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#1 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anybody else have issues? My 9 year old is constantly outsmarting us (and we are no slouches in the intelligence department) so he honestly has had no consistency in discipline. He is concerning me because he just doesn't "stop". In his mind, the x, y, z reasons of why he is not to do a,b,c don't matter because he will make sure that x,y,z won't happen and he proceeds. Very disrespectful and go es to the level of respecting people's thoughts, opinions, and bodies. We are just now going through assessments for him. We have been a little behind in the gifted department since I have foolishly been waiting to see if the gap will close and it is only getting bigger. We have finally run across a therapist who specializes in gifted kids. Thank goodness, because the typical discipline techniques do not work with this child.

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#2 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kindacrunchy View Post

Anybody else have issues? My 9 year old is constantly outsmarting us (and we are no slouches in the intelligence department) so he honestly has had no consistency in discipline. He is concerning me because he just doesn't "stop". In his mind, the x, y, z reasons of why he is not to do a,b,c don't matter because he will make sure that x,y,z won't happen and he proceeds. Very disrespectful and go es to the level of respecting people's thoughts, opinions, and bodies. We are just now going through assessments for him. We have been a little behind in the gifted department since I have foolishly been waiting to see if the gap will close and it is only getting bigger. We have finally run across a therapist who specializes in gifted kids. Thank goodness, because the typical discipline techniques do not work with this child.


With so little detail, it's tough to understand what might be happening. The first sentence I bolded suggests he might be struggling with an ability to delay gratification. The second suggests some issues with empathy and self-regulation.  That's really just speculation though. I'm not sure what you mean about respecting other's bodies. Is he crossing physical boundaries about touching and hitting?

 

What are the "typical discipline techniques" that you have tried but they haven't worked? 

 

 

 

 

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#3 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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He seems to do ok with his friends at school. He has no behavioral issues at school. He has been dubbed "the model student" by one of his teachers. So, obviously, he is capable of containing himself at school. But, at home, it is a completely different story with his brother, my husband, and I. He has little respect for our authority, he just does what he wants with his brother and doesn't listen to words being spoken. Example of blowing us off, "Aidan, please don't use that knife this way, please use it this way, because it could slip and cut your finger." Continues to use knife his way. We reiterate way, he continues. We finally have to get louder and take knife away because finger i about to be sliced. Then he said, I know but I wasn't going to let it cut my finger because ......It is like he thinks he is the exception to every rule. That he can defy it all. Natural consequences rarely work. If it happens, he may try it 5 different ways just to see how he can do it without getting that outcome. He will play spank his brother or pinch his penis. I tell him to leave his brother alone, that is his personal space and he tells me to accept him the way he is and he isn't going to change. He literally thinks he has it all figured out. How can you explain to a kid that I am not trying to change who he is but their are just societal boundaries? although, he doesn't behave this way with his friends.

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#4 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 12:10 PM
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I'm glad you found a therapist to work with.  I think that's a good move.  

 

For stuff like the knife, I would move to taking the knife away much sooner.  You have showed him how to use a knife safely.  If he is not following knife safety rules even once, even a little bit, take the knife right away.  THEN you can talk to him about using it safely and let him try again if he's up for it.  

 

The issues with his brother are HUGE, as you know since you have gone the route of getting a therapist.  I hope that is your first priority in re. his therapeutic goals.  In the meantime, I wouldn't bother talking to him about how much you respect and admire his personality and don't want to change the essence of his being.  If "who he is" is a person who must pinch his brother's penis, then yes, you will be changing who he is and you will not be accepting that.  He needs to respect people's boundaries and not touch his brother's private parts.  You can have that conversation at a neutral time.  When you catch him in the act, you need to separate him from his brother immediately.  You will not be having a conversation about it then.  Because obviously, when he treats his brother that way, your priority is to protect his brother, and his behavior makes you far too angry to have a conversation about what he, as the aggressor, thinks is just and appropriate.  IMO, when your kids' behavior is way out of line, they should know that you disapprove, and that should NOT feel good to them.  The therapist will have more input on how to do this while affirming that you love and care about him.  In the mean time, please do not let a desire to preserve his self-esteem and honor his uniqueness stand in the way of protecting his brother and setting firm boundaries.  

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#5 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, trust me, he knows i disapprove:(

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Good for you for getting a therapist. I don't have much to add, just wanted to say that. I don't think the issues here have to do with him being gifted, more like you need to find his "currency" with discipline. That thing that will affect him specifically. Has this attitude of his shown up suddenly or have you put up with it for a long time? 

