Some non-critical advice wanted

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tmk911, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. tmk911

    tmk911 Guest

    I just want to ask that people dont critize me or put me down, call me names or dis-credit my parenting. Trust me I feel bad enough and didnt come here for critism, I came here for support. So I dont know how to deal with my emotions about having a little boy living in my home who has ADHD, ODD, developmental delays and a few other disorders that are in "pending" process due to his young age. I love him to death and would lay my life down for him. However, its very hard for me to show affection and love when I am constantly frustrated, annoyed, and grossed out by him. Some of his behaviors include constant hyperactivity, temper tantroms that can last up to 20 mins multiple times a day, his feces eating habits, his wiping boogers and snot all over his face, hair and arms, his not sleeping through the night behavior and last thing is his constant masturbating. His therapist says its normal, so fine, but that doesnt mean that it doesnt embarrass me when he does it when we are out to eat or at the store or sitting with a large group of family at the dinner table for thanksgiving. He currently takes adderal and clonidine. They both "help" but realistically they do not provide that magic of taking the problems away. Does anyone in here have any expirence dealing with these kind of emotions that I deal with? I really am emotionally beat up because I love the little boy so much, but at the same time I cant seem to cope with his behavior problems. Its so hard because I have twins who are 1yr old and hes almost 4, and I have a 10 yr old. I feel overwhelmed a lot. I can barely get anyone to babysit him, I go 5 months without a break from him and then its just an hour or so that someone offers to babysit so I can have a break. My children go with their father every weekend, but this little boy stays with me. I just need a break from him sometimes and nobody seems to care. I cry almost every night because I am frustrated or annoyed with him. He takes medications to sleep, but sometimes they work and sometimes they dont. Either way, he still tantroms before bed every night. If the pill isnt working through the nights, then he can be up 4-10 times a night just throwing a fit. I guess I want advice on how to not let it all get to me to the point I lose sleep and cry all day or night. How do I stop the feeling of getting embarrassed when he masturbates at places in front of people? He doesnt comprehend rules, I can say over and over again..not to do something and its like I just talked to a brick wall. I dont know...anyone with advice please??
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. Welcome to the board, but sorry you have to be here.

    First of all, if this is not your child, why does he live with you? Can his parents give you a break?

    Secondly, I think his therapist is nuts. Nothing you described in normal. I've raised five kids and none of them did anything like that child. I would be beside myself too. To me, it sounds a lot like he could be on the autistic spectrum. I would take him to a private neuropsychologist. in my opinion this therapist doesn't "get" it.

    Can you tell us more about this child, including his early development? A world on the strange behavior, such as masturbating in public. He could be "stimming." Stimming is common if a c hild is on the is part of sensory issues. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids do not care about social norms. They need to be taught. I would definitely correct him if he does that in public.

    Finally, I actually think your feelings are normal. That is a lot to deal with. in my opinion I think you need more help than you are getting. Is he in special education?
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hello and *hugs* hon. You definitely need some respite for yourself, I'm sorry people aren't stepping up to help you. While I don't have all the same problems, my daughter is capable of tantrums lasting over 24 hours - she can wake up and start right where she left off. It's not been as bad lately since some psychiatrist and medication changes, but I know those tantrums and the only time I get away is the hour or so between when I get off work and when I pick her up from school. There's no family nearby, and even if I could find a reliable sitter I don't have the money for a sitter or anything to do if I had one.

    I agree with MWM, this isn't normal and I have no clue why his therapist would consider this remotely normal for any kid, let alone a 4 year old. Can you tell us more about why he doesn't go with the other kids? Have you checked around for different psychiatrists and tdocs? Not every one is the right one for every kid. I've spent months fighting psychiatrists to get testing for my daughter since they just throw medications at her symptoms and label her with no testing and minimal observation. Even the psychiatric hospital didn't do any testing, just a medication wash and new medications. I'm getting some test results today FINALLY, and have a feeling I'll have to push for further testing to confirm/deny her current diagnosis's.

