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Oh god dh and ds again

(73 Posts)
Nerfmother Sat 04-May-13 20:54:18

I just can't stand it dh doesn't seem to be able to just leave it, whereas I just ignore the insults from ds as I know it will escalate, dh is such a baby sometimes waving meat at ds, triggering a massive fit and violence from ds, then dh is all restraining him and getting furious and ds just keeps throwing shoes and stuff at dh. I can't stand this shit.

PolterGoose Sun 05-May-13 08:44:40

Nothing will work unless you find a way to teach your ds the skills he needs to avoid becoming violent. For my ds we have had some success with sensory work and developing his negotiation skills. I would imagine most families have a 'no tolerance of violence' aspiration, but in reality and in my experience that alone means nothing unless we equip our children to deal with the emotional responses that lead to expressions of anger and violence.

My ds does not respond to reward and sanction at all so we have no choice but to work only on preventative measures. I also think long term it will be more useful for him to learn to manage his emotions rather than just put a lid on it for fear of punishment, because that doesn't work. For us I've also found that punishments just increase his anxiety which increases the angers, so it becomes a vicious cycle. The PDA stuff is really good for children not motivated by rewards and sanctions.

Do remember that a child with an ASD having a meltdown is not the same as an NT child having a tantrum to get something, a meltdown is the equivalent of a panic attack, it is an extreme and out of control reaction, it just seems wrong to me to punish a child for being in emotional turmoil and terror.

Nerfmother Sun 05-May-13 08:58:25

Yes, I feel like a meltdown isn't naughty, but it also feels like I'm miles ahead of dh in what I know about asd. We have had a conversation today with me dropping in bits from this thread and trying to see his pov (thanks all) although obv I haven't told him I started this!
He is aware that he finds it hard. I am trying to get him to ring a helpline to talk it through, and we are both keen to go to the sessions coming up shortly.

PolterGoose Sun 05-May-13 09:03:23

I get that. My dp needed to hear it from 'professionals' and he attended both the Early Bird Plus and a one day NAS workshop on Aspergers and Anger which helped. Dp is also a lot better since he started on anti-depressants, he is so much more chilled now which really has helped his relationship with ds hugely.

What we've ended up with is dp being very chilled (mostly!) and he does quite indulgent stuff with ds whereas I'm the one who does all the therapy and intervention and more challenging stuff, it seems to work for us smile

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 09:09:20

I know where you're coming from on this one. I am currently seething because, once again, DH has wound up DS2 and then shouted at him repeatedly when DS2 had a meltdown and was aggressive towards DH.

DH made a noise this morning (just a garbled loud noise when he was stretching) but it upset DS2 quite a bit. DH then made the noise a few more times on purpose, even though I TOLD him it was upsetting DS2. (and IMO DH was an utter jerk for doing the noise more at that point)

Then DS2 has been all over the place, DH told him off, DS2 reacted badly and it got physical. DS2 is 6yo.

DH then got angry at me, because I told him he needed to deal with DS2 more appropriately, not only when he is in meltdown, but in not winding him up unnecessarily either. It just seems unfair to me as he wouldn't have reacted so badly to DH if he hadn't been wound up earlier (unnecessarily IMO).

I don't want to be unsupportive of DH, but by the same token, if he was dealing appropriately with DS2 and DS2 got aggressive, then I would back DH. But I can't back him when he's being basically a nasty bully by goading him.

zzzzz Sun 05-May-13 09:11:44

Don't underestimate what your dh does have to offer. Even if he has had moments of losing it, with support rather than criticism, he can become the Dad I'm sure he wants to be.

I think the main thing to think about is not punishing bad behaviour but learning (all of you) better ways to interact.

So you don't sit by while ds throws things at dh, or while dh taunts ds with triggers. Dh doesn't leave you to correct calmly and tea h better behaviour, he can discuss with you what you will both be teaching ds to say/do when he has been goaded.

