Operation Clean Sweep a Success ...so far

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, May 4, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    A few times ea yr, I have to go through difficult child's rm and yank everything out. We have a pattern where his behavior improves, we slack off, he turns into a monster, and we start all over.
    You'd think we'd remember we have to sit on him constantly. But it's so easy to become complacent. You let one, "No!" or dirty look slide, and there's no going back.

    So husband took the kids to Sunday School, but instead of going to church afterward he took them out for coffee and told them they both have to shape up. easy child just got her license and is understandably a bit wiggy. difficult child has been extremely rude and defiant lately, yelling "No!" to every single thing.
    So while husband was preparing them, I was stripping difficult child's room.
    I left his books, pencils, lightbulbs, one outfit for every day of the wk, and a sleeping bag and mattress.
    Both kids were very calm when they came home and very apologetic. difficult child thanked me for cleaning his rm. (Seriously. No hint of sarcasm.)
    The main thing I made a point of taking away was his collection of wrestling dolls. He has to earn them back one by one.
    Earning them back means not only getting better grades, but improving his attitude toward grades (he got 2 Ds and 2 Fs this wk and said, "So what?" He goes to a very expensive private school, not that the grades are more important, but that we have to work 10X as hard to pay tuition.)
    Earning them back also means not sassing me. And doing the laundry. Feeding the dogs. Taking the dogs out.

    The catch is that I am not to nag him.
    Nagging him encourages him to argue back. And it escalates downward from there.
    This way, if it's a good day, he gets a toy.
    Bad day, no toy. No discussion.

    The sun is out. There is NO tension in the house. He's calm and happy (go figure). easy child is fine, too.

    It feels good.
  2. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    sounds like a plan, I need Occupational Therapist (OT) clean difficult child I's room but he's still in bed, grrr.....
  3. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Interesting technique. I read something like this once in a parenting book for children with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). The doctor's name was ronald federici and he advocated something like that. I have consider doing this a few times but have mixed feelings.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    There's a few doctors who advocate this. I don't like doing it for someone under 13 -- it just seems too punitive to me but that's my opinion.

    I did do it to my daughter when she was 15 and totally out of control. Sadly, it had no success. For many Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids, they'd die before they admitted that a consequence made the slightest difference to them. Mine is definitely in that category.

    However, you have a track record showing that it works for your son so far, so go for it.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a good plan for your difficult child-amazing he came home and thanked you! I have another question-what are the wrestling dolls? My difficult child is really into wrestling so I am very curious.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Reactive attachment disorder? Like, kids who are fostered and bounced from home to home?

    The wrestling dolls can be found at Target and Toy's R Us. They're fashioned after real wrestlers ... the big, muscular, sometimes fat guys who throw ea other against the ring. Lots of them are gymnasts and do flips. All pretend (but don't tell difficult child ... he thinks they're really slamming the other guy's head against the floor, but you can see the bully making the noise by hitting his heel on the floor.) The whole thing nauseates me but it's healthier than having him hit me! Also, they come with-accessories. You know how our Barbies came with-purses and shoes? One of the guys comes with-a folding chair that has an indentation in the seat. When you push his head into it, it makes a big dent. You pop out the dent with-your finger and then start all over again. I took it to my fave Mex restaurant and showed my margarita friends and we all went hysterical!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Christy and meowbunny, my son was adopted at birth and we have an open adoption. Is it still possible there are shades of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) with-him?
    What else would it mimic? Why would a psychiatric recommend stripping a bedroom for that?
    I've heard of it for general defiance but now I'm curiouser and curiouser ...
  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    There are several shades of Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). The main things to look for are a true lack of empathy, an ability to manipulate almost anyone; they can be charming as long as they get their way; a lack of understanding that others have feelings. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) frequently leads to borderline personality; can become psychotics (think Ted Bundy). They have a severe inability to attach to anyone.

    I would not wish Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) on my worst enemy. For BiPolar (BP), there are medications. For the austic spectrum there is behavior mod, Occupational Therapist (OT), medications. For Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), there is behavior modication and some very radical therapies that I'm not convinced work -- which rarely works.

    Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) kids go far beyond general defiance -- they have it down to a fine art form. To say they are passive-aggressive is putting it mildly.

