We need an exorcism

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Roxona, Mar 4, 2016.

  1. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    SS10 is in his room raging. Pounding and throwing things. Screaming and rawring. He has been up there for about an hour. Screaming he wants to kill himself...he wants to kill us. I have never in my life seen anything like this before. I am having an anxiety attack. I want to call an ambulance and have him taken for a psychiatric evaluation, but dad says he's just have a temper tantrum. If this were J, I would have already called 911. But, what do you do with a 10 year old boy who has lost his mind because he cannot go on a sleep over and his brother can?
  2. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Dad. At age 10? It's no longer "just" a temper tantrum. Most 10 year olds are long past that. And even then, most "tantrums" do not include threatening to kill oneself or others. This kid needs serious help - long overdue. He needs consistent help - and to get that, DAD has to be consistently fighting for help.

    What are you going to do in another six years, when he is double the weight and strength?
  4. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    Hi Roxona

    I'm a step-mum too.
    I've just read your info. You've taken on a lot.
    I don't have any answers but I just wanted to tell you that you sound like an amazing woman.

    I hope life gets better.

  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Roxona, your stepson needs to be contained and once he is contained as Insane says, he needs consistent, steady and long-term intervention to have a chance to be a stable person, capable of having a life. There are such therapies and interventions.

    What will be the thing that will change him, going on like this? What will happen when hormones enter the picture? Of course we are concerned for him but what about you, his younger sib and those who come into contact with him?

    First, of all, we validate what you are feeling. Then, we validate what you are thinking. You are correct:
    The kind of interventions this child needs may be beyond what can be managed at home.

    I hope you keep posting. You will find a great deal of support and knowledge here. Trust yourself. I believe you are interpreting the situation correctly.

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  6. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thanks to all for your support. This road has been rough the last couple of years. SS10 has been in and out of counseling since he was three. He's probably seen four or five counselors. Some long term, some short. No significant positive changes were seen. Some of the counselors even enabled the behavior. The school enables the behavior as well.

    His mom died from pancreatic cancer when he had just turned seven. Many people, including her parents, tell me she couldn't handle him. They gave in to the temper tantrums just to get him to stop.

    I entered the picture and changed everything. The household rules, the food they ate, educational expectations, behavioral expectations, hygiene expectations...massive changes all the way around. I know that this upheaval has been hard on both boys. SS6 has adjusted well and, for the most part, is compliant and even helpful. Sometimes he tries on SS10's bad habits and defiance, but quickly learns it's not worth it and changes back to his happy-go-lucky self. SS10 fights everything.

    I love my husband, but his parenting style and mine are vastly different. When the boys were younger, he worked two jobs and went to school, so the majority of the parenting fell to his wife. He and she had different opinions on how to discipline the boys, and he deferred to her. Flash forward to today...he is now leaning how to actively parent his boys with firmness, consistency and love. Sometimes it's hard for him to follow through because he is forgetful and old habits die hard, but he is trying very hard to change.

    Last night was scary, and I told my husband so. I told him SS10 needs to be evaluated, and he agrees. Although this was the worst episode of behavior I have seen from SS10, it is not the first time. He had an episode a couple of weeks ago that prompted my husband to put us all back into counseling again. Our first session was this week. I hope it goes better this time than it did last time.

    Anyway, thanks, again, to everyone. I hope you all have a pleasant Saturday.
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sending some gentle hugs your way! I'm glad your husband agrees he needs to be evaluated!
  8. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Well, I guess my opinion doesn't matter after all. Dad went out and bought ss10 a new bike today!
  9. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Ugh, throw a major fit, get a new bike, stellar....... Sorry Roxona that is more than frustrating. I hope at least he picked up the mess he made.
    Confusing message being sent to this kid......
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  10. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member


    The bike purchase is definitely a step back, but your husband feels guilt due to the death of the boy's mother. Remember to bring this up with the counselor. Maybe the counselor can help husband to see how that encourages SS10 to rage.

    Your family is somewhat like mine with some flip-flopping of roles. I am like your husband. My husband passed early and I was a more permissive parent. My SO is more like you; he willingly stepped in to our lives, and he has a more strict way of parenting the kids. We are still working on finding more middle ground with the parenting decisions. It is slowly improving.

    Ferb was much like SS10. I first joined the CD board when Ferb was in kindergarten, I believe. It was a long time ago. His rages were what sent me searching the internet for help. It has been a long, hard, twisted road, but Ferb has finally matured into someone who can now handle his anger appropriately. Ferb has been in therapy since he was 8.