Each member of the group needs to know what the ideal is and work towards getting there.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 05-May-13 09:12:55

We are in a similar situation. DS1 is never violent towards me although he does rather play the critical parent - I'm a quitter, I have never achieved anything in my life etc - as well as the usual I hate you. However, if I behaved like DH he would be.

From my pov I see DH doing key things wrong (again) and winding DS1 up until he can no longer cope. He did this yesterday and often claims that he is trying to protect DS2. In reality though the more he winds DS1 up the more DS1 'takes it out' on DS2. I don't expect DH to be perfect, none of us are, but I don't want him to make things worse. DS1 then comes to me to complain about DH and worse of all I mostly agree with him (not out loud), I just listen to him, correct the wild inaccuracies - dad hates me, he wants to kill me, he said so - and then DS1 begs me to go and talk to DH to sort things out. I talk DH down, DH apologises to DS1, rinse and repeat. It is exhausting.

I want to avoid DS1 becoming violent and aggressive because I don't want him to become a violent and aggressive man. I don't want my kids or myself to be in an atmosphere where it is ever acceptable or the norm. And I blame DH for not avoiding it.

But your post above Couthy has introduced a new perspective that I had not considered before (blinded as I am by rage and frustration), that of how things might seem/feel to DH and of how confusing this might seem to DS1. Its kind of like saying that the victim deserved it and has to apologise blush.

What's the answer then?

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 09:19:27

See, I struggle with this. I see what Couthy is saying, but how can someone wind a child up and expect them not to react? And then demand support as well? I'd be happy to support DH if he wasn't starting the whole problem off by winding up DS2. And DH is insistent that he's not doing anything wrong, he is always doing this.

What I want is for DH to learn to deal with DS2 properly PRIOR to a meltdown, by acting appropriately, not winding him up. hmm Why does it have to be such an issue for him?

PolterGoose Sun 05-May-13 09:26:45

I agree Triggles In my view, winding up a child to the point of meltdown is the abusive behaviour, a child who doesn't have the skills to manage their own emotional responses who gets provoked into responding violently is not the abusive one in the relationship.

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 09:29:38

I think sometimes DH's refusal to alter his behaviour at all to make it easier for DS2 to cope (expecting DS2 to react as perhaps an NT child of his age would) shows that he just is not accepting that DS2 has SNs.

DH insists he has come to terms with it, but I suspect he has not. I will admit that I resent having to calm DS2 down repeatedly or step in repeatedly when DH is not dealing well with him in situations that I feel DH should be able to handle.

zzzzz Sun 05-May-13 09:35:53

"I will admit that I resent having to calm DS2 down repeatedly or step in repeatedly when DH is not dealing well with him in situations that I feel DH should be able to handle."

God yes. It makes me fizz and then I have to push that undercover or it all escalates.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 05-May-13 09:36:45

polter - before your DH did the courses (I'm hoping that DH can do this now tribunal is out of the way) did he provoke in this way? What's the way forward if behaviour could be interpreted as abusive - education or elbow?

Couthy - polter does have a point that DH might appear to be the victim but really be the aggressor.

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 09:40:51

by elbow, do you mean LTB? I told DH this morning before he left for work that if he wasn't prepared to make the effort to parent appropriately, then he might as well pack his bags. I'm tired of being the only adult in the house.

PolterGoose Sun 05-May-13 09:44:12

Keep tbh it's been the med's that have made the biggest difference, dp very likely has AS too so has lots of anxieties and rigid behaviours. And we've sort of found a parenting path of our own where dp does lovely one on one stuff with ds indulging his obsessions and I do the interventions stuff which means I'm more likely to be the recipient of ds's anger as I challenge him but I like to think I'm reasonably good at it and that it is done in a controlled way if that makes sense.

I do think that mostly it is us mothers who spend the most time with our dc's, who attend appointments, liaise with schools, do the 'therapies' at home, so we do know more than the fathers mostly. My bottom line is that until dp takes an equal or greater role in all that stuff he will have to defer to my greater knowledge and experience.

zzzzz Sun 05-May-13 09:50:43

I make mine defer to my greater knowledge without any rationale at all! grin

Nerfmother Sun 05-May-13 09:58:03

Just reading through the last posts - totally summed up the situation at ours, uncannily similar in places. All of you, triggles, keep on, zzzz, polter, are giving examples of how I feel. I do think couthys posts make sense too - dh doesn't know or empathise enough to avoid spins things and / or expects ds to behave normally at times. Funnily enough, the non behaviour stuff he is good at - the poor writing, the enuresis, the sensory stuff.

