Why is he so mean?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    This past week has been SO hard with difficult child. I don't even do his behavior chart with him since he is so nasty all day/night long. What's the point of having to relive all that?
    He used to verbally "trigger" people, now he took it up a notch with his brother. He hits and spit on him for NO reason at all!!!! My oldest son is just a little sweet heart, not perfect, but a very enjoyable kid all arround. Just now, he was watching some cartoon, being very quiet and difficult child took a baby cup and slammed it on his brother's face. That left a big red mark. My oldest goes: "there is something wrong with his brain I think". It's pretty bad when a 5 year old even recognize there is a big problem.
    I am so tired of dealing with that kind of sh*t.
    We won't be able to see his therapist until the end of August... Even looking at him is hard right now.
    Honestly, I wish he could go away for a couple weeks. Give everybody a break. husband took difficult child with him to work last week. A whole day without difficult child and just my 2 "normal" kids was just great but way too short.
    We suspect Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), but I really don't see it being a reason for hitting and spitting on people, specially when they weren't even interacting at the time.
    I just wish I could be completely immune to his bad behavior, but it affects me so much emotionally. I feel trapped.
    And how can he create so much chaos and then expect people to forget and be nice and sweet with him???
    I don't know what to do anymore.
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Out of curiosity, what did you do/say after he did this to his brother? I agree, there is something wrong with him. That is pretty aggressive. What is your typical "reaction" to this kind of behavior?
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I don't know if it is the right response, but I am so fed up with this behavior, I told him that everything he does to his brother, I will do to him. Sounds pretty bad, but I want him to understand what it feels like to be spit on or hit (did not hit on the face of course, but spanked his bottom). He cried alot and I don't believe he learned anything... Before, I would tell him his behavior was bad and would send him to his room. It just seems to "mild" to be sent to your room when his brother had the red mark on the head.
    I usually try to talk to him when everyone is calmed down (myself included) but I never get anything but the usual "'cause I wanted to". I tried to explain that it was not a real answer and gave some exemples: put a coat on because it is cold, use an umbrella because it rains, etc. I even formulated the exemples this way: you want to use an umbrella because it rains, you want to put a coat on because it's cold. Still, nothing! He ended up saying he spits on his brother because it rains. It is very frustrating.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Don't feel bad. I have tried that with both of mine out of desparation. It didn't work for me either. When he says "I wanted to", maybe ask why he wanted to. I have done that and have found some very interesting impulse control and thinking issues. In the past I have even gone as far as to respond to the "I wanted to" answer with something like "What if I want to (insert something drastic)? I wouldn't do it because (insert your reason). How would you feel if I did that anyway just because I felt like it?" It has worked for me at times but not always. I try to teach how difficult child's actions affect other people then I make him apologize (sincere apology) before sending him to his room to think about what I just said.

    Sounds like your difficult child still has impulse control issues and doesn't seem to realize how his actions affect others. You could also try asking him how he'd feel if you did what he just did to his brother to him. It takes some effort on my part to get difficult child to think like that but we're getting there.

