Hello all, I would love advice from moms with kids who have behavioral issues. My 11 (almost 12) year old stepson lives with my husband and I. The child’s mother gave up custody several years ago because she couldn’t deal with him. I started taking him to the pediatrician not long after he moved in, and he was diagnosed with having impulse control issues. Currently, he is on two different kinds of medications for it. It has been a lot of trial and error with the meds. He still has problems, though. He is rude, disrespectful; he throws epic tantrums, screams, beats on things, slams doors, etc. He is worse to me than his father. Today he is home from school because he got suspended for one day. That was because he threw a tantrum at school yesterday and was berating the staff. He also got in trouble at school a few days ago - he got into a fight with a kid in his class and called the other kid the N-word. And no, we do not use that kind of language in our house. We pressed him to know where he heard that kind of word, and he said he heard it on a video game he played at his mom’s house. (She lets him play games rated M for mature and watch R rated movies ). So long story short, I am at my wit’s end. The pediatrician says there is nothing more he can do, that we need to try counseling. We have taken him to counsel before, and all he did was lie to the counselor about how we beat him and mistreat him. I don’t know what to do.
Maybe talk to the doctor about cbd oil?
Keep looking for another counselor. Your husband needs to put in more work with his son. While you may take on the mother roll its up to your husband to be his authority figure.
He should not be seeing a pediatrician for mental health issues. He needs a psychiatrist/counselor. Asap
I would handle it with the butt whooping he says he gets. If hes gonna lie on me I should make it true. Then if the doesn’t work send him to a bootcamp for bad boys
Sounds like you need Dr. Phil
Good old ass whooping
Bring him back to counselling. Counselling is not supposed to be easy. If he isn’t under the care of a pediatric psychiatrist and therapist you should find him them. A pediatrician will not be as well educated on medications for psychiatric problems as a child psychiatrist. You need a team to help.
Omg this post is so sad because I could have wrote it. But my son is now 14(15 in a few weeks) and behavior is still the same. I wish you luck. We are seeing counselors now.
Send him back to his mother , maybe that’s what he wants.
Have you taken him to a behavior specialist?
He’s 12, don’t buy into “mom let me play the bad video game”. Who are his friends? What does he do besides play video games? At that age sadly he’s heard that word and much worse at school. Take him to a psychiatrist, rule out some other issues and consider counseling again. You said he lies to the counselor, do you think he feels If you and your husband were deemed bad parents he could live with mom? What is dad doing about this behavior? Is everyone on the same page? And I hate to break it to you, you can be amazing parents and have a great situation and some kids will still behave this way. It’s hard but stay consistent with rewards and punishments. It is not a cure all and it may not change his behavior immediately, but it reinforces that there are consequences to actions. He is most likely getting some benefit from the situation. Maybe something that is not immediately apparent to you guys. Kids who don’t like school or just want to go home act up to be sent home. Does the school offer in school suspension? This ensures he’s not falling behind on school work and isn’t getting to hang out at home when he should be at school. I hope your situation improves.
Dad needs to take him to the back yard and beat his ass!
If you have a childrens hospital near you schedule hom for a thorough evaluation. They can do psychological assessments & consult w a dietician. Some times diet can be an issue. They will also have psychiatrists on staff that can evaluate for medication. Pediatricians will typically only go so far with behavioral meds because of the liability involved with children. Id also ask about some in home family counseling.
You can’t beat depression and mental illness out if anybody. The kid is probably dealing with a lot. His parents split. Dad gets new relationship. Mom loses custody. Those are all MAJOR events. And if he hasn’t handled them properly he’s not going to do well and shouldn’t be expected too. He’s a kid learning to handle big emotions. Get him back into therapy
Where’s judge Judy? This child is screaming out for help. This is a safety issue. This child also has a legal right to say where he/she wants to stay. I hope the counselor reported what he/she was told. Sounds like your avoiding the real problems and issues.
