Thinks he can do anything?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    There was a question on the CMRS questionnaire that husband and I disagreed on. Maybe you all can weigh in on this.

    "Think that he or she can be anything or do anything (e.g. leader, best basketball player, rap singer, millionaire, princess) beyond what is usual for that age."

    I checked "very often," and husband checked, "Never."

    I define it by difficult child's comments like, "I don't need guitar lessons. I already know how to play."
    Clearly, he does need lessons ... he can't even play a chord and he can't read notes.
    "I don't need to go to baseball practice. I am already the best player."

    husband defines it by defeatest comments like, "What's the point? The other team is going to win anyway." Or "I don't want to go to college. It's too much work."

    difficult child has never said he could be President or an astronaut, and I have told him he can be anything he wants, incl. those occupations. He has never tried to jump out of the car while it's moving.

    He has thought he could safely survive a plane crash in the water because water is softer, which is a typical childhood misunderstanding, and which the heroic pilot of flt 1549, Sullenberger, further romanticized, so I'm discounting that. ;)

    How do we answer this question?
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's the kind of stuff that I need prof's help with- I've never raised another boy, so I have no idea where the line is for a typical adolescent boy with some of this. Where I feel comfortable gaging things is when I see my son go from lack of confidence when depressed to over-confident when "mission-driven", even if the actual level of confidence might still be within "normal range". We all know that adoolescent and teen boys will over-rate themselves at times.

    I don't think they mean having a defeatest outlook by that speicific question- I think they mean the opposite. For instance, when my difficult child is clearly not stable but not depressed, he thinks he could beat up the biggest, toughest guy in school. Now, although my son probably could rev up enough adreniline at that point in time to beat someone up, it really isn't rational or like him to think like that.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hi Terry--

    As I understand the purposes of these sorts of doesn't matter whether your husband disagrees with you. They are trying to collect data on difficult child based upon the observations of many different individuals. And each individual will have slightly different observations...and will react more strongly to some problems than others.

    Do you each have a questionaire to fill out? Or are you trying to agree on how to fill out one questionaire together?

    If you each have your own--fill yours out exactly the way you see fit...and "fahget about it...".


  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I would tend to agree with how you see the question. As klmno stated, look at what is rational.

    Some questions are hard and should have just a bit more clarification. I read this one as, "Thinks he can do anything that HE wants to do without taking the steps necessary to accomplish it." Your examples of being the greatest guitar player without learning how is a good example.

    There is a difference between dreaming of one day being the greatest or wanting to be the greatest and actually believing that you are the greatest.

    Many kids dream of being the best. They think of what it would be like if they were the best. They know it is a dream, a wish. They know that they have to work at it to make it come true. They accept the fact that others probably do not see them as the best for that specific thing but someday they will shine.

    What your son is doing in believing his dreams is to try to make them a reality. It may be that many kids do this on occasion but when it is an every day event with everything he does, than the answer to that question would be "yes".
  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Daisy and I were typing the same time.

    Daisy makes a good point about the number of questionnaires. When my difficult child was first evaluated, the therapist office sent questionnaires to the school for his teacher, to me, to husband, and to difficult child. The differences in how we all answered was interesting and also gives the therapist an insight as to how difficult child is being preceived by a variety of people. Are we all on the same page? It is important in how to treat difficult child to know which areas in his life are showing as problematic. Is it only at school?, Does only mom see a problem?, How does mom and dad see difficult child's interests? (for example does one say difficult child loves sports and the other say he hates sports?)
  6. MyHrt31

    MyHrt31 New Member

    A lot of the questions on those forms can be so vague that they can almost have different meanings depending on who's reading it. My son has been diagnosed as having Bipolar disorder and he does seem to make comments about being able to do "anything". For example, I told him that if he ever hit me or became violent, I would have to call the police. (This may sound cruel but I am just letting him know my job is to protect both of us and calling law enforcement is always an option if it means keeping us safe from his rages). He once told me that if the cops came to get him, he would get out of the handcuffs and get away. Then he told me that he would dig a hole out of the floor in prison and escape. It can be interpreted in many different ways. One psychologist says that he's a typical kid and thinks that things happen just like they do in the movies and that most kids think they are invincible. Another psychologist told me that this was narcissistic thinking and that it was an indication of his disorder. I say go with your gut feeling and let your hubby fill out a separate form. The doctor will most likely give these same "survey's" to caregivers/teachers so you'll be able to see how each person views his behaviors differently. Its a tough call but go with your mommy gut because we always know best ;)
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.

    Interesting, MyHrt. My son is the complete opposite with-the police. He will follow their every instruction. He loves watching Cops on TV.

    I will ask him to explain his thought process about guitar, to see whether he thinks he's THAT good at it or if he just doesn't want to take a class for some reason. I will have to word it carefully. ;)
  8. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    The thing about those tests, is that you have to know what they are getting at. Forever, I said that Matthew was based in his reality in his thinking, and not grandiose, until someone re-framed the question to me, and got me really thinking.

