View Full Version : Help- Our 7 Year Old Is Physically Hurting Me


Josie72
11-01-16, 06:33 PM
I desperately need some guidance/suggestions in handling my son's physical behaviour as his Ritalin wears off. I feel your personal experiences would be more beneficial right now rather than waiting for his paediatrician to call me.

Our 7 year old twin son was formally diagnosed with ADHD 3 weeks ago. We are waiting for an assessment to see if he is also high functioning autistic.

I care for my husband full time. He has ADHD, OCD, borderline personality disorder and a back injury. My husband takes 3 X 10mg of Ritalin per day.

Our son started on the immediate release Ritalin but since last Friday, has commenced on the long acting due to his aggressive and inappropriate behaviour as it wore off. This apparently works for 8 hours, which seems to be correct.

The problem is still when the long acting Ritalin wears off. I don't know any other words to describe his behaviour other than out of control. Predominantly if he doesn't get his own way.

This leads me to the reason for my post. Last night was possibly the worst I've seen him. He repeatedly asked for me to install a new game on his iPad. We purchased second hand ones for our twins 7th birthday last month. I'm not a firm believer in allowing a lot of time on electronic devices but I have installed a lot of educational apps which our son excels at and, at times, it seems to calm him.
They have 86 apps on their iPads, which I now realise is a ridiculous amount. I really wasn't thinking at the time.

He asked me, what felt like a hundred times, for a new game. I repeatedly said no and warned him if he kept asking, I would take his iPad off him for the rest of the night. Which I did and that's when the situation escalated.
I sent him to his room to calm down. He refused, so I sat in the hallway repeating what I said. I refused to let him come into the lounge/kitchen until he calmed down.
He proceeded to kick, punch, slap me. He jumped on me, tried to scratch my face and eye gouge me.
Now I've previously been in 3 physically and emotionally relationships. The first one resulted in 2 surgeries on my right shoulder and 3 on my left. The surgeon removed the tips off both of my collarbones. My left shoulder still has a torn tendon and is very painful. Our son repeatedly jumped on this shoulder. Obviously this morning it's extremely sore.
A 7 year old physically hurting you is entirely different to a grown man, but the strength our son has when he's having these "episodes" is alarming. This may sound silly but our son treating me this way brings back many hurtful memories and I find myself cowering like I did all those years ago when my ex partners were beating me.

Before my husband was medicated with Ritalin, he had "episodes of rage" but it was all verbal, never physical. I explained to my husband last night it's similar to what our son is doing but he is being physical rather than verbal like my husband was, perhaps because he is too young to communicate his thoughts and feelings.

Finally I had to get my husband to intervene as our son twice grabbed clutches of my hair, pulling as hard as he could.
He eventually got our son to take some time in his room to calm down. The first thing he asked for when he came out was his iPad! Obviously the answer was no.

Does anyone have any strategies for when this type of behaviour escalates please? How do you, if possible, intervene before it gets physical?

The paediatrician wants our son to trial the long acting Ritalin before switching to the 12 hour Concerta.

Thanks for reading this lengthy thread. I truly hope you may have some advice.
Thank you.

dvdnvwls
11-01-16, 07:04 PM
Taking away the thing that seems to calm him down is probably not a good strategy. It doesn't matter that he was warned - what matters is that that's what happened.

I don't know the right terminology, but I'd call the iPad being taken away a "contrived consequence" - something that (not to put too fine a point on it) you thought up as a punishment. That kind of contrived consequence has never worked on me, and might not work on your son either. You have a child who's often going to be irritatingly logical about what seem like the wrong things, and I guess this is one of them.

Partial solutions: Remember that if you come up with a "consequence", he will (quite rightly) recognize it as a punishment and fight against what he views as unfair and illogical treatment.
And don't take away the iPad unless you're hoping for a fight.

CrazyLazyGal
11-01-16, 07:06 PM
Stop the Ritalin. Now.

These are unacceptable side effects.

There are other medications. Don't stay with one that makes him this way.

Was he ever violent before the medication?

Josie72
11-01-16, 09:11 PM
Taking away the thing that seems to calm him down is probably not a good strategy. It doesn't matter that he was warned - what matters is that that's what happened.

I don't know the right terminology, but I'd call the iPad being taken away a "contrived consequence" - something that (not to put too fine a point on it) you thought up as a punishment. That kind of contrived consequence has never worked on me, and might not work on your son either. You have a child who's often going to be irritatingly logical about what seem like the wrong things, and I guess this is one of them.

