Out of control... Pulling hair out.

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lostinsc, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. lostinsc

    lostinsc New Member

    My husband and I are dealing with a child who was just diagnosis with ODD. We have never heard of this or have we ever dealt with a situation as the one we are now in. We are looking for people who have children who have been diagnosis with ODD, who can offer some advise as to how we should handle the child. We try being nice and letting him get away with the way he behaves, we have tried punishing him, time out, taking toys, I have made a sticker board with a planned outing if he gets so many stickers a week, and to no avail it has all failed. Any type of help or advise for us to win back control of our house would be so greatly appreciated!!!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Most of us here do not believe ODD is a stand-alone diagnosis. In most cases, it is just a label for a group of behaviors that they can't easily put into something else. It turns out that the behaviors are actually because of an underlying diagnosis. In our case, what everyone had considered to be willful and purposeful defiance turned out to be Autism Spectrum behavior. For my son, conventional forms of rewards and punishments didn't work because they didn't mean anything to HIM. Can you describe for us some of the behaviors you are dealing with? Who diagnosed him with ODD? Does he have any other diagnosis's? Is he taking any medications? Others will be along. I HIGHLY recommend you read "The Explosive Child" if you haven't already. Using that as best I can, it has made a world of difference in our house.
  3. lostinsc

    lostinsc New Member

    Some of the behaviors he shows is, hitting, biting, kicking, screaming, spitting, uncontrolable fits that have lasted hours sometimes. We had him in behaviorial therapy and speech therapy at one point, which his biomom took him out of. I am not sure of the type of doctor he saw the last time he went when they diagnosis ODD, because I had another appointment for the same day and time. We do know that his biomom and grandmother have bipolar, but the doctors here in SC have told us that he definitely does not have that and they can not diagnosis that because of his young age (4) and he would be the first ever case of bipolar in a child that age. I found that to be BS. He always repeats himself. He refuses to use the potty. Which we have tried everything in the book for that. He is not on medications and never has been. We have appointments set up but we need some kinda advise now as to how we can keep our sanity. I love my husband and step son more than anything and worry so much about him hurting himself, us, our new baby, or another person.

    We try and take him places and he always has to throw a knock down, drag out fight. If he does not get his way or something done right when he wants it, he throws a fit that is usually physically abusive. While I was pregnant, he would hit, kick, and bite me. It got to the point that I could not pick him up from daycare because he would became physically violent with me. He has been kicked out of daycare for hitting, kicking, biting, spitting on the teachers and students.

    We no longer know what to do to get control.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    lostinsc, Can you give us a specific situation example? And I mean really specific. Like what is he saying when he repeats himself? Is it truly ALWAYS, or when he wants something, so it seems like 'always'? Share a story of one of his tantrums. What was he doing? What did you want him to do? What words EXACTLY did you use?

    We are willing to help any way we can, but there is no blanket plan of attack for ODD (at least not form our perspective) We'd like to get a 'feel' for you and your son and then we can more specifically advise you on what to do. Also something that works in one situation - say eating issues - won't necessarily work for another situation - say bedtime issues. Would be nice if it did, but these mysterious kids don't make it that 'easy' for us.
  5. lostinsc

    lostinsc New Member

    Ok, let's see if I can explain this the proper way....

    We will use potty time as one explain....
    Us: Let's go try and use the bathroom.
    "B": I don't have to use the potty.
    Us: Let's just try.
    "B": No, I don't have to use the potty.
    Then it turns into him screaming at us, kicking who ever is closer to him. And in the end, he will pee himself.

