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Need help with my son....(LOOOOOOOONG)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
As you all know I have 2 boys. One will be 4 on Monday and the other will be 8 Dec 6th. I am having the hardest time with both of them! Deacon (the soon to be 4yr old) is just being a 4yr old. Pushing the envelope to see what he can get away with, but all in all, a normal 4 yr old. But Justice, my soon to be 8 yr old is getting impossible! He's becoming a very difficult and unpleaseant child. I will ask him to do something and he will drop to the floor and cry like hes 2. And when I say cry, I dont mean just tears, I mean BAWLING and SCREAMING. Just because I asked him to feed the cats, or to put his dinner dishes in the sink. Simple things like that set him off. And he has the smartest mouth on a kid I have ever seen. Like this morning he comes out of the bedroom and says "Lets go" I just ignored him because we had about 10 more mins before I have to leave to take him to school. He then says "DID YOU HEAR ME?! I SAID LETS GO NOW!" I calmy turned and looked at him and told him I did not answer him the first time because I am the parent and HE is the child and he is NOT going to try and tell me what to do and, when he takes that tone with me I am just going to ignore him more!
He tries to "parent" everyone in the house about everything. I have also seen him, bite punch, kick, and slap his little brother. I know that can be just sibling rivalry, but its getting worse. He has blacked his eyes, bit him to the bleeding point and even kicked him in the throat.
There has been a couple of occasions that when I have went to physically stop him from doing something (because he will completely ignore me) that he has even taken a swing at me! I don't like spanking him because he's a rather big kid. He's almost 8 yrs old and weighs 80lbs. Thats another thing that worries me, he is gaining weight like he's a grown man. His father (my ex husband) is not a large man, (only 5'5 160lbs) nor am I (5'4 130). I can't get him outside to ride a bike, he wants to sit and play PS2 (which we unhooked) or watch TV (which I unplug ). He's also got a serious lying problem. He will go to his dad's and tell him I didnt feed him, that I pull his hair and dig my nails into his arm. There have been a few instances in the store when I tell him to leave something alone, or to stop and when he doesn't I will walk towards him and he will run backwards yelling "DONT BEAT ME!" Which just about puts me in tears because it's embarrassing and people look at me like Im some kind of child beater. I very VERY rarely spank him, because I don't believe in it. I don't know where he is gettin this from. I have talked to his father about it and his response was "he doesnt do these things with me" well of course he doesnt!!!! His father lets him get away with murder!! Like when I told him that he bit Deacon, he says "well Deacon probably deserved it" . He doesn't back me up on anything. I have went to the extent of taking EVERYTHING but his bed out of his room and grounding him. I even told him "every time you do something bad, Santa takes a present away" Justice says " thats ok, my dad will have santa get it" so I called his dad and told him, right in front of Justice what I said, and he says "isnt that harsh?" I just about lost it. My husband now, has tried to help with him by being strict but he works 12-14 hour days and by the time he gets home, the kids are getting ready for bed... If anyone can give me some advice on this or is you have had the similar situation PLEASE help me!?? Im at my wits end. I have tried to get him counsiling but my insurance doesn't cover it and the school says they can't help because he doesnt act like this in class...... Any advice is welcomed and appreciated!
post #2 of 20
Wow.... now that sounds really awful! I'm sorry you have to be going through this. Alex was really unpleasant for a while, but he was only 4 - yet he was worse than your average 4 year old. Obviously your 8 year old is finding that if he screams around his father, his father will pander to him, so he's going to try that with you. What I would advise is keeping him away from his father for a while and see how his behaviour changes. Keep a log of his behaviour, what sets him off, when what his reactions are. If you notice a marked difference in him when he doesn't see his father, then there's a problem with that relationship that needs to be adressed. He's an angry 8 year old. Have a little look at his diet too, take out additives - all colourings, sweeteners, preservatives, because sometimes there are things in foods that can set up reactions like this. Certainly if he's gaining weight so fast, perhaps it might be worth speaking to a doctor as well. Try child psychologists, support groups... everything you can think of, because I know that the more support you can get, the better. I didn't have the support that I would have liked to have had. It might be worth asking him why he's behaving the way he is. Is he jealous of his brother? Does he miss his father? Is he being bullied in school? Is he in with the "right" friends?

