I need help, i hate my 13 yr old son , i am sinking from his abuse(30 Posts)
I am so tired and constantly want to run away from my home. I hate my sons behaviour towards me. He is constantly abusive and spends much of his time winding me up on purpose. he has been violent before but currently it is swearing at me for nothing. Today he called me some choice words because he forgot his sports kit. He threw dirty socks in his dads face. Farted hideously in my face on purpose. He swore at me to F off and stuck his finger up at me in public.He just lacks empathy and respect. I am in desperation. I do not know what to do. I cannot stand anymore of his abuse and he won't stop. I have struggled with him forever and tried everything. To be honest ,if it wasn't for wanting to protect my 8 yr old daughter, I would walk off and never come back.
The problem is that any sense of consequences for his behaviour excacerbates it. He gets worse and worse and more violent. I cannot handle all this conflict and have tried many times to get help but not got anywhere. I have tried everything, relate, therapy, counselling, nurtured heart approach, read every book and talked to as many people as possible. I think he has a mental problem. I want to get his brain looked at for abnormalities but dont know where to start.
Now I am losing it all the time with him. I get really angry at him all the time and just cant cope any more. I am trying my best but feel defeated and want him to move out. No where to go though -either me or him . I cannot believe I have a son like him -who is fine to those around him except his dad and me. I dont know what i have done wrong and cannot seem to put it right. Its no use explaining the complexities of all this on here.I just want some help to know if there is anything out there to help me and him before I go under.
My husband is weak and not much help. I am on my own with this. I feel completely useless as a mother. Messed it up. Tried my best but should not have had kids.
I am battling with this on top of moving home and countries, my husband having a severe illness, new schools, no friends and living in a new area. We have no money and I cant afford therapy. Waiting lists are 1 year for counselling on the NHS and I am sinking.
any hope for help out there?
You should be able to access short term NHS counselling within a few months through IAPT - so ask your Gp how you can self refer. And worth telling your doctor what you wrote here as they may be able to suggest something.
If you are struggling with multiple changes, countries, homes, schools, severe illnesses then it sounds like your whole family is struggling and needing some support. Hope you can find it.
I'd suggest family support services. Go and speak to your local sure start childtens centre, they should be able to refer you to a family support worker who can help you address your sons behaviour.
If you are thinking along 'brain abnormalities' line then this would need to be more specific eg Autism, and it would need evidence from other sources eg school.
But try family support services first.
We have similar issues with my 10 yr old.
He has PDA, which is a form of ASD. If normal parenting strategies make him worse it might be worth looking at PDA strategies, whether you think PDA is a possibility or not. The PDA resource website has loads of info which might be worth browsing.
The Explosive Child is worth reading and using.
It is very common for children with ASD to mask in school, so it's not necessary to have evidence from school, although it does help you to be taken seriously.
Hope you can get some help
Thank you but what are family support services?
My friend who has had an adoptee child has given me blow by blow accounts of how awfully ineffective social services were for her. i am an extremely educated older woman who has had a life time of roles in support of others. i dread the thought of a young sociil worker trying to 'help'. I need real skilled professionals who can really help. My current experiences are of how difficult it is to access public services for NHS help, dentists etc. I have lost faith.
What is PDA? My son is perfectly capable at school =in fact doing very well academicaly and sportswise at a school for very able kids. If he had an ADD type issue I would see it elsewhere wouldnt I?
Read the explosive child, but thank you.
Sorry, PDA is Pathological Demand Avoidance
I may be way off the mark, but you may find the strategies more helpful than the usual strict parenting that is advised.
sorry , new to all the acronyms as been living abroad. Is ASD aspergers and PDA something deficit?
Thank you -as want to look it up.
I just did the PDA questionnaire and he scored 33 -at 45 they are worried about the profile being like a child with PDA. Still, he possesses many of the characteristics of high functioning aspergers and PDA. However he uses manipulation to hurt me and control and is generally, although hidden, a deeply anxious child who finds it difficult to control his anxiety and it usually manifests as anger impulsively. At the end of the day it seems to me that mental health services are stretched to deal with the worst cases. Kids like mine don't quite fit a label.Which he doesn't. He has aspergers characteristics but he wouldn't get a statement for that. He has been to health professionals and dismissed pretty much. I need mental support to cope really. Which is limited. Short term counselling doesn't strike me as much cop in general. I have had years of therapy in the past and have even worked in the counselling field myself. I don't have a great deal of faith in GP short term services.
