come off snide, snippy or snarky- it's not even how we say - it's WHAT we are saying. Some things even come off as back-handed compliments and we mean the best of intentions - this book - points out those things to us - so that we can stop - hear ourselves and learn the RIGHT way to being asking and TELLING our children what we need them to do.

    The second thing that I need you to understand is that ANY reference on quitting being ones Mommy is HUGE - even if it's in reference to just stopping doing Mommy things. The majority of adoptees I have met - are suffering from anger issues they don't even know they have. I suffered nearly into my mid thirties and had NO idea that I was so angry about adoption. I had great parents - I just had issues with being adopted. I had fears, abandonment issues, I had self-esteeem issues. I had self-confidence by the buckets full - but lacked so many other things in my life that I made really really poor decisions and had no idea at all - why. Poor choice after poor choice plagued me. I swear to you I thought I was cursed or something. It ruined my life. I picked a horrible husband, I stayed in an abusive marriage. I nearly ruined my sons life over it all. When I finally got into therapy and started dealing with the adoption I swore I had no issues - I was happy - I had great family - I had confidence - and then the therapist touched on issues and I shut down, and shut him out and that was that - and boy howdy it was over. Bingo. It took a few years to deal with it all - and I had NO idea. I was told the majority of adopted kids have no clue that these issues snowball out of control from a young age - but they did....and maybe this is something you could look into for your son.

    I just know that if he has any incling that in his subconscious his biomom - "dumped" him - and you say things like you say - I think it's a trigger for him to dig his heels in deeper and then thats probably where he starts parenting the brother - someone has to take over - he's not going to be dumped again. He doesn't even know it's happening. I think a lot of his anger he doesn't even know where it's from, but it wouldn't hurt to find different things to say until you can get to a therapist that deals with adoption issues and can talk to you both so he knows he's not going anywhere and you know maybe a better vocabulary of things you can effectively communicate to him to get your point across - (not in any way putting you down so don't get upset - I had to learn to - belive me - ask anyone here about throwing holy water on my kid) lol.

    Just a different view - froma sometimes sideways star.....