My kid is really mean

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by Levi, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Levi

    Levi Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    My 7-yr-old daughter has been diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder. That is a clinincal term for being a mean, violent, abusive, cruel little pain-in-the-butt almost all of the time. She hurts her sister and me, and whoever else is around. Every day she says she wishes I were dead. She threatens to kill me. She throws stuff at us and bites us and punches us. The list goes on and on.

    I am doing a lot to try to help her. We go to play therapy together. She's getting counselling. I really don't think this is a problem with my parenting, though. My other kid isn't like that at all.

    I left their dad because he acted like that. Could she have inherited a tendency to lack compassion and empathy and just be mean? Two therapists say yes, that's a reasl possibility.

    Does anyone else have a kid with O.D.D.? This is having a huge impact on our life because my kids can't really have a social life, and neither can I. Nobody wants their kid to be around her and nobody will babysit.

    Well, just 11 more years. :toetap:
  2. FallenFairy

    FallenFairy Senior Member

    oh honey i understadn what you are going through. i dont have a child that is o.d.d but i do know a child whom is 10 and is going through something simular. he is rude mean and lacks compassion and empathy he has physically hurt his mother several times and his grandmother he has stolen his grandmothers car twice i mean he is a terror. what i have learned from him is that you cant fight with him if he starts to argue you ignore him or leave the room. he needs someone who is on the same level as him and who understands what he is going through. maybe that is all your daughter needs is someone who went through what she is going through and understands.

    my only advice is to try not to provoke her anger and to sit down with her and ask her what it is that gets her so upset that she wants to hurt the ones that love her. also whenever she does say mean things ( i wish you were dead) just reply with something positive like i love you too honey or oh no i would never wish you were dead or something along that line. good luck honey
  3. IvoryVision

    IvoryVision Member

    That really is a tough situation to be in... My heart goes out to you and your kids. I get the feeling that it wears on you, dealing with all of that. I certainly don't blame you... Remember yourself in all of this. Yes, your child has the disorder, but you are the one responsible for her... Take care of yourself and take a break if you can.

    I don't have any personal experience with behavior disorders, but I think that you are going down the right path. Positive therapy situations seem like a great idea and counseling could be a real help.

    Maybe all of her lashing out could be her manifesting frustration over not knowing how to express her feelings... Even if it hurts to hear her say such hateful things, I really doubt that she means them. If those comments got a reaction out of you in the past and she got used to saying them, maybe she just doesn't know how to change. I do believe that heredity plays a big role in personality, but I DO NOT think that she inherited hatefulness or that she is a bad seed of any sort. More likely she's lacking the ability to express her emotions... Maybe fear, anger, rage, and pain are easier for her because they are such bold and strong feelings. Maybe the subtleties of love and compassion are harder for her to interpret. I'm sure you are a great parent, but it's amazing what kids pick up through osmosis... If she picked up hate, fear, and cruelty through televison, news shows, music, daily interaction at school she can expound on that and take it further. Hate is a learned thing, and even if you have a very loving home, there is no shielding children from it entirely.

    In my opinion I think she needs some new options... It might help and it couldn't hurt. Like Fairy said, ask her what her intentions are when she says and does mean things. If she says she doesn't know, give her some less violent options to choose from... Do you want me to stop? Are you upset because ____? Does ____ frustrate you? Do you need to be alone? Are you sad? Dying isn't an option, what else can I do that would make you feel better?..... Chances are she is feeling unheard, and that may be why she uses such volatile actions. Make her take it deeper than "I hate you". I wouldn't blow off her remarks with same old same old "I love you" phrases... She's in a rut and you don't want to reinforce that rut with your own, right? And I wouldn't leave her to fume alone either... Of course take a break when you can't handle it, but if it's attention she wants give it to her and give her the options and words she needs to communicate her feelings. If she keeps up with the trouble, keep up with telling her that hatefulness is not the means to an end and that she needs to learn a new way to get her point across. Consistency is huge... She understands that or else she'd be trying something new by now. She's consistently mean and it must work... Be consistently ready to put that meanness in its place and try to understand her real motives. Don't take her crap, but don't ignore it either, it's all she's got to work with right now.

    Behavior disorders are a very subjective thing... Doctors don't understand them as well as you might think, and they are quick to put an individual child under a blanket disorder and give them a cure-all brain zapper. Do your own research... It's your baby, and as bad as she can be she still needs and loves you. There are all kinds of alternative therapies out there... Hypnotherapy, nutrition, acupuncture... I'd try some of those before you put her on drugs. She doesn't need a crutch, she needs coping mechanisms. And if she does need drugs, go the natural route... I seem to remember reading somewhere that parents of children with serious behavior problems and disorders had great success with marijuana... May be shocking, and it's definitely illegal, but you are her mom... You are her only hope... Go the extra mile for her because no one else will.

    Good luck with her... I'm sure that she is a great girl under all of her problems. I knew a boy who was in my fourth grade class and went to my church for a short period of time who had severe A.D.D. He was bad as hell, but when you got him alone and really listened to him he was so sweet and full of ideas, but no adults would take him seriously. They saw A.D.D boy, not Brandon, and treated him as such at all times... It was really sad. Here's to hope.
  4. Levi

    Levi Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Thanks to both of you for your thoughts about this. I really felt like I needed a fresh perspective. The way she treats us, if she were a little older she's be arrested for assault. (That's why I'm trying so hard to help her change now.) When her sister and I deal with this day in and day out, it's really hard to keep from burning out...

