Son wont accept responsibility

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Desarirain, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Desarirain

    Desarirain New Member

    My son MM is in a self contained class for emotionally disabled children. Well today he brings home his daily report that states he was saying inappropriate things and was arguing when asked about it. We tried talking with MM and he got upset and screamed at us. Then he proceeded to cry and stated that nobody ever does anything and nobody listens to him.

    I am at a loss for what to do. I spoke with the school psychologist and she said he argues alot and even points out other kids mistakes that he claims they do on purpose.

    I feel like he sees things either this way or that and he doesn't accept anything else. Does this make sense? He has been like this for as long as I can remember. He also sees things as unfair and there isn't any understanding of situations any other's always "its not fair".

    Maybe he is diagnosis'd wrong? I feel like I hit a wall with him. He also can't sleep longer than 3 hours and that's with medication. Without he can go 43 hours, that I know of.

    If you have any suggestions or ideas I would appreciate them. I know at least one of you has dealt with something similar. Thanks
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi and welcome!

    My beloved difficult child has always held others to the letter of the law but has been incapable of seeing that rules apply to him as well. He always has an excuse - it's not his fault, someone made him mad, if so and so hadn't said/done something he wouldn't have gotten mad, etc. It was especially bad from... oh, about age 8 thru maybe 16? I suspect it's better now only because in his current placement he's really not held accountable for most things. On the things he is held accountable for, we are still running into this mindset of it's not his fault. Right now the biggest one is school work - he refuses to do it because he already knows it all and they aren't teaching to his level, yada yada yada - ergo, not his fault (even though he hasn't done a lick of school work in over a year - he refuses to see that the teachers are not just going to take his word that he already knows something and it is just beneath him to prove it to them). It's incredibly frustrating.

    I don't know if there's a diagnosis for this or if it's part and parcel of thank you's bipolar disorder. My son has a very skewed perception of reality, period. He's also extremely oppositional - will argue with you about the color of the sky if you let him.

    That's not to say we've given up. ;) We still try to talk thru situations, get him to see that his behaviors and reactions are inappropriate (usually really exaggerated emotional responses to relatively minor problems). I suspect we're always going to be trying to talk him through things. My kid is going through that super-superior teen phase where he knows everything and adults are dumber than dirt so we're still not making much progress but... hope springs eternal.

    Personally, I would let school deal with school issues. If he's oppositional or disruptive at school, they are the ones who need to be addressing it. I would guess you probably are dealing with home issues with MM - by trying to address school issues as well, in my experience, it just heaps on the misery for all of you. Not to say you shouldn't be informed and aware of what is going on at school (you may be able to pick up on triggers or better ways for school staff to handle a situation) but I think trying to address the school problems with him at home is just opening the door for him to continue to refuse responsibility - I hope that makes sense.

    The sleeping (or lack thereof) would concern me. Has he been evaluated for a physical cause (maybe a sleep study)??

    Again, welcome and glad you found us!!
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome! I have heard the "not my fault" song for years too. It is pretty common in our kids. Currently my difficult child is doing well ONLY because his Gpa (my dad) worked the living tar out of him in the yard. Every time Wiz went into a rage he ended up spending hours and hours working in the yard with my dad. He lives with my dad because he was beating me and I refused to have it. I called the Sheriff and had him removed. While we were waiting (over a month) for the officer to do the paper work, Gpa decided that since he had just retired he wanted to try to reach Wiz. Gpa retired from teaching the roughest kids his school district had, so he was used to kids who didn't behave. Gpa was also furious that ANYONE would hit "his little girl" as he put it. Esp since I have dealt with fibromyalgia and arthritis since I was a young teen.

    Anyway, my difficult child is doing well now, and just a few years ago I thought prison was the only thing in his future. That or an early grave. I am not joking. You are not alone, not by a long shot on this board.

    I strongly recommend reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene AND Love and Logic Parenting by Fay and Kline. You can check out L&L at . I have even been to one of their seminars, and it was amazingly helpful. Even if your child has a disorder (Mine has aspergers) you can still get help from these sources. I even read/listened to the stuff on the L&L site for teachers.

    Glad you found us, sorry you need us,

  4. Desarirain

    Desarirain New Member

    Well my son has issues at home. My husband blew up at him in his face and scared MM. My husband has in the past been charged with malicious punishment of a child, so I can see how he could be scared. My husband believes it is just all me catering to MM by listening to MM.

    Tonight I am ready to pack each one of my boys a suitcase and leave. I am constantly parenting alone, and when husband steps in he is always raising his voice.

    The other night MM wanted to show husband his report card, well husband said latter. So the night went on and MM was sent to bed, at this point he is upset husband wouldn't look at his report. So I bring him to husband to show the report.

    MM starts pointing out that he got 6 A's and 2 C's and husband says "sweet" then screams at MM "now get in bed". Well my night turned to hell. I had one ****** that MM showed him a report, and MM was hurt that husband yelled and he thought husband was upset that his grades werent good enough.

    Meanwhile I quit working last year because MT tried to jump off the balcony in a attempt to end his life. 6 months latter husband & I got back together, however it is a struggle to communicate with him.

    Tonight MM said husband really scared him and I felt as a mom I failed to protect my son from feeling unsafe. I just have no idea what I need to do.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    This sounds very familiar to me. Has he been assessed for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in any form? What is ringing bells for me - the insistence on everything being spelled out, on promises being kept, on people being held accountable for what they do or say (except when it applies to him perhaps). Also familiar - yelling makes it worse, not better. Talking to him makes no difference. Talking inappropriately but not 'getting it' when someone tries to correct him. Being upset about what he perceives as unfair, or double standards.

