New Here, not sure where to post

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by amy1129, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    Hi All,
    My son is 6, turning 7 in June but his issues started right around the time he could say "NO", may 1 1/2-2 so I figured I could sneak my story in here. :)

    At first husband and I thought his tantrums and saying no were due the fact he is a boy and 2nd child, that we werent able to spend along time with him like his older sister. THen we thought the tantrums and "not otherwise specified" were the terrible 2s, terrible 3s, etc. it just got worse and worse and worse. He doesnt like when things dont go his way, doesnt get what he wants, doesnt do what is asked of him...his tantrums got worse, destructive (well for a 6 year old). pushes every button and then some with husband and I.

    Time outs dont work, he just sits there, punches door, rips paper, throws stuff, slowly inches himself out. Watched the "Nanny" shows, took notes and applied them. So I sat with him in time out, ended up holding him in time out, which led to spitting on himself and me, biting or twisting my arm, get the point right?

    his sister and him get along like typical brother and sister, they fight, they wrestle, they sometimes hurt each other. my husband has become almost mean with him, he is at a point where he does not like him at all and has started to verbalize it in front of him....I know that is so wrong, but we are both at our breaking point with him. I was ignoring or not reacting to the behavior for the longest time but lately I have started to snap at him, cry in bedroom because I am so frustrated and upset with how I am acting, I get "in the sandbox" with him and sometime we go tit-for-tat (so embarrassed by that).

    I talk with family and teachers, they think I am crazy because he is pretty much an angel with them. Lately he has started with my parents, testing them, pushing them, and the tantrums have shown up as well. The teacher says he is a great kid that doesnt like to hear no or gets upset when he cant do something he wanted to, but his reactions are different there....he sat at his desk and broke all the crayons and tore all the paper at his desk, she made him clean it up and it was over but she wasnt concerned at all.

    I also went to a self help lecture by dr ross greene and his cognative behaviour therapy and heard about ODD. It worked for a bit then it just stopped.

    I have recently been hearing, "I hate you" " you are the worst mother/father i ever had" "I want to die" (this was said only once after I told him we were going to a certain restaurant), he drew a picture of shooting his sister and slid it under her door and said this is want i want to do to you. Its now everything I ask or say ends with him stomping his foot, yelling no, or dropping to the floor and having a tantrum and I only asked him to brush his teeth.

    I broke down and called a family counceling place, been on waiting list for over a month. Cant wait any longer, so I called the mental health line on my insurance card....they were GREAT. gave me a few names, called the first one last thurs, havent heard back yet, not sure i should call her again or call the next name.

    Does this sound like ODD? what can i do in the meantime, its like walking on egg shells in my house, husband and I argue all the time about it, and daughter is feeling the effects too, she ends up giving in and gives him whatever to end the tantrum.

    OMG just realized how long this sorry!!:sorrysmiley:

  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Amy - welcome! I'm glad you found us... And sorry you had to. :hugs:

    I certainly understand the frustration and feelings of hopelessness... While all of our kids are different, some have things in common. From what I understand, my Onyxx was like this as a child. That's not to say your son will be a carbon copy! But I can relate.

    Is there any history of mental illness in your family, or your husband's? You may not know... Or you may only suspect. Genetically speaking, these things do pass down. Also... Any trauma, major events?

    I can understand your daughter giving in. However there are a couple of issues here. One is that he has come to learn that if he throws a tantrum long enough, she will give in. Another is that sooner or later (or already), she may really, really resent him and the attention he is getting. This is not a pretty thing... can lead to more issues, down the road. What are the odds she can just leave the room? I know with siblings, ignoring doesn't work too well.

    There will be others along shortly with more info, but I wanted to say hi and welcome!
  3. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    Thank you for the kind words. Not sure of history of mental illness. I think my nephew on my husbands side has ADD or ADHD, but dont know for sure. I do know that myself and brother had a bout of suicidal thoughts, I myself did try at the age 14 and was in counceling for a few months but thats it, I think it was more teenage agnst because my goal wasnt to finish. My brother, I was kept in the dark about his issues so we have never talked about it in the family and he is absolutely fine now no issues.
    No trauma that I can think of, we have had the normal deaths of family members, only 1 was his uncle/godfather but he was 6 months when that happened. He does suffer from weak ankles that has caused him to be in pain since he's been able to walk. we are treating this constantly awaiting the day he is old enough for the corrective surgery. I feel as though he is in pain most days but doesnt complain because there is nothing that can relieve it.
    Another thing I forgot to mention is he can switch to a sweet little boy in an instant. I could be screaming my head off at him, in a blur of built up rage at him, then 5 minutes later, he is hugging me, saying I'm sorry ( I hear that so much from him, I dont believe him at all) "I love you, you;re the best mom" and will actually do a few things I ask without incident....but then he will snap into a rage again. My emotions cant keep up.