Partial solutions: Remember that if you come up with a "consequence", he will (quite rightly) recognize it as a punishment and fight against what he views as unfair and illogical treatment.
And don't take away the iPad unless you're hoping for a fight.

Thank you. I truly appreciate your reply.
The paediatrician has told me that even though our son has ADHD, there still has to be consequences for his behaviour. Hence why I took his iPad away from him. In hindsight, maybe not the right approach but he would not stop asking for a new game. He was relentless to the point of obsessive. Nothing I could say would make him stop. Unfortunately we're not in a position financially to continue to use our internet data like I've allowed. In addition to their installed apps, at times, I've allowed them to watch their favourite television shows on their iPads.
Thank you again.

Josie72
11-01-16, 09:18 PM
Stop the Ritalin. Now.

These are unacceptable side effects.

There are other medications. Don't stay with one that makes him this way.

Was he ever violent before the medication?

Thank you.
He has previously been violent prior to medication. Only once was similar to, and almost as extreme to this.
He's also previously hit himself, at school and at home, also prior to being medicated.
It's as if the aggressive or inappropriate behaviour is almost every afternoon and night, whereas before being medicated, the aggressive behaviour was perhaps once a fortnight and the inappropriate behaviour every second day.
By inappropriate behaviour I mean extremely rude words, which we do not use at home, and references to genitals.

Looks like another phone call to the paediatrician :(
Thanks again.

Tetrahedra
11-01-16, 10:43 PM
I have to disagree that you shouldn't take his iPad away. And now that he knows this behavior will give him leverage over you and you won't take his iPad away again, it's setting inappropriate expectations. Physical violence = my stuff doesn't get taken away.

Josie, are you yourself receiving therapy? You have so much on your plate. Dealing with an ADHD child is really tough, but I can't imagine the challenges associated with a BPD/OCD partner in addition to all this. If you aren't in therapy, please consider it for yourself.

Also consider professional help on how to manage a violent ADHD child. That's really different from managing a non-violent one, and general ADHD advice might not work for you. Seven-year-olds are strong, but what about when he's older? Will you be able to avoid harm caused by an eleven year old or seventeen year old?

I don't really have much immediate advice. I really hope that you can get into the pediatrician soon.

dvdnvwls
11-01-16, 11:48 PM
Ugh yes - if this actually started along with the Ritalin, then I would agree about stopping it until the situation is sorted out

dvdnvwls
11-01-16, 11:57 PM
I don't for a moment intend that violence should win. But when an anxious and agitated person's punishment (and yes this is a punishment not a consequence) is that one of their prime tools for calming themselves is taken away, that's counterproductive and uncalled for.

Potential partial solution to the individual problem from the other day: continued asking for a new app means no more being able to ask for apps for some length of time.

The word "consequence" is much too often mistaken as being synonymous with punishment. They are very different - or at least they're supposed to be.

BellaVita
11-02-16, 12:59 AM
OP - I'm sorry to hear you are going through so much and feeling so overwhelmed.

Many hugs to you.

If you *think* the medication is making him have increased violent outbursts - stop it immediately. I know you said that your son had outbursts in the past, but if they're escalating then that is not good.

I also want to agree with the other poster who suggested therapy - I think it might be helpful for you, especially since you've been in abusive relationships in the past and sounds like you've currently got a lot on your plate emotionally. There's no shame in getting therapy, it is something that can make help anyone.

Some thoughts on if he is autistic:
*I'm not a parent, but I am autistic so I might be able to help a bit.*

It sounds like he could be having meltdowns.

It is NOT good for him to hit you, of course. But I want to suggest something that might not seem like "normal" advice. (If he's autistic) When he is hitting himself, let him be. It's a way of stimming, and if it is interrupted it feels very bad. It can make the meltdown and internal feeling fly more out of control. Don't try to stop it. It is actually helping him feel a sense of control and helping him to add another source of stimulation when he's overloaded. It helps him to regulate himself.

It might be helpful to teach your son to have objects to hit - a punching bag, a large body pillow, the bed. And help him learn to go to those when he feels like punching things.

About the iPad: I'm not really sure what to think about it.

I do think he might've been having a meltdown and it escalated because his one device that could help calm him down was taken away from him.

I repeatedly said no and warned him if he kept asking, I would take his iPad off him for the rest of the night. Which I did and that's when the situation escalated.
I sent him to his room to calm down. He refused, so I sat in the hallway repeating what I said. I refused to let him come into the lounge/kitchen until he calmed down.

