my son is out of control and feel like no one is listening to me (professionals)

Gemma - posted on 08/30/2011 ( 133 moms have responded )

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He is rude and answers back, he dosnt seem to be able to control himself. His behaviour is so bad some days that it makes me so ill and i have chest pains and feel cant cope anymore.
This has been going on for years since he was 3 years old.
Some days he has very bizarre behaviour aswel.
He talks none stop and never shuts up, he seems to get a kick out of annoying everyone.
Its really getting everyone down he constantly behaves naughty and dosnt seem to know how to be good, he has to have attention all the time and often spoils family time or days out. im really worried about the effect it is having on our family but also worried as im expecting another baby. Its my eldest son who has the problems and he is 8, then i have a 2 year old hes well behaved and then expecting this child in december.
I feel like none of the professionals are listening to me they say that hes just naughty and im letting him do this.
I know im not imagining it and i reallly think there is something wrong but how many times to i have to keep telling these professionals about it before any of them will believe me?? is there no help out there.
We are really suffering. My relationship with my son is being ruined and i feel like just crying.
how far does this have to go? will it tear my family apart?
Does anyone else share theses problems?

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Karie - posted on 08/31/2011

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Have you ever looked at his diet? My daughter has an adverse reaction to sugar and not enough protein. We figured this out without doctors, by trial and error. She is now 8 and even knows when she is getting naughty and knows to go have a piece of chicken or turkey and in a hour she is better. I am not a health freak or everything organic mom. But I do notice when life gets in the way and we eat out frequently or are at the beach etc and not eating right like more simple carbs and sugars she really gets out of wack and simply changing our diet back to more proteins and vegis and less white flour and sugars she settles right back down.
I also new a child that anything with red food dye totally made her act like she had ADD, to the point you could hardly stand to be around her, after they took that out of her diet, she was like any normal child (if there is such a thing lol). Good luck, stick with your discipline plan and reward chart. He will figure out you will not give in.

[deleted account]

Sometimes there really are problems with the child that cause extreme behaviors. I know of someone who has a child who is most likely a sociopath and cannot be controlled. Scary, yes, but true. There are also other inborn errors that can lead to overwhelming problems. Please do not let others who have not faced your problems make you feel guilty.

I would definitely keep searching for answers. Explore food allergies/sensitivies, food coloring additivies, or even try a GFCF (gluten-free, casein free) diet. We've done that here and it's not as bad as you would think. What about genetic testing? One of my sons has an MTHFR mutation that makes it hard for him to utilize b12-- which is an essential vitamin. KEEP looking. Maybe he's on the autism spectrum? Talk to a counselor about anti-social personality disorder?

I applaud you in reaching out, it's hard to share your deepest secrets and fears with strangers. I hope you are finding the support you need. Take breaks, get your husband to spend time with the child.

There are a lot of great parenting books out there and we should all try to be better parents. At some point though, you can only be responsible for so much. Each of us has our own temperaments and personalities that are BORN in us. Unfortunately, sometimes we find ourselves with an extremely difficult or challenging child. It's not necessarily your parenting! It really could be the child's temperament or some other issue already mentioned. Just don't give up on yourself or him.

One last thing, try to remove as much emotion from the equation as possible. Go with the "one time rule." He's old enough for that. You advise him to do something (or not) ONE time only. If he doesn't comply, he goes to his room, you take his Wii, or whatever consequence is effective. We fine my older child. Meaning, we take a dollar out of his piggy bank for disobedience. Boy, that one makes an impression. He always gets a chance to earn it back though. Stick and carrot! At any rate, the consequence just happens, don't get too upset about it. The emotional roller coaster will wear you out. He'll figure it out and comply to the family rules or he'll be spending a lot of time in his room or without his favorite toys, etc...

Good luck!

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011

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Sounds like he has ADD/HD attention defficet hyper activity disorder. You need to have him evaluated and get as much information as you can on this disorder. I have a Master's in general ed special ed and I also have a daughter that gives me a hard time to despite all my knowlege discipline...I am working on getting her evaluated. It sounds like you might need to have your son evaluated. Seek a new peditrician...then seek council on how to handle him. Some behaviors are a typical with age and others aren't there is a fine line that is why he might not have been diagnosed yet

Julie - posted on 08/31/2011

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I agree that this sounds very much like the symptoms of ADHD and asbergers. Several old school doctors don't believe in ADHD (one told me to put my son in Boy Scouts and he'd be fine). I live in Napa, CA and we have an organization called Parents Can. Their phone number is 707-253-7444. Please call them to see if they have a recomendation for services in your area. They are experts at helping you find the right doctors and how to navigate the school systems to ensure children are receiving a good education and not just sitting in the principal's office.

Liz - posted on 08/31/2011

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Gemma, I have to say, your son is not making you sick and neither is his behaviors. You cannot put this on your child, he's only 8! The way you're feeling is real, but it's because you're not equipped to handle these behaviors and you're making yourself sick. Please, do not ever put that kind of pressure on something you brought into this world! He is way more lost and confused than you are and he is looking to YOU for guidance! I don't want to sound rude or mean, because I'm not, I promise. I'm just trying to get your attention so you can look at it from a different perspective. I hope you'll bear with me.

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Regina - posted on 09/05/2011

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Therapy! If it's really that bad, I suggest therapy. If you don't get him under control, he's not going to have any friends, and if he happens to have a couple, the parents won't allow him to sleepover if he's that bad.

