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Ds1(9) AS so rude to me, and repeats bad behaviour.(27 Posts)
I am a bit embarrassed to be here. AGAIN. I have had so much support over the years, from MN. even been on an EB course. Sometimes I wonder why I haven't grasped some oft the basics , or why I just don't 'get things', and start to wonder if its me, and I need things s-p-e-l-t out to me, in an idiots guide to ...
So bare with me
Ds1 speaks to me so nastily. I try hard with him, but he is so uncaring and loving. Even dh says he talks to me like I'm a piece of dirt. Most days. He just says little things like "yeah, what you gonna do about it". Little quips and comments. answering back. Snipey horrible things he says to me. All show a lack of respect.
And even dh regularly speaks to him anbout answering back ( because he does it to dh too) and dh talks to him about the way he talks to mummy. But nothing changes.
I have talked calmly , many times to him about why he talks to me so nastily, many times each day, but he says he doesn't know.
I struggle with my feelings for him, because I find him such hard work. But on a day to day basis I work so jolly hard to help him support him, encourage him, help his low self esteem etc. do homework. go to meetings. arrange birthday parties, buy the foods he likes and make sure his friends have nice party bags etc. (it was his birthfday this weekend)
All, no apprecaition. But then presumably i shouldn't be expecting any?
Then also, he keeps doing things. Irritating things. But we talk about it calmly. He doesn't know why he does it. and we get nowhere. Should I not try and correct these things, but just adjust ME, so that I try and stop being annoyed by them?
E.g. he pulls his jumper down, mis-shapes it and it unpeels, at the cuff, ends up in strings hanging off. Presumably like a nervous habbit, of pulling it down over your hand? I have to keep buying new fleeces, tops, jumpers, and school jumpers. I am spending a fortume.
2) he rumages through his drawers to get t-shirts, etc. I spend time doing washing and ironing, which I hate. so I told him, please don't rummage and mix them all up. it makes me cross. so if you want one, call me and i will come and get it. We keep having this conversation. but he keeps doing it. all my washed and ironed stuff looks like dishrags. So i have to take it all out, sort it and put it all back. Drives me mad.
There are other things. Is it just me that needs to adjust.
Please advise. Dont hold back.
I have to go to work, but will try and post later.
I think the untidy drawers and jumpers you may just have to stomach - a boy thing, plus must admit I think some people "get" tidy drawers and some don't. I'm in the don't s, just shove it in or leave it in top of drawers!
But the attitude I would take seriously, Especially with the teenage years coming.
I would sit him down with you and DH and calmly say that you have had enough of his tone/attitude and that there will be sanctions/punishments now when he does it. These must be things he doesn't like and you must stick to them every time till he gets the message
You've got to show him who's boss now. Sorry to be a bit forthright but I have some pals with teenage AS boys who now hit and treat them like a maid. It's not on and it won't help them either in later life. No-one else will put up with them/employ them with a bad attitude
Good luck, not easy. My NF girl gives me attitude sometimes, but I come down on it like a ton of bricks (no violence i should stress, just face, voice and removal of things she likes)
I just won't tolerate rude kids, can't abide it. I know it's 100 times harder with AS though
I have the draws thing and the attitude with Dd3, the draw thing is normal all my girls have done it. Now I just have a quick tidy through Dd3's while I am waiting for her to get into bed.
The rudeness is harder, Dd3 is very black and white and sometimes sounds rude when she is just stating a fact. I remind her everytime it sounds rude that it isnt a nice way to speak and I try really hard to model politeness. Tbh, I think it goes with the AS but that doesnt mean I except it without comment.
DS1 is 12. It's very hard. I normally don't sweat the small stuff but I won't tolerate hitting, kicking, pushing, name-calling etc. When I am more than usually stressed I have said 'what do you think its like for me?' (horribly self-pitying I know but he is out of school and we have tribunal coming up plus DS2 is being assessed and sometimes it is hard to cope) but he just says 'I don't know - I'm not you'.
So when I am feeling that I don't like him I take it as a serious warning to improve my relationship with him and try not to take things so personally. When I work very hard to improve the quality of our relationship things do get better and I feel better. The guilt of not liking your child is awful.
Thank you. I am at work.
We do take things away. He no tv for today. He used to have a laptop, and was allowed short periods of playing on binweevils or pottermore. These regularly get taken away.