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#7 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 02:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kindacrunchy View Post

...It is like he thinks he is the exception to every rule. That he can defy it all. Natural consequences rarely work. If it happens, he may try it 5 different ways just to see how he can do it without getting that outcome. He will play spank his brother or pinch his penis. I tell him to leave his brother alone, that is his personal space and he tells me to accept him the way he is and he isn't going to change. He literally thinks he has it all figured out. How can you explain to a kid that I am not trying to change who he is but their are just societal boundaries? although, he doesn't behave this way with his friends.


 

I'm glad you're seeing a therapist.  And I hope you will undertake some parenting sessions, in addition to your child receiving direct therapy.

 

He is not "outsmarting" you.  You are setting yourself up for disaster if you construct this as an issue of his superior intelligence and allowing him to be so narcissitic as to tell you to accept him as he is, and to egocentrically assert that he isn't going to change.

 

I would ask the therapist what his/her particular approaches and influences are.  Giftedness is not a sufficient explanation for this.

 

The above sounds harsh, but what you describe is alarming. 


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#8 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 03:44 PM
 
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Coming back to say that we have one child that sees a therapist, and we did some parenting sessions to ensure that our approaches were compatible with what was happening therapeutically.  

 

I believe that really good parents can still need guidance and support to know how to meet the particular needs of their child.


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#9 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have been seeing a parenting coach lately. We have sought help before. Is he always like this? No, not at all. But when he is, it is alarming! It ebbs and flows. We have good times and not so good times. Is it getting worse? Not really, he is actually getting better. However, he is totally bored out of his friggin' mind in school this year and so we have been going through all of that. Is it all because he is gifted? No, I don't think so, but since he is wired differently am I wrong to think that disciplining him is a little different than a child that is average? I have two kids and one is much easier to discipline than the other. Of course, you hear the extreme. Has anyone else's kids gotten to the point where they feel they are smarter than you are?

The therapist specializes in gifted kids and a lot of the things we told her she said were not uncommon amongst gifted children and that we do have some work to do with him.

My question to you, joensally, is when you say "allow" him to be this way, exactly how do you think we allow it? and exactly how do we not allow that. Time-outs aren't effective. It escalates situations. We do give consequences and we talk ad naseum about things. I'm not saying we don't do any form of discipline with him, but finding what truly is effective, long term has been a lifelong challenge for us (well, since he was three). And my question is, do other parents of gifted children have challenges in disciplining that child or are they all perfect in every way?

 

 

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#10 of 22 Old 02-22-2012, 06:46 PM
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Of course other parents have difficulty with discipline.  That's developmentally normal, and every kid does it in some way.  It's not normal for a child to assert that hurting a sibling is part of who they are.  It's not normal for a parent to want to affirm a child's self-concept when that concept includes pinching another kid's penis.  It sounds like you need to get some control back.  

 

This is how I approach discipline for my kids: 

 

- Know what you have the power to do.  Any consequence you use HAS to be within your power.  Ideally, consequences are things that YOU do (or do not do), because you control your own behavior.  If you can't make your ds take a time out because he escalates behavior and behaves unsafely during time outs, you can't use time outs.  You need something else.  

- Know your kid's currency.  Of the things you can do, what makes a difference to him?

- Enacting a consequence should be as easy for you as possible.  It should not take a lot of your time or energy.  It will anyway, so keep it as cheap as you can.

- Expect an escalation.  Of course, your ds will not enjoy consequences, and he will express his displeasure.  Deal with this as unemotionally as you can.  

- Use as few words as possible.  When your son has violated your household rules, you will enact a consequence appropriate to the occasion.  You will not have a conversation about it.  You can talk about it later, at a neutral time, but not in the moment.  

- Rules should be simple and broadly applicable.  Once a child reaches the age of reason, they should be able to ask themselves a few simple questions to determine whether the choice they are about to make fits with the rules.  "Don't do x, y, and z" doesn't work, because there's always a and b if someone wants to get creative.  "Treat others with respect" is good because there are a lot of ways to do that, and a lot of ways to not do that.  