To me, this seems clear cause-and-effect, and I feel I have empathy for your son's feelings.

Here's how I see the situation might've been, as in this is maybe what happened, if your son is indeed autistic:
1. Sometimes autistics repeat questions/phrases over and over, especially when chaotic inside, and this is not something in our control.
2. It shows in your post that when you did take away his iPad, his behavior immediately escalated.
3. You sent him to his room to calm down. This didn't register in his brain. Or maybe when he heard it, it seriously overloaded him. What is *actually* going on in his brain is the freak-out about not having the iPad for the rest of the night. He feels like the world is spinning because his routine item won't be there to calm him down, and he knows that he needs it. It's an unexpected change of plan. And autistics don't often do very well with unexpected changes of plan.
4. You sat in the hallway, and you were repeating what you said. This unfortunately probably only overloaded him further. It is like repeating "your plan is changing and you won't be able to calm yourself down, your plan is changing and you won't be able to calm yourself down, your plan is changing and you won't be able to calm yourself down." That might be a version of what he hears each time you repeat the words about his iPad being taken away/about him being sent to his room.

Then he might've been left feeling chaotic, out of control, and like he had no way to direct his energy and didn't know how to soothe himself.

He eventually got our son to take some time in his room to calm down. The first thing he asked for when he came out was his iPad! Obviously the answer was no.

As an autistic, it is no surprise to me that he would ask for the iPad again. (This is again just a guess) He was probably in his room forcing himself with all his might to calm down, and the thought of "I need my iPad badly" was probably stuck in his brain, on a loop. So of course, after the long wait is over, and he thinks he did what you asked, he comes back out again asking for the one thing that will help him stay calm.

Obviously, I know a lot of these feelings at a personal level, because I'm a lot like your son.

There's something very important I wanted to talk about:
The part where you mentioned this:
I don't know any other words to describe his behaviour other than out of control. Predominantly if he doesn't get his own way.

You wouldn't believe how often people said that about me growing up. (I was even told by a famili member I'd be "miserable' if I grew up to be "selfish" always "getting my way")

But actually, it wasn't about that.

That phrase is something many parents might come to the conclusion of when they have a child who they don't know is autistic.

It's not about "not getting our way." I know you didn't say this but it is also not being selfish.

What it sounds like you're talking about are meltdowns that occur when a change in plan occurs/or your 7 YO needs something badly and isn't allowed to have it. (It can even be silly things that might seem pointless - but to autistics the thing is very important to our self-regulation and being able to handle the world)

We can be very particular about how things go, and it's because the world to us is not in order and chaotic and having things go a certain (expected) way keeps us calm and helps us to make sense of the world.

(Again I know you didn't say these things but I want to re-emphasize) We aren't being manipulative or selfish.

It sounds like he needs a very predictable routine, where he knows his favorite calming items won't get taken away. Also, when an autistic says they need something (a child may not know how to articulate those feelings in words), or shows meltdown behavior - it's happening for a reason.

And it's important to know that meltdowns aren't tantrums. A meltdown is an uncontrollable physiological reaction to stress/overload....often occurring when needs aren't getting met/the child has difficulty communicating their feelings/there was an abrupt change in routine or plan/sensory overload.

Meltdowns are just a part of autism, but there are ways to help prevent them and ways to understand them.

(Here's a very good article about functioning labels and why they shouldn't be used when referring to autistics: http://www.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGC%25dN%25cS%25cSnHGvFzJBzrAFArGJBExmBEt%2 5cSJunGF-Gur-qvssrErApr-orGJrrA-uvtu-sHApGvBAvAt-nAq-yBJ-sHApGvBAvAt-nHGvFz%25cS)

Josie72
11-02-16, 03:35 AM
I have to disagree that you shouldn't take his iPad away. And now that he knows this behavior will give him leverage over you and you won't take his iPad away again, it's setting inappropriate expectations. Physical violence = my stuff doesn't get taken away.

Josie, are you yourself receiving therapy? You have so much on your plate. Dealing with an ADHD child is really tough, but I can't imagine the challenges associated with a BPD/OCD partner in addition to all this. If you aren't in therapy, please consider it for yourself.

Also consider professional help on how to manage a violent ADHD child. That's really different from managing a non-violent one, and general ADHD advice might not work for you. Seven-year-olds are strong, but what about when he's older? Will you be able to avoid harm caused by an eleven year old or seventeen year old?

