A "challenge" child

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by samiam1229, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. samiam1229

    samiam1229 Well-Known Member

    I know two YOs are challenging and three doesn't get much easier, but I don't know if I can do this!!

    I don't know if there is anyone who can relate, but I think I may have been a mass murderer in a previous life and God is punishing me for it now. I have a 13 yo son that was nothing like this, NOTHING. I did everything the same. I read to them, play with them, I am home with them all day so they do not have to be in daycare, we go for outings, they are luck kids. My Charlize is an angel, though sometimes a bit needy, I can deal.

    Thomas is a monster. I have no idea where this child came from or why he is the way he is. I must say that the, "he is so busy" comments that friends and family is not even close to covering it. He is curious and smart and desctructive in so many ways it is absolutely exhusting and non stop.

    I understand and encourage exploring, but I have to have hook and eye locks on every door in the house to keep him in and even that doesn't stop him from opening a window/screen and then climbing out and dissappearing into our cars, the neighbors cars or even the neighbors house. Once inside cars, he does like to lock you out, it's so much fun...

    He is brilliant! He can take any electronic device and figure out how it works, but then it is his property and he is entitled to use it at any time he deems it (at least in his mind). For example, he has a collection (6-8) of old inactive cell phones that he can listen to music and play with, but that does not mean he doesn't know that they are not real. He will climb bookcases, pick pockets, rummage through purses, etc. to get to a real phone. It is then HIS to play ringtones (and he can find them on everysingle phone there is), play games, try to go on the internet, call people (and he can read names to certain people and knows he is calling them), just trouble. When you take it away he WILL throw a huge tantrum, then wait until you let your guard down the littlest bit adn he can get it again (no amount of time is enough, he will remember where it is and go back to get it later when your not looking). He does this with iPods, handheld games, blackberries, laptops & PCs, all equally loved by this boy.

    There is no safe zone in our house, not that we haven't tried. We have solid wood 4 ft. gates to contain him. He will find anything to use as a foothold, drag it over to the gate and climb over. It does not have to be a large toy either, a couch pillow is big enough to boost him up so he can grab the top of the gate and he scales the wall to climb over.

    No means nothing. I have tried the explainations of why we can't do things, redirection, timeouts, everything including a spanking (please don't judge me, you do not have this child), nothing works. He is patient and will wait until you are not guarding the object of his desire and he will then do exactly what he is not supposed to do.

    I am really at wits end.

    I don't know what to do anymore.

    This week he decided to go in the basement while I was working in the diningroom (I established a home based business so I could efford staying home) and I could hear him upstairs, or so I thought, playing, then it was a little quite. I went to see what he was doing and found him in the basement (which was accidently unlocked) and he opened the back door, got the hose, turned it on and flooded the basement. Not just a puddle, I mean 2 inches of water. He was splashing around having a grand old time and thought nothing of it when I can down to discover it. Could this be part me fault, yes. Should he know that it is not OK to turn the hose on in the house? I think so, he is practically 3.

    Yesterday he broke the lock on our hutch and got out a casserole dish with cover. He was playing with it putting in his play food, so no big deal. I let him use it and went to put laundry away. A couple minutes later he was clanking the glass cover down and I told him that is was not OK and to stop. He did. Then one more clank, "Thomas stop, it will break". done. A minute later little noises in the diningroom like toys being thrown. Not toys, broken glass. He broke the top on that last clank and started throwing handfulls of broken tempered glass all over the floor in the diningroom. It was all over the livingroom already. WTH??

    Later in the day, playing with a little 12" bat (big brothers) and jumping on my bed he decided to smash it on the lightbulbs on the ceiling fan and it sent shards of glass all over my bed and floor. Hello. He tries to hit the lights all the time adn we constantly tell him they will break. This is not the first time he has ever tried something like this, does he not remember being told no all 300 other times?????

