BEGGING for help with my son. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 46 Old 04-10-2010, 02:28 AM
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Just to also throw into the mix- depression can come out this way. Sometimes depression can come out as "sad" but often it can just look like they are a giant, negative PITA.

Originally Posted by becoming View Post
Is there any way to improve this without intensive psychiatric therapy or medications? My fear with therapy/medications is making him feel like something is seriously wrong with him... I don't want him to think he's "damaged," although I'm probably making him feel that he is anyway with how I've been reacting to him.
Would you not take him to get help if he needed glasses because it would make him feel damaged? Or speech therapy if he had a stutter? Of course not. You would take him because the treatment would change his life for the better. Mental health should be treated the same way. Of course we all want our children to be healthy and not need help or medicine, but for certain conditions, these things can quite literally change everything for the better. My sister had undiagnosed depression for years, which looked like her being a cranky, snotty, pain. Finally, in her teens, she got a diagnosis and medicine and she THANKED my mom for making it happen. She made better friends, she felt better about herself, her schoolwork was more meaningful, people wanted to be around her... It totally changed the course of her life and our family. You can always put it to him too in a way that seeing someone who knows a lot about feelings might be able to help him find things you both can do to be better to each other. That is very true and does not imply any deficit, only learning.
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#32 of 46 Old 04-10-2010, 11:55 AM
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I don't have anything to add to the great advice already given, but I do want to commend OP and the other posters who have similar situations for actually putting this question out there and admitting your feelings about your child and his behavior.

I feel like one of the greatest gifts I got long before becoming a parent myself was that one of the colleagues I most respected in social work told me, when her 1st babe was like 1 1/2 yrs old, that she was shocked to realize that there are many times she doesn't like her child, feels anger towards her child, and that's totally normal.

I understand that you're experiencing something a lot more intense and ongoing, but what I learned from my colleague is how there's this social stigma around admitting to these feelings and experiences when a) they're so common and b) how the heck are you gonna get help with it if you never tell anyone you feel that way?

It's so hard to say what you said OP, and so important and so good for you, your family, and especially your DS that you are looking for answers and options and strategies.

Excellent job and wishing you and everyone here dealing with similar challenges the best of luck.
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#33 of 46 Old 04-10-2010, 06:24 PM
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Becoming, I urge you to get professional help for your son, even if you have to drive long distance. Find a good child psychologist. If you don't like the first one find a new one.

Your son may not seem to be suffering particularly, even though he's making everyone else suffer from his negativity. But he is or will be soon. It's very painful, and it's our job as parents to help them when they can't help themselves.

And yes, look into antidepressants for yourself. Yeah, it'll help you be more supportive of your son. But more importantly, you deserve it, just because you're you.

Originally Posted by spottiew View Post
My kid (age 5) is like this... *I* was like this as a child... I didn't really 'get' that I was constantly complaining, I just felt that I had something to say. It was often painful trying to understand other people and the world, and I was pretty darn unhappy at times and made myself unhappier through my negativity. I just have a feeling of something missing, something wrong inside and it seems he does too. I guess I 'got over' much of it such that I can behave normally , but I can't say that I worked through it or overcame it and I think it really is still deep part of me and probably affects how I now interact with my own child. I can't explain the why to any of it, I just see it happening in my child and hope that I can change it for him some way, somehow.
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
This is me.

Becoming....I was your child. It wasn't until I was 16 and on the walk home from the bus ride somone said they were sick of my complaining and a few other people joined in about "please can I just shut up." It blew me away. I couldnt believe so many people didn't understand I was trying to be funny. Screw them, they just didn't "get me."

It wasnt until I met my husband when I was 21. Everything single thing he said and did was positive. He was different, he didn't conform to anything. I remember the first time I said something about someone else (a stranger) to him and he said "well, maybe they like it that way." I still think about how I felt when he said that. I never thought that people/individuals could do something the way they wanted, they should do it the way I wanted them to do it...I knew best, even if they were strangers. They should know the right way, which was my way.

