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 Post subject: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:45 pm 
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He was angry about the fact that I'd taken his ipod away. I was so shocked I just stood there. He's only 10 years old, but he has ADHD and maybe ODD. I'm wondering if he needs medication, becuase his anger is so out of control lately. I'm not sure what to do. Has anyone else out there been dealing with this?


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:33 am 
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Our 14 year old son's behavior has really gotten out of control. He doesn't listen to us, he lies all the time, and yes, he also punches the walls when he's angry. My wife and I are at the end of our rope. We have two younger sons who are starting to copy our old son's bad behavior. I've talked to Max about it after he's not angry anymore and he says he's really sorry, but then the whole cycle just happens again the next day. I'd appreciate any good ideas for consequences!!! We're thinking about sending him to miliatry school if this keeps up.


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:02 pm 
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Oh heck yeah, we've been there. My ten year old is doing pretty well right now (as far as physical expressions of anger go) but it flares up and then subsides again for a while. He is very big for his age (people think he's 15) but as a single mom I realized long ago that one day he would be bigger than me and I would have to learn to deal with this in an alternate way than relying on physical restraint or anything. The Total Transformation gems that I am reminded of in the Empowering Parents newsletter help a lot. When things are really bad I go back to "There's no excuse for abuse, period!". Another one that comes in handy is when I am reminded that his out-of-control expressions of anger are basically bad problem solving techniques. Much later, when he is calmer, I try to find out why he is so angry (if there is any obvious cause) and try and give him some tools to handle the situation better the next time. Sometimes I'll give him a suggestion of what he might do instead the next time he's in a similar situation, or some words to say to that person who pushes his buttons, or some way to breathe before he reacts, etc. Don't get me wrong, there is no magic wand waving here, and I'm not even sure that he's listening...(right now his big thing is to always tell me to "shut up")...but some of it has sunk in over time. Perhaps just me listening to him calms him down just knowing someone is on his side. But even then I threaten military school quite often! It's so easy for me to forget what perspective he's viewing this from, but when he actually will tell me, I try and honor it and maybe re-frame it a little bit and try to get him to see things from another perspective.

My son was diagnosed with ADD and ODD and I have been fortunate that the ODD has not taken over. I really, really appreciate the bravery of the parents who have really had to deal with some doozies and yet still share the experience so other parents may not have to live the same fate. My heart really goes out to these people! It is a fine line sometimes when you actually become scared of your child. When that happens I'm not sure how you can get control back so I try and not let it escalate that far. He does know that I have my limits and I will get the police involved if I have to. Mostly I think he lashes out when he feels the most overwhelmed and out of control himself. When I can find the good in him and empower him to remove the stumbling blocks himself (by coaching him through a situation) he seems to really get a boost of confidence that dispels the angry outbursts for a while until we get another issue to work on.

One of the hardest things I've had to deal with is losing friends and family relationships over his behavior. People just don't get it and assume you're being a wimpy parent or just ignoring them all-together. It is socially just as hard for the parents as it is for the child, I think. I guess it's been a bit easier for me now since he's ten and can understand better why he is responsible and accountable for his actions. Not that he wants to be! But at least he has peers he wants to be "cool" for and it is no longer the total "whack-job tantrum" in a public place. When he was a small child people used to say, "Man! I've never seen a kid like that before! God! Get me out of here! He's totally losing it!" as they glare at me or scold me on the proper behavior of children. Well as any parent of an ODD kid knows, THAT (the normal expectations of child behavior) went out the window a LONG TIME AGO!

Just know that you're not alone in the least and you will muddle through this probably better than you fear you won't. :)


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:12 am 
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Hi,

Punching a hole in the wall -that must have been difficult to deal with. Because of an issue I was dealing with, I got a book called "The Explosive Child" and also got a video about it. I tried what they said when my grandson had one of his meltdowns. It takes a lot of effort, but it seemed to work well. One time he was about to go into one of his yelling, crying fits and I used their approach and it worked.

Basically, they say that children explode because they lack effective communication skills and get frustrated. I know that was a problem with my grandson. When I stopped trying to explain and tried to listen and understand what my grandson wanted, he stopped being upset almost immediately. Their method is called "Collaborative Problem Solving".

What I like about their approach is that they stop calling children "defiant" and treat them respectfully. They have a couple of websites. One that has good videos, but I can't find it right now. If you look up the title online, you can find the website about "Collaborative Problem Solving" and it gives you a place to start.