 

For example: In my family, people need to take care of themselves, they need to be kind to others, and they have responsibilities that they need to take care of.  One of my older dd's responsibilities is homework.  She sometimes struggles with it.  If her teacher calls to let me know that she is missing assignments or if I check the online grade book and see that stuff is missing, I will let her know.  Her currency right now is video games.  There will be no video games until the homework is handed in and the teacher has updated the grade book to show it.  If she tries to play video games anyway, I will lock up the controllers.  If she pitches a fit, it will take her longer to get her homework done.  I will be supportive and loving as she drags out her work and sits down to do it.  The next time we drive somewhere in the car, we will have a chat about how we can help her be more consistent in getting her work done.  I will congratulate her warmly when she gets caught up.  But I will not negotiate, and I will not apologize for holding her accountable (I will apologize if I made a mistake).  Some people like to do it, but I also think it's a mistake to only give consequences that have been pre-announced.  It lets a kid know that they can do anything once, and implies that you don't REALLY care what they're up to, since if you cared, there would have been a consequence the first time.  

 

If a kid is unsafe, I end the unsafe situation as quickly as possible, just like you would if you saw a toddler standing at the top of the stairs.  Re-teach safety rules before you allow the kid into the next similar situation.  If my dd is helping me cook, and she is not using the knife safely, I take the knife, and give her something else to do.  Next time she helps me, I will re-teach knife safety.  

 

It's hard to deal with kids who hurt other kids.  Theoretically, it's not.  Clearly, a consequence is warranted, and clearly, it should be immediate and it should be the equivalent of the descending wrath of god.  But it is hard to do, especially with a kid who doesn't care about your disapproval.  And they can get sneaky with it, and then it's hard to catch them and you lose immediacy and overall I think it's important to acknowledge that it is WAY easier to deal with chores or homework or knife safety than it is to deal with something completely over-the-top like pinching your brother's penis, even though on an intellectual level that one sounds obvious.  So, here are my thoughts:

 

- It's not OK for children in your family to touch other people's private parts.  He's having a lot of trouble following that rule.  Thus, he can't be alone with other kids.  

- I don't know how he's getting access to his brother's penis, but I would be making sure the kids wear clothes and are not together in the bathroom, since there is a boundary issue.

- He will either be with you or all by himself for a while.  I don't know if friends are his currency, but I would not be up for hanging out with his friends while he gets this worked out.  Once deprived of his brother, he might turn to other targets, and he might already be doing this to his friends, and they just haven't mentioned it to you yet.  Just stop scheduling things.  If another parent calls to set up a play date, tell them that your family has been working on some issues and you'll need to take a rain check.  If he asks if he can go somewhere, find an excuse to say no, or you can tell him that because of his problems with his brother, you don't think it's a good idea right now.  Either is fine.  We do not always need to tell kids when the things that we do are part of a consequence.  We can just do it.  When he's gained back some trust, you can resume scheduling things again.  You don't need to make an announcement about that either if you don't think it would be helpful.

- Think about how and when this behavior happens.  You need to eliminate those situations.  If it seems to happen every time you turn your back, this is going to be a HUGE time commitment and you will need to basically be between them all the time, unless your older ds is alone in his room.  If it's only when they're arguing, you can leave them when you need to pee or cook dinner as long as they are physically separated (say, not sharing the couch) you're keeping an ear out and can get back to them quickly and remove at least one kid from the scene.  

- If he wants to pitch a fit about this, he can.  He's allowed.  You go about your business while he does his thing.  This wouldn't work with a kid who would escalate to the point of major property damage or harm to self or others, but it sounds like your ds isn't in that place.  So let it go.  Keep any responses short and unemotional.  

- Make an exit strategy.  You aren't going to do this forever.  How will your ds show that he can respect boundaries?  For now, I might start with having him verbally acknowledge that this behavior is not part of "how he is" and that it needs to stop.  That fits in with everything else you're doing, because people who cannot stop themselves from pinching other people obviously need supervision from people who can stop them.  When he acknowledges that he needs to stop, you can let him try by gradually easing up on the supervision.  If you've been between him and his brother at all times, you could ease up by letting him sit in a chair in the same room as his brother while you tend to something else for a few minutes.  

- Know how you will deal with it when he tries to pinch his brother.  Can you physically stop him?  Will you need to remove his brother from the scene?  Can you come up with an incompatible behavior?  For example, I can't think of a way to pinch someone with my hands in my pockets.  Would he respond if you redirected him to put his hands in his pockets?  

 

You probably will see some drama and escalation as he tries to control the situation and manipulate you.  Most kids will stop when you stick to your guns.  Remember that this consequence is about you doing what you need to do to keep your younger ds safe.  It's not about what your ds does.  Again, this won't work with a kid who harms or threatens harm to self or others.  It doesn't sound like that's happening for your family, but if it is, this is a bad plan, and you need to be very, very open with the therapist about your concern and not let your younger ds out of your sight until your older ds is stable and exhibiting self control.  