    We have taken him to the waterpark, upon us leaving I asked "B" if he would like an ice cream to go, he tells me because he is upset that he has to leave. I myself, get one as I was wanting an ice cream. husband walked ahead with "B" and went to the car while I got the ice cream. I get to the car and he is screaming, I want an ice cream. I want an ice cream. I want an ice cream. Since I am not allowed back in the park as we had already walked out without getting our hands stamped, I offer him some of mine, only to get hit and spit on. We got home that day from the water park and my husband had to go into work, so as I got home with "B" he was sleeping and as soon as we walked in the door, it all started back up again. I had "B" and my 6 month old daughter and he starts screaming, I don;t want you I want Daddy. I let him know that Daddy is at work and would be back later, for the next two hours no matter what I would do or try he screamed I want my Mommy... I want my Mommy. I would try and go in his room to calm him down and he would throw toys at me and say I don't like you, I don't want you, get out of my room, I want my Mommy. As I was trying to get him out of his wet bathing suit and into dry clothes and get him to use the potty, he starts screaming, I don't have to use the bothroom and repeating that over and over.. But about 5 minutes into that fit, he pees all over the floor and does not say anything and I had no idea and slipped and fell in it.

    I just worry that we are not parenting the right way and only making the situation at hand worse for all of us and especially "B".
    will reply, I don't have to. Us: Let's just
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Does he immediately go into the tantrum? or are you pushing some more and then the tantrum? Next time try asking just once and when he says no, say "OK I'll check with you in a while" and come back to him in 10 or 15 minutes. He might actually be so shocked by that he might decide to go (we can dream, right?) If he still has an accident, but is calm, then you can clean him up (have him help) and remind him that next time he should try to use the potty when you remind him because it can't feel nice getting all wet and messed. by the way have you tried cheerios in the toilet? They are supposed to be used as "targets"

    The trick is NOT to let hem get to tantrum phase. I had one parent say to me, "But this is an IMPORTANT issue, he MUST do it" Ah, yeah, but is he doing it while having his tantrum? NO. So exerting parental control doesn't work. And by that I mean repeatedly requesting until he complies because he doesn't ever comply, he goes into a tantrum. Problem with potty and tantrums is that once he's all worked up, he may really not feel the sensations that tell him he needs to go.

    He was tired, he wanted to leave. He did NOT want to wait on yet another line. At that moment getting home was the most important thing to him. When you showed up at the car WITH an ice cream, going home at the same time as him, the reality of his "bad decision" over took him. The trick here is to guess and pre-emt his "bad decisions" Did you let him know he could go ahead with Dad and you'd get him his ice cream and catch up with them? Could you have eaten it faster? At his age (5, right?) most kids start learning the natural consequences of such complicated decisions. He's lacking in that capacity. Once you got home, did you have ice cream or another treat that you could have offered?

    It is difficult and tiring, but you and husband need to try and predict everything that could go wrong and why. Once you get the hang of it, it does get easier, and once you find that SOMETHING works, run with it. Can you think of situations that have gone smoothly? What was going on then? Try analyzing the "good times" and see if you can apply that to situations you KNOW cause "bad times"
  7. lostinsc

    lostinsc New Member

    The deal with the waterpark/ice cream is he was not wanting to leave. He saw that other kids were still there and thinks that with throwing his fit he will get his way. That is what works when he is with his boimom, so he thinks it will work when he is with us. I offered the ice cream to calm him down, hoping that would work. I offered when we got home for him to have a treat, but to no avail did that work either. It is almost like it makes the situation worse.

    The potty training, we have tried targets in the potty and they work to get him to actually use the bathroom vs just standing there doing nothing and then saying, see I don't have to pee and then pee in his pants. We have tried giving him candy when he does potty in the toilet, stickers, toys, you name it we have done it. And to be honest we are running out of ideas. We have to find him a new daycare but no where will take him because he is almost 4 and not potty trained. My In laws have been watching him during the day and it is hard on them because they are older but we have no where else to go right now.

    It is hard to pin point a good situation we have had with him and taking him places because they are very very very rare. Honestly, I could not tell you the last time we had a good experience with him out in public.
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree 100% with what keista has said so far. It sounds like nothing is going to change unless you start thinking like he does, not trying to make him think like you. It must be so hard for a little kid like him with rules and routines that are continually changing. It is very possible that you are "assuming" why he does and says what he does in most situations. If you really want to change things, start asking him why. Don't assume, ask. He may not have the "right" words but with patience and attempting to get to the REAL bottom of each issue, I think things can improve. You will learn to understand how HE thinks so you can prevent these tantrums and he will learn that you actually care enough to LISTEN to him. Sorry, this is just my opinion based on the information I have.
  9. lostinsc

