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Moms who have children with behavior issues...advice please...

I have a friend who adopted a boy about 2 1/2 years ago, he's going to be 10 this month and they have had nothing but problems with him. My friend isn't a new parent, she has 2 grown daughters of her own, and grandkids, she is a great mom. Her new adopted son is having problems following rules, at school and at home. He always "forgets" his homework, his teacher says he knows the lessons and does great but only when he wants to. He lies A LOT. My friend and her dh have tried everything, punishment, taking things away, praising good behavior and not giving as much attention to bad behavior, nothing seems to work. He actually seems to be getting worse. He's had 2 big incidents at school, one being pinning a kindergartener down and shoving leaves in his mouth. The other happened today and he told a girl that she was going to die today and made a gun with his fingers and then pointed it at his own head. They've tried spanking, grounding, no dessert, going straight to bed after dinner and rewarding good behavior. They get about 2-3 days of "good" behavior every 2-3weeks. My friend is about at her witts end. He has an appointment at a place that works with kids who have been adopted, or have autism, or ADHD to establish if he has any mental disorders, but that's not until May. I've tried to help my friend with parenting advice, being a mom of 2 with one on the way, but nothing I've suggested has worked for him either. I feel bad for my friend and wish there was more I can do to help, she is very upset and stressed, and just doesn't know what to do anymore. Any advice would be appreciated, please no rude comments...thanks.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:32 PM on Apr. 11, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • they should find out if their school district or school has a behavoiral interventionalist. they can make a behavoir plan for him and also diagnois any disorders, which will help them make a behavoir plan. my fiances little brother has been doing so much better at school since starting his behavoir plan.

    Answer by agallo004 at 10:39 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Even children with autism/ADHD, etc have success with behavior charts and visuals. Create a chart showing what the expectations are. Decide what the rewards/incentives will be. Decide what a good starting point would be--you want to make the goal attainable, then raise it as the child succeeds. Give the reward once it is achieved--do not delay.  Keep it visable.  Put stickers or smiley faces on the chart. 

    On my son's chart we have

    wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, no AM meltdowns, do homework, follow directions, no PM meltdowns

    My son does not give them a problem at school, but you can add soemthing like no behaviors at school as well.


    Answer by layh41407 at 10:40 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • He has some pernt up emotion from some event in his life. He could be bitter or confused about being adopted. If he knows he is afopted he may wonder why didn't his parents want him and that could cause frustration. Kids act out for a number of reasons, but this sounds like he is upset about something and having a hard time sending the message of what it was. My oldest son was doing stuff like that too all of the time. His bio mom was in and out of his life for 3 years then decided she wanted out completely. About that time he started misbehaving in a mean way. All we could think to tell him was that "mommy Jen loves you, she is just really busy." Truth is we have no idea where she is or what she is doing. I had given him a picture of her because he was obsessing over talking to his mom. He was so happy he talked to the picture of her. The picutre had fallen behind his dresser and when we found it he said

    Answer by ABusyBee at 10:40 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • "I am so happy I found this, I almost forgot what she looked like." So the picture had helped a little while he had it but not enough. We started about 3 months ago doing a happy/sad face board. Over 2 weeks if the kids had 3 or more sad faces they don't get a toy. That straightened him right up. I think because he can visually see how his behavior is effecting his life.

    Answer by ABusyBee at 10:42 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I have a 7 yr old who has severe behavior problems and adhd she may want to try a medication I had to so my son wouldnt get expelled I know the guilt but if it helps the child and her will be so much happier. If she is against adhd meds she can try an anti,anxiety thats what I did

    Answer by shantaa_alvara at 10:42 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • they have tried a chart, and after a couple of weeks of getting rewarded he didn't care about the chart anymore. they've talked with his regular doc about having ADHD or something and the docs say everything checks out and he doesn't need meds. they have also put in with his school about the special ed. program and evaluation but are waiting to hear back from them. i don't know much about his adoption, but i know he's been in the system since he was 2 or 3. his bio mom was 15 and strung out on drugs when she had him, his dad was like 28, a drunk and on drugs, and has been in and out of prison. not great people.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:50 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Behavior Modification Therapy I've heard is awesome. My SD's doctor told my DH that it's a good option for poor behaviors that my SD has.

    Answer by laird6372 at 10:57 PM on Apr. 11, 2011

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