 

This is a fairly punitive plan.  The problem you are looking at is fairly serious.  As soon as you can, I would try to switch gears and work on rewarding self-control and respect for others.  Point out when he uses self-control and treats others with respect.  At a neutral time, talk to him about how important those qualities are in an adult.  Find some books that have that theme to read together.  Ask how you can help him with that.  

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#11 of 22 Old 02-23-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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Of course other parents have difficulty with discipline.  That's developmentally normal, and every kid does it in some way.  It's not normal for a child to assert that hurting a sibling is part of who they are.  It's not normal for a parent to want to affirm a child's self-concept when that concept includes pinching another kid's penis.  


 

yeahthat.gif

 

I'm not sure I have much to add to stik's excellent response. My children are definitely not "all perfect in every way".  No child is. Discipline, correction, problem-solving...all necessary and normal part of parenting in whatever form you want to characterize it.  You say you feel "outsmarted".  Yes, sometimes I've felt outsmarted - or at least out-thought. My kids have successfully persuaded me to see their side of an argument we've been having but they have to establish sound logic and analysis. There is no sound logic that permits being abusive to anyone else. I would stop seeing this as a battle of wits or a matter of how smart he is. Upthread, I mentioned empathy. I think that helping him develop empathy is something to address with the therapist.     

 

 

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#12 of 22 Old 02-23-2012, 07:56 AM
 
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Sure, we've had issues but I haven't contributed because I'm not sure I have much to offer your situation. DS was the most difficult. His toddlerhood had me locking myself in the bathroom a few times. However, that all turned around at 4.5 when we finally got his extreme extroverted needs met and got some occupational therapy for all his sensory issues. The OT also gave us some positive ways to handle his unusual issues. After that though, it's been smooth sailing with any choppy waters being minor, short lived and totally age appropriate. We didn't have any issues with DD until about 13.5 to 14.5 and they were very normal for age issues. We've never had a child disregard us or think they were smarter than us. 

 

A friend has a DD who sounds  a lot like yours and they are finally getting help (she's 8.) The parents weren't "bad" parents but they were sort of trying to force this girl into a style of living that didn't work for her. Their house was just caotic... few rules, mom and dad both in health field and so irratic hours, not a lot of structure, lots of lectures but no real follow through on discipline techniques. The other two girls could still thrive and be mannered, thriving children in this environment but the one girl desperately needed structure, firm rules and follow through. I'd been dropping hints that she might need some help for years but only recently has she sought it. Mom took a month off. They are instilling real structure in the house, bedtimes, firm rules and expectations, greatly limiting all screen time, exact homework times, meals at exact times each day, even down to always using the same soaps/shampoos instead of whatever was on sale that week. She's working with a sleep therapist and a behavior therapist. Man, what a turn around.

 

It sounds like you are seeking help and getting some assessments done. It sounds like you acknowledge there have been some holes in his discipline. That's all stuff I would have suggested. My own children aren't perfect and certainly, I've had some frustrations but we've never had the issues you mention. 


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#13 of 22 Old 02-23-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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Stik's response is excellent. We've never identified and used a child's "currency" for punishment, but I understand that we're odd in that respect. Everything else she describes fits totally with what we did. Like Whatsnextmom, my eldest was extremely challenging as a young child, but most of that turned around at about age 4 to 5. Our other discipline issues have been short-lived, age-appropriate and relatively easy to solve. 

 

I certainly get what you're saying when you mention that natural consequences and traditional consequences like time-outs don't work for the problems you're experiencing. My kids have very high autonomy needs, so any reaction from me which seemed an attempt to control their behaviour simply to win a control battle were definitely pushed against really hard. What I did instead was to express and act upon my personal boundaries. It was mostly just a different way of framing the issue that made it less about them and more about me. So with the unsafe use of the knife, rather than saying "If you do that, you get hurt because if the knife slips it's going to keep moving in that direction and the first obstruction it'll meet is your hand, and what you're doing is not what I asked etc." I would just cut off the protests and the first pass and say "I asked you to do it this way, and watching you cut that way makes me too nervous. Sorry, I can't watch that, you're freaking me out." And then remove the knife. I mean, if you've got a smart kid, they will remember the explanation of danger at the first reminder, so they don't need rational explanations re-iterated to convince them of the validity of your claims. That is just inviting argument and attempts to rationalize poor behaviour. Kids just need to hear you express a personal boundary and enforce it.

