therapist Was Very Blunt With difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    And he STILL does not get it!!

    difficult child and therapist were talking about the issues that have happened on the last three Sundays here at home. The therapist tells him that all three of these situations started because of something that difficult child did. The first one was difficult child throwing a tantrum because I would not take him to the toy store. The second one was difficult child lying to his father and getting caught in that lie, and the third one was another tantrum because I would not give him something that he was not allowed to have (extra vidoe game time). therapist explained that it was perfectly in my rights not to take him to the toy store or let him play his games early, and his father had every right to get angry when his son lies to him.

    difficult child's response? It's everyone else's fault. If I had simply taken him where he wanted to go, and given him the extra game time, and if husband had just walked away from the fact the difficult child told a blantant lie, none of these issues would have happened. It's all our fault!

    This is so incredibly frustrating! He refuses to see that almost all of the time the behavior starts with HIM and that if he made better choices he would not get into the trouble here at home that he gets into.

    I am so tired. Really, if I had my way I would have found a place to send him a long time ago. I deserve better. easy child deserves better. the only reason he's still here is because husband refuses to let me send him away. That's rich, right? husband refuses to let me send him away, but husband refuses to plug in and be a father.

    difficult child even have the religion teacher snowed! I had him go back to the teacher at the end of the class because he forgot to ask the teacher something, and the teacher tells me that difficult child is the only kid in the class that behaves. Everyone else is disruptive. I ask difficult child if he can do it at school and religion why can't he do it at home? He tells me is because the religion teacher is nice to him. AAARRRGGGHHH!!!
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Ugh. That is so typical of difficult children. With Eeyore we have a written "expectations" packet. We listed the 12 things he most often asks to have (computer time, phone time, money, etc) and then our very specific expectations (no lying, no threats, respect to family members, his chores, a certain gpa, etc). It is a complete "do to get" guide for living his life. We just tell him to check his packet if he asks for something that he hasn't earned.

    He argued a few times at the beginning but now we have far less battles.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This is where I get confused at home, I know all our kids have different abilities but to have this go on and on and on, and most of them receive consequences and do not get what they want all of the time, end up in conflict, and would prefer things to go easier.... SO, I always wonder (in my case) if it is really a refusal or it is his personality/ability/perspective....Is it really a skill deficit? For example, when I do a time line visually my son then sees how it is all connected, but of course that skill has not generalized to problem solving and the correct perspective at the moment. I hear the exact same things you do but maybe dont get quite as frustrated because it is in all settings, since he has such low tolerance for so many things...he spreads the weath/an equal opportunity defiance! For Q it is not just getting what he wants, but sensory etc...

    Here is a theory, but obviously it could be way way off.... just throwing it out there in case it could help understand, if not....obviously just ignore....

    Lets assume the trigger is his highly desired items, activities, etc. these are the things you have mentioned lately so am only considering these things). In this case it makes sense to me these issues don't happen out of home, because the really highly desired things are only available in your setting. When reinforcers are chosen for a behavior program, they survey (watch, ask etc.) to see what things a kid likes. The things they dont pick often and the things they really really really want are thrown out as options for reinforcers to work on behavior. They dont work because the kid is too upset if he doesn't earn the super desired thing. For your son, I doubt those things are available in school and church and so he is telling the truth (from his perspective)... they really are not "mean" to him ever. Because they dont have to say "no". They dont have to limit those desired things. And he is with them for a very structured, predictable program. That makes his stress level lower and he really can choose better behaviors. He knows he can always get to his highly desired things eventually, at home, or at least he hopes so and plans for it and thinks about it.... so he holds off.... because it is all planned out in his mind.... relief at home, he can finally get what he wants. Then (sarcasm here) you have the nerve to interrupt his plans. If he is a rigid thinker and so focused on what he wants, you have a tough job!

    So this is of course not knowing him, and could be totally off, but just from posts it seems like it could be part of an explanation.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, very interesting, Buddy. I can certainly see my own J in that description - and the explanation of why "better at school/mosque/activity centre" and "worse at home".
    This way round the problem - trying to understand rather than judge the behaviour - seems helpful.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Boy, do I hear you. This is exactly what I was referring to in my Blame thread. Every word you just shared could have come from our house (except for the husband catching in a lie as I'm a single parent). If anyone you come into contact with solves this one, let me know!!
  6. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I think blaming everyone for their behaviors is pretty typical of our kids. It takes awhile for therapy to help them get over this. I watched perfectly smart kids at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) continue well into treatment blaming everyone and not taking responsibility-17 year olds! Besides at age 12 you pretty well are focused on yourself. I just read a book and did a Christmas lesson about giving to others and thinking about other's needs(I teach 6th grade most of the day). You can't believe how "unskilled" they were at thinking about how they could be give to others in their circle. I heard stuff like; "But I dont have money", "My mom wouldn't like my help", etc. This all from kids who had no dxs. Hear it every year. Truelly developmental.

    As for skill deficit at home..I think buddy is on to something. I would use it. I would tie some of his home rewards into school where he is successful. When they know they can be successful sometimes they are more willing to work for success. Negotiating and problem solving would be worth it to teach the skills you desire. But I would keep to my boundaries and rules and expectations.

