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Some guidance please


goose
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16 year old son has just got physically aggressive with his 13 year old brother over the xbox. They rarely fight but when they do the younger one always comes off worse. He is a very quiet and compliant child, but he now says that he is fed up with his brother being this physical with him.

I have barred the 16 year old from the xbox for a week and demanded he apologise to his brother.

The older boy is prone to outbursts of rage, due to his adhd and learning disabilities. However he generally directs his anger at objects and furniture rather than people.

However this incident is not related to his medical condition, I don't believe anyway.

How would you handle this?.

Goose

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I don't know how I would handle it, but I know my brother and I had a lot of "physical confrontations" (knock-down drag-out fights, I mean), and neither of us had any labeled disorders at the time, as far as I know. ;-)

Boys do that, I'm sure you know.

At that age, fights can be more dangerous, sure, especially if they don't know their own strength. My fights with my brother, for instance, mellowed out as we reached adulthood. And we were always each other's best defenders, to the outside world.

Short on real advice, I know. Just another viewpoint.

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Maybe this is more about me than them. I come from a family of ten. 5 boys and 5 girls. I do not recall my brothers getting this physical with each other, though there was some bad feeling.

In fact raised voices let alone physical fighting was a rare thing in our house, moodiness was the order of the day.

I think this is why I hate all confrontation.

My daughter often says "You and Dad never fight", which I now believe from my own upbringing is a bad thing.

Yet another thing I need to explore with my therapist.

Thank you for your reply, it is good to get another person view.

Goose

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Hi,

hope you don't mind if i join in but i am having the same kind of difficulties,

except my children are different ages. My youngest son is 8 and has aspergers and he tends to like to fight and cause conflict with his 13 yrd brother and his 9 yrd sister. As he tends to see everything as black and white it can be a nightmare. A world war has nothing on my house at times i can tell you!

I am still trying to find a way to deal with the outbursts as my other children do not deserve to be at the end of his outburts. I have to make sure he understands that what he has done is wrong because to him they did something to him and provoked him. It's hard work isn't it?

I am an only child so i obviously never had this but how much relevance do you put on it being just siblings getting into it?

It seems to be mainly between the boys and it's my eldest that comes off the worse for it.

Any tips or thoughts that anyone can give me, "beside banging both their heads together" :( , i would love to hear them.

Regards,

Tracey

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I'd like to join in also on the discussion and add my 2€. When we go into a home to provide wrap-around services, one of the first things we do is establish a behavioral contract between the child and parents/family. The contract would have these elements:

Jimmy's Behavior Contract:

Today's Date:

These are the behaviors I am expected to do:

1. Keep my hands and feet to myself at all times (this includes not throwing objects or destroying Johhny's property)

2. To keep my voice calm and low, to not argue, say mean things, curse, insult or name call my brother

3. you fill in the rest

These are my consequences if I break the contract:

1) Grounded for 24 hours

2) No TV, computer time, listening to my I-Pod, listening to music, cell phone use, for 24 hours

3) keep filling in here. You'll need 3-4 consequences.

These are my rewards/reinforcers if I meet my goals:

Negotiate these with your son. For example, if neither argues with the other for 24 hours, there is a privilege (within reason) they both earn.

My contract will be reviewed on______________________________

Signatures:

This is just a sample. Read up on how to write behavior contracts clearly. For the contract to work, stick to it for no less than 30 days, no matter what.

PS: This will not work with someone who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. For this, I'd recommend a discussion with an Autism specialist in your school. There are specific programs (too complex to cover here) for these situations. But the school can assist your develop a home plan.

Edited by David O
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David,

No disrespect intended but, as an autism specialist, I use behavioral contracts with many of my folks on the spectrum. Sometimes in combination with a social story but I have had huge success with them with kids and adults on the spectrum. Care needs to be taken to be concrete and detailed, but they can work very well! Part of the reason is that the contract is visual and explicitly spells out expectations. They work!!!

