6yo boy's behaviour - please help(12 Posts)
First post posted in desperation. I'd love any feedback, positive or negative, which could help with my current situation.
I'm the mother of a 6 year old boy (sorry, everything longhand, hate abbreviations!). He can be kind, thoughtful, loving but he can also be exceptionally naughty. You may say "well, all 6 year old boys are naughty" but when you've had to put up with being hit and kicked for the last four years, with NO punishment enough of a deterrant for him to stop, then you'll understand that the "all 6 year olds are naughty" statement doesn't sit well with me.
Sometimes he'll walk past me and give me a light tap. Sometimes, and more often than not, he'll kick me if he's not happy with something (he can't have sweets, for instance). I'm not a physical person myself and neither is my husband (his dad) so this behaviour is shocking to me. I've been firm with him from the outset. He knows what kind of behaviour I expect from him - I tell him often enough. And yes, I do praise him where praise is due. But you name it I've tried it. Reward charts don't work. Taking loved items away doesn't work. Promising him toys that I know he's desperate for doesn't work. He's so strong willed. At the opposite end of the scale he cries when he lines up in the morning at school - he doesn't want to leave me. The teacher kindly made him a reward chart which he was receptive to at first, now we're back to the tears again. I do understand this as I was like that at his age - except I always kept it in. I dread to think what it will be like going back to school after Christmas.
I recently went to the doctor to ask for help. She was incredibly sympathetic (you never know if you're opening up a can of worms when you talk about it to other people). She said she would refer him for psychotherapy but it actually ended up with me being send on a parenting course instead. The first session was about looking after yourself, which to me was a wasted week. For various reasons I could no longer attend the course, so am now stuck with the same situation at home.
My home life is horrid. We generally argue within a few minutes of waking up. I am physically drained from it all. Does anyone have any ideas because I'm out of them and want us all to have a mostly peaceful life.
Thanks for reading.
Hi and welcome Zorkit. Sounds like you are having a dreadful time. Didn't want to leave post unanswered, someone will be along with some good advice I'm sure.
Thank you - you're very kind. I'm anticipating a barrage of critical comments from mumsnetters - I'm in a low place at the moment - so your message has cheered me up no end x
can I ask why you aren't going to complete the course? You may not have gained much from the first week but who knows whether it could have turned out to be the very thing you needed? A parenting course isn't just about telling you what you're doing wrong or blaming you, it should give you strategies for dealing with your son's behaviour, even if you can't change the behaviour itself.
Also, if your GP said she would refer your son and hasn't, then you need to go back and ask again. Different GP if necessary.
It sounds very stressful and upsetting for you. I really do hope things improve for you.
PS: his behaviour at nursery and school is exemplary - his anger is mainly aimed at me, then his father
Thanks for your response, fourflapjacksplease. I couldn't complete the course for various reasons:
1. I have a 5mo baby which I had to take the course - I don't have family or friends who can look after her, so I have to take her everywhere with me. She was too young at the time to go into the crèche, so I had to sit through the course on three occasions with her. Feeding and soothing a baby whilst trying to learn is almost impossible.
2. I had 15 minutes to get from my son's school to the course. I had to take two tube trains to get there, it was the quickest way, and I would arrive 20 minutes late. I couldn't take the buggy to do this journey (lots of stairs, old stations) so I had a 16lb baby strapped to me. I was exhausted when I got to the course. There are no further courses in my area for the foreseeable future.
I spoke to another GP last week and was told it was out of the surgery's hands. Once they refer a child for psychotherapy or whatever it is, it is down to Children's Services as to how to proceed. If I attend this 8-week course, I can then self-refer to a psychologist. All I can now do is write to Children's Services to state my case. I feel too emotional at the moment to write a coherent letter although I will sit down with my husband next week and try and put something together.
And my final PS - I know about the issues with babies and their siblings, but he loves his baby sister very much. There have been issues, for instance, he gets jealous that I'm spending too much time with her (feeding, changing nappies, getting her to sleep, nothing "special"), but when we talk about it he does see to understand. His behaviour hasn't got worse since she was born.
Sounds like he has a strong will and a hot temper. Discipline is different for every child, what works for one child with one personality won't work for another with the polar opposite personality.
If he has a temper problem and you're the one laying down the law, then of course he'll take it out on you. I would suggest getting him into a program that requires self-discipline, martial arts are ideal for this and also works as a great outlet for anger issues. Stick with the discipline you have implemented with the most success, even if it seems like it's not working because he's so stubborn keeping it consistent will cement in his head that fighting so hard is not worth the trouble.
What kind of things does he watch on TV or play with? Because that in and of itself is a powerful tool. I had a small child try to hit me recently, I diffused it by telling him that Captain America wouldn't hit someone because they asked him to take a bath.
What happened 4 years ago? Did you move house, work, start nursery, new friends? Can you think of anything at all? And like it for 4 years?
What exactly does he do which bothers you most, refusing to go to bed, slapping you as he goes by, how does it start, and finish?
Why doesn't he like school? To be so upset everyday, is this since your dd was born? Is he ok when you have left? Is he used to a fuss being made? Do you miss him loads and tell him so? I hated school and have to be very careful with my dc not to project. Your ds is too old for star charts IMO, have you asked him what he doesn't like, what does he say?
I have a 6 yr old ds and these are the reasons he may struggle and I struggle
Me handling it all wrong
Wanting independence ( take shower alone, work microwave etc are things he can do to feel more grown up, when there is a baby about)
Inappropriate kids tv
Influence of others
Hunger, tiredness, thirst
Not Well but pretends he is fine as he hates the doctors and would rather be ill
He has an innate sense of fair play and logic, and will argue his corner if he thinks he is right, without shouting.
There is a book called " how to talk so kids will listen, and how to listen so kids talk" I suggest you buy it as its excellent and has helped me so much
Do you and your dh have the same parenting style? Does your dh tap you on the bottom as he passes etc? Is your ds copying his male role model?
Thanks for your messages. Have now left my computer and now on my phone so will respond when i have an appropriate keyboard tomorrow x
I can highly recommend the book 'The Explosive Child' by Ross Greene. There's a summary of his approach here
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