He's definitely pushing too many boundaries. You've done a good thing in trying to show him that he doesn't get attention through bad behaviour. A good tactic I've seen used, is when the bad behaviour starts, physically remove that child to their room and shut them in. Ignore the temper tantrum, and sooner or later they will calm down. But when there's good behaviour, do some really SERIOUS rewarding. If he's good and helps you, take him for an ice-cream or something. If he's bad, take away the playstation until he EARNS it back.

O had a reward scheme for Alex - he loves money - and he seemed to grasp the concept of value really quickly. He would start with 20 pennies a day. If he was bad, I would take a penny away. If he was good, he got a penny for that behaviour. At the end of the week, he could take his pennies and buy a treat. Whether it was a small candy bar or whatever, he had to earn that. He caught on really quickly (and after a while he was earning a lot of money a week!)

I'm n ot sure what else I can suggest for you sweetie, and I can only advise from having a 4 year old But I hope it helps a bit
post #3 of 20
I have no experience with children so feel free to ignore me, but it sounds like you need to have a serious talk with your ex-husband. The two of you need to work together as a team, not your ex scoring brownie points by buying your sons the things you have taken away as punishment. Being 'the good guy' may make him feel good now, but when his sons turn into nightmares he'll be trying to blame someone else.

My older brother used to beat me up when I was little too, and there were times when he really hurt me. I remember going to my Mum in tears and telling her, and her reply was 'you must have done something to deserve it'. Years later I didn't blame my brother, but my mother. She allowed him to get away with it, and she allowed him to carry on hurting me. Your situation is different in that you can see what's happening and aren't assigning blame, but make sure you don't accidently neglect your younger son in order to concentrate on Justice's behaviour. Take time out to give Deacon a hug too
post #4 of 20
Its so difficult to be a parent and watch your children go through such opposition and difficulty, isn't it??
I do remember that you were recently going through some serious marriage/BF difficulties surrounding addiction and then a big move to another state, is that right?

If these issues really started to surface only recently, then I might look to these big changes in his little life as somewhat of a catalyst.
No, don't get me wrong. This doesn't mean its your fault. We all go through big ups and downs but I think with such big changes, Justice (and the little one too maybe) might really benefit from some counselling. I am surprised that there are NO agencies to help you!

Can you make an appt with his principal or teachers/counselor at school and discuss what big events are taking place in his life? They really should listen to you if you stress the seriousness of your concern.. I just think that is so sad that they simply shrugged you off. I really think some family/individual counselling is needed for your little guy. I don't know the whole situation but I know that when kids go through big things, they still deal with them as little kids. They simply do not have the mental resources adults do and have to learn how to deal with things effectively.

I think that if underlying issues aren't dealt with and adults don't step in, that these issues come back to manifest themselves in difficult behaviours throughout a lifetime.

