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Challenging behaviours. Are these PDA?
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 36
    Hi. Given the challenges our children present us with, it is tempting to put all negative behaviours down to PDA. However, I'm not naive enough to think my kids would be perfectly behaved if they didn't have, as I believe, PDA. There are a couple of things mine do which worry me, and I wondered if they are typical of PDA, and symptomatic of anxiety. My oldest will lie very easily, usually to avoid taking any responsibility for a problem or difficult situation that has occurred. Or even to give her side in a discussion more validity. Sometimes the lies are quite ridiculous, and she either believes them or is excellent at giving this impression. My youngest will say the most unpleasant and inflammatory things, that seem designed to hurt and antagonize. When I point this out, she is quite upset at the idea I think this, and states she doesn't know why she says these things. Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.
  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,445
    Hi, I understand what you mean by 'which behaviours are due to PDA and which are just my child misbehaving' but PDA is a Pervasive Development Disorder, Pervasive means in every area of their development.
    So it is difficult to separate the child from their PDA, they are very entwined.

    The 'making up elaborate stories' and telling lies is one of the criteria for PDA. ie the imagination!

    Mixed in with this is the need to be in control, even more of a reason to tell lies in order to stay in control.

    With regard to your youngest, it could be that lack of empathy and a need to put others down so that she feels better (ie due to her lack of self esteem?) may be the driving force?
    However if she is saying these things when very angry or in meltdown, she may not mean them or even remember saying them.
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 36
    Thanks. I can see that the need to be in control could be a reason for lying. It saddens me that it comes so readily, and she sounds so plausible, as I can't then know if she is lying or not, even if she is telling the truth.
    My youngest is always angry ( now recognise as high anxiety when she says hurtful things) . She can forget if her anxiety is extremely high, but mostly she remembers and is sorry afterwards. I know I should ignore what she says, but she seems to hit on my trigger points at times and I loose my temper. Not at all helpful when needing to calm my child down! If anyone has any tips on keeping calm in the face of provocation, especially at the end of a bad day, I would live to here them.
  • Hi SGC, I really feel for you. PDA children/teens behave a lot like people with personality disorder, in that they 'get under our skin' with their comments as a way of testing whether we are truly 'there' or not.

    I find this in my much younger boy - the things he says seem designed to crush me, even in a meltdown where they're not supposed to be thinking straight!

    But one thing I try to keep in mind is 'dislike the illness, not the child', and also to think that he is doing it as a very confused way to connect with me.

    Sorry if this isn't much help, I just feel very strongly that if we parents don;t look after our mental health and notice when we feel down, then we cant do very much at all. So I'm glad to posted, and hope that you'll find your centre.
  • SGCmum
    Posts: 36
    Thanks. I like the idea of dislike the illness , not the child. That's very helpful.

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