I am at a loss really.
I wish I could rewind my life and not have had kids.
im so sorry you are going through this, how is he with your DD sorry if i missed it in the OP is he a danger to her? you sound lovely and not at all a failure.
Would boarding school be an idea, if he gets on well in structured environments?
Thanks for your help everyone. I will try to get some short term counselling. I will try out family services.
Its so hard though.
He is desperate for DD attention and veers between being lovely and sweet, desperate for Ds affection or winding her up and or hurting her without any qualms. It's awful and generally have a feeling to protect her. She doesnt like him much either.
Dear slightly bonkers. Had lined him up for boarding school but hubby lost his job after his illness, so we are skintus mintus.
The saddest thing of all is how lonely I feel in all this. My one close friend thinks it s all my fault as a parent as I am not strict enough even though I have endless years of being strict and using all the given strategies as we have all been taught. She has two lovely children and she believes that its a lack of parenting that leaves children like mine. Yet I have tried everything for years. I don't believe that is the reason he is as he is. Its a complex dynamic. My other child is so much easier and much more compliant. I just can't get through to my friend and I now feel embarrassed when my kids are there near here. Especially in front of her kids. When they do something she says "mine wouldn't have dared do that". I just feel like the person who can't parent. I feel even more isolated with the one person who is a true friend. I wish she could understand that things are not always as black and white as she thinks.
I understand your lack of faith in the system.
You are able to self-refer to CAMHS. It would be quicker and you could then ask the GP to back up your referral too if you think it would help coming from another medical professional.
I have very different problems to yours but I can empathise with being at breaking point and wanting out.
My one close friend thinks it's all my fault as a parent as I am not strict enough
I don't think being especially strict with this type of child works, OP, not that I am an expert.
It sounds like his anxiety comes out as anger. The same life-changing things you have been through, he has also been through and any one of these things would be very distressing for a child.
I would hope that once referred through IAPt for short term support they would be able to refer on - certainly that is what I understand is their role ( not used it just from what I have read due to my job).
Hang on in there Sammysoo, just five years to go, three at a push. Seriously, keep it in mind this won't last forever.
You sound very wound up and full of anxiety and self-reproach. But you know you have tried your best. If you were a crap parent you wouldn't be on here trying to find a way to improve things. So first, stop with the guilt and self-recriminations. You are doing your best.
I think you need to sit down with your dh and get some bottom line, non-negotiable boundaries agreed, eg everyone's physical safety. These are things that surely your dh can back you up on and commit to? Agree what they are and how you will handle their transgression, eg if ds physically attacks you, you call the police.
I also think you should be looking for ways to give yourself and your dd regular breaks from your ds's behaviour.
Perhaps you need to shift your expectations? These next few years might be more about survival and damage limitation. So you forget all the stuff that is nice but not necessary eg help with housework, chatting nicely with you. Just aim at the basics, eg safety, and anything else is a bonus, but not something you will get into a conflict with ds about.
Never (as much as humanly possible) rise to the wind-ups. It takes two to have a row. If you steadily (think broken record) stick to what is right, eg, don't swear at me, your kit is your responsibility, and state it calmly - then walk away - then you can't get in to an argument. Be ready for him. Take deep breaths. Think of your job as parent as just to stay calm with him and ensure safety. That's all.
I also think you should try to look for the positives as much as you can (v hard I know when you feel like you could happily never see them again). You say he's good at school? Could you tell him in a calm casual way that you are proud of his achievements at school. Or that he's handsome, or got lovely eyes or something like that? Also, talk about what he was like as a little boy - how kind and thoughtful he could be. Help him see himself as a better person? Try to get your relationship on a slightly more positive track by just throwing in small but regular compliments/positives?
One other thing that occurred to me from your post was that you are coping with a lot of challenges and changes - and your ds is therefore too. Not to excuse his abusive behaviour, but you might get some insight if you look out for these changes being a trigger to his tantrums and throwing his weight around.
Also, I'd stop seeing your friend or at least talking to her about your ds. If you can't get support, at least you don't need to be around smugness
her dc will probably go off the rails later
Does he have any other good male role models apart from your dh? Could you get them onside to help you with him? Is he in a sports club or scouts? A local hockey club might give him a social outlet? These could be arenas to see how real men behave.
At least he manages to keep it together outside the home. Although, this is cold comfort for you. All you can do is keep him safe and as busy as possible. He is bullying his family for reasons unknown.