    I would continue to let the psychiatrist work towards having difficult child accept responsibility and be accountable. This is an emerging skill at this age. You have to stick to your boundaries and rules in the mean time. Hopefully psychiatrist can help with husband which I suspect may be the reason why difficult child continues his fit throwing. He knows the team is not solid and he may be able to get some need met-even control. difficult children can sniff this out. Ours has in so many ways searched the fence for a weak link she could get through. Even when we thought we were a tight unit, she would try to devide and concure! When called on it, she was totally oblivious to what she was doing. She didn't have any plan except to get what she wanted. We have had to be totally on our toes (thus the exhaustion). Because my husband was a sugar daddy and didn't like to be bad cop-we decided with psychiatrists help that all decisions would only be made with both of us present. She would go no place, get nothing, recieve consequences without the two of us talking it over. husband really balked at this. At times he would even say "you decide". I refused and made him do it. A few times of her taking advantage of his decision, or throwing a fit.... his sugar burned, and he is tough dad!
    Hang in there and try if you can to get psychiatrists help with husband. I know it has helped me so much since husband is on the train. (((HUGS)))
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I understand what you're saying, buddy. The teachers and the religion teacher are, in his words, "nice" to him becasue they are not the ones who have to say no to him. He needs extra help in English and the teacher says yes, he will help difficult child as long as difficult child feels that he needs the help. Nice teacher. He asks me for extra video game time. Sorry, honey, but you earned that yesterday (it's a once a week thing). Mean mom because I have to say no. And you're exactly right. He plans the whole thing out in his head, "Mom, will you take me to the toy store?" "Of course, dear. Let me drop everything so that you can go spend that allowance money that is burning a hole in your pocket.") and when reality and his plans don't match up exactly, that's when he has a problem.

    He does pretty well when he out and out knows that he is not going to be able to do something ("You bought Microsoft point today. Now you will not be able to buy any more of them until this date"). It's when the answer is not a definate answer that he has trouble.

    It makes me crazy because he knows that he does not get what he wants when he is told no and then a tantrum ensues. Why do you not understand that if I've already said no that throwing a screaming fit is certainly the quickest to get me to dig my heels in even more.
  8. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    We have a very similar situation at home. Here is what doctor just suggested to us yesterday:
    Teach him to cope without throwing a tantrum. The tantrum serves a perpose (ie: cope with stress, anxiety...). We need to replace that with a more socially appropriate behavior that would have the same effect (ie: coping effect). You NEVER teach in the mist of a tantrum. It has to be done when the child is nice and quiet. Then you can ask: do you want ice cream or potatoe chips? If the child says ice cream, the you say somethink like "oops, you can't have ice cream. But you can have the chips and you will be ok". Make the child repeat "I don't get what I want , but I will be ok". As soon as he says it: big praise and reward. The reward can be a big hug, a high 5, stickers. Whatever the child REALLY likes. Maybe for you a couple minutes of extra video game time? The idea is to practice enough times that the child will be able to do it on his own in real situation. Don't forget to reward everytime he is able to talk himself down.
    I just gave it a try (after much apprehension) and V actually did it. He was so thrilled to get a sticker that he completly forgot that I did not let him have the plate he wanted (usually a very big deal for him). V was in a good mood, but that's a positive first step.
    I would suggest starting with something small and warn him he might not like that exercise (I warned V).
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh, wow, ktllc, is this the holy grail, the open sesame? :) I shall be trying this out tomorrow before J throws his next tantrum over not having something he wants (and again, and again, I guess?) Don't hesitate to pass on any other trade secrets!
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I can so very very deeply FEEL your pain, I live it... so that is the only reason I am brain storming with you, not at all trying to change things up! lol...

    OK, so again just being clinical (then later we an add real life, haha)..... if we were making an out of the box kind of behavior plan (the ones for OUR kids not the standard dumb ones with a sticker and reward a week later)... the first thing we do is find out how often they need a reinforcer, how long their tolerance for waiting is. Maybe once a week for some things is not enough. I am not saying whenever he needs it, but usually when we do a plan we reinforce frequently at first to establish a behavior, and then pull back to less and less. eventually hoping we can do random which maintains behaviors for typical kids, but for ours can as you said...make them nuts. So, without looking like you are giving IN, can you just let him know that you are re-doing his plan for now.... put it in a way that says you always review plans and you think that as team (last name) you think this may help with some of the struggles right now...

    Is there a way to do some of the things more frequently than once a week... or only after X amount of work (I am making stuff up here since I don t know what your rules are... and I so admire that you have those, they will in the end be what makes him learn all of this...)... Maybe he just really truly does need more frequent reinforcement so needs lower guidelines or more chances??? If they are things that push him over the edge then obviously not... and some things...maybe would work to do this but some no way.

    I hope you remind me of this when I am falling apart again, I feel like I am missing a clue right now and I think it is medication related, but I suspect it is also as we talked about elsewhere, MY level of stress around him... not able to hide it as well lately. Because guess what? while i was typing this school called AGAIN! holy heck, I still think a cruise with all of us on one deck and our difficult child's on the padded deck will work wonders. Who ever comes out alive we take home (those are the bobbie prizes, lol).

  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Is it just me? I'm hearing a lot of "plan A" going on - maybe some "plan C" but not much "plan B".

    I'm not walking in your shoes.
    But... in our house. We have HAD to learn to reduce "plan A" to an absolute minimum.
    Which means investing HUGE efforts in "plan B".
    Which required... rebuilding relationships before ANYTHING worked...