    {{{{(((HUGS)))}}}} to you and brother. It can be very difficult but if what you're doing isn't working, it's time to try something else. Keep trying.
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Klltc. I really understand your "désarroi"... At the same time, outsiders perhaps have a different perspective than we inevitably do close up. Reading your account, I didn't feel that shocked. Of course I have a difficult child myself so am rather de-sensitized generally to this sort of thing. But... I just feel this is a developmental thing. In some ways your 4 year old is surely lagging behind (in other ways I know he is not) and remember how many 2 and 3 year olds routinely do things like banging another child on the head for no apparent "reason".
    I don't mean to minimise the seriousness of this but I have seen SO much toddler and preschool violence now, among difficult children and pcs, that I don't think it is THAT serious... Very unpleasant for your other boy. I completely agree with TeDo's suggestion of trying to educate him in the ways of empathy but perhaps not by being violent with him yourself. Very easily done, I know.
    I so understand what you're saying because I've said all that kind of stuff myself, but then from the outside one sees that the kid isn't doing it "on purpose". I too often feel at a loss as to why my son makes life so difficult in ways that seem to make no sense but... there must be some sense to it for him. I just hope you will get more insight and tools for dealing with your boy. Hugs.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    How are this child's social skills beside his brother?
    The hurting of his brother is not the norm. In fact most two year olds don't get aggressive with other kids or hurt them. The ones that do, usually have problems.
    Agree it's more than Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Not sure what. A lot of disorders create low frustration levels and impulse control problems. If it is malicious (like done with a smile), I would worry more than if the child is remorseful after the fact.
    I work in a county run 2-4 year old school. There was a little girl with the cutest blond pigtails who introduced herself to me the first day in the classroom by smiling up at me, her dimples flashing, and saying, "Hi *******" and then she kicked me in the shin with her hard toe boot. I watch her every time I have to sub in there and she is always hurting somebody with a huge smile on her face. When asked why, she says, smiling, "Cuz I like to" or "Cuz I wanted to." It's eerie. On the other hand, we have kids with various disorders who hurt other kids and don't smile and some even cry. I think it's different.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He's 4. If he has severe Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), he may have serious communication issues... which can lead to serious behavior issues.
    NOT that Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) would be the only explanation - there's probably several layers going on here - but don't be so fast to discount the Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and its effects.

    Executive functions are probably an issue (inhibit, for one...!) - from there, who knows what else.

    You're on the right track with audiologist and psychiatric evaluation coming down the pipe... sounds like the real challenge is how to survive the next month or so.
    For starters - bounce stuff off the rest of us. It helps so much to know you're not alone in this.
    Find ways to take mini-breaks - the "hot bubble-bath after the kids are sleeping" is one trick some of us use, for example - a slice of time that is just for you - no reading up on difficult child problems, no cleaning the house... do something for yourself, every day if you can.
    Start a "parent report" (see site resources). You're going to need the info anyway (esp. for psychiatric evaluation), and it gives you a way to get the history out of your head and onto paper - otherwise, it rattles around in your head, and you try so hard to not forget... but it drives you insane trying to keep track of it all (been there done that... that's why they call me insane...)
    Look for patterns in behavior... for example, is sleep consistently good? consistently bad? or variable? Is he worse or better: in the morning, at night, at home, out in public, after a noisy event, after being out later than usual, etc...
    The more you can start taking control of "information" about the situation, the less the situation will be in direct control of you.

