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Old 06-25-2007, 05:17 PM   #1
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Red face Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

We have twin boys ages 5. They are both very close, both in same room. We can’t do anything about that for now until we buy a new house.

The older, bigger one has an extreme listening problem; in that he has to be told 40 million times and continues to do what ever you told him not to. Both are highly intelligent, he is the louder, more boisterous of the two. I’ll call him A.

It has gotten to the point that I am constantly “on his ass” as my lady would say. About every 10 minutes he is doing something he has to be scolded for. The problem in it all is we are all very loving, his mother is very nice, but stern, and we do everything together. We live a higher end lifestyle, both of us are educated and successful. Yet we do not spoil them and in fact, they have no idea where on “the food chain” we are compared to neighbors or friends. They don’t have very many toys and we rarely give in to demands to “can I have this” as we shop. They’re both pretty good about not asking for purchases.

Oddly, neither of them has much interest in toys at all and never have.

“ A” also has a very big problem with crying in the extreme, over everything. Someone that doesn’t know us or what is going on would think we had just kicked him or slapped him the way he screams and bawls. He did not get this from us. We have never tolerated this behavior, even from infancy. None of his behaviors have been cultivated by us. He has been spanked in the past, though we have stopped most of that in the last 4 -5 months. He has been sent to his room, had toys taken away, rewarded when he is good, we give him lots of positive attention. In regards to spanking, as we have stopped it, he actually has responded best unfortunately by this method. He’s a hard case. The nicer we treat him and the more we back off, the more he gets into trouble.

So his mother and I have made a temporary pact for me to lay off him in scolding and verbal correcting (such as “you don’t get up from the table until you’re done. Sit back down.”) and let her do the soft, kind and stern voice instead. This has been going on for weeks. I have taken myself out of the picture somewhat, and only recently have I been around more often. I see no improvement whatsoever. The only thing he responds to his firm, and somewhat harsher words such as “knock it off right this minute” as opposed to the last few weeks of “we don’t do that.”

He seems to take kindness as a weakness and is very manipulative. For example if he is scolded such as when he informed us he was going to show his “booty” at the store, he listens… but you can tell is waiting for you to shut up, so he can go play. He is always “waiting” for the scolding to get over so he can be off on his merry way. He knows he is being told what he did was wrong, but doesn’t care.

We have cut his intake of sweets down to nearly 0 months ago. Some children just don’t seem to have the “make-up” of taking praise or learning from getting in trouble.

A perfect example is him learning to ride a bicycle. I purposely separated any negative comments or actions from a period of 2 hours as he learned. This was an experiment. I wanted to see exactly what would work, in a sort of scientific method.

He immediately started bawling he “couldn’t do it” or “I can’t,” a normal term from him. I simply encouraged him, showed he could do it, etc. When he did do it, rode by himself, I praised him and said how great it was that “he made it!” “You did it, see?” This didn’t work.

I then switched then in the next hour to “I’m not going to listen to you cry over nothing, you’re acting like a baby.” I rode off to some distance and sort of ignored him. He threw his usual tantrum and hollered like he was caught in a bear trap. But eventually he gave it up and started peddling up a small hill and succeeded in doing so. As soon as he came near I said “wow! You did it, wasn’t that great?” Immediately he started with the “I can’t” as if the entire ride up the hill had never happened. So then it was solid. He doesn’t like or seem to even enjoy praise. When I see his mom encourage him, he most often ignores it and acts as if she isn’t even speaking.

When his mother is around, he takes it to the hilt. He really runs amok and disrespects her. Because he is so often doing something he shouldn’t, to her it sounds like I do nothing buy scold him and “get on his case.” The problem is, he is always doing something to be scolded for. When I leave for work, he simply runs right over her and does what he wants.

PLEASE HELP!

 
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:57 AM   #2
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Re: Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

My son is very similar to yours. How does your child sleep? Look into my ADD/ADHD linked to sleep disorders in children in the ADD disorders board. My son is still stubborn and only responds to a spanking because he will tolerate anything else. We took away every toy and he was only allowed to sit in his room and do lessons.. that worked until he earned his privaleges and toys back.. then back tot he same ole same ole.