Good luck and let us know...
I will be rooting for you!
post #5 of 20
omg i am having the exact same proble with my 8 and 9 year olds cheyenne my 9 year old has the mouth and the attitude and hunter my 8 year old has the "temper and stubbornness. i thought i was the only onr that felt that way. i don't spank my kids either and it is very frustrating and i don't know what to do we also have tried everything from taking everything away from them to counciling and nothing works. my grandmother thought it was funny and siad that i was getting what i deserved for not disiplining the correctly(she used to switch us with a tree limb!) she says they are spoiled Not true!!!!! most of the time my kids are very well behaved mind thier manners and follow the daily routuine of the house but when it is just me and the kids at the house they are absolutely hell cats!!!!! does your son do this only when you are around or does he do this when your husband is there also?
post #6 of 20
Sounds like there's something else going on for him to be acting out like this. Maybe your recent move has him more upset than he's like to admit? Little boys can be so stoic about their emotions, and refuse to admit that they're sad about something because they've been given the message from the media and society that it's not okay for boys to be sad, so instead, they get angry.
Is he having a hard time at school? Could he possibly be being bullied?
These are the only things I can think of. My heart goes out to you. Maybe over Christmas break (which is coming pretty soon) you and he could go out to lunch together or spend some time just the two of you, and you could let him know that you're not mad at him, you're just upset because he doesn't seem like the happy little boy he used to be. Sometimes, all it takes is for them to know that you're not mad and just want them to be happy for them to start to open up to you about what's bothering them. Being a kid today is so hard, so much harder even then 20 years ago when I was little.
Good luck. You sound like a wonderful, caring parent, and I'm sure you'll get through this and get your sweet little boy back.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
These issues have always been a problem with Justice. Worse on th days he knows hes going to his fathers. Like Friday before he leaves he KNOWS even if I ground him for the afternoon that come 5o'clock, he's off to his dads until sunday night. Same on weds when he goes over there at 5 o'clock and comes home at 8pm. but I have noticed since we moved closer to his dad he has gotten worse because instead of one night a week being w/him, he's with him 3 nights a week. He IS only like this when it's them and me. He knows my husband wont put up with this behavior.
Lovey, my husband and I did split up recently but worked things out and they are better then ever. I don't think any of that has affected him because he was like this before, during and after we were having problems.Matter of fact he's ALWAYS been this way. Even before my current hubby and I were married.
I can't seem to get ANY help with him from ANYWHERE. Even though he doesn't act out in school, it's starting to reflect in his school work. He had to repeat kindergarten last year and is looking like he might have to repreat 1st or just "slip through" because they wont do anything for him unless he shows it in school.... Im just totally lost
post #8 of 20
I would say that even though you have worked things out well with your ex-husband, that doesn't mean that changes haven't affected him, even if he alread had some problems.
I would say that the earlier you start counseling or therapy with him the better. Talking to the school as well is a great idea, they may be able to help find an appropriate counselor. Maybe there is a social worker that can hook you up with counseling for a low cost? I'm also wondering if you qualify for healthcare through Medicaid? I'm ignorant of your financial situation, but it doesn't hurt find out if you need it. It sounds like he might have some anger managment or oppositional behaviour issues, or perhaps is depressed. Working in the court system, I often see kids that have tons of problems and no one has intervened until its too late.
I also know that my parents took me at around the same age when I started having some serious temper tantrums. I'm not sure if it helped or not at the time, but I don't remember it negatively. My sister also went later on, she has had issues with major depression. Remember, it won't do any harm to look for help!
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieDarlin256
As you all know I have 2 boys. One will be 4 on Monday and the other will be 8 Dec 6th. I am having the hardest time with both of them! Deacon (the soon to be 4yr old) is just being a 4yr old. Pushing the envelope to see what he can get away with, but all in all, a normal 4 yr old. But Justice, my soon to be 8 yr old is getting impossible! He's becoming a very difficult and unpleaseant child. I will ask him to do something and he will drop to the floor and cry like hes 2. And when I say cry, I dont mean just tears, I mean BAWLING and SCREAMING. Just because I asked him to feed the cats, or to put his dinner dishes in the sink. Simple things like that set him off. And he has the smartest mouth on a kid I have ever seen. Like this morning he comes out of the bedroom and says "Lets go" I just ignored him because we had about 10 more mins before I have to leave to take him to school. He then says "DID YOU HEAR ME?! I SAID LETS GO NOW!" I calmy turned and looked at him and told him I did not answer him the first time because I am the parent and HE is the child and he is NOT going to try and tell me what to do and, when he takes that tone with me I am just going to ignore him more!
He tries to "parent" everyone in the house about everything. I have also seen him, bite punch, kick, and slap his little brother. I know that can be just sibling rivalry, but its getting worse. He has blacked his eyes, bit him to the bleeding point and even kicked him in the throat.
There has been a couple of occasions that when I have went to physically stop him from doing something (because he will completely ignore me) that he has even taken a swing at me! I don't like spanking him because he's a rather big kid. He's almost 8 yrs old and weighs 80lbs. Thats another thing that worries me, he is gaining weight like he's a grown man. His father (my ex husband) is not a large man, (only 5'5 160lbs) nor am I (5'4 130). I can't get him outside to ride a bike, he wants to sit and play PS2 (which we unhooked) or watch TV (which I unplug ). He's also got a serious lying problem. He will go to his dad's and tell him I didnt feed him, that I pull his hair and dig my nails into his arm. There have been a few instances in the store when I tell him to leave something alone, or to stop and when he doesn't I will walk towards him and he will run backwards yelling "DONT BEAT ME!" Which just about puts me in tears because it's embarrassing and people look at me like Im some kind of child beater. I very VERY rarely spank him, because I don't believe in it. I don't know where he is gettin this from. I have talked to his father about it and his response was "he doesnt do these things with me" well of course he doesnt!!!! His father lets him get away with murder!! Like when I told him that he bit Deacon, he says "well Deacon probably deserved it" . He doesn't back me up on anything. I have went to the extent of taking EVERYTHING but his bed out of his room and grounding him. I even told him "every time you do something bad, Santa takes a present away" Justice says " thats ok, my dad will have santa get it" so I called his dad and told him, right in front of Justice what I said, and he says "isnt that harsh?" I just about lost it. My husband now, has tried to help with him by being strict but he works 12-14 hour days and by the time he gets home, the kids are getting ready for bed... If anyone can give me some advice on this or is you have had the similar situation PLEASE help me!?? Im at my wits end. I have tried to get him counsiling but my insurance doesn't cover it and the school says they can't help because he doesnt act like this in class...... Any advice is welcomed and appreciated!
I'm not sure, but, make a really big buff guy come over your house and scare your son by telling him that if he misbehaves you will be arrested or that he will be put into jail or something to that extent. Make things up as you go. Make him spend a day in a jail with other kids or something.
For everything he does wrong, show him the consequences. Say, "You like to lie? The devil likes liars. You want to end up in hell boy?" And show him a crucifix or make him watch the Passion of the Christ on DVD.
If that doesn't work, then you should stop putting up with his B/S.
Be more strict, but at the same time respect his views.