    ....However, I do have hope. And I am on it. When she hurts us and says she's going to kill us, I take her shoulders, or the sides of her head, depending on how uncooperative she is, and I make her make eye contact with me, and I say, "We don't hurt each other in this family and we don't threaten to kill each other. Do you understand?" She hates that, but that's what the therapist told me to do. A lot of times I would try to ignore violence that was directed at me. I didn't want it to be rewarding. But the therapist said that I can't tolerate violence.

    My daughter really thrives on knowing that she has hurt a person, physically or emotionally. She takes pleasure in that. I have a hernia and she stomps on it on purpose. The pain is so bad that sometimes tears come to my eyes. She laughs maniacally and says stuff like, "Hurry up and get me some juice, bitch, or I'll do it again!"

    If she gives me a mean, abusive commmand like that I do ignore hear, though. Then she'll say, "Are you deaf, you stupid bitch? I said I want blah blah blah" and punch me or kick me or whatever. So I calmly tell her that I'm waiting for her to ask me nicely.

    When she is like that I ask her if she is hungry or tired or sad. However, the therapist saw me do this and said that I should only ask once because this always turns into an abusive dialogue and the therapist says that I should not get into this dynamic where I'm trying to kiss my daughter's ass and appease her, kind of like a battered wife.

    It's so awful, because when my mom drives 2 hours to visit, we often can't do anything fun. She treats my mom like shit, too. If you give a kid like this the power to cancel your plans, they pick up on that and do it on purpose. Then a 7-yr-old is planning your weekend. So you can't do that. But if you take her out in public, well, you can imagine.

    I just think that maybe a quick temper and a lack of empathy are things she maybe inherited from her dad. He's not around, where did she learn this? I don't act like that. People can be predisposed to addiction and all sorts of things.

    Well...I'm hanging in here. I am so glad that I can't have any more kids.
  5. My heart also goes out to you. Half jokingly said – I wish I could send over Mary Poppins to watch your kids so you could have a break and gather some more strength. (which I think you have lots of already) Cheers!
  6. Levi

    Levi Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    No kidding, Johnnystillcantread. I (jokingly) want to leave her on Super Nanny's porch and ring the doorbell. Then I'll hide nearby and watch her work her magic, taking notes.
  7. IvoryVision

    IvoryVision Member

    Wowza... That is definitely hard. But it sounds like you are well equipped to take care of her... You seem like a very strong person yourself. And it sounds like you have a good therapist too.

    Her quirks probably are inherited... I can only guess at how difficult it must be to have a child who got dealt such tough genetic dice. I think it would be very easy to look at her as "her father's child" and resent her for that. In no way am I pointing the finger, only relating. There is a similar dynamic in my family, with one of my sisters having inherited a chromosomal problem from my Dad's side... My mom struggles with it.

    It's too bad that the society we live in doesn't allow for the drastic measures that I feel such a drastic situation call for. I am not for the senseless beating of children, but I feel in your daughter's case she's able to lash out and hurt people becasue she doesn't have any consequences that equal what she does. She probably has never felt pain equal to what she inflicts on you, so has no concept of what it really feels like for you. She doesn't care because she doesn't have to deal. I will probably get flamed for saying it, but she should get a taste of her own medicine. We humans are still animals(I think sometimes we forget that) and in animal society like is treated with like and it works. I don't think you'd want to get into a perpetual cycle of violence, but I think there are ways to effectively show her... But then she might not get it. It's not something you could do anyway, which might be for the best. Maybe instead you could try to point her in the direction of putting herself in your shoes... "Do you know how it makes us feel when you hurt us?" "Do you understand what pain is?" "Would you want to feel this kind of pain?" Maybe seeing it from the other side of the line would help.

    You live on the west coast, right? If it's California, I would talk to a doctor about medical marijuana... You can get prescriptons there. Might sound crazy, and again I might get flamed, but I honestly think it might help. Marijuana is a very spiritual thing... It might help her get in touch with her compassionate side.

    You're doing a fabulous job Levi... I give you props. Hang in there!
  8. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    I think intensive therapy, with a GOOD therapist who you trust implicitly is mandatory for something like this.

    Our oldest has Tourette's, OCD, ADHD and other issues. One of the "counselors" at Jr High diagnosed her, one day, out of the blue, with ODD, but, she has a lot of compassion, and never intentionally hurts people, so the therapists don't agree. (Plus, Sunshine had gotten upset and called the Principal an "Asshole" that day........hence the "diagnosis" from someone who wasn't qualified.) But, it scared me to hear it, as I know what the prognosis without therapy is. My dh and I realized that therapy and meds are neccesary for a child with serious issues, and not negotiable. I've heard a few parents say (cough*one of my best friends with a child with severe ADHD and ODD*cough) "We can't afford therapy." IMO, a family can't afford NOT to get the child, and the entire family therapy. I am hoping that you are getting therapy and have had your child COMPLETELY checked neurolgically by a Board Certified Pediatric Neurologist, as there are neurological problems with imitate ODD. Temporal Lobe Syndrome or Temporal Lobe Epilepsy or Frontal Lobe Epilepy can nearly completely imitate ODD. PLEASE get your little girl checked out, and if it really IS ODD, do the years and years of therapy and allow the meds which may help with the symptoms. It makes all the difference in the world.

    Blessings and good luck to you.

    Lighting a candle for your frustrated and scared family and your sad, frustrated and angry little girl. :)

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