* sigh * 8 year old with NO self control


My eight year old son, who is on meds, needs, even when the meds are in effect, to be in Line of Sight Control by a responsible adult 100% of the time he is awake. And he probably needs an alarm on his door even while sleeping, in case he wakes up. He sneaks food and items into his incredibly messy, and unsafe, room. Arguments are mostly what I get. For my wife's health, I can;t indulge them. Even three feet away behind my back, he shoplifted from a hospital gift shop. Thankfully the volunteer, an older lady, didn't call security or the police. Since I am working, and my wife isn't well, this is a notable problem. I am not sure where to go from here. We can't even let him go to the bathroom at home even, by himself. its a becoming a big issue. I expect this from a 4 year old, or even my 11 year old autistic nephew. But I didn't think that my athletically talented, academically gifted, 8 year old son would still have these issues. We consulted 6 counselors( including 3 in home ), 2 psychiatrists, his pediatrician, and a neurologist. He is even in CCD, and we've prayed, and talked to the parish priest.I'm running out of options, especially since my wife is still trying not to get any sicker. School, home, stores, practice( basketball right now ) even church.


What have the counselors and psychologists said about the root of the problem?


[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:219977"]
What have the counselors and psychologists said about the root of the problem?


ADHD and ODD are the most common answers.

He is on meds for ADHD, but even so, its an issue. We've tried three or four different ones so far.


Incredibly messy and unsafe room? Why is it that way?

Could you remove everything that is dangerous and too stimulating? Little boys don't tend to be neat freaks.

Is he reacting to your wife's illness?

I'm sorry what is ODD?


[quote="Mary_Gail_36, post:4, topic:219977"]
I'm sorry what is ODD?


Oppositional Defiance Disorder.

This is serious and needs professional help.


Offset 50 years ago by bare hand, bare butt spankings at a very early age.


"We can't even let him go to the bathroom at home even, by himself. its a becoming a big issue."

Why, what does he do?

He's in 2nd grade, right?


[quote="traillius, post:3, topic:219977"]
ADHD and ODD are the most common answers.

He is on meds for ADHD, but even so, its an issue. We've tried three or four different ones so far.


As soon as I read your opening 1st post in this thread, I immediately said, ADHD. ODD OCD & Aspergers.

I have a child in my life with the same situation as you have with your son.

ODD represents more of a relationship dynamic between a child and the authority figures around her or him, than a disease process itself.

*Symptoms include argumentativeness with adults, talking back, refusing to follow adults' requests or rules, losing temper, deliberately annoying others, not taking responsibility for one's own actions, and being touchy, angry and resentful all the time. *

*** does the above bold statement sound familiar with your son's situation..??

*This can happen only at home, or may start at home and may eventually spill over to the school. Most children with ADHD, if untreated, eventually develop ODD because of daily negative feedback and punishment from adults, as a consequence of their impulsive behaviors. *

*** has this "spilled over to the school...???

It is important to note that depression, in children and adolescents, may present with similar symptoms, rather than the expected symptoms like looking sad and crying frequently.

A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist should be consulted to differentiate the two. There is no medication treatment for ODD. Individual psychotherapy and sometimes family therapy are the best treatment methods. If there is ADHD underlying ODD, it has to be treated with medication for psychotherapies to be effective.

Source credit from:


The only thing I can do here is tell you me exerience with this child and she is now 17-1/2
and there is not one behavior that has changed.

She too has undergone many and when I say many differernt types of doctors, believe me. All therapy & analysis for this child stopped at the age of 16. For 11+ years, and the thousands upon thousands of dollars spent, there was no solution.

Anyway, I can tell you it's not going to be an easy journey. If you have any questions from me & my experience, I'll be glad to share.


2 possible Major consequences await, if this isn't fixed

1) My wife won't be safe with my kid around
2) My kid will end up in the juvenile criminal justice system.


[quote="traillius, post:9, topic:219977"]
2 possible Major consequences await, if this isn't fixed

1) My wife won't be safe with my kid around
2) My kid will end up in the juvenile criminal justice system.


