Not Hard To See The Vacation Is Over

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    difficult child comes home from school this afternoon and seemed to be in a decent/good mood. He had work to make up from the three days of school that he missed, but all of his teachers gave him most of the week to get it done, so it's not like he has to get everything done tonight. He actually started his homework when he got home, which is rare for him, so that he could get finished with the homework that was assigned for tonight and due tomorrow and work on the other things later. Sounded good to me and he went about getting it done.

    Then easy child came home. It seems like from the minute that child walked in the door difficult child was on a tear. Intentionally making noise and being bothersome while I was trying to get easy child started on his homework. Playing in the basement, but being really loud so that he could bother easy child with all of the noise he was making. Verbally going at easy child so that easy child would respond and difficult child would start screaming at him, "How dare you speak to me like that??!! You don't talk to me like that!!" Then the cursing began. Then he punched easy child and started screaming at me "I don't understand why your so nice to that stupid kid!! If he wasn't alive my life would be so much better!! I hope he dies in a black hole somewhere." After the punch I sent him to his room and told him that it was not okay to hit anyone, I don't care what they did first. He could stay there until he cooled off and was ready to say he was sorry.

    He cools off pretty quickly and the kids apologize to each other, then he apologizes to me. I told him that I wasn't going to accept his apology. He speaks to everyone here in this house like we were less than the dirt under his shoes and he just expects me think that, "I'm sorry" makes it better? I told him that he needs to understand that he will reap what he sows. If he wants nice, he has to be nice to others. His answer to that was that no one here is nice to him. I had to just walk away because I thought my head was going to explode.

    He went upstairs to play with easy child, but is not happy that I would not accept his apology. "You should acceopt it, " he tells me. "You're the reason that is curse in the first place." To me, that's not really an apology. No remorse. No acceptance of responsibility for his own actions.
  2. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Poor chap. I know that seems to be looking at things through the wrong end of the telescope, but really as I read your post, that is what I felt. His skills are so lagging, as Ross Greene would say... feels overwhelming jealousy for the perfect kid brother, probably shame and low self-esteem towards himself, can't handle it or deal with it in any other way than lashing out and making everyone's life a misery including his own. Of course you feel angry with him... I would too. But really he is very inadequate in some way and covering it all up with bluster.
    What happens if you talk to him respectfully, when he is calm, about this behaviour? Is he at all open to seeing it as it is, or does he just get defensive? Sad thing is he is getting negative attention this way which to him is better than no attention.
    When did it all start going wrong?? Has he always been this way?
    Wish I had magic solutions... I don't of course. But I do feel sorry for him from the outside - a luxury I completely understand you cannot afford.
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    This is what makes no sense to me. He gets LOTS of positve attention. He doesn't need to seek negative attention to get attention.

    He has alot of jealousy of his brother. He says that easy child never gets in trouble. I ticked off several times in the last few days where easy child was disciplined for something that he did wrong, but to difficult child that's not enough because he gets into trouble more, but he refuses to see that he gets into trouble more because of the behavioral choices that he makes.
  4. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I know this is a slippery slope, but if your difficult child has a disability is it possible to alter expectations so that he would get into an equal amount of trouble as his sibling? Is that possible? What would that look like for you? In my family the expectations placed on my difficult child are much lower than the other kids because he has shown he can't live up to the others. My difficult child is second born out of four and the lowered expectations irk the other children, but they also understand why.
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    Have you ever discussed the sibling rivalry aspect in depth with the therapist? I can tell you that my older sister resented the fact I was born all our lives. Since we've become adults, she's a bit better about it, but even today we had a conversation where her "nasties" started to show. She will readily admit that she HATED the fact that I was born. She found many creative ways to torment me - mostly emotionally. It's quite the miracle we have a decent relationship now.

    Unfortunately this isn't very positive of helpful information.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Lets see.
    You go on a major vacation, one that in the past has been proven to be way more than difficult child can handle.
    He actually does fairly well - for him - this time.
    But... the effort to do so is huge, and he comes home totally burned out.

    THEN he can't handle the little details of life... like having a brother.
    And gets into trouble for it.

    You're expecting him to handle this stuff after a major drain?

    We had to re-write our entire lifestyle, because of difficult child. Major vacations are simply not an option. Major social life isn't either. All of us - easy child included - live within difficult child's limitations. In one sense, it sounds awful. In real life, it means that every day is much better, we actually ALL have a life and can enjoy being a family. We just don't get much support for doing it this way...
  7. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I can't offer much help, but it does remind me of how my brother felt about me: resented me for being almost never in trouble and for simply existing. But to those feeling, you had to add the fact that he was very protective of me (although would never admit it) and had some admiration towards my accomplishments. Those opposite feelings made for an explosive mix.
    I'm guessing it would be a reasonable assumption that difficult child has conflicting feelings toward easy child. To that, add his "issues"...
    In my book, it is no excuse, but a plausible explanation. I would try to talk with him about it and accept that what he feels is HIS truth.
    Having a psychiatrist help in the whole process might very valuable. He or she might have some concrete ideas on how to deal the rivalery.
  8. The situation you describe above is what goes on with my kids as well. difficult child is the one that gets more positive attention than easy child. difficult child gets straight "A's" easy child struggles to earn "B's" and "C's", difficult child had perfect attendance in school this year and won a bike because of it, easy child missed many days due to illness. difficult child is a good athlete and gets praised for that.

    Still he behaves as if easy child lives in perfect, privileged world with preferential treatment. He teases easy child about her grades. Many of his meltdowns include "easy child has ruined my life" or "easy child never gets in trouble" "easy child never plays with me" etc, etc, etc. The opposite is true. Actually I worry that poor easy child is being groomed to be the perfect enabler....since there are only the two of them and they are only 1 year and 9 mos apart, almost her entire life has been spent trying to make him stop crying, entertaining him, listening to him, etc. She knows no other life. I am really worried about the types of men and relationships she will have in the future as a result of being difficult child's sibling.

    I remind difficult child that easy child is his best buddy. Like you, I point out the times when easy child is getting reprimanded. It makes no difference. In his mind easy child is just at the top of the list of people that "irritate him and ruin his life." I hate that it is this way.
  9. kiml

    kiml New Member

    i feel for you and i wouldn't accept the apology either. my sone is the same way, he is mean then says sorry and everything suppose to be better. I am with you on the fact people tell me neg attention is better than none but with kids like ours attention 23hrs isn't good enough if you didn't give them that last hour. You can never do enough for them and they are never satisfied. Just letting you know your not alone and my prayers are with you