    Yes my daughter is really starting to feel it. Like last weekend, we were shopping and every week they alternate who picks cereal and who picks the chip flavor for the week. This week it was my daughters turn to pick cereal and he did not like her pick, he started his "I dont want that" stuff, I kept my ground and he just got louder and louder (and more embarassing) and she just said "fine.....whatever" and I said fine, then we switch this week and he didnt like that answer either but I didnt let him get his way, so I just grabbed a bag without discussion. I tend to try and stick to the rules, I sometimes lose it in public with him, and sometimes she just give up whatever to keep me from losing it. Its really sad to know how this is effecting her, but in the same sentence I am really thankful that she understands and is "willing" (I use that word lightly) to do whatever to keep him or me from exploding. I do take her out alone and we do things together and she says "I wont tell michael that we ________ so he doesnt get mad".

    thanks again, i really appreciate knowing I am not alone and look forward to sniffing around this board. I dont think I can offer much help yet, but I hope I can someday.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    ODD is pretty much an unhelpful diagnosis. It probably applies to most of our children, however it does not normally stand alone. Something else is usually going on that causes the ODD...another disorder that makes impulse control very hard. Some kids act out only at home (at least when they are younger). This was explained to me as being because children with disorders have so much trouble holding it in all day at school that they just let it all hang out at home, with the people they feel the safest with.

    Have you thought of getting him evaluated? Any psychiatric or neurological problems on either side of his genetic family tree?
  5. Confused

    Confused Guest

    Hi Amy1129,
    Seems like our sons have met! Your son is turning 7,my just turned 5 and they both act the same! Well,except for the I just want to die part, but says he doesn't care if animals die(when mad). I understand your husbands and your frustration. Its normal and understandable. We as parents can take so much as well as years of problems, yes, we may say things or yell at our kids, which we have done lately here too. Hitting, banging his head, biting,destroying the home,lasting hours,ya, I cry and sometimes yell! No, its not good, and I feel guilty but,when the ignoring,timeouts,take away toys etc doesn't work, yes we give in or scream too! I am trying to stop that knowing its not helping.My son does not explode at school either,only home so we get the blame that something is wrong at home and the teachers and Dr looks at us funny! As I am reading the replies here, ODD is a "symptom" and I was told/believed that's whats wrong with my boy. Again, with brushing their teeth, yup, sometimes my son will, other times i have to "persuade,beg etc" for him too or he blows. I just joined as well because I need support, so I have no solutions for you,just know your not alone.
  6. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    Me again, I was reading other posts and noticed someone mentioned a helmet for plagiocephaly and my son had that and torticolis. In my opinion, treatment was started too late and his head shape is still not to my liking and I didnt see much difference in the before and after scans. treatment started too late because insurance wouldnt cover it and I had to save and save for a down payment. now his jaw is messed up but thats another battle.

    he also had his adenoids out and he was re-circumcised due to a botched one done when he was born. Both of these were done before the age of 2. He also had wicked scary breathing issues as a newborn, was on neb for hours a day, was labelled asthmatic but hasnt had any issues for over 2 years. Has had pneumonia about 3 times and RSV 2 times. He went through a 2 day allergy testing and I was told he was allergic to basically everything in his environment and some foods and to tear apart his brand new rugs, remove all the cute bedding, buy all these expensive etc. after all this and a huge credit cards balances we saw no difference and had him retested.....was told everything was normal.
    not sure if any of that matters but saw others posting and it jogged my memory.

  7. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    If you saw the post about plagiocephaly, you saw my reply to that poster - that this condition is associated with later developmental problems.

    So I think you should ask your son's doctor for a referral for a neuropsychologist evaluation based on both his current behavioral problems (tell the doctor your son says he "wants to die" - this is not normal behavior in addition to most of the other stuff) and the history of plagiocephaly. I would also tell the doctor that you are concerned that your husband is getting very frustrated with your son and you are worried about this. All these things should ring alarm bells with the doctor and get you prompt help. A neuropsychologist evaluation is best because it is very comprehensive and will include evaluation of any neurological issues that may be the result of the plagiocephaly. It should also give you some recommendations for further evaluation for things like speech or Occupational Therapist (OT) and for interventions.

    A child psychiatrist may also be an appropriate referral but they tend to focus on medication treatment these days. Whether your son would benefit from medications is hard to say but having his difficult behaviors at least documented is helpful. And it's likely the psychiatrist will believe you about his behavior shifting between home and school. However, it's not easy to diagnose major psychiatric disorders in most young children because the range of "normal" behavior can be very wide.

    If you didn't read Ross Greene's book "The Explosive Child" but just attended a lecture, I encourage you to actually read the book and see if there's some concrete ideas in there that you will find helpful. A lecture is a good starting place but the book will take you far beyond what you heard in a lecture. I don't mean to say it will "fix" everything. Just that some of the practical ideas like breaking things into "baskets" as a way of thinking about the problems you are facing can help you feel less overwhelmed and be more consistent.