    I am 34 weeks pregnant and I cannot do this. I cannot have glass all over my house and take care of a newborn. I cannot worry about if I have my phone on top of the hutch and be listening to if he is climbing up to get it to crank call yet another person. At this point, I am seriously considering a straight jacket or a velcro wall.

    I've read ScreamFree Parenting, Happiest Toddler on the Block and done natural consequences, nothing works. Timeouts are a joke becasue he yells at you constantly for the indignation of putting him there meanwhile he won't sit in the spot, everything to disobey, laying down, squirming on the floor, running away from the spot, rolling on the floor...

    Is this ever going to stop??
  2. cjk2002

    cjk2002 Well-Known Member

    Wow, you really have your hands full. :grouphug:

    I would call your pedi and ask for an EI eval for a behavioral specialist.
  3. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    I second getting him evaluated. I do have one very determined child who does not like to hear "no," but not to this extreme. Sometimes it turns out to be something like a dietary sensitivity and once that food is removed the behavior changes.
  4. nateandbrig

    nateandbrig Well-Known Member

    I totally agree with talking to your ped and getting him evaluated by EI. If for no other reason then they give you some tips on things to keep him busy. He is probably extremely smart and needs a certain type of stimulation to keep him busy. :hug: to you mama! I know what it's like having a newborn with toddlers and it's never easy but you can do this!
  5. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    My friend has a boy like this and he takes everything apart. She had to take all the tool out of the houseto get him to stop. They are working on getting him diagnosed ADHD. She tries to give him projects that allow for this behavior(ex helping gpa change the oil on her car). He is 6
  6. samiam1229

    samiam1229 Well-Known Member

    I will talk to the pedi again (I have mentioned it in the past) at our 3YO checkup on Monday. Thanks!!
  7. sruth

    sruth Well-Known Member

    I think you summed it up with "He is brilliant". It can be a gift AND as you've been experiencing it can be a challenge beyond our belief. I have a nephew who was exactly as you describe your little one. I thought his mother let him run wild..(I was in my 20's and knew nothing). Now is close to 20 yrs old and a super cool, smart person who has the entire world in his hands. "They" too diagnosed him as ADHD but luckily his mother is not into drugs and found other alternatives to keep his brain busy (knitting was one of them!) Seriously! He is a football player in college and is very happy, did I mention cool too! He just needed someone able to deal with his brain and how it works.
    I suggest asking for help as the prior posts mention, as I would do the same. Most of us or not equip to deal with the extraordinary folks which is why sooo many ADHD drugs exist.

    I'm sorry you're going through this and I know (I can only imagine) how hard it must be on a daily basis. :grouphug:
  8. twinfinite

    twinfinite Well-Known Member

    I agree with what the PP mentioned about your son being exceptionally bright.

    I know it's not any consolation but yes, chances are it will be more difficult to raise an overly intelligent and imaginative child compared to raising a dullard who is willing to obey every rule and sit in a zombie-like trance watching a bajillion hours of TV everyday. :laughing:

    Not much advice except for possibly providing him with his own v-tech computer (such as lightning mcqueen learning laptop), or v-tech digital camera, the v-motion learning games, memberships to a children's museum or planetarium, or aquarium...Maybe create some scavenger hunts in your backyard (weather permitting)... give clues to where the hidden treasure is, and let the search begin! You could also try your local park&rec-- for age appropriate classes he can enroll in that won't break the bank.
  9. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    I agree with pp about not meditating ADHD. My aunt is ADHD, and she swims over a mile a day. It's just finding the right out put for him. Maybe martial arts, would be great for self discipline. I have thought about putting the girls in our local class.
  10. Gimena