 

And yes, I definitely also agree with Stik about principles and values rather than rules. We have almost no rules in our family, just a general set of values that include: families help each other, we don't hurt other people physically or emotionally, we take responsibility for our actions and try to live with a healthy balance in our life choices ... and we try to always take others' feelings into account if they are likely to be impacted by our choices. If a child is belittling a sibling, or refusing to share the computer, or worrying his parents with unsafe activities, we just harken back to the values we espouse: "You need to think about how this feels to the rest of us," or whatever. 

 

Good luck. I hope you get the help you need. 

 

Miranda


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#14 of 22 Old 02-23-2012, 01:14 PM
 
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We have been seeing a parenting coach lately. We have sought help before. Is he always like this? No, not at all. But when he is, it is alarming! It ebbs and flows. We have good times and not so good times. Is it getting worse? Not really, he is actually getting better. However, he is totally bored out of his friggin' mind in school this year and so we have been going through all of that. Is it all because he is gifted? No, I don't think so, but since he is wired differently am I wrong to think that disciplining him is a little different than a child that is average? I have two kids and one is much easier to discipline than the other. Of course, you hear the extreme. Has anyone else's kids gotten to the point where they feel they are smarter than you are?

The therapist specializes in gifted kids and a lot of the things we told her she said were not uncommon amongst gifted children and that we do have some work to do with him.

My question to you, joensally, is when you say "allow" him to be this way, exactly how do you think we allow it? and exactly how do we not allow that. Time-outs aren't effective. It escalates situations. We do give consequences and we talk ad naseum about things. I'm not saying we don't do any form of discipline with him, but finding what truly is effective, long term has been a lifelong challenge for us (well, since he was three). And my question is, do other parents of gifted children have challenges in disciplining that child or are they all perfect in every way?

 

 

 

My kids have tested IQs higher than mine, but they are not "smarter" than me.  IQ tests are a fairly narrow measure of smarts, and wisdom is plenty important.  When my kids cycle through stages of asserting themselves as being smarter (which is a very typical kid assertion, it's part of their developing identity as separate from their caregivers), I just bump through it but I certainly don't buy into it with them.   That is a recipe for disaster, and the potential making of a megalomaniac.  And to suggest that a kid is causing harm to another because they are gifted is harmful to that child's development.

 

My children are far from perfect.  We've had some very out of norm parenting challenges.  I did have to find a therapist who was familiar with gifted kids to help us.  I think some of the writing on gifted kids isn't sufficiently explicit.  Sometimes stuff that's going on with a gifted kid is related to their giftedness, and sometimes it's happening alongside their giftedness - gifted is not causative.  

 

Books that may help.  Don't be put off by the particular labels described in titles, as approaches can work for a variety of complexities.

Transforming the Difficult Child http://difficultchild.com/

The Explosive Child http://www.ccps.info/

 

I agree with Stik.  We also work on principles within our home, but sometimes a developmental stage will require more explicit rules and structure.  If I was at this point with my kid, I would have a family meeting where we described the principles, provide concrete example of what that looks like in action, and devise a reward/consequence system that was set up for him to be successful.  The books above can help with this.  I would also spend more time with him one on one doing positive things to forge connection, because a) kids need that and b) it will balance the structured approach which will likely involve some level of conflict.

 

What you are describing likely meets the criteria for Oppositional Defiant Disorder http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/odd.htm.  I am not a fan of the diagnostic criteria, but it's worth looking at given the behaviours he's exhibiting toward his family.  

 

 


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#15 of 22 Old 02-23-2012, 01:59 PM
 
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It sounds like you are seeking help and getting some assessments done. It sounds like you acknowledge there have been some holes in his discipline. That's all stuff I would have suggested. My own children aren't perfect and certainly, I've had some frustrations but we've never had the issues you mention. 



 

I agree, here. I have twin DDs (6) One is MUCH harder to discipline than the other, it is more personality than age or GT level-honestly.
 

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Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Stik's response is excellent. We've never identified and used a child's "currency" for punishment, but I understand that we're odd in that respect. Everything else she describes fits totally with what we did. Like Whatsnextmom, my eldest was extremely challenging as a young child, but most of that turned around at about age 4 to 5. Our other discipline issues have been short-lived, age-appropriate and relatively easy to solve. 