My son has severe sleep apnea. Sleep deprived children act like they have ADD/ADHD as a side effect of sleep deprivation.. low attention span, quick emotional triggers, volatile out bursts, tired, cranky, fights sleep.. etc. Since my son was diagnosed and put on his CPAP he sleeps through the night and can control his emotions and behavior. Before it got so bad.. you had to forget about it.

Most times a tonsillectomy can fix OSA in a child. It is an idea worth checking into. As far as being nice as a sign of weakness.. my son is all over that one. He tries to exert his influence over his teachers and everyone else.. forst through demands, now he is carefully using his manner and whit. Bright children can be two handfuls.. my son in working on five and I see many spanking in his future still.

Respectfully,
MG
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:09 AM   #3
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Re: Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

I have a nephew who was exactly like this. He is 24 now and has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. He still acts the same sometimes, although peer pressure from his friends has done the trick mostly. At home he still treats his parents like ******. I saw my sister and her husband doing the same things over and over, the same as you are. I am not saying this is it, but his behaviour was just like your son. The telling point her, and my BIL said the same as you "If you are nice to him he will turn around and kick you for it".

 
Old 06-26-2007, 12:10 PM   #4
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Re: Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

But what about the other boy? May I call him "B"? You hardly talk about him. What is his behaviour like? I was wondering if A's naughty behaviour had something to do with B's uneventful context. Do they fight with each other? I was thinking that maybe B is the good boy (he is never in trouble), so maybe A creates trouble just to call your attention, possibly because he is jealous.

If they have so few toys, how do they spend their time? Do they already go to pre-school? Do they watch too long hours of TV? Do they eat a lot of junk foods?

My impression is that they (especially A) are in need of routines. They must be assigned small tasks to accomplish as well. They must be turned into the family little helpers, if you see what I mean. I don't mean they must do washing-up, but I presume they can already handle a broom?

Give them responsibilities, but at the same time allow them to choose now and then: what are their favourite food for dinner? their favourite game? their favourite pet? etc. I know that pets can be very helpful with children, especially dogs.

As for A's tantrums and unwillingness to listen: give your orders just once in very clear words (so there can be no misunderstanding). If he doesn't follow your order, then leave him behind to the consequences of his stubbornness, except if it is a case of life and death, for God's sake. The same with his tantrums: don't say anything, don't do anything (count up to ten instead), "pretend" you are undisturbed, just see how far he can go. I guess he will stop sooner if you just don't give him attention.

I also think it is a good idea to have them practise outdoor activities: sports, swimming, something that makes them spend their energy more "wisely".

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

Last edited by pendulum; 06-26-2007 at 12:13 PM.

 
Old 06-26-2007, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

There were a few pointers there that make me think possible Aspergers syndrome.

My son has some problems with listening and being loud when speaking etc

You may want to look that one up, or even post this on the autism board.


By the way, scolding, will NOT work, will only make matters worse.

Good luck

 
Old 06-26-2007, 06:05 PM   #6
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Re: Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

But what about the other boy? May I call him "B"? You hardly talk about him. What is his behaviour like?
B is not 80% as bad as 'Boy A.' He's soft spoken, very outgoing, more evolved in speach, tries harder and doesn't let failure really effect him. This may point to the jealousy thing, however, B is in another class at school and we treat 'A' with such love that it would be hard to believe it's his way of seeking attention, because we've reinforced that he'll get plenty of quality time without the antics.
Do they fight with each other?
No, they are actually great together.

If they have so few toys, how do they spend their time?
They play with each other or ride their bikes. We've bought them everything from Gi Joe to Castles, pirate ships, etc. Cars, etc. Boy 'A ' 98% of the time, breaks them. To be fair, both of them lack respect for toys given them, both take little real interest. Odd, but ok because they like sports.

Do they already go to pre-school?
Yes, private school.

Do they watch too long hours of TV?
We keep their TV intake to an hour or two a day. They actually get bored of TV after more than 2.5 hours thank God.