    Gimena Well-Known Member

    First you are a :woman: for dealing with this everyday! I totally agree with everyone else on talking to the
    pedi AND if he gets diagnosed to try alternatives to medice. I was a school teacher and saw soooooo many
    kids that were on meds... I always say that my brother would have been a zoombie if they used medicines
    back then when we grew up... but instesat, my mom had a great dr that adviced her to keep me occupy
    in things that wore him out and diciplined, like TwinzesMom said....even if it is not really in your budget,
    it will be definetly something to look into... karate, soccer, etc.. and make sure you talk to the coach first!
    In the meantime, for timeout at home the sitting in the chair is kind of a joke at this house too... so I put them in a corner where I stand in front and they cannot get out...they try..squerming, etc...but so far they haven't and
    then can scream as loud as they want (I've acutally become a little immune to it :rolleyes: and that has actually work,
    my son now has even put himself in time out! :clapping:

    After reading your post I felt bad about mine time outs (throwing toys or a bottle of milk, a little pushing)
    I am reading 123 magic, and it is working for my ds..not so much for dd...but works even better for dh who
    used to talk..and talk..and talk..and stressed himsself out and ended up yelling. Yelling DOES NOT WORK...and
    neither does spanking (no judging from it, just commenting).
    and FIND TALLER GATES! 1st first! You NEED to have a place in the house where you know he is safe and you can take
    a break from him when he is acting up (that works better for dd instead of putting her in time out)

    Good luck!

    Good luck! I hope he sleeps well at night! he probably looks like an :angel: when hes asleep! :crazy: :crazy:
  11. brookbranplus2

    brookbranplus2 Well-Known Member

    Ok I'm a little (to put in mildy) annoyed with all your comments on giving kids meds for ADHD. I feel that people are not educated at all about the meds and are going off of hear say. My Dd is on meds and she is certainly not a zombie. The meds help her cope with every day life. I feel like she is not herself when she is off of the them. Just as people with diabetes need insulin for the body to function normally, Ritian type drugs help ADHD brains to function better. I have tried diets, vitamins, exercise and behaviour therapy. Although they did help somewhat she was not near at her full potential. So for the last 2 years she has been on Concerta and I am still continuing with the diet and behaviour stuff and she is a much happier child who is at the top of her class.
    Why would I want my child to suffer acedemically and socially if not nessassary. Concerta is less harmful then Asprin! Do your research people and talk to professionals. Dr`s would not be giving it to children if it was so terrible. If you see a child that you think is like a zombie becasue of the medication then they are using way to high of a dose or need to switch to a different brand. That is not what the meds are suppose to do.

    Sorry to the OP about this. I feel people are putting their inputs about something that you did not ask and I felt the need to respond to that. As to your post.. I would definately bring it up to the Dr as other PP have mentioned. My Dd was into everything like that and is also very bright. I can understand why you are so frustrated. She is way harder than my other 3 kids put together. There is a chance that he is just very intellignet and curious but wouldn`t hurt to have him evaluated :)
    1 person likes this.
  12. akameme

    akameme Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I would look at his diet as well - I know Ruby mentioned it - but food has so much sugar (fake or otherwise) that I feel like kids ride roller coasters with stuff they eat. (i'm not saying you feed him bad things, it's just that things that look healthy may have ingredients that lead to ups and downs).

    I also would actually advise simpler toys, he sounds bright - but over stimulation can be a problem. Maybe simple wooden blocks or legos...vs. laptops. there is some school of thought that kids should not play with or use computers until they are 7...

    Hang in there..
  13. JessiePlus2

    JessiePlus2 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to ditto Christy about medication and ADHD. However, I think it's kind of a moot point because ADHD isn't typically diagnosed until age 5. Until that age, it's hard to distinguish between immaturity and ADHD behaviors and the neural pathways in the brain are still forming so a child that exhibits ADHD behaviors at 3 might grow/develop out of them by age 5.

    I would also suggest looking into food dyes and their impact on behavior. Red dye #40 is especially notorious for making some children extremely hyper, out of control, etc.

