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Thread: behavourial problems! We really need help!

  1. #1

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    Unhappy behavourial problems! We really need help!

    Hey,
    As most of you know we have three children, Izzy is my first 1yo old, then Noah 3yo and Loc 5yo. noah and Locklan are from tim's previous relationship. We got Locklan a year ago, and he's settled in really well. Behaves good most of the time (except for your normal 5yo misbehaviour).

    Noah we got a month ago from his mother, and we are really having a hard time! His behaviour is out of control. he won't do anything he's told without a fight! Hes extremely naughty almost all of the time. things like if he doesnt eat his breakfast he will spill it on purpose. He will yell at us telling us no and im not doing that. When you tell him not to touch something he will just continously do it! Im worried that he might have a disorder of some time. But im not sure which. His speech isn't very good at all, he is about 1 1/2yo an half behind.

    and i'm extremely angry and upset this morning as i just caught him shoving his private parts in Izzy's face. i quickly removed Izzy from the room and told noah how naughty he was for doing that. and it is inappropriate. but he just sat there pulling faces at me not listening at all! he has also done it to his older brother to, Locky just tells him to stop it an comes and tells us straight away.

    I've made the desision that Izzy is not to play alone with him at all! he just can't be trusted and that behaviour isnt right. But how do we stop it?

    I'm loosing my patience i just don't know what to do with him! And we need help but have no idea where to turn to?

    how can we control this behaviour and get it better before it gets to out of hand? Who can we seek to help us with his behaviour? I'm really at a lost and in tears of frustration and upset.

    I dont want to send him back to his mothers. Because right now he really needs his parents and needs understanding and stability. And help and he wont get that there.

    Please anyone that can help! we are really at a lost!


  2. #2

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    I think that maybe your first stop might be your local GP. They will be able to refer you to someone who can help Noah and also you.
    His behaviour does sound extremely innapropriate and for the sake of all of you I really think that it's best to seek professional advice.

  3. #3

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    Oh dear, what a tough one for you Cassie. The being naughty & talking back I can totally understand. He's in a new house, new people & he's not the baby anymore like he would have been with mum. So that sort of thing you're just going to have to work on & show him the ground rules & who's boss.

    As for the private parts in Izzy's face, this would be a big big concern to me. Zander is about the same age & he would never imagine to do something like that. His penis does wees & sometimes it gets big (his words ) but that's it. I would think that if Noah is doing something like this then he has seen it somewhere which is where my concern would be. Has he seen you & daddy watching movies or walked into the bedroom at an innappropriate time maybe? Do you think you'd be able to ask him where did he see someone doing that? It works really well for Zander when we ask, "who said that" (the other day he said a naughty word & I asked him about it to be told that daddy said it in the garage...). So he might be able to remember where he saw it & you can deal with whatever the situation was from there.

    And if you're concerned there's more to it, like a behavioural disorder as you said, it won't hurt to go to the GP & see if they can help.

  4. #4

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    Look, its not too fabulous but I'd be inclined to seek further help just with helping him integrate into your "new" family. Things have been up and down for the little tyke and it may take awhile. He is also at an interesting age! Some kids are more resilient than others too.
    Things have been a little up and down at my place too and DS is having a little trouble too. He is a pretty sensitive kid but at the same time able to push boundaries like you wouldn't believe, so I'm getting a little help from the experts. Mainly to keep me focussed and feel supported!
    Little boys like their doodles and think they're a bit fabulous, DS had the "doodle dance" as part of his nightly repetoire after his bath, but he grew out out it. I just remind him it's his "private area" just for him, and that only mum, dad and he is allowed to touch that space.
    I'd tackle the behaviour first and if things seem strange AFTER then, focus on that. It's just another part of his body - he probably stuck his bum in her face first.....

  5. #5

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    Oh and the word "inappropriate" might not mean anything to him either. Call your local council to see what services they can offer. There is some FABULOUS help out there, don't be afraid to access it!

  6. #6

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    BIg hugs Cass. What a difficult situation for you. I have a 3yo with challenging behaviour too, so I know it's not easy. And I think it must be harder when he is still adjusting to a new environment.

    I also think seeing a family counsellor or working with a parenting organisation such as PPP could be of help. They can offer an objective opinion and will have lots of strategies to help you resolve the behaviour and also to cope with it.

    I wish you lots of luck. It sounds like you have taken on a lot in the last few months. Good you for that. I hope it gets easier soon.

  7. #7

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    Thanks everyone for your replies! Our first step is to our GP.

    Sarah - because of Noah's speech he's not able to answer questions like that. he just doesnt understand. We are seeing a speech therapist to help with that. But getting into the place is a nightmare our referral got sent off month ago and we've heard back that they have it. Just haven't got a appointment yet!

    lulu - thanks, we're definitly going out to find some help but i honestly didn't know where to start! I've been thrown in the deep end a little here!

