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Fed up, throwing in the PD/AP towel

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
: I have reached out in many places, read books, asked for help, begged for answers and I am at the point where I just dont care anymore. I am worn, broken both mental and physically. I cannot stand these boys anymore. They have broken my spirit. I have lost my sweet baby he is now ThreeEvil and it get worse everyday. His brother and he aggitate each other constantly and everyone around them. The attention seeking behaviors are out of control. Wiping boogers on people for a reaction, kicking or biting grandpa in the private parts, the pouring of things just to see someone have to clean it up, the constant making fun of each other, poking each other, disturbing one another, breaking each other things to see the other get mad, just anything to get a rise out of people. Its constant. I play with them, I take them on hikes, we do art together, we swim together, we cook together, always together, they are not lacking of effection or attention.

Redirection, time outs, grounding, talking, natural consequences, etc. I have tried it all. I want them to do the right things because they know they are right and they like doing good. Not because I fear them into it. But I am at the point I dont care, I just want them to stop doing this. I am embarrassed by their behavior. People feel sorry for me. My day is full of nothing but fighting, breaking up fights, yelling, screaming, name calling, saying shut up, I swear if I hear shut up one more time I might puke, then they get physical. The 8 year old gets physical with the 3 year old and vice a versa.

I am so uptight, over stressed, and just fed up. I am about ready to put them in childcare and go to work just so I only have to deal with it half of a day. I am running out of things to do, I am frustrted beyond belief and I am sick of asking for advice. The only advice I havent tried is a good old fashioned spanking and I am this close to start handing them out.

Ok Vent over
post #2 of 37
I am right there with you. i don't have any advice except to say that i know how you feel-. i just want it to stop. i hope you get the support you need. i don't have anything to say that hasn't been said on this board a hundred times over... i just can't seem to make it seep into me...:
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
I hear ya, Its not working here. Its like they dont respect me at all and I respect them all the time. They just dont care. They do as they please and say what they want, no matter what I do or say. I have no control. Isaiah, my 3 year old, is just horrible now and I know age as a lot to do with it but my oldest son has ODD,PDD NOS and ADHD and the 3 year old follows his lead. So I have to kids who are just out of control. My older one will go on his own with friends from time to time, or play online so I do get a break from him, the little one omg its horrible and he will not let anyone sit with him he cries the whole time i am gone, he thinks we are the same person i swear it. Seperation Anxiet at its highest. He isnt eating well either, he NEVER eats. He has cereal or waffles for breakfast with milk or juice and then thats it. He might munch on some fruit or nuts but he doesnt eat. He has control of the food, me and everything else around here. He has been called a mini dictator.
post #4 of 37
hey mama, first off, take a deeeeeep breath

secondly, you really need a break. is there anyone that can give you an afternoon off??? you need to go see a movie with a girlfriend (or all alone)....or take an afternoon browsing through barnes and noble with a coffee or something. i wish i could say i have never had days where i didn't think my children were complete and utter brats, but i'd be lying. when my thoughts go there though, it is a huge red flag that mama needs a break!!! i am confident your boys have many wonderful qualities too, as do my sweet ones.....it is just hard to see those qualities in the middle of a storm. although the behavior you described is totally unacceptable, i really don't think screaming or spanking is the answer for your family. remember, gentle discipline does NOT mean NO discipline. it sounds like you are trying different approaches and it isn't working for you. i really understand & sympathize, as do many moms here. if you don't mind me asking, do you have consequences with follow through? What I mean is, if the boys punch grandpa in the privates (OWE!) what are the consequences? If they wipe boogers on people or punch each other, what are the consequences? Also, please don't mind my asking, but what role does their father play in their lives. How does he view and handle their behavior? I know others will post here and give amazing advice too.