    Yes, I've had many days when I have wanted to run away from home and pretend to be someone else just to escape.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think no-one here is going to criticise you or put you down... Everyone understands how hard it is at times.
    When you said you have a child living in your home, is he your son and it was just a way of expressing it? I think you meant that the therapist says that the masturbating is normal, right? I can understand why a therapist would say that, so as not to create some kind of complex in the child, and it is normal within limits but I agree that it must be explained that it is not appropriate in public.
    But this sounds like it is the least of your problems... you are sounding really at the end of your tolerance and stress limits. For your child to be helped in any way you need to be helped to get some of your calm and strength back... I would imagine that it is very important for you to have a break from your child occasionally, as some kind of starting point. I do understand about the difficulties of getting a sitter for him. What about school, or pre-school as you probably call it in the States? Why does he not go or has he gone in the past and it hasn't worked out?
    I have been helped by a book called "The Explosive Child" which people recommended here. What I had to learn in dealing with my own son, and you may realise this already, is that the usual parenting techniques do not work at all or very well with such children. There are techniques that work better. I am no expert in the matter and would like to leave it to others to go more into this. I totally recognise the cycle you describe of feeling negative about your son because of his behaviour; I cannot at all know if this is operating in your case but in mine my critical, negative, angry attitude was (I did not realise at the time) making him much worse. Since our relationship has improved, his behaviour has improved - partly this happened through my reclaiming my love for him, as it were, and giving him lots of affection and praise. I just offer this as a possibility - I do not know if it speaks to you.
    I hope others will offer good advice.
  5. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Welcome. Can you share with us how old this child is? How long has he lived with you?

    He has some serious issues. These were absolutely, 100% NOT caused by poor parenting. You are raising 4 children and it sounds like 3 of them are doing just fine!! You are reaching out for help with this child -- another sign of a GOOD parent!
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and Welcome!

    My first bit of advice? Get a new therapist!

    Second....I don't know who diagnosed him but I see HUGE red flags for developmental delays and / or brain injury/issue ... And these things will need intensive therapy and supports to address.

    Good news is - at a young age, there is a lot that can be done to help!

    But - Sounds like therapist is only treating for ADHD? Again - you need a new therapist! Like - Yesterday!
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    No judgement here. No need. Many of us has been there. Feeling like we do not even like our own children. We love them, but really do not like them much at times. I used to say if I was married to my difficult child, I would have divorced her long ago!
    But, years later I look back and realize what I would have missed out on. That will come in time.

    None of the behavior issues are 'normal' they are extreme from your descriptions.

    Why does daddy not take him on the weekend???
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Again - no judgement from me either. I really do understand the feeling of being tied to your difficult child because you can't find anyone to babysit for you.

    A few points of clarification - when you say 'masturbation' is he actually rubbing himself or is he just clutching at himself? I went through both my boys having permanent stains on their trousers from grubby paws. Even now, difficult child 3 at 17 has stains on that part of his jeans, at least partly because if he gets his hands dirty, that's where he wipes them and as a rapidly developing teenager, his "lunch pack" is increasingly obvious, especially when the stains in his jeans just won't come out. Or the colour is worn away. Or something - I can't fix it and it is embarrassing when especially prudish relatives make comments about him "flaunting" his maleness. He isn't. It just is THERE.

    difficult child 1 used to grab himself there, I used to say to him, "Let it go, it won't run away." I used to have to remind the boys, both of them, to stop groping themselves. But it wasn't actually masturbation, it was insecurity. When a little boy gets anxious, they tend to clutch at their genitals to keep them safe. If I suspected they were doing more, I told them to leave it alone or it would get sore from too much rubbing.

    Depending on the level of the boy's comprehension, you can also say that we don't do that in public, it is a private thing and not something we do in front of other people because it is not polite.