Just scare him with something. A drill seargeant... jail... satan... make him believe you're dead, I don't know. Its worth a try.

You can always try therapy. But come on, who needs therapy when you got me? Right?
post #10 of 20
Aw, hon, you are in such a tough, tough spot!! And this can't make you feel comfortable about your current marriage (I have a disabled adult daughter, and a marriage less than 5 years old - it can sure tax things). I am really concerned most about your older son - he is definitely having anger issues. Since you got the new red truck, it seems that things in the home are going well. Maybe since his step-dad is gone so much, your son worries that this man, too, will go away.
Does anyone in your area offer therapeutic riding lessons? The horses & the understanding people who work in this field have so much healing to offer.
Your ex has done an excellent job of manipulating a child, just to get back at you! Even if your ex has someone new in his life, it is still very possible that he is jealous that you have re-married.
My prayers & thoughts are with you during this difficult time. And please give Deacon a big hug for me - my older brother was mean to my littler brother & me for years, and we were actually scared of him - tell Deacon that someday he'll be big enough to give as good as he gets!
post #11 of 20
I am thinking a full physical with allegy tests... His behavior sounds like me when I eat too much of food I am allergic to .... also if he repeated kindergarden he may have some hostility pent up due to being older than the others..
post #12 of 20
I am 16, so you may not want to take my advice. But I am sort of young and could maybe say what I think about it all.

Clearly at least to me, it has to do with his father letting him get away with anything and everything. If I were you, I would try and just talk to his father and have him talk to your son. Or maybe you even have a serious conversation with him and tell them how he is making you feel.

For me personally, I was raised by my single mom by the way and I visit my dad every other week. Anyways, I always reacted worse when my parents got mad or punished me. It made me mad, especially yelling and stuff. As far as grounding that can work. Take away his PS2 etc. Maybe even reward him for good that he does and his brother too. I am sure you already do, but maybe you could do something like if they are good for one week and you don't have to tell them one time to behave that you will get them something.

I am just thinking of ideas, but I think a talk with him. And telling him that the way he is acting is really taking a toll on you etc. And don't always be mad at him, it turn he will want to rebel.

