To think a 9 year old shouldn't be raging and sobbing over this

(70 Posts)
thinkingmakesitso Sat 07-May-16 14:01:23

Over being asked to entertain himself for a bit, that is.

I feel we are stuck in some awful ways and I am starting to dread the weekends I have the dc as ds1 just seems so bloody miserable all the time. I have banned the Wii for this weekend as I am sick of him being obsessed with it since his dad got him a Fifa game - he has been getting up at 5.30 to put it on angry. Today he got up at 6am and watched tv. I was up at 7am, tv off about 8.30.

We went shoe shopping, during which he was pleasant company. We came back and I made lunch while he and ds2 played (not together - they hardly ever do). I moved the lawn and he helped a bit. Then his mood just dropped and he started moping - I started to be aware of him having a face on like it is the worst day of his life. I was pretty tired when I finished mowing and he was moping and complaining he has nothing to do, he can't make up his mind what to do. He was starting to sob/shriek at this point.

Unfortunately I snapped at him that I don't expect to have to rush in from a pretty arduous task straight into a game of cricket or something. By now he was full on wailing. He then stomped off to his bedroom 'to read' - as if that was the worst thing in the world, when in fact he loves reading, but only ever seems to want to do it in bed hmm.

I fully planned to play with him (and ds2) this afternoon, but I just wanted half an hour first, which should surely be feasible with a 7 yr old and a 9 yr old. Also, when he starts moping it just irritates me so much and seems to sap the energy from me, rather than motivating me to make suggestions of things to do. He becomes very negative, and it is a bit of a vicious circle.

Reading this back, it occurs to me that he must be tired, but I can't seem to stop him getting up ridiculously early. He goes to bed at 8 but often reads for an hour or more. I have tried enforcing lights off, but he can't sleep and the same is true in the mornings. I feel like we are doomed to have shit weekends, which makes me feel awful, especially as I only have them every other weekend (60% custody) and I think the fact that they are mainly on screens at their dads may be an issue, but there is not much I can do about that.

HermioneJeanGranger Sat 07-May-16 14:05:45

Did he know you were planning to spend time palying with him later?

Pipsqueak23 Sat 07-May-16 14:11:18

I'd leave him to read for half an hour while you have a bit of time to yourself.

Then continue as you had meant to with whatever activity you had planned to do with them this afternoon. I would also take the time to explain to your DS that this had always been the plan and that there are times where he needs to entertain himself no Involving the wii and that the behaviour he displayed was not acceptable.

You may want to consider allowing him an hour a day on the Wii in the Afternoon/evening (so he doesn't feel the need to wake up early to play it) when he is with you rather than banning it completely

DangerousBeanz Sat 07-May-16 14:18:04

Is his room too light in the morning and this is why he's waking so early? Blackout blinds could be the way to go.

Jenny70 Sat 07-May-16 14:19:05

Mine acts like this. Sigh, tiring isn't it?

He was probably tired, bored and missing his screens - but did he calm down after a read (or did he fall asleep like my DS would?).

My DS also gets like this when hungry, so I would have come in from the lawn and had a cup of tea while he ate a snack, then tried to convince him to play something else.

neonrainbow Sat 07-May-16 14:20:36

I would allow him an hour on the wii later in the day if he behaved himself during the day and didn't behave like he has today. Or i would do as my mum used to do. If you said you were bored she would find me something to do like make me do the dusting or something. I quickly learned not to compkain of being bored! I certainly had to do some chores before i could play on any consoles.

He needs to learn to entertain himself. Have you always leapt straight into entertaining him when he's bored? My dh does with dsc and it means he really struggles to play by himself for more than 10 or 20 minutes and he's 9. I wouldn't put up with the screaming and crying. Far too old for that.