    Grab a knot. Hang on. Its "just" another 4 weeks or so... (spoken by one who's trying to make the next 4 weeks last 4 months, so we have time to solve some issues before school starts...)
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I would have to respectfully disagree with MWM. In my experience, mild aggression among toddlers - usually when frustrated, in dispute over a toy, for example - is very common. I have seen it informally, among friends' children, in play groups, nurseries, etc. All sorts of "normal" children doing it. What IS unusual, I quite agree, is unprovoked aggression for no apparent reason. But what I was trying to get at in my post is that younger children can also hit out of a kind of curiosity, just to see what will happen - not from some malicious or strictly aggressive intention. By four, children have of course usually learnt that this is not appropriate, acceptable or desirable. My own difficult child has largely learnt it. But I do not think we can treat it with quite the same seriousness and alarm as a 14 year old hitting someone on the head unprovoked. I hope very much that your son will develop out of this, with help, klltc. And mine, of course :)
    Just an afterthought - I don't want to downplay this. I can imagine how disturbing it really is to have your child hurting others in a kind of completely unprovoked aggression. Provoked aggression, which is what happens with my lad, is bad enough... I just think that with small children, there is still all to play for.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  9. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Honestly, I don't even try to understand wether difficult child's behavior is mild or severe. Right now, all can think about is "what is wrong with this kid???". All I know is something is wrong.
    husband describes him as narrow minded, one way and that's it. Even if it makes absolutely no sense! We can explain him something a 100 different ways, if it's not what he wants/thinks, he will not change his mind.
    His behavior definetly cycles. It used to be a 3 weeks cycle: a little harder everyday, until a BIG blow up and then an angel for about 2 days, and then it would start all over again.
    This last 10 days, he has ben "stuck" in the blow up mood. Friday, he actually had 5 meltdowns!! And they were a few hours each. It was basically from morning until late that night...
    His has very poor social skills at preschool. He usually is completly withdrawn (although he will speak to his teacher) and tries to "escape" the other kids. In his previous school, he had managed to make a friend for a couple weeks, until he told me he was not his friend anymore (never got an explanation).
    When he is "randomly mean", I know it too because he has that little smirk on his face. That's kind of his guilty face. If it is an accident, he does not make that little smile. That smile tells me he did on purpose, but not why....
    When he is stuck with the "wrong" logic or idea and won't listen to reason, it does not have that guilty face. He simply gets very uptset and keep o asking and asking and asking and ASKING. You can't stop him, unless I really had enough and start yelling. Ignore it does not help at all 'cause he simply does not give up and is right in our face (usually mine though).
    It sure is a layered cake. And right now I have no more patience for him. He drained me dry. I really wonder if theray is doing anything... It like everyone is walking on egg shells and honestly i had enough: I just want to crack those eggs!! Why should everyone endure his misery???
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) I know it's so frustrating. I can assure you that it does get easier in some ways, when language becomes more developed and he'll be able to better express himself. Even then, it won't always make much sense to you.

    Find some time for yourself. I find the 'me' time after the kids are in bed. I used to reserve this time for household chores so I could get them done without kids underfoot, and also because I have more energy in the evenings. Not anymore. If it doesn't get done during the day, it doesn't get done - I have another day coming up to try and tackle everything. I NEED that quiet time with NO 'responsibilities'.

    I'm glad your psychiatric evaluation is coming up. To me it sounds like a lot of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) traits are present.

    Calm, regenerating, recharging thoughts headed your way.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I am just trying to say that your child is very young. Nothing is presumably set in stone. There is hope for change - presumably with a lot of intervention and work.

    I totally understand your frustration. Some of your son's behaviour is similar to my son's (not so much the social stuff). It can feel like it's driving you crazy at times - in addition you have two other small children to take care of. I imagine that at some point before too long medications are going to be suggested, when you have a clearer diagnosis - what is your attitude to that?

    This path is a hard one. I really hope you can get help that is going to make it easier for you all to bear and understand.
  12. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    medications have already been suggested, but we politely turned it down. Until we have a diagnosis, I think it is best to not medicate. It is complicated enough as it is.
    Although difficult child has all those meltdowns and he is wearing me out, I have to say he is a happy little boy. We feel medications are a last resort solution.
    medications are rarely tested on children and that really bothers me. There is bearely any studies showing their results for pediatric use... I feel it's like a be experimental approach.
    I might change my mind on that topic, but I will not let the "heat of the moment" influence my choices. We are struggling right now, but once we have a little more answers, we will reassess the situation.
    I know the evaluations won't give a instruction manual to my son, but if we are not too much in the dark anymore, it might make thing easier.
    In the long term, I think my son needs to learn and understand his own disability (whatever it is). He will have to find ways to function and be productive in society. Find happyness. I believe those are things he can achive as long as he knows his weaknesses and strenghts. Medication will not teach him those skills.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would say aggression depends on the kind of aggression and the demeanor of the child. Most kids do feel bad after hurting another one or will at least say "I'm sorry."

    Also, not all kids are aggressive at any age.

    On the topic of medications, in my opinion best to try without, but sometimes there is absolutely no choice and the child/then adult can not function in society without medication. Depends on what is wrong and how bad it gets.
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just sending some supportive hugs your way.