Out of ideas

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by rainbowellie, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. rainbowellie

    rainbowellie New Member

    Hi everyone. This is my first time posting here and I'm really hoping you can help. I'm at my end with my difficult child, I have no idea what to do with him anymore. He was just recently diagnosed with ADHD and is not medicated at he moment because I didn't know enough about it at the time to make that decision, he is probably ODD as well. He is six. This morning he had a basketball game and we were trying to get out he door, he refused to put his socks shoes and coat on. I held him down and put on his socks while he was screaming and kicking me, but then I had had enough and left him to do his shoes and coat, with ten minutes left before we had to leave. He didn't so either so we left with him in his socks and no coat (we live in Wisconsin, it's very cold and icy) and him punching and screaming how stupid I am and how much he hated me. In the car this all continued with him screaming rude things at me and kicking my seat and attempting to kick me from the backseat, into the place where the game was and he refused to go play or sit down with me. He eventually sat down and settled down and wanted a hug, and then went off to play in the second half of the game. I also have a four year old easy child who I was trying to talk to and play with during all of this.
    I have no idea what to do with him, I took away his television for the day, but somehow that doesn't seem sufficient and I know it won't stop this from happening again. Do you all have any ideas?
    Thank you~Ellie
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I would have taken away basketball, not television. He either gets ready to go or he doesn't go. If he doesn't get ready, take off your coat, hang it up and go about your business. If he gets kicked off the team because of it, so be it. His choice.

    I have to admit that my advice is based not only on the idea of picking your battles but on my personal bias against organized team sports for young children. If he wants to play basketball, take him and a ball to a playground and let him shoot around .....and run around. in my opinion, kids that age don't need organized team sports.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I agree with Sara in the fact that I would have just blown off basketball - heck, he doesn't want to go so badly that he's going to meltdown, why bother?

    I disagree about team sports for kids his age. The fact of the matter is that for some of our kids, it helps boost their social skills. My one son (difficult child 2) has a lot of difficulty with finding appropriate ways to make friends (he's always had to go to school out of the neighborhood) and when he did meet up with local kids, he always came off like a, well, dufus. Once he got into sports (tball at 6), he had a common interest with the other kids.

    Try reading "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It'll give you a little insight as to how your son sees things.

    I'd also recommend a full neuropsychologist evaluation to make sure that there aren't any other issues that can underlye these behaviors.

    Big hugs! We're alway here to help! Even if it's just to unload (like your screen name by the way!) or bounce ideas off!

  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    If you feel strongly about keeping his commitment to playing basketball, your other option is to put his shoes, socks and jacket in a bag, pick him up and put both the clothes and your son in the car (no lecturing allowed). I know it's cold in Wisconsin, but he will not freeze to death. And he will experience the natural consequences of feeling cold and may make a different choice next time, especially if you can refrain from saying, "I told you so."

    I agree with Sara that television isn't the right consequence; any consequence should be immediate and related to the situation (like missing basketball or going without clothes to the game).

    I also want to ask: What kind of doctor diagnosed your son? What interventions were recommended? Any developmental or speech delay? Any sensory issues? Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree? I'm just wondering because it sounds to me as if you might be dealing with something other than ADHD.

    If you get a chance, pick up a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us on this board parent our extra-challenging children.

  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like my darling daughter! I agree with Sara, if he wouldn't get ready, too bad. It's so hard to get our little darlings to accept any responsibility for their choices, and it's so hard for moms to remain calm! Miss KT once went to school in the rain with no jacket, because she had left everything at school. Logical consequence...she got wet. But she found every single jacket and sweater she'd left at school and brought them home that afternoon.
  6. rainbowellie

    rainbowellie New Member

    Thank you for your responses! It makes me feel better having all of these great people to talk to. I did think of just forgetting about the basketball entirely but I do want him to be able to do things, and this doesn't just happen on basketball days, it is anytime, no matter what we are doing it was just extra bad this morning. I feel like if I just gave up we would never leave the house. His basketball teammates are really great with him and include him and they all go to his school so it is a good chance for him to make friends, which is something he struggles with, so I do like him to go and play, although I actually am not big on organized team sports either.
    I am not sure that his diagnosis is right, a lot of the adhd stuff does fit him but I feel like there is something else going on as well. A psychologist diagnosed him but I feel like maybe he just jumped to this diagnosis without really looking at other possibilities. We do have a lot of depression in my family and alcoholism,and his father probably has whatever my difficult child does, although he is not diagnosed with anything.
    Thank you for the book suggestion too, i will go get a copy of that.
    Thanks for the support! ~Ellie
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would see a neuropsychologist, since you are unsure the Psychologist got it right. As for sports, depends on the child. My daughter has played on and loved team sports since age four. She didn't feel pressure, she loved it. It really all depends on the kids, and one size doesn't fit all. But I wouldn't force it if he doesn't like it.
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome from a fellow Madisonian! I agree with Midwestmom, I would definitely have him seen by a neuropsychologist. I also agree with getting a copy of The Explosive Child.