Hopefully I helped you some.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieDarlin256
These issues have always been a problem with Justice. ... I don't think any of that has affected him because he was like this before, during and after we were having problems.Matter of fact he's ALWAYS been this way. Even before my current hubby and I were married.
I can't seem to get ANY help with him from ANYWHERE. Even though he doesn't act out in school, it's starting to reflect in his school work. He had to repeat kindergarten last year and is looking like he might have to repreat 1st or just "slip through" because they wont do anything for him unless he shows it in school.... Im just totally lost
Hey, he sounds a lot like another kid whose dad I know, and this kid was just diagnosed with ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). Here's the American definition I got from a website.

A pattern of negativistic, hostile, and defiant behavior lasting at least 6 months, during which four (or more) of the following are present:
often loses temper
often argues with adults
often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
often deliberately annoys people
often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
is often angry and resentful
is often spiteful or vindictive

I don't think that his behavior is 100% due to your current circumstances, because as you said, he's always been this way to some degree. I think ODD mainly treated with behavior modification; my friend and his wife are learning new techniques to deal with their son. I guess the standard discipline techniques (time out, grounding, etc.) may not work as well with kids with ODD? Not sure about that. Anyway, it sounds to me like that's possibly what you have on your hands. I would ask your doctor for a referral (if you need one; not sure how your insurance works) to a psychiatrist specializing in children.
post #14 of 20
why dont you do like what that mother did in the IMO thread?
post #15 of 20
i don't have kids, but I do occasionally watch Supernanny (reminds me why I don't want kids). Jo (Nanny) has LOTS of wonderful ideas for dealing with this EXACT behavior.

http://abc.go.com/primetime/supernanny/

AND

http://www.supernanny.net/

Jo uses a system where if the kid misbehaves, you remove them from the situation and place them in/on a 'naughty room/chair/mat' which is a neutral place where they can't get into anything major. if it's a separate room, then there's no TV/radio in it. like a guest bedroom. If it's a mat or chair, it's nowhere near the tv or radios. it's a specific place for 'timeout' which is only as long (in minutes) as the child is old. 8 years old = 8 minutes. afterward, you get down on their level talk in a calm voice as to why they behaved that way, explain to them that it's not acceptable, and ask for an apology. Vice-versa, when they do something good, they get a reward token (something appropriate), say a small jar with their name on it (make one for each child) and then have ten marbles in a color specific for that kid. when they do something good (like feed the cats when asked), they get a marble. when all ten marbles have been accumulated in their jar, they get to have some sort of reward. examples could be: a hour with their games, an afternoon at the arcade with mommy... something they want. but they have to EARN that reward.

Also making sure they're on a schedule and keeping them to it. when you said he tried demanding to leave for school before you planned, and you kept to your schedule, that's good. whenever he does that, he sits on the 'naughty chair' until it's time to go.

Also do some things the others have suggested: talk to his dad ndn get HIM on the same page. if you do these things, HE has to do the same things and STICK with it. Also sit down with his teachers and the principal and find out how he's behaving in class and on the playground.

I'm sure it'll be tough getting things settled. Moving is stressful, on him and you. On top of that, he's at an age where he's asserting his independence. He's trying to figure out where he stands, with you, dad and his surroundings in general. Be firm. Supernanny is a wonderful show. I swear the parents on there are tougher to change than the kids. Justice is taking full advantage of the separate households, becoming very manipulative of both of you. If you can get on the same page wiht the ex-hubby, things will improve.

Good luck! I hope some of this helps...if not, C'est la Vie. I'm no expert, I know... but I've always been good at observation.

Amanda (crawling back to corner to do some more writing...)
post #16 of 20
Hrmn - I would like to just suggest his diet again - I know perhaps it's unreasonable, but I cannot stress how HUGE a difference I saw in Alex after he was on just organic food.

