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Avatar universal

Ready to scream, cry, runaway or all 3...

I will try to give as much information as possible.  My son is 7.  He is so intelligent, he reads, speaks, learns above his grade level.  He is very articulate.  I noticed around 2 that he would be defiant toward myself.  Now that he is 7, he CONSTANTLY talks back, sassy, complains, whines,rolls his eyes, has no respect for authority at home or at school, has a come back for EVERYTHING and if placed in time out will hit himself.  I've tried doing time outs (he either stomps and yells which I add 5 minutes on for each occurence or he apologizes the entire time), I've gotten down on his eye level and explained to him what I expect and why some behaviors are bad (he seems to understand but in an hour he's off to the races again), and whipping him is over the top.  I've tried it and it doesn't help.  I've tried professional advice.  For example if he were to misbehave in a library and I were to say "“I noticed you ignored the librarian when she asked you to stop talking. She seemed upset by your lack of respect. Either you can act more politely or we will have to leave story-time.” he would snap back and say "Well the story is stupid anyway" then when I will say it's time to go then he would scream/beg/plead to stay, we would still leave but I would have "ruined his whole day and that's why he hates this family" and it's the librarian's fault since she's stupid anyway.  

We had a good day, I told him he could hang with his friend and gave him a time to be back by.  His friend wasn't home. He came back upset.  Said he was going to go knock on their door again, told him no since they obviously weren't home.  He jumped up and down, screaming at the top of his lungs "I have to!, I have to!, I have to!"  Told him no, he went in his room and screamed into his pillow.  

I told him to go to his room the other day for being sassy, he gets to his bedroom door and says "Buhh byee" --hand gesture included.  

EVERY DAY IS A FIGHT AND IT IS WEARING ME DOWN.  I can not stand my child at this point and am entertaining the idea of sending him to military school....at 7!!  I can't believe it, I never thought in a million years my sweet baby would be such a disrespectful punk.  

I've told him that if something is bothering him, he can come talk to me.  I let him ramble on about stuff that either isn't true or he places the blame on someone else.  

His father came into his life when he was 2.  He has a drug addiction, in and out of rehab and is now in a detention center for 8 months.  Through all of this he is my son's favorite, even though his father hasn't always given him the attention he needed and was sometimes mean to him.  I understand that his father being away has a detrimental effect but I try to talk to him and explain that it is not his fault,daddy has an illness and his behavior is not his(my son's) fault, daddy stilll loves you, I'm here if you ever want to talk, I still love you, compliment him when he does something even mediocre/small because I realize he needs everything he can get in order to feel good about himself given our family situation.  

He can be an absolute angel if he realizes he's going to get something for being that way. But once he has it, he's back to being a monster.  

He talks to a counselor through the school and she thought he showed signs of ODD. He had the most minor incident reports at school this year.  I got a call ATLEAST once a week. They threw in that he is "impulsive", I finally had them do the ADHD checklist and gave it to his doctor who said that he has high grades, can sit and read therefore he doesn't have ADHD and she wasn't going to put him on meds.  Honestly I'm ok with that because I am very against giving children medicine for stuff like this.  He already takes so much medicine because he has asthma.  When my mother watches him, he's just as sassy and disrespectful.  At his father's mother's he doesn't really act as bad as at home.  At his father's dad's house, he is good most of the time.  His father's wife asked him why he said "you guys are nice to me" but he is so manipulative that I feel that he answered her that way to make her feel bad for him and let him get away with stuff.  When I have tried to discipline him in the past, she has undermined my authority in front of him which has always pissed me off.  He uses her being more inclined to be nice to him against me when all of us are together.  He will do things that I would discipline him for but when I go to she would intervene, he knows this so he knows he'll get away with it so he does it.  Sorry that was long winded...it's late and it was a terrible day.  

My mom tells him no but once he doesn't comply she gives in, which I have said something to her about....especially when she complains to me about his behavior.  