it's totally normal to feel discouraged. it is so awesome that you came here to vent and seek advice. hang in there mama....it may not happen tomorrow....but your boys and you will get through this and you WILL enjoy them again!! there is definitely a GD technique that will work for your family other than spanking, and i'm confident other posters will help you find it!!
post #5 of 37
Are there any churches that you don't vehemenently disagree with that are having vacation bible school? It's usually FREE!!!!
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thank you for understanding and you are right I would kill for a pedicure and a cup of latte lol. If they hit grandpa in the lovelies I say "Isaiah that hurt grandpa, if you want to play with your sword you have to becareful where you swing it." And I usally take away the damaging weapon, if there is one. And if they wipe boogers on my couch or other things they have to clean it. But they turn around and do it again. Sorry is their favorite word. Everything is I am sorry, as soon as they loose something or have to be removed from a situation that isnt safe for them or others I hear "I am sorry mama" over and over again. I told him today that Sorry doesnt fix things, he needs to behave to fix things. Omg and then today he made a BM on his bedroom floor. He isnt potty trained but if he knows if he is naked, and has to poo going to the bathroom is the best option, nah doing it on the bedroom floor was so much more fun, it made mommy upset. Dad is here during the day, he leaves around 1 and is gone till 1 am usually and he works weekends so he isnt home much but when he is the boys hang with him out at the pool or doing yard work. They are great with him lol its me they are evil around lol
post #7 of 37
My boys can drive me nearly nuts like that, too. (although we have yet to have anyone crap on the bedroom floor )

Over the past year, as DS1 enters pre-teen HE!! and DS2 enters the "terrible twos", we've had to modify our GD methods. We don't spank and we don't do rewards/bribes, but we definitely expect a level of respect from the boys. Sometimes, that seems to deviate from what I've seen on these boards.

When I look at GD, though, I see it as a matter of respect, above all else. I respect my kids enough not to hit them or shame them or belittle them..... but respect is a two way street. If they are not respecting ME and I allow that to continue by not standing up for myself, then in a way, I'm not respecting the kids enough to expect them to behave better. Does that make sense?

I have a basic belief that my kids are good people. Because of that, I expect them to model that in their behavior. If they are falling short of what I know is their potential, then it's my job as MOM to call them on it.

If they are fighting, they get physically seperated (DS1 goes to their bedroom and reads or plays by himself and DS2 goes in our room too play/lie down). If they are disrespecting me, verbally or physically, then I remove myself from their presence, etc.

I see my main job as a parent as being the one who raises my children to be successful adults. By successful, I don't mean financial success, but emotional success. I want them to be able to have positive relationships, to be able to support themselves through some sort of work and I want them to be happy. I base my reactions on whether or not they further that goal. DP and I are constantly bringing in examples from our own lives.....
"what if I threw a fit when my boss asked me to do a difficult task?"

"how would your mom/dad react if I was always calling him/her names?"

"what would happen if we didn't clean up after dinner and just let food and garbage lay around all the time?"

"what if we yelled at our friends the way you're yelling at me right now?"

I think it's finally starting to sink in with DS1, at least. Sure, we could just spank him for speaking rudely to us, but it seems to hit home much more when we explain that, if we acted like he's acting, we'd get fired or lose a friend, etc. And, yes, sometimes calling DS on his behavior does hurt his feelings, but I don't see that as a bad thing. If I act shamefully towards DP, then I *should* be ashamed of my actions, right? That's how relationships work. No one should be allowed to walk all over someone else - it goes for kids, too, IMO.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinas3muskateers View Post
Sorry is their favorite word. Everything is I am sorry, as soon as they loose something or have to be removed from a situation that isnt safe for them or others I hear "I am sorry mama" over and over again. I told him today that Sorry doesnt fix things, he needs to behave to fix things.
This is DS1's favorite word, too. I always respond with "sorry doesn't fix anything unless you back it up". I've never forced "I'm sorry"s, even when kids are little. But, if one is offered, I expect it to be genuine. I'll give the boys the benefit of the doubt the first time, but if you've hit your brother 4 times in the last 10 minutes, "Sorry" just isn't gonna cut it :
post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by woobysma View Post
This is DS1's favorite word, too. I always respond with "sorry doesn't fix anything unless you back it up". I've never forced "I'm sorry"s, even when kids are little. But, if one is offered, I expect it to be genuine. I'll give the boys the benefit of the doubt the first time, but if you've hit your brother 4 times in the last 10 minutes, "Sorry" just isn't gonna cut it :
I have a list of tips I wrote that have worked for me over the years, and down at the very bottom is this -
12. The three parts of sorry - every child should learn this - accepting it, fixing it, preventing it in the future. They can say they're sorry, but that doesn't mean much if you fix it for them. At this age, more help is given : showing them how they hurt someone else, giving them 1-2 options on how to fix it, and asking for imput (but not necessarily taking it) on how to prevent it in the future. By my oldest son's age (7), he can go through most of the steps with me listening, only providing info as needed, and come up with his own plan.