He has just got a Nexus 7 tablet. It was his christmas and birthday money combined. Dh put a chess app on it, because he has really go into chess and has joined the chess club at school. he has pottermore and binweevils on it. Even this has been taken away.
All this does (the taking away rule) is make him angry and resentful at ME. It does nothing to make him realise that the core problem is that he needs to change his attitude.
PLUS, this taking away action, means we end up with constant miserable parenting and everyone in the house feeling rubbish.
But long term it has practically no affect. Apart from misery and resentfullness, that is !!!
Hardly great. Or effective.
I will try not to swet the small stuff -as you say. But the attitude is a serious problem.
I shout. I try not to. A couple of times dh has threated, that he would have had his mouth washed out with fairy , if dh had spoken to his mum like that. Dh begs dh not to do this.
Once or twice I have threatend him with a msack, when I am at the end of my teather. But it has been years since i have smacked him, and I don't want to.
But I have no threats. And the ones i have and am using are not effective. the
Have you tried the book 123-Magic? This worked wnders for us with our ds1, whos' 8 and has ASD, and our NT ds2, aged 6. Brilliant, brilliant, calm and effective. It's on Amazon for about £7. Worth every last penny and then some.
I know it's hard but your number one priority has to be managing the situation to reduce the level of chronic stress. Behavioural support talk of Anger Mountain. You need to be able to read the signs that DS is half-way up the mountain and that any attempt to punish using traditional methods will elevate stress levels - in DS and in the rest of the family. You need to lead DS to the Valley of the Calm iykwim.
Ask yourself whether your actions are counter-productive, whether they escalate 'bad' behaviour. DH has problems with not punishing (taking things away) was being too soft on him and teaching him the wrong thing. But this attitude just resulted in DS1 being physically and verbally abusive to him and threatening him with a kitchen knife and making things 10 times worse. You may 'feel' it is the right thing to do as a 'good' parent but you always have to ask whether it is working for you.
Ignore all the bad stuff and concentrate on rewarding good behaviour. Don't threaten or smack - it will escalate things.
Oblomov my DS is also 9, high functioning ASD. Very similar.
He would choose to speak to me in an awful way, very rude, cutting, dismissive. He would also say that 'I dont know how it feels, I'm not you' thing.
I have taken a zero tolerance approach to it (abusive exH who also speaks to me like this....I suspect he has ASD also but was never taught how to interact properly).
I found How to talk so Kids will listen invaluable. Cant emphasise enough the difference it made for me. He adapts so obviously well when I 'catch him out being good'. DS is generally lovely now. Occasionally he will let fly at me (verbally) and it is always because he is stressed about something else.
I found punishing it almost useless TBH, as I dont think DS knew what to replace the 'naughty language' with. But when he is praised for speaking nicely, he will choose that most of the time.
As for the drawers, he will also do that. But I think that might be related to his inability to organise himself/his stuff. He cant see a particular tshirt or trousers in his drawers; he has to go through them all to find it.
As above, I have learned to lay-out his stuff in a very clear-cut and labelled way. So he knows where to go to put his hand on it.
Very tricky if all sanctions don't work. Is there anything to do with his peers - like play date cancelled or no party?
I have a 10 year old ds who has AS and we have very similar issues.
As others have said, we have a zero tolerance to deliberate spite and physical violence, but we have also had to assess and adjust our own reactions to his words, as often what sounds deliberately rude and antagonistic, is just him telling it like it is. No getting away from it, the black and white thinking plus lack of social skills/awareness is a really tricky combination.
Sanctions have their place, (ie zero tolerance to violence) but as you pointed out, after you've used them a few times they lose effect. Imo, it's better to get them to earn reward through good behaviour, than it is to sanction the bad.
<disclaimer: I do not always manage this myself>
We do use a reward system based around screen time and that has been the most successful way of motivating ds to modify his behaviour. It also has the advantage of being just as usable/workable for our nd dcs as well.
Rather than having access to the Nexus etc and having it removed for bad behaviour - how about - if/when he does something kind or helpful or manages to stop, think and perhaps handle or say things in a better way, he earns access to his gadgets in set time blocks, say 10-15 minute blocks? It's far less confrontational and has the advantage of reinforcing the good behaviour every time.
Keeping a record of how much time he has is as simple as keeping a sheet of paper on the fridge and putting a dot or cross on it every time he earns a block of time.
