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When neurological sibling starts copying PDA siblings meltdowns!!
  • aliveit
    Posts: 69

    I am sitting here devasted after going head on with my eldest neurotypical son, 11, as he copied one of his younger PDA brothers meltdowns to get his own way. After a backlash of horrible insults, door banging, wall kicking and pushing me - all his brothers usual actions - i snapped and completely lost it, with lots of screaming and some smacking on my part, which i am feeling terrible about.

    He's got so much more violent and agressive recently, especially towards his pda brother, and this is just not his normal persona, and now i've justified it by losing it and lashing out too, something i have tried so desperately not to do over the past few years.

    He's been using his younger brothers behaviour as an excuse for such a long time - you don't make him do it, so why should i, he wasn't punished so why should i be etc

    I've tried explaining to him, reasoning with him, discussing, trusting him and his judgement, but i'm still landing up with the same lazy, disrespectful behaviour as though the world and us owe him everything.

    I know how hard it's been living with his brothers behaviour, witnessing it, his distress and ours. The constant violence and taking and destroying of his stuff. He knows how much we have all suffered and he blames all of us. His brother because he just says and truly believes that he's doing it on purpose, and us for not having been able to handle it and make it better.

    He's never been able to accept responsability for his behaviour or say sorry, but then his dad is the same.

    He has to start accepting responsibility for his life... he's at secondary school now, and i'm trying to support and encourage him in the right ways to handle the extra homework and demands on him, but he just keeps pushing me away. Refuses to listen. I've tried leaving him to his own devices and he's already had some bad grades and 1 punishment, which is completely unlike him.....

    But now i feel i need to revert back to the traditional approach for the constant disrespect and lack of motivation, no friends if homework is not done, objects confiscated etc but all he can see is the injustice as i rarely use these punishments with his brother... although, he must have always seen that when a meltdown kicks in, i've stood my ground, i've never given it just to stop it, no matter how hard it's got. Of course now, i try to avoid them by giving my pdaer a lot of what he needs/wants.

    I'm trying to play the age difference card, not the pda card, there is 2 years difference, so of course i expect different behaviours, but he refuses to see this point of view or any others!

    So the long and short of it is , that for a simple piece of homework not being done, and a bit less time at a friends house, the punishment has turned into a full grounding for the week , no friends, no phone, no tablet, no outings!

    What else can i do??? Any suggestions or experiences welcome.

    Of course, my pdaer, throughout the whole screaming/slanging match, was as good as gold. Butter wouldn't melt!!!!


  • webbwebb
    Posts: 2,577
    Hi Alison

    Totally understand your reaction to your eldest son, I know I have been in the same position with my eldest when I was raising and I remember one particular day when getting all 3 ready for school, we were at the door, after a 3 hour battle to get them all ready, when eldest stamped an PDA childs foot - all hell broke loose and I screamed at eldest, slapped her round the arm and told her she would never have friends round to play again!

    I too was so ashamed for what I had done - I know my example isn't exactly the same as yours but I wanted to let you know that I do understand.

    Our neuro-typical children don't have ASD but they are children who are living in difficult family circumstances, seeing a lot of inappropriate behaviours from their sibling with PDA and now and again they are going to loose their temper and say lifes not fair etc.

    Maybe he did the behaviours of his sibling to try to show you the extent of his frustration?
    Maybe he did it because he knows he needs your help and when his PDA sibling has a Meltdown he gets your help?
    Maybe he just did it to say - 'See I can behave like this too when I am upset'

    What you may have is a boy who has transitioned to Secondary school and is finding this and home life very difficult???

    Maybe you could find some time to talk to him in a collaborative way ie 'I'm here to listen, whats up' and see if he will open up to you?
    Tell him you find the youngest difficult too but you love them both but need to nurture them day to day in slightly different ways. Help him to understand his brother is different and therefore discipline make look different for them both.

    Parents find it hard to cope living day to day with our child with PDA and it is well evidenced that siblings do too.

    He is 11 and he will begin to push against your parenting as he goes into the teenage years.
    Raising secondary children is tough and will require building trust, negotiation and opportunities to talk in the quietness of his room.

    When our eldest was 10 we started taking her out on Saturdays without her brothers to build quality time and a firm relationship with her. This helped her a lot.

    Hope some of the above helps.

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