My 8 year old son....help - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-25-2006, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have an 8 year old son who is extremely intelligent and artistic and intense. I also have 3 other children who are girls, 6yrs, 3 1/2, and 10 months. The girls are whiney, but tolerable. They are just girls who are girls.

My boy is my challenge and I need all the help I can get. We have been dealing with him for some time now (well over a year). Its getting to the point where I am afraid...and the girls are too at times. Whenever I do not allow him to do something (either have sugary sweets or play computer) he freaks. He demands to know why, so I explain about how limiting sugar is healthier for him but he can have some at another time and how too much computer is no good either....then he will throw something and say YOU DID NOT JUST SAY THAT TO ME! Ill say ok, cool down, its not a big deal, lets do something else. (Mind you, a while ago i didnt remain as calm, i have hyperthyroid and flew off the handle alot when he would act this way.) Well, he wont want to play with me. Instead he punches me. Then i say ok you need to go to a time out. Then he'll scratch me and bite me. Then he will smack me and follow me around the house throwing things, ripping down the girls' artwork and destroying the house. I try to ignore him because yelling and taking things away fuel the fire. As i ignore, he hits me more. He's drawn blood before. ALl the while hes yelling things like I WILL GET WHAT I WANT and ITS NOT FAIR and DONT YOU SAY NO TO ME....not sure why he acts this way. Ive examined how I parent all of my kids, and basically its all similar...and i know each child is different and requires different parenting...but basically no one gets away with stuff that the others dont get away with either. So today during our outburst, hes smacked me and ive gently but firmly grabbed his arm and told him to stop. Ive put him in his room.....he kicks the door and wrecks his room....a few months ago he actually put 4 holes in his door. The room thing didnt work. I went about my business cooking and ignoring him. His sisters locked themselves in their bedroom because if they crossed his path, hed hit them for no reason. for 3 hours today he hit me and threw things. At one point he found a lighter (I never knew there was one in the house, my husband smokes outside the house so i never thought he would put one in the house) and told me if i dont give him dessert he will burn down the house. The lighter didnt work anyway and i took it away. I am nervous that if this isnt stopped, and continues into the teen years, that one day he really will burn down my house and maybe even hit me too hard where i really get hurt. There has never been any violence in this house. There has been yelling, but never any hitting. Ive smacked a few butts in my day, but that was years ago and i hated doing it, and it never hurt them. So for 3 hours i got scratched, pinched, punched, smacked, and poked with a skewer. I took away all privledges, and i didnt tell him this because that only fuels it too...but he did ask for dessert later and i said no way. Then he asked for time on the computer and i said absolutely no way. That started a mini round 2 of smacking me on the head and giving me an "indian sunburn" as he calls it. Dad wasnt home for round one, and round 2 he was and would grab my son and take him away from me. Last year my husband and i were separated very briefly while we worked out some issues.....but the hitting started a bit before that, although not bad at all and not as frequent as now. Ive asked about sexual abuse and how its alright if he tells me if something happened, it will all be alright. He said no one has ever hurt him or touched him. Then im thinking maybe something mentally is going on and maybe a vaccine has something to do with it. He had a mild reaction to DTP when he was a baby, and that year was also the year where there was alot of thimerosol in the vaccines.....so my daughters were never given DTP since he had a reaction to it. They all had DTaP. Now i dont even agree with vaccinations anymore so my baby and 3 1/2 year old havent had any. Im thinking maybe it messed with him? I dont know. He is my son and I love him. He never acts this way at school, we have talked to the counselor there and he's talked to my son lots last year.....and he says my son is a model student. His teachers all say they are proud of him he is learning alot and behaving wonderfully. He also never acts this way with my parents or if he sleeps over a friends house and he is told no, he acts respectfully. He is also a wonderful older brother to his baby sister. He acts hateful towards his other sisters, but with the baby he is different and loves her and kisses her and helps change diapers and feeds her....plays with her, buys her toys. Ever since she was born...and he even got to cut the cord, we left a piece long for him to cut after we made the first cut. He gets alot of attention from both of us, either together or separately (we are together my husband and I) but we make sure he is getting enough daddy time and mommy time. We tell him how proud we are of him when he makes good choices and even when he doesnt and he recognizes that he is wrong we tell him how proud we are that he is learning from his mistakes. I am trying to be a good parent....and i know im not perfect. But i have calmed myself down considerably when he acts this way. BUT...i dont know what to do anymore. I cant just ignore him and let him beat me up for 3 hours. I dont hit but sometimes feel like i want to....but only after say 2 hours lol. I keep calm because i want to remain in control and not make things worse. Putting him in time outs dont work...he gets up and destroys the house. He threw something today and it broke a picture frame. He broke a giraffe thing of mine that i collect, he did that on purpose. I stayed calm and calmly picked it up and threw it away. I tried to get him to pick up after himself but he wouldnt. What am i doing wrong? What else could I be doing? I dont believe in medicating my children....what can i do? A naturopath and homeopath are EXPENSIVE and I cant afford it. I can afford to buy a homeopathic kit....but then i dont know what to do with it lol. I dont know what to give to help his whole being. Oh and he hates his counselor that we see weekly so i wont be making him go anymore, shes not helping and he tells her the whole time that he doesnt like her ideas and wants to go home. We need a new counselor lol. I appreciate all who have taken the time to read this---any info is greatly appreciated, thank you