    Perhaps targeting just one or two behaviors that are most disruptive when your husband is home will be the most helpful right now. In general when dealing with explosive kids you are right about needing to stay calm and controlled as an adult. Often the more anger you direct at them the more rage you get back. it's almost like a mirror - what they receive they return magnified. Perhaps your husband can use that analogy to help him change his own behaviors. Get him tor read "the Explosive Child" too and then work with you on ways to apply those ideas to your situation.

    When my spouse and I are feeling overwhelmed and want to "run away" we ask ourselves "Are we really going to let a child destroy our marriage? Are we going to give that child that power in our lives? Or are we going to defend our marriage and strengthen it into something deeper?" For us the answer has always been - NO, we will not let a kid break us up. When you look at it that way it can help you shift your perspective and stand together regardless of the way your child is behaving. You are the adults who understand that you now get to act like adults - even though it is hard right now.

    Therapy for you and your husband is definitely called for - both to support your efforts to work effectively with your son but also to help your marriage. Having a difficult child is really hard on everyone in a family and your husband is not alone in his frustration. If you are not in agreement over the way to respond to your son then it's important that you get help working that out. You must present a united front and deliver discipline and enforce limits as consistently as you can. Your husband must be reconciled to the fact that these behaviors are probably not going to go away overnight and it may be a long process to figure out the best approach to dealing with them.

    Call everyone on the list your behavioral health folks gave you. Often only a few will call you back, most will be full or you will find that they are not suitable for one reason or another. So cast a wide net. And you definitely want someone who has lots of experience treating young children - preferably specializes in treating children - as therapist for your son. A separate couples or family therapist is good - try to screen them for ones who say they have experience working with families who are coping with children with severe behavioral problems.

    How is your son in terms of academic expectations? Is he keeping up OK?

    It is very hard on everyone to have a difficult child in the family. Spend time if you are able nurturing your relationship with your husband and with your other child and it will pay off. Spending time taking care of yourself is important too.

    I'm sure you will get lots of helpful advice from other folks on the board. Take what is helpful and leave the rest. We all see other people's issues through the lens of our personal experience. It may or may not be a "perfect fit".

    Best wishes,


    ps: If you can go to Settings and add a signature that would be helpful. See other poster's signatures for examples. Don't use info that could be easily used to identify your family.
  8. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    I thought of a practical thing to share that will work if you do it consistently.

    Do not argue with your difficult child. You are teaching him to argue when you do that.

    Instead of talking - ACT.

    If he is making a scene in the store issue one warning - we will leave if you do not stop.

    Then, when he doesn't stop, you leave. You do not issue a second warning, you do not hedge and give in to him. You do not discuss it. You just turn the basket around, drop it at the front of the store telling them you are leaving and then you leave. You do not argue with him on the way out and you do not give in if he says he will be good. You just walk to the car, open the doors and get in. You don't keep telling him what's happening. Action is what will send your message - not words.

    You are doing what you said you would do and he has to learn that you mean what you say.

    This is likely to be much more effective in stopping the difficult behaviors than anything else.

    If he starts having a tantrum or fighting with his sister in the car - you pull over and refuse to continue until he stops.

    Yes, it is annoying. Yes, it means you may not get somewhere on time or that you will have to make a second trip to the store.

    But the alternative is to teach your son that he will get his way if he makes a big enough scene. This is not something that is going to serve him well as an adult even if you were willing to endure it for the next 12 years.

    Once you have done this consistently several times, I can pretty much guarantee you that your son will usually stop after the first warning.

    And I would start keeping a diary or chart of his behaviors to share with the neuropsychologist or child psychiatrist. Each day, if you can, list how much he slept that day, give a number rating his up/active mood and his down/quiet mood separately, the number, length and severity of tantrums, if you can figure out the trigger what that was, his overall irritability, if he was sick or something unusual happened like a day off from school. Keeping track like this will get you lots of points with all the docs because it is concrete and spans a period of time. Think about it from the doctor's point of view - you come in with a daily record covering a month that shows a 2 hour temper tantrum every day when he comes home from school on days that he only slept 5 hours. Or you come in and sit there saying "well he's very out of control and has long tantrums".

  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hi, Amy. I don't usually come to ECZ (since Miss KT is 19), but your description of your son sounds very similar. Patricia is right about meaning what you say and sticking to it; I carried Miss KT, kicking and screaming, out of more places than I care to remember! It does eventually sink in.
  10. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Alas my experience does not tally with rslnight's theory... I have carried out what I said I was going to do if my son played up - eg walk out of a shop - for a long time. It has not stopped him having tantrums. The only thing I have found that helps is explaining things to him ahead of time, talking to him rather than giving him commands and giving him choices...
  11. amy1129

    amy1129 New Member

    such great reading and ideas and tips of the trade. THANK YOU ALL!! One of the social workers called me back and we have an appointment next Thurs, just me and my husband for now then she will bring in my son after. I cannot wait, yet I am so nervous and so scared all at the same time.