    Mantaray - thanks! I do to. Because Noah has been shifted around abit lately, we know most of the behaviour would be him trying to see the boundries and work out where he really fits in (iykwim). He has settled down a bit since we started him in kindy (he really loves that - and they have NO problems with him what so ever) but we still do need a little more help!

    Thanks ladies for replying! I really appreciate it!

  8. #8

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    Cass... you're really in a spot you poor thing. As stated, certain things I would expect with him settling in... however the privates in Izzy or Locklan's faces is really not on. My initial thought was, has he been interfered with himself at any time? I don't know how you would come about to find this out other than asking or maybe a child counsellor. They specialise in being able to draw kids out with what's behind things. I hope that something works and that he starts to behave in a better way for you.

  9. #9

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    Cass,

    You have some good advice here. And going to your gp and trying to see a counsellor would be my first thought too, maybe a family counsellor if you can so you can all get advice how to help each other? Even though the kids are only little they will understand alot and be able to take on some strategies in dealing with being a step family and how to 'be' together.

    As an early childhood teacher, I deal with alot of difficult behaviours in young children. I have learnt alot of strategies to deal with them, though in the spur of the moment with your own child/ a child close to you, it can be so so hard to keep your cool and think about what to do. A good place to start if you don't mind sharing with them, is his kindy. Probably the director, or his primary carer (if that's how the centre works) would be the best people to talk to. Even though he's godd at kindy, consisteny is really important so if you employ certain strategies at hoem, then it is important for them to do it at kindy too. The carers should have some numbers or agencies for you to liase with.

    As others have said he has been through alot lately, moving in with you and having to deal with siblings after being an only child for a while (I am assuming- that was the impression I got). His defiant behaviour and taunting you sounds pretty normal for a 4 year old going through upheaval. But his putting his private parts in his sisters/brothers face is totally unacceptable and I would be wondering why he is doing it. Did you give him a really big reaction the first time he did it? Maybe now he knows he will get attention for doing it so he does it more, even though the attention is negative. Or is it that he's seen it somewhere and doesn't really understand that it's inappropriate. Has he ever done/said anything else of a sexual nature that made you worried? If so I would definitely mention this to your dr/therapist.

    Have you tried really encouraging him when he does the right thing, and try not to make a huge deal when he does the wrong thing. He is at the age where he is probably trying to give himself an identity. At the moment he might have labelled himself as naughty, and is acting in that way cause he feels that's how he's expected to be by others kwim? Maybe a star chart or something similar would work for him. Write a list of rule on a large peice of cardboard for all of the children and have a stickerchart for them all -probably too babish for Locklan and too old for Izzy, but if they all participate, then he knows he has no different expectations than the other children. Once they get 10 stickers or something, they get a reward of your choice- appropriate to your family (maybe a toy for $15 or they get to do their favourite thing one sunday etc).

    Try to show him other ways to show his anger/frustration, like hitting a large pillow, screaming into a pillow, having time out in a quiet place...then talk to him once he's calm. After he calms down, show the approiprate remorse/ apology for what he's done, give him a hug and tell you love him and that your proud of how he calmed himself and dealt with his feelings.

    Remember that if you are feeling too frustrated/angry with him and feel like you're going to go bananas at him, get someone else to deal with him if you can. If you can't maybe put him in a quiet spot tell him his behaviuor was inappropriate but that you're too upset to deal with him right now and you'll be back in a few minutes to talk to him. Then go to that pillow and scream into it and hit it yourself!! Then deal with him. Really try not to get angry in his presence. And try not to tell him HE'S naughty. Describe his behaviuor as naughty (eg 'hitting Izzy is naughty and it hurts her, you need to...' what ever the appropriate thing is to do, not 'you're naughty, don't hit').

    Ok that's all I can think of, I hope I didn't go too far. And I hope some of it helps. You are in a difficult position and you are doing a great job. Once you have the strategies you need to deal with him and he settles and realises he's there to stay, then (hopefully) he'll settle. Good luck hun.

  10. #10

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    Cass - there is 123 Magic, and the PPP program. Lots of Community Houses hold these programs, some provide childcare.
    i forgot to say what a great job you are doing, it's damn hard parenting step kids, you are always 2nd guessing yourself or making extra sure you are being fair etc etc.

  11. #11

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    Cass - thanks.

    Keeliem - thanks for your post it was very informative.
    "Did you give him a really big reaction the first time he did it? Maybe now he knows he will get attention for doing it so he does it more, even though the attention is negative." - the first time he did it was in the bath with his brother and yea we did make a big reaction with it.

    And i can see what your saying by doing it for attention. Because at the moment he is only being naughty so that is all the attention he is getting.

    he doesnt understand things like reward charts. Or even discussions about being good and doing what he is told, we tried to talk to him yesterday afternoon nice and calmly about his actions and he just pulled faces and rolled his eyes. its either he really doesnt understand or he chooses not to when we are talking.

    They have a chair that they go to that is for when they are being naughty or just need a time out.