He needs tough love.
I have the same problem with my step son as well
You 100% need a new pediatrician, the one you have now is garbage. There are tons of different options for you and for them to say there’s nothing you can do??? RUN!
You have to take him to a psychiatrist not a pediatrician.
It sounds like he has IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder)
Fyi he does not need TOUGH LOVE . He cannot control his behavior. He needs to be seen by a proper doctor and everything needs to change. School, Diet, meds, everything. I know it is very frustrating. My child has ODD on top of ADHD.
Just my opinion but I have been in mental health for over 30 years and the thing of it is up until recently you never heard an impulse control problem is parents stop being parents a long time ago he needs some strict rules and consequences I hate to see these children on medication and then they have to take it for the rest of their lives everybody is too medicated and what ended up happening was mom didn’t do her job pretty much it didn’t seem like anybody did back then and sorry you have to deal with the consequences
Red dye 40…watch the foods he eats, it has been determined that it contributes to irritability and aggression
Look into hypnotherapy. Mindfulness training is sometimes necessary for teens to focus. Sounds likhe is acting out and needs grounding. Hynotherapy you learn how to pause your actions and learn to calm down with your own abilities.
Instead of saying “there nothing more to do” they should have recommended a child psychiatrist. I don’t know where you’re from but There are also behavioral schools specifically for kids who have social, emotional, and behavioral problems. Sounds like ODD. Also keep him in counseling. Counseling takes time. And if you feel it’s not the right fit, try a different one. They also don’t let the wool get pulled over their eyes, they take some things kid say with a grain of salt.
Try the Maury show seriously they have helped a lot of young ones
A psychological evaluation, medication re-evaluation and a therapist that handles behavioral problems. Pediatricians dont specialize in mental health issues.
Call dr. Phil. He does amazing work with kids
I haven’t read the above comments. However I have a 14 and 12 yr old. My first question is how involved is his dad? Second, if you can find Any sport put him in it. ESPECIALLY if dad will be involved
I agree with the others on taking him to a psychiatrist for an evaluation & many of those meds prescribed are controlled drugs & should be monitored by a psychiatrist & a lot of it needs behavioral modification (therapy), but any gains you make will prob be lost whenever he visits a mom that lets him do whatever he wants.
Why does everything need a diagnosis. How about hes just Ill behaved or entitled
Sounds really angry. Service dog needs to find him something productive to keep that little active mind busy
Take him back to the councilor. Ask for in home therapy if that’s offered where you are.
Get him a journal. He needs help learning coping skills to combat the impulsivities. The journal can be useful to help note triggers and calmers he is aware of
I.e. - seeing another kid spazzing out is a trigger/ quiet time alone is a calmer.
Use strict routine, and consistancy… and dear mama I hope you have a lot of patience.
My son struggles with oppositional defiance disorder and adhd. The impulsiveness is the hardest to harness, strong will and strict routines…
He needs different meds and counseling.
U get hum tested for illegal drugs? Biopolar? Adhd?
So the mother gave up her rights as a mother because she couldn’t handle him and now he goes for visits???the father does he have some kind of talks with the son??? Or it’s all up to you?? Girl I wish you all the best, this kid is just doing whatever he wants, cause he knows he can get away with it!! Soon he can become an army cadet ,so sign him up!!
There are so many approaches. Everyone has to be on board and Dad needs to remember he is part of the team.
As mentioned meditation, hiking regularly, outdoors activities.
Find good counseling, limit meds, they are not taken without tons of side effects.
Diet, changes so many behaviors.
