school vs home

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mandcc96, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    If your child can hold it together long enough to make it through school but falls apart when she gets home, is a diagnosis of ODD going to help. I'm trying to find a family therapist who can work with all of us to try and find an approach that works for us. difficult child doesn't qualify for an IEP at school since she behaves (except that she's doing poorly in the class where she hates the teacher, she refuses to do his homework). Otherwise, she is doing fine. It's once she's home that she breaks down. It's like she's a totally different person. I think I need someone to work with us toward the common goal of peace more than I need someone to make an immediate diagnosis. And I don't need the typical "someone to talk to" type of shrink. She refuses to talk to people since she doesn't like to show any emotion. Anybody have a child like this....what was your approach and what worked best?
  2. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    in my humble opinion, no diagnosis for symptoms like that helps very much. My difficult child behaves pretty well in school, but he's in a social development class where the teacher is MALE (helps a lot)....though when he walks through the door at home in the afternoon, the fight is on. I medicate him for school so that the poor thing can learn, but we suffer greatly at home. At present it's husband and difficult child who are at it, usually it's ME. We have had therapy with difficult child for many years. We just quit it, at least for awhile, this month. His psychiatrist says she doesn't see that it's doing much. I've NEVER seen that it has done much, except I will say that he's less aggressive physically....the mouth continues. I'm just through with therapy for now. Now and then it helped when the therapist had him WRITE DOWN whatever the incident was and how it affected others, but it didn't last. His disrespect of husband and I is unbelievable.
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My daughter was like yours. She was fine at school but a real problem at home. She had many of the same problems you have described in your posts.

    She did get the ODD diagnosis. I don't think it is a very helpful diagnosis. It describes a behaviour but the only advice I have seen about how to deal with it is firmer parenting. This did not/would not have worked for us.

    I notice your child has food sensitivities. Can you tell me more about them? What did work for us was discovering my child's food intolerances and eliminating all traces of them. We now have a peaceful house unless she has a trace of the wrong food. Then she turns back into a difficult child.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    in my humble opinion, what helps more than getting an ODD diagnosis is identifying and treating the underlying cause behind the ODD behaviors. From your other post, it sounds as if there's more going on than ADHD. That may mean going to a child/adolescent psychiatrist, not for talk therapy, but for diagnosis and treatment. A child in this sort of turmoil frequently can't access therapy until she is stable. Only when you really know what is fueling these behaviors will you be able to put the appropriate interventions into place.
  5. Baffled

    Baffled New Member

    My child does have the diagnosis of ODD and having it also has not helped much. He also does well in school, mostly. He is actually doing much better at home now. Talking to therapists hasn't worked well for us either. What I have found to work the best is reading. Dr. Ross Green's book, The Explosive Child" is great. I read a lot and try different suggestions. I wish I could find a therapist who would work with us on techniques on dealing with ODD and would work with my child on specifically how to deal with his anger when he experiences it. Not just a whole lot of talk. They talk about what has happened since the last time we've seen them and how we handled it, but looks like we just keep talking about what happened and not getting real advice on specifically how to handle it. I wish I lived near Dr. Green.
  6. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    Hi, I'm grateful for all of the imput from everyone. I feel like I can relate and understand from all of the points you have mentioned.

    Amazingly enough, after saying this morning that she's been great in school, I ate my words. I got 2 phone calls from the school while I was out. She took a teachers personal cell phone with-out permission (I'm not sure if or who she called, cuz it wasn't me). She called home from a class phone looking for a bus note. She is supposed to be MCing a talent show tomorrow night and almost got pulled from that. Now the teacher wants to let her off the hook for good behavior (past). I asked him not to do that. I feel like there has to be some sort of ramification for her behavior. She is the type that if you let her get away with-one thing she'll push the limit. So I guess things at school aren't going so well.

    I want to start off by replying to the question of her food sensitivities. She started off very young not being able to tolerate foods with a lot of additives or preservatives. Hot dogs are a nightmare~ We had a general rule...if you wanted difficult child to behave while we were out...don't buy McD's or any fast food at all! She would be off the walls uncontrollable for hours. The reaction was instant as well. She is still like that today with-food products. She can have Cape Cod potato (plain) chips but not Lays. I think it has to do with-the chemicals in the plant.