You guys are the verbal punchbag for his emotions. Contact police for support. IMHO a talk from police may scare some sense into him. If he kicks off at you physically, call the police and let them talk to him.
He could be anxious about your dh's illness. He could be jealous of his little sister. However, his behaviour is still inexcusable.
Could you get him onside by giving him more responsibility, trusting him with little things and praising him. For example, Could he cyclle to school, stop checking if he has stuff for school trust he will do that, painting, gardening, washing car. Do a bicycle maintainence course and he can learn to fix his bike. Cycling helps clear the mind. Sort of man of the house stuff?
Thank you so much for your support. What you said makes perfect sense and is what we need. Thank you. We need to find time for this discussion. We have ,of course , been battling these fires for years and had many discussions but we do need to get back to basics and have a policy for the swearing again. I had a bit of a breakdown today, a sort of bottom line. Unfortunately mu children witnessed me howling in a car park , laying on the grass. They didn't need to see this. I just lost it after a number of precursors -too complex to explain, but I broke down after one child hurt the other one in the car and the eldest thumped him repeatedly in the back seat. I told him to get out of the car and cool down. He then,in full public told me to f off numerous times whilst sticking his finger up at me. I broke down. I am going to try to get some anger management programme for him again. I struggled to find a child one in the past but there must be something.
Thanks for taking the time to give me strategies. I do need to regroup and get clear again. Instead of being buffeted around.
I do praise him a lot too.! I think the issue is really anxiety and I don't help if I broke down in front of him. I am just not able to hold it in any longer.
He is doing really well in sports clubs and is involved in lots of sports to keep him busy! I do try to give him jobs -sometimes he wants them sometimes not. I don't have any male role models sadly.
Thank you of rthe suggestion though. It's something I will look at.
Do you remember being a child? Do you remember how weirdly rewarding it was when you could make one of your parents COMPLETELY lose the plot? TOTALLY lose their cool? I remember it really well, it was like lighting a firework and standing back to watch the explosion. Scary, but thrilling.
Your rolling on the grass must've been the best firework ever.
It's just that he doesn't respect you. I empathise, my 12y/o doesn't respect ME. He respects my parents, he's adorable with them, and my DH (his step-dad), and my brother... Just not me. But I know I've been far too soft with him, inconsistent, weak. One minute shouting, the next over-compensating.
I'm going to re-read the BEST book I have on this subject: Get A New Kid By Friday and follow all the steps. It's remarkable. You'll never roll on a grass verge again, I promise, if you read this.
I wouldn't bother going down the anger management/child counselling/wishy-washy woolly route with him. Again, he won't respect you for it. He'll respect you when you refuse to do nice stuff for him until he behaves like a nice person. So no lifts, no money, no treats, no fun if he's a brat. But nice stuff when he's nice.
Are you not from the UK?
My ds1 is 11 yrs and conforms at school, playing the clown a bit, bur has passed his SAT's after finally putting effort into his work in year 6. at home he has always been a difficult character. I could relate to some of the behaviours displayed by your son and the desperation I also feel. My ds1 has low self-esteem and is scared of the world outside the home, but at home he can be selfish, explosive in nature and very demanding as well as physically aggressive to ds2and ds3 and me. He was having 'convulsive type' tantrums before the age of one, when his eyes would roll and he'd roll around in a tantrum, beyond his years. This moved onto furniture throwing and being rude to Dh and I at age 7. He has sworn at me recently and thrown objects at me. We cancelled his birthday party which was hard as we had to tell other parents it's due to bad behaviour. We've always been strict and rewarded for good behaviour, taking things away when he's bad or sending him to his room. He's remorseful after his outbursts but after years of it, I've had enough. He's always had lots of cuddles and praise when good. I've read books on boys and their behaviours and needs, to no avail. He just can't seem to control himself and says this himself. We've wondered if he has a medical issue, but he's able to act properly at school, it's just at home that he's so unlikeable at times, demanding, mean, abusive verbally and physically and disrespectful. We have had many conversations and new strategies, but he is what he is and I'm scared of the future. I will read the book suggested 'get a New Kid by Friday' in the hope that It'll help us regain the power in this house as we are sick of the battling and the many ruined days as he controls in his own way the whole family dynamic, including ruining holidays with his behaviour. I hope you get the help you need too as it really is a feeling of desperation and I know we parent well as we have great values and morales and our other sons are a delight most of the time, but find him hard to live with too.
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