 

I certainly get what you're saying when you mention that natural consequences and traditional consequences like time-outs don't work for the problems you're experiencing. My kids have very high autonomy needs, so any reaction from me which seemed an attempt to control their behaviour simply to win a control battle were definitely pushed against really hard. What I did instead was to express and act upon my personal boundaries. It was mostly just a different way of framing the issue that made it less about them and more about me. So with the unsafe use of the knife, rather than saying "If you do that, you get hurt because if the knife slips it's going to keep moving in that direction and the first obstruction it'll meet is your hand, and what you're doing is not what I asked etc." I would just cut off the protests and the first pass and say "I asked you to do it this way, and watching you cut that way makes me too nervous. Sorry, I can't watch that, you're freaking me out." And then remove the knife. I mean, if you've got a smart kid, they will remember the explanation of danger at the first reminder, so they don't need rational explanations re-iterated to convince them of the validity of your claims. That is just inviting argument and attempts to rationalize poor behaviour. Kids just need to hear you express a personal boundary and enforce it.

 

And yes, I definitely also agree with Stik about principles and values rather than rules. We have almost no rules in our family, just a general set of values that include: families help each other, we don't hurt other people physically or emotionally, we take responsibility for our actions and try to live with a healthy balance in our life choices ... and we try to always take others' feelings into account if they are likely to be impacted by our choices. If a child is belittling a sibling, or refusing to share the computer, or worrying his parents with unsafe activities, we just harken back to the values we espouse: "You need to think about how this feels to the rest of us," or whatever. 

 

Good luck. I hope you get the help you need. 

 

Miranda


I agree with Miranda. She &Stik said it well.

 

Our has has routines and we stress values and respect. My kids get one warning and that is it- concequences are enacted (which yes, vary by child or activity). It is for our safety and respect for others that we follow those values (no hurting, be polite, use your things wisely, speak respectfully, listen to directions, clean up after yourself, etc).

 

As I stated before one DD is much harder to discipline- she simply wants to be in charge or argue everything. Yes, we let her explain herself, but no we will not let her be a danger to others or herself at anytime (from simple no running on wet floors-  it is not safe  : to no hitting- that is not kind and is disrespectful to other people, it hurts). But, we do express we are the adults and we are in charge. Her job is to keep herself safe (physically and emotionally) and to be respectful of others (animals, people, things). She simply gets removed from the situation, yes she gets mad- yes she yells, yes she has meltdowns. But 90% of the time she stops unwanted behaviors when we ask and understands why. No, she does not like it (tell us so), but really it is important for her self-worth and for her to get along with other people and consider their feelings ( no matter if they are 'smarter' than her or not).

 

We have also had the bragging issue with her (she was thinking she was smarter than all her peers) and taken the time to stress everyone learns things differently, at different rates, and has different interests. She simply had a very hard tim understanding why her peers could not read at 4/5 and why they took so long to add small numbers and used some unkind words to express her opinions. We worked through it and at 6.5 is bettr at understanding differences in the way people learn and think and also better at knowing polite things to say about it.

 

It really is a control/power/developmentally age-appropriate ego-centric thing for her. Not a GT thing, her intelligence simply makes her more likely to quickly find loopholes/exclusions/ways around things. Her personality makes it hard for her to follow directions that she does not logically agree with or that interrupt what she is doing.

 


 

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Originally Posted by joensally View Post

 

My kids have tested IQs higher than mine, but they are not "smarter" than me.  IQ tests are a fairly narrow measure of smarts, and wisdom is plenty important.  When my kids cycle through stages of asserting themselves as being smarter (which is a very typical kid assertion, it's part of their developing identity as separate from their caregivers), I just bump through it but I certainly don't buy into it with them.   That is a recipe for disaster, and the potential making of a megalomaniac.  And to suggest that a kid is causing harm to another because they are gifted is harmful to that child's development.

 

My children are far from perfect.  We've had some very out of norm parenting challenges.  I did have to find a therapist who was familiar with gifted kids to help us.  I think some of the writing on gifted kids isn't sufficiently explicit.  Sometimes stuff that's going on with a gifted kid is related to their giftedness, and sometimes it's happening alongside their giftedness - gifted is not causative.  

 

Books that may help.  Don't be put off by the particular labels described in titles, as approaches can work for a variety of complexities.

Transforming the Difficult Child http://difficultchild.com/

The Explosive Child http://www.ccps.info/

 

I agree with Stik.  We also work on principles within our home, but sometimes a developmental stage will require more explicit rules and structure.  If I was at this point with my kid, I would have a family meeting where we described the principles, provide concrete example of what that looks like in action, and devise a reward/consequence system that was set up for him to be successful.  The books above can help with this.  I would also spend more time with him one on one doing positive things to forge connection, because a) kids need that and b) it will balance the structured approach which will likely involve some level of conflict.

