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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Should "behavioral disorder" be a legit excuse?
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06/17/2007 11:47:35 PM · #1
Took the one year old to the pool today. As soon as we got there I heard a mother tell her son (probably 10-11 yrs of age), don't splash that baby. Well, you guessed it - he constantly splashed the baby. At first he was acting like he wasn't doing it on purpose but it finally got to the point where he was using his hand to splash him like you do your buddies in a water fight; totally ridiculous and waaaay over the top. Brady was crying and couldn't catch his breath. Mom never said a word after the initial, "don't splash the baby". I told the kid to chill out to which mom promptly replied, "Leave him alone, he has a behavioral disorder". I told her that he was about to have a foot in the ass disorder and believe it or not, she didn't like that. Weird huh? She gets their stuff together and leaves. The whole time she's telling him that he did nothing wrong because he couldn't help it. Now, I think I'm beginning to see the cause of this kid's behavioral disorder.

Now I have a couple of questions.

1. Was I out of line and if so, why was the parent and/or kid not?

2. Should we, as a society, accept a "behavioral disorder" to be a legitimate excuse to allow someone to act this way. This wasn't a loud kid in a restaurant, or smart assed child in a supermarket. This was a youngster who was determined to do harm to a one year old child.
06/17/2007 11:52:00 PM · #2
No, I don't feel you were out of line. It sounds like you were patient with the deal for a while. I also think you hit the nail on the head, it's not the kid's fault. I know that I, as a parent would never allow my kids to act like that, and especially to be rude to others, it would not get to the point where you would have to say anything.
06/17/2007 11:53:54 PM · #3
unfortunately, i think "behavioral disorder" has become a catch-all for a lot of things...including disciplinary problems. i don't think you were out of line at all.
06/17/2007 11:57:26 PM · #4
Seems to me the mom was the real issue so you should have probably made the snide remark to her instead but she probably has a parent not doing her job disorder so you were probably screwed anyway.

Message edited by author 2007-06-17 23:58:51.
06/17/2007 11:57:39 PM · #5
why didnt you just splash him back? you have behavioral disorder too, right? if you dont then just made it up or something. get even! :P
edit to add: splash the mom too, while you're at it.

Message edited by author 2007-06-17 23:58:25.
06/17/2007 11:57:40 PM · #6
Kids with "behavior problems" need even more guidance and instruction, not less. I really liked your 'foot in the ass problem' response, even though it was probably not politically correct. As a parent and grandparent I can speak from experience: that mother was out of line. She has a responsibility to help her child learn to function within society.
06/18/2007 12:01:31 AM · #7
Originally posted by alexzen:

Kids with "behavior problems" need even more guidance and instruction, not less. I really liked your 'foot in the ass problem' response, even though it was probably not politically correct. As a parent and grandparent I can speak from experience: that mother was out of line. She has a responsibility to help her child learn to function within society.


There are some people who will spend their lives in with all the help in the world and will never function in society the way society wants them to.

I will never be socially acceptable no matter how hard i try or how much help i get. Id rather people not try to change me theirs millions more like me.... Ive improved but that doesn't mean ill ever go back to customer service again lol.

Some one once joked we should fix the normal people lmao

Message edited by author 2007-06-18 00:02:07.
06/18/2007 12:04:49 AM · #8
I appreciate the responses.

Rain. What do you think should've been done in my situation? Should I have been the one to leave? Should I have just let this kid keep violently splashing the baby?
06/18/2007 12:05:24 AM · #9
A belt to the ass took care of most of my behavioral disorders when I was a kid.
06/18/2007 12:07:25 AM · #10
Originally posted by dudephil:

I appreciate the responses.

Rain. What do you think should've been done in my situation? Should I have been the one to leave? Should I have just let this kid keep violently splashing the baby?


Honestly in this situation i think you were correct. I had a kid laugh at me while i was having a mental break down in my car. I rolled down my window and yelled at the kid to leave me alone, he wouldn't so i started cursing at hime and freaking out (bad of me).

But his mother comes out and yells at me and i told her to control her kid and she said he can do whatever he wants.... yea tell yourself that when he ends up in jail you trailer trash freak.

I don't have a behavior problem but i do have many social problems that the friends i do have understand and screw everyone else... But people do need to control their children before its too late.

Message edited by author 2007-06-18 00:08:54.
06/18/2007 12:07:45 AM · #11
Actually I agree that a foot in the ass problem usually cures behavoir problems. You showed more restraint then I would have and if the kid has that severe of an issue, then he need not interact with strangers and probably needs some occupational therapy. Cheers to you!
06/18/2007 12:15:31 AM · #12
I definitely believe that the parents of behaviorally challenged kids need to be sensitive to those around them instead of trying to force people to accept their kid's unacceptable behavior. There's a difference between "training" the outside world to be sensitive to those with special needs and simply imposing upon it as though they're entitled to special consideration and then some.

