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Ds defiant and will not so as he's told, ever! Advice please?

10 replies

Salbertina · 21/08/2013 08:02

Really struggling, ds generally had rather challenging behaviour for years and has ADHD & dyspraxia diagnosis. He will not listen to me at all now, every conversation a fight, he negotiates to do something different or later. He calls me a bully for withdrawing privileges or for asking him to think about what he's done wrong. Never ever seems to think he should behave better. He will not walk dog, pick up own clothes, eat breakfast do hmk get changed etc etc without huge protest, challenge, delays. He will not ever help even with the most basic stuff. Complains about toast temperature, shoe fitting etc etc, his younger sibling getting v upset with it all. Dh & i huge marital difficulties so aware he's probably acting out. Tried reward charts, 123 magic, psychologist ritalin fish oil exercise talking family conferences etc etc.

School report laziness and attitude problem esp with female teachers.

Dh rather in denial. No school or external support at all (overseas). Help pls i cant cope with him!!

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Salbertina · 21/08/2013 08:06

I realise this doesn't sound much but EVERY meal time, conversation, journey ends in argument and often tears. I cant live like this, am exhausted and don't know what to do anymore!

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Donki · 21/08/2013 08:15

Try looking for strategies to deal with Oppositional Defiance Disorder - ODD. You may find some helpful ideas.

It is exhausting - but it can be managed.

Salbertina · 21/08/2013 08:40

Thanks, donki. Probably my ignorance but cant help struggling with ODD as label rather than oppositional behaviour as effect of adhd or whatever. Am i wrong? Do you find it a useful label in terms of parenting? Willing to try anything tbh, just had v unhelpful conversation w dh telling me to calm down and rather downplaying .. Again.

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Salbertina · 21/08/2013 08:58

And how to manage? Psychotherapy?? Money a concern, bloody nothing is free here but not sure can manage alone anymore. Dh trying to help- just sent message saying "he's at rebellious age". Sigh, he SO doesn't get it!

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Donki · 21/08/2013 09:00

It is frequently co-morbid with ADHD, and is just a label for a set of very challenging behaviours, but you might find it useful to signpost resources. I am finding PDA (Pathological demand avoidance) more useful as a label for some of my son's behaviours hence for finding strategies for my son - but he sounds slightly different. Many of the strategies are similar, so you might find some using that instead/as well.

You are NOT making a diagnosis. You are looking for helpful strategies.
I find it helpful to remember that the only person whose behaviour I can directly change is my own. So I have to change how I am interacting/reacting.

Being pro-active so that I am not just reacting is very important, i.e. trying to do things or change the environment to avoid triggering the behaviour (when reasonable - with my son this means not springing things on him without warning for instance. Talking through expectations in advance. Setting up reward systems - tokens for time on Minecraft for instance in advance).

Ignoring behaviour like wingeing and stamping/slamming doors (so that it does not get re-inforced by attention). My husband finds this really difficult. Then giving attention/praise when the undesired behaviour stops!

Finding reasons (however small) to give positive attention/praise/time together.

Finding ways to help him recognise and self manage his behaviour - this does NOT mean trying to reason with him when he is not listening! (Hard)

Not taking the behaviour personally (hard!) but VERY IMPORTANT - he is trying to push your buttons and make you take it personally!

Donki · 21/08/2013 09:03

You might find a good child psychologist helpful - but equally, talking things through with other parents can be helpful if you can find a support group.

And, (which sounds as though it will be difficult) it is ESSENTIAL that you and your husband work together to be consistent.

Oh - and don't fight battles that aren't important. Give him a choice for breakfast - but if he doesn't want to eat, just say OK! My DS just isn't hungry first thing in the morning...

Salbertina · 21/08/2013 09:08

Thanks, donki. Shall re-read sms digest, v helpful. How old is your dc? And how do you stay sane? Constant pressure esp from family/friends to normalise it, dismissing any label making me therefore feel wholly responsible for failing him due to my bad parenting. Also worry of him being stigmatised by this label by his friends etc. but what else can i do? At end of my tether!!

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Donki · 21/08/2013 09:15

Don't use the label with them then - but you can describe a behaviour and ask for suggestions to manage it, or when they criticise, say, well I've tried [insert strategy of choice], what do you suggest? And if it's unhelpful, acknowledge (but don't use) - or say that you have tried that, but find that it escalates the situation (or whatever) so have they any other suggestions?

It IS very tiring. Some days you WILL get it wrong. You are not superwoman! There is always another day to try again. And if YOU are losing it, and the situation is safe. WALK AWAY. Come back when you have both calmed down. But there is hope - and there is always MN :)

The SN boards are very helpful.

Salbertina · 21/08/2013 10:57

Thanks, Donki. Oh for the kindness of strangers- your kindness!- and MN!

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Donki · 23/08/2013 19:33

How are things going Salbertina?

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