new here, desperate for help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by JodyS, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    :sad-little: The tears are flowing down my cheeks as I write. I am hoping this website helps me. I am a mom to a beautiful 10 year old boy who is the most challenging person I have ever had to deal with. He has been diagnosed with ADHD/ODD. I am ashamed to admit my days are filled with me screaming at him and getting now where with his behavior. I am at my wits end and crying all the time because I feel like such a failure as his mom. Somebody please help me! Where do I go? Who do I talk to? Which forum would be best for me?

    Please explain what the abbreviations are in the signatures? I know husband is darling husband? What do the other ones stand for with your children?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I"m tired, but just happen to be up. I'm a longtime warrior mom.
    First off, you may want to do a signature like I did below. Secondly, I have a few questions that could help us help you.

    1/Who diagnosed him with ADHD/ODD?

    2/Any mood disorders on either side of the family tree? Substance abuse?

    3/How was his early development? Did he make good eye contact, speak on time and well, interact appropriately with his peers? Is he sensitive to fabrics, noise, certain foods? Did he play with toys the correct way and display a good imagination?

    Calm down. We are here to try to help :) Welcome.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Many of us found the board the same way-in tears. My difficult child (gift from god-the child that brought you here) is about the same age as yours. You are in the right forum. Your aren't a failure as a mom. As you can tell, the yelling isn't helping so you might want to try talking more calmly even when you are angry-and believe me I know it's hard especially when you are being yelled at-I'm not perfect I still lose it once in awhile.

    One book you might want to check out is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It's very helpful in dealing with kiddos like ours.

    In our signatures easy child stands for perfect child-not that they are perfect just a way to distinguish them from our difficult children.

    I'm so glad you found us-you are no longer alone and will find much support here!
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Welcome Jody, My difficult child is also close to your son's age. I know the complete frustration of children who we can scream our heads off at and NOTHING happens.

    My difficult child's psychiatrist told me last week that kids do not notice how angry we get, they just see that they got their way again. I think that deep inside I would hope that when my kids see that I am angry they would want to stop their misbehavior to avoid my anger. They could care less as to how I feel when they are so focused on what they want.

    I am trying real hard to stay calm in these times. Maybe it will help if we stay focused on the situation and not difficult child's reponses. I get so caught up in difficult child's refusal that I really do give up that he will actually do what he is told.

    Never let your difficult child change the subject - do not let him reason his way out of anything that is non-negotiable. Kids try to get you thinking of something else by questioning or outreasoning your rules.

    So, not sure that I am much help since I am a newbie in disciplining, but you may want to start by working on your responses - no more screaming - just calmly repeating what you are trying to get difficult child to do. Don't give too much explanation as to why difficult child is to do whatever. Whereas easy child's learn from explanations, difficult child's use them as ammunition to change the subject. You can do the explanations later after the situation is completly over. That is the step that I am concentrating on right now. And as I am, you will learn alot by reading these boards. Ask for specific help when you need to - you will get lots of input.

    There is a thread under FAQ with explanations of some of the abbreviations.
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome JodyS! I am glad you found us.

    We all come here frustrated - I know I came here a yeller! LOL!

    I hate confrontation so this ODD really caused me a great deal of stress. When I figured out that my house had become a battlefield, I just stopped. I stopped yelling and arguing. I started to pick my battles. Her brushing her teeth and wearing the appropriate weather clothing became not so important. What became important was her safety and our sanity. The battles I faced were the ones that would keep her safe. The reat of my time I spent getting out of battle mode. No longer arguing with her about the things we argued about daily. What a relief to not live in a war in my own home.

    It is called detaching. Detach from some of the things that are not being productive. My difficult child is 17 now and is just starting to shower in appropriate time frames. I never 'make' her shower. I simply started reminding her how long it had been. At times that even brings out a defiant streak in her. So, I learned to remind her as I was walking by and get right into being involved in something else. It stopped the arguments. She probably roller her eyes, threw me the finger, or cursed me under her breathe - but there was no argument. That seemed much more natural of a reaction to me.

    The hard part is having to change how you thought you would parent. It takes time and energy to NOT do with comes naturally to you.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Good Morning and welcome.
    Going to the forum tab (above) then clicking on faq/board help forum will give you the run down on how the board communicates. It's not too difficult once you read up.

    Secondly I have some questions.

    1. Is this new behavior?
    2. How does he do in school academically and socially?
    3. Does he have friends?
    4. Does he get along with siblings? dad?
    5. What does he do when not in school?
    6. Anything unusual in his first 10 yrs of life? Illnesses, trauma, etc.?
    7. Did he pass the normal developmental milestones at the appropriate age? Crawling, turning over, walking, talking, potty training etc?
    8. Any parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents who had difficult behavior, substance abuse, difficulty functioning etc?