Have you read my reply... is this post in response to my reply..??

I ask this because I understand and feel your pain & concern


[quote="traillius, post:9, topic:219977"]
2 possible Major consequences await, if this isn't fixed

1) My wife won't be safe with my kid around
2) My kid will end up in the juvenile criminal justice system.


Perhaps you should consider commitment for full time psychiatric care which might be in his best interest as well as your wife's.

No one here can offer medical advice. I see this thread heading in that direction, so just be careful as moderators do not allow it. And for good reason. No one here is trained in this type of thing, and even if they were could not give advice on someone they've never evaluated personally.

If you are looking for moral support, you certainly have it in the form of prayers for you and your family. Seek support in your parish family, too. And, above all stay close to Christ in the Eucharist.


The entire situation in the traillius household seems so complicated that to tell everything would take hours to even barely scratch the surface. I know this isn't a therapy setting. Please just pray. That person mentioning a similar situation, please pm me, not for therapeutic, but for personal experience based discussions of the situation.


I'm 50, so here goes some family history:

My Mom and Dad, were raised in sibling family's that numbered at least 7. As you can imagine, being a small time poor farmer with 9 mouths to feed during the Depression and Dirty Thirities, in the middle of winter where temperatures dip to -20 in uninsulated homes, my Grandpa had a "mostly" controlled temper.

One of my Mom's brothers lit a haystack on fire (not by accident).

Fearing that he would be killed by his Dad, my Mom's brother ran away from home and never returned.

My Mom & Dad raised a son and 4 stairstep daughters. We were always making messes and getting into things we shouldn't have been going. My Mom and Dad spanked. My Mom threatened bigger spankings from my Dad. She used a spanking clapper (that sounded worse than it hurt) then her used her hand and when that hurt her too much, she used a ruler, or a belt.

By chance were you ever in the military? Some people call it mean, other people call it discipline with a difference. Tough love, I believe is the term.

Just a question, are you in some way feeding his neurosis? Perhaps your personality and his are naturally confrontational? Or, you're a low key personality with a high strung over the top kind of child. Which, isn't a bad thing necessarily, unless you're really uncomfortable being confrontational - firm but loving.

Have you considered finding a military guy or gal who's raised his/her own set of "obnoxious little stinkers". In Boot Camp, the commanders watch and wait for trigger behaviors. Very much like Ceasar Milan on the "Dog Whisperer" or the English lady on "The Nanny."

Some of the children's behavior on "The Nanny", WoW. Parents have allowed the behaviors to become so bad. The kids are crawling the walls.


If a child struggles with serious mental problems their room should be BARE. It should have a (locked) closet or wardrobe and a bed. MAYBE a desk with a locking set of drawers or one of those locking mini-file cabenets. NOTHING else. No posters, no toys nothing. A bed is a privlige...if JR keeps jumping it should be a mattress on the floor.

His mind is chaos like his room. He's 8...you need to strip it down for his sake...before he's 18 and you have no say. Toys should be limited and put in a secure location.

He seems like he is screaming for attention. Get to Big Brothers/Big sisters QUICKLY! A big sister may be incredibly beneficial in this time witout a mother capable of being there 100% of the time.

He also would do well in non-violent movent type classes, dance, balence, etc. He should be running atleast a mile a day (even if you have to bike and follow him) to burn off some energy.

Watch the food cravings...make sure he's eating right.


Regarding any physch, or emotional issues, we'll let you work those things out with an MD.

Regarding simple things you might try in your house.

And I'll start with, I have 2 5 y/o boys. Who when on their own are so behaved, and not destructive. But when they work together... OMG! The things they get into and accomplish are off the charts.

For this purpose, my home is lightly decorated. There are not many things they can break. There are VERY FEW nick nacks to grab. This allows for quick clean up, and little clutter.