    My daughter's therapist never recommended the removal of things, at least not for a long time. The main reason to do it was to get her attention. Nothing else was working. Sadly, that didn't work for her, either. It ultimately took an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that did some serious behavior mod to give her a fighting chance.
  9. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    and I though Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) meant Rage and Destruction, which would = my difficult child II LOL
  10. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Grace, Rage and Destruction are definitly part of Reactive Attachment Disorder. I don't even want to think of all things my daughter deliberately destroyed because she couldn't have her way. When she was little, I was much happier when she was storming -- it was when she mad and quiet that I knew there was major trouble. That was when she painted the carpet with nail polish, cut the Persian rug, carved her initials into the bannister, cut up all of my dresses ...

    When she was raging, she'd throw things but I'd learned to empty her room of anything breakable quite quickly. Her room was for sleeping, reading, doing homework and a place to go to get control of herself. Her play room was downstairs.

    Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) stinks!
  11. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    My husband and I are talking about taking everything but the mattress and clothes in the closet, but for another reason. Our son has already lost video games and TV, pretty much for life because he won't stop stealing and lying. Boy he got one over on us though. Even with just a few things in his room he managed to hide a Gameboy Advance that was taken from him months ago. He actually went in our bedroom and took it back, and he had to dig to find it too. No remorse at all. Since he continues to steal and hide things we're going to take everything but the mattress. We already took his bedroom and closet doors off the hinges. We don't trust him to be out of our sight. In fact as I'm typing my bedrom door is closed and I'm wondering if he left his bedroom to go take things out of his brother's room.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, judging from that, I don't think that's what my son has.
    He's got true empathy, he's still just so immature and so young-selfish (like an 8-yr-old rather than 11-yr-old) that it's going to take a few yrs b4 he can put others first consistently. Right now, he does it if A) he's not begging for attention at the same time someone else is; B) if it doesn't take anything away from him, emotionally or physically, C) he's not too ADHD.
    Karen, my son sneaks into our room a lot and takes my husband's DVD player. It drives me nuts. I can't totally blame my difficult child because husband is so inconsistent on giving it to him. "Oh, I told him he could watch a wrestling video." Say what? No one ever told me, and he's grounded off of videos!
    So I have to train husband as well as difficult child.
    All kids steal, or at least think about it. difficult child's do it consistently and seemingly with-o remorse. One way we've gotten difficult child to slow down on his stealing is to actually give him what he wants. He loves Nemo Gummies and sneaks entire boxes into his room. He is not allowed to have food in his room. So if he's caught with-them, he doesn't get any for several days. Then when he does something great, we give him Nemos as a reward.
    He's shocked but it works for a few days ...
  13. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I mentioned that I had read about this techniquie in a book about Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) but did not intend to imply that it was a treatment specific to Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) (reactive attachment disorder) children. It's been awhile since I read the book but I guess the gist was that it was a way of motivating Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) children to behave appropriately in order to gain privileges. Basically everything but the basics were priveleges and required an effort on the part of the child to have them. Rather than having total access to toys and such, a child would be given an amount of time to play with a certain toy based on earning it through appropriate behavior.

    (At one point, we suspected Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) for our son because he had been neglected from birth until age 4 when he came to live with us. We later had him evaluated and diagnosis with bi-polar which is a better fit.)

    A good place for information on Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is www.radkid.org Sorry to get the thread offtrack by the way!

    Your plan does seem think an effective way to get a child back on track and you are absolutely right about letting your guard down and becoming complacent. Good Luck!
  14. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    We've had that problem a lot here over the years. We finally had to put a key lock on our bedroom door. Anything that needs to be kept from difficult child is in our room. Of course, we moved up to a deadbolt because he broke into our room TWICE. Before the lock, he wasn't the least bit shy about going "shopping" in our room. He even went in there at least once while I was sleeping and was rummaging around in the nightstand on MY side of the bed. Makes me glad he's not violent.

    It blows to have to do it, but if you haven't yet, you may want to consider a lock on your door. Depending on the situation, you pretty much have to keep it locked at all times but for all of the hassle, it does save on hassles too.
  15. KarenB

    KarenB New Member

    Thanks, mstang! We have had a lock for at least a year now. Recently we locked up all cabinets with food, and our fridge. He hoards food. He was getting food that needed to be cold and putting it under his bed.

    Giving our son what he wants would mean all his stuff plus everyone's else's. he must believe he's entitiled to everything. My husband needs training too so I know what you mean on that issue.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Karen and all, my son hoards food too, but just the junk food he's not supposed to have. :)
    Still, I've found so much food in his room it doesn't make sense--it's not like he's starving. I will talk to him about it and see if I can get him to communicate.
  17. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Terry, that sounds like an excellent idea...


    when are you coming over to clean out Tink's room?