    Onward to SS10. First positive, he was in his room raging. He was not hitting anyone. You can work with that. When Ferb was younger, it took me years to contain the rages in his room. I was attacked many, many times.

    I put things in Ferb's room which he could destroy. The therapists all disagreed with me on that, but his anger was so intense that he needed appropriate outlets for it. Punching pillows didn't work for him. I didn't allow him to have a television in his room until he could contain his anger to specific items. I was always afraid he would injure himself in his rages. He broke a lot of toys. He learned gradually that his anger had consequences.

    Eventually, I moved his rages to outside. There he was allowed to punch an punching bag which we hung from the swingset. Again, the therapist did not like this idea. It worked for Ferb. He would go out and wail on the punching bag until he tired himself out. No damage, no injury. I hung a tarp over the bag to keep the rain off.

    It is my personal opinion that when a boy is in a rage, he will say many hateful things that he doesn't mean. For Ferb, once we found him more appropriate way to vent that anger, the nasty words began to dissipate. You have to remember that Ferb was also hearing his father say similar things during similar rages. Ferb did not have the luxury of a good role model. It's been a long, slow road to improvement for him.

    Does SS10 rage at school?
  11. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    Oh, and I neglected to say that Ferb most definitely would have raged about not going to a sleep-over. Is this possibly a goal which SS10 could work toward? If he showed stellar behavior for 2 weeks, could he earn a sleep-over or is that off the table completely? Would it be possible to invite the other child/children to your house for a sleep-over if SS10 accomplished some behavior goals?

    I work with a girl at school who controls her outbursts amazingly well for sips of diet soda. We have trouble with her punching other kids when the teachers blow the whistle to signal 5 minutes left of lunch. She hates the sound of the whistle. First we warn her when the whistle is about to be blown, and we reward her for not punching anyone.
  12. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    what motivated your husband to buy him a bike? was he giving in to a demand, or maybe he thinks it is a good outlet for him? why didn't he discuss it with you?

    I, like everyone here Im sure! has been down a long long road. I wonder if your husband just is in a lot of denial? I would really try to get your son as much help as you can before he turns 18.

    Do you have a pretty good marriage? Could you use counseling to get thru all these challenges?
  13. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Thanks, Pigless. SS10 throws tantrums at school, but I do not believe he rages quite so intensely. I do know that the tantrums are enough to cause enough concern at school to warrant a wellness team to handle him.

    As for a sleep over, I don't have a problem with that. In fact, if he hadn't owed his dad a night of going to bed early, he would have gone too. I'd prefer to have someone over here than have him go over to their house because of his behavior, but I'm sure there will be other sleep over opportunities.

    My husband and I had a very unpleasant discussion about the bike last night. He swears he didn't think I would be upset with it. I was upset on several different levels. One was that a couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that the boys' bike were getting a little small, but still okay for now (Ideas for birthday/Christmas presents). SS10 grabbed onto that and has beating us with it ever since. We told him he wasn't getting a new bike right now because it wasn't in the budget. After being told that repeatedly, he traded his bike with a younger neighbor child because that child had a better bike than he did, and SS10 wanted it. I made him trade it back. Second, my husband rewarded the rage behavior. Not only does it reward the behavior, but I believe it cements SS10's belief that it was probably my idea for him not be able to go to the sleep over. Last, I think I should have been the one to give him the bike. My relationship with SS10 is hard, and he hates me. He thinks I cause all the bad things to happen to him, and I rarely have good opportunities to give him positive rewards. My husband didn't see any of this. In fact, he thought he did good because he bought the bike from the younger neighbor child's father and saved us money. SS10 got what he wanted. I just don't see have my husband couldn't see any of this.
  14. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    We have a pretty good marriage, talk about everything. He's very solid when it comes to relationships. He doesn't give up easily. I, on the other hand, have a low tolerance for BS and have a history of picking up and moving easily. I love my husband, and I don't necessarily want to do that again. We started counseling last week. We're also trying to get SS10 back into counseling.

    Hubby sent me a text about the bike when I was with my friends. I didn't hear the text beep. He didn't call me, and when I didn't reply to him within an hour, decided to get the bike. He told me he bought the bike because he felt bad about what happened the night before, and he just wanted to have a happy day.
  15. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member


    Your husband simply didn't put as much thought into the situation as you did. I hope you told him all the concerns that you told us. Give him some time to wrap his mind around them. They all make sense.