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:22 AM
 
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Have you had his thyroid checked? Thyroid problems in boys are becomming more prevelant these days. My mom's good friend just went through hell with her twin teenage boys. It started in their early teens. One boy is still struggling but the other is steady now after treatment for the hypothyroidism. The hitting and fighting really makes me think of what my mom's friend went through. One of the sons and the dad came to blows one night. I would definitely have some bloodwork done before things get too out of hand. I realize that its hard financially to see a doctor or naturopath but the way your son feels day after day and the way you are living day after day is no way to live either. HTH

Kim
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Old 09-25-2006, 03:32 AM
 
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I don't have any experience with this, but I know that food allergies and sensitivities can cause hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children. Maybe you should have him checked for food allergies. Also, does he eat stuff with artificial colorings? I've read that yellow and red food dye can make children hyperactive. Good luck.
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Old 09-25-2006, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks...no he doesnt eat anything with artificial colorings...unless he goes to grandmas. I am very strict with what they eat....they can have whatever they want in the house as long as its healthy, and i only buy healthy and organic. I will get some bloodwork done, the regular doctor is covered by insurance so thats fine. The only thing not covered is a naturopath or homeopath which is so sad. Maybe he is allergic to something he is eating and I dont know it...maybe ill get some allergy tests done.

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Old 09-26-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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I would strongly encourage you to check out the book The Explosive Child. Some children have difficulty being flexible, are intolerant of delaying gratification, and are unable to turn their attention to something else when they are told they can't have something or do something. They get stuck.

That your son is able to do well in school and then loses it at home is very typical of these children. They can hold it together for a while but when they get back to the place where they know they are safe and loved they lose it. It not at all caused by parenting - in fact, it shows how secure your son feels in your love and how safe he feels at home.

It will take a while to get a handle on what is going on with your son, and to implement strategies to help deal with his aggression. In the meantime, I would suggest making a comfortable, safe place, such as his room (removing everything that he could cause damage to himself or property by throwing, kicking, etc) and putting in large pillows, soft lighting on the ceiling, a source of calming music, maybe some sensory play items which can help soothe the nervous system such as a tub of dried beans he can dig his hands into or climb into (yes, the beans will get everywhere and be messy). Things in there he can safely throw (nerf balls, for example). Then, once there is not much in there he can do harm with, you could try being in there with him when he is upset if he does not target you immediately. You can protect yourself somewhat against thrown objects and kicks with a large pillow held in front of yourself. If he still is able to hurt you then you should not go in there with him but ask him to be in there until he is calm. If you are able to be in there with him, you can mostly say nothing, just riding it out with him, occasionally reflecting his feelings ("you are really MAD right now" "Its hard to not be able to have pancakes right now" etc) calmly and empathically. You can encourage him to use the sensory items, and throw nerf balls against the wall with him.

Your son, when he is calm, might be able to tell you some things that will help him to settle down. Sometimes vestibular motion helps a great deal (for example, bouncing on a mini-trampoline to music, or going outside and swinging). You could try to set these activities up for him as well and direct him to these when you see he is getting upset.

If you are able, you can put heavy-duty paneling up about five feet along the wall to protect against kicking through the sheetrock. There is a kind of paneling that is made of a rubber/plastic substance (I forget the name of it but we used it a lot in working with children with anger issues) that is paintable and looks attractive.

Also try posting in the Parenting Children with Special Needs forum and I'll bet you'll get a lot of good advice there. There are several parents there with children who sound very much like your son.
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Before i finished reading this, i wanted to respond...i have that book and its my bible lol!

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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Old 09-28-2006, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am doing this today....totally re-doing his room. thanks very very much!

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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Old 09-28-2006, 12:47 PM
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I feel for you mama, I have no advice though. I do have a mama friend who has a son like yours, but he is unable to be in school or anything. Ill see if I can get her in here to talk with you..
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Old 09-29-2006, 06:55 PM
 
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Has he been evaluated for Asperger's? My son has meltdowns like this (when he otherwise is a very sweet kid). What makes me ask is that you say he is extremely intelligent and intense.

Does he socialize well or not? Is he physically awkward/ does he have awkward body language? Does he have obsessive interests?
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Old 09-30-2006, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He is the best student in school, but the teachers have said he is a bit on the shy side. he doesnt play with kids often, but he does talk about them and expresses an interest in playing. He is VERY awkward, his bodily movements are awkward, and recently started complaining that he cant run anymore. When he does tae kwon do, instead of keeping his arms up when he's supposed to, he flails them when he jumps, and accidentally hit his friend when he jumped. He doesnt mean to, but its just how he is. he also flaps. He flaps when he's nervous, and flaps in anticipation of something. this is something he has had for a number of years. He has only one obsessive interest and i dont know if id say it was obsessive, but its the computer. Ever since he was not quite 2, he'd point at the computer and say "This is a program." i was amazed when he said that back then and iwas like wow hes such smart baby! His father is a computer geek so thats where i thought he got the interest from. He changes my passwords all the time (i dont know how he figures them out) and changes my settings and wants to play games ALL the time. He freaks when he cant play and if i give him a 10min warning to get off, he still has trouble adapting to that. But i just thought it was a normal boy thing to be that interested in games. He has never been tested for AS, im not sure how to go about doing that, but he has a dr appt next week to be evaluated. Im not going to tell this dr that i amd thinking AS, i want to hear her take on it first. So far, everyone else has suggested AS, but i had originally thought of it first before anyone mentioned it. He isnt a very extreme AS child though, if he even is.

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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