Everytime something happens we work on those three steps. Accepting it is easy - you did it, you know you shouldn't have. Fixing and preventing are where I come in. Knowing that there's three parts helps them focus their energy better and we end up with less off the cuff words.
post #10 of 37
Is this mostly a vent or are you looking for advice. I wasn't sure from your post. You sound really upset and it sounds like a difficult situation, but I'm not sure if suggestions are helpful at this point or if you just want to vent.
post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Mostly venting but if you have any good ideas I am willing to try them
post #12 of 37
you said your eldest son had ODD, PDD NOS and ADHD.
is he on any meds?
i know specifically that ODD is a disorder that can quickly drive mama to drink! my foster brother has autism, is MRDD, has OCD, ODD, and seizure disorder, so he is on TONS of pharms to help with different things.
what i ahve noticed is that if he doesnt have his patch on (trying to think of the name, preggo brain not helping) he is SOOOOOOOO oppositional defiant.
and it really DOES look like he is doing it to hurt you on purpose, or make you feel badly. and its infuriating!
but, its not something he can control without his medication.
maybe getting your son on some helpful meds could solve alot.
if your younger son doesnt see his brother doing these behaviors he might not want to do them anymore as well.

post #13 of 37
What about some sort of middle ground, or "bridge" between punishment and GD? What about "Love and Logic", or "1-2-3 Magic?" It seems you need to get control, and those methods will help you acheive that. Then at some point, maybe you can re-evaluate and gentle it down a little.

If nothing else -- going to a Love and Logic class once a week will give you a break! LOL.
post #14 of 37
Thread Starter 
I have to get this 1-2-3 Magic it has been reccomend to me by more then one person. Off to the book store I go! As far as the PP suggestion with meds, ODD cannot be medicated. Adhd can however and at one point we had discussed it. Most of Caden's behaviors are ODD related. Which means he is making a choice to be definante. He has the capablity to behave he just chooses not to. This has been shown and I was reccomend NOT to medicate by his therpist. He has a therpist that comes to our home 3 days a week who basically observes his play and interaction with this brother and tries to help me handle situations. What I have found is even if I say "Ok thats it you know better then to do X Y and Z we are leaving the park" with no warnings (the next time you do that we are leaving stuff) I tell them before we go in, you do not follow the rules while we are here we leave. It doesnt seem to phase them. They figure oh well no biggie we left, I will find something else to do. Caden's other "issue" if you will, is being HIGHLY intellegent. He uses it to be highly manipulative. For exapmle one day we left the park because he "pants" this boy (who he had never meet before) I said, ok we are going home that was not ok and some other stuff. BAsically explaining why it isnt ok etc. We got home he was told he had to stay in his room and play for the rest of the evening (it was around 7ish) He comes out crying, "Omg my i cant feel my face and hands, i have this strange feeling all over, I dont feel right" etc. I thought maybe he was having a panic attack or something, so i checked his heart rate, and it was fine. He complained about it two more times and then after I let him come down stairs with the rest of us for ice cream he was fine. That kid can act lol.