    More questions then answers but if we have an understanding of your little guy it will help.
    It's hard to not despair when you love someone and it's not enough to help them. Hopefully we can share what we have done and what was successful for us. If nothing else you can know you are not alone anymore.
  7. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Welcome to the board! My son is close to your son's age as well. He is extremely difficult and we have had little luck getting him to behave appropraitely most of the time. Medications trials have ranged from fair to disasterous and school and social situations are absolute nightmares.

    I found that I was administering consequences way to often and battling constantly I had become the enforcer or prison warden and it was no fun being a mom. It took the good advice of others on this forum and reading The Explosive Child to realize that so many of my battles weren't winnable and so many of the retroactive conqequences did nothing to alter his behavior the next time we were in the same situation.

    An example:

    My son takes tae kwon do. It is the only extracuricular activity in which he has had any success. He had been doing pretty well but he's now been doing it for over a year and I guess it is losing its appeal. He has been acting very obnoxious and silly in class. The instructor ignores a lot of his behaviors and this bothers me as well. But since the instructor is responsible for his behavior during class, I cannot do anything about it. I have tried offering my son incentives (ice cream, fastfood, later bedtime, etc.) if he behaves during class. He doesn't behave and does not earn it then he gets angry with me as if I have taken something away from him. So I tried ultimatiums like, if you don't do well in class tonight, you are going straight to bed, no desert, no playtime. He does poorly in class and now he is furious with me for punishing him. Lots of yelling (from both of us). Once again we are at odds. So finally I relaize, I have no way to control of his behavior during class and since I am not ready to quit it altogether, I leave the discipline to the instructor. If his behavior is too outrageous then I can't bare to watch, I go read a book in the car. There is no arguing, no meltdowns, and it is possible for us to have a nice evening. Am I frustrated with his behavior? Yes. But I don't let it ruin the rest of the night. Since it's a fight I can't win, I choose not to fight.

    I guess it's a matter of picking your battles. I'm glad you found this sight, it is a windfall of great parenting advice from others who are in the same boat.

    Good Luck
  8. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    1. He was diagnosed by a phychiatrist and I also got a second opinion. I was pretty sure he would get the diagnosis even though he was little.

    2. Both his father and my father are alcoholics. Depression runs in my side of the family.

    3. He physically did everything on time but he was emotionally over-sensitive. Colic as a baby and sensitive to his environment around him. Would cry as soon as we would go outside. Very easily over-stimulated. Had major separation anxiety and still does, he just gets angry and acts out now.
  9. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    1. None of it is new behavior, just gets worse as he gets older. Especially when he fusses and cries when he doesn't get his way. It drives me nuts now that he is almost 11.
    2. Very smart, good grades. Does not do well socially. Looses friends because he is a bully and overwhelming to them. He is desperate to have friends, but he can't keep them. He has the sleepovers, but never gets invited anywhere, parents learn once not to invite him back again (so sad).
    3. He makes friends every year, but none that stick around
    4. He fights horribly with his older sister and step-sister. He is very mean to them constantly. Gets along great with the little ones. Dad is not in the picture much. Calls him once every 3-4 months. Very hard on Jacob.
    5. I try to keep him very busy or he drives me crazy. He does sports (he is extremely competitive and can't stand to loose). We also do YMCA camp and Camp Invention.
    6. I could tell since he was an infant that he was different. He was very colic and easily over-stimulated. He hated leaving the house and had high separation anxiety. He was hyper as soon as he could walk. My father and I are both ADD and were ADHD as children. Depression also runs in my family.
    7. Yes all milestones developmentally were fine if not advanced. Emotionally he is quick to anger, over-sensitive, and a bully at times.
    8. His father and my father are alcoholics.
  10. change

    change New Member

    I know how you feel. We probably all do. Let me just tell you that when I found this group back in February I was sick that I had not found it sooner and I had been forever on a different one and a couple of others but never really posted much on those as they never seemed to fill my needs. This one has been comlpetely CATHARTIC for me. When I have bad days, I come here. I'm trying to visit almost daily now since I'm off work for summer just because it feels good and I learn so much just from reading about others. I was crying DAILY before I found this group. Just recently, I noticed that I don't do that anymore. I know I'm beginning to heal.

    Welcome to the group. I hope you find some answers and some peace. You are definitely not alone.
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Welcome to the board. Wipe those tears; you are among friends here.

    So glad you found us but sorry you had to.
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Welcome~ We all have different children different storied, but a common bond here. Challenge
    We are all stresses and tired but somehow this board helps us along and has the best support!!!
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome, Jody. We can honestly say, we do understand. While each of us are dealing with different children, there is a great deal in common.