Impulse control is what keeps us in check of what is right and wrong or what is allowed, it also conditions the mind on action and consequences. Lack of impulse control means he is unable to do this-hence the outbursts, fights, disobedience, etc. Aggression could actually be the come down effect of his meds. My son was on Ritilin (methylphenidate) and when it wore off the aggression was unbelievable. The nasty things he said hurt me but I had to learn that this was not my baby’s normal self. He is 11 now and over a year off all meds- he been on it since 7. I now give him vitamins and tolerate his normal self. He is a handful but I refuse to keep him medicated like a zombie. His heart used to also race on meds as ADHD/Odd meds are amphetamines. I use zinc for impulse control. It is not a concentrated medication so the effect is subtle but helps. Please google on vitamins to treat ADHD/Odd etc. And food additives are contributing factors so no tartrazine, red dye 40 or rather any food dye starting with E, Sudan Red, Msg, etc. Less sugar. When my son was 5 his teacher labelled him as naughty and put of control - don’t allow for this. Like my son, his behaviour is controlled by the lack of certain chemical that the brain requires for normal function. Also google foods that help produce dopamine. Depression is also a major factor to deal with. At the end of some days I feel like I want to quit! And then I look at my child- his innocent eyes… And i realise that it may be hard for me to deal with his condition but it’s so much harder for him. And of i am not here giving him the help he he needs, emotionally being present for him, mentally supporting him And loving him - then who would be? It is very hard everyday coping with his behavior. We get angry and frustrated too. But i we are his parents and I will do anything and everything we can to help our child live a normal life. The most inportant thing is to protect him from others who see him as naughty or who belittle him. I will not tolerate it. However, I also will not tolerate him hurting any other child and he gets reptimanded if he does. Please get help for this child. He deserves it.
Try to continue the counseling. It sounds like he deals with alot at school. Maybe home schooling or a charter school, where he does homework at his own pace.
I’m in the Exact same boat with my daughter. She is 13 now. She has scars from her shoulders to her knees from cutting herself with razor blades, most of which she got by breaking small pencil sharpeners. CPS is here every 6 weeks with a new accusation, because I did something like make her do her chore or take away the wifi, and she went to school and told everyone I beat her and I hate her.
I know adolescence is supposed to be hard, but come on, this kid is gonna kill me. She is 2nd of 4 and none of them act like her.
My advice, find a hospital and make them keep him. He won’t get better, and he won’t stop. I’ve lost half my hair and the other half is grey. I have to protect her siblings from her. And she is a child so people defend her. I’m at the end of my rope. It won’t get better until she does jail time I’m afraid. And then it will only be because we get a break from the abuse.
If it helps, I’ve also been to every councilor and doctor in the state, been told all kinds of things Maybe… ODD, IED, bipolar, anxiety and major depression… it’s been 3-4 years. No one knows. And now I doubt they ever will.
Best of luck, and lots of hugs.
Damn!!! That sucks!! Do you love this rude, disrespectful kids dad enough to endure this forever? That is your question!! Is your life worth your husbands child’s life?? I’d say hell no!! Get out but with dignity and respect but move on!! Life is to short to waste on lost anything!! Good luck. Peace!!
Counseling should come before drugs. If he’s misbehaving there, keep telling him until he gets comfortable talking
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How come they didn’t have this in the 1800 ?
Why is it some people’s immediate answer to all problems is get out of the marriage?This just amazes me. When you married this man he already had his son so they came as a package deal. Ever hear the words for better or worse. Give the poor woman some good advice,like keep looking until you find the right therapist sometimes you have to shop around and it may be abandonment issues with his mother
Let biological Mom see him more, hell give him back, save your life…
You need to find a good counselor who can’t be lied to
Look into EMDR light therapy… it will draw out the root of all issues and they can help him process them… For him I’d highly recommend an EMDR specialist, not someone that just started in it… Its truly an amazing & life changing kind of therapy.
I know this is a really random question and no I haven’t read the other replies but does he have trouble sleeping or does he sleep with his mouth open or snore or grind his teeth?
He needs to go to a residential treatment facility. A place where he gets no amenities like tv games phones. Where he has to work for simple things like meals.
therapy and quit meds they make it worse
Two words…Boot Camp
Well done for taking on the role of his mum.
How about chatting with your husband about house rules and rewards.