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 09:58:50

Mine won't defer. That's part of the problem. I spend half my time saying "PLEASE stop winding him up. Stop shouting." And reminding him DS2 doesn't react the same as other children.

zzzzz Sun 05-May-13 10:02:22

Would videoing interaction and then discussing it when you are both calm (the adults) help?

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 10:04:13

I've tried it, using phone when DH didn't know I was doing it. He acted alternating between horrified (claims he was, but honestly sounded more defensive and angry) and angry that I recorded it. His fallback is "YOU'RE not perfect either..."

Well, I never claimed to be perfect and I don't expect him to. I do, however, expect him to make an effort to be a decent parent.

zzzzz Sun 05-May-13 10:11:11

So ask him for the solution. This isn't about who's the best parent. It's about improving what you have. Ask him what he thinks you could do better and SHOW him how to take constructive criticism.

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 10:33:28

again, have tried. I'm certainly not competing for "best parent." I just don't want to have to police him when he's with the children - and I have to, as he's been much too aggressive for me to be comfortable leaving the children with him.

He gets into these childish "yes you will, no I won't" arguments with our 6yo DS2 (will literally say "DS2 started it") over absolutely NOTHING. Everything has to be head on into a power struggle, it seems. The whole "chat with him about different things as a distraction while easing him into doing something like getting dressed" has been suggested to him so many times I could do it in my sleep. Instead he stands there and shouts at him to get dressed, while DS2 is behind a chair refusing. hmm

When DS2 is rude, he shouts at him and completely overreacts. If I don't step in, he just keeps shouting. If I do step in (asking him to stop shouting), then I'm the bad guy and he says "oh so you think it's okay for him to be rude?" Well, no. And I'm perfectly fine with him having consequences to it. But standing there shouting at him just upsets him and then he's too upset to understand what you're saying anyway. Again, we've gone round about this repeatedly.

Interestingly, he's not fussed and really doesn't get upset over the enuresis, the poor writing, and such. The behaviour (and things related to behaviour - such as sensory, which I really think DH just doesn't "get" very well) is what really sets DH off.

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 10:38:28

I have tried to explain that it undermines any type of discipline, as he is so inconsistent in following what we've discussed and agreed upon with regards to this. It just does my head in. The children would behave better with consistent calm discipline.

Nerfmother - sorry, I've sidetracked this. What do you think the best option for you would be?

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 10:38:46

for dealings with your DH and DS I mean

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 05-May-13 10:40:48

I told DH this morning before he left for work that if he wasn't prepared to make the effort to parent appropriately, then he might as well pack his bags. I'm tired of being the only adult in the house.

OMG this is exactly what I said yesterday!

Polter - so drug rather than leave the bastard! We already split tasks so that I get the challenging stuff. atm DH is helping DS1 customise a Nerf gun with specialist paints to make it look real.

zzzzz - teach DH that resistance is futile!

zzzzz Sun 05-May-13 10:44:05

Sounds like you need to use your ds techniques on dh.

If saying the same old same old isn't working, change what you are doing.

Distract, redirect, reenforce.

Provide indirect support. Reduce situations that cause tension, manufacture opportunities for better interaction, optimise nutrition, rest, exercise. No you shouldn't have to do this for a grown man, but you are where you are.

Trigglesx Sun 05-May-13 10:44:18

I sometimes think that DH has taken a distinct "head in sand" in regards to DS2's SNs, and when DS2 acts up, DH prefers to think it's behaviour that he can "shout" back into line, as he doesn't want to think that it's something that may always be there. It's like DS2's behaviour REMINDS DH that DS2 is not NT, IYSWIM.

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