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I think there is something wrong(12 Posts)
My ds 3.25 who has been difficult from birth refuses to eat and has only gained 100gms in 15 months. He is very controlling and seems to be oblivious to either carrot or stick approaches to parenting. Last week I had to lock myself in the bathroom to stop him from hitting me. When threatened with time out he spat on the floor thus making it inevitable. I am at my wits end. We have seen a child psychologist without ds once but that was over a month ago and I am now so angry with him and the child psychologist for repeated delays that I don't want/feel able to engage with the process. Please advise I am completely out of ideas and hope that anything will ever improve. Just wish I had never had him!
Your post rings some bells with me, I can feel how very frustrated you feel and believe me I've been there! Have you looked at PDA ? None of us here can diagnose but the defiant, controlling aspect of your son, along with the fact that reward/ punishment have little effect remind me of my 4 year with a diagnosis of asd/ PDA.
I'm sure others will more along with some advise too, but take a look at the guidelines for PDA children, they might help you until things be or clearer.
Keep posting loads of great advise here !
Thanks Walter I have posted before and PDA keeps getting mentioned which is quite frightening, however I am finding him so difficult to manage I am now "hoping" for something to be wrong to explain why he is so challenging. I can't understand why everyone else seems to be able to manage several children and enjoy them, whilst every day with mine is grim.
Hi my son is 5.9 and recently diagnosed with ASD. For me, the bit between 3.5 and 5 were pretty much hell. Grim is exactly the right word. Life is still very tough and it is more apparent now just how significant his difficulties are but things have improved and his nature is sweeter. He was a poppet before 3, with hindsight I can see that going out into external settings triggered off his issues and then some. Push for answers though won't you. I was in an absolute fog of denial and just froze really, didn't know what to do. Life might have been a bit better for me and him if I had pushed harder in the early days. I think 3 can be a pretty difficult age for all kids, my older child was no walk in the park, but it's so very magnified if they have development probs. Hugs.
Hi * jussey*, he sounds like my Dd1, it is very hard work
Firstly I would say start keeping a diary, record every time he is aggressive or his behaviour is not what you think is "normal", try to remember[and write down] what caused the behaviour and also how you dealt with it.
If he tries to hit you, block his blows and say in a loud firm voice [not shouting] "do not hit mummy". IME time out is unlikely to have an effect and to get him to stay in time out is likely to make things worse in terms of aggression.
I would try to ignore as much as you possibly can unless he is endangering you, himself or others.
It maybe that he is trying to get a reaction from you and at the moment he doesnt care if it is positive or negative.
Try to notice small things that he does well and make a massive issue of them so if he finds his shoes, you say in a really jolly OTT voice "Oh well done you found your shoes" It is hard at first but it does help with lots [not all] of children.
Most of all, be kind to yourself, you will get through this, try to get a break if you can and good luck
Thanks limbo lie now that you mention it social settings have often made things worse toddler groups were an absolute nightmare as he just wouldn't play.
I am so angry with the cp for repeated delays and cancellations even though she could c we were at breaking point 6 weeks ago so don't know how to deal with that.
Ineedmorepatience thanks for the diary advice we have been keeping a food diary but maybe the generalised bad behaviour is worth recording too if only for my own sanity.
I am finding time out to be completely ineffectual, but have no other sanction, once I have removed his favourite toy and ignored like mad I have no where else to go, heaven knows I can understand why people hit their children not that that is something I would do. any ideas for bigger immediate sanctions I have done the pasta jar and even when I empty the whole jar he doesn't seem to care. I have also taken away all 20odd trains one at a time and he still doesn't seem to care/relent.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Been thinking about the time out thing. Is there anyway you could create him a safe space with pillows/cushions/beanbags where he could go to scream and hit if he needs to.
If he is still small enough put a gate across the door and you stay on the other side. you could call it a chill out zone, calming place, safe space, what ever you wanted. If he can climb stair gates perhaps a stable type door would work.
You need to be able to put him somewhere when his behaviour is out of control and he might calm quicker.
The only thing I will say is that he will probably throw everything around so if you need to use his room I would clear out any dangerous missiles.
I agree with Polter about recording strategies that work and also about trying to use positive language. For me saying use kind hands or be gentle didnt work that why I suggested Do not hit mummy, but it might work for your Ds.
Also with the marble/pasta in the jar, you shouldnt remove pieces because they have already been earned and removing them for later bad behaviour can lead to resentment and then the whole thing breaks down. If he thinks you will remove them, what is the point in earning them. I am not criticising, some people do say remove them for bad behaviour but it undermines the whole system. Remove other things if necessary. Again removing toys didnt work with Dd1 she would just play with something else. She was a nightmare.
Putting her in her room was the only thing that had an effect because she couldnt get any attention, positive or negative.
It is really hard work but try to talk about 3 nice things that have happened in the day before you put him to bed, it will make you feel more positive even if he doesnt engage.
Try to work out what sets him off and then you can start to work on reducing the effects. Dd3 for instance will meltdown if plans change so we dont tell her about plans until they are definite and often not until the day we are doing something.
It's tricky, I have to say it sounds a lot like my almost 4 year old - she's NT as far as I'm aware. For her it's a control thing. Once she's entrenched in a position, it seems to physically pain her to back down, so she has to push it to it's conclusion, so that she can eventually make up again. It's nuts.
I've worked hard to try and remove ultimatums, present choices which are both acceptable to me, trivialise things by making jokes, lower my expectations and build more time into beginnings/endings so that I get less annoyed by the inevitable faffing of 5 different tops all being unacceptable, refusing to put her coat on, insisting on finding the gloves that she refused to put in her basket the day before so aren't there ready for her, etc.
I also find that asking her to help me with something that involves 'x' as part of the process is more likely to get a response than asking her to do 'x' directly.
Lots of the things I mentioned are used (I think) with PDA anyway, but I've found that for DD3 it is simply a case of her feeling that she is so very grown up that she should be the boss and in charge and equal to me, yet that very thought is frightening, so she's fighting herself as much as us!
When DS was 3 I was at my wits end with his behaviour and my HV advised I used 1 2 3 Magic.
Time outs were a nightmare - he just threw himself at his door and screamed for hours. I once had to do a time out when we were out so had to sit him with his back to me and hold him as he bit and kicked.
1 2 3 Magic wnet in the bin as did Time Outs. He goes to calm down now as in - 'DS, you need time to calm down, let's go and sit in your room'
I think of it as a 'Time In' ie time in a safe place with me nearby.
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen is my book of choice these days.
Thanks poltergoose and ineedmore I will try the airy and the chill out zone instead of time out he is very small ( due to the eating) and poorly coordinated so climbing isn't really a problem. The only thing he reliably eats is bread, other things have come and gone, now we are even fighting about what was our most reliable meal breakfast.
PDA does seem to describe much of his behaviour but it applies equally to at least one of his friends so I don't know what to think. Dp is convinced that it is PDA and is negotiating and persuading like mad which makes me feel worse as he thinks I am too tough.
Louie thanks my ds can comply when he wants too which makes me unsure about the PDA thing maybe I am expecting too much ie for him to be a rational, reasonable mini-adult even though he's only 3. I am so angry that identifying aN underlying cause rather than just simple defiance and naughtiness is appealing.
Have ordered how to talk so kids will listen neverputasockin, thank you.
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