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mindhealer, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 693
Experience:  Licensed in MD and am also a Board Certified Diplomate (Advanced Practioner) I have over 10 years experience
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What is the best way to deal with antagonistic behaviour

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What is the best way to deal with antagonistic behaviour? Ignore, confront....?

mindhealer :

Hello. I'm here.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Will I be charged $42 for each question, or is this a continuation of the same conversation?

Hello. I'm sorry I wasn't immediately available to answer your question as I had stepped away from the computer.


Typically since it's a new question you would be charged another $42 but given that you just completed an answer with me now I will leave it to your discretion. The only way to be charged the additional $42 would be to accept the answer but you can still ask further questions upon receiving this answer and not be charged again.


As for your question, In light of the circumstances regarding your son my suggestion to be to not ignore the behavior as that will likely lead to frustration on his part which could and likely work toward aggression because he would likely perceive this as a threat.


My suggestion would be to speak further with your son's therapist to begin to implement a behavioral plan. A reward system for good behavior which would reinforce this behavior and when he presents as antagonistic the most effective approach is to inform him that you will no longer respond to this behavior and continue to engage in what you are doing. Reinforce the good behavior and work toward extinction of the antagonistic side. Don't completely ignore it but definitely don't give in to him. There needs to be a middle ground regarding the responses in order to help manage the behaviors more effectively.


Please let me know your thoughts and if you have any further questions or need clarification on any of the suggestions I've offered


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Here's the thing.... I can't seem to get him to stop. For example... today I was preparing our guest suite for some visitors and he was physically interfering, doing everything from throwing the dog's plush toy (covered in slobber). (We also have a large dog.).... to moving in front of me, blocking me, falling down on the floor.... and so on. When I told him to stop and to leave the area, he acted like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum. Sometimes, when I try to leave the area myself, he follows and tries to prevent me from leaving, i.e. jumps on my car, or closes the garage door, or breaks into my locked room.

Hi. The most effective approach to this type of behavior would be to ignore it. And again if he blocks you trying to leave mention that he goes into a "time out" and if he continues to engage in the behavior he'll likely get aggressive. At that point I would suggest that you explain that you are not tolerating this behavior any further and if it persists then you have no other choice but to call the police to your home to intervene, He's essentially trying to control you and the house and the more you allow him to continue to engage in this manner with no repercussions then his behavior will continue to worsen.


Furthermore, once he's started back on the medication that should also help with the aggression and the antagonistic behavior. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I'm working to get him seen by a mental health team, but as yet we don't have that kind of support. First he has to submit to the evaluation. This will take place over a period of several weeks, five sessions in all. After this, they will come up with a Care Plan which will then be taken over by a team of professionals. Most likely, we will not have any real help in place for at least two to four months.


In the mean time, I think that I will go nuts! : )


You are in fact, right. The behaviour has escalated to the point of having to call the police. But what could you charge the kid with? I told him that if he tried to block me again that I would call them, and his reply was..."For what? Bugging you?"


There is a definite struggle for power, to be "on top". One therapist told me, that this often happens when the abuser (i.e. the father) leaves the home. Since I was so badly disrespected, he does not recognize my authority. To feel secure, he wants to be in charge... what do you think? Personally, I think that is a rather innocuous judgment of the situation, and that it is more of what you had remarked, that he is trying to control.


He is like this every day at some point. I wish I could step up the process somehow. I will put him back on his meds starting tomorrow. Thanks for your wisdom. I will also talk to our GP about the other meds you suggested.


For now I better get to bed. If you think of anything else, let me know.

That's actually the reason that I suggested hospitalizing him in order to get him treated faster than having to wait for the team. If he responds with above when he tried to block you I would suggest having a phone with you and calling the police and in front of him ask them about taking him in for a psychiatric evaluation and further mention to them that he grown to be threatening toward you and by him blocking you that in and of itself is actually a threat which shouldn't be taXXXXX XXXXXghtly.


I hope this helps

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