    You've had people recommend "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Definitely worth reading, as soon as possible. Maybe yesterday. Get other family members to read it too, or if they can't "get into it", then you explain it to them, because in doing so it helps you fix the understanding of it in your head, so it becomes more automatic.

    To get an advance idea on what the book is about, have a look at the discussion in Early Childhood forum.

    There are other books and other ideas, but this one is a very good starting point. You may find it is enough, or you may want to fine-tune things a bit more.

    What is needed though, is a different way of looking at him and a different approach to parenting. What you are doing right now not only is not working, but it is making things worse. Every time you try to discipline him and you fail, you undermine your authority with him. You are better off not trying, than trying and failing.

    There are other ways. And they're actually easier, as well as more effective.

    One of the first rules - pick your battles. Do not engage in battle unless you are certain you can win.

    Another rule - make it clear he wants to do this. (You may need The Book to learn how to do this).

    And again - avoid punishments. Instead, go for natural consequences. So if he doesn't come and have his dinner when he is called, the natural consequence will be a cold dinner. Of course he can always reheat it in the microwave, but it still is a consequence. And it's not something you did to him - he did it to himself.

    An example I often give is of a child wanting to run and play outside in the snow, but without stopping to put on a warm coat. You COULD get 'heavy' and say, "You are not going outside, Missy, until you put on your coat! I will NOT nurse you through pneumonia!"
    An oppositional child, especially one who is impatient to get outside and play, will be defiant and refuse. If you make a big thing of it, the child would walk over broken glass rather than admit, once outside, that perhaps you were right after all.
    So especially with an oppositional child, don't insist.
    You can suggest, or you can hand her a coat, or you can say, "Do you want to wear your blue coat or your red one?" This gives her choice, she still feels in control, but YOU have won because she is wearing a coat. She also comes to realise that the suggestion from you to wear a coat is a wise one, and she will increasingly respect you as wise and a resource.
    If your child still insists on running out into the snow without a coat, she is more likely to come back when she feels cold, if she doesn't feel she has a point to prove by staying uncoated and cold.

    So, back to your son - similar techniques do work because they hand control to the child at a level they (and you) can handle. If he's going to do his own thing anyway, it's best he do it where you can still rescue him, help him out where needed.

    The kids who need this most - the ones with poor impulse control, the ones with a high level of frustration, the ones who have difficulty changing form one thing to another. The techniques work on PCs too, so you don't need different techniques for different kids. But some things do need to be customised. The overall principles, though, can apply universally.

    On a matter of site techniques - when you reply to someone, you don't have to reply in separate messages to separate people. You can put it all in one post because we all read every post anyway. This should save you some typing and having to repeat yourself.

    Also, if you do a sig (like mine, below) it helps us keep track of your basic details - family demographics, etc - so you again don't have to keep telling us. You can update the info at any time.

    To do a sig, go to the top of the page and look for "user CP" (top left, I think) and click on it. It should lead you to where you can put in your own info.

    You also need to be careful to not put in anything that could identify you or your child - this is for your protection, so you can feel free to dump on us at any time, without the person you're dumping about (the education system, for example) being able to track what you have written and give you a difficult time over it. You might think you would never need to worry - but you just don't know, the time may come when you will be glad of it.

    Again, welcome. It's a good team, here.

  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know he's been labeled twice, but if you want a more intensive evaluation, take him to a neuropsychologist. In my layman's opinion he could very well have more going on than ADHD/ODD, and there is quite a family history of mood disorders too. These kids early diagnoses often change. My son's first diagnosis was ADHD/ODD, but it was hardly the last. He is going well now. NeuroPsychs test for hours and can be found at children's and univeristy hospitals :)
  15. JodyS

    JodyS New Member

    For the first time in a very long time I am seeing a ray of hope. I appreciate your responses so much! I am ready the recommended books and looking into getting my son re-evaluted. Thanks for your suggestions and I look foward to getting involved here!
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm glad you feel better, Jody. A lot of what you described sounds like it could be more than just ADHD. Getting a different diagnosis shouldn't make any difference to how he can function, because he is who he is. But it can give you better insight and perhaps a better sense of direction, in knowing what sort of help can give him what he needs.

    Something stuck out for me when I read the posts this time around - he sounds very bright. And he sounds like you can't keep him sufficiently stimulated. His apparent bullying could also be frustration with others for not instantly understanding what is so obvious to him. Our kids can sometimes be very intolerant of those who do not seem as bright.