I got it from my dad.....sounding like a complainer, actually being a complainer but thinking you are just talking. My mom never knew how to respond to us. She never stayed light and pointed out the positive. She very much had a "done" attitude and would respond with a fed up tone.

It is a struggle. At 37 I still fall into it, but at least I know I am doing it. It is hard to just accept things, life, people, without commenting on their choices. I would say everytime your son says something, discuss it. Talk about why they are wearing pink streaks in their hair, and even if it looks stupid, they like it, and that is all that matters. KWIM?
Me too. Glad to know I'm not the only one. That bolded line, especially. It's kind of funny how single minded I can be.

That "Freeing Your Child From Negative Thinking" looks pretty good.


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#34 of 46 Old 04-14-2010, 02:31 PM
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I would bet you anything that this could be somewhat relieved by nutrition. Have you ever heard of the GAPS diet? There was an all day presentation at a nutritional conference I attended last year (which I am now listening to in my car.) It very thoroughly details the link between gut flora and mental health.

Your DS's behavior could be a direct result of nutritional deficiencies - and with some tweaks to your diet he could turn right around. I personally am not in a good mood when I don't feel good. Any diet change would have to be a family-wide commitment.

Good luck.

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#35 of 46 Old 04-14-2010, 02:39 PM
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My nephew was EXACTLY this way as a kid. There was a history of mental illness in his biological family (he was adopted and my sister and her husband knew his family). They took him to a child psychiatrist and he was diagnosed with ADHD. They did put him on meds, too, but I'm not sure if that helped a lot.

I did want to tell you that now, at the age of 22, he is SO GRATEFUL to everything his parents do for him. He has become completely thoughtful and humbled. My sister never thought she'd see the day. He even points out when his younger brother is being selfish or insensitive.

So. no answers, but (((HUGS))). You are not alone.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#36 of 46 Old 04-14-2010, 09:38 PM
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Hi Becoming,

As I read your OP, my first thought was Aspergers. Could be completely off the mark, but that was my first thought. My husband was like this as a child, and is somewhat like this as an adult, but it is much better. How is he with peers?

Maybe "Flip the Script" kind of stuff could work. Reframing negative statements into positive ones, rewarding any positive commentary.

My kids are not like this, but I have worked with students who were "hard to love", and it made me feel so guilty. It helped me to not equate their responses to me as a reflection of who I was, and to focus on what I needed to teach them. Still caring (a lot!), but detaching a little, not having my worth wrapped up in their negativity.

Best wishes to you and your son,
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#37 of 46 Old 04-16-2010, 12:02 AM
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First of all, narcissist personality disorder does not manifest in children of this age. Narcissists are generally very, very charming to get their way. They know how get anything they want, they do not start out as difficult people.

This really sounds to me like OCPD or something similar and I urge you to get him assessed. My friend's son has aspergers and has traits very close to what you described. It is important that *he* is not causing this, and he probably doesn't understand why everything is so difficult anymore than you do. Please don't assign negative intent to him--I know you are trying hard, but you're just burned out. He needs professional help, and that will help the whole family.

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#38 of 46 Old 04-16-2010, 12:54 AM
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Before you do anything else, I would really recommend a complete medical and psychological workup for him. DD was like this, though not to the same extent. By age 2 we knew she was allergic to "something" but the dr's wouldn't run a test at that age. At age 3 we finally got the go-ahead to try allergy meds with her. The first morning after trying them we had a completely different child! Once we discovered her problems were specifically from cow's milk and pulled her off that, she became the happiest child I think I've ever seen. If she has something at school with cow's milk in it, or if we slip up, the change in her is truely dramatic.

We also get this farily often from DS. LOL just earlier today as I was picking them up from school I finally asked him if there was anything else that he possibly wanted to complain about! With him though, it's usually a sign of not enough sleep (our case today) or boredom. He's gifted, and when he's not challenged enough he complains about every.single.thing.nonstop! So we watch for it and have a supply of "new things" for him to focus on when it begins and that's helped a lot as well.