FelicityGubbins Sat 07-May-16 14:27:21

My ds was utterly obnoxious aged 9, far worse than the terrible two's. Its just the first flush of hormones hitting them and by age 10 it had all calmed down again!
Just keep breathing, this too will pass smile

Forgetmenotblue Sat 07-May-16 14:31:06

Don't want to be a downer but if my 9 year old had been pleasant whilst shopping and helped with a garden chore, I'd be thinking he'd done reasonably well. Let him have the wifi on and play the game for a bit whilst you have some lunch, read, or do whatever you want, then offer him some company/playing time.

crazycrofter Sat 07-May-16 14:32:43

Felicity, I'm so glad to hear you say that!! My 9 year old is also like this, wants to be on a screen all the time and is constantly 'bored'. Nothing that he used to enjoy seems to be of interest at the moment and he has awful rages and moods. I'd assumed it must be hormones but it's so difficult! He was always pretty easy too. I'm hanging on till it passes!

Forgetmenotblue Sat 07-May-16 14:34:22

Agree with a PP that outright bans of anything turn into a nightmare. Better to go with earning a go on it: he's been helpful and pleasant this morning so gets an hour to play this afternoon. Then has to stop, play something else, do a small job for you, then gets another go etc.

Then plenty of time for you as well to have a break.

YourHandInMyHand Sat 07-May-16 14:36:30

My DS has autism and is OBSESSED with screen time. He's allowed an hour first thing (on a school morning he has to have had breakfast, dressed, teeth, bed made beforehand) and then he's allowed an hour later on in the afternoon.

No at 9 he shouldn't be sobbing and raging that he's bored but it sounds like he knows it annoys you, kids know just what buttons to push.

I agree that if he's done shoe shopping and helped with chores he's done fairly well.

Maybe sit down with him and explain to him when he is allowed on his games, what else you expect during the day, and that you will also all have some time together too. Mine calls this has "day plan" and it seems to appease him.

paintandbrush Sat 07-May-16 14:37:41

Does he read OP? I got through all the Just William books at that age. Might sound a bit fuddy-duddy but they're hilarious

Ditsy4 Sat 07-May-16 14:40:22

I think kids today are given far too many things to entertain them. Our kids made dens and hedgehog houses. They get withdrawal symptoms from games and computers.
Get out a board game or if it is warm and sunny like here give them some string, an old sheets and let them make a tent then let them make a picnic to take on there garden adventure.

FlyingScotsman Sat 07-May-16 14:42:35

TBH I found that my dcs have been like this too and it has always been when they have got used to spend a lot of time playing on whatever electronic devices.They both seem to forget how to entertain themselves pretty quickly sad

My only answer to that has been to restrict time on electronic stuff. And then letting them learn again what they like/how to play on their own.
Sometimes, I've had to remind them of some of the games they have and haven't touched for ages.
Sometimes, I propose drawing/reading.
Or I send them outside the house to play/go on the bikes.

We've done a few runs of that (they are older now) and it really has always be down to he fact they got used to the easiness and the quick feedback they get from electronic games.

I don't think that ;earning' your time works well in that instance because the issue isn't about them not doing whatever chores they should do. But about having to learn how to entertain themselves.

thinkingmakesitso Sat 07-May-16 14:43:33

Thanks for the replies - there is definitely a hormonal feel to his behaviour, but he has always been prone to sobbing when things go wrong.

He started playing with figures - building basic lego 'cricket pitches' and wanting to fly playmobile figures to them on the playmobile plane - which kept falling apart, leading to more tears. He then asked me how to play the cricket with the figures. He doesn't seem to 'get' play so games tend to be literal and therefore limited and over quickly. Yet at school he is excellent at creative writing.

