Meriska wrote:I thought perhaps someone has or has had a similar situation, and what they did to make it easier until professional help was available.
I went through a similar situation with my daughter. I've mentioned this before on this site, but I'll reiterate it here anyway. When my daughter was younger she used to tie her toys up and drown small creatures. She told me out of anger once that she wanted to stab me and she also told me on another occasion she wanted to blow up the store we were in because she was bored and wanted to go home. She used to steal and lie (she still lies from time to time). She was aggressive and hard to control. She beat up on another kid in daycare and she had noticeable behaviour problems at home. She was very clingy to me and putting her in day care when I needed to was always a big problem. In fact, getting her to do anything she didn't want to do was always a big problem. She's been rude to her teachers and has been involved in fights at school. Last year alone (she's in high school now) she was suspended twice for fighting. This year there hasn't been any significant problems that I'm aware of because the girl she used to fight with (who was a bully, not just to my daughter, but to some other kids as well apparently) has been moved to separate classes.
My daughter can still be quite defiant towards her teachers to the point where the assistant principle had to ring me up because she refused to do any work in class. He told me to pick her up from school because if she wasn't going to participate then there was no point in her being there. That actually got me angry and I said to him, "don't you have any discipline in that school? I'm not picking her up just because she won't listen to you" I told him I wanted to speak to my daughter, so he went and got her and by the end of the conversation she agreed to go back to class and do as she was told. Let's just say that threatening to ban her off the computer for a week worked well. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of firm discipline.
I don't believe in smacking or hitting as discipline because my mother used to do it to me and I was always afraid that I would lose control like she did. When my mother hit, I didn't think she was ever going to stop.
My brother and I used to steal money out of the safety deposit box (it was never locked) at the motel my mother worked at and when my mother confronted us over it, I blamed my brother for it and my mother beat him so bad I could hear him yelling and crying for her to stop, over and over again. That's the way my mother was and I didn't want to be that way towards my own child. So physical discipline is out of the question with me. I found that taking away something my daughter enjoys for a period of time has just as much an effective impact on her anyway.
And bad mothers don't try every avenue possible to get their children help. They do nothing.
I knew there was something wrong with my daughter when she was little because of the way she was and so I explained her behaviour to a pediatrician who eventually diagnosed her with Attention Deficit Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Oppositional Defiant Disorder can become Conduct Disorder and eventually Antisocial Personality Disorder if not treated (which is what I have). I think my daughter is getting better as she's getting older and I really don't think her ODD has reached the Conduct Disorder stage. Even though she still lies occasionally and can still be defiant, she doesn't steal anymore and her aggression seems to be easing too. I was taking her to a pediatrician every six months just to keep on top of things, but I can't afford it now. I've been advised that she should be in therapy, but I haven't been able to afford that either, so at the moment I'm just going with the flow.
I don't entirely blame the ADD or ODD for my daughter's behaviour. I used to be somewhat neglectful towards her which did make me a bad mother I suppose. I always made sure she had what she needed, but I never enjoyed spending time with her and so the times I spent playing with her were far and few between and to be honest, that hasn't really changed at all. I always spend time with her these days when she wants me to, but she's a teenager now and she rarely asks me to spend time with her anymore anyway.
I used to be pretty lax when it came to discipline as well. I would let her get away with a lot of stuff when she was younger. My brother got angry at me one day when he saw that I wasn't punishing her for something she did and while we did get into a rather heated argument, I eventually realized that maybe he was right and that I really should be putting my foot down because as he said to me, "it will only get worse as she gets older".
With all that said, maybe what your son really needs, Meriska, is extra attention and a different approach to discipline. Not all types of discipline are affective for all children. Discipline never really worked on me. It just taught me that I needed to learn a new way of doing the same thing without getting caught.