Difficult Kids

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Difficult Kids

Postby Funky Fairy » Sep 5th, '14, 3:03 am

Has anyone here had experience with difficult kids?

When I say 'difficult' I mean 'really difficult'.
I moan about my 12yr old Louis, but to be fair he's loud, doesn't stop talking, fussy eater and you have to ask him several times to do something. But he's still respectful (most of the time ;) ) , would never raise a hand to us, doesn't swear (around us anyway :) ) and does well at school and is a rule keeper.

It's not until you spend time with a really rebelious child that you realise that actually, we have it quite easy.

What do you do with one that simply will not stick to rules though???
I feel so sad for my sister with my niece. She's 14 and it's getting worse and worse.
The professional help didn't work, infact they seemed to make it worse by saying things like 'it's good to express your anger'. She read that as it's ok to swear in the house, at your family (even your grandparents) and your much younger siblings.
But you physically can not keep them in at that age, when they are bigger and stronger than yourself.
What do you do?

Today I am so grateful for my noisy, fussy eater.
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby Nicole N » Sep 5th, '14, 8:26 am

Well, I hate to say it - but our oldest is difficult. We thought it was a maturity issue, but I really think now it is not. He is almost 12 (next week) and he is quite selfish, rude to all of us at home, often makes fun of people for not nice reasons and very self-absorbed.

I put a lot of blame on us as parents, he was the first born, maybe we over-compensated with him when the other kids came along, etc... at this point, I don't think he need therapy, he just needs a big attitude adjustment.

He is a smart kid and CAN do well in school when he applies himself... but if he doesn't like a teacher or doesn't do well naturally, he shuts it off and just doesn't care. That won't work in my world. lol

So, yeah - difficult kids!
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby jjflair » Sep 5th, '14, 9:57 am

I feel like I should have lots of advice, working in an office of child psychologists and counselors, but I have empathy. I have seen a lot of families come in at the end of their ropes, and through individual and mediated work have been able to knit things back together.

Jeremy's tough years were up through age 11, and I have been so thankful that the teen years in our house with him and with Jillian have been pretty smooth. Oh my God, though, those elementary school years with him---it's no wonder I am through menopause and going gray at age 46. Hell-A-cious!!!!

This book was a life-saver. It literally changed our house dynamic.
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The real change came with finding the right therapist at a time when Jeremy was reachable and teachable. The kid went from being in a program for Emotionally Disturbed kids to General Ed and honors courses. And at home, he will empty the dishwasher with out screaming and crying on the floor of the kitchen for 45 minutes, or telling me that he wants to "make Jillian an only child" or any number of i'm-going-to-make-you-as-miserable-as-you're-making-me tactics. Large tree branches dragged into the house? Just ignore it. He was NUTS!!!
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby TerryB » Sep 5th, '14, 9:58 am

Oh Lisa I feel so bad for your sister and niece. My gf has a daughter like that. (she is now 21) I can tell you that they went through a several therapists before they found one that was able to connect. She was also put on a low dose birth control pill, which really seemed to help with the mood swings. Maybe your sister should talk to her gyn and see what she thinks?? I guess it's worth a try. For the record, gf's daughter is better, but things are certainly never drama free where she is concerned. :(

From what you wrote I gather you niece is very angry. Something I've learned is that anger is a secondary emotion. There is usually something underneath it all. It was really hard for me to understand that, until I read the book "The Dance of Anger" by Harriett Lerner. It really opened my eyes to some issues I had been dealing with.

I sure hope some of the issues can be resolved, and your sis and niece can be in a happier place.
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby Funky Fairy » Sep 5th, '14, 11:07 am

Thanks girls.
I really appreciate your honesty.
I think very few people openly admit that their child is badly behaved.
We all live in this social media society, posting beautiful photos of our precious angels but not many people speak out like this and then when you are experiencing problems (which I'm sure the majority if us do) you can feel quite alone and also judged if anyone does find out.

Terry, I hear what you are saying and we are full aware of what the upset is.
Unfortunately it is a situation that can't be resolved and she surely knows right from wrong at her age and just can't go around physically hurting people.

I have little patience for her I'm afraid. I just fear for my sister. I have this fear that one day she's going to really hurt her. (the daughter to my sister not the other way around. My sister has the patience of a saint). I worry if one day she pushed her or something and she on the stairs for example.