    With what you describe, there are a number of possibilities beyond ADHD. Giving a 4 year old a label of ODD is not helpful to you in any way. It is also, I feel, rather premature and risking tossing the kid away too soon. I agree with the others who suggested autism in some form needs to be considered. This is not necessarily a bad news diagnosis, either. It would explain a lot and also open doors for help and intervention. There is a lot tat can be done with autism, despite what you may have been told. When both my boys were younger, they were given very pessimistic assessments. Both have done well and are continuing to improve in many ways.

    difficult child 3 had significant language delay - it meant that his first neuropsychologist assessment was a mess, we were told he was retarded. We've since found he's actually exceptionally bright, but when a non-verbal kid is asked questions verbally and fails to respond appropriately, the test will show a poor result. But once his language caught up, he made great progress.

    With the general messiness of a boy, I suggest you carry a damp cloth (or portable packet of baby wipes) and use them on him often. Teach him to blow his nose (with your help at least initially). Until he's about 8 you will need to help him do this by holding the hankie yourself and instructing him to blow. A good way to teach a kid to blow their nose is to tell them it's like blowing out the candles on their birthday cake, but with their mouth closed. Boys especially, but all kids at some stage, need to be constantly reminded. With toiletting, we also had problems and even into his teens, difficult child 1 needed to be reminded to empty his bowels. He would hold on for days, up to a week or more, when younger.

    A book we recommend is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. If you go to the Early Childhood forum you can see posts there (stickies) about how to adapt this book for younger children. It might help you cope better.

    Hang in there, let us know how you get on.

  9. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I'm glad you found us but sorry you had to! As others have already said, we really understand where you're coming from - No criticism from us! in my humble opinion, your feelings are perfectly "normal" given the issues you're dealing with on a 24/7 basis. And, most importantly, none of this is caused by poor parenting!!!

    I had many of the same feelings as you're having now when my difficult children were younger. Both of my sons are Aspies and my oldest is also bipolar. They're about a year apart and I also have a daughter who is three years younger than my oldest difficult child. While my difficult children didn't have all of the behavior issues that your difficult child has, both of them took long tantrums (could last for hours at a time) and had very poor hygiene. I've had my walls decorated with "snot" zillions of times. difficult child 2 used to keep toenail clippings in a box near his bed. I could go on and on and on but this is your thread. Just want you to know I think I can understand some of how you feel.

    I agree with the others that your difficult child's therapist needs to be ditched ASAP!!! I also agree that your difficult child is much more involved then his current therapist thinks - None of this is normal behavior!!!

    One of the worst mistakes I made was thinking I could handle all of this by myself. I wish that I had found this site when my kids were younger and I'm glad you're reaching out for help. I know it's hard for you to believe this now, but things will get better in time.

    Thinking of you today... Hugs... SFR
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome and ((((((((((HUGS))))))))))!!!

    This board is the best resource you could find for yourself and for all of your kids!!! No one here is going to judge you harshly or criticize you - just not our way. We ALL have been in similar places to where you are. I am sorry that you have had criticism and harsh judgement regarding your parenting of this little boy. Personally, I think that every person who judges our parenting of a difficult child needs to take that child for at least 24 hrs with NO help from anyone else to get a teensy look at what you are handling all day every day!!!nnEven if the difficult child behaved like an angel for them it would at least give the Mom a break!

    You are in such a rough situation, my heart goes out to the whole family. I have been there done that with no one who could watch my child, but at least I had a spouse who could be left alone with the kids so I could keep at least a tenuous grasp on my sanity. I am not sure where you live, but if you are in the US you may want to contact Head Start at the local elementary school. The school can give you info on Head Start and where to find them if that isn't the right place. Regardless of your income, Head Start can provide early intervention services and at least keep him during the day so you get a break from him. It would also give your younger children a chance for some Mommy time with-o him. Many kids benefit from this if it is possible. it isn't always realistic for this to be possible, I do understand that.