As for the "I don't know how you feel - I'm not you" thing. We've found the best way to handle that is to try and think of a time when he's been in a similar situation - or if we can't think of one, a time when he might have felt the same emotion he's provoking in us and ask him to remember what that felt like. Then we use that to explain to him how he's making us feel. When we started to do this, we soon found that he got really upset when he realised how upset we were feeling and clearly didn't have that intention. Which helped us to rethink how we were reacting to his words/behaviours.
Fwiw, we have the same issue with drawers and wardrobes and my ds2, who is nt, is just as bad as ds1. Despite things having always been in the same place, clearly organised and labelled, they seem to be able to create a chaotic jumble of clothes seemingly within minutes of me tidying and sorting it all.
I used to get really uptight about it and still do at times, in fact we've had 'words' about it this weekend, but generally I have learned it isn't worth the battle. Now their tshirts etc get tumble dried and folded instead of ironed and I will iron them before we go out, if it's somewhere I feel they need to look smart. It goes against the grain for me, I use to be such a control freak about making sure they were always beautifully turned out, but I've learned it just get's harder and harder as they get older and am gradually realising and accepting that I'm fighting a losing battle, as they will both be teenage boys (and therefore likely to actively seek out scruffiness) soon enough.
It's hard, I often say it's like groundhog day round here, with the amount of repetition and it gradually grinds you down a little more each day - but hopefully it helps a little to know you're not alone.
With my autistic and NF children, taking things off them only works when combined with my very, very angry face and "who on EARTH do you think you are talking to? How dare you use that ton. Go to your room at once". My DD tells me I have a very scary "teacher" face when angry. I really am angry, but cold and icy rather than shouting. It is a tricky balance as authority over children is largely a fake, but you need to be convincing (I was a teacher once)
I'm back to agree with moosemama about
As for the "I don't know how you feel - I'm not you" thing. We've found the best way to handle that is to try and think of a time when he's been in a similar situation - or if we can't think of one, a time when he might have felt the same emotion he's provoking in us and ask him to remember what that felt like. Then we use that to explain to him how he's making us feel. When we started to do this, we soon found that he got really upset when he realised how upset we were feeling and clearly didn't have that intention. Which helped us to rethink how we were reacting to his words/behaviours
I find this works brilliantly. He genuinely cant see the effect of his words in advance but is also genuinely sorry if he can 'feel' the effect as it would be in him IYSWIM
Another 9yo ds with AS here
The drawers thing suggests he has too many clothes? Ds has a set of 4 drawers, top one has pants, socks and pyjamas, next one has tops, then next one trousers then bottom one random stuff that he might wear one day. He pretty much wears 4-5 tops in circulation and I only buy one type of trousers that he will wear. So what he likes is always on top and no rummaging. And stop ironing, that is an order , ironed clothes crease quicker anyway so unless they're on hangers it is pointless.
We get the horrible verbal and physical stuff too. It helped when the specialist autism advisory teacher said that children on the spectrum take a lot longer to develop an 'inner voice' so every thought will be expressed, and if you have a very articulate child those expressions will be very cutting as they have the verbal skills to say exactly what they think! I tend to explain at the time it is hurtful, reminding him he doesn't need to say every thought, especially horrible hurtful ones, out loud. And that it is fine to think it but I don't want to hear it. If it continues I will either aka him to leave the room or leave myself until he can speak nicely or stay quiet on the matter.
TBH, it is an expression of anxiety, so exploring what is causing the anxiety is probably the most effective way to deal with it, but at the time it is just plain hurtful. Ds tends to be able to discuss things like this calmly at bedtime, so we will talk about how it feels to be told those things, if I'm such a crap mum how could I improve etc and he usually concedes that he was wrong.
I do try not to take it too personally, it is verging on amusing now he knows the full range of swear words and uses them in interesting combinations. I definitely prefer the verbal abuse to physical and we do seem to be moving towards more of the verbal now he can use swearing. Not ideal but he only does it at home, saves it all up through the school day I think.
We do the earning time to do what he wants. It has to be introduced when calm and definately not angry (you and DS). At first I thought it would be impossible to get him to 'pay' for things that used to be 'free' but he agreed to it straight away.
Our drawers all contain the same thing so he can rumage freely.
DS has not changed as much as I have. I have lower expectations for the unimportant things, zero-tolerance for the important and much calmer and 'better' behaviour.
As he is getting older he watches avidly US comedies and is now learning to use humour in the delivery of insults - much better as it leads to shared reminiscence and laughter. Excellent distraction technique plus it is impossible to be angry whilst laughing.
Also - stop ironing!