    lostinsc New Member

    We have asked him why. We have sat him down and talked with him but the only answer we get is "because". I agree that with the constant change in his day to day routine is a problem and he does not understand. We are dealing with a very difficult matter. We just don't know how to deal with the tantrums when they come, honestly. I understand that he does not know how to handle them either, from what the doctors have told us. And anything can trigger one at any given time.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Have you researched "attachment disorder"?
    His background is chaotic enough that there could be some element of this...
    Not sure where you'd go to get a diagnosis on that one.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    So he was already IN a tantrum when you offered the ice cream? You didn't state that before. Well of course he ramped it up when he got to the car and realized he was going home AND he missed out on ice cream to boot. He was now missing out on TWO things - not just one.

    So lets focus on the leaving. Did you give him fair warning that you were going to leave at that time? Did you say, "OK, we need to get going soon. Let's do 3 more rides and head home. That was a fun one. Two more rides and we're going home. OK, this is the very last ride for the day. Boy we've had fun and maybe we'll come back again, but this is the LAST ride." He needs the fair warning for transition. Now, I'm not promising that this will work the very next time you try it, but if you do it EVERY time you leave someplace (adjusted for the situation, of course. 15, 10 and 5 minute countdown ex for the playground) he will start getting the picture of the transition and it will become easier.

    He's used to his mom doing things at the spur of the moment, with no warning. He tantrums, she changes her mind. he gets his way. You have a more planned way of doing things, but if you don't' include him in this plan, then he will react the way he always does, trying to get his way. If you apply transition warnings consistently and it STILL doesn't help, then there is more than just a transitioning issue at work - need more details.

    Well, my son potty trained 2 months before his 4th birthday. I never pushed. Made it available for him, but didn't push. One day he decided he was ready and in less than a month he went from full time pullups to full time jockeys (even at night). My friend's son just finished potty training at 3 1/2. She had tried earlier and failed. Tried again and failed, and then one day he just decided to start using the potty consistently. Some kids just take longer. Yes, it's a real PITA due to the daycare issue, but at "almost 4" (sorry, for some reason I thought he was closer to 5) this is still not drastically delayed. Of course, the diaper ppl didn't make the process any easier with the "super absorbent stay dry liners"! I laughed so hard when one of the pull up companies FINALLY came out with the "feels wet" design - Major DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, do you see how I'm picking apart every little detail of what went on? This is a skill that you and husband are going to have to learn. "The devil" is in the details, and you have to pick apart the details of each situation, what may be going through his head, the way he is reacting to each step, and how you are both expressing yourselves and your intentions. It's not easy at first, but it does get easier.

    And by the way see if you can get him back into that speech and behavior therapy. He's with you now so biomom should not be able to pull him out. IF she gets any visitation make sure it revolves around the therapy sessions so she has no responsibility to it. If you (you AND husband) are going to have any success at parenting this child, HIS needs MUST come first - not "keeping the peace"
  12. lostinsc

    lostinsc New Member

    No I have not but now that you have said it, I did and a lot of the symptoms could be my child. I will definitely bring this up at his next appointment.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It will be interesting to see how that goes.
    If you can get the right "label", it sort of provides a "handle" to grab - a starting point for knowing how to reach this child, what things to try.

    Good luck!
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Sounds like he has difficulty expressing himself verbally (not a surprise at 4, but something to keep an eye on). Has he been checked for physical problems relating to the bathroom? Some kids don't know they have to go until it's too late for quite a while.
    He could also be resisting because biomom and dad aren't together, mine had started to potty train and really backtracked when her father and I split. Heck at 10 I still sometimes have to tell her "I see you dancing around, I know you have to go, get in there." She (like her father) doesn't get the message from her bladder until she's about to burst.
    Are you looking into headstart or pre-k for him? If you can start working with the SD early that might help. Also don't be afraid to reach out to social services and ask for help with him. Check out the Love and Logic series and Ross Greene's The Explosive Child (check your local library).