Once again...Feeling like a bad parent

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by STRESSEDTOMAX, May 14, 2013.



    Hi Everybody -

    Lately, I have had the feeling that I am raising what a lot of people would refer to as a "brat" and I'm angry at husband and I for giving this kid whatever he wants and not seeing consequences through. I can't tell you how many of his sentences start with "I want" or "I don't want". It's making me ill. Recently, we bought him an $800 Ipad and even then - in the store - he's ready to throw a fit because he thought we might have to wait a half hour for husband to meet us at the store.

    Today, we had an appointment with a new p-doctor. difficult child started in last night on not wanting to go because his boyfriend (best friend) has a half day this week and he wanted to play with him. He also complained about the length of the ride (40 min) and going to a new place. I explained why we needed to go there and that we would be back very soon after his boyfriend got home from school. Keep in mind, difficult child has been out of school since February. He did go yesterday for some odd reason, though. Anyway, I kept telling him that if he caused us to miss this appointment that he would lose his electronics and playing with boyfriend today. easy child and I tried to calmly explain to him that what he was doing would not be worth the consequences. But he still refused and we didn't go. Then his aggression started - slamming doors - trying to destroy my stuff - telling me to "Shut the F UP". I tol
    husband to come home and I would take over at our store because he does not pull this stuff with husband...never has.

    So...now I'm at the store and husband calls and wants me to make a "deal" with difficult child. He wants me to agree to give him his stuff back if difficult child will go to bed without me in his room tonight (a whole other problem). I said absolutely NOT...he has got to learn that I am no longer putting up with this nonsense. So I guess I'm looking for opinions. It seems husband and I are never on the same page with this. He wants "peace at any cost" but I'm always paying for it.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You need to get all THREE of you to the therapist... together.
    husband will not do it YOUR way. But he might listen to therapist.
    And it is absolutely vital that the two of you get on the same page.
    That does not mean being on husband's page either.

    But for perspective... there was a time when I would have been more like your husband, and my husband more like you.
    What we found out is... "punishments" do not work - period. NOT EVER. Not with my difficult child, anyway (and only marginally with almost-easy child K2).
    What relationship is there between "missing therapist" and "taking away electronics"? NONE. For difficult child... there is no link, and you will never be able to build a link in his brain that will relate the "punishment" to the "crime".
    All you're doing is destroying the relationship.

    husband isn't helping. difficult child isn't in position to negotiate, as in... therapist should have been non-negotiable, and husband should have been there to make sure it happened. Other things, there may be room for negotiation but it has to be "before" things happen, not after. difficult child and you agree that a goal is to help him learn to sleep by himself? Come up with a plan, and some incentives... ahead of time, and specific to the goal. And yes, he gets to help negotiate what the targets, and incentives, are. But... "negotiating" to get back electronics by working on a different goal? Ummm... all he's doing is getting good at triangulation.

    It's more important to find out what makes difficult child tick. WHY does he think/act/react/behave this way. What are the triggers... and what are the real dxes. You need to work on positive ways to move him toward desired goals - not "punishments" when he messes up.


    I definitely understand what you're saying. But this defiance is on just about EVERYTHING. At some point, he has to learn to respect and obey his parents. He is in control of the whole house right now. And he acts as if he is entitled to everything and the second he doesn't get what he wants, he starts being disrespectful. For instance, he said to me that if I took his stuff away he was going to go out of control and give me a bad day. And as for the relationship between the punishment and the crime, it is: if you don't listen and obey, then you don't get to enjoy what you want for the day. I have often felt like you and I still do to a certain extent BUT this is occurring more and more and his attitude is truly one of entitlement. I'm thinking that there's a chance that if he believes I'll do what I say, he may think twice. There are some things that need to be non-negotiable and there aren't many of them, believe me. I believe that he sincerely believes that he is running the show and he has to have some limits.


    His meltdowns are keeping me hostage. When we were in NY, he didn't feel like going shopping so none of us could go. He got afraid in the motel room so I checked out. I am a person also and I cannot allow an 11 year old to control my every move. As a parent, I have got to have some authority. I am very, very sensitive to his fears, his anxiety, all of his issues but I have a feeling that there is a lot of "Why should I do anything that I don't want? They'll be no consequence" going on here


    And here is a perfect example: He has been calling me at work constantly to get his things back. Both husband and I have told him to stop calling me and it means NOTHING. I really feel that I have gone to the opposite extreme and really babied him vall his life.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That's why this needs to involve multi-way therapist appts. You, husband, difficult child and the therapist. Sometimes, you and husband and the therapist, or other combinations.

    I understand feeling "hostage". It's been my life for a number of years. We simplified life down to such absolute basics that we don't really have a life... and we kept it there for a number of years. difficult child is now able to start growing out from that... without the meltdowns etc. We had to find the drivers, the missing dxes, the missing accommodations and interventions. After 2 years of being on the "right" roads... things are improving significantly.

    Your sig doesn't show - so I don't know what your difficult child's dxes are...
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just one perspective...