They are bloody hard to entertain, being so different from each other and quite clingy. Think we will go for a walk in a bit, but it's annoying we can never enjoy the house.

creativevoid Sat 07-May-16 14:51:19

I note he was watching television for about 2.5 hours. My children used to wake up earlier and earlier to watch TV on weekend mornings. I stopped it altogether in the morning and their behaviour really improved. Occasionally I let them watch an hour or two on a Sunday morning and I always regret it. They have set screen time in the evening and they lose time if they don't behave and this works well for us.

creativevoid Sat 07-May-16 14:51:56

And they slept a lot later!

thinkingmakesitso Sat 07-May-16 14:59:22

Yes, I have been considering a morning ban for a while and my first step has been to ban the wii. I think we are getting off to a bad start for sure.

knittingwithnettles Sat 07-May-16 14:59:58

It's brilliant that he is reading in his bedroom, I don't think it matters where he reads, if he reads. Second hand annuals are often good too.

I think it is normal for them to get into complete strops, they vent and then feel a bit better afterwards. Just keep saying how glad you are he is reading. Acknowledge he is feeling tired out after a morning out, rather than that he is being immature and selfish. He probably knows he is being unreasonable, it won't help to point it out to him further.

I think you definitely should be allowed a break though before organising another activity, and you should make it clear that you won;t be available to be fun mum until he has had some time by himself entertaining himself.

Subbuteo is a quite a fun game for children who like setting things up with rules; they might be able to play it together? My ds enjoyed just playing it solo too.

knittingwithnettles Sat 07-May-16 15:02:09

I agree it is very annoying when you feel you always have to go out and do something when weekends should be peaceful and regenerative "at Home" times, but this will pass and before you know it you will be begging them to get up and go out as they will just lie in their bedrooms all day doing..well not much...[mother of teens]

YouTheCat Sat 07-May-16 15:03:55

If he's quite rigid in his thoughts, I'd go with a day plan (as suggested up thread). Write down suggested activities for free play. Factor in some limited time on the wii that has to be earned perhaps.

Maybe a trip to the library to see if there are any books on things to make?

exLtEveDallas Sat 07-May-16 15:09:00

Christ. You shouldn't be having to micro manage 'playing' for NT kids of that age. My answer to this would be "I don't care"

At 7 and 9 they should be entertaining themselves, and it shouldn't have to involve screens.

If he can't find himself something to do, tough. If that means he's bored, tough. He needs to get over himself.

theredjellybean Sat 07-May-16 15:09:40

no you are not being unreasonable
i always resented being 'entertainments manager'
I would suggest as well that no one 'played' with me when i was a child ( aged late 40's now) we just got on with it..my mum would be there on a saturday doing stuff...washing, ironing, cooking, etc etc...quality time with your parents in those days would have been going shoe shopping !!!

I think we massively over indulge our kids and make it 'all about them' when in fact it is about being part of a family .

I would suggest leaving him to it...and if he says ' i'm bored' my reply would be 'oh dear'

Didactylos Sat 07-May-16 15:16:37

If DS (8)complains about being bored/not entertained/cant think what to do, I set him a housework task to do under my eye (Like stack the dishwasher or water plants or fold washing)
he usually stomps and whinges a bit, then reluctantly starts to do the task, and its almost like having a job lets him calm down, engage in something physical and achieve something - usually I will be working beside him and we will get chatting etc, and by the end of the job he is calm and in some sense grounded instead of being up in his head with games, fantasy, and 'I WANT' behaviour.

He obviously has to help around the house anyway: I make it clear that these extra tasks we set him aren't punishment, theyre because he's said hes bored, weve found him something to do. Oddly enough its made him a bit better at entertaining himself and not acting out when we have to do routine stuff.
Though I do notice a change in his behaviour when hes had a lot of screen time or computer games, so I am very evil and restrict these with a timer

whether this will work for ever remains to be seen but so far its been the best strategy Ive had for managing that whinging

shiveringhiccup Sat 07-May-16 15:17:59

As others have said it might be that you need to gently encourage him to relearn how to play independently and wean him off all the screen time. Making some kind of day plan/ structure might help him to know what to expect so it's not a surprise when he has to entertain himself and it might help you to balance the day as well. You could write a list or do a lucky dip type thing of different activities he can do by himself. Or even better get him to do it grin I'd also have a chat and check if he's ok seeing as he's been so tearful.

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