I don't really have much immediate advice. I really hope that you can get into the pediatrician soon.

Thank you.
I thought I was doing the right thing by taking his iPad away and I only did it after giving our son several warnings. I would do the same with his twin sister.
I completely understand there will be different parenting skills I need to learn in order to enable our son to be the best that he can be but I was told by his paediatrician to discipline him as I normally would.
I will call his paediatrician again in the morning. I feel so sorry for him and helpless.

I do receive therapy. I have done for as long as I can remember :(
I, myself have Bipolar :(
Unfortunately my Bipolar consists predominantly of depression. I rarely have a manic episode.
At times I think medication and therapy can only help me so much at the moment, considering external and environmental factors.
We moved interstate 5 years ago away from friends and family after my mother begged us to so that she could "help" us. She's since bought a Winnebago and travels around the country. She also has Bipolar but is often manic. She is also narcissistic. I made the difficult decision about 6 months ago to no longer have any contact with her.
So here we are, in a state with no family or support. I've recently reached out to a Social Worker so hopefully I will be able to get some sort of something, I don't know what.
Thanks again.

Bluechoo
11-02-16, 07:20 AM
It is old school, but my parents probably would have called the police on me for something like this, even if I were 7. A police officer can have a very dramatic effect on a child's outlook. Some might think it's extreme and could be traumatizing... Yes, it would be very traumatizing, perhaps even enough to make him realize how unacceptable that kind of behavior is.

BellaVita
11-02-16, 09:10 AM
It is old school, but my parents probably would have called the police on me for something like this, even if I were 7. A police officer can have a very dramatic effect on a child's outlook. Some might think it's extreme and could be traumatizing... Yes, it would be very traumatizing, perhaps even enough to make him realize how unacceptable that kind of behavior is.

I don't think this is a very good idea, especially for a kid who is probably hypersensitive.

In my opinion, traumatizing in order to stop a behavior is not good and can have bad unforeseen consequences for the child.

Also, I did have the cops called on me (when I was much older). Actually, I was the one who got punched by my father, but I got set up by my parents so I was lied about and then sent away in the cop car and locked in a mental hospital for 3 days. (This isn't very relevant - but just adding that the trauma didn't end there, I also was forced to lie and say I wasn't getting abused to family services - coached and told what to say - or else I was threatened to be kicked out of the house)

That was one of the main events that triggered a spiral of things getting worse and worse in my home life and very dangerous for me. It also caused PTSD where I couldn't sleep at night because I would literally have one eye open thinking the cops would come knocking. I had flashbacks of the knocking and the event for almost two years after - I'd even wake up out of my sleep at night because my brain would replay the knocking and I would get traumatized all over again.

That was one of the events that helped lead to me never speaking to my parents again and moving far far far away.

It has negatively affected my view of the police and I've been quite fearful of them since. I've met two friendly police where I am and I think that has somewhat helped.

I think it would scare him to not do the behavior anymore, maybe, but I think it would also leave a negative impression on him about his family and the police - and I don't think that is a good thing.

Wanderwoman
11-02-16, 12:24 PM
I am so sorry to hear about all you and your family are going through. I don't have the wisdom to know the best way to deal with the complexity of this situation. I am hoping you will be able to get expert counsel for you and your child as soon as you have a complete diagnosis for him. I know you love him and want, like most loving parents to be able to guide him as he matures, to be a loving and thoughtful adult. The difficulties are compounded when he has increased challenges due to ADHD and possible autism. How do you set healthy boundaries that are reasonable and yes, expected from a good parent to teach their children while understanding and working within his understanding and abilities?
I don't know. I am glad that you are in the process of getting help. This must be incredibly overwhelming, and it's vital that it be addressed ASAP in order to protect you from continuing physical and emotional harm AND to provide for a healthy and fulfilling future for
your child. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Stevuke79
11-02-16, 01:06 PM
Thank you. I truly appreciate your reply.
The paediatrician has told me that even though our son has ADHD, there still has to be consequences for his behaviour. Hence why I took his iPad away from him. In hindsight, maybe not the right approach but he would not stop asking for a new game. He was relentless to the point of obsessive. Nothing I could say would make him stop. Unfortunately we're not in a position financially to continue to use our internet data like I've allowed. In addition to their installed apps, at times, I've allowed them to watch their favourite television shows on their iPads.
Thank you again.

I think your pediatrician is right. And taking away the ipad for harassing you about the ipad is very logical.