    He gets stuck. He hasn't been taught other ways to get his stuff back, so... he attacks. It's all he has. He doesn't get the connection between losing his stuff, and what he choses to do or not do. There is no logical link, and all the talking on the planet can't create one.

    This would be very typical of an Aspie...

    Not logical - losing electronics for not going to therapist.
    Semi-logical - if you can't go to the therapist, then you can't go play with friend, either.
    Logical? Think carrot, not stick. How can you get him there and cooperating? You have to figure out what HE is THINKING... and then adjust your response to address the thinking (rather than the behavior). How can you teach the missing skills?

    JMO of course. From the parent of a difficult child that everybody on the planet will tell you really isn't a difficult child and is just holding us hostage... that is, everybody but school - and they are now on our side because difficult child has done a major turn-around there on every single front. Other parents, your parents, your kids' friends' parents, teachers, doctors... they simply do NOT understand.
  8. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    I think you should start from 0 and work your way up.

    Please don't think anything I say as having all the answers because quite honestly I don't.
    I don't even know if I do things the "right" way but here's my suggestion.

    Is my kid is being a PITA I don't deal with her. She goes to her room. I don't make deals with people who don't make any effort to be pleasant.
    I don't buy things for people who whine
    People who don't eat don't get desert.

    And there would be no amount of fit throwing that would make me go to bed with a kid old enough to be in school.
    That is my time and I've put my energy into taking care of everyone all day and I am not sharing my night time. Period. The end.

    I think you should go to a t doctor with husband because he "doesn't want to hear" difficult child... Too bad. That kid can scream and tear things up and you know what he still isn't getting anything. I would of put difficult child in the car to the therapist and not discussed it. It's not up for discussion you are the adult he is the kid.

    Punishment may not work but giving them things isn't the answer, letting them have it all their way isn't the answer.

    And this warm and fuzzy bull hockey that seems to be the "normal" way to parent doesn't work either.

    I've finally gotten it through my head that spanking difficult child isn't the answer. Getting worked up isn't the answer but she has a room and I can take away all the electronics and I can take away all her toys. She isn't going to speak rudely to me she isn't gonna hit people and for everything she destroys in my house I can destroy, take throw away return something of hers.
    I told her this the other day. I'm required to feed you put clothes on your body and give you a place to stay, and make you get an education. I have no other responsibilities beyond that. You want loving mom you be loving kid. You want things then do something to earn them, good behavior grades clean room etc.I don't have to do any of those things and I won't unless I'm met in the middle.

    Just my thought. No kid that didn't at a minimum go to school and modify how they speak to me would EVER have an iPad in my house.

    Be strong and find a way to talk to husband cause if he is like this now what is he going to be like later?

    Why was he given an option about going to the doctor?
    Reacting to his bad behavior is what he wanted, he doesn't care that he's being punished because he knows he can get out of it.

    And taking away his stuff and starting from zero? In my opinion it isn't a punishment it's a blank slate. He has nothing till he starts working for it, which is in my opinion how it should always have been.

    You aren't a bad parent I wouldn't even say your husband is a bad parent but parent doesn't equal instant gratification machine just because you have money to shower your kids with all this koi that he doesn't NEED doesn't mean you should or you are doing him or yourself any favors.
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It depends. On... what the dxes are, on where the stuff came from in the first place, on what the history of the dynamics has been.
    It also depends on whether the reasons for getting to that point are reasonable and logical... and on whether difficult child understands exactly what steps lead to getting what privileges etc.

    WE may think difficult child knows all this. In fact "we" used to think our difficult child understood a whole lot of things that... it turns out, he doesn't. He "missed" a whole lot of life-skills learning, for very valid reasons. Treating him like a spoiled brat would have been the worst thing we could have done... because he was NOT a spoiled brat.

    It's vital to know the dxes for other reasons, too. Like... technology is a really touchy subject around me. As far as I'm concerned, MOST kids have WAY too much access to technology. I don't believe kids need ipads and ipods and smart-phones and facebook and on-line gaming and all that other stuff. To me it gets in the way of learning real-life critical skills. (and I'm not a Ludite... I'm a tech-head) So, in our family, there never was a fight over technology - we never brought it into their lives until they were able to handle it (which means they still don't have most of it). BUT... if they already have it, you can't just yank it around at will. Technology is HIGHLY addictive... and if YOU as a parent allowed that addiction to happen... then you have to find a better way to manage it than just using "loss of technology" as a punishment.

    Of course... just my opinion, like usual.


    DF - I feel many of the same things that you do. Going to the psychiatrist wasn't an option. He just refused to go just like he refuses to do anything he doesn't want to do. Since he was about four, up until now, there are many times where he will do dangerous things in the car if he was mad. When he was younger, it would be throwing things at me from the back seat. Now that he's older, he's next to me in the front seat and touches all the things on the dashboard - hazard lights, windshield wipers, etc. and threatens to throw himself out of the car. Even when I succeed at getting him to an appointment, there have been several times that he would refuse to come in, lock himself in the car, and blow the horn. Other times, he would refuse to get back in the car to leave. I don't want anyone to think that I am being harsh with my difficult child because I am not. But I refuse to believe that he cannot control these things. He doesn't do this to his father. So, I guess he will be doing the appointments from now on.