    I hope you get some time for you, those car rides sound all to familiar to me, and it is important to take care of you. Hugs.
  9. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Another hello, another vote for the Explosive Child, and another nudge towards a neuropsychologist.

    Welcome to our corner of the web. You found a soft place to land.
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    He sounds to me like the tantrum was triggered by task-changing problems. Some years ago I would have said that you can get this with ADHD, but I'm now realising that my experience with ADHD has been thoroughly tainted by my kids being on the autism spectrum.

    If you approach the problem as if it is a task-changing issue, it might help. Read "Explosive Child" (or check out the discussion on Early Childhood forum) because it will help if you can try to think the way your son thinks.

    What was he doing BEFORE the tantrum began? Think back to when he seemed content. What was he doing?
    And then you announced it was time to get ready; you began your story to us at the point where you were "trying to get out the door", but impending departure begins before this.

    What I've found is that you need to allow a certain amount of time to help them PREPARE to change tasks. For example, if a favourite TV show was on (or maybe any TV show) and he seemed engrossed, then get him to put shoes and socks on in the ad breaks. Or if it's the ads he was watching, hand him his shoes and socks to put on while he is watching the TV. Tell him ahead of time how long before you leave. Maybe set a timer. Or ask him how long he thinks he needs and try to give him that amount of warning time.

    The next thing you did wrong (only it's what we all do, until we learn it's not a good idea for our difficult children) is you FORCED compliance on him. This is taking away even the slightest amount of control, and difficult children need some control over what happens in their life, because so much of it seems out of control already.

    What you should have done, and should do in future if he hasn't complied in time, is sweep him up, plus his clothes, and take him out to the car. If he struggles, put him down and let him walk, in the snow, in his socks (make sure you pack a spare pair). He will soon realise that being carried is preferable.

    Once a tantrum begins, you have both lost. To win, you need to head them off, try to prevent. Sometimes a tantrum is inevitable - live with it. I stopped punishing for most tantrums, if I could see that the cause was the result of him feeling panicked and not in control.

    I use the term 'control' but I don't mean letting him make the rules. What I mean is giving him some say in how things are to be accomplished. For example, difficult child 3 likes to watch a certain TV show. But he's also supposed to be doing some chores at this time. Rather than make him miss his show, I let him do it in the ad breaks. I'll set him up for it in the previous ad break. Something like, "I need you to give your pet bird some fresh seed and water. Do you want to do it now, or during the next ad break?"
    Please notice - I am giving him choice, but my request makes it clear that the bird must be fed and watered. If he grunts, "uh-huh", I remind him as the ad break begins. "OK, go look after your bird. I'll call you when the ad break is over. Maybe you can race the ads, see if you can finish first."

    Some tasks can be done while the TV is on - shoes and socks are an example. Putting toys away is another. Any job that doesn't require brain power and doesn't require time away from the TV screen, can be done without interrupting a kid's favourite show.
    And a really important lesson learned in this - you have shown him respect. Kids value this, even at a very young age. And in some difficult children, unless they have respect modelled for them, they do not learn how to show respect in turn.

    Now, with PCs you may be able to go ahead and parent the way you feel is right, the way you were brought up. But try to think back to your own childhood, to the adults in your life that you liked and the ones you didn't. What governed your feelings?
    I know for me, the adults who I still feel a warm glow for, were the adults who showed respect to me, who seemed to value me for myself. Those who treated me like an inconvenience, who always had an air of "I'm sure that kid will get into trouble the minute my back is turned so I may as well shout at her now," were the ones whose memory still makes me burn, decades later. The adults who didn't treat me or my concerns with any consideration at all, who said, "Don't be silly, it's only a spider," or "You've got to learn to hold your breath some time, go on and jump in, it's only a little bit over your head," still do not have any respect in my memories.

  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If you were sitting down with the diagnostician again, what would you highlight about your son? Beyond resisting doing what he's told, what's significant about his developmental history and current behaviors?
  12. sandman3

    sandman3 New Member

    Welcome! I agree with the rest, that you need a second opinion. Too many psychologists and psychiatrists nowadays are quick to diagnose ADHD because it's become the easy diagnosis to blame everything on! Both of my difficult child's were once diagnosis'd as ADHD, but in my gut, I knew that was not the case, and I was right. Find a neuropsychologist or contact a Major medication Center for a second opinion....it's worth every minute of your time to get an accurate picture of what's going on with your son.

    Meanwhile, we're here and we get it!
  13. rainbowellie

    rainbowellie New Member

    Thank you all so much. I started reading The Explosive Child and doing some of the things in it and it works really well so far, thank you all for the recommendation. I love that there are people here that can give me advice about what to do with my son. You are great. ~Ellie