    On another note, I did hear of the book "The explosive child". It is her to a T. Right down to an excerpt that I found on the website. It was saying something about breakfast waffles. It was as if they took an excerpt from my life and put it in the book. I've called a old clinical social worker from my past who was helpful in my late teen years to see if she would be in a position to work something with us and if not if she could recommend someone who can. I agree with-the talk issue. I don't want to talk about all the bad things that happen on a daily basis. I want a plan put together to help us all learn how to co-exist peacefully together. There is so much tension between all of us right now it's pretty hard to have that loving-feeling between any of us.

    Soooo, if anyone has a plan of action that "worked for them", I would love to hear suggestions. Thanks again for the help.

  7. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    You could try looking into other food sensitivities or, if you aren't already, be very strict about the ones you know about.

    My kids can also only have plain Cape Cod chips, not Lay's. For them, it is the gluten in the Lay's plant that gets on the chips.

    I think lots of people are gluten intolerant and don't know about it. I didn't know about my gluten intolerance until I was 41 but looking back, I had it my whole life. So eliminating gluten might be one for you to try. Milk and milk products are another one.

    If my daughter has any gluten or milk, it sets us back days. If she stays on her strict diet with no mistakes, I do not even need any special parenting skills. For that reason, I think it is worth trying. My daughter is off from all medications and out of therapy since starting this diet. I'm off from my a/d from following it, too.

    Your answer may not be gluten or milk, but since you know she has issues with food, I think it is very possible that food is playing a part, now. Not to say you shouldn't pursue whatever other options you have but you can watch her food on your own while you wait to be seen and maybe get some quick results.

    On another note, for us, talk therapy didn't do much good. When difficult child is in that mode, she is unable to practice whatever we have worked out to all get along. There's no loving feeling because difficult child just feels too mean inside. She then acts mean and no one feels very loving.
  8. Baffled

    Baffled New Member

    Hey mandcc96---Had to eat my words about school today too. He got suspended for back talk! A lovely birthday present for me. It's for one day and he will spend it with easy child working in his yard.
  9. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    I swear I feel like I like with 2 different people. She's home from school (after getting in trouble there) and is all nice and in control. Even when we had a "discussion" about her behavior. There was no exploding that is so typical about her when she's confronted. I told her she is grounded and she has been cooperating for the most part (although I can't really say me blocking all the channels on the TV and locking the computer with a password is cooperating on her part) but at least she's not screaming and yelling or even better, being obnoxious to see if she can bother me enough to send her on her way. This is the "egg-shell" part though. She'll seem fine and able to handle things and then kaboom! The side of her that hates everyone and is mean and miserable will come out and cause chaos. I'd love to have this cooperative, peaceful teenager for just a little longer (she hasn't even tried to torment the cat...I'd almost wonder if she hadn't found her own way to self medicate if she weren't grounded to the house LOL). The riddiculous thing is that I can almost fool myself for a moment to believe that maybe things aren't as bad as they are when she's raging, but almost only counts in horshoes and hand grenades. Anyways, bedtimes in a couple of hours and that's never and easy task so here's hoping everyone else has a peaceful dinnertime. Thanks so much for giving me a place where I can get some of this off my chest without feeling like a bad parent, for being able to share the good with the bad without judgement that my child (soon not to be anymore) is just a "bad" kid.
  10. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    I just wanted to say thanks. We made it through dinner and almost bedtime with only one fight. My difficult child wasn't the one who was losing it either, which was strange, but it was my younger daughter who is usually pretty mellow, was screaming at me. Strange situation but with her, 15 minutes in her room is usually all it takes for her to calm down. Anyways, I found this quote and thought it was pretty much right on the money in my house. I haven't read "The Explosive Child" yet, I'm trying to find a copy but I think from the excerpts that I've caught, I've implemented some of the ideas into our daily lives. But my husband isn't fully on the bandwagon yet as he hasn't read anything (I can't say as I blame him with the hours he works). Anyways, it was interesting again to be able to feel that someone else out there knows exactly what I'm going through.