Sharon - posted on 09/05/2011

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I could of written this about my son, who is 10. We have had him see 2 psychologist, and we know he has a Sensory Processing Disorder, and understanding that has helped quite a bit. My son does not have ADD or Aspergers! He still has bad days, our last family vacation was miserable, we were at one of the most fun places in the world and he was awful, we just couldn't make him happy. I've noticed that his attitude is worse when his dad has a day off, and they are together. When he is with my sister, she actually said "he was perfect". So I'm thinking now that he can control himself???
I feel for you, luckily for me I have older children, I can't imagine the stress at your house with "little ones"!!

[deleted account]

Hi. It will be great if you can establish some structure and routine to your 8 year olds life (as well as your 2 year old), before the baby is here. You did not say if your son has the same problems across all of his environments, i.e., school, home, visiting family/friends, etc. That is a very important key.



All children thrive in a routine, structured environment, starting at home. If you have a good schedule in place: known and expected times to get up/go to bed; time to eat, play, etc., you will begin to see your children relax some. The same goes for behavior: a special time out spot with appropriate time (often 1 minute per year of age works well); and the most important part: Follow-through with all schedules, rules–everything. Both you and your spouse must keep the schedule, reinforce good behavior with love and physical hugs, etc. Your word must be your bond...promises must be kept, discipline must as you have said—no giving in because you "feel sorry" for someone.

Just so you are aware, the first, best treatment method preferred by physicians and behavior experts for children/adults with the difficult behavior you have listed is "not" medication, but a good behavior plan. Some children/adults may require medication, however, that in most cases should be a last resort. Good behavior plans are life changing.



Last but not least, if you have any type of faith/Bible/other religious preferences, that helps tremendously.



I am a mother of 3 adults, and I have five grandchildren. I am a behavior specialist -teacher - in the Metro Nashville public school system. Blessings and I will be praying for you all. Be encouraged, be courageous, and keep hope in front of your mind and heart. Your son is precious, and you and his father are the key to his future.

Fay - posted on 09/05/2011

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It sounds like ADHD like my daughter, get your son checked.
ADD and ADHD are chemical unbalancement, once hes balanced he will feel better, if he is he doesn't like him self and that's why he plays up.
but first get him checked out, your not going crazy and neither is he.

Holly - posted on 09/05/2011

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As a special education teacher and parent of a child with ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder, I can sympathize with you. Not sure where you are located, but I would keep contacting your physician and insisit upon that something is not right. Once my son was put on him medications a year ago life in our household became much better. The yelling and behaviors have decreased tremendously. My son is 7 and was diagnosed last summer. It can be a scary time, but as a parent you need to do what is right not only for your child but you. If you get not help from the doctor, get a second opinion. One thing I have found helpful is that after a behavior espisode is to not bring it back up, this will only make it worse. A book that has some good information in is called The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Kuddos to you for asking for help.

Briley - posted on 09/05/2011

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I'm not saying medication is always a solution, but I would have him tested for ADHD. My oldest daughter is 14 and wasn't diganosed unti she was 12. She had similiar behaviors that started at about age 2

Monique - posted on 09/05/2011

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I would say in my opinion from my schooling and working as a teacher I would ask the counselor about opposition defiant disorder. I wonder if they have considered that or if you have asked about that. I would have him see a therapist and have a psych eval done. Also I would look at his nutrition. Sometimes kids need strict diets with behavioral problems like no sugar, soda, sweets, junk food, etc... maybe your not giving him any of these, but i knwo with my cousin this made a HUGE difference. maybe it is add/adhd too you can ask a psychatrist about that, too. good luck! try trading days with your hubby and so you can both get breaks.

Sally - posted on 09/05/2011

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Hello Gemma, You are definitely a mom who has her hands full. Bless you.
I would like to recommend a program called "Love and Logic." LL teaches you how to react to your child's behavior appropriately and gives you many options on what to do about his behavior. It may take some time for him to realize that you are serious, you may need to interrupt some family and outing times to prove this seriousness to him, but eventually he will come around.

I don't get paid to endorse this group but I have had a lot of exposure to them. Check them out. LoveandLogic.com There should be classes in your area, there are some free online webinars and podcasts, books and a newsletter.

Sounds like you may want to take action sooner rather than later. Good luck!!

Linde Grace - posted on 09/05/2011

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I'm sorry you are having these problems, Few things can break your heart any faster. I taught severely emotionally disturbed and behavior disordered children, ages 6-8, for over 20 years. If you live in the U. S., you are entitled to a free multifactored evaluation of your child by the local schools to determine if he has any physical, mental, or emotional problems which could cause this behavior. It is not necessarily your fault. Federal law in the U. S. requires a "free and appropriate education" for all children and school districts are required to seek out kids who may have problems. Addressing these problems depends upon what seems to be causing the problem. I don't have enough information to give you specific help, but I can tell you that sooner is better than later for determining what the trouble is. Ig you are in the U. S., go directly to your child's school and tell them you want him evaluated. The people doing the eval are used to 1) people who have no clue; 2) people looking for additional public assistance which you can get for a disability; 3) people who read about some issue and now think their child has it, etc. Chances are good that if you see this behavior at home, they are seeing it at school. Even if you homeschool, you are entitled to the evaluation. They will not interview you much until they present their findings. I don't know what professionals are giving you the run-around, but school professionals generally have advanced degrees plus experience AND they are usually motivated by a love of children and a great desire to see each student succeed. I have many happy-ending stories from the families of my students, so I think that while this upsets you very much, you have a solvable situation. It doesn't necessarily lead to disaster if you get on it. Demand, if required, that the school district evaluate if you have to, but that is not likely to occur. They are supposed to evaluate him, by law, and they realize it will only help them, too, if his problem can be found. Do not turn down offers of professional help which will be free or inexpensive if delivered through the public school. Our school had a psychologist, art therapist, consulting psychiatrist, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, and individual aides and tutors--all free and all on campus. I wish you well. There is a way to get some peace in your household. Do not feel that you've done something wrong or even that there is something wrong with your child because, in fact, you won't know any of that until he's evaluated. I hope this is helpful to you.