I do the same with my 8 year old.

Honestly, this sounds serious and I would just make sure your communicating all of this to his pediatrician and therapist.

The issues with my daughter are different, but from what I understand and from what my therapist tells me, be careful to never reward bad behavior.

My understanding is that it's very counterproductive o give them their way once they throw a fit.

Again, ask the therapist, but i would be firm about the violence. IMO, he should loose the ipad for the rest of the day for hitting. And i would make it very clear, if he continues hitting you, he won't get it tomoroow either.

IMO that works with my DD. but do not listen to me... ask the pediatrician.

Stevuke79
11-02-16, 01:09 PM
It is old school, but my parents probably would have called the police on me for something like this, even if I were 7. A police officer can have a very dramatic effect on a child's outlook. Some might think it's extreme and could be traumatizing... Yes, it would be very traumatizing, perhaps even enough to make him realize how unacceptable that kind of behavior is.

It's not a bad idea. I like it a lot.

its also a change of routine... which kind of breaks through the barrier of adhd.

I would let him know that if he keeps hitting u, u'll do that. And then when he does i would call the police.

I would also talk with an officer before you call.

Stevuke79
11-02-16, 01:11 PM
I have to disagree that you shouldn't take his iPad away. And now that he knows this behavior will give him leverage over you and you won't take his iPad away again, it's setting inappropriate expectations. Physical violence = my stuff doesn't get taken away.

This!!
He has to lose something when he's violent.

Stevuke79
11-02-16, 01:31 PM
I also don't want you getting hurt..

There are resources for dealing with these things. I don't want to post too much in particular bc I really can't vouch for anything. I'm not a doctor but there seems to be a lot out there and I recommend doing your own google search.

One idea I found that I really like was holding up a pillow so that you can't get hit or scratched. That sounded really smart to me.
Also.. don't reason or negotiate while the child is being violent. They just have to tire out and stop. Just focus on ending the violence.

There seems to be lots of ways out there to make sure you don't get hurt without hurting your child. Even ways of comfortably restraining them until they tire. (I know restraining sounds harsh,.. but some of these methods seem to involve a lot of care and thoughtfulness).

I know it's tempting to "suck it up" ... but realistically this just makes it more dangerous for your child.

Here is one link that seemed like it might be helpful:
http://nationalautismassociation.org/restraint-seclusion-a-guide-for-autism-parents/

Again,.. I'm not a doctor, but I hope this is good general advice.

Josie72
11-02-16, 05:23 PM
OP - I'm sorry to hear you are going through so much and feeling so overwhelmed.

Many hugs to you.

If you *think* the medication is making him have increased violent outbursts - stop it immediately. I know you said that your son had outbursts in the past, but if they're escalating then that is not good.

I also want to agree with the other poster who suggested therapy - I think it might be helpful for you, especially since you've been in abusive relationships in the past and sounds like you've currently got a lot on your plate emotionally. There's no shame in getting therapy, it is something that can make help anyone.

Some thoughts on if he is autistic:
*I'm not a parent, but I am autistic so I might be able to help a bit.*

It sounds like he could be having meltdowns.

It is NOT good for him to hit you, of course. But I want to suggest something that might not seem like "normal" advice. (If he's autistic) When he is hitting himself, let him be. It's a way of stimming, and if it is interrupted it feels very bad. It can make the meltdown and internal feeling fly more out of control. Don't try to stop it. It is actually helping him feel a sense of control and helping him to add another source of stimulation when he's overloaded. It helps him to regulate himself.

It might be helpful to teach your son to have objects to hit - a punching bag, a large body pillow, the bed. And help him learn to go to those when he feels like punching things.

About the iPad: I'm not really sure what to think about it.

I do think he might've been having a meltdown and it escalated because his one device that could help calm him down was taken away from him.



To me, this seems clear cause-and-effect, and I feel I have empathy for your son's feelings.

Here's how I see the situation might've been, as in this is maybe what happened, if your son is indeed autistic:
1. Sometimes autistics repeat questions/phrases over and over, especially when chaotic inside, and this is not something in our control.
2. It shows in your post that when you did take away his iPad, his behavior immediately escalated.
3. You sent him to his room to calm down. This didn't register in his brain. Or maybe when he heard it, it seriously overloaded him. What is *actually* going on in his brain is the freak-out about not having the iPad for the rest of the night. He feels like the world is spinning because his routine item won't be there to calm him down, and he knows that he needs it. It's an unexpected change of plan. And autistics don't often do very well with unexpected changes of plan.
4. You sat in the hallway, and you were repeating what you said. This unfortunately probably only overloaded him further. It is like repeating "your plan is changing and you won't be able to calm yourself down, your plan is changing and you won't be able to calm yourself down, your plan is changing and you won't be able to calm yourself down." That might be a version of what he hears each time you repeat the words about his iPad being taken away/about him being sent to his room.