    It seems that everything I've done for him in the past 10 years has been motivated by a combination of love and fear of meltdowns. He is now about 5" 1" and 155 lbs and I need to somehow get control of this situation. This visit to psychiatrist was discussed beforehand and I refuse to let him have all the things he wants when he can't do simple things for me. I ask him to take the dog out...he doesn't want to. IC - his diagnosis are there in my sig. He has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), either Aspergers or Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), severe ODD ( whether it's a diagnosis or not, I don't care -he meets all criteria), anxiety,Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    As for school - that's been problematic from pre-K on. I honestly don't believe he should be mainstreamed and we've had an extremely hard time with the SD. I am planning to homeschool him next year and see how it goes. HOWEVER, it will be impossible if I ask him to do some work and he refuses.


    IC - First of all, I NEVER said I treat him like a spoiled brat because I don't. And you know what? I believe we have created a lot of the problems by giving in to what he wants. BUT the main reason we did that was to stay sane. As far as technology addiction - if you want your technology treat me like a human being


    And IC - Respectfully - yes I can yank his tech stuff around if he is not treating me like ****. Everything he has, we have paid for. It can be taken away if you can't treat us right.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Is your approach working?
  14. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    I don't mean to come off harsh and as I said its just my opinion. God knows there's minimal success in my house. I probably shouldn't say that, but it's the way I'm feeling today.
    I don't think making kids earn things is treating them like a spoiled brat. My boyo doesn't get things unless he's been good either.
    Everyone's kids are different, and while tk doesn't have a diagnosis the ones they are "looking at" in her evaluation are similar. And the behavior in girls/boys is different.

    I thought I read that your husband went with you which is why I made the doctor comment about why he wasn't just forced to go. husband could sit with him in the back while you drove. So like I said sorry if that came out wrong.
    IC- I resisted giving tk electronics for a long time but finally relented this year. She got a tablet for Christmas, it's broken the charging piece and she isn't getting another one not because of her behavior but because we can't afford it. She uses YouTube for crafts and kids music there's a restricted program that manages it. But all that stuff has to go in my bedroom at night it's just a rule not punishment. My 3 year old has an app on my iPod for numbers colors and letters not because we don't do them together but because he seems to have trouble saying them with me but likes to get the answer right for the game. We seriously thought he was color blind for awhile. So we do both for an hour a day.

    I'd rather my kid figure out how to deal with people because that seems to be her issue but its stressful for her and I don't think giving her an hour or two a day which doesn't come with the stress of dealing with me or other kids is bad. Every kid is different.


    IC - It will actually take some time to see if this approach will make any difference. I only started it today. It will be interesting to find out. I have a feeling that having diagnosis and being spoiled may not be mutually exclusive.


    And Dixie - I didn't think you came off harsh at all. I agree with most of what you said. IC - I think you come off harsh frequently. JMO.
  17. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Few years ago I had some problems with my back. at the same time we had a new puppy. Large breed. I decided to train him using treats as rewards because my back was giving me grief if I played with him in the way he most liked. That darn dog stubbornly refused to consider treats a reward. I gave him sausage, meat balls, dog treats, dried meat, dried liver, cheese, raw meat, pastries... You name it, I tried rewarding him with that treat. And he didn't consider them rewards and wasn't motivated to do anything for those. His training was far behind and in the end I had no other option than find a way to play with him that didn't hurt my back. And treat my back back to shape.

    My point is: you can't decide what motivates other creature, be it dog or other human being. You can't decide what rewards they value or what punishments they care or understand about. You can't decide what style of parenting is effective with certain child. You can't even decide, that child has to obey and respect the parents because they are the parents. if the kid is not working with the method you prefer, you can't make them. You can't make them be motivated by the method you choose or understand the way you want to teach. They are motivated and they learn or they don't. It is same thing as with foreign language. You either understand or you don't. If they or you don't, it usually doesn't make a difference how much more volume you use. Often you simply have to use different methods. I could scream my head off to you with my own language and you likely wouldn't understand a thing. Me trying to shout even harder wouldn't help. Me changing to English would be much more helpful.
  18. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Excellent point, SuZir - well said!
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    SuZir... where's that LIKE button!!! Exactly.

    Stressed... sorry if I sound a bit harsh sometimes. I'm a difficult child in my own right, and don't always gauge these things accurately. But... I really wish somebody had told me all this stuff... back when difficult child was starting school. If we had known then what we know now... including approaching parenting totally differently... I probably would never have found this board, would never have needed to. There was nobody to talk sense into me back then. Nobody to even try. (those who did try, were advocating much harsher approaches than we were using, and we were already on the wrong track.)


    SuZir...very well said. I definitely get it. I'm not saying that this approach will work any better than any other. I think it's worth a try to attempt to get our family life and our marriage back on track. Honestly...I blame husband and I much more than I blame difficult child. We have taught him that the threat of certain behaviors will get him what he wants. I also try not to be hard on us either because being consistent is very hard on us and life with difficult child has been very hard. I am going to consistently try this way for awhile and see what happens. IC - I understand...:)