Write then down and have them up some where ( laminated so he can’t tear them!)
Then sit down and have a chat about them.
Reward him daily. Not just for good behaviour but for chores as well.
Make him aware/ agree on what will be taken away if he doesn’t do what is expected.
I think you need to agree on confiscating some thing he cares about for violent episodes only.
He will obviously kick back to start with.
He needs some tough love but let his Dad do it. You consulted doctors now you need to start handing out some harsh consequences for his rude behavior.
Not his fault. He’s a kid
Why is he at moms house, if she gave up custody? I’d get in house counseling!
How about whoop his ass …everytime he gets out of line…
Look into vitamin b12 Deficiency.
Family Counseling? Just an idea so it takes away his opportunity to lie and you all can hear each others thoughts stresses traumas etc with a “ref” that knows about mental health and techniques to bring to the table. That way no one feels targeted or singled out. Theres no attack on him individually. You’re all there together
Children with behaviour issues are definitely hard to handle…
You really need to make calls to get him into someone who specialized in children like yours…in the meantime only give one instruction at a time…like hang up your coat…not hang up your coat, go wash, have snack, do homework…to many things at once can be overwhelming… including choices for food…only 2, do you want eggs or cereal…not what do you want… sometimes having to make decisions can make them anxious…
Reward system for being good…
Like you cleaned up…how about a movie with popcorn…
Exercise can run out some of that excess behavior…hiking or soccer… something physical…
Good luck…you are a amazing lady.
get a different counselor and warn them ahead of time about his lies about being beaten
I agree with the above.
Take the door off his bedroom. Trust me that taught my sister quick.with slamming doors. Get a second counselor opinion but give them a heads up before going in. I cant say much for video games cause I let my son play under my supervision… have you tried taking away all electronics? I would still ground him. Does he act out in school too?
Have you looked into a behavioral therapist a BTP might help. I have an adult son who we still struggle today with the same issues
I have a very similar situation ( same age and everything) my son was disrespectful towards my wife (stepmom) when I got custody of him as well. We did all the same as you did. We finally just made him get interested in actitivetes out side the home ( sports, band, boy scouts, etc) we tried a few until we found out the he loved wrestling and he has been an entire diff kid and is getting more from the coaches than he ever did from drs.
Counseling helps a ton. He is a boy, puberty should be starting to kick in, hormones are going crazy. He needs an outlet. Get him a punching bag and gloves. When he gets frustrated, irritated, etc. Whatever he wants give him an outlet.
Listen to him even if you know it is a lie. He wants to be heard.
See if you can send him to juvie for like a week
Get him checked for adhd and other syndromes
Try a psychiatrist rather than just a regular pediatrician and also therapy
He will learn to act better when he loses his freedom in juvenile but also tell him you don’t want angry people in your home to stop being angry
welcome to parenting. every child is different and needs to be treated as such. find something he is interesed in and invest in time to do that with him. he needs to learn who he can trust and that’s not going to be just throwing him at a few different counselors and meds to fix him. he isn’t broken. he needs to be shown love.
It sounds like he may have ODD in addition to current diagnoses.
Counseling can help and stringent ecconomy rewards system (meaning have him earn his privileges for being good- not just loose them when he’s bad)
We had the same issue… a mentor seemed to help a lot also a emotional support dog & more time spent with just him and his dad this all helped in my situation
Have him hospitalized. My girlfriends with impulse impaired children have had to do this and it’s helped. Do the hard things now before he’s an adult and it’s too late.
