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Feel like I’m about to kill stroppy, oppositional, cheeky DS(6). *HELP*

(15 Posts)
RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 10:48:22

Just that, really. Honestly don’t think I can carry on much longer. Either going to end up hurting him, me, or both of us. Thinking of walking away to ensure safety but have good-as-gold 3yr ok to think of and also I know this would do the family some psychological harm.
I’m a professional with a lot of responsibility etc and would be struck-off if anything gets known about how poorly I’m coping and how pushed-to-the-edge I’m feeling.

Fucking hell, I wish I felt warmer and happier towards him but I’m ground down by the constant opposition, trickiness, defiance, strops and moans. Nothing (and I mean nothing) I do is ever good enough as he is resolutely glass-half-empty. If he wears me down for something and I give it to him he then moans it’s not more. If I offer him a treat he immediately wines for TWO of whatever treat it is. Needs full and constant 1:1 supervision to undertake any simple tasks or personal care (otherwise he doesn’t listen/forgets/starts playing Lego). I’m at the point of having to physically dress/undress/wash/clean his teeth otherwise it takes him 2 hours to do it (and endless cross reminders/threats/sanctions).

I’m hoarse from shouting. I’m on my knees from begging. He’s seen me crying, swearing, and losing my shit- which is an endless source of shame and guilt on my part and makes me even more depressed. It doesn’t help that I have long-term depression & anxiety (which I manage well and take meds for) and my DH has a long-term physical condition which causes him to struggle to cope with family pressures/noise etc.
Sorry to moan. I’m just so exhausted from ‘coping’. No one irl has a clue about any of this (which is good).

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RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 10:53:13

I’ve tried calmly sitting down with him and rationalising, I’ve tried reward charts (total flop), sanctions (works only fleetingly in interim), threats of talking to teacher (works momentarily but doesn’t make any lasting change), withdrawal of privileges (endless moaning, nagging, wining then drives me to suicidal feelings), I try and listen/enquiry as to if he’s got any worries etc (answer is always no), I’ve tried working on our r’ship by spending quality time just us two (he begs and moans the whole time during it and we fall out). I’m honestky at a loss. I can’t stand being around him now and he probably knows it sad. When he’s asleep at night I creep in and stroke his little head and feel so sad. sad

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RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 11:02:48

Anyone? confused

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Catalufa Sun 19-Nov-17 11:04:56


To be completely honest with you, this sounds like pretty normal 6yo behaviour to me. Whining, moaning, being ungrateful, getting distracted from tasks - it all sounds par for the course at this age.

Of course it’s frustrating, especially when you’re a successful professional who is used to getting things done, but it does sound like this is affecting you very badly. Unless I’ve misinterpreted your post, and his behaviour is much worse than I have realised, I wonder if the issue is with your own mental health? Perhaps you are not managing your depression quite as well as you think you are? Or maybe your expectations of him are a little unrealistic? As I say, this does all sound pretty normal for a 6yo and your reaction sounds rather extreme.

I hope I haven’t offended you OP. It’s hard to word this sensitively.

RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 11:35:23

It’s been since he was a very young child. Extremely sensitive, routinised, intractable and stubborn. I too used to think it was my poor parenting or MH, until my parents started noticing he was the same with them (and they are v experienced with kids) and until I had my DD (who is a very ‘normal’ child) and I realised that DS’s reactions and behaviour are indeed extreme. I find parenting my DD relatively straightforward, clear and very enjoyable. I’ve been told I’m a ‘great’ mum and apparently good with kids but I just cannot control my DS. The HV refd him for a paid development clinic ax at approx age 3, which rejected the ASD possibility due to ‘extremely high emotional intelligence’. However, there’s since been lots more research around how ASD is a far wider spectrum than classic ‘autism’ presentation, and incorporates ODD and PDA. I’m seriously thinking he fits criteria for PDA but don’t know whether to or how to proceed. In my calmer moments I can think like this, but when I’m at end of tether I just get a red mist and forget that it’s possibly not his fault. sad

Any thoughts on PDA/ASD would be really helpful.

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RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 11:36:32

*paed (not paid)! Typing on phone. Sorry for all typos.

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Catalufa Sun 19-Nov-17 12:08:41

OK, well that puts a slightly different spin on it. Have you tried to get him assessed for ASD? What does the school think? Is there a SENCo at the school who you could talk to?

Kleinzeit Sun 19-Nov-17 14:07:07

That sounds tough. As Catalufa says it may be worth having another go at getting him assessed for an ASC or possibly dyspraxia or ADD ODD etc - a proper assessment should triage all of these possibilities. These conditions often become clearer as children get a bit older. What do his school think? Have they noticed any social or behavioural oddities?

In the meantime, the lifesaver for a lot of us with kids who are ODD/ASC-ish or generally difficult and for whom the conventional reward/punish stuff has failed is Ross Greene's Explosive Child book and Lives in the Balance website. It doesn't sound as if your DS is exactly explosive, he's maybe more of a moaner/whiner than a blower-upper, but Green's strategies are based on problem-solving and not on reward/punish and so they may work better for you.

Oh and try not murder him wink Take things one day at a time. Do remember to look after your own mental wellbeing and make sure you have some rest and enjoyment yourself, looking after a difficult child can be very depleting and looking after yourself will keep your strength up to look after him too flowers

RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 17:54:02

Kleinzeit- your kind words and understanding have made me weep. You’re right that it’s so depleting; that’s a perfect word for how I feel... totally depleted and at my lowest ebb. Thank you flowers.

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Catalufa Sun 19-Nov-17 19:28:38

OP, maybe try posting on the special needs board? Lots of knowledgeable posters there.

RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 21:25:12

Thanks Catalufa. And thanks for your suggestions re: perhaps taking to School SENCo. I’ve always been hesitant to do that in past, as by all accounts he is v well-behaved and obedient in school, and people who’ve not seen directly how he is at home can never believe it. But apparently that’s a common feature of PDA (a context-specific behavioural presentation) although PDA is still really mis-understood in most places.
I think the special needs thread would be a good place to post, you’re right. Thank you flowers

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BlanketSky Sun 19-Nov-17 21:38:52

@RuncibleSp00n I could've written your post. DS is almost 7. I honestly don't know what to do with him. We have been wondering about PDA also but not sure what to do next. We've had an awful evening with him tonight sad. Hand hold and flowers

RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 21:42:26

@BlanketSky - Oh no, I’m so sorry you’re going through so similar. But it feels good to have someone who gets it and to hand-hold. Do you think you’ll progress the PDA assessment? I really can’t decide. Do you mind me asking- do you have any other DC’s as well? If so, do you find they are really different to your DS?

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RuncibleSp00n Sun 19-Nov-17 21:45:24

@BlanketSky - Oh no, I’m so sorry you’re going through so similar. But it feels good to have someone who gets it and to hand-hold. Do you think you’ll progress the PDA assessment? I really can’t decide. Do you mind me asking- do you have any other DC’s as well? If so, do you find they are really different to your DS?

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BlanketSky Sun 19-Nov-17 23:21:26

I don't know. I've just ordered the book mentioned upthread and one on PDA. I'd never heard of PDA until it was on a Radio 4 programme earlier this year- I remember listening to one part and thinking 'that's DS!'. We've thought for a while he is different to a lot of children, and I've wondered about Aspergers before. At school he is well behaved, though he chews a lot (sleeves, water bottle etc) which would suggest anxiety... it's so hard isn't it? He's not great with transitions: Sunday night seems to be a new weekly low sad

I have a 3yo too, and she is very different yes, much much simpler to parent despite only being three.

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