Then he might've been left feeling chaotic, out of control, and like he had no way to direct his energy and didn't know how to soothe himself.



As an autistic, it is no surprise to me that he would ask for the iPad again. (This is again just a guess) He was probably in his room forcing himself with all his might to calm down, and the thought of "I need my iPad badly" was probably stuck in his brain, on a loop. So of course, after the long wait is over, and he thinks he did what you asked, he comes back out again asking for the one thing that will help him stay calm.

Obviously, I know a lot of these feelings at a personal level, because I'm a lot like your son.

There's something very important I wanted to talk about:
The part where you mentioned this:


You wouldn't believe how often people said that about me growing up. (I was even told by a famili member I'd be "miserable' if I grew up to be "selfish" always "getting my way")

But actually, it wasn't about that.

That phrase is something many parents might come to the conclusion of when they have a child who they don't know is autistic.

It's not about "not getting our way." I know you didn't say this but it is also not being selfish.

What it sounds like you're talking about are meltdowns that occur when a change in plan occurs/or your 7 YO needs something badly and isn't allowed to have it. (It can even be silly things that might seem pointless - but to autistics the thing is very important to our self-regulation and being able to handle the world)

We can be very particular about how things go, and it's because the world to us is not in order and chaotic and having things go a certain (expected) way keeps us calm and helps us to make sense of the world.

(Again I know you didn't say these things but I want to re-emphasize) We aren't being manipulative or selfish.

It sounds like he needs a very predictable routine, where he knows his favorite calming items won't get taken away. Also, when an autistic says they need something (a child may not know how to articulate those feelings in words), or shows meltdown behavior - it's happening for a reason.

And it's important to know that meltdowns aren't tantrums. A meltdown is an uncontrollable physiological reaction to stress/overload....often occurring when needs aren't getting met/the child has difficulty communicating their feelings/there was an abrupt change in routine or plan/sensory overload.

Meltdowns are just a part of autism, but there are ways to help prevent them and ways to understand them.

(Here's a very good article about functioning labels and why they shouldn't be used when referring to autistics: http://www.printfriendly.com/print?source=homepage&url_s=uGGC%25dN%25cS%25cSnHGvFzJBzrAFArGJBExmBEt%2 5cSJunGF-Gur-qvssrErApr-orGJrrA-uvtu-sHApGvBAvAt-nAq-yBJ-sHApGvBAvAt-nHGvFz%25cS)

I'm overwhelmed and truly appreciate your thoughtful reply.
I completely understand everything you've said. I want to feel what my son is feeling. I want to think what my son is thinking. Then I could possibly truly understand him and help him. What you've said is exactly what I suspect is going on in his tiny brain.

I want to write you a comprehensive reply but I feel emotionally beaten and tired, if that makes sence.
The last 24 hours have been exhausting. I'll be ringing the paediatrician again this morning.

Please don't think I don't appreciate your reply, I do :thankyou:

Tetrahedra
11-02-16, 07:17 PM
I don't think this is a very good idea, especially for a kid who is probably hypersensitive.

In my opinion, traumatizing in order to stop a behavior is not good and can have bad unforeseen consequences for the child.

Also, I did have the cops called on me (when I was much older). Actually, I was the one who got punched by my father, but I got set up by my parents so I was lied about and then sent away in the cop car and locked in a mental hospital for 3 days. (This isn't very relevant - but just adding that the trauma didn't end there, I also was forced to lie and say I wasn't getting abused to family services - coached and told what to say - or else I was threatened to be kicked out of the house)

That was one of the main events that triggered a spiral of things getting worse and worse in my home life and very dangerous for me. It also caused PTSD where I couldn't sleep at night because I would literally have one eye open thinking the cops would come knocking. I had flashbacks of the knocking and the event for almost two years after - I'd even wake up out of my sleep at night because my brain would replay the knocking and I would get traumatized all over again.

That was one of the events that helped lead to me never speaking to my parents again and moving far far far away.

It has negatively affected my view of the police and I've been quite fearful of them since. I've met two friendly police where I am and I think that has somewhat helped.