Probably going to be the unpopular opinion but it sounds like he knows exactly what he’s doing he needs some major discipline asap your the adults stop letting a 12 yo run your house I would take everything away school and straight home also I think therapy will be good for him because I’m almost positive his mom giving up custody has had a major affect on him but on the other hand its also her fault he is the way he is she let him get out of control by not parenting right in the first place now it’s up to you and your husband to try and undo (should be more him then you btw) all I can say is gl and this may sound awful but he’s not biological yours walking away is always an option because chance are if things keep going the way they are your marriage won’t last
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You don’t do anything, you let his dad handle it. I’m not saying you’re any less of a parent because you’re a stepmom, I’m saying his dad needs to step up and deal with his child. His son gets suspended, he stays home and deals with him. Dad takes son to the counselor, maybe even multiple counselors until he finds one that fits. Take a step back because this stress is not your problem. And if that child is beating on you, you call the cops. Behavioral diagnosis or not, you’re not his punching bag and he needs to learn that lesson, even if it’s the hard way.
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I would take him to see a behavioral therapist, at least for an evaluation
Have you tried meeting with his school’s psychologist? If he doesn’t have an IEP or 504 already, you ask them for an evaluation (in writing). they will most likely do the testing and give you a more clear diagnosis. I’m sure they would want to help your stepson do well in school and at home too. Then they can help you get access to whatever accommodations, behavior programs, etc. that he needs.
He needs to see a psychotherapist, this is beyond anything a counselor can handle.
Maybe he feels that because his mom abandoned him so to speak, he feels that you and your husband will do the same so he’s acting out because he thinks it’ll just speed up the process. Constantly remind him that you love him and that both you and your husband aren’t going anywhere.
Join some other mom/parent groups. That have children with behavior issues.
Keep trying therapists until you find the right one. It’s worth the fight! He’s out of control and is screaming for someone to create boundaries and help him.
You need to get him in to see a psychiatrist and psychologist. He sounds like he has ODD or DMDD. They can diagnose and change meds better than the ped can. Trust me. BTDT
He needs a psychiatrist. It sounds like ODD
It sounds like the medications arent working. I would definitely check for something else that could be going on. Plus the trauma of his mom giving him to you guys. There’s alot of pain without a doubt, that hes having to deal with. That’s why he acts out. My oldest is 9 and getting more aggressive now. It’s only toward me and especially step dad. In our case it’s always worse of the step parent. They take everything out on them worse. We are in therepy and currently waiting for our psychiatrist appt in June. You’re not alone, you guys can overcome this. Reach out to therapists. Even a private one for yourself so you can keep yourself in check and get tools on how to cope. Much luck and love to ya❤
Dad needs to handle his
Son he would have called into work
And stayed home with him if he was my husband that is a fact! He would regret laying a hand on me I assure you Juvenal Hall may be in store?
Have him evaluated by someone else to ensure you have a correct diagnosis . He may be on the wrong meds
Try counceling again try talking to him and his mom have put things in his head
He does need counseling. He probably misses his mother. He’s just angry.
Maybe the meds are making it worse.
You might also want to change his diet. Many childrens bad behaviors can be helped thru proper diet. Lower sugar, less gluten, etc…
He needs counseling. You don’t just give up on that because he’s lying. Therapists are aware that kids with these issues will lie. They’ll get past that.
Drugs and treatment are not working. So go to the cycle therapist plus the doctor talked to both of them. Tell them that they have to get this under control. If they cannot you need to see about putting him in some sort of stable facility. You may think this is harsh. But what you don’t understand is when they have impulse-control issues. I have been around kids who have for no reason at all that truly. Love you. You and not think twice. So don’t trust.
If you choose to take him to counseling…have videos and/or pictures. So his lies will hold no weight. He definitely need to figure out whats causing this behavior.
You need to contact a behavioral specialist/therapist and somehow the mother needs to stop letting him play M rated games and watching R rated movies. You also need parenting classes to deal with his issues. This is more than an impulse disorder.
You can look online for art therapy,writing may help…my daughter was in therapy for a couple years it helped a lot… you could also get the app called boosterbuddy it’s free and it is a good app… coping skills would help self control distractions would help in the moment I would also suggest youth group my daughter is in one it has helped a lot… I would recommend a therapist… he may not be on the right meds or dose