Best to you,
Pam


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:29 am 
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I've been through it with my now 13 year old. We had him removed from our home 3 years ago due to his physical abuse, among other uncontrollable behaviors. I appreciate hearing from other parents going through this.


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:41 pm
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The Total Transformation program also addresses these issues. Poor problem solving is the crux of the matter.

I find that when we're in a calm space in our day I can ask my son to clarify what set him off earlier. Usually it is just frustration of repeatedly not getting what he wanted when he wanted it. Sometimes that's just not possible, but sometimes it is if he can express himself more effectively to others.

When the latter is the case, it is like a miracle to him and gives him hope and confidence that the world isn't against him every step of the way and he can lighten up a little bit. It has helped in our household.

Good luck. :)


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:31 am 
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I have learned with the help of total transformation that "grounding teaches them how to do time". My husband's ex punnished his boys by giving them stuff and then when she was angry taking it away... like ipods. That has created an "attachment and loss" problem with them. They don't take pride in anything because they know that it will just be taken away when they mess up. Which has made them angry, frustrated and anxioius. Destructive behavior from them was common at their mom's house. Here is what I have done differently...and it works.

The first thing a child needs to learn how to do is solve problems. WE have to teach that. Bad grades? Instead of taking away something, take the child into the school and have a conference with the teacher to find out what is missing. Usually there are some zero's that can be made up. I make it a game of "how many points do we need to find for that next grade?" Give the child the opportunity to succeed.

Are they like a wild monkey? Sorry but ADD and ADHD was unheard of in the 1950's - Kid's back then went outside and PLAYED!! Take the kids to the park or if they are older to play basketball at the YMCA or even tell them to "take a lap" around the block when they knock something over. If they break something, help them to try and fix it. If it is unfixable, teach them how it works before trashing it. HAVE THEM trash it if they are old enough.

The issue of hitting the wall isn't the act of hitting the wall. The frustration has started long before the hole. Also holes can be fixed - make the child stand there and watch it being fixed. Then have the child help repaint the wall. Let them have some ownership in the fix and they will not be so eager to repeat. I forced the now 20 year old to sit with me for 4 hours while I reformatted a hard drive on a computer he ruined. He was board sick, learned how to fix the problem and never did it again.

My point is don't just punnish children. Somebody has to own the problem and the fixing of it. Let it be them with your guidance. They will be far more responsible people in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Lynda, I loved your post.

I think all of us can learn by trying to put ourselves into the shoes of our kids - even while we hold the boundary lines.

I have a son who has punched holes in the walls a few times - the last I knew he intended to fix the hole himself (this happened at his dad's house).

I think particularly in children who have been physically or otherwise abused, the understanding component is huge. They still have to be held responsible for their behavior, but the angry reactions just bring up all the abuse/control issues they don't understand and likely don't know how to deal with.

Also, I've noticed that depression follows physical abuse (at least in my kids). I've been divorced for 4+ years (separated nearly 9) because of the abuse of the kids - particularly the second child. Seeing life from his adult perspective now is very enlightening.

Just the other day, I noticed my 3rd son was pretty down. He and his older brother and I just talked and explored his options for the future. I took out a notepad and wrote down some of his concerns and where I might go to look for information concerning possible career choices. Although they often won't admit it and thank us now, I believe it lifted his load to know that I cared enough about him to listen, ask questions, and even take notes.

Respect goes both ways. For those of you in a situation where your kids have been abused and now abuse you, hold the line calmly, but let them know you are trying to understand and you really care. Model for them what the abuser would not.


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:19 pm 
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I agree! I think too many people feel I let my son off the hook when I speak to him respectfully about his behaviors. I am trying to show by my actions how he can handle stressful and frustrating situations. I swear the expectations are so high these days for children to grow up too quickly. They put adult interpretations and labels (defianance) on behaviors that then make children think there is something wrong with them and that they cannot change. Schools punish and punish with losing recess and "privledges" and are suprised when behaviors don't change. The children are pitted against each other (who did what to whom) and there is no real effort to resolve conflicts in a positive way. They tell kids to "avoid" each other or to ignore rather than how to deal with problems. It is HARD work and of course there is no guarantee, but as we see with TT the effort put forth in the right way can empower you and your child.


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 Post subject: Re: My son punched a hole in the wall today....
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:46 pm 
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My daughter did something along these lines when she was 15, she scratched the paint off the walls in the livingroom, she never explained why exactly, so I had her repaint the walls. She hasn't done anything destructive since. I just love those natural consequences. :D


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