    Thanks - untill we can get more help i'll be putting your stragies into place to see if that helps.
    You didnt' go over line! and i can see you are obviously very good at your job!!!

    lulu - thanks. yup i am...

    thanks heaps you girls! i was really worried about the post i wrote was going to get a lot of negative comments telling me how such a bad parent i am an i should be able to control my own kids (thats how i feel at the moment!) so thanks. taking on your advice and we're seeing a gp next week...

  12. #12

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    Cassie, it might sound crazy but try to catch him being good. Even if he only does the right thing for 5 seconds jump in and praise him. If he's throwing food on the floor then the second you see hm putting some in his mouth tell him what a good boy he is for eating his food (usually I don't think that eating should be praised but if the opposite behaviour is driving you nuts I'd say go for it). Once he gets a taste for praise you might find that it gets easier to catch him doing the right thing.
    Also try and reduce his capacity to say no - move some things out of his reach and instead of saying 'no, don' touch that' try distraction techniques instead. When you see he's interested in something off limits say 'ooh look what I've just seen. Do you want to try and see what it does' and offer an alternative.
    Yasin and Imran are both into aeroplanes and helicopters and trains so sometimes when they start shouting I'll just say 'shhh, can you hear a helicopter, listen' and then I say I must have been mistaken. The distraction helps them to change direction.
    Programs like PPP help you heaps with techniques like that and other ones.

    Also what about family diet? Some children react far more to additives and so on than other children. maybe cutting colourings and sugar from his diet might help him.

  13. #13

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    Cass, what a hard time you're having

    Thinking from Noah's perspective......Imagine you have been taken away from you're mother and put into a new home...you really loved your mum (no matter what she did, I'm not sure) and wonder why you would be taken away from her...did you do something wrong? Were you too naughty? You wonder what will happen now? If you're naughty again will you be taken somewhere else? Then you better not get settled or too close to anyone because you might lose them again. Instead you be naughty, testing your new family to see if they really do love you and want to keep you or if they'll send you away if you're too naughty.

    I think this might be where he's coming from. Then when he got the big reaction about the private parts in ppls faces he realised this was a really good way to test your patience. And the first time it was done it wasn't as though he got it out and did it on purpose, he was in the bath already naked, probably just being silly maybe?? (hopefully, anyway, I would hate to think he learned it in a more sinister way you're not aware of).

    So, what he needs right now is lots of love so he can get to know that whatever he does he is loved, if he's naughty he gets in trouble but he is still loved, if he's good he's loved. iykwim? Chloe's suggestion about catching him being good and giving lots of praise is a really good idea and a great way to shape his behaviour.

    Good luck

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cass_Blob View Post
    i was really worried about the post i wrote was going to get a lot of negative comments telling me how such a bad parent i am an i should be able to control my own kids (thats how i feel at the moment!) so thanks.
    Oh my goodness Cass, don't be silly. You have been thrown into a very tough situation, having a new baby plus then adding on two bigger kids has got to be so hard on you (& DH). A bad parent would ignore his behaviours & not want to help him. A great parent would seek out advice & follow through on what s/he thinks needs addressing, just as you've done. You're doing so well hun, don't doubt yourself.

  15. #15

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    dach - we have been catching him being good alot lately and trying to ignore the bad behaviour. and giving him more one on one attention to. we go to speech therapy in two weeeks which i think will help alot as that should help him with his level of understanding too.

    sarajane - what you said makes sense i'd properly muck up to!

    sarah - thanks heaps sarah, i did read this a few days ago and it lifted me back up ty

    We know legally have custody over the boys. we did it by mediation (where the two parents get together with lawyers and explain what they want) All we wanted was sole custody - to prevent her 2months, 2yrs, etc down the track coming and taking the boys. She cants do that now...

    She originally wanted one day a week, every 2nd fortnight from fri - sun avo, an half of school holidays. which we were fine with. But when it was all written up she changed it to - 1 night a fortnight, and half the school holidays.

    Which looks really good on our behalf at least we want our children! im just discusted in her. this is her babies that she adores but she only wants to see them 1night? ...

    oh i have to get up and clean before our cleaner comes! catch u...

    n tytytyyty

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    Hi Cass,

    I haven't read through all the posts so if this has already been said sorry.

    I was just thinking if he is quite behind and also his mum doesn't want to have a lot of visitation and from what you are saying it seems that perhaps his mum wasn't taking the best care of him.

    Children come into the world knowing nothing about it we are their concsience when they don't yet have one. As parents we teach them right from wrong and what is acceptable behaviour...it sounds like his mum didn't do a very good job of this.

    Also if his mum had him most of the time or at least was one of his prior caregivers then his whole world revolved around her (no matter how good or bad she was at parenting) and now she is pretty much gone from his life. He would be missing her and children automatically think it's there fault when things like this happen. He probably thinks he was naughty and now his mum,y doesn't love him anymore and so he's acting up.

    Perhaps there is something there medically so talking to your gp sounds like a good idea but maybe ask the gp whether it would be worth seeing a counsellor?

    It is a massive change in his life but how wonderful that he is now in a loving, safe and structured environment

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