Their bathroom. They have some bath toys, and they have a bottle of mostly water with some liquid bath soap. Because they will use the ENTIRE bottle during their bath when bathing themselves. They are 5, they need to bath themselves. The drawers and cabinets are EMPTY! With the exception of bath towels. Which they use to clean up any mess they make during bath time. Toilet paper is NOT on a stick. For some reason they will spin All the paper of. A roll of toilet paper is on the counter. Which they occassional soak with water, because they are messy. But they otherwise leave it alone.

Their bedroom: Closet has recently been unlocked. They no longer filter through everything like a huricane looking for something. It's actually the neatest place in the house.

They have their beds with lots of blankets. They have a rocking recliner (which is really for me to spend time with them at story time, or night time wake ups... we still have lots), a book shelf and books. NOTHING ELSE. I can clean their room in 5 minutes. But so can they.

We have a clothing hamper in the hall way. All dirty clothes go there at the end of the night.

All shoes go in the shoe basket at the front door.

All toys are stored in toy buckets. Most of which live in the garage.

They are responsible for cleaning the living area every night after bath, before story time and bed time.

Kitchen: They are allowed full access to food, and they have their own cabinet with their plastic dishes, plates and cups. I still keep knives up high and out of their reach. They THINK they know how to handle those...

We utilize locks COMBO no key on sheds and such. NO KEY, because they will eventually find it and let themselves in....

My kids actually have access to lots of stuff, because I want them self sufficiant. But I just try to keep the place from being easily destroyed.

I would also look into (depending on the what an MD says you should do for disipline) Love and Logic for children with ADD and such. There are still ways to give you child choices so that he can learn how to exercise GOOD judgement. (again, this is only assuming you're not dealing with a physch issue that's WAY beyond this.)

Basically, the I recommend the above to assist in the parenting style that might help create a child more willing to behave.


**All children ever born would have no self control if they could, heck i would have no self control if possible!!!111

If you don't immediately impose reasonable parental control on him, because he wants to know what the boundaries are, then he will be the 48, 58.... year old with no self control.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!



I am so sorry that so many posters are blaming lack of discipline for your child's behaviors. Yes, there are things you can do- boundaries need to be in place, a reward system, a safe, low-stimulation environment, etc., but ultimately, your boy has serious mental health issues affecting his ability to control his behavior and there is only so much you can do yourself.

My brother has similar issues and diagnoses and living with him was hell on our family, though I still love him. He did have to be committed multiple times throughout his childhood, and ultimately went to live in a psychiatric group home. He is now in his twenties, and finally stable and living at home. His mental stability did come at a price. He is heavily medicated to the point he has recently developed ulcers, but even he says he would rather not go off his meds or lower the dosages as he cannot control himself without them.

My prayers are with your family.


Send him to a boot camp. They'll scare him straight.

Lol jk. Reward him when he does something good, and discipline him when he does something bad. Of course theres more to it, but honestly, that is definitely something every parent should be doing. Sort of like God and humans, except his punishments are worse and the bible doesn't really contain any cure for people with the types of problems that your son has. It would be nice if it did though. :shrug:


Unless you live this issue, it is really hard to give good advice…I live this issue.

Quick ? Does your son have an IEP at school? I can also offer suggestions if you need more.


[quote="traillius, post:9, topic:219977"]
2 possible Major consequences await, if this isn't fixed

1) My wife won't be safe with my kid around
2) My kid will end up in the juvenile criminal justice system.


Wait, wait, wait....!!!

Don't go straight into the wreckage of the future!!! Deal with one problem at a time. I know it's frustrating to deal with a kid like this. I have one who is 17 now and still alive. Really both my husband and I consider that a triumph. He is still not driving however. And the strain he's put on our marriage has just about destroyed it at certain points.

If your child is truly dangerous, then it is time for more serious help than random counselors. If he is dangerous even to his mother, he needs help from professionals.

But please do not project his future as holding nothing but criminality. This line of thinking will make its way to him in your attitude. Think the best. Can he get into martial arts training? That can help people develop self-discipline.

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