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Is this punishment appropriate- SO CROSS

(151 Posts)
binkyblinky Sat 26-Sep-20 08:42:07

Please help me with an appropriate punishment for my son. I am so, so cross with him.

Yesterday he urinated off the top of his
high bed onto his brothers’ toys and magazines below.

Back story...

My elder two boys share a room. B is 9 and has ADHD. C is 10 and is Autistic. They used to have their own rooms but we had to move them in together as husband needed a home office. We are moving to a new house in about 4 weeks and they will have their own rooms again.

Generally they get on well despite their differences and disabilities. B has medication for his ADHD that wears off early evening. I do have top ups for him but I don’t like to give them every day as they give him a tic. When off his medication, he is obstinate, wild, and completely out of control. When on his medication he is able to concentrate and is an absolute darling.

Last night whilst putting the toddler to bed, I heard a commotion. In their room, a disagreement. My husband ran upstairs and started shouting at B. I went to see what had happened and there was liquid on the carpet. B was saying that it was spit. I put my fingers in it and smelt it, and it was clearly wee. I asked him to tell me the truth and he admitted it was wee.

Infact, he was still up on his bed and had no pants on.

Apparently, C had knocked B’s head on the side of his bed. B not happy about this. (They have been told many a time if there is an argument they MUST come to
tell us.) C insists it was an accident, I am inclined to believe him, his autism means he finds the whole concept of lying Completely alien. instead of calling for mum of dad, B climbed up into his bed and urinated onto the floor. The wee went over a graphic novel and some of C’s dinosaur toys.

I’m absolutely livid and so upset with B. His defence is that C knocked his head. I said he should have come to me if he had been hurt, and weeing on your brother’s toys is disgusting.

I did however manage to remain calm, and sent him to bed.

He needs to be punished. I didn’t smack him but have in the past. I haven’t smacked for years and years and I don’t believe this is something you should do to children. (Please don’t lecture me on this)

I have taken his iPad and PlayStation away, and he will be going to bed at 7pm the same as his 2 year old brother for the next week. He will not be allowed any treats and is helping me with ALL the housework.

Is this enough? I’m so so cross at him, but I also feel bad that perhaps he wouldn’t have done it if I’d have given him his medication. This is still not an excuse for the disgusting thing he did.

I would love your opinions. Please be gentle with me!

OP’s posts: |
LabiaMinoraPissusFlapus Sat 26-Sep-20 09:10:37

Hi, I think it would be worth making him help clean up, replace the book, and take away devices for half a day and he can have them back if he behaves. I have four children, one with ADHD and one with autism. Some of the things they have done have shocked me so much that I have gone overboard on punishment and when I look back, I think it wasn't that bad. It just wound up at the time. I was so angry once though I cleared my daughter's room of all her toys for a week. She hadn't been diagnosed with ADHD then so I didn't know why she was so hard to manage. Maybe also say they can't be in their room together until bedtime? They could take it in turns to be in there alone. When they can prove to you that they will get on then let them back in their together. It is so hard though!

GreyishDays Sat 26-Sep-20 09:10:47

Would a smaller dose for the top up be worth considering?

Or a slightly smaller dose during the day but then do give the top up?

Rocinante39 Sat 26-Sep-20 09:10:55

I'm in the camp of thinking that is a lot of punishment spread out over a long time.

My children are grown now, but I was a great believer in expecting ( no point forcing a reluctant apology) them to apologise to siblings they wronged. There were also punishments/ other consequences but a sincere apology is a good place to start..

ZarasHouse Sat 26-Sep-20 09:16:08

I'd have gone with natural consequences. Getting him to clean up the mess, hand wash the toys, possibly replace the graphic novel through no pocket money that week. Maybe remove the gaming stuff for that day. And a conversation about appropriate responses to anger and frustration. Punishments are meant to teach the child, not satisfy the adults need to make them suffer for something the adult is angry with them for. With ADHD punishments that last that long just won't work, and will create more stress and frustration in an already terse environment.

binkyblinky Sat 26-Sep-20 09:16:36

@Jellycatspyjamas, in the evenings once the toddler / baby goes to bed, is when the boys spend time with me and dad. We have a tiny house at the moment and the routine after school is generally play in their room.
They love this time, and we watch films and have a takeaway at the weekend. He needs to know how disgusting his behaviour was.
At the moment he is quite happy sitting next to me reading a goosebumps book. he never ever reads by choice so I'm pleased he is reading.

X

OP’s posts: |
pudcat Sat 26-Sep-20 09:18:53

why can't he come down until after the baby has gone to bed? Why do you call it family time if you are all not there together? Maybe he feels hard done by, had to move rooms, not downstairs til baby has gone to bed, not given meds when needed.

AGoatAteIt Sat 26-Sep-20 09:21:14

It is far too much. My son is similar age to your boys and has both autism and ADHD. He gets 1 clear and obvious consequence/punishment and it needs to be instant.

binkyblinky Sat 26-Sep-20 09:22:22

@pudcat we have an hour of CBeebies bedtime which is when the lounge is quiet.
They both like their time together In their room playing fortnite or some other games. So they are allowed to do that, while the toddler has his quiet time, and then when the toddler goes to bed, the boys have their 'grown up time' with us.