Thanks for the recommendation Lisa. I'll take a look.
It's so hurtful what kids can say when they are angry.
Louis has used the 'killing myself' phase and that really gets me. His Dad (my ex) has bipolor and I used to get calls from him saying he was ending it and would hang up and then I wouldn't be able to get hold of him. That kind of talk really scares me. It worries me when I hear Louis say such things that he's going down the path of his Dad.
Do you think that's a common thing for kids to say?
Is it something that they know will hurt us?
I'm glad you seem to have come out the other side Lisa :)

Nicole. I think as parents we completely blame ourselves for everything. I know I do with Louis.
He was the most awful child until he started school at almost 5.
I wondered if it was down to the fact that I had a terrible time having Hollie, had a general and have no memories of her until she was about 2-3 days old. So with Louis I over compensated. He never left my side. He slept in my bed beside me in hospital, I went in to the spare room when we came home and we both slept in there. He was always attached to me. I finally got him off my boob when he was almost 2.5yrs. But I didn't want to miss a second with his.

Who knows???

We all try our best and we all want our kids to grow up healthy and happy.
That's all we want eh?!!
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby runzalot81 » Sep 5th, '14, 4:53 pm

I teach elementary music. I'm in a school with 1200+ kids preK-4th grade. Our district is at 85% economically disadvantaged and all of our students eat breakfast for free.

Difficult, needy children cling to my side all day long. Many are dirty, neglected, hungry, and abused. Love and Logic is the name of my game.

To a child that HATES consequences but didn't follow the rules, "Oh... pumpkin! You talked out at me and your FORGOT to raise your hand? (I start drying my eyes and fanning my face to keep from crying. I look so stupid they don't know what to say.) Okay, Everybody, just stay calm! Here's what's going to happen. I need you to stand up, go sit by that bright orange sign for 3 minutes. ONLY three minutes, please! If you stay gone too long, I'll really start crying because I'll miss you so much! Now, Honey, you have a consequence but you can still be a rock star and make me smile at you even while you sit in time out. Go try it!"

It works. I don't go through this drama for every kid. Just the ones that might explode because he/she gets a consequence.

To a child that is disrespectful, "Please, give me your ticket (with the evil teacher eye). Now, Sugar Plum, you should know that I am in a contest right now and I'm trying to win Nicest Person In the World! (say what?) That's right! I'm gonna keep watching you and if you decide you wanna be awesome, I'm gonna catch you being awesome and give you a new ticket. Yep! I am SOoooooo nice, I really want to give you another chance! Well, I have to because I want to be the nicest person in the world." Three 4th grade boys eating out of my hand in 3 seconds flat when I said this last week. When they came to see me again this week, they were PERFECT from the start. Ms. Music Teacher isn't just anybody... she's the nicest person in the world! We can't be rude LOL

To a reluctant learner, "Come sit by me, Friend!" Problem solved. Kid feels important and works his butt off.

I had an economically advantaged kid a few years ago that was really defiant and extremely rude. He aced an audition and I privately told him that I would not put him on my team because his attitude sucks. Too bad, so sad. The end.

His mom was always, "I don't know what to do." This kid LOVED wearing nice shoes and fun socks. Like, hello. Donate the shoes and socks and pick out new ones for him from the thrift store. Make sure they are not stylish and make sure they look used. Let him walk around looking a little less special for awhile. He was NOT ADHD, ED or anything. He was extremely bright and extremely spoiled and I shut the door of opportunity in his face.

Not every therapist will fit the child. If it's not working, shop for a new therapist.

If you think your kid is spoiled and naughty and they have a cell phone/computer/TV/and whatnot.... we're doing it wrong. Sell it all for books.

I've taught middle and high school kids as well. Love and Logic and good ol' silliness works on them just as well. They're really all the same. Just different sizes.
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby DeniseM » Sep 6th, '14, 12:14 pm

hmm. I think different things work for different kids and there is never any one size fits all solution.
I am so glad Lisa F that your son is having an easier time and so you are as well!

Nicole I think all parents blame themselves. I do it as well. I have to say though that with the boys being so close in age, we have always been pretty much the same parents with them. Love, affection, rules and consequences have always been the same. They couldn't be more different. My one son really struggles and looking at the big picture I know that there is nothing I did to cause this. I forget that sometimes but when I am in a good place I know it.

I am really trying to practice acceptance and give empathy. That doesn't mean I accept bad behavior but my son's are almost out of high school and there isn't much I can do about the choices they make now. Bill and I have taught them good values and they have been given lots of love and opportunities. It's up to them to be the best men they can be. And they are going to make mistakes. I did.