I get the whole "they need love" and that the stuff with his father negatively effects him but jesus...this is too much.  I can't take it.  I just want to have a good day with my son who will soon enough be a teenager.    

At this point I am just listing some of the stuff he does because I am tired and I can't think straight...
He tells me he hates our family, pulls on the dog, talks over me when I try to tell him to stop doing something.  Then if I do tell him he's doing a good job at say COLORING, he says "No it's not (a good picture) I'm not coloring in the lines"  He tells me I am a liar.  tells me I am rude, his behavior is never his fault, everyone is mean to him, if you're against him you're stupid "He'd smash their face in the ground" if he were in some type of situation and some one was being mean to him.  

I don't know what to do, I just want some peace in my life.  

7 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
     Hey, I feel for you and I can't tell you how many posts I have seen like this on the ADHD forum - http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175 - where I am also the CL.
   First the doctors reply to you about him not having ADHD based solely on, "he has high grades, can sit and read therefore he doesn't have ADHD."  Is absolute BS.  That is not how you judge ADHD.  It does not follow any of the clinical guidelines.  I am guessing she is is pediatrician with very limited experience with ADHD.   He is 7, if he has any intelligence at all he will do well in school.  But by middle school, when things like algebra arise and your innate intelligence can't cope with not being able to pay attention in class - those great grades will disappear.   Her main problem is that the clinical guidelines call for a questionnaire to be sent to home and school to see what the people who actually deal with the child see.  If that was not done, her opinion is void.  Which it is from the experience I have had.
    Point being - he may not have ADHD, or he may.  But you need to know what is going on.  If you don't know the problem, then you can't solve it.   If he does have ADHD, there are definite things that you do to deal with his behavior - compared to a child who does not have ADHD.  It sounds like you have tried many things (which might be part of the problem), but if what you have tried has not worked.  Its kind of silly to keep trying them.
    So YES, I can understand why you are going crazy.  I have seen many posts just like yours on the ADHD forum.
   You need to find a doctor like a psychologist or psychiatrist that specializes in kids.   And get the opinion of somebody who knows and understands what ADHD can do to a kid.
    By the way, asthma medicines are or can be a real upper to kids depending on the med.  It could really be making his condition worse.  The inhalers are the worst (depending on the med in the inhaler).  You might want to look more into that.  Does his condition seem to get worse during any particular time of the year?  Or has he been pretty consistent.  How was he before he started the medication?
   What kind of sleep does he get?   Lack of sleep will really mess up a kid.  It is really important to deal with that - if it is an issue.   Has your doc mentioned any of the last two items to you?
    Finally, don't, "spend a large portion of my day saying "the way you are acting is why we aren't (insert whatever activity here)" and he doesn't seem to get that... "  Talking to him just will not work.  And talking to him when he is having a tantrum - won't work.
   The rule is that when he starts a tantrum - he gets a short timeout.  And the timeout does not start until the tantrum stops.  He will go nuts for a while.  Just keep repeating - "as soon as you choose to stop your tantrum, the timeout will start and 2 min later you can ..."   Do not try to reason with him or talk with him while he is yelling.  You are just playing into his hands.
  Essentially, the rules for behavior modification are that there must be immediate, short, consistent consequences.   Do not expect overnight miracles.  It has taken him awhile to get to this point and it will take a while to relearn control.  But he will.
   I would also look into buying "Cool down and work through anger" or "When I feel angry". This is part of a series of books aimed at 4 to 7 year olds and meant to be read to them at night (several times) and then practiced.  Kids do need to be taught how to deal with anger.  You do not try and use these techniques while he is screaming.  But once he stops or later on in the day - you can refer back to them or pull the books back out.
You can find them here -  http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Through-Anger-Learning-Along/dp/1575423464/ref=pd_sim_b_5
    Oh, you might also buy "SOS Help for Parents," by Lynn Clark.   It shows how to make a timeout system effective.  It will work to some extent with kids with adhd too - but you have to pick and choose what you use it for.  If he does have adhd, there are some things you have to ignore.  
    I hope this helps.  I do have lots of links for dealing with kids with ADHD.
    Oh, the more exercise he can get, the better for him and you.  Get him involved in anything that makes him sweat.
Avatar universal
He's had asthma since he was a little over a year.  I know that certain meds can make him more rammy or aggressive.  His everyday meds don't trigger those types of behaviors.  He is essentially like this year round.  I had the school and his father and I fill out the Vanderbilt Assessment, which gave a 90% notion that he has ADD.  She still based her conclusion on the idea that he does well in school therefore doesn't show "real" signs of having ADD.  I honestly don't want him on medication...his father is an addict and I don't want him on the same path.  His sleep is good for the most part.  He may wake up once needing a breathing treatment but that is all.  I had him seen by a pulmonologist not only for the asthma but to also see if he was having issues with sleeping and he is not.  I usually only tell him to stand in time out once, then I will point to the area and not look at him or just close my eyes.  After a minute or so, he will go to the time out area.  He's constantly outdoors...it's summer time.  I talk to him about the negative behavior once he is out of time out.  I don't try to reason with him while he is acting out.  He'll tell me all of the things he's suppose to do, knows them by heart, but then won't do them.  I've tried the star chart stuff...he could care less.  If he thinks he wont make his goal, he'll give up.  
13167 tn?1327197724
I agree with Sandman,  that he may very well have ADD.  