Hope that makes sense!

OP’s posts: |
PlanDeRaccordement Sat 26-Sep-20 09:24:02

I think the punishment aspect is good, but I would add in a form of restitution to his brother and responsibility for cleaning up the mess he created. As in he pays out of his pocket money to replace the graphic novel or does jobs around house to earn the money to replace said graphic novel. And he also (with your supervision) cleans the dinosaur toys and carpet of his wee.

HorsePellets Sat 26-Sep-20 09:24:10

I think you need to move away punishments into consequences: for children with neurodivergences, punishments often make no sense and serve no purpose in terms of changing behaviour or linking the punishment to what they did.

So he cleans the toys with your supervision, same with the carpet. But that needed to happen immediately. While that happens, he has a discussion about how behaviour like affects the person it’s aimed against: bedtime is delayed, you and his dad now can’t do whatever you were doing because you’re helping with cleaning and dad is helping C, toddler is alone in bed with no one to help if they wake. He broke the rule the about not fetching a parent if there is a disagreement - there is a consequence for that, therefore he loses game time for tomorrow. He pays to replace the graphic novel, and must actually hand over the money to someone for that to happen: he’s got to see that money leave his hand.

Going forward, I’d consider splitting them until you move and have one in with the toddler to avoid some of this.

You also need to review his meds and see if there is a better option that you can use to keep him level so that his impulse control is better modulated for longer without the impacts on appetite and tics - there are more options in terms of type of meds I believe, or you may have options with fine tuning dosage/timing of his current meds to mitigate some of this. What he did isn’t ok, but why he did it isn’t necessarily his fault, and the list of punishments you’ve laid is both overkill and doesn’t make sense.

I’d also give some thought to whether they’re allowed together in their room if he’s unmedicated at the end of the day and they’re not in bed? Perhaps some sort of rota system?

EarringsandLipstick Sat 26-Sep-20 09:25:11

@binkyblinky

Firstly, I can only imagine how tough everything must be for you, with your sons with additional needs, and a younger child, in a small house & about to move house!

So 💐 for you, first of all.

However, I still think the punishment is too harsh & doesn't take into account the needs of B (is it B? The weeing one!)

I agree with this from medium

He'd be paying for a replacement graphic novel out of his money and helping the cleaning process here.

I'd focus on this. I'd be wary of sending him to bed early away from family. I agree with taking some screen time but I'd be less strict about it.

Good luck x

EarringsandLipstick Sat 26-Sep-20 09:26:43

Oh and I should have said, there needs to be consequences for your other son

He hurt him by hitting his head off the bed!

Yes, you told him to come to you if he gets hurt, but that's hard to do in the moment when your head is really sore!

Multiplying2020 Sat 26-Sep-20 09:27:22

Just a bit off topic - you're obviously using methylphenidate, but have you tried atomoxetine at all? My kids both have ASD and ADHD, and reacted badly with methylphenidate (one had tremors, and the other got headaches).

We tried atomoxetine, and it seems much better. It's a long term drug that builds up slowly in their system and can be taken any time of day, so there isn't the problem with it wearing off. Also doesn't seem to affect their appetite (any more than being ridiculously picky does anyway).

It's not a stimulant like methylphenidate, it's classed as an antidepressant, so it helps with anxiety too.

EarringsandLipstick Sat 26-Sep-20 09:27:31

HorsePellets

I think you need to move away punishments into consequences: for children with neurodivergences, punishments often make no sense and serve no purpose in terms of changing behaviour or linking the punishment to what they did.

So he cleans the toys with your supervision, same with the carpet. But that needed to happen immediately. While that happens, he has a discussion about how behaviour like affects the person it’s aimed against: bedtime is delayed, you and his dad now can’t do whatever you were doing because you’re helping with cleaning and dad is helping C, toddler is alone in bed with no one to help if they wake. He broke the rule the about not fetching a parent if there is a disagreement - there is a consequence for that, therefore he loses game time for tomorrow. He pays to replace the graphic novel, and must actually hand over the money to someone for that to happen: he’s got to see that money leave his hand.

Going forward, I’d consider splitting them until you move and have one in with the toddler to avoid some of this.

You also need to review his meds and see if there is a better option that you can use to keep him level so that his impulse control is better modulated for longer without the impacts on appetite and tics - there are more options in terms of type of meds I believe, or you may have options with fine tuning dosage/timing of his current meds to mitigate some of this. What he did isn’t ok, but why he did it isn’t necessarily his fault, and the list of punishments you’ve laid is both overkill and doesn’t make sense.

I’d also give some thought to whether they’re allowed together in their room if he’s unmedicated at the end of the day and they’re not in bed? Perhaps some sort of rota system?