Isaiah just dosent listen to rules over all. Like he is above them. I am going to read this book, I think it might help us. Something has to because its only 9:51 they have been up an hour and I am already pulling my hair out because of the fighting. I was woken up because they were in bed with me, fighting over whos mommy I was and they were being physical right on top of me. 8 year old fighting with a 3 year old over whos mommy I am @@ He just did it to get his goat and to bother me, ya know wake me up in a fab mood lol.
post #15 of 37
ODD is NOT something they can control themselves. and YES it can get help with medication.
i know, i have seen it first hand for MANY years.
the med itself that works best for my foster brother is a patch taht goes on his back, and beleive me you can tell when it time to change the patch, or when it has fallen off in the swimming pool and not put back on again.
ODD isnt controled by the person who has it.
and it often DOES look like they are purposefully trying to make you uset.mad/angry/hurt etc.
they ARENT! they CANNOT help it. its REALLY frustrating and soemtimes downright hurtful.
its one of the behavioral disorders that can often lead mama to drink iykwim.

and at three, most kids DONT listen to rules. especially if they have an older sibling that also doesnt.

i havent done any reading on 1-2-3 magic, but it could work for you, who knows.

just know your son is NOT purposefully trying to do this to you. it really is something he CANNOT control. its in his brain, in his wiring, not a choice. and if your therapist told you otherwise, maybe its time for a new therapist.
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaduck View Post
What about some sort of middle ground, or "bridge" between punishment and GD? What about "Love and Logic", or "1-2-3 Magic?" It seems you need to get control, and those methods will help you acheive that. Then at some point, maybe you can re-evaluate and gentle it down a little.

If nothing else -- going to a Love and Logic class once a week will give you a break! LOL.
Ita... get yourself into some GD classes, or counseling, JUST for you, just for a new point of view and an hour off, at least...

The thing about the books and the classes and the advice is that trying a dozen different approaches over 2 years will do little else but scatter you and your family, especially with the cocktail of extremes you've got to contend with. (Behavioral/chemical imbalances, 5 year age difference, Dad outta the pic for most of the important rearing...) No parenting philosophy is without it's quirks, and each approach generally requires some serious time and commitment to acclimate to it and get it flowing in the family.

Do you have any groups you do things with, or close friends with similar parenting ideals, that you might reach out to for some allo-parenting help? I allo-parent with a friend whose a mom of 3, the oldest has acute behavioral issues, and the other two are a mess of modeling. 1 to 3 is a HARD ratio... but 2 to 4 is a little better, and having another person there to help thin out the pack can be VERY valuable.

How do you feel about divide and conquer? On bad days, have you tried to separate them completely? They are at totally different stages developmentally, this will put them at odds a lot. What about creating some structured and routine seapration? Is your older ds in any kind of movement classes? Disciplines such as karate, tae kwon do, poekelan, etc are great kinesthetic releases for children with ODD, ADHD, and other behavioral challenges. Perhaps while ds1 is in his class, ds2 could be in a younger version of one, too... At home, you might set up a time when ds1 is outside, in the garage, or in his room practicing while ds2 is engaged in a sensory project.

Boys are nuts. Even without all the added bonuses of negative attention seeking, behavior/chemical imbalances, age-transitioning, and age-difference... they can be crazy. Tactile and kinesthetic (touching and moving) activities will help to channel some of that excess in a positive manner.