My impression is that they (especially A) are in need of routines. They must be assigned small tasks to accomplish as well. They must be turned into the family little helpers, if you see what I mean. I don't mean they must do washing-up, but I presume they can already handle a broom?
On that note, 'A' is very helpful and actually enjoys chores. You may be onto something!

 
Old 06-26-2007, 06:16 PM   #7
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Re: Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkgbrook View Post
My son is very similar to yours. How does your child sleep? Look into my ADD/ADHD linked to sleep disorders in children in the ADD disorders board. My son is still stubborn and only responds to a spanking because he will tolerate anything else. We took away every toy and he was only allowed to sit in his room and do lessons.. that worked until he earned his privaleges and toys back.. then back tot he same ole same ole.

My son has severe sleep apnea. Sleep deprived children act like they have ADD/ADHD as a side effect of sleep deprivation.. low attention span, quick emotional triggers, volatile out bursts, tired, cranky, fights sleep.. etc. Since my son was diagnosed and put on his CPAP he sleeps through the night and can control his emotions and behavior. Before it got so bad.. you had to forget about it.

Most times a tonsillectomy can fix OSA in a child. It is an idea worth checking into. As far as being nice as a sign of weakness.. my son is all over that one. He tries to exert his influence over his teachers and everyone else.. forst through demands, now he is carefully using his manner and whit. Bright children can be two handfuls.. my son in working on five and I see many spanking in his future still.

Respectfully,
MG
He sleeps really well, they both do. They fall asleep easily in the car, and at home. We've had him (‘A’) tested for ADD… but I think there's something more because he can't sit in one place without changing positions every minute, on the dot. This behavior concerns me.

On the flip, he stays on task fairly well, whether a chore to do or play. I don't see anything abnormal in his staying focused. It's more that he enjoys being a drama King, and the way he acts, I'm afraid more like a drama Queen. He is really embarrassing in public at times; the levels that he takes his crying, and over what he is crying about. It could be something as little as dropping an ice cream cone, stubbing a toe, etc. In these cases he whines "I've hurt myself" over and over. I tell him to stop, very sternly, but he’ll simply repeat this over and over until you want to whip his behind and really give him something to cry about.
What I absolutely cannot understand is that we have never ran and held him or babied him when he does this! My lady is actually the least whiny person on earth. She could cut off a finger and she'd duct tape it and go on about her business. She’d then sit down to dinner and announce she has one less finger nail to clip! I am very concerned over the direction of ‘A’s” wimpyness...

 
Old 07-10-2007, 02:58 PM   #8
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Re: Help with Hard-case boy; Non-listener

Your son sounds like my daughter. Example: there were days when she would decide her legs didn't work and demanded to be carried. We didn't give in. No amount of praise or scolding seemed to help. Looking back, I can see that in our determination to find SOMEthing that worked, we may not have been as consistent as was needed. The response to your son's behavior should be the same whether it comes from you or his mother. After some testing, our ped. thought there might be some Oppositional/Defiance behavior going on. He referred us to a therapist. Although she has not spoken of any "diagnosis", she has given us some tools - very like Super Nanny - that have worked wonders so far. Our house is so much happier now. Please let me share: we are using a reward system for compliance. Our daugher has three jars in graduated sizes. For each thing she is asked to do and complies or completes without having to be asked again she earns one noodle for her small jar. When she has earned 5 noodles she may "spend" them on her choice of activity from a preset list based on things we know she likes to do. (i.e 1/2 hour of tv) When spent, the 5 noodles go into the middle jar. When the middle jar has 30 noodles she may choose something from a 2nd preset list of bigger rewards. When spent, the 30 noodles go into the last jar. When she has earned 300 noodles in the largest jar she may spend it on a big reward (currently she is aiming for a trip to the amusement park). We have recently added a "bonus/Twisty" noodle for 20 minutes of reading. Each 20 minutes earns 1 twisty noodle. Two twisty noodles earn 1/2 hour of computer time or gameboy. The key things to remember are consistency and no reward without compliance. The rewards must be based on things that child desires. We thought this would be difficult as we have two other children as well, but our daugher has been policing herself. She will actually leave the room if she has not earned tv time or her time is up and someone else is watching. --I hope this helps.

 
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