Nicole - posted on 09/05/2011

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Take him off of artificial food coloring!! ALL of it!! He's probably allergic to the dyes and the chemicals in them change his personality. I have a 10 y/o son and a 7 y/o daughter and neither of them can have dyes. When my son was little he would get very hyper then drop to the floor crying. My daughter would cry uncontrolably and said she didn't know why but she can't stop! Now that they're older they get nasty attitudes but are aware that it's the dyes and try to control it. They are also finding a link between artificial coloring and cancer! Any artificial additives can alter your personality and do nasty things to your body. Even knowing this,I have a hard time cutting it out of my diet!! LOL

P.S. If I didn't find this out they would have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD!! Observing behavior doesn't diagnose ADD/ADHD,only a brain scan diagnoses properly!!!

Jane - posted on 09/05/2011

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Gemma,
I definately believe he sound like he has ADHD.......my daughter went through this very type of behavior and once tested she was put on Adderall and at that time I was in college studying and I was doing a presentation on drugs and their effects. First and foremost, Aderall is a stimulant and very addicted and this literally scared me to death to have her on a medication of that type. She was losing weight, sick to her stomach and I disliked everything about it. Once I read about it and the fact that it was a stimulant and addictiver.......I made an immediate decision with my Dr. to have her taken off this medicine and replaced with Strattera, which is NOT addictive or a stimulant. Along with the medicine, it takes a very nuturing, very structural, and parents who are willing to be firm and make decisions on the best interest of their child. The worst part of my situation was my husband left, I don't think he could handle being a correct parent. He wanted to battle and scream with/at her; whether it was to me or to her. Horrible to say but once he left, I felt almost like I was let out of a pressure cooker and could now concentrate on my daughter. She is the 3rd of three children, her brother and sister are much older and married. She definately needed a parent who she knew would stay through thick or think and I gave the stability that was very much needed. With the medicine, our home life stability and a schedule to match....I can say she is a totally different person today. We began this process at the age of 4-5 and my not yet ex-husband made trying to get the diagnosis nearly impossible when we took her to the Dr. He felt almost insulted and selfish.........because of the many questions asked, really pointed a negative finger at his behavior and alcoholism. He made such a scene, that I quietly left and re-scheduled and we were on he road to a less stressed life. Don't get me wrong, initially it does take a lot of work but it is well worth it. This also affects school in such a way that it can be a learning disability but I had a very hard time getting her a IEP plan put in place to help her. I was fortunate enough that our Superintendent also had a son with ADHD and informed me that I needed to ask for a 504 plan, and all that take to put into play at school is a Dr.'s diagnosis. The plan was put into play around 3rd grade and so glad that it was because these children cannnot multitask and do many things asked of them because their little minds go from one place to another and have a very hard time staying on task. This can make them very frustrated in so many ways but not that she is a Freshman, we update the plan yearly, or as needed, to help her. These children are extremely intelligent but just cannot stay focused...........Einstein was ADHD, as well as MANY other very inventors, entreproneurs, etc. So with good parenting, the correct medication and a plan a school, I think you would see a side of your son that would make you so very proud. Remember this..........ADHD is not a horrible disease......it is simple like diabetes that needs to be watched and nutured to be healthy and happy. I hope this will help you in some way...........many parents just want to throw their hands in the air and "give"........NEVER GIVE UP ON HIM.........he has a struggle that he did not ask for and needs stability, possiblity counseling to help for all. Hang in there and I will pray for you and your family. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Margareta - posted on 09/04/2011

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You hang in there, Ok . You have gotten a good amount of great advice from this chat. You can do alot of this stuff and it will help. Aba is what they call behavioralists, once you have a diagnois then you can help your son and your self.

Michelle - posted on 09/04/2011

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I'm going thro' the same thing more or less except that perhaps I must admit that it is not as serious as yours. I have two boys, one is 10 and another one of 6 (7 in Dec). It's the younger one that I have an issue with. Like yours he talks non stop and like yours seems to enjoy being a nuisance. Everyone feels they need a break from him. The older one "seeks refuge" at my parents for, say, 3 days a time. On his own he can be a darling, but as soon as he sees his brother he goes to the other extreme cause he would have missed him. Sometimes I let him stay with my parents so that I give them equal rights, but only whilst he has all the attention to himself is he ok. Like yours he tends to ruin an outing and each time I beg him not to turn the outing into a nightmare, but to no avail. If he's not enjoying himself and wants to go and I insist we stay wherever we are, then he ruins my fun. If we stay inside it gets frustrating because children have much more energy than us and we live in a flat. He makes me cry and I feel like a failure. Whatever I do never seems to be good or good enough. I try hard not to say certain things cause for sure they will be more damaging will hurt for the rest of his life and one day it will backfire even worse. I'm no saint but I pray a lot that things change. The word 'sorry' has no meaning when said and has become frivolous thinking that once said everything is fixed, but most of the times he doesn't even say it, let alone feel it. There doesn't seem to be any gratitude - it's like it is my duty to make him happy and give him all he asks for. I'm also thinking of seeking professional help, but I'm hoping that once school starts, things will get better cause he'll be more busy and the day is varied plus I can get some time in peace without him. It's such a pity cause I love him - he's my son and I don't want any harm to happen to him. Sometimes, though, I feel that perhaps something should happen to me to serve as an eye opener and perhaps he will start respecting me and appreciating me.