Thanks for all the responses.
Jammy, I have read 1-2-3, but maybe i need to re-visit.
Keeping, you are so right, ignore the bad praise good.
Porridge, as Jammy, I have read how to talk, (but many years ago, and I find it only really applies to vey young toddlers) but maybe I need to revist.
Sick of, I have few alternatives. I don't want to cancel playdates or parties, I try not to threaten that , as I won't carry it through, mainly because I want him to go to parties (it gives ME a break), plus it is so very important for his friendships and social skills.
He doesn't even ask to have friends round. It only happens because I organise for his closest friends to come. His consultant and camhs said it was very important for me to keep this up.
Moose, as always speaks total sense. Thanks Moose.
I will try and use rewards, of computer time, rather than taking away.
Atleast two of you have mentioned this. I KNOW this. <<slaps self with large fish>>, so why do I need you to point this out to me? It is because it is so easy, for me atleast to fall into this negative pattern.
WILL TRY AND Remember not to fall into this again !!!!
Moose (and porridge) I have tried to talk to him, and remind him of times when he felt.... but it just doesn't seem to register. But I will try and talk to him more about this.
"but cold and icy rather than shouting", this I will try and achieve, sick of.
keep on, as I have said, I don't know why I needed reminded of this,, but i will really try to use the reward, rather than the taking away rule.
Thanks to you all. I know you all know what you are talking about. I seemed to have been just a bit blinded and not able to see the wood for the trees.
Onwards and upwards.
we have a list of house rules on the wall in the kitchen, our son knows that these are every ones rules not just his, when our son breaks one for example is rude (as you describe OP) we tell him to go and read the rules, we do not discuss it with him or give him any kind of reaction until he has read them all and 9/10 times he will come down and apologize or will apologize after we have spoken to him.
This also sounds like my 11 year old AS son. When he gets annoyed with me. I tell him 'I'm your mother it's my job' that normally shuts him up. Also one time I got really cross with him I told him to choose 10 toys, which I then threw out. It sounds horrible and I hated doing it, but since then he has been much more amenable. I think because he now knows that if I threaten him with the punishment I will carry it out.
<Sympathies!> My DS (now 14, AS diagnosis) used to be horribly rude to me, hes not at all as bad as he used to be. His rudeness mostly has two causes. Firstly, he easily gets very angry and stressed and anxious, and hed relieve his feelings by being horrible to me because I was The Great Mummy God who was responsible for making his world perfect and clearly Id failed at my job And second, he is very clueless about the different ways of saying things and what they mean. He just doesnt get the difference between rude and polite. His social skills class had a session about the difference between Im fine thanks, I can cope by myself and LEAVE ME ALONE!!! -- screamed by one of them at the tutor! Is your DS getting any social/communications skills therapy? It can make a big difference.
Keep modelling politeness to him and with your partner say please and thank you to each other, pay compliments etc., even if your DS never does it. Gentle reminders for please and thank you, and you can bribe him to do it, too Ive given DS little rewards for polite behaviour. And otherwise I ignore, ignore, ignore the rudeness I respond to the content but not the way its said. I remember DS screaming at me as his classmates looked on shocked at him and fascinated about how Id react, and me saying (fake) calmly shall I open your drink for you? Here it is just as if hed asked me nicely. Ooh, I have a lot of grey hairs!
As for the drawers, I bought drawer dividers so the pants are always in one section, socks in another, T shirts in the drawer below etc., which did cut down the rummaging. And I didnt used to iron anything of his - now I iron his school shirts and trousers but they go on hangers anyway.
I can smile about it now but at the time I was seeing a counsellor who suggested some visualisations I could do so that DSs words didnt hurt me or make me angry. I could just see them as things that he needed to say and he couldnt say properly, and that I needed to manage for him as he gradually learnt better self-control and self-expression. Hes improved with age sometimes he thanks me without prompting when Ive done something for him!
(And count-to-three and consequence worked very well with DS. I havent read 1-2-3 Magic as such, but most Aspie kids have a processing delay, so the count-to-three gave DS time to process what I said and get into the right mood to do it )
Don't be so hard on yourself Oblomov. We all get lost in the woods sometimes and I will admit that your thread has reminded me what we used to do right - that worked.
Dh and I have been getting more and more stressed out with ds1's behaviour recently. Your post was very timely, because despite knowing what we should do and even having done it and had it work really well in the past we have let things slip and given in once too often, resulting in the whole family's life being controlled and driven by ds1 - and now we need to redress the balance back in our favour.