Great post Horse

Angelina82 Sat 26-Sep-20 09:28:05

I think you punishment is more than enough, but I think you need to stick to it now if you’ve already told your DS what to expect.

ancientgran Sat 26-Sep-20 09:29:48

The first thing I'd do is make him clean it up, so all the toys are washed, the floor is scrubbed and then replacing the book that was ruined and an apology to his brother. If all that is done without justifying himself or moaning and I'd probably just take electronics off him today and draw a line under it.

I think if punishments are too harsh/last too long it just ends up with him feeling like the victim and that isn't positive.

hhuhddgg Sat 26-Sep-20 09:38:18

I don't think that sleep or bedtime should be used as a treat or a punishment, just as food wouldn't be. Sleep is to do with necessary rest and it is giving all sorts of wrong messages making staying up a treat or a punishment.

OP firstly he will have done what he did out of anger or feeling bad and so punishing is only going to make that worse. Good behaviour comes when the child feels empathy and has self control. Helping him understand it was not a good thing to do and helping him think about how to make amends might be helpful, for example to buy a new book and to clean up. Self control as you know this is an ADHD issue, but it can be worked on with him.

Punishments don't work, and in a way in his eyes he was punishing his brother for doing something he perceived as wrong, and so copying you punishing, which is not what you want. When you yourself do something you are not proud of, would someone then punishing you for it help? Or would you saying sorry and allowing you to make amends be better?

As for the playstation and pad, neither are ideal for a child with ADHD, so reducing time on these generally, not as a punishment, would not be a bad idea.

I hope the move goes well!

FrankieStein402 Sat 26-Sep-20 09:40:31

Amended punishment seems better - you need to keep something in reserve for when they do something worse.

fortnite is risky at that age though:
www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/screen-play/201908/how-young-is-too-young-fortnite

HorsePellets Sat 26-Sep-20 09:44:43

Oh, I also think you need some sort of conversation about hurting B’s head and a consequence for C for breaking the rule about fetching an adult during disagreements too.

They each need to be cognisant of that rule and it needs to be equally their responsibility if that’s a rule you’re going to have.

I think that it might be a tricky rule to stick to for them though, because it needs a degree of control and restraint and processing speed that they may not have once emotions get past a certain point in a disagreement - especially if they’re like mine and a disagreement can escalate from calm to serious flashpoint in literally 20 seconds - so you may be setting them up to fail.

WaltzForDebbie Sat 26-Sep-20 09:44:44

Is there any way he can sleep in the home office until you move? My Teen son has ADHD and is still out of control without meds. They have worn off by the evening so there's no way he could share with his NT brother. We would have a fight most evenings.

Jeremyironseverything Sat 26-Sep-20 09:44:50

I still think it's a lot, but agree you can't change it now. Can he earn back his Xbox earlier though, through good behavior?

Make sure you don't fall into a trap of falling for one setting the other one up. It took me a long time to realise that one of mine was quite manipulative and would deliberately goad until they got a reaction which would get the other one into trouble.

seayork2020 Sat 26-Sep-20 09:48:34

No my son does not have special needs but we sort out at the time (alright maybe 30 mine or so after we calm down first)

What do you think adding more punishment will do apart from adding to things that are not his fault

And I would remove that camera immediately

If there is some situation i am not sure of with children with special needs but I think the child is punished enough

WaltzForDebbie Sat 26-Sep-20 09:51:48

Meant to say "they would have a fight most evenings'

SilenceOfThePrams Sat 26-Sep-20 09:52:26

You’re punishing him for an impulsive decision, which is punishing him for having ADHD. Please don’t. Dragging it on for a week, when his actions were the work of seconds is way too much, his ADHD brain can’t link that to a few seconds of impulsivity. You’re punishing him for the fact that your husband needs a home office, that’s not his fault either.

I can understand why you don’t want to top up his meds, but in that case, the evenings need tweaking him again. Perhaps a more logical punishment would be that since the boys clearly can’t cope being together for that bedtime hour, they need to be kept apart during that time. Either one of them stays down with you, one or both go for an evening walk with whichever parent isn’t toddler-wrangling, or the boys take it in turns to be in their bedroom or to take some toys from their room through to yours or to the kitchen. Or one of them has a bath.

What do you hope to get from the punishment? You can’t punish ADHD out of him, and I’m sure you know that. Yes, what he did was gross, and I agree, finding a way to replace his brother’s book and washing the toys helping to scrub the carpet would have been appropriate. But early bedtimes isn’t going to help - unless you want him to wake at silly o’clock in the morning and rampage then with even less medication in his system? And a week without electronics is going to be torture for all of you, if he usually uses them to burn off some of his mental energy.

You know your boys and I don’t, of course, but personally I’d be sitting down with them this morning and apologising for the fact they are still having to share when you know it isn’t easy for them. I’d thank them for trying so hard most of the time. I’d ask the wee-er what he thinks he might be able to do to make it right, and I’d ask the head pusher to apologise, even though it was an accident. And then I’d move on. Enjoy the Saturday. And count down to moving day.

zoemum2006 Sat 26-Sep-20 09:53:15

I think the punishment should fit the crime as much as possible so helping you clean would be a good learning experience.

In generally one punishment is clearest to kids but hey ho I’d have been livid too.

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