On the flip side, if splashing a baby is not appropriate, and if a kid has a disorder that compels him to do it, then his guardian should remove him from the situation and continue to try teaching him that the behavior is unacceptable. Behavior modification requires consequences to work, and a strike system can often get through even to the most difficult children - say, three strikes gets a time out, three time outs gets a quick trip home from the pool that you so dearly covet, etc. If the kid never figures out that you're in charge of pool privileges, then he has no reason to obey you when you tell him no and fail to revoke them for disobedience.

I don't think you should have been the one to leave, but it's perfectly within reason to complain to the management about people who are unreasonable. A parent who refuses to control her child in public and endangers others is definitely unreasonable.

Message edited by author 2007-06-18 00:16:08.
06/18/2007 12:18:01 AM · #13
I've offered to write teens in the ER a prescription for Whoopasscillin. That usually got a smile out of the parents....
06/18/2007 12:19:56 AM · #14
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

I've offered to write teens in the ER a prescription for Whoopasscillin. That usually got a smile out of the parents....


Is that a tonic or suppository?
06/18/2007 12:21:30 AM · #15
Seriously more restraint than I would have had. If, what you said is this child was splashing a 'Baby' and the 'Baby' could not breath, there is a serious issue on hand. What if 'god forbid' the Baby choked and drowned because this other kid had no 'self control' and the Obvious guardian had none as well?

There are certain things I take very seriously, a persons life is one of them. I don't allow 'people' of any age to point toy guns at me, because that teaches them the wrong manner in which to respect the weapon.

If I asked someone not to splash a baby, and they did, their @$$ would have been out of the pool faster than someone could blink. I lifeguarded for several years, and I have pooled kids out of the water for such things. Parents did get crazy because of it, but in the end, they left and I still had a job.

needless to say, you are in the right, and 'behavioral disorder' is just another way of saying 'absentee parenting'.
06/18/2007 12:25:02 AM · #16
At one point in the not so distant past, I was working on my master's degree in Special Education -- Behavioral Disorders. One of the reasons I never completed it was for things like you encountered. I wanted to truly help those that needed help, but society's answer is to slap the label on it and then you can't do anything. (For example, in the local school system when I worked in it, if a student was found with a knife or gun on the campus, it was an automatic 365 day suspension -- essentially the rest of the school year, and next because you couldn't enroll half-way through. UNLESS you had been "identified." Then, they could give you 10 days, max, per year. The most severe/profound class in the county (IQs less than 50ish) knew not to bring weapons to school, but those with IQs sometimes 120+ got by with it because they had behavioral disorders -- ugh, <off of soapbox>)

Yes, there are people that cannot control their behavior and for whatever reason, are social "deviants" (used as a word for someone who goes against all social mores). However, I think you hit the nail on the head when you identified part of the source of his problem

When I, as a teacher, allow one of my students to use their disability as an excuse for less than desireable behavior (whether it be refusing to take a test, cooperating in class, or just being a jerk), I have just become an enabler for that person.

When I, as a parent, allow such behavior, it is even worse I think. The parent had a perfect teachable moment just then. She could have said, "Son, what you are doing is not right and is scaring the baby who is smaller than you. You should not treat other people that way."

Honestly, though, she probably didn't because she was scared that he would lock his little sister up when they got home, try to set his room on fire again, kill his little brother's puppy, etc. I'm not saying that as trying to stereotype anyone, that was just my experience with one of my students (in jail now, for the umpteenth time, cause someone finally figured out it wasn't a "disability" he just didn't want to follow anyone's rules), who was, indeed, "identified" as having BED (Behavioral/Emotional Disorders). If he got into "trouble" with the school or parents, he took it out on the little brother or sister.

For the mom in your case, it was easier for her to allow him to act like that because it wasn't as bad as some of other behavior (if he was truly BD/BED).

Message edited by author 2007-06-18 00:27:02.
06/18/2007 12:26:52 AM · #17
Take it even further. Should Mental Illness be a defense for something like murder. HELL NO. Even if they had no control or did not know the difference between right and wrong the crime happened. They are even more dangerous to society if they are violent or misbehave. If a child, adult or anyone cannot control themself they should not be allowed to remain in open society. It is not fair for people to far for their lives and safety because of someones mental condition. A crime is a crime and the punishment should match the crime not the criminal.
You had lots of patience. The mother was out of line not to followup and stop the behavior. She's not your friend so report the incident to the association, city or police so that others may not have to put up with that kind of behavior again.
06/18/2007 12:36:57 AM · #18
Originally posted by dudephil:


Now I have a couple of questions.

1. Was I out of line and if so, why was the parent and/or kid not?

2. Should we, as a society, accept a "behavioral disorder" to be a legitimate excuse to allow someone to act this way. This wasn't a loud kid in a restaurant, or smart assed child in a supermarket. This was a youngster who was determined to do harm to a one year old child.