Sarah - posted on 09/04/2011

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Maybe you should get him checked out for ADHD. Try to avoid a lot of e numbers. Tomato sauce and breadcrumbs on fish fingers are one Of the worst. try also omega 3 fish oil in his diet or give him one spoonful a day. This should help.

Debbie - posted on 09/04/2011

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Your kid sounds ADHD. I feel your pain, mine acts similar.

also check out this website

Angela - posted on 09/04/2011

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This sounds just like my older son so I have to laugh a bit knowing what I know now. Since he was my 1st child (his brother is 3 years younger), I gave him lots of attention, played often, and took him everyone that was fun. BUT...he had a hard time when someone else needed my attention or when I tried to talk on the phone. My husband was gone a lot which left me and my son alone. Although it was easier, it didn't teach him respect for me since I became the "playmate". I just had fun with him and we were all smiles. I worked 30 hrs a week, sometimes more, so he was in daycare. He acted out in daycare a LOT. Sometimes he had the whole center up at naptime. He was kicked out of 5 daycares. We had a family therapist visit at 2 different daycares to assist us with what to do. She said that he enjoyed their time together there, he liked the one-on-one attention and was fine when she was there. She noted some needed improvements for the center, but they didn't want to listen. While he constantly got in trouble and I had to pick him up early lots of time, we also took that negative of the day and brought it into the home which the therapist said wasn't good for him. He needed some positive times in his day and the daycare and home should have boundaries. That was difficult for us because we knew he just bit someone or slapped a teacher and how could we be happy and forget it at home. We've been through soooooo much with him and I could tell you lots of stories but the one that stands out the most is when he was in kindergarten. He was on his last warning, after already been suspended for 1 day, then 3 days, the next time he was to be expelled and there were only 3 weeks left. It was a private school and principal whose shoulder I cried on and prayed with assured me that he will get through kindergarten, and he will get through the rest of the school, and he will grow up to be a great young man. I found her faith inspiring. She continued to deal with him year after year. Each year seemed to be better but I wasn't able to rest fully at work. I kept waiting for phone calls that found their way to me from the school. It was stressful. In 4th grade, after noticing that he was getting in trouble more than others for the exact same thing and realizing that although he deserved to be in trouble, it wasn't consistant because he was "labeled" as the troublemaker. He even wrote in a notebook one afternoon in detail what he did and what the teachers did in return and then how they responded or didn't respond to others doing the same thing. He's very observant and figured that it didn't do any good to behave good because it didn't matter. We put him in public school the next year for a break, and wow, what a break. He was treated just like everyone else. They had no background on him and other kids were worse than he had been and he noticed the difference between good and bad for the 1st time I believe. The principal was a man which helped a lot. He was in trouble once in the 1st month, got talked to, then went back to class. The principal knew how to let go and it was refreshing to have him be given a fresh start. The school wasn't up to par on learning so we switched back the next year. He was soooo much better in 6th grade at the private school than in years past. He even wanted to prove to them that he wasn't a bad kid. He took up playing chess that year and joined the chess team. My son may have been their most challenging student ever, but he left his final mark in the office on the chess plaque that hangs in there each year. He had gotten 1st place:) and every new "challenging" student's mother will get a pep talk about how my child had turned around and so will theirs. I'm happy to report that he's turning 15 in a few weeks, just started 9th grade, back to public school since last year, and is doing fine. My best advice to you is to spend 15 minutes after school with him where it's all about him. Let him talk and tell you about his day with your full attention. Give him something hard to do like the rubik's cube, online chess, build a city with legos, etc. His mind is probably bored and needs a challenge. When he is at his worse, or before if you can catch it, sit down with him and tell him that you love him and don't need to act out to get your attention. I remember my son saying "attention, attention" with a smile and I reacted with a smile and gave him a hug because I had told him that I rather him do that than act out and it worked. Hang in there because I've been there and it WILL get better!