    Did SS10 end up with the same bike that he originally got from the younger child in a trade? I sure hope that you are referring to a different neighbor.

    If it is the same bike, yes, there is concern because your son manipulated everyone involved in order to get what he wanted. And coming on the heels of his rage, that give son too much power.

    We have some friends with a teenaged daughter. She tried to win tickets to a One Direction Concert. When she didn't win the tickets, she threw a heck of a tantrum. Her dad ended up purchasing tickets for her and driving her to the concert the next state over. I would not have rewarded her tantrum with tickets to the concert.

    Remind your husband that kids need to learn how to earn the things that they want in life. Wouldn't it have been so much better for SS10 to do chores for money to buy the bike for himself? He would have learned a lot from that experience.
  16. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    It was the same bike from the child he tried to manipulate before. I agree, his dad gave him all the power. This whole thing was messed up on so many different levels. Husband says he doesn't think this way...I told him he need to start.

    Right now I am helping SS10 with his book report. Dad didn't work with him on it yesterday while he was home with him all day and left it for me to handle. My husband has already interfered once with a time out I put SS10 in for throwing a tantrum because I was making him follow the instructions imposed by the teacher. I told my dear husband that if he wanted me to handle the book report, he was going to stay out of it, otherwise it's all on him. He backed off. I stay at home with the boys and it is my duty to help them with their school work. I don't mind this, but I'm not taking bs for it either.
  17. pigless in VA

    pigless in VA Well-Known Member

    :crazy2: Oh, dear. Roxona, I don't like that you are the "bad guy" in this situation. Yes, SS10 needs to do his book report as per the teacher's instructions. It should be dad getting him to do it. I remember waging war with Ferb on any type of school report. It's too late for this book report, but what would happen if Dad took on the next one? Would Dad be able to push son to do it? Or would there be a tantrum, and son would not finish the report?

    Maybe a compromise would be you helping with the daily homework, and Dad being responsible for any school projects.

    With kids who are defiant, we have to pick our battles carefully. I don't like that you have so much responsibility with SS10. It damages your relationship with the boy. He needs to have more positive interactions with you and fewer negative ones. Any steps that you can take toward that goal are helpful. Let's hope the counselor is on board with Dad taking a more serious role.
  18. Roxona

    Roxona Active Member

    Ultimately, Dad doesn't want to do it and makes excuses why he isn't capable of teaching his son. I have more patience with it, but I expect SS10 to do his work, and use his mind to work through the problems instead of hounding someone for the answers. Dad enables the behaviors and any work that would be turned in gets a low grade. I've tried this before. I wish I didn't have to be involved at all, but I think long term, if I want to see these kids get a good education and go on to college, I have to be. Does a big part of the problem lie with Dad, you betcha. Neither Mom or Dad did homework with their boys prior to her dying. It's not likely to happen very well if I don't stay involved. In fact, Dad interfered...again. I calmly told him that since he couldn't stop interfering, he was taking over and that I was going to my sewing room to work on a project. He followed me up to my room and said he didn't want to take over, and that he would leave us alone. I reassured him with a smile that I would be more than happy to let him handle the book report all on his own, and he said no thank you, and ran away. Mmphm!
  19. Coping11

    Coping11 New Member

    I'm sorry to hear about your problems. I think that the most important thing when confronting such issues is to create a united front. Reach an agreement on how to deal with the situation, what to do, and what not to do. Lacking this agreement makes things way more difficult and as you already know, ultimately does your son damage. Enabling is, ultimately, disabling. It took a lot of time for me to realize that I am not doing my daughter any favors by making excuses for her. Maybe family counseling can be beneficial in this case?
  20. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is the biggest single problem I see in this picture. SS10 got what he wanted, when he wanted it. And these are WANTS not NEEDS.
    I don't get it either that your hubby doesn't put 2 and 2 together?

    As far as not going on a sleep-over "because he owes his dad a night of going to bed early"... I don't really get either side of this. I'm guessing that your hubby is a big supporter of the "punishment" side of child rearing. And for challenging kids, generally, punishment doesn't work. Especially if THE KID sees it as random (as adults, we don't necessarily think the way our kids do). Consequences do need to be logical. And IMMEDIATE. Delayed consequences become random by nature of the delay, no matter how much explaining we do. We also found that denying social opportunity was always a bad thing to do - our kids need it - unless the problem behavior was in a social setting. Steal from somebody while on a sleep-over, and you may not be going on a sleep-over for a while.