I think it would scare him to not do the behavior anymore, maybe, but I think it would also leave a negative impression on him about his family and the police - and I don't think that is a good thing.

That's awful. But at the same time, it sounds like it wasn't just the fact that the police were called on you that it resulted in the trauma and PTSD. Some kids might respond well to having the police called on them, but it depends upon the reason why they're misbehaving. Then there's also fact that you don't want to set up the police as "the bad guys" so that the kid fears the police forever. I'm not sure I support the idea of calling the cops unless OP feels she really can't handle the situation safely.

aeon
11-02-16, 08:19 PM
This may sound silly but our son treating me this way brings back many hurtful memories and I find myself cowering like I did all those years ago when my ex partners were beating me.

Thereís nothing silly about that at all, and given my experience of the aftereffects of chronic trauma, nothing could make more sense.

That your sonís behavior could trigger you is absolutely understandable, and entirely valid. Please donít minimize or apologize for your experience now, or the history that informs it.

Iím so sorry to hear that is the case. Speaking for myself, for years I had no idea how to establish healthy boundaries because mine were so willfully ignored and violated that I had no real idea they existed, or that I had a right (and need!) to establish them...and even if I did, I wouldnít have known how.

I canít imagine being anywhere near that state (because it leaves one forever raw) and then having to establish boundaries for myself as well as someone else, teaching and navigating and self-caring and parenting all at the same time.

My heart goes to you.


Well-Wishes,
Ian

dvdnvwls
11-02-16, 10:29 PM
Regarding calling the police (and I'm referring strictly to the police, not to any general points):

Bringing in the police for an out of control 7-year-old has such a large and wide-ranging potential for unintended consequences that I can't think of a way for it to ever be a realistic option.

First, the obvious waste of police resources. Second, the likelihood of traumatizing the child. Third, the stigma attached by neighbours to police visits. Fourth, the inaccurate image created for the child of what the police really do and when they should be called. There are more, but it hardly seems necessary to go on.

It's important IMO to keep in mind that this is a child who is immature even for his young age. His mind is more in tune with that of an average four- or five-year-old.

If a big strong teenager is purposefully violent or is credibly threatening violence, sure, call the police, if the circumstances warrant it. This is very different.

burger
11-03-16, 01:56 AM
I would stop the Ritalin since it seems to make matters worse. My guess is your son has some kind of chemical reaction going on that prompts him to act this way. All his anger/rage are just symptoms of a physical problem like the majority of mental disorders. I would try to fix this first before giving him stimulants.

Try not to add to the problem. Keep your voice calm and be aware of your body language. The only thing worse than one crazy person is two crazy people.

The taking away of the toys and discipline problems are just a result of the physical problem. I say it's a toss up since I have never been able to figure it out. Both sides are wrong but have their points.

You could try something like L-theanine or magnesium (not oxide since it isn't useful). There's other stuff but I wouldn't give it to a 7 year old. Your psychiatrist (which I am assuming you are going to not a doctor) should be able to prescribe medication to keep him from having outbursts of rage. Eventually your son will need a long term solution or he may end up in big trouble later on in life. He will run into many people who are difficult to deal with and if he can't control himself then there may be many problems.


When he is not angry maybe ask him, in a calm non-confrontational way (voice/body language), what he thinks of his behavior when he is angry. Does he think it is appropriate and proportional? Maybe try to get him to imagine your places reversed to help him understand what he is doing. For example if you pulled his hair during a fit, etc... how would he feel. Basically getting him to understand the reality of what is going on and the physical/emotional aspects of it. He may not have normal comprehension/empathy because he may not physically be able to understand and feel it like a higher functioning person would. Does he think about how you feel? Does he lose reason and himself/reality when he is angry? I would make him more aware of what is going on and why (biologically) he is acting this way. Basically trying to drag him out of his lala land and into reality. It is better to figure these things out and to understand these things then you know whats going on and why you do the things you do. Adhd can be like having constantly pressed reset button so even if you are successful he may forget in short order. Fixing his adhd should help with that. There's also several therapies. But like I said if your son has adhd then you might have to fix it first before you can get anywhere.

sarahsweets
11-04-16, 09:53 AM
I must have missed this post and maybe I can share some insight.

I care for my husband full time. He has ADHD, OCD, borderline personality disorder and a back injury. My husband takes 3 X 10mg of Ritalin per day.