Dawn - posted on 09/04/2011

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My son and grandson are very similar to what you have described..My grandson more so. My son now 27 had/has ADD..He was on medication which he HATED and gave him head aches..We took him off after 3 yrs..He was expelled out of 8th grade. He dropped out of H.S. his Sr. Yr.. He ran away from home and lived in abandoned houses..I never gave up on him and never blamed myself or him. We worked thru it. I picked him up on Sat and drove him to a school where he was able to get his GED..He is now in a trade school at the TOP of his class. I am Now raising my grandson who is 9. His Mom lives in the city and his Dad is out of State..He has never met his father and knows nothing about him. He sees his Mom maybe once a month (Her choice) which has a direct effect on his behavior/emotions. He gets very depressed and that turns into anger..He has fits of rage..Out of control tantrums..Screaming on the top of his voice. He even goes as far as telling us he hates us and wants to move away and wishes he was no longer here. Lately he has been slapping himself in the face and pounding his head against walls..When he does this I am at a loss. We go to counseling once a week. She talks to him about self talk and how to talk himself down. Letting him know the things I do and say do not cause him to react the way he does. He needs to make a choice to act/react in different ways when he is anger or frustrated. I have seen some difference when I limit his Pasta and sugar intake. He also lately has been sneaking food especially sweets and that is when I see an increase in these rages. We do send him to his room and have him settle down..There is NO point in trying to talk/reason or even discipline when he is in a rage. He just gets more frustrated and it escalates. I get frustrated and when I raise my voice and get angry he gets worse. I just have to let him have his fit and work thru it. The next day he writes about his feelings and what his reaction was so he can see how out of control it really was. He can't help himself during the fit..But we are hoping by recognizing the feelings and identifying them he will be able to stop the reaction more often then not. School was a problem for him in 1&2nd grades..in 3rd grade he did better for 3/4 of the yr..the last quarter he had a run in with a student and need to go back to see the social worker at school to help with the situation. It didn't seem to hinder his grades in 3rd grade he actually got straight A's..Which he was very proud of..He reads ALOT which helps him escape. He also sleeps alot after his rages..Some times they are brought on due to lack of sleep. He has times where he wakes up in the middle of the night a few times and those days seem worse then others..As well as when he is anticipating seeing his Mom or immediately following a visit with her. All these things play a BIG part in his behavior..I agree with the person that mentioned POSITIVE reinforcement. It is so easy to focus on the negative and forget about the positive they do..Even within the bad days my grandson does do good things. He is on a strict schedule which helps as well. His alarm rings at 6:30AM (his choice) he reads for 30 min and then makes his bed and gets dressed (with clothes he picks out the night before). I get up at 7:15 which is when we both go down to have breakfast..He is required to stay in his room and do something until 7:15 (otherwise he eats sweets). I cook eggs or oatmeal on school days. Oatmeal is good and filling and can be made with different fruits to give it a different taste each time. School is now in session..He arrives home at 3:30 at which time he has a snack of yogurt or cheese stick.. Then right to homework. Dinner is at 5-5:30.Then activities are from 6-7. bedtime prep begins at 7:15, 7:30 he needs to be in his room with lights out at 8PM. Kids need at last 10 hrs of sleep at night to be able to be at their best all day. This strict schedule is helpful to us. I do really need to get healthier meals going..This week we had pasta meals 3 times.
(I usually limit it to once during the week and once on the weekends.) I am still in the trial and error stage myself..Hoping to find the perfect schedule/diet to help him be the healthiest..Physically and Emotionally. This my second time at raising children..My grandson as been with us for 3 yrs and we thought we were done 10 yrs ago. But this is something we have to do for our grandson..It isn't easy for any of us but we are trying to our best the 2nd time around..For our grandson sake. Good luck to you..Surround yourself with people that LOVE you and your child..Let others help you and take him for a play date as a reward. FOCUS on what is GOOD..We are both working on a gratitude journal starting this week..Each night write down 2 or 3 things that we are grateful for that happened during the day in a small notebook. Talk about the GOOD focus on the GOOD and there will be MORE good as time goes on. I can promise you that..Children do like to please us..Sometimes they just don't know how..Blessings to you! This too shall pass..If you are a spiritual person
buy the book "The power of a praying parent" It is very helpful during these tough yrs.

Liz - posted on 09/04/2011

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@ Julie L, you're completely misunderstanding and now misrepresenting me. I'd appreciate it if you would not direct your comments at me or my comments/posts anymore. You don't know what I know on an educational, professional or most importantly personal level. You seem to have targeted me for some reason yet you've misunderstood and twisted things in the meantime. You really should think before you speak. And always keep in mind the ol' saying, until you've walked in another man's shoes...... I always do and I tried to make that clear when I was writing my comment to GEMMA, not you. If I offended or hurt her, or anyone for that matter, in anyway then I would most definitely apologize. Please have and show some respect Julie, I absolutely stand by my comment for both the mother and child's sake. They need more help than "circle of moms" can offer....

Natalie - posted on 09/04/2011

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Gemma, this sounds similar to what I went through this past year. My son is 6 and has been diagnosed with severe ADHD. It took 3 years to get the proper diagnosis and they are still doing assessments since it seems ADHD is the main culprit but perhaps not the only one. I am educated in the area of developmental psychology and he has had delays in speech and general "difficult" behaviours but was taken aback when he began to attend school fulltime last year and the school did not know what to do with him. The relationship between my son and the other family members rapidly deteriorated as he began the school year. When he began to hate himself and call himself names I knew the doctor was right that his self-esteem was suffering and it was worth trying some medication. Behaviour modification techniques only work to a certain point with these kids. My son is not able to learn or control his impulsiveness without his meds and although I have been anti medication my whole life, Im really glad it is available to him :) Don't give up. Continue to search out a professional that will listen.

Gerri - posted on 09/04/2011

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Does he have problems at school as well? You could probably have a referral to a behavioral therapist...they might have some ideas. Has he been tested for Add or Adhd. Hope this helps.