I agree that an autism specialist should be involved but I just want you to know that they can be very effective if used in a cafeful, well thought out manner.

Julie

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Danni,

I should have been more clear in my response, thanks for catching this. What I meant to say is that the contract, as I've set it up here, will not work with children who have Asoergers-- it's too loose and broad, and does not appeal to their strengths or capacities. We set them up in combination with discrete trials and a significant amount of parental trainings and support. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa!

Danni, is there anything you can add to this so that Tracey F. can walk away with something tangible?

Thanks fr catching and correcting this.

David

Edited by David O
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  • 2 weeks later...
16 year old son has just got physically aggressive with his 13 year old brother over the xbox. They rarely fight but when they do the younger one always comes off worse. He is a very quiet and compliant child, but he now says that he is fed up with his brother being this physical with him.

I have barred the 16 year old from the xbox for a week and demanded he apologise to his brother.

The older boy is prone to outbursts of rage, due to his adhd and learning disabilities. However he generally directs his anger at objects and furniture rather than people.

However this incident is not related to his medical condition, I don't believe anyway.

How would you handle this?.

Goose

I just saw this thread & like to jump in here as well. As for the OP, the two brothers 16 AND 13 YRS old, I see it at a typical response to an activity they both enjoy participating in.

The way I would handle it as their parents would be to set time limits on the xbox. Allowing each boy the same amount of time to use it> However, I would also have both boys work for the time spent on the xbox. Making certain they have done their homework first, completed their daily chores , ect. the xbox is not a freebie, it is earned , and if either of them is to abuse the privillage of their turn , they will lose their turn > It is to be parent controlled. Not child controlled .

I could see the 13 yr old wanted a turn , and the 16 yr old not giving up the xbox, making it a fight between the siblings . Ususally they ought to be able to work it out on their own, however if it turns physical, then it is more serious . Both kids need to lose the xbox for a while. Rules need to be firmly laid down in the family and all members need to know and follow them .

When both boys have calmed down enough and cooled off , it is now time to talk to them, not beforehand .Not just the 16 yr old . Needs to be talked to. and reprimanded, so does the 13 yr old, because he could have been the insitgater .

It's up to the parents to lay down the ground rules and stick to them, and lead by example. The boys need to know them and repect the family rules and consequences of their behavior as well . If anything at all becomes broken in the scuffle, then that is too bad, I as a parent , would not be replacing the items > The kids need to learn by their mistakes. xbox and fun toys are not cheap, the boys will soon to learn to keep their anger in check.

Hi Tracey ,and Julie,

I am a single parent and have raised my son for nearly 16years who is on the autism spectrum with cognitive delays. He was diagnosed at the age of 3in a half . I as his mom know I've overcompesated by giving him so much stuff, because it was so very difficult for him socially. He did not have any brothers or sisters. But, always had more then enough fun toys. I have always given and met his needs first throught the years .

He is verbal , however does have very narrow interests , and consistently chooses to talk about his topics over and over again, is good at dates , and rote memory skills.

Now, that he is turning 16 in 2 days my son and I do nothing but argue. Argue about everything damn thing. He is disagreeable. ANd uncooperative. I created a monster, because he wants things just so, and his way, he is horrible, disrespectful, has been giving me a hell of a time lately. He is bigger then me , so I can't punish him , much, it sucks .He takes all his anger out on me, and will not stop when he is frustrated with someone or something. Kids twice as younger then him in the neighborhood harass him , just because they know he is different, even to the point of throwing homemade waterbottles at our screendoor, threaten him, and to break out our windows .It is horrible. My son has done nothing to those kids, they don't know him, he does not go to their school. He goes to a SDC classroom out of town !!! and still gets treated like crap, and I then turn around and give him more then what he needs , and try to give him emotional support.

I can't stand those kids who harass my son, I can't stand my son taking his anger and emotional pain out on me, I try and try to help him, and constantly fail.

As for the rest of parents who have special needs children , it is not easy. If not already having services through your regional center I urge you to call them.

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