This thread illustrates better than anything that there are so many different possible causes for your son to be acting like this! While some of it may be his personality, hopefully you can find something that will help as well. And fwiw, there have definitely been times where I loved my children but didn't really like them. I think that's extremely common, and I hope you don't beat yourself up over it. ((Hugs!))
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#39 of 46 Old 04-19-2010, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Leatherette View Post

As I read your OP, my first thought was Aspergers.

Yes, I thought the same thing, too.

I have a 7yo DD with Aspergers and who is also highly gifted. She was (and still is sometimes) an INCREDIBLE PITA. I say that with lots of love.

She can be very negative, blames everyone else for her problems, seems to not care, etc.

Other characteristics of Aspergers are a lack of eye contact, an obsession with a particular subject, and a lack of social skills.

But all this can be worked on. My DD has had intensive social skills training through her school (she has an IEP), and this has made a huge difference for her.

I'm not saying your son has Aspergers, but I do think you should see a good child psychologist and find out what is going on here...
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#40 of 46 Old 04-19-2010, 10:11 PM
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Oh mama, I feel your challenge
3 books werre reccomended to me by someone who is amazing with kids were and and . I am currently reading the first one, and learning lot. Maybe they can help you?

"That boy, Frank, he lives inside his own heart. That's a real big place to live." ~ Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) in Sling Blade
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#41 of 46 Old 04-19-2010, 10:40 PM
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I'm the one who loves Ten Days to a Less Defiant Child. It sounds kind of gimmicky, but it has a lot of great, practical advice for when you get in that negative cycle with one of your children. Advice for YOU on how to handle things--and the nicest part about the book is that the author really focuses on the goal being maintaining your connection with that child. One of the things he advises is to really pay attention to what your child does all day long. Because most likely there are good moments mixed in with the bad--but we focus on the bad and forget the good all too easily.

As far as counseling or evaluations--could you/would you start with your school? It might even be interesting to get his teachers take on his behavior. Does he save his negativity for his family, or is it influencing his interactions at school too? Does he have problems getting along with the other kids, or not so much?

When I read your post, it really sounded to me like it was really about your problems in dealing with his behavior--not that his behavior is really that severe. (Maybe it is serious--but I just read more that this particular negativity really pushes your buttons)

I don't know if this is too babyish, but my DD and I do 3 things we are grateful for every night before we go to bed. I am SHOCKED at what she is grateful for half the time, and it tickles me, because it's shown me that she actually appreciates a lot of the little things that I do for her every day. It's really changed the way I think of her and all the things I do for her. One thing that's nice about this, too, is that it's an opportunity for her to say good things. No room for complaints during 3 Good Things.
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#42 of 46 Old 04-19-2010, 10:52 PM
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You have gotten a lot of great responses.

I would also recommend Homeopathy. I realize you are in a rural area but if you have to take a long drive to go to can be worth it.

I also think you might like the parent coach cards---they have been very helpful for us.

Not that you want to go down this road...but astrologer in the house, the 2001 birthdates have a lot of bumps in them. Not all of them of course, but a lot have some bumpy stuff (ocd, addhd,e etc) The summer births in particular---that's the year that brought us 9/11 ('nuff said).

good luck and you sound like a tired mom but a loving one. :

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#43 of 46 Old 04-21-2010, 01:44 PM
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mama. My Ds is somewhat the same way. He is 12 and ADHD, a touch of depression/anxiety issues. We started the Natural/Organic approach to life. Cut all processed foods, artificial colors/flavors. Cut back on dairy/gluten. No high Fructose corn syrup and added Omega 3's to his diet. We did see a BIG improvement after a few months. I think some of the artificial stuff altered his chemical's in his brain. It may not help for everyone, but it looks like you got ALOT of good advice So hang in there and good luck

A for Mom, B for boy #2, C for Dad, D for boy #1, E for boy #3, F for boy #4 and G for girly #5 and there you have it ABCDEFG Family, skipping down the crunchy path in life...
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#44 of 46 Old 04-21-2010, 03:23 PM
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My eldest was exactly the same! He has since been diagnosed with ADHD but I suspect thats not exactly and am working on getting someone to concider Aspergers and Prada Willi Syndrome.
Though he doesn't complain quite so much he still does. my usual response is "I'm sorry you feel that way" or "umhum?" I throw the odd "So what are you going to do about it?" in for variety. I worked out he isn' t asking me for a solution, he's just suffering verbal diarhea.
When it gets to be too much for me I will say something along the lines of "I'm glad you feel you can open up to me but can you tell me 3 good things that happened to you today?"