I definitely think there's something that runs a lot deeper - chidren who have allergies to additives in food can experience all of the above symptoms of ODD as posted, because their brains become so "hotwired" on the stuff that is literally "poisoning" them. Even if there is an underlying problem with his relationship his father and the move etc, or even bullying, it'd be easier to get out of him if he's a little calmer. There is a lot to be said for a child's diet - Alex went from being loud-mouthed, hot tempered, disruptive and deliberately destructive and violent, to very calm, quiet, polite and his concentration span was incredible. He never showed many of his bad symptoms as playgroup - only the minor things that ALL of the kids went through (just for a longer period of time) because he was constantly occupied with various activities the group leaders were giving them. He could switch and chop and change activities as often as he liked. There was a little problem with him being very opposed to doing anything that a leader told him he should do, but that all disappeared after he had his diet changed. I would seriously recommend at least trying it.
post #17 of 20
I think the allergy test is a good idea, but I think threatening him with jail or something is a bad idea, for a kid that is only 8! It wouldn't hurt to explain what jail is. When I was in 4th grade we did take a tour of the police station and they showed us the cell. Now sometimes at the court house employees will show their kids "the lockup". Sometimes a judge will send a younger kid (16 or 17) to jail for a few days if they feel they need it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
post #18 of 20
First, let me say that I devoutly hope Zoggy's post was intended as a joke. If it wasn't... well, I just hope it was.

It sounds to me as if your son has gotten the idea that you, as his mother, do not deserve to be treated with respect, and that your wishes and opinions are not to be valued. He has almost certainly gotten that idea from observing the way one or both of your husbands have spoken to you.

Instead of trying to address all the various symptoms of this lack of respect, you need to get at the root cause. That means the cure needs to begin with BOTH your husbands, former and current. They both need to demonstrate to your son that THEY respect you and THEY listen to what you have to say and value your input.

And they also need to sit down with him (separately or together, and in your presence) and explain calmly that he has gotten the wrong idea about how he's supposed to treat his mother. They need to explain to him that there's no one in the world who deserves his love and respect more than his own mother... and that, even if he doesn't understand that yet, he's going to have to ACT as if he does.

Then they need to explain to him that he has hurt his mother's feelings very badly, and he needs to apologize to her and make up with her. With any luck, he'll come hug you and you can forgive him and reassure him that you love him.

Later, when your son forgets all this and acts up again, you need to stay calm and remind him gently about this meeting. Remind him that you and he are on the same team now. If this doesn't work, ask one or both husbands to talk with him privately and reiterate the message.

It might take several reminders, and it WILL take ABSOLUTE CONSISTENCY in the respect and care with which your husbands treat you in your son's presence... but I've seen this work in a similar situation, and at the very same age.

All the suggestions from others about health issues, diet, additives, etc., are excellent, and I think you should pursue them, too. I really wish you well... I know how heartbreaking it is to see a precious child bend to the wrong influence this way. Good luck...
post #19 of 20
Well first off, if Zoggy's comments were in any way serious, bear in mind there's a kid trying to advise you on how to raise yours. If it was intended as a joke, perhaps he will grow to realize in what situations a joke is appropriate.

Anyway.... as difficult as it may be, you have to get on some common ground with your ex as far as discipline goes for your kids. You two may not have been able to hold your marriage together, but you only get one shot with your kids. It is not worth using them as weapons against each other.

I am not sure how long you and your ex have been split up, but if it was anything close to recent, that may also account for the behavior change in your son.
post #20 of 20
i was just reading this thread and not wanting to sound like i am siding with your eight year old or condoning his actions,i was just thinking,maybe he is resentfull towards his brother and his home situation.
see from his view,his dads left,his little brother came on the scene when he was 4 and since then little bro takes attention from him,little bro may have more done for him,big bro has to clean up after himself???and maybe after little bro too??maybe big bro is confused about his role in the home,e.g he feels like a kid but feels he has to take the role of his dad??but he knows he is a kid,and therefore feels he is being deprived of being a kid??
if he's o.k at school,then it might be because he knows his role at school,e.g pupil-,if he's ok at your ex's e.g son,at home e.g. son,brother,feels like parent??

i don't know the whole situation but i would make time just for myself and him to do something together,once or twice a week,no little bro,just you two,sit him down and reassure him,let him know daddies there for them all even though he lives elsewhere,

best of luck
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