 

What you are describing likely meets the criteria for Oppositional Defiant Disorder http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/odd.htm.  I am not a fan of the diagnostic criteria, but it's worth looking at given the behaviours he's exhibiting toward his family.  

 

 

 

 

We also do family meetings. We talk about respect, what it looks like and why it is important. We also stress why we behave that way we do (sometimes to be respectful to other people) and yes- our own behavior reflects on how people see us (being a good friend, wanting to be in activities, etc).

 

Also stress to your DS people change all the time, it is nature human behavior to adapt and alter behavior.

 

Those books are good. 

 

I would look into why he is well behaved at school and not at home....even if he is bored at school, he seems to be keeping it together behaviorally. Why? Maybe some of that can be translated into success at home too.

 

Also, contrary to my nature-- we found one DD really did well with clear daily routine. It simply was comforting to her to know what was happening and when (this was my easier to discipline child).

 

Also, we do not have a long-term solution. What worked last year/year before- no longer works for DD. We had to adapt as she got older and we as parents  will have to do so as needed.

 

 

I hope your therapist helps- I know an outside perspective can be helpful and often will provide insight that is useful.

 

 

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#16 of 22 Old 02-23-2012, 07:14 PM
 
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My kid is a lot younger (4), but very gifted - particularly in the verbal department.  He has been attempting to negotiate his way out of discipline (or trying at least) since he was 2.  So, you can take it for what it is worth.

 

I think you've been given a lot of good advice.  The only thing I have to add is what works for us in maintaining 'power' with the never ending negotiations on consequences.  (Sounds awful in an AP/gentle discipline setting, but you know what I mean.)  Some have mentioned knowing your limits in enforcing and knowing your kid's currency.  Both help.  But I've also resorted in the past year to 'my job as mom is to keep my kids are absolutely safe' line.  It is basically an explicit linking of the specific to the family values/principles and seems to help because it undermines the 'but my intention..." arguments.  It also works better if done at the first instance. 

 

For instance, I would take the road of  "You are right, you thought you were being safe with that knife; and maybe it would have been ok with that knife that way.  But my job as a mom is to teach you the *safest* way to use the knife.  If you won't at least try to use it the safest way, I will have to remove the knife to make sure you are safe."  This is actually a literal example with my 4 year old I use about once a week.  (We were pretty open to him helping in the kitchen under close supervision starting around 18 months and he really does have good cooking skills.... still, it is a knife.)

 

Instead of arguing about 'who he is,' with the brother personal space issues I would say "We respect others bodies in this family; you know that it is not ok to touch other people's privates.  Your brother does not want you touching him and my job is to keep both you and your brother safe.  He cannot feel safe if you touch him without respect.  You will need to go to another room until you can respect everyone's body."  If he refuses to remove himself and continues, then instantly you need to remove yourself and the little brother.  (bonus points for doing a fun activity with little brother.) 

 

 


Nicole, dissertating mama to M (Nov 2007) and expecting another (Mar 2012)

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#17 of 22 Old 03-06-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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Some of this sounds like my 6yo dd.  She can be outrageously defiant, cocky and disrespectful at times.  Almost always, these instances are when she is hungry.  Very often getting her to eat something changes her mood completely, and she is often remorseful at that point.  She's starting to finally get to a point where she can be in mid tantrum and throw in "... AND I"M REALLY HUNGRY, TOO! "  so that we all have help remembering.  I don't know if that's the same issue as your child has, but you might want to see if there's some kind of pattern (Tired? Hungry?  first thing in the morning? right after school?)  to his behaviour if his outbursts seem explosive or inconsistent with his character. 

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#18 of 22 Old 03-07-2012, 02:43 PM
 
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Your son sounds angry to me.

While I agree that your son needs to clearly understand that other people and their bodies need to be respected, and discipline is necessary, I think preventative measures may go a long way. When your son says it's just who he is and you need to accept it what I hear is that be does just want to be accepted. I'd make it clear I thought that it was a cop out because what he is saying that about are related to actions, not who he is. But emotionally he may feel that who he is is a defiant angry person and he wants you to love him regardless.
I was an angry child with good reason but I couldn't articulate the real issue instead I got mad at smaller "injustices". Is it possible he's mad at his brother for getting more attention and you all for doing that? (of course younger children are more demanding). How about special days with just mom or dad? Longer cuddles before bed? Or maybe he's mad about something else. But it never hurts for him to have more close time with his parents. I've seen amazing results from this.