    If you can keep him stimulated and occupied in things that interest him, he might be less in your hair. Is there something he really enjoys doing? A topic he's interested in to exclusion of all else? If so, can you find him an adult mentor in this topic, who can give him some one-to-one time? I suggest an adult, because he may relate better. It could also help your son's self-esteem, to not only find someone he can talk to about his favourite topic, but to also feel validated in it, finally knowing there is something he is good at.

    It can make a vast difference in how he feels, and this flows on to how you both get on.

    It's something to do in the meantime, anyway.

    But if you do find someone, let them know that he has problems which are still being evaluated, and for them to not take personally any apparent smart-mouthing or raging in frustration. Handing that with calm patience until he's able to get himself back under control is sometimes a much better tactic than punishing. I've learnt to never take that sort of behaviour personally.

    Welcome to the team!

  17. Charmedpea

    Charmedpea New Member

    Hi and Welcome. I'm new here also. My 13yr difficult child daughter is also newly diagonsis with adhd and odd.

    for the last 2 years have been h*ll. she has been in a detention center for 3 days. Getting suspended from school detention for the last 2 years in school.

    Fast forward:
    3 weeks ago she overdosed. That was the begining of getting her the proper help. And a light and releaf I finially have an answer its not because i'm a bad parent or she is a bad kid.

    she was in hospital for a week, first 2 days was to save her life, after we got her physical better then we started working on her mentaly. she was in the phyc ward of childrens hospital for the rest of the week. Then we entered her in a program with the hospital she is their for 10days she has 5 days left to go. And they started her on concerta. She has been fine all week.

    This weekend I was ready to ring her neck. It took everything I had not to scream at her. It will escalate the odd. 2 of her girlfriends came over. She wanted to go over to the one girls house I said fine be home no later then 10:00pm. That means be in this house no later. 10pm rolls around she is not home I call the cell phone and she said oh I decided to stay the night. I told her no, you need to ask before not when you are already supposed to be home. So we went back and forth on the phone. I finially gave in (bad move on my part I should of went to the house and picked her up myself. She ended up walking home at 1am because she didnt feel good. Her friends walked her home (so she tells me).

    Sunday she say's I"m going with so and so to kmart. she is 19yrs this girl and goes to my sons youth group so I didnt think anything of it. My daughter calls me later and tell me where she is I said be home by 9am no later. She says no bring me my shoes. No i'm not bringing you another pair of shoes you have a pair on. I dont want to wear thoughts. Back to the subject. Be in this house no later. No i'm going out to eat with the 19yr at friendlys. I might come home you are being a B*t*h. F*&^ Y890 she says to me. Called me back 5 times. Cusing at me. 10:15 rolls around I call her again where are you. I'm at so and so's house why didnt the 19yr old bring you home because I told her to drop me off here. come and get me in 20 mins. No i'm coming now. What ever B*t*(.

    off to work i will be back later. I have to go to work sorry.

    ok I'm back sorry. I took her to PHP today when we left she said I will take my medications later. I brought them with me. I went in with her when I dropped her off to talk to her counclor. She gave difficult child a chance to tell her side of the weekend first she refused, so it was my turn and off course difficult child didnt like what I was saying and the dr. told her you had your chance its you mom's turn. She said I should of went to pick her up instead of letting her stay. And I should of picked her up from friendlys ok my bad lesson learned. Dr. told me she was heading the group today and she was going to push difficult child to tell the group what she did. Well difficult child didnt get the response or back up from the her peers in the group. They couldnt believe she spoke to me like that. Their responses were I wish my mom would set limits for me. My mom would of beat the **** out of me if I talked like that. etc.. she was speachless when she realized they were not on her side by mad at the way she handled her self.. The dr. said she didnt have to say a word, her peers said it all to her. this php program she can only stay in if she wants help, if she doesnt want it they wont keep her. She decided today to stay in the program for the rest of the week. Its ends friday.

    The dr. also told me to talk to her outside counsler for help for me to go see her. I need as much reforcements as I can get. And she also told me the next month is going to be the worst. and it will get alot worst before it gets better.. God help me.

    Oh this was good, my difficult child and my self sound exactly alike on the phone. Well this one number kept calling my phone so I answered it and no sooner I get done saying hello. On the other end of the phone I hear. I dont know who stole our ciggs and so and so's mom doesnt want anyone at the house because stuff is missing, because she doesnt know who did it. i said I can't believe someone stole my ciggs. she said I cant either i'm so mad.. Ok now i'm not thinking and I said who is this. They told me I said oh this is her mom. husband said I should of played along and see what other info I could of gotten out of her. She seems off guard that it was not difficult child..

    I also know that when she is getting her period her odd is worst then normal, but I didnt realize she got her period this morning, that would explain the confrontation this weekend. I know its not an excuse.

    Jody good luck to you keep us posted and whats going on. it's my sanity coming here.