    You've had some good advice - get the book. If you follow it, it can make a HUGE difference. However, husband will rapidly find himself even more offside with MM if he can't change his attitude and method.

    You could talk to husband and say, "Is this working? Did it get your point across? What, specifically, did MM learn from that exchange?"

    If husband then snarls at you, "Well, smarty, tell me how we DO get through to him!" then tell him - AFTER you've read "Explosive Child". The only problem is likely to be - dads like this don't learn to change their methods very easily, especially when it looks like they're giving in to the boy.

    "Explosive Child" methods DO at first look like you're letting the child get away with bad behaviour. It also requires consistency, but it DOES work. However, all it takes is ONE parent blowing up at them, to undo all the good you've done that day.

    What you may need to do, is ask husband to give you some time (say, two weeks) in which he doesn't interfere at all or explode at MM at all. In that time, you use the methods and see what improvement you can see.

    What I did -
    1) I read the book. I'd been reading about it on this site for some months before I managed to get a copy from the library. It took me a week, on and off, to read it. During that week, even before I actually changed my parenting (I thought), difficult child 3's behaviour began to improve.

    2) I tried to get husband to read it. he DID try, but just couldn't 'get into it'. So I wrote a summary of it and husband read that. I also explained it to him. Doing this actually helped me make sure I really understood it too.

    3) husband observed while I put it into practice. If husband did something which set it back, then (once husband was calm) I would talk, privately, with him and we would go over how the Explosive Child method recommended handling it.

    Over time, husband has learned a great deal and found good results. But because I began it first, and because husband still blows up at difficult child 3 sometimes, there is still some friction there. difficult child 3 has a very short fuse where husband is concerned, is very prickly and feels husband is "always yelling at me".

    I also make a point of presenting a united front to difficult child 3. Not easy, if I'm disagreeing with husband.

    Something that is helping - if either of us as parents does the wrong thing, we will apologise to difficult child 3. The outcome - difficult child 3 is also learning to apologise.

    If MM has a form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), then he will need to learn the right way to behave not by being told, but by being treated that way. And when you think about it - we don't treat our children the way we want them to treat us. Instead, we tend to treat our children as subservient subjects. We tend to be very reactive to "rudeness" and yet our reactions to our children would be considered rude, if we flipped the situation (only we get away with it, because we are the adults). So we hear ourselves say, "You can't talk to your mother like that." And "You must do what I tell you, because I said so."

    You describe your son as "extremely ADHD. On top of this, you have other children who seem similar. husband seems very rigid, you have a diagnosis of anxiety and possible bipolar. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is often misdiagnosed, as ADHD and as bipolar.

    I'm not saying that it IS definitely Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), because not only can we not diagnose on this site, but it would be irresponsible of anyone to make a diagnosis without even seeing the people concerned (even if I were qualified). I am just a parent with a child (several of them) who DOES have a confirmed diagnosis on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) scale. There are also some clinicians who think ADHD should be considered to be on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) scale.

    Something to think about - have a look at the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on And don't let the 'autism' tag scare you - you are not changing what your child is, merely how it is described. Your child is already who he is. You are already who you are. How you are described may change, but you will still be the same person.

    We have found, in our experience, that autism is a diagnosis that can scare people unnecessarily. There are a lot of really positive aspects to autism and Asperger's. But living with it, especially in triplicate (quadruplicate?) like we have done, is challenging. Different. Stimulating. And at times, rewarding.

    difficult child 3 now belongs to a drama class for local kids with learning difficulties. This covers a wide range of problems encompassing Downs Syndrome as well as autism and Asperger's. The abilities of these kids also covers a broad spectrum - one of difficult child 3's classmates (older than him) has only just learned to read. difficult child 3 was reading as a baby. But the love and loyalty they show to one another is just beautiful. With these kids, you get honesty and frankness.

    I'm glad you're here. Sorry you need to be, but here there is help. For your husband too, if he wants to lurk or post here. Mine does, he gets a lot out of it.

    Again, welcome!

  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Hub sounds like, although he may not understand mood disorders, he may have one himself. Has he ever abused substances?
    IF it were me, I am not sure I"d want to stay with husband. Has he agreed to family counseling and will he work on it? If he has been arrested for "malicious punishment" I don't know that I'd want him around. Sounds like he is cruel to the boys.
    On the diagnosis front, I *never* trust a diagnosis. because we had so many wrong ones given to both myself and my son, and it took forever to get us both the right diagnosis. and the right treatment. I agree to see if he is on the autism spectrum. Not "getting it" is a symptom and any time there is a bipolar diagnosis, it could really be a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) that is misdiagnosed or they could co-exist. They are so often mistaken for one another, yet they require very different treatment so it's important to know. If they co-exist, both must be treated. I would see a neuropsychologist for an evaluation. Is this child socially adept? Sometimes our kids just don't seem to understand the world, and that adds to their frustration and they do feel misunderstood. They may not even realize when they are causing problems for themselves because they are so "out of it" as far as understanding how people do things. This an be caused by a problem with "executive functions" which you find with both mood disorders and various forms of autism. With any form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), it tends to be extreme.
  7. Desarirain

    Desarirain New Member

    Thank you for the replies. I was up most of the night with MM and then researching unhealthy marriages. I will check into every suggestion you have given me.

    My husband has gone to counseling twice with me and once by himself, however everything was "she does" or he tells them "She nags me", which is incorrect. I try talking to him about what is going on and he sees it as nagging.

    Also he has gone with the boys to counseling and it didn't get better. If he is on the computer or in the garage fiddling around and the boys walk in to talk to him, he gets angry and yells "What" and that usually leaves MT & MM in tears. He does the same with me and I feel like I am speaking to a wall, which kills me because the topics are important and I am a people person.

    I will get the book this weekend and read it.:D Thank you again.