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I've run out of coping mechanisms.

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#1 idle

Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:03 PM

(Sorry if this is long )

Hi, my DS is 5 and in prep at school. I have been struggling with his behaviour for the last year or so, i put it down to him struggling with the split of his father and I and ex leaving the state. Ex comes down every second weekend and spends the weekend with here. I focussed on counting down until dad came and making skype calls every other day.
I am now not so sure that is the problem as he plays up constantly, even when he is happy. He is destructive around the house (nailpolish on stairs, bathroom), breaks pretty much anything of interest if he is in that mood, mostly electrical, breaks toys(his and his siblings'), destroys things important to siblings(usually artwork), will get up early to eat any treats in the house, hurts our animals for fun and lately, very aggressive with siblings unless he gets his way and uses mostly inappropriate, aggressive methods of interacting with them.

This is a basic run down but he is very hard work and spends the majority of his time doing things he shouldn't.
I've used positive reinforcement, time out, 123 magic, reward charts and he only responds to these things in the moment but nothing stops him from repeating the behaviours.
He also wanders off when it suits him, like he has no concept of boundaries, he seems in his own world and only set on what he wants to do at the time.
Today his teacher said he was in trouble as she had to have someone watch the class while she went to look for him as when the lunch bell went, 15minutes later he was still not back.
He also refuses to complete simple tasks asked of him, for example to put his shoes away, cup on sink, pack toys up, or anything like that.
I've not ever encountered these problems with my 6 other children and my 2.5 year old DD already has no problems with most of these areas.
I'm not sure what I am asking but I guess I would like some input/advice/opinions/ideas as to what I should do.


ETA, my older sons 18 and 13 are gobsmacked at his behaviour and even having had so many siblings, have not encountered this and are quite stunned at how bad his behaviour can get.

Edited by idle, 22 February 2012 - 03:05 PM.

#2 opethmum

Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:21 PM

I think you should seek professional help and quickly for your children. One site I have found useful is www.empoweringparents.com. It is quite useful and has strategies and is more of a behaviour blog. I would also seek assessment because hurting animals is not ok and can be symptoms of something deeper going on.

Have the children had counselling post break up? If not I think it is probably time, check out Relationships Australia.  It seems that your DS is demanding so much of your time and that in turn can breed resentment in your other siblings. Some kids react in different ways and this child all though is demanding at the moment should not be your solitary focus.

As for food stealing, I would put all treats in a lock box and place in the highest part of your kitchen.

As for animal safety I would not let him near your animals and if he is near your animals I would supervise him until this behaviour is nibbed in the bud completely. He should not be trusted with them alone until he has demonstrated to you that he can be trusted.

I do hope this situation is temporary and that your DS can calm down. I wish you all the best.

#3 MummaDiva

Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:28 PM

Definitely seek professional help.  Fast.  Go to your GP for ideas on where to get it.
IME, harming animals triggers alarm bells.
Hope it all works out for you.

#4 baddmammajamma

Posted 22 February 2012 - 03:33 PM

Hi Crissy:

I'm sorry that you are dealing with so much.  sad.gif

I am in total agreement with openthmum. Please seek some good professional support as soon as possible so that you can figure out what's driving your son's behavior and so that you can be given some guidance on how to help him. The fact that he is harming animals for fun could very well be a signal that something deeper might be going on (not to mention the other challenging behaviors).

I strongly recommend that you ask your GP for a referral to a good clinical psychologist and a developmental paed as well. The psychologist should be able to both help you make sense of his behavior plus give you some tailored guidance on how to better manage it; the developmental paed will take a look across his whole developmental profile (behavioral, medical, emotional) to see if there are any specific issues in play.

Good luck. I know that it's hard to have a child whose behavior just doesn't make sense.

#5 idle

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:04 PM

Thank you baddmammajamma and opethmum, I will go into the school tomorrow and ask for an appointment with the guidance counsellor and go from there.

#6 opethmum

Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:45 PM

That is great Crissy. I wish you nothing but peace and I hope this behaviour abates and you can start feeling good again and not at crisis point.

#7 Elf Ianthe

Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:50 PM

That sounds really intense. I hope that you can get some good support.

#8 idle

Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:54 PM

Thanks ladies x

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