what can I do....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by sjexpress, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. sjexpress

    sjexpress Guest

    I have read many posts of those who have had to call the police or have difficult child removed from home due to violence, physical abuse, etc... but what can I do about my difficult child who is guilty of verbal abuse and harrasment especially towards husband and younger sibling?
    The second difficult child gets angry or annoyed at younger easy child (which happens frequently because easy child is a typical annoying 6 yr old little brother), he becomes out of control. He starts screaming at easy child by getting right in his face nose to nose, chasing after him saying he is going to hurt him although he doesn't but invades his personal space by pressing his body up against easy child and not letting him move. difficult child can't let go of what easy child did that bothered him and even when easy child moves on, difficult child continues to bother him by standing in front of him and blocking his view of TV, grabbing anything he may be playing with out of his hands or even just ruining anything easy child is trying to play with. If easy child goes into another room and locks the door to get away, difficult child chases after him and bangs on the door screaming to open it.
    easy child is a tough little kid and has no problem going toe to toe with difficult child which of course makes things worse but difficult child brings easy child to tears of fear and frustration more times than I care to think about. It breaks my heart that easy child has to deal with this.
    I of course do all I can to stop difficult child, including putting my hands on him to pull him away or getting between the 2 of them but difficult child just keeps at it until easy child and I can get away and just let difficult child bang on door until he gets tired or gives up. It is a horrible way to live and I fear for my easy child mental health. It is not fair to him! When husband gets involved, it is actually worse. The minute husband steps in difficult child starts screaming at the top of his lungs to "shut up", "don't talk to me", etc... husband is a big strong guy and he is able to hold difficult child until easy child moves away.
    Our home is a war zone a number of times a day. But yet, about 30 minutes after is blows over, difficult child is back to his sweet, loving self. It's like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. Freaky, scary, not fair.... By the way, difficult child is a great student in 6th grade middle school who is on the high honor role, gets wonderful comments from teachers, participates in multiple sports teams, clubs,participated in communtiy service toy drive for the holidays, etc... to the outside world, everything appears wonderful but not so in our home personal life! What can we do ? Why can't difficult child be the same person he is in school?? Any advice would be great.

  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    You know, I just asked difficult child's guidance counselor this same question yesterday!

    Does difficult child see a therapist? Is he on any medications to help him control his mood swings? Maybe a therapist could help him to find better ways of dealing with his anger and rage towards his younger brother. My kids are also 5 years apart and sometimes the age difference is a problem in and of itself.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    this may totally not work...so am just going to throw it out there as a partial thing to do... (the obvious answer is to evaluate difficult child, work on things etc... so you will hear lots of that too)

    How about focusing on easy child? easy child has an appropriate response...gets rewarded. DO NOT rub it in difficult child's face...just casual comments, etc. Especially if easy child is being tormented and has to run away.... ok easy child... lets go to DQ and get an icecream because you did a great job not yelling and it will give difficult child a chance to relax. (after all he is showing you he really does need a break)

    You can play cards or a game with easy child, you can go for a walk with easy child, etc.... again... I do not mean to torture difficult child... just to reinforce good behaviors. If difficult child is not the kid to fuss about compliments or rewards then you can do the same for difficult child the second you see a positive there. but with true difficult child's that often does not work. They may hate compliments, and because of whatever else is really going on... rewards and consequences do not always work. If you have not tried it though... it could be really worth a try. Most of us try more traditional routes first, but then learn if it will work or not. I always say I would LOVE it if more traditional methods would work. Even at school, but it just doesn't with mine so we always have to work on prevention and controlling the environment. easy child is part of the environment. Help easy child get out of there and help to avoid easy child developing behaviors in response to treatment from difficult child...(all sounds good in theory...believe me I know it may be way harder in practice if possible at all)
  4. soapbox

    soapbox Member

    <up on soapbox again...>

    Well... you see. Perhaps difficult child "can" do all those things, but in fact really can't do "all" of them.
    Classic symptoms of burn-out.
    And yes, you'll see it at home LONG before they ever see it at school.

    There are MANY possible explanations.
    But... until you know what is really going on, its hard to know how to intervene.
    Has he ever been evaluated? privately? ideally, comprehensively?

    There could be small things draining the life out of him during the day... bullying, or Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), or some mild form of Learning Disability (LD), or sensory issues, or... And school will not (in my experience, not ever) see these. Partly, they don't know what to look for. Partly... they have enough kids with challenges on their hands and dont' want more kids to get flagged as needing help.
  5. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    We have a similar issue here - difficult child is 14, easy child 1 is 8. difficult child has major jealousy issues and is especially jealous of easy child 1, and she seems to delight in harassing him. She likes to frustrate him to the point that he cries, and that is completely unacceptable (mama bear gets MAD!). Several months ago, her behavior in all areas was spiraling downward, and we started sending her to her room for a cooldown as soon as we got so much as a WHIFF of her starting in on easy child 1.
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We have done there here, and in some way it has backfired on us. In some ways it has helped difficult child to learn that if he asks for something, answers someone, or treats people in a nice and respectful manner then he tends to get more of what he wants. However, difficult child sees that easy child sometimes gets more of what he wants or gets more positive attention because he used appropriate responses, and then he starts in with "You love easy child more than you love me."
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yes bunny, that is why I said in part it may not work. I think you have a really good view and experience with just that very thing. I dont have to deal with sibs. I was really mostly thinking that she said easy child is starting to have behaviors so to avoid a big problem there...to help things from not becoming two difficult children! .... maybe do some of that. Would have to at the same time address difficult child's problems in the way that works best for difficult child so exactly what bunny says does not happen. though there will always be some of that with sibs I suppose.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sounds like family therapy may be best. Everybody is involved and nobody knows what to do, so that's probably what I would do. You may also want to give difficult child a neuropsychologist evaluation to see if there are any hidden issues causing him to act out. Does difficult child have friends at school? Does he know how to MAKE and KEEP friends? Is easy child more popular than difficult child?

    How about the family dynamics? Is this an intact biological family? A step family? Is husband the biological father? Are there any psychiatric problems of either side of difficult children family tree (genetic)? Lots can be told if you follow the genes. However, I'm not convinced that a lot of this isn't resentment of easy child.

    As for how to handle it, wouldn't difficult child maybe get even more angry at easy child and pick on him more if he got attention for "good" behavior and difficult child didn't get any? I'm not sure what I'd do for discipline here. It really would depend on everything that is going on. We don't really know much about the family..

    You may want to do a signature, like I did below.
  9. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    We've lived with a similar situation....so perhaps our choices may be of some help to you:

    First, we laid down the law for difficult child - NO TOUCHING ANYBODY FOR ANY REASON. And we MEANT it. We began making a police report for any kind of physical scuffle...no matter how minor. If difficult child pushed, shoved, hit, whatever....police report. Officers gave her a good "talking to" on several occassions.

    We also told difficult child that there will be NO THREATS. Now because these were often more subtle, more nuanced types of intimidation...we did not call police for these - but we DID make difficult child's life difficult by removing a priviledge. For example, if she and her brother were watching TV - and she turned and said something nasty to him? SHE was removed from the TV room. No arguments...no discussion...just out.

    And meanwhile, because we did not kid ourselves that difficult child was going to maintain control of herself....we separated the two children for just about everything. Going to the store? husband took one child - and I took the other. Activities? DS was allowed to sign up for one activity - and difficult child signed up for a different activity. Staying at home? Each child was given something different to do....maybe one could play a computer game while one watched a video. And if they were going to play together it was closely supervised and for a limited amount of time.

    Yes - it is a difficult way to live....but we felt that we had no choice.