As for the yucky, rude, violent stuff like kicking persons in the privates and wiping snot on people and things... Wow. Just wow! Totally NOT ok. I truly admire that you have tried to maintain an air of respect and dignity with them... High five, Mama. What kind of verbage do you use regularly with them? Do they have (especially the older) a concept of what respect ACTUALLY is, why it's so important, and what it looks like? How are your rules structured, your limits and consequences? Is it a "No Hitting, no spitting, no kicking, no boogers" thing? I have seen that sometimes with the "No ___, no___ & no ___" situation, often kids with the issues you have discussed will just kind of key into the behaviors that you are saying no to. Like, when you say "Don't hit your brother" unfortunately, you're simultaneously saying: "...hit your brother". Not that you're telling him to... but you still say those very words and he hears them, and he starts to think about them... "...hit...brother..." Inevitably, the behavior you had hoped to prevent rears it's head... you asked for it. How do you feel about turning that around into behaviors you want to see, verus highlighting the ones you don't want to see?

Example: You might have said before~ "Today we'll be going to the park. If either of you acts out, hits, screams, hurts or is rude to anyone else, including eachother, we will have to leave."

Next time, what if you approached it like this: "Today we're going to the park. Please use respectful words and manners. Please remember to say things like 'Please', 'Thank you', 'Excuse me' with other people including each other. What are some other ways we will be respectful at the park? I will be watching for these words and actions. I hope we will be able to stay and have a lot of fun."

Maybe just keep reaffirming that it's time to start really practicing their virtues... Good behavior consists of not only an adherence to virtues, but an understanding of what they are and why they're important. Respect, humility, honestly, empathy, generosity, patience... these virtues help us to be a better society... You can highlight that heroes have to practice these virtues, if they're into heroes... or if you're spiritual or religious, you might be able to key into the various spiritual leaders who exhibited these traits... These traits aren't always inborn, they take practice. You might be able to provide them with opportunities to practice these traits... "Tonight we're going out for dinner, and this will be a chance to practice your manners and respect."

My friend with the 3 that I already spoke of has agreed to try a Virtues Chart for each of the kids... when she sees them practicing their virtues by being respectful and loving, etc, she gives them a pen to mark it on their chart (for the littlest, just a mark anywhere on the paper counts...) or gives them stickers to place on their charts... then she counts them up and when their charts are "full" they're rewarded with something really special... like the oldest took a month to fill his chart (the other two did it in about a week or so...) but she kept encouraging him... "Look, you're getting close to full!" and when he did, she took him to an exhibition put on by the local hip hop kids' dance school where he danced his ADHD ODD butt off, and got him signed up for classes.

Does any of this shed any new light on your situation? Sometimes, it takes some hard charging to break out of the cycle of all the books and all the techniques you have already exhausted. Maybe try to really shake off the feelings of doubt and anger, and commit to trying a few new approaches... with some real longevity. Journal about it, about the successes and the disappointments... And commit to sticking with whatever 2-3 new ideas you elect to try for at least 6 months... it will take time and lots of repetition and lots of misstpes to see the progress... But remember:

Slow progress is still progress.
post #17 of 37
Excellent advice from PrennaMama! Changing your words that way really CAN help, give it a try! You sound so stressed...if you lived near me I'd take you to a spa or something - but I'm sure you don't so here's a cyber ! Hang in there!
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
12. The three parts of sorry - every child should learn this - accepting it, fixing it, preventing it in the future. They can say they're sorry, but that doesn't mean much if you fix it for them. At this age, more help is given : showing them how they hurt someone else, giving them 1-2 options on how to fix it, and asking for imput (but not necessarily taking it) on how to prevent it in the future. By my oldest son's age (7), he can go through most of the steps with me listening, only providing info as needed, and come up with his own plan.

Everytime something happens we work on those three steps. Accepting it is easy - you did it, you know you shouldn't have. Fixing and preventing are where I come in. Knowing that there's three parts helps them focus their energy better and we end up with less off the cuff words.
Very nice, mama. I'm going to bring this up to both DC and DH...
post #19 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post
Very nice, mama. I'm going to bring this up to both DC and DH...
Me too!
post #20 of 37
Have you read The Explosive Child? Great book.

http://www.thinkkids.org/parents/ (a website by the author of The Explosive Child.)
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