We also bought a great book which I highly recommend.

What to do when you grumble too much.

No matter who is president, I will live life with an open and loving heart, kindness, and tolerance of all good people. I will stand against racism, sexism, and all prejudices!
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#45 of 46 Old 04-21-2010, 05:20 PM
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DD (almost 8) is this way--very negative; but she is also very empathetic when she is not in her negative states. I find it very difficult to be around her, exactly for the same reasons--so much negativity and complaining.

Last month I resolved to do something about MYSELF first. I was reacting to her with so much frustration and anger because deep inside i just wanted her to be happy. Also, deep inside, I felt like I failed her. Like you I have two other children who are mellow and i have a great relationship with them...

I believe it is her personality, more than anything, with some underflying anxiety. But even as an infant she was high needs--when she wasn't in a sling. Therefore she was attached to me 24/7--she was easy going then

The last weeks have been much much better. It all started with me and my decision just to start relating to her in a more empathetic way. I had several false starts--I'd be "good" for a day or two, and then I would feel the old nag of frustration and anger. But i decided to forgive myself and move forward. I was also open to her about my feelings and how I forgive myself and do a "do over". I was honest about my struggles with my feelings as well.

Then before I knew it, it has been a week or more and I didn't feel the old nag of frustration. I feel SO MUCH better. and her behaviour has responded accordingly. She is coping so much better. THis is her best, in the last year or so. I've been introducing coping strategies for a couple of years now, and I see now she is doing better. Finally!! Her own frustration times are shorter; she doesn't dwell on things that much (still long compared to my other children, but for her, it is a huge step forward).

It was very, very hard to get out of this viciuous circle of negativity.

One thing that helped me was one message i got from scott noelle parenting mailing list. There was a suggestion to make two jars and decorate them. Then on small pieces of paper write your child's negative characteristics, and on the other--the positives. Then at random times during the day to come to the jars and make a choice, which one to read? Of course I'd be easily choosing the positive jar! Why would I want to focus on her negatives?

I made sure that i was choosing the positives throughout the day, as I was interacting with her. An easy choice, actually, when I'm not so negative myself!

Disclaimer--I never made the actual jars, but I visualised the whole process
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#46 of 46 Old 04-23-2010, 12:21 AM
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You've gotten some great advice, and now you have a lot to try!

I was also pretty negative, but my whole family was. They were very critical of others, and it was, in fact, a method of bonding. I sought that out in my dh, and we've had a very hard time getting over it. I had a very, very hard time even figuring it out, actually, but one night we were going on a date and got in a huge fight right after we dropped off the kids at the sitter's because he was late. So we were driving along in angry silence, and finally he makes a rude comment about someone on the street as a way to bridge the gap between us. Yuck!

Anyway, I don't know if you or your dh are critical of others. It might be worth considering. I love Becky Bailey's book "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline" because of how she approaches that subject. The revolutionary idea that no one needs to be special is pretty contrary to the normal American ideal, and is really lovely and freeing.

As far as dealing with his negativity in the moment, have you tried really distancing yourself from it? Not from him, but from the intense emotions of the minute. My youngest has a HUGE temper, and has tantrums and fits like nothing I've ever seen. Sometimes I try to imagine myself as a researcher taking notes on a wild animal or something, and I can adopt a very calm, detached tone and just deal with him that way.

I hate to say this, but I will because I have been in your position of having a really, really hard time liking my child. Even though we tell them we love them and always will, I think they notice when we don't like them, and they take it to heart. They really do. Our words cannot cancel out our actions and our facial expressions and our sighs of disgust, not completely. So I appreciate you putting it out there and I'm going to follow this thread for ideas.

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