Holy cow, thats a lot on your shoulders. Is he really incapable of most things or is it more that it was harder but now the habit of relying in you is more the issue? Not saying he doesnt need or deserve care, just asking.

Our son started on the immediate release Ritalin but since last Friday, has commenced on the long acting due to his aggressive and inappropriate behaviour as it wore off. This apparently works for 8 hours, which seems to be correct.

Have you considered the long acting with the short acting? If the long acting one lasts for 8 hours then for example, if he takes it at 7am then by 3pm he will begin crashing and unless his day and responsibilities are done at 3, he may still need a booster dose. IMO is a good idea to have a long acting med for the school day and a booster if need be after school for kids.

I sent him to his room to calm down. He refused, so I sat in the hallway repeating what I said. I refused to let him come into the lounge/kitchen until he calmed down.
He proceeded to kick, punch, slap me. He jumped on me, tried to scratch my face and eye gouge me.
Now I've previously been in 3 physically and emotionally relationships. The first one resulted in 2 surgeries on my right shoulder and 3 on my left. The surgeon removed the tips off both of my collarbones. My left shoulder still has a torn tendon and is very painful. Our son repeatedly jumped on this shoulder. Obviously this morning it's extremely sore.

This is never ok. And I know you know this. My son is 20 now (if you want to read his story, its a sticky in children's diagnosis+treatment) but from age 3-6 he went through periods where he was out of control. I will say it wasnt as severe or deliberate as what your son was doing but it involved destroying things in his room, kicking, ripping the curtains down, etc.
The only thing I could think of doing was to restrain him in a backwards hug to keep us both safe and repeat over and over "its ok. I love you"
So I would sit him in front of me with his back facing me. I would cross my arms over his in sort of a reverse hug and just hold him. This was not squeezing, shaking, pinching- more of a firm hug. Sometimes I had to criss cross a leg over his legs too. The point was not to hurt or punish, but to keep him from hurting me or himself. I didnt try and reason or say anything complicated, I just waited it out saying I loved him near his ear in a quiet voice. I didnt have to do that much and therapy, meds and structure help those episodes go away along with him having opportunities to express his anger without violence.




Finally I had to get my husband to intervene as our son twice grabbed clutches of my hair, pulling as hard as he could.
He eventually got our son to take some time in his room to calm down. The first thing he asked for when he came out was his iPad! Obviously the answer was no.
Would your husband not have intervened if you hadnt asked him too? Sometimes a united front helps take the wind out of a child's rages.



This is so tough and I identify. I had to take my own timeouts a few times. As long as I knew there was no eminent danger I would go into my room and bathroom and lock the door and take a mini breather.

sarahsweets
11-04-16, 10:00 AM
I think its possible that the police would work for a much older child, but for one this young he may associate it and internalize it as him being 'bad' and the cops being 'bad guys'.

Lunacie
11-04-16, 01:44 PM
Finally I had to get my husband to intervene as our son twice grabbed clutches of my hair, pulling as hard as he could.
He eventually got our son to take some time in his room to calm down.


Would your husband not have intervened if you hadnt asked him too? Sometimes a united front helps take the wind out of a child's rages.

.

Somehow I missed this part myself. As the co-parenting gramma, I have tag-teamed many times with my daughter when my autistic granddaughter was lashing out.

Losing the primary focus of her anger tends to de-escalate the situation.

Daydreamin22
11-04-16, 02:44 PM
Definitely blame and eliminate the medication before you allow anyone to blame your son. This is just an unacceptable side effect of the Ritalin. My personal experience: Maybe try a non stimulant or nothing before anger issues develop with him due to these kind of experiences. Go to helpguide.org for more help. It's an ethical Harvard/NIMH site that is great with tons of issues including childhood ADHD.

sarahsweets
11-07-16, 10:16 AM
Definitely blame and eliminate the medication before you allow anyone to blame your son. This is just an unacceptable side effect of the Ritalin. My personal experience: Maybe try a non stimulant or nothing before anger issues develop with him due to these kind of experiences. Go to helpguide.org for more help. It's an ethical Harvard/NIMH site that is great with tons of issues including childhood ADHD.

The Op did not state that her son experienced this as a result of taking the medication or switching meds. She stated that the issues become apparent AS or AFTER the medication wears off. I am not discounting that it can be a combo of issues or related to the dose of medication but to blame the med and stop the medication may not be the best idea and certainly not without her doctor's approval.
I agree with you on blaming her son. These episodes to me are cried for help, not because he is a bad boy.