    I totally get how embarrassing it is to have him out in public, yet it isn't possible to not take him in public. The Explosive Child will likely be a big help. He also needs complete evaluation and I think your therapist has lost her mind. No way is this normal. Not to the extremes that he does it. Who on earth would tell you that it is normal for a child to eat feces??? Maybe she needs to take him home for a couple of weeks to regain her hold on reality, Know what I mean??? Little kids do masturbate, but usually it is something you can redirect and they can learn to do it in private. This can be a sign of early onset bipolar disorder, as hypersexuality is a symptom of that disorder. there are also many things that could be a form of autism, and not learning things could also be a sign of fetal alcohol exposure/syndrome.

    Is this little boy your son? Or a child that you have custody of some other way? Why doesn't his father take him some of the time? Is the father refusing or are there signs taht he has hurt the child or would hurt him? Or is he just not in the picture? Either way, I admire the fact that you are not in a psychiatric hospital somewhere in a catatonic state after all the stress and the demands of taking care of not just this demanding, difficult child but also doing such a great job with your other 3 kids when you have no breaks or real help with the difficult child. I truly mean this, it isn't said with any sarcasm at all. I know that I couldn't handle it.

    there are some pretty big reasons to start looking to head start, the father, a good therapist, any other source for help. You truly cannot keep this up until he is an adult. Quite a few of us have had our bodies give out under the strain you are enduring. One member had a stroke, another has had heart problems, I have had my body just decide to quit and to destroy itself. For years I tried to handle it all. Be the room mom, the one who had it all under control at home, did all the appts and therapies, and finally my body just couldn't handle it any more. I really don't want to see another Mom goe through that - it has been an exceptionally painful process physically and emotionally. IF there is a dad who is in the picture, it is time to start making some demands. You also may need to approach social services, the school system and other groups for help. there are support groups in many cities for various disorders, esp autism. NAMI is also a good place to network and find info and resources. You can google them and try to find what they offer in your area.

    The school system cannot tell you that they can't help. THey are mandated by federal law to provide services for ALL children. While private schools may have a much better reputation in many areas, they do NOT have to provide for students who don't fit the "normal" that they handle. Public schools must provide services and education for every single child. The rules is that they must provide FAPE in the LRE - free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Your son will need the school to evaluate him and most likely he will be eligible for an IEP - individualized educational plan that provides supports and accommodations and various therapies that are specific to his needs. This can all start as early as age 3 with Head Start. If they try to tell you he cannot be enrolled or they cannot make accommodations, they are lying. Usually head start doesn't do this, but I have known schools who did. If that happens, post here about it and you will get responses that help you go through all the steps to make the school do what they are supposed to.

    I am so sorry that life is so hard right now. Being a Mom is a tough gig, but being a Mom to a difficult child is vastly more difficult and draining. I hope you find a warm, welcoming place full of support here, a refuge from the shame and blame that real life can dish out so wrongly and unfairly. NONE of your little boy's problems are your fault in anyway or are caused by your parenting. Anyone who tells you otherwise is mistaken, wrong or just being awful. THIS community understands the ugly realities of difficult child raising, and we are glad to get to know you.
  11. cgottshall2

    cgottshall2 New Member

    I am new to this site as well. I'm sorry to hear that you are going through this at such a young age. Besides a therapist, what other types of services does he receive? My daughter who is diagnosed with ADHD and ODD also has many issues and receives a lot of services. We didn't learn about everything that is available until later in her life. I hope that you are able to get services for him sooner than later. It does get harder as they get older. We are having so many problems now and are at a loss at what to do. I also feel the same way as you do. I get frustrated and angry and it is very hard to show the love and understanding needed to help her. I hope things get better!:Grouphug:
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, tmk911.
    NOTHING you typed in about this boy is normal. Get a new therapist. NOW. Look in the Yellow Pages if you have to. It can't be much worse than the one you have.
    You are clearly at your wit's end and I don't blame you. You need sleep. You need a break.
    Go online and type in "caregivers" instead of "Babysitters." You will get a completely different list of names in your ZIP code. It will be a bit more money, probably dbl or triple, but well worth it if you can enjoy an hr in the bathtub with-music, or a day strolling through TJMaxx, and getting your nails done. You need a break.