Jodie - posted on 09/04/2011

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Gemma, best of luck. I really cant offer much in the way of advice. I have a 3 year old and a 5 mont old. My three yr old can be wonderful and sometimes so horrible. She can be rude, hurts others and can be very naughty. I hold onto the good days cos when its a bad one, watch out. I sympathise with you it can be tough :) Hang in there. im hoping to start some kind of reward system so hope this helps. Good luck and i hope you fins something that works for your family

Lucinda - posted on 09/04/2011

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Our son was like this when he was little. He was diagnosed with ADHD and put on meds and he was sooooo.... much better. I know a lot of people don't like putting their kids on meds but that isn't fair to the kid or the the other children in the class room or to the family. Meds are a lot better today then when my son was young, he is now 26. He stayed on meds for 3 years and his body straightend itself out and he came off of them. Give it a try.

Annette - posted on 09/04/2011

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ODD -- Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Google it. He may also have food sensitivities such as dyes and artificial sweeteners. I would seek more info from his pediatrician as he may become harmful to himself or your other kids. Best of luck. It's hard raising a special needs child.

Mariah - posted on 09/04/2011

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Have you seen if he is ADD or ADHD? I had the same problems with my son and found out he is ADHD, the new medications they have now days work without making the kids zombies. You could look into that as a possibility.

Michelle - posted on 09/04/2011

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I'm concerned by the advice to "try a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables" because my son's Oppositional Defiance Disorder is caused soley by the "amines" in his diet, which means it is from the natural chemicals occuring in many healthy foods. For instance, he cannot eat tomatoes, broccholi, mushrooms, oranges, sultanas, nuts, cheese, ham, tuna, vinegar, cauliflower, pineapple, ... and the list goes on. See Sue Dengate's "Fed Up' book and Food Intolerance Network website for more details. Honestly, the diet will work and you will have a sweet, angelic boy in place of the angry one you have presently. No time-out, no medications, no specialist, just a bit of reading and an elimination diet. Many people have food intolerances but too few people are willing to do the hard work when it is a behavioural issue. I did it and we have never looked back, except if my son gets his hands on a ham and pineapple pizza!!

Jennifer - posted on 09/04/2011

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I have a daughter who had mood disturbances if she ate any sugar at all. She would become depressed and have crying jags and became moody. It would last for 3 days until I could get the sugar out of her system again. I KNEW her diet was messing her up but I couldn't get a professional to listen to me. My daughter eventually went on a sugar binge that ended in her being nauseated for 2 years while the doctors continued to tell me there was nothing wrong. I spent all my energy taking her to various doctors and when one wouldn't help, I would find another. Finally after two years of weekly doctor visits and tests, they figured out her gallbladder is slow moving and that was causing her problems. Not sure how the sugar is connected but it doesn't bother her now that her gallbladder is removed.

I have ONLY one.... I couldn't imagine doing it with as many as you have. An ill child takes ALL the energy you can afford and the more children you have, the less energy you can put into finding out what is wrong with the first one. I wish you the best and hope you can figure it out soon.

Gina - posted on 09/04/2011

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It would be advised to have him tested for mental health issues as well as learning disorders/any disorder under the autism umbrella. I feel your pain completely and if this is happening at 8, the teenage years could end up being very dangerous for himself as well as your family. I have learned that no matter how much you try and tell the professionals, sometimes they don't listen until something REALLY bad happens and if you can avoid that at any cost that is the goal. You have to keep barking so to speak until someone is willing to REALLY listen and help. I would DEMAND he be tested in the most peaceful way you know how. Try your best to stay strong for your son because although his behavior is completely destructive and annoying, if you don't hold it together, the professionals will think you are the one with the problems, not your son. Is anyone else involved with trying to help him besides you?
On your side for what is best for him and your family,
Gina

Gail - posted on 09/04/2011

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Does he have a special toy or video game he likes? Sometimes taking those things away will really make him think about his behavior before he acts out. When he starts to act like that immediately take take him out of the situation and bring him home and right to his room. Even if you are @ a store and you have a cart full of groceries or items, tell the service desk you need to leave and you will be back if possible. I know it's hard but you need to stick to your guns because if you don't when the new baby comes it is going to get alot worse. Your husband and your family members need to back you up 100% on this or it won't work. If that doesn't do it then I strongly suggest you seek family counseling or bring him to a therapist. Sorry your having such a hard time and good luck.

OKima - posted on 09/04/2011

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Have you thought about getting him tested for emotional or behavorial problems! My oldest son was like that until I got him tested! I found he was ADHD and he has an emotional disorder also they put on meds for it! You should check into it I'm not saying to rush and put him on meds but you should look into it!

Tonya - posted on 09/04/2011

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Absolutely get a psychological evaluation. You may need to get more than one. Searching for the appropriate diagnoses may take some time, but a good psychiatrist should be willing to work with your family to find a solution. I knew at 3 that my son had a problem. It took a few years to get a diagnosis. Don't give up hope and try to understand that your son probably can't control his behavior.

