what about the other child in the home?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gwenny, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. gwenny

    gwenny New Member

    Thank you to all who have responded!! This is the exact place I have been looking for. My question is this I have a 15 year old who has a mood disorder, ODD, Conduct disorder and Adhd. He is my stepson who has just come to live with us 4 months ago. I have a son who is 14, and having a really hard time having to adjust to my stepson. my home was the type where all the neighborhood kids came to hang out until my stepson came. Now I don't want anyone to see what is going on in my home. Every day I feel like we are walking on mine fields and never know what will make him explode. My son is very resentful and has started talking back and not listening to the rules. I feel that he see's that nothing is happening to the other kid so why not. He is a wonderful kid, with such a big heart. I have fed kids week after week because my son finds the needy and brings them home. He gives them his clothes games and friendship. I love this about him, as his teachers say he has a pure soul. How do I handle this? I am just at a loss of not knowing. Any advise is so welcomed, as I am willing to try anything.

    Thank you
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I'm the best one to answer this ... after yrs of crazy, embarrassing and intrusive behavior by her brother, we allowed our easy child daughter to move in with-friends. She is very happy right now.

    Do you have grandparents or other relatives with-whom your son can stay for a few days at a time, to give him a break? Can you allow him to spend the night at a friend's house as a special treat?

    He does need his own space, emotionally and physically. It is good that you are thinking about his needs.
  3. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    We have very similar problems. Although since our difficult child has been with us all along there is no history without him. Ideas you might try:

    - Explain to your son, as best you can, the medical issues that the 15 year old has. This should include why you have higher expectations for him, and why it is not a good ideal to take on the negative behavior. Include him with the strategies you are learning about on how to manage the 15 year old. You will also need to explain why you can no longer invite the other kids over.

    - We find separation helps. This can come in different forms. Staying over night somewhere else (grandma, friends, another relative). Different after school activities (sports, karate, clubs, ect.) , study groups. Allow your son to hang out with his friends after school or until you get home. If it keeps them apart - go for it.

    The good news is that your son's personality is pretty well set. This means that even though he may imitate the negative behavior, eventually he will probably revert back to his real self.

    Wish I really had the answers, instead of weak ideas. Good luck.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    The good news is that your son's personality is pretty well set. This means that even though he may imitate the negative behavior, eventually he will probably revert back to his real self.

    Good point, aeroeng. :)
  5. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Have you tried family counseling? Has the 15 year old been in counseling? Has he seen a psychiatrist? Has he been tested? I cannot believe he is happy feeling angry all the time. Maybe there is something that he is not able to control that makes him feel/act out.

    I definately struggle myself at home. Every once in a while I realize my son doesn't want to feel this way. We are all learning new ways to control ourselves. It is a long process I believe. difficult child started taking a mood stabalizer 4 years ago. It really helped him with anger issues. Two years ago he stopped taking it. this past summer he asked for it again. difficult child has been seeing a therapist for about 5 or 6 weeks now. So are me and husband.

    As for your 14 year old, let him know that the behavior may be something the 15 year old cannot control. have him research bipolar disorder and others. Reassure him.

    good luck
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    For a long time my oldest was very violent with his siblings. We spent years taking the same sex child (Wiz for husband, J for me) into the bathroom so they would not be alone in a room together. it was exhausting. We couldn't let them be alone long enough to use the bathroom because Wiz would hurt Jess every single stinkin' time.

    We had to explain to Jess that Wiz was sick, and his behavior was part of that. and that we were working very hard to make him well.

    Eventually he had to be hospitalized because the violence was just too much. He was in the psychiatric hospital for 4 months. I drove over 1 1/2 hours each way 2-3 times a week for meetings and therapy, plus another couple times for just visits. It was worth it.

    He was OK for a year when he came home, then he started hitting me. My patience with violence was long gone. I had him removed by the Sheriff after a month of that. I will not be anyone's beaten woman. Certainly not my son's!

    He was in a Youth Shelter for 3 nights - until he broke the rules cause rules don't apply to him, don'tcha know!- and they called with an urgent message to come get him.

    My parents had him stay with them, and after a while my dad decided that Wiz should stay with them and we should not pursue a placement. It was hard to say, "OK", but we did and after about 1 year with Gpa and Gma Wiz turned himself around.

    Therapy for children who are in families like ours is CRUCIAL. My daughter has enormous PTSD and with-o therapy would be in a rubber room as Wiz targeted her for years. Today she is through a LOT of that, and things are going pretty well.
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    It is essenital that other child get attention, focus and comapssion. It is hard, the;ly need space to be kids. Right now, I am exhausted, largely fro stress of dealing with difficult child.They need support to not overly focus on the sick one at the expense of themselves, they need a safe aoutlet to get help with boundaries and thier feelings. I will go donwstaris through and make speical meal for my son and see him off to school. Compassion
  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I know this might sound a bit simplistic but I think it is very important to set up alone time with each child in the household. It doesn't have to be elaborate but they should know that it is their time only and you will allow no intrusions unless it is an emergency. It seems like difficult child is getting more than his share of attention at this time. I suggest that when your husband is home you take your easy child out for a soda and just talk about anything NOT difficult child RELATED. Let him know that you still have time for him and that you understand how difficult all this is for him. Do this once or twice a week. It will give you both time to rest from the chaous at home and reconnect in a quiet and safe environment. -RM
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    ANother suggestion - I think, in your alone time with your son, you need to thrash out a few things. Discuss with your son, each boy's good points and bad points. Explain to your son that because he IS basically a good person, someone who has earned respect from adults in his life, then he has certain rights that he has also earned (and which he risks losing, if he behaves badly out of resentment). difficult child, however, can't be trusted and therefore in a lot of ways the younger boy is being perceived as more deserving of adult respect.

    Life isn't easy for the easy child who feels unregarded. They need support, they also need the support of other kids in the same situation. Here in Australia we are getting more access to support groups for kids who help care for a disabled family member. This includes kids with a difficult sibling. We have camps and outings organised for these kids, which also include group counselling sessions (as well as group play sessions - easy child 2/difficult child 2, difficult child 1 & BF2 all got to go on a Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, donated by the Bridge Climb people to Young Carers).
    I don't think this exists in the US yet, but I have a friend in Philadelphia who was seriously picking my brains about how this works when he was over here for a visit last year, and he is in a position to set up something like this, so watch this spot.