Trouble with discipline

Everyone knows that having to discipline your child is often very unpleasant. We do it because we want our kids to learn from their mistakes and move forward.

What happens though,  if your child never seems to learn from their mistakes?

This appears to be the case my son Gavin. He honestly never learns from his mistakes. He does the same things,  over and over again. It’s extremely frustrating for all involved and made discipline next to impossible. It doesn’t matter how we hold him accountable or how many times we explain things,  he makes the same choices almost every time.

To me,  discipline is only effective if it works.  In Gavin’s case,  nothing works and we are constantly having to shift gears and think outside the box.

Every specialist we have turned to has the same answer or rather lack there of.  Basically,  no one knows what to tell us. With everything have done or tried over the last 5 or 6 years,  something should have worked. I would go so far as to say that correcting Gavin’s behavioral issues is pointless and a waste of my resource that limited to begin with.

Having said that,  how does someone give up on their child? I don’t know how to do that.

Gavin’s biological father is a sociopath.  He has no regard for anyone but himself.  There has been a long standing concern that Gavin was heading in that same direction. To the average person,  hearing something like this is just unbelievable. 

Sure,  Gavin gets upset when he does something wrong.  However,  the problem is that he’s never upset that he did something wrong,  he’s upset because he was caught and being held accountable. There’s a big difference between the two.

I still get email or comments from people who just can’t accept the fact that Gavin has control over these meltdowns.  They are making a huge mistake because they are comparing Gavin to their own child and that’s not a good practice to start with. Gavin is very unique and has a multitude of things that make him very complex.  These behaviors are driven by much more than just sensory issues.

Trust me when I say this,  Gavin has control over these meltdowns.  We have been doing this a very long time and have sought out every possible doctor or specialist imaginable. Nothing ever works or works for very long.  That’s a large part of why things are so difficult.  As difficult as things are,  it’s even more difficult to give up or even feel like I’m giving up on him.

Not giving up has come at a very high price.  I don’t think we can afford that expense much longer.  Things are going to have to change and quickly.  I have to preserve my family and protect the health of the healthy.

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Lost_and_Tired

Carl,

I ask myself that same question every day. There\’s no easy answer to that question either. We have been struggling with this for a long time. I feel for you my friend. I wish I had the words to provide you comfort but I\’m lost as you are. At least I\’m in good company. 🙂

FYI: Carl, your comment was accidentally deleted. It was not intentionally done. Sorry brother. Totally my fault. 🙂

@whynotfathers

no worries. I know what it is to hit a button by accident. 🙂 I do that occasionally myself. When we figure out the solution we will have to write a book about it, become independently wealthy and retire to the isles of Corona. 🙂

CaseManagerD

Has the new consequence stopped working? If you do have to take drastic measures such as residential placement, then you should think about working with a family therapist to help you guys cope with the decision and recognize that you're not giving up on him or failing. Residential placement does not mean that he goes away and is never a part of your life again; you still include him with the family, visit and call him, have home visits, etc. Hopefully something will work out for you and your family.

@whynotfathers

residential placement, at least where we live in North Dakota, isn't something that can happen without a lot of involvement of therapists. The 7 months our son was in placement last year were incredible for him, and by extension us.

Our little guy has a therapist, but she doesn't think that he is benefiting from the therapy. Not sure what our next step is going to be. But, it is an option we will need to explore again.

I don't know what placement options are available in your area Rob, but even a short term stay can open the eyes of the youngster, at least a little bit.

Lost_and_Tired

Well said Carl. Not that it surprises me. 🙂

David

I feel your pain that sometimes it seems that there just is no answer and we WANT an answer!

So rather than try to fix it, I'm going to say "hang in there brother" and do what's right in your heart because that is what counts.

Lost_and_Tired

David,

Thanks a lot for your support. 🙂

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