Just ideas. Obviously I don't know the details and they may not apply to you.

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We baby wear, co-sleep, cloth diaper, don't vax and intend to nurse for a good long time.  

I don't care what you do as long as it works for your family.

 

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#19 of 22 Old 03-08-2012, 05:39 AM
 
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I don't think gifted are "wired differently," and he sounds honestly like someone might have told him that he was.  Gifted are wired faster, and some with particular spikes in mental abilities might be said to be wired "differently" I guess in that the ability pattern is different, but mostly they're just faster.  He seems to think he's very special, a lone wolf.  I would look at where he might have gotten that idea and try to disabuse him of that.

 

If he's bored out of his mind at school, as you say, that is something that can cause severe psychological stress.  I would not try to heal him in with that stressor, unless you have no other option for your family than to leave him in that institution.

 

 

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#20 of 22 Old 03-08-2012, 06:18 AM
 
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I'd disagree that gifted kids are wired faster.  My kids is gifted, but takes significantly longer to accomplish just about anything than an average person.  The place she eventually gets to is more completely thought out and sophisticated than you would expect for a kid her age, but it doesn't come faster. 

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#21 of 22 Old 03-11-2012, 10:42 PM
 
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You are kidding yourself to think that your son's behavior issues have anything to do with him being gifted.  I have a 9 yo son who is HG, and he probably is smarter than me.  He has never tried to pinch his brother's penis.  He has never abused anyone in the family.  And he wouldn't dream of being mean and then telling the rest of us we have to put up with it!  Why?  Because we don't put up with it, and those aren't the values of our family.

 

I totally agree with all of the advice from Stik.  I hope you take it to heart, and that you'll get some meaningful interventions from a parenting expert.

 

Also, I'm curious about what you do when your son is mean to his brother?  And how do you follow up when your son tells you you must accept his bad behavior?  My children would consider it a total betrayal if I let one of their siblings hurt them.  It sounds like this is an ongoing problem in your house.  How does your other son feel about it?  What are you doing to protect him from his brother?  I would also ask yourself why your son behaves in school and not at home.  The answer is probably because rules and consequences are enforced at school.  He would never get away with hurting another child and school, so he doesn't try.  

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#22 of 22 Old 03-14-2012, 12:43 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by kindacrunchy View Post

We have been seeing a parenting coach lately. We have sought help before. Is he always like this? No, not at all. But when he is, it is alarming! It ebbs and flows. We have good times and not so good times. Is it getting worse? Not really, he is actually getting better. However, he is totally bored out of his friggin' mind in school this year and so we have been going through all of that. Is it all because he is gifted? No, I don't think so, but since he is wired differently am I wrong to think that disciplining him is a little different than a child that is average? I have two kids and one is much easier to discipline than the other. Of course, you hear the extreme. Has anyone else's kids gotten to the point where they feel they are smarter than you are?

 

... We do give consequences and we talk ad naseum about things. I'm not saying we don't do any form of discipline with him, but finding what truly is effective, long term has been a lifelong challenge for us (well, since he was three). And my question is, do other parents of gifted children have challenges in disciplining that child or are they all perfect in every way?

 

 

 I do have discipline problems at home and I sometimes feel I need to see a parenting coach. DS1 is lovely on his own, but together with DS2, they are quite a handful and things can escalate quickly. I do not think he is wired diffently, but he is very intense and together with a very intense and angry DH, the two of them are scary together. My ds1 is also prone to self-harm, and there have been a couple of episodes when he ran out of the apartment and we end up checking the parapet above and the ground below. Despite all these, the single most useful thing I have learnt to do is NOT to engage in any arguments or reasoning at the heat of the moment. Do not talk ad naseum about things. The kid KNOWS. No doubt our kids are different, but I bet my last dollar that your son already knows what you are going to say before you say it. So don't say anymore. Just put an end to the situation with as few words as possible. My DS swings from being intensely angry about small infringements, and talking meanly to his younger brother, to intensely remorseful and engaging in self-harm. My challenge is to help him find an even keel, and stop the mean talk without having the younger one take advantage of the situation. DS1 is also having some challenges in school and we are very close to pulling him out of school. But while his challenges in school may lead to a depressive frame of mind, they do not excuse disrespect and mean talk. I acknowledge anger, but I do not allow rudeness or meanness. Finally, the kids may be smart, but they are not wise. There is a difference. jm2c.

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