    I also suggest being super vigilant about making sure he is in eyesight of an adult at all times. I know it's not possible to watch him every second, but don't trust him out of your eyesight for any longer than you have to. I also think getting him some electronic V-tech like toys might help by giving him an appropriate outlet for his curiosity.
  14. melissak

    melissak Well-Known Member

    I am sorry you are dealing with this! It must be hard, especially given the fact that you are pregnant!
    I have a child who is somewhat similar but not quite extreme. I had him evaluated and he did not qualify for behavioral therapy but I mentioned he had some allergies and bowel issues. I discovered that he did have some food sensitivites from reading the book "Is this Your Child" by Doris Rapp http://www.dorisrappmd.com/
    Since taking him off dairy I would say his behavior issues and tantrums have dramatically improved. Now we still have bad days of course but it is SO much better. I was like you, I thought I was going to go insane and commit myself! Talk to your pedi, have him evaluated and check out that book from the library or at least her website, there really is a lot of good info!

    Good luck, I really hope things get better for you!!!
  15. maybell

    maybell Well-Known Member

    just a quick comment about the Red dye #40, its amazing what that's in... I think it was even in the Flintstone vitamins I was looking at. http://www.flintstonesvitamins.com/gummies/index_sour.html#ingredients

    I only included the link as an example of things that you'd think would be healthy... vitamins!

    another book that I'm trying to get through is by Becky Bailey. "Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline. The 7 Basic Skills for Turning Conflict into Cooperation". Its got a premise that teaching both parents and children to focus on self control and confidence will help families move from turmoil to tranquility... I have found myself feeling out of control with not getting our kids to behave and I am interested in the idea that maybe I need to change my thinking too! I totally need to calm down too... so I'm hoping this book is my answer. Becky Bailey website This website seems to have a lot of resources, I'm thinking of getting one or two of her audio books so that I can listen to them in the car.

    anyway, I hope you get some answers, your days sound exhausting! I had to laugh about the velcro wall... when I tried toddler beds (gave up and went back to cribs a couple of months ago)... I kept thinking HOW can I velcro the kids to the mattress?!
  16. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    What entertained my dh as a child was taking apart old cassette players that his parents cleaned out of their rental houses. He would take them apart and pull out the motors that ran the cassette player. Then he would take the motors, rubber bands, and legos with gears and make motorized legos. He's now an engineer.

    Maybe you could go to yardsales or Goodwill and help him find his own special pile of stuff that he's allowed to take apart and figure out. Give him a rubix cube. Those drive my kids nuts. Find some of those puzzles where you have to manipulate the pieces around to make a picture. I found some at Michaels. Teach him how to play checkers, go fish, or uno. Get some education books with tracings and mazes to do.

    He reminds me alot of my little brother (7 years younger than me.) He could get into anything it seemed, no matter how we barricaded stuff. When he was 3, my brother taught my mom some stuff about using a computer. Even now, he's very gadgety. He was never tested, to my knowledge for adhd, so I can't help you with that possibility. What my brother was as a child, was someone who is extremely smart who got bored and distracted very easily. Even though then and now, he never willfully breaks things, it just seems like stuff happened. He reminds me still of Pigpen from Charlie Brown. Instead of a trail of dirt behind him, it's a trail of things broken, taken apart, and messed with. Most of what you say reminds me of my brother.

    Sometimes my parents dealt with him well, sometimes not. We ate a diet high in food dye growing up. I honestly don't know if removing it would have calmed him down. My parents also didn't encourage sports or a physical activity. My dad literally hates sports. I often wonder if my brother had had a place to just go run and get his energy out like track or soccer if that would have helped. My mom tried to challenge my brother. He was very good at music and could often pick up stuff by ear (my sister and I played piano). My brother went into music lessons. My mom got him into advance work at school and into a magnet for technology in high school. That all seemed to help.

    I hope you find something. Growing up with a younger brother that sounds like your son, I can empathize with what you're saying. For my brother, boredom equaled trouble. The hard part was figuring out what would keep the boredom away.

    1 person likes this.
  17. maybell

    maybell Well-Known Member

    How did your pedi visit go?
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