I have sat down with all three dcs this afternoon and told them how it's going to be.
1. They are going to have to earn their screen time, via a certain expected level of good behaviour, which we will sit down with dh and agree as a family. This will include:
a) Treating Mum, Dad and siblings with respect and listening to us when we advise them that they are being rude or inappropriate.
b) An agreed 'small' checklist of things they have to do every day, which they actually used to do, but have got out of the habit:
* make their own beds every morning
* leave their bedroom to an agreed standard of tidiness when they go to school (basically, accessible to the vacuum and a duster )
* making sure all their cups, plates, cutlery etc, makes it to the sink after every snack and meal
* anything else that dh comes up with (my memory is hopeless at the moment )
2. We are going to start giving them pocket money for the first time. They will have a basic amount per month and will then be able to earn extra by:
a) Doing various jobs/helping around the house - list of approved jobs to be agreed as a family. (There will be two potential earning values for this. One for if the spontaneous do things properly without having to be asked and the other for being gracious and doing things willingly when asked.)
b) Having a positive attitude ie spontaneous rewards for being helpful, polite, kind, using good social skills etc.
There will still be a zero tolerance to deliberate spite or physical violence and sanctions will be used in these cases.
Interestingly, ds1 took it all really well and has actually been in a really good mood since we talked. I think he actually prefers us to give him these parameters, as he doesn't cope well with lack of structure.
It's so easy to let things slide, especially when you are fighting the LEA/School etc and what with all of that going on and my health being all over the place we'd just let go of the reins.
So, thank you for giving me a much needed and well-deserved kick up the backside.
Had to laugh at "The Great Mummy God who was responsible for making his world perfect".
I suspect there has been a fair amount of this frustrated vented towards me recently, as ds1 realises that I can't maintain control of his world enough to make his life perfectly how he wants it to be. This year he has realised that I can't make the school support him and deal with every single issue that comes up (school has fallen out with us and gone for total non-compliance) whereas previously I have fought tooth and nail to solve problems and protect him and that's what made him feel safe. I think it's very scary for them when they realise that parents are only human.
Great advice about the drawer dividers as well - why on earth hadn't I thought of that before? Thinking about it, I might get some boxes or baskets to organise the shelves in his wardrobe as well.
I am the Great Mummy God. Hear Me
Roar ask politely.
oblamov, moosemama is right....dont be so hard on yourself. It doesnt help and it isn't right.
When I feel
like my head's going to blow off annoyed, I tell DS that I have a jug of patience and it's almost empty.
He can visualise it. It helps me to remember on the days when I am worn through, that, while I feel being patient is the most important thing I can do for him, it is a hard one.
So I have to 'refill my jug' by enjoying him or a cup of tea or whatever.
It seems to work . He can tell he's close to seeing 'unreasonable mummy' and he will usually back down (if he can ).
I am loving the "great mummy god" too, it is sooo true that our kids expect us to be able to make their world perfect.
Dd3 always blames me for anything that goes badly for her.
oblomov I didnt get time earlier to say that I had/have a really difficult relationship with Dd1, she doesnt have dx but I believe she has AS/ADHD, she also repeats behaviours over and over again despite us spending hours and hours over the years trying to explain why we want her to stop.
I tried everything with her and didnt get through to her.
With Dd3 I use alot more visual stuff and keep instructions/directions to an absolute minimum. I am much older and wiser and I can honestly say staying calm is the key. With my girls as soon as there is any tension or raised voices then in the case of Dd1 she just shouts back and gets really agressive and in the case of Dd3 she panics and cant do anything.
It is so hard trying to teach our kids right from wrong when actually they just want to do everything their way. I hope you manage to find a way with your Ds and can have a successful relationship with him.
Another vote for drawer dividers.
My particular bugbear was ds viewing every single Tshirt every single day before he could decide what to wear.
So now I fold them into a little roll-up shape with the logo/picture showing, and line them up in two rows in his drawer (using my own ASD traits ). DS can see each and every T shirt, without taking them all out and chucking them on the floor. This has actually changed my life
One thing I found that worked with DS was very similar to the 'jug of patience'.. DS uses colours to show how he feels - red is angry, green is happy and we have orange/yellow in between. If he is driving me up the wall I tell him I am 'on orange' at the moment because x,y,z and I want ot be on green. Then we talk about how I can be on green again (Usually him doing as he is told!)
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