My 5 y/o behaves differently with me than Ex

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    • #116482

      My ex and I were divorced almost 2 years ago. My son has almost always had an excessive amount of energy. Me being me, I encouraged his curiousity and personality development as it was my first child. Lately, he has been getting out of control. I am 8 months pregnant and expecting another child and in the last 3 or 4 months has taken to saying awful and sometimes dark things, hitting, kicking, or throwing things, spitting, and screaming or destroying things when he doesn’t get his way.

      His dad SWEARS this doesn’t ever happen at his house (we have 50/50 split). I am at a loss. We used to sometimes spank his bottom, or raise our voice, I have since quit these things to try decrease his aggression and model good behavior. He continues to act this way at least one day of the time he is at my house and the rest we spend constantly chasing him and trying to remind him why he should make good choices. We were taken him to a therapist, but he was kicked out of preschool (this is the second time in 2 years) and his therapist (whom has assessed him and found him with ADHD) says theres nothing she can do.

      We are waiting for him to get into a specialized preschool behavioral support program, but I feel defeated. Constantly trying to keep up with him and he is becoming more risk-taking at my place. We continue to try to make every adjustment possible, but I am wondering if this is typical with ADHD? If it is possible for one parent to experience such severe while the other doesn’t? Also what do other parents do when their children are violent towards them?

      I can’t seem to get through to him and get him out of this state. I try to reason with him but at some point have to hold him until he stops. I am genuinely worried I stayed home with my son for most of the first 3 years of his life and moved mountains to be there, now I feel like he hates me, and his dad reminds me that I must be doing something wrong or else he wouldn’t behave this way since he doesn’t observe it. Ontop of that I am scared he is going to hurt himself or someone else in one of his fits, and worried because my son has injured himself doing risky things. I feel isolated in dealing with this, and because of the judgement I don’t feel supported.

    • #116533
      Penny Williams

      It is possible that his behavior is very different with one parent than the other. The worse behavior often means the child feels more safe with you.

      My favorite approach to aggression — and one I’ve seen work time and time again — is Ross Greene’s CPS model:

      I highly recommend his books “The Explosive Child,” and “Raising Human Beings.”

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #122629

      This sounds word for word like my life! Absolutely no judgment, I totally understand where you are coming from. My 7 year old seems to act differently with me than my ex. I feel like he hates me sometimes. He’s told me that and much worse! After doing some research, I’m beginning to realize that we have different parenting styles and that mine may not be as effective and helpful in dealing with his ADHD. My son has had violent outbursts towards himself and myself as well and his dad seemed shocked when I told him as he has never exhibited that behavior with him. Just yesterday he was kicked out of his summer camp for punching a boy, throwing someone’s shoe in the toilet and spraying sunscreen in someone’s face. He is on medication. I have to say, I’ve known he’s had behavioral issues since he was about two years old. Now I’m starting to realize that it may be more than ADHD, possibly a mood disorder. Taking him to a therapist today then searching for another summer camp…. I totally understand you. You’re not alone!

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