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Ds1 self harms then blames it on us - what to do? (long!)

(9 Posts)
lilibet Fri 18-Mar-05 23:02:04

For the third time in about six months ds1 (11)has had subjected us to a very strange experience.
The first one was about six months ago, he and dh were in the living room, having a row about something, probably homework and ds1 started shouting "get off me" "stop it" " don't hit me" and other things along those lines. Nothing had happened - they were stood at opposite ends of the room.
Then a couple of months ago he and I had a row and a good 10 minutes later he came downstairs with a burst lip - he then accused me of doing it and no matter how much I reminded him that I hadn't touched him he insisted that I had burst his lip.
Tonight there was a row and ds1 threw the laundry basket at dh, dh put it back on his bed, the row continued, ds1 threw it at him and it hit dh, dh threw it back and it may have hit ds1, but if it did it could only have been on his bum because of the position he was in (dd age 16 was there and backs this up, I was coming home from work.) I came in from work, was in about 10 minutes, when ds came down with a bleeding nose and said that it had happened when dh threw the laudry basket at him. Because of the time delay (if there had been a burst nose it would have been immediatley apparent as with the lip)

We didn't accuse ds1 of making this up but after a minute he shouted at us "why would I make my own nose bleed?"
He has had a lot of problems at school due to not working and not doing homework and has been deprived of things at home [game boy x box etc]

I totally beleive dh/dd, but what on earth would you do in this situation?

Tortington Sat 19-Mar-05 19:07:38

i am very sorry you are experiencing this problem.

when my kids think they are in a zone where they can throw any old shit and mum and dad and get away withit. i remind them that there is another option - social services. if they dont like living with my rules and getting all the benefits ( listed at great length) of living at home. if they dont think its nice here - then i will call social services and they can have legal guardianship becuase "quite frankley i have had enough of your shit"

this usually shocks them - shock being an excellent tool.

you have to tell him that by making this stuff up and telling everyone at school - he must be telling someone theres the sympathy benefit to it, - that school are going to call social services anyway and he will be removed from your family for his own safety.

i tend to go about this nonchalantly and walk into the kitchen saying " we would save a fortune on clothes and games and food etc"

listen if there is no value in doing it - he wont do it - its like a kid - 3 years own who bangs his head in the floor to get attention. when you walk away and ignore the behaviour - once that behaviour has no reward for the kid it will invariably stop.

the root is as mentioned in your post - he is stressed at school. he needs help, you need to speak to school, help him get ontop of homework, get the school to help you help him - for instance my girl was acting up at school and getting many detentions - why? becuase she hadn't done some homework, she got herself to a state where she didnt want to go to school to see this partic teacher and was in tears every other day. i went to see the head of year - we both agreed she was in a pickle and an agreement was made that we would get a list of missing homework and she could type it and print it off at home and stick it in - instead of writing for hours on end......she did it and will not get behind again.

you need to do this at the same time as telling him to cut the shit IMO, as if he gets ontop of school work but knows this behaviour pushes buttons then there is no reason for him to stop.

hope this helps even though my approach isn't as conventional as most!

Tortington Mon 21-Mar-05 09:48:13

any update?

lilibet Mon 21-Mar-05 12:17:38

Hi Custy

Your approach would be a good one if dh was ds's Dad, but he isn't and we have to tread carefully as I would hate ds to end up living with his dad.

We are constantly in touch with School and go in to see his teachers/head of house regularly.

He just has such a 'don't give a shit' attitude to school. He has detentions and doesn't even bother turnign up for them and was threatnend with exclusion a while back. We keep thinking that we have 'turned the corner' but then there is another setback like this

Tortington Mon 21-Mar-05 19:12:28

ahhhh, that does make a difference doesn't it. maybe you need to get a child psychologist? thats the only other thing i can think of. i truly am sorry your going through this and i hope things get better soon

happymerryberries Mon 21-Mar-05 19:18:27

What have the school sugested, if anything?

I would contact them and see if they think that a referal to the EBSS would help your ds. I would be worried at his behaviour if I were his teacher, particulary with the detention/exclusion probelms. EBSS may well be able to arrange some psychological care. Is he on the schools SEN regester? If he isn't on School action plus I think that this level of support might help him. Are the school aware of the self harm?

Hope that things get better for you all soon

lilibet Tue 22-Mar-05 10:24:06

What is EBSS?

He is seeing a counsellour at school.

Being really nice today - offered to help with some stuff without being asked so he has been rewarded with 45 minutes on msn - he's thrilled to bits!!

happymerryberries Tue 22-Mar-05 16:28:37

Great that you are having a good day, I am so glad. EBSS, emotional behavioural social services. Sounds like you may have tapped into this if your ds is having councelling already

Hope that things are jusr as good tomorrow!

cornflake Wed 30-Mar-05 22:09:52

I think teenagers need to be handled a bit like toddlers in some ways in that each day has to be a fresh start and keep working on the things you're trying to deal with. Hang on to the times he's helpful as I think it's often a teens way of saying sorry or trying to get close to you. They're not much good at putting that stuff into words; but then neither are adults. Sometimes if kids are upset or hurting or upset inside they'll say they'll make a big fuss over tiny little physical knocks e.g. being caught with a basket or brushed past as a way of creating a release for their hurt. My SS used to do it all the time as a little boy and would act like you're trying to murder him if you accidentally knocked him or brushed past him!! He was a screwed up little boy because of his history though.

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