Lisa I am sorry to hear this about your niece. She may be suffering from mental illness of some kind. It's very difficult and heartbreaking. Physical violence is scary. I don't know what I would do. I am like you, we go through stuff with the boys but in general they are good kids and would never do things like that to Bill or I.
Like you worrying with Louis, I also worry. Conner has never mentioned wanting to kill himself but he has struggled with anxiety for years. We have lots of mental illness and alcoholism on both sides of our families. It's really a family disease and sadly, there isn't much I can do to save either of my kids from those possibilities. But I can take care of myself and work on myself. Which I do.

Big hugs to all parents and moms. It's a hard job! I almost think we have too much information to make us crazy!!
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby Funky Fairy » Sep 7th, '14, 6:54 am

Thanks for your input Denise.
I have to agree with you in that I wonder too sometimes if too much input is dangerous sometimes.

My sister thinks that she's possibly bipolar, but apparently they don't diagnose this young.

That's hard when you have illnesses on both side Denise. Eating disorders is the thing that we have on ours. I see how it has and does effect people in our family and make sure that food is enjoyed and not made a big deal of in our's.
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby Mary Kay » Sep 7th, '14, 9:08 am

I could go on for pages, but let me hit the high points--

Yes, threatening suicide is pretty common. When mine do it I tell them it's NOT something to say idly or just to be hurtful, and we talk about people we know who've lost loved ones to suicide. They should absolutely tell me if they really feel that way, but it's not the equivalent of saying "I'm so upset right now."

Kids are so different-- that's so clear to me with three, more than it would be with two-- and I'm utterly convinced that they are who they are when they pop out, for the most part.

My youngest has "anger issues," though it's vastly improved at 11. My oldest had so much anger in 3rd or 4th grade and we had no idea why but I think it's true it's secondary to something else; for her I think it was insecurity. She's a lovely teen now, but she did push me on the stairs once when she was about ten.

Here's the thing though-- she has definitely improved her angry outbursts, but I've improved my reaction, too. If I let them get under my skin it makes everything worse.

Whoops, this was supposed to be short. Other than hoping for the best for your sister and niece, Lisa, I'll just say this: When in was in a mothers of preschoolers group I once said my kids were making me crazy and another mom was astonished. She thought she was the only one who felt that way. Oh, Sweetie, really? You poor thing, thinking everyone else was Donna Reed. No, we ALL get to the ends of our ropes, and I think we should talk about it more.
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby DeniseM » Sep 7th, '14, 5:01 pm

Mary Kay I can totally relate to what you said. When my boys were little and I would meet a mom that would look at me side ways when I wasn't glowing every second about what a "blessing" it was to be a mom, I would move as far away from her as possible. Yikes! I just new I couldn't be friends with women who weren't honest and supportive about how difficult it is. I love the parents (not) who have the really great kids with 0 problems that think it's because they are amazing parents........really? Okay, so I guess the rest of us are bad parents. ::)

Like I said, High fives to all the moms/parents who love their kids and do the best they can. Being a parent is hard. Sometimes awesome, wonderful, beautiful but it's hard.
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby LauraC » Sep 8th, '14, 12:52 pm

None of my children were perfect. Nicole - we could sit for hours and discuss and I'd be right there with you. The most difficult child, ummmm yeah, the eldest. Threatened me with a knife. I had to take him to Community Mental Health for emergency counseling sessions and then some family sessions to try to make it work.

That child, if some of you will recall, is the one who volunteered for the Navy aboard a submarine after 9-11. And is still in the service of Uncle Sam. Yeah, the one with discipline problems and problems with authority telling him what to do. Somehow some way, he figured it out. Yeah, I thought I was the worst mom ever. I still question how and whys. I don't think that stops.

I usually don't talk about it because there can be some stigma attached to it. But I do not have a problem saying I'm not perfect and neither are my children.
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Re: Difficult Kids

Postby Patricia » Sep 8th, '14, 6:04 pm

Kids are a reflection of their parents? I always thought this as a young adult. Until working with youth at our old church, we came across the 'bad' son of 3. Their dad was on the staff at the church. It was so interesting to see the complete opposite he was of his older brothers. I wouldn't want my daughter dating him.

I feel for you all. Parenting scared the crap out of me. And still does. I think God must have had mercy on us with Emma. I just hope he continues to have mercy.

Great advice here. It is easy to point the finger. But as young as a kid knows how to make choices, they are a little individual.
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