    You say your husband has a short fuse - that isn't good. But we've been there a certain amount as well. What happens if you try to implement "The Explosive Child" methods and you're good at it but he isn't, is she will see YOU as an ally but him as a problem. He will suddenly find himself the intense focus of all her hostility.

    Also, on another note, I have an appointment. with-my old family counselor next week. It's not a quick fix, but it's a start. And at the very least, I don't feel like I have to go over my entire rotten childhood with-her...she already knows it LOL.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Chastity, I think that's my quote. I can really vouch for "The Explosive Child". Simply while I was reading it, difficult child 3's behaviour began to improve. That doesn't mean the book is magic, just that somehow I must have been modifying my discipline methods and also how I interacted with him, just from absorbing what I was reading, and the improvement was that fast, that dramatic. Of course,e when I sat down and REALLY began to concentrate on what I was doing with him, things just even better.

    It's not a cure. difficult child 3 is far from perfect. But he has improved so much that he's a lot easier to work with - positive feedback loop.

    I've written my own summary of the book, because husband just wasn't able to "get into" the book, he works so hard and such long hours that he kept falling asleep! But he read my summary, plus I explained it all to him (which helped me lock away the information in my own head) and this has helped.

    Have a look on Early Childhood, wither the forum or the archives, there should be some good discussion on this book. From what I read of that discussion, it's better than my summary. Wish I'd read it first - it could have saved me a lot of time!

  12. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    I have to agree Marg, on the quote (which was an amazing summary of our house too!) and on your summation. I know that a book isn't a cure. Absolutely, but it is a place to start to find a way to work together instead of fighting. I too, wish I had heard of this book sooner. I might have had a better routine in motion to prevent the majority of the devastating outbursts and rages. There were things that had already been implemented in our house just to keep the peace that still works to this day. We always knew that when difficult child got off the bus from school, she needed to come home first and drop her items off, get a snack and then proceed to what came next. You can imagine the car ride (and the dents in my dashboard) if we picked her up at the bus stop for an outing, appointment, whatever. As long as we stick to the routine and give her time warnings (5 minutes, 3 minutes, times up) she handles thing much better. I just would've thought and I guess expected her to outgrow these routines. That's where this book has come into play in our lives. Since these routines still work but need some honing for age and agenda I'm hoping to find new options that fit our changing lives (from childhood to teenager and ultimately adulthood). Thanks for all of the advice. I will definitely check those things out. Thanks. - Chastity
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's important to remember with difficult children - you need to throw out the concepts of "she shouldn't still be doing this at her age" and "other people don't have to deal with this."

    They do get there, they just take longer.

    Also, if you already have stuff tat works, then keep it. Only take on board what you feel will work for you. For all of us who use ideas from this book, you could walk into each of our homes and not necessarily recognise the same things. We try it all out, then keep what works.

    Also, trust your own instincts. Listen to your heart. If it is telling you stuff that seems at odds with what others are telling you, try to work out why. Don't automatically assume you are wrong.

  14. Jena

    Jena New Member


    My difficult child does not have behavioral issues in school either, yet she too is not doing well in class for multiple reasons she has been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and previous diagnosis of bi polar. she experiences anxiety in school yet yes she too does come unglued once home i will def. see the oppositional behaviors and arguements overall joy for all of us.

    see im fighting for an iep for her. i think play therapy is good along with family therapy. play this way no verbal has to be given and the whole family going makes it less scarey for difficult child i would think.

    good luck

  15. mandcc96

    mandcc96 New Member

    Thanks Jen. I know there are some days when I'm just not emotionally up for the fight that I know is coming when she gets off the bus. I always watch her coming down the street to see how she's interacting with the other kids (and sister) to get a clue of how our afternoon is going to go. And while I watch I always think of Laura and Mary (Little House was my mom's fav. show) and think, "Why can't that be my girls?". So for the 5 or so minutes that they walk along I gear myself up...for good or bad...and think "please let today be a good day". I hope that you have more good days than bad.
  16. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I have the opposite problem. School is where all the issues are. Most problems or fights at home all stem from school, homework or some sort of issue from school. counting down the days till the year is over.

    If it were the opposite maybe I would respond better. Knowing it is a long day at school for him to hold it together, expecting when he gets home to let loose. But only occurs regarding school issues.