[deleted account]

As a child psychiatrist, i am going to say that reading your responses, it is HIGHLY unlikely that it is ADHD, sensory processing, or any of the Spectrum. He sounds like a RAD kid especially seeing that he does not live with his biological father, that he was a 2 year old sibling and another sibling on the way - you having a child with your current partner may have exacerbated the RAD or it could also be childhood OCD and like many 8 year old boys in conjunction with impulse-control issues may make him go BAAAZERK!!! I would suggest that first you create a very strict diet for him. He needs lots of fresh foods and very little (or no) refined sugar or hfcs. Like someone else said (i read part of it), your emotions are not his fault and he is not ever the reason that the family comes apart. you are pregnant so your hormones are all over the place. He is what we call a "spirited child" and that can stem from a number of things - attachment being one of the big ones. I wouldn't rule anything out not doing the assessment myself but you should also choose your professional carefully and get multiple opinions. What you guys need is someone to address the whole family and give you LOTS of options for family coping and for family altering and narrative restorying so that you guys can create the solutions together. He may also be VERY bright and need extremely high stimulation. MY 3 year old daughter is like this (I was also like this) and my parents had to learn how to make sure I was stimulated enough all the time or my nervous system would go crazy and it's what happens to my 3 year old - she starts doing CRAZY things. She is the only one of my kids that is like this but if we go from one thing to the next and we never skip a beat she is amazing - so smart, so social, so sweet and passionate. But it's EXTREMELY DIFFICULT especially when I was pregnant before she was 2. I was EXHAUSTED. But that is not her fault. It is who she is and it will always be who she is. These children grow up to be adrenaline junkies a lot of the times and then the issues get worse. My poor parents were always wondering where I was, what I was doing (jumping outta planes, motorcross, etc....) but seriously they had me in competitive gymnastics by age 3, dance classes, soccer, running with my dad, riding a bike by age 4, skating every weekend, swimming team by age 4 (you get the picture)...... there are lots of possibilities and it could just take more energy than you have to give right now to deal with it BUT BE VERY CAREFUL HOW YOU PRESENT YOURSELF IN FRONT OF HIM - he deserves every ounce of patience you can muster. Don't let him feel like he is the problem because he is not. You have to CONSTANTLY externalize him from the problem for yourself and for him and for the siblings and your partner. If he comes to believe "I make mommy sad" or "I am a bad child" then that becomes his story and he'll live into that story - he will do what you expect because that gets the attention he now craves with other siblings and your emotions.... it's not that he wants to make you cry or to be bad (no kid really wants to be bad) but kids get anxious and demoralized too and they live into the stories that we push on them so you have to be VERY CAREFUL because you don't want to lose him to this type of problematic belief system and potentially very dangerous behaviors as he gets older. you want to find EVERY ounce of good in his "spirited" nature and get him the help that he needs and is appropriate and help him restory his life incorporated who he is and what you adore about him.

Esther - posted on 09/04/2011

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first of all, take care of yourself, If you are expecting in Dec and having chest pains, your blood pressure is probably too high and not good for you or your little one inside. Take a break from him if you can. I have a son, now 20 who was a total terror. I took him to be evaluated at a psychiatrist, he had adhd, odd, depression and anxiety. It took years to sort it all out, now that he is 20 they have his final diagnosis, bipolar. Now mind you, they do not usually diagnose bipolar until late teens so that made it hard. His moods flew all over the place, raging and then acting like nothing was wrong.

My suggestion is to get a psych evaluation. The medicine they used for my son helped us cope. It kept me from hating him and kept him from hurting his siblings. He didn't really want to be that way, but he didn't know how to stop either. We had family therapy, which helped me talk the truth to someone that could keep a confidence. My son also had individual therapy. Please don't wait, but really do take those deep breaths and give it to God as you look for help.

Ann-Marie - posted on 09/04/2011

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Gemma, It sounds very much like you son has a behavioral disorder.

You should talk to your family doctor first. My son was diagnosed in the 1st grade with ADHA, very similar symptoms to what you are describing. My family doctor prescribed Meds for him and he has been on them ever since, He is doing great.

My bf is ADHD, OCD.....he has not been diagnosed but I see it in him because of how my son has acted.

There is a natual remedy out there called SYNAPTOL.....you can research it. I am ordering it for my bf and also going to have my son try it as well.

I feel your pain Gemma. I wish the doctors were able to help you more. If you do go back to a psychologist/psychiatrist, demand that they do a TOVA test on him......and also run a series of other tests. It sounds like he very well could possibly have ADHD along with some Bipolar issues.

I hope everything goes well with your new arrival in December....Congratualtions.

Please know that there is help out there for him and you.

Pauline - posted on 09/04/2011

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Boy, does that bring back memories. Not my son, but my daughter, and she was our 2nd child. Looking back now, I think she would have been diagnosed with slight autism . The thing that worked for us, was ignoring her. I know that sounds awful. Like we were letting her get away with her bad behavior. Thing is, she wanted us to react...when we didn't, the bad behavior became less and less and didn't last as long. I'm talking about a kid who could pitch a fit for 12 hours, non-stop. It was really hard in the beginning, because ignoring someone who is RIGHT in your face, screaming at you, and maybe even pushing you, is rough. But you learn....one minute the first time, two the next etc. If you don't play *the game* they get bored. Also, get your husband involved. We use to play tag team. When I'd had enough, he would step in, when he'd had enough, I'd step in. A final note....my daughter is now a grown woman, with a little girl of her own and she's a GREAT Mom!!!

Barb - posted on 09/04/2011

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I really agree with Vickie (posted above). It can be a combination of things. But def look into thereapy. He may feel more comfortable telling someone else something (afer he establishes a trust relationship). Perhaps he is diagnosable as ADHA or something similar. But it would be sad to diagnose him, put him on meds, and never get to the potential root of the problem.

I really do hope that you get to the root of his behavior issues, for his sake and for the sake of you and your family. Good luck with your searching!