I'm a real believer in genetically inherited personality,  and it sounds like his father has mental illness?

Is the son basically like his dad?

Additionally,  I think your son may be depressed.  Chronic unhappiness - which is what it sounds like you're describing - isn't typical in children.  

189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
    yes, you really do need to find out if he has ADHD so that you can learn more about it.   For example, many studies have shown that children who are unmedicated are much more likely to self medicate then those on meds.
        "Moderator analyses found that a higher proportion of children with ADHD receiving pharmacological treatment reduced the risk of alcohol dependence/abuse."  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/821948_4
    I can understand your concern over medication.  Makes me wonder if his dad has ADHD and self medicated?   Here is another good link on questions about adhd an medication - http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/44/slide-1.html
     But, that is putting the cart before the horse.   Here is a link on "Does your child have ADHD".    This really is the place to start.
            http://www.additudemag.com/resource-center/adhd-diagnosis-children.html
       And, I still can't believe that the doc ignored the Vanderbilt Assessment outcomes!
Avatar universal
His father was treated for ADHD since he was little then when he was a tween  was taken off the medication.  His father's addiction was cocaine which from what I read those with ADHD tend to lean toward cocaine, methamphetamines to self medicate so that totally makes sense now.  Rockrose has a good point about the mental illness.  His father has issues, obviously, and has said in the past that our son acts exactly like him.  I think a child psychologist is a good place to start.  

Yea his doctor totally did!  lol....  oh well, that just means its time to find a specialist.  

Thanks for all the help.  I've also given all those who watch him (grandparents) an overview of unacceptable behavior and exactly what needs to be done so that there is some consistency.  
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
     Ya, I think the idea of finding a specialist is a good idea!   You have been dealing with this long enough without the help you deserve.    
      Consistency is one of the most important factors for a child with ADHD, so that is a very good idea.   Do try and make sure that some things he may not be in control of and thus should not necessarily be punished for.   Here are two pretty good links for that:
        http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/88/slide-1.html?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=June
         http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/100/slide-1.html
    Keep in touch.   Best wishes.
Avatar universal
ADHD could be a possiblilty. My 6 yr old was just diagnosed. Although he doesn't have any of the aggression symptoms, he had plenty of others. Highly recommend going to the Dr. But first, Google Vanderbelt Assessment for ADHD. There is a parent and teacher assessment. My husband and I did ours before we took him to the Dr. Honestly it made me feel good to be "a step ahead" and I think the Dr took us a little more seriously. Good Luck!
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