they won't stop fighting! advice please :-(

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by forkeeps251, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Quick background: Two kids, one age 10, gifted but a talker, and my difficult child, age 6... so far the diagnosis is ADHD and Anxiety not otherwise specified, but he also seems pretty delayed in many other areas... school, speech, etc. His main problems have been with aggression.

    difficult child started taking Adderall last year and the end of the year. The first few weeks he was actually in MORE trouble at school. We kept on the medications, and the last three weeks of school he was perfect! This was also around the time they changed his schedule up so that he was spending a lot more time in the resource room.

    Summer day camp started, and we stopped the Adderall. I had stopped it for a week when I was taking care of him, and just didn't start it again. Summer camp went fairly well. He did get in trouble a few times... one time they threatened to kick him out, but overall it seemed better than the school year.

    Also, they have now switched his perscription to Intuniv. We don't think that this one is doing anything either, at least not for his ADHD.

    So that is the background. The current problem is that my mom is watching the boys for the remainder of the summer, and after just TWO DAYS, she has already threatened to stop watching them. Of course my mom is one of the few people who knows both of their stories, and loves them as much as I do and is totally on our side... and she has already threatened to bail because they won't stop fighting!!

    For example, in the car: easy child puts his hand in the drink rest in the middle seat. difficult child puts his hand in the same place. MAJOR DRAMA ENSUES. Or, last night... difficult child tells my husband that easy child did something. easy child screams that no, it was difficult child. No one was in trouble in the first place, but easy child flips out and says that it isn't fair that he get in trouble when he didn't do it. The thing is, NO ON WAS IN TROUBLE. There was no time out, or privliges taken away.. nothing. They are constantly blaming one another for something. Constant tattling. easy child has one thing that he does that annoys me in particular, and that is to say very very loudly "difficult child, don't do that! You aren't allowed to do that!" so that he can get away with tattling withough actually coming to one of us about it. Car trips are the worst.

    They have rewards. They have punishments. We have tried time together, and time apart. We've tried reasoning with them. At least easy child we should be able to reason with. He is smart, older, and a good kid. We've tried phrasing it like "We really need your help teaching difficult child how to act", and stuff like that. NOTHING HAS WORKED. I just can not get them to start fighting!

    Ideally, I would love for them to be best friends. But I know I can't force that. At the very least though, they need to get along for the sake of the family, and the fact that they have to live together for at least another 8 years.

    Any suggestions? Please? Creative responses or consequenses? I know difficult child has problems, but it irritates me SO MUCH that I know easy child could be better, and he could be helpful, but I'm spending half my energy and time correcting him as well.*

    *Oh, and I don't think it is an attention thing. I asked him once if he was upset because of all the attention we had to give difficult child because of his problems, and easy child looked at me like I had grown a second head, and said something like he would rather be alone or playing with his friends anyway.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Boy does that sound familiar!

    The only thing that works for us is

    a) seperate activities

    b) adult participation

    In the car - one sits in the front and one sits in the back.
    At home - one plays computer while one plays outside. or one plays outside, one plays inside.
    When an adult is available to engage - both kids play together WITH then adult.

    This eliminates ALL consequences/rewards, arguments, reasoning, bribes, etc - but mostly, it eliminates the fighting.

    (And don't worry - your kids still have time to be best friends. it's just not going to happen right now - so you may as well deal with the relaionship they currently have.)
  3. justour2boys

    justour2boys Momto2Boys

    I dont really have any suggestions about the fighting issues as it is something I deal with on a daily (well, really hourly) basis in our house. But I can tell you our experience with Intuniv.

    We use use guanfacine with both our difficult children... the oldest is using the generic guanfacine, a twice-a-day dose and the youngest is using the brand name guanfacine, Intuniv which is the once-a-day dose. I have NOT found either guanfacine doses to be helpful as a stand alone medication for ADHD. However, I have found it to be VERY helpful in combination with a stimulant (stims) medication.

    Both my difficult children are taking stims also, one is Vyvance and the other is generic Concerta. Guanfacine helps temper the impulsiveness but really helps with afternoon rebound from the stimulant medication.

    My youngest started stims with he was 7 and he started with the "old school" medications first, generic long-acting versions of Metadate & Focalin. You might want to ask your doctor about these medications as they have more dosing options and come in generic versions.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Oh for the good old days of large families and close relationships... My parents solved this the "easy" way... brought in sets of three "country" cousins for 2 weeks each (three sets, to cover the summer allowing for a 2-wk family vacation), to look after the three of us. All the folks paid for was the food they ate and the activities (swimming etc.) that they took us to. They thought THEY were having a vacation in the city. We didn't even really feel "babysat". But... one-on-one sure kept the fighting down.
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    For the car: One time we were returning from a vacation and the kids were worse then they ever were. I was driving so I took an exit, found a vacant parking lot, threw their stuff onto the ground. They were shocked and really thought I would leave them there. I pointed to one kid, "pick up your stuff, you are sitting in the way back". Pointed at the other "Pick up your stuff, you are sitting in the middle.". Our remaining ride home was quiet. The kids were 8 and 14.

    At other times when close to home, I loved to pull over, turn off the van and make them walk home with me. " What about the van?". "I don't care about the van. I will not have this behavior in a vehicle and if you can not behave while riding in the van, then we can just get rid of it and walk everywhere! Whoever finds it can have it!". We were usually about one to two blocks from home. We only had to do this a handful of times.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Have the older one sit in the front seat of the car with you (when husband isn't in the car with you and both front seat are not occupied) and have the younger one sit in the back. I can't tell you how that has cut down on fighting in the car. It actually makes them a little better when all four of us are together in the car and the two kids have to sit in the back.

    Can you have a time in the during the day when they have "separate time"? I don't know how your mom stuctures the day, but if they have some time during the day when they have to do things on their own, then they may not fight quite so much when they are together.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending understanding hugs your way. I so know this, even now at 19 and 15 mine still fight in the van. We can never take just the car if we are all going somewhere. Much of the time I end up putting easy child/difficult child in the front, difficult child in the back of the van, and me in the middle. Sigh...
  8. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    Thank you all :) I had actually talked to my mom earlier about making sure the oldest was in the front seat and the youngest in the back. It's funny... but we go camping a lot, and 9 times out of 10, if there is a fight, it started in the car. This last time we went, due to logistics, we took two seperate cars... husband and easy child, and me and difficult child. It was SO PEACEFUL!!! We've decided that no matter where we are going camping, unless it is a trip over 3+ hours, we are just going to take two cars.

    I talked to both of them, and hopefully something I said will sink in.