And please ignore the people passing judgement on you. It so easy to judge, and is not right, ever.

Vickie - posted on 09/04/2011

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He is from my first relationship and therefor is not my husbands biological son.
He does know who his biological dad is and he sees him regularly. I have asked him about how he feels about this but i dont get much from him.

How does he seem after visiting his bio dad? you say you can't get much from him when you ask him how he "feels" about the situation. Is he excited to see his dad? Does he come home happy and excited? Maybe his behaviour IS telling you something that he can't put into words. I would start with that first.
Does he feel part of the family? You and his stepdad have a child and another on the way. Have you considered family therapy? I ask because my husband is a family therapist and deals/helps with these sorts of issues all the time. Interesting everyone is saying look at his diet but nobody has looked at the family dyanmics going on here.

I wish you and your family lots of love and happiness. Don't give up!

Christine - posted on 09/04/2011

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I would love to speak to you on this topic- my son is npow 23 and from around 5th grade until 10th grade our lives were unbearable. There were signs and doctors and etc. but looking back on it, there are many things I would do differently. I'm not sure if personal communication is acceptable, but if you would like some advice from someone who has been thrrough this, please let me know and I will get me number to you.

Diane - posted on 09/04/2011

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I would have him evaluated by a Specialist specializing in autism. If it ends up that he is somewhere on the autism spectrum, know that there is MUCH that can be done to help kids overcome their symptoms and behaviors, with diet and biomedical interventions. A good resource: www.tacanow.org

Louise - posted on 09/04/2011

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When my son was about 7 or 8, I heard of the Feingold Diet and put him on that- no added food colorings or flavorings. It meant reading all food labels carefully and changing the whole family's eating habits, since he is the 3rd of 4 children. However, it payed off and has changed the way we all look at food. He is 42 now and still watches his diet very carefully.He has successfully used this method in dealing with problem kids as a camp counsellor He is a creative theater director now, a wonderful dad to 3 children, and a terrific guy. He claims he owes it all to the Feingold Diet..

Mandy - posted on 09/04/2011

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A reward chart can only work so far...what sort of discipline are you using? If he is really this badly behaved you can spank him (open hand, on his bottome only) and use time-outs. As an 8 year-old you should be able to talk to him about why he does what he does. Ask him why he does it. Ask him for suggestions as to how you can help him. He is at an age that he can suggest some things, you also need to be willing to change what you do, he is a child, he needs consistency.

Jerilyn - posted on 09/04/2011

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I am so sorry that you go through this. I go through it as well. My family is always in chaos. I do not think other people should comment on this if they have not had some sort of experience with this. It is easy to sit back and JUDGE(and they should not judge). It is hard work! HARD! This is in NO way shape or form a reflection on you(b.c that is what they think). I have gone throught the same thing in regards to my inlaws and even at times my parents. I feel as if I go through hell. We have done charts and constant reinforcement, constantly making charts. What happened to the days to where WE ARE THE PARENT!!! THEY ARE THE CHILD!!! ??? It is is not there anymore. Hang in there love and I hope that GOD will present some sort of peace with your family. IT is very hard!!!! I know that. Good luck! :-)

Kathleen - posted on 09/04/2011

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Dear Julie,
If your son's behavior is due to undetected strep, and he is misdiagnosed as having Aspergers or ADHD or ODD or OCD, his condition will never improve without treating the underlying strep. Our son's behavior was off the charts, and now he is completely normal. I am so grateful that we got to the bottom of what was causing his behavior. Please look into PANDAS. Many doctors don't know about it yet, but finding out about it saved my son and our family, and my peace of mind. Genetically, it runs in families, so it would really be a good idea to see what is going on, for the sake of your new baby, too. Here is the list of doctors who know about this: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=23...
Good luck, Kathleen

Julie - posted on 09/04/2011

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@Priscilla.... it's Aspergers. Also known as one of the autistic spectrum disorders.

Sounds a lot like it to me too. It's really important for anyone who thinks their child has ASD to find a professional who specialises in child development disorders and gets properly diagnosed. Normal paediatricians can miss developmental disorders or misdiagnose the exact one.

Priscilla - posted on 09/04/2011

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I'm no doctor, and my daughter is so good it's a miracle, but I do just want to throw in my support for you. You may have a son with mild autism. One of the people I work with has a son with Asperbergers (Sp?), and he has difficulty listening and learning alongside tricky behaviors. His mother is very depressed but has worked very hard with her sons so that they have very much improved. One thing I do notice is that the parents have to be super-take charge and firm as well as loving. There is a strong need for order and discipline I think. I hope you will read up on Asperbergers and see if you think your son may have it. Best of luck to you, Gemma.

Margy - posted on 09/04/2011

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this does sould like a problem for you and you sound like you are a the end of your rope. What professionals have you seen and what have they said may be the problem.
Try one two three magic - great book and great ideas. Try catching him being good. Ignore bad behavior and praise even the slightest good behavior. You say he always wants attention - remember negative attention is better than no attention. Pick your battles don't yell at every naughty thing he does. If there is one naughty behavior that he does morethan others (its because it works) Children want attention. Children crave attention. Children will get attention one way or another and this precious little guy is able to get your attention by talking all the time, and being rude. Now if you are giving your two year old lots of attention - and the new baby will be getting lots of attenion - you 8 year old will be pushed even further away from the attention getting.

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