1. You were right on!!!!! Forget this rude uneducated idiot.

2. Political Correctness has made so many excuses for lousy parenting and probably this brat is not being confronted in public schools either. If he were my A.D.D. child (I have three) he would have been spanked, yes spanked! and then made to apologised to you for his rude behavior. So, welcome to the lack of parenting world. This parent is supposed to be in control, but this one just made excuses for their lack of common sense and parenting.

You did well, pat yourself on the back.

Van
06/18/2007 12:43:59 AM · #19
teach the parent the lesson, then the kid...maybe that would have been the route. Drag Mom into the pool and splash the crap outta her till she can't breath, then repeat on child. Lesson learned.

Some people won't ever learn or own up to their or childs behavior...time for public intervention.

Not in the same dangerous vein, but shows you how they will grow up. Lady in Wally World....BIG basket full of crap...goes right into the 10 items or less lane. I come around the corner and the she has filled the conveyor thing with half a basket left. No one stayed behind her....so I went down and found a yardstick. Came back and she is still unloading. I walk up and start tapping the stick on the 10. She looks at me and says "What?" I said, you need help reading? "F*&% you." I looked at the cashier and asked if I could go in front of her and went around and got my 2 things. She was not happy. If I were the cashier...I would have her loading her basket back up and moving to another lane. She didn't. So, no lesson learned. She will do it again, and again, and again.
06/18/2007 12:50:15 AM · #20
In the words of my dad, sounds like the twirp needed a knot jerked in hit ass.

I'm sorry, but parents nowadays SUCK and I blame it on "time outs and talks."

Call me backwards redneck if ya want, but there needs to be some leather laid on some behinds.

Message edited by author 2007-06-18 00:53:13.
06/18/2007 01:02:06 AM · #21
Originally posted by dudephil:

Took the one year old to the pool today. As soon as we got there I heard a mother tell her son (probably 10-11 yrs of age), don't splash that baby. Well, you guessed it - he constantly splashed the baby. At first he was acting like he wasn't doing it on purpose but it finally got to the point where he was using his hand to splash him like you do your buddies in a water fight; totally ridiculous and waaaay over the top. Brady was crying and couldn't catch his breath. Mom never said a word after the initial, "don't splash the baby". I told the kid to chill out to which mom promptly replied, "Leave him alone, he has a behavioral disorder". I told her that he was about to have a foot in the ass disorder and believe it or not, she didn't like that. Weird huh? She gets their stuff together and leaves. The whole time she's telling him that he did nothing wrong because he couldn't help it. Now, I think I'm beginning to see the cause of this kid's behavioral disorder.

Now I have a couple of questions.

1. Was I out of line and if so, why was the parent and/or kid not?

2. Should we, as a society, accept a "behavioral disorder" to be a legitimate excuse to allow someone to act this way. This wasn't a loud kid in a restaurant, or smart assed child in a supermarket. This was a youngster who was determined to do harm to a one year old child.

The only thing I see that you did wrong was telling the mom that the child was about to get the foot up his A$$, you should have been wanting to put your foot up hers.
Being serious, yes this so called "behavior problem syndrome" is more a "spoiled child and bad parenting syndrome" and it has become a catch all. If the child (almost a teen) had such a problem, she as a parent should of been watching his every move and when he did wrong, remove him promptly from the pool so that he would not be harassing an infant or anyone else as far as that goes.
06/18/2007 01:07:33 AM · #22
A "behavioral disorder" is not a diagnosis, but a broad generalization that people might use to describe things like "oppositional/defiant disorder," "conduct disorder," even ADHD. The problem with using the medical model to categorize behavioral issues is that we begin to mistake description for explanation or causation. In your example:

Kid misbehaves.... why.... he has a behavioral disorder

We could just as easily and accurately turn it around:

Kid has a behavioral disorder.... how do we know?... he misbehaves

Many of the psychiatric disorders described in the DSM IV are descriptive, but we have begun to accept them as explanations. In this large error, responsibility, consequences, and real solutions begin to get lost.

I'm not saying that psychiatric disorders are bunk, just that we have probably gone too far in absolving people of some (or all) responsibility for their actions and behavior.

PS: I'm a school psychologist.
06/18/2007 01:33:24 AM · #23
Yea... there are "normal" children that would do the same thing and have parents that act the same way. You did nothing wrong. The parents are lazy or don't know how or care to learn how to disciplin their children.

If he really had that big of a problem she wouldn't have told him not to do it and then stand by and let him, as has been said she would have kept him away. Its her problem not his. It's empty threats and statements with no follow through that allow him to act the way he does.
06/18/2007 01:35:37 AM · #24
Originally posted by trevytrev:

Actually I agree that a foot in the ass problem usually cures behavoir problems.

Yeah, like if you don;t like what someone's doing hurt them until they do. How is that any different from what the kid was doing -- exerting physical dominance over a weaker being?
06/18/2007 01:36:35 AM · #25
I dunno, if this was swimming near me, I'd probably splash it too.

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