    No, he does not think that he can be or is a rock star, or a King, or Superman. However, he will jump from really high places and not understand how it could be dangerous. Or ride his bike across 4 lanes of traffic and not see anything wrong with it. Invincible when manic is how I finally classified it. Or inflated in his self image and self perception. I can't think of any other examples right now - but I think you kinda have to know what the test is getting at. Do you feel like difficult child thinking is sometimes not realistic or based in reality?

    On another note. I HATE those tests. Seriously, I should have started xeroxing them from the time Matthew was 5 - so I could just pass them out to prospective doctors, and all the phophs Matt was in. Sigh.:ashamed:

  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I probably would have interpreted how you did. I remember filling out a form (I think it was the (BASC-sp?) when difficult child was in first grade. I filled one, husband another, and the teacher another. They said they had never seen such agreement before on one of those questionaires. I'm sure now it would be different because difficult child acts way better at school now than he used to and than he does at home.
  10. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Sounds to me like they're looking for grandiose thinking. These tests annoy me. Most kids (my 10 year old for instance) think they're gonna be something enormous. It's called imagination. Can you believe??

    Unless it'd be concerning, I would answer no too.
  11. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I agree that this is a question about grandiose thinking, not about defeatist thinking.
  12. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Grandiose thinking is a sign of mania.

    My guess is that some kids might have a slight tendency towards this. A certain amount of unrealistic thinking might be within reason. But to do it often and to do in in grand sweeping ways and not within any reasonable limits developmentally, in my mind is once again a sign of grandiose thinking and a possible sign of mania.

    My earlier point was it was the simultaneous administration of an antidepressant and a stimulant that was the big concern. The two together. Not the two separately. Together, from what I understand...could be an issue for many. For some, it could lead to mania...even serious cases of mania.

    I am not up to date on the mood stabilizers. This was a trial and error process for our daughter and family and certainly not an easy one by any means.

    Generally speaking, Lamictal has had many "pluses." We are very grateful for the medications that have helped to bring stablity into her life.

    She still has her complicated problems that are frustrating, but some of the major ones like raging, have been basically eliminated (knock on wood, crossing myself, etc.) and other things like grandiose thinking has been greatly inhibited due to good medications. CBT therapy has also been helpful...but our daughter no longer goes consistently. I am grateful that it was made available to her in the past and that she knows where she can go during life's major stressors.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, I'm still digesting this. Thank you all!
  14. Janna

    Janna New Member

    When and if you ever figure it out, can you share? LOL
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cory was quite grandiose. One perfect example was he was asked one time when he was still in elementary school why he wouldnt work the program and try to improve his behavior so his peers would like him better. His answer floored us all. He just looked at us and said "Everyone likes me, Why wouldnt they? They all want to be me!"

    Now this was a boy who constantly got in trouble, had a 1:1 aid, went to therapy weekly, took medications, had no priviledges or friends. Why would anyone want to be him?

    He also thought he could do anything. He jumped off of roofs, out of trees, rode his bike in traffic, skipped school. He was invincible.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, Janet, that's not like my difficult child. I realize that grandiose thoughts don't all have to be like Cory's, but those are great examples.
    When we talk to difficult child about being nice to people, he says, "Who cares?"
    We'll say, "Don't you want people to like you?"
    "I don't care."
    No jumping off roofs, no thinking he invented baseball, none of that. But to a lesser degree, he thinks he doesn't need training in certain things. Part of that I think is due to not wanting to meet "strangers." That could be Aspie and anxiety related.

    Picking this apart is not easy ...
  17. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Terry, I think I would have interpreted the question the same way you did as well.

    I don't think that defeatist thoughts or grandiosity are mutually exclusive. My difficult child is like this as well. He thinks he's already the best at everything and doesn't have to practice or learn, but at the same time his thoughts are influenced by dysthemia and he often has a negative overall view of the world.

    So, within 10 minutes, you can hear, "I play piano WAY better than you do Mom" from a boy who's never taken lessons speaking to me with 25 years of playing under my belt, and "I'm so stupid. I know you think so. I can't do anything right."

    In both cases, difficult child is speaking the truth as he sees it. In both cases, his view is wildly inaccurate, but it's still his view. Terry, I think your difficult child might be in the same situation.

    I agree with others who have suggested that if you and husband can fill out separate questionnaires, each put in your own view. This will help the specialists to get a complete picture of what's going on with difficult child and how others close to him perceive his behaviour.

  18. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Another thought...
    Terry, your difficult child's grandiosity sounds more like the Aspie type than the Bipolar type (with my difficult child I get to see both, and they are quite different). This isn't the "I can fly" sort of grandiosity, more like the "If you and I ever played tennis I'd wipe up the courts with you." kind.

    I just finished a book which provides some great insight into this sort of thinking. It's called Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron. In particular, the sections of the book by Barron address exactly this type of thinking. It was a real eye opener.
  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh! I just finished her other book last wk. I will order this one. Thank you!
  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yep, that was Matthew. When he was 2, he jumped off of a 14 foot stone wall. He was completely unphased by it. On the other hand, I almost had a heart attack.

    I never thought Matthew was necessarily grandiose, it was more that he thought that he was invincible, which scared me. When it comes to tests like these, the nuances between the 2, are hard.

    I did not know Temple had another book out, I will have to get that. I love her.