DS (8) so angry & argumentative

(4 Posts)
PhoebeMcPeePee Thu 10-Jul-14 13:43:58

hmm That's it really - he's just so angry & argumentative all the time, mainly at me but then it usually overspills to his younger brother & often he's going into school in a strop which of course causes more problems with friends.

I really try not to engage or argue back when he's like but I won't tolerate him being rude to me & always dismiss any talk of 'you don't care, you never do anything for me etc' & tell him how much I love him etc. if I calmly say "come on DS let's not argue" & try to change the subject he accuses me of not listening & threats/follow-through of losing activities or game time aren't working either.
He's never physical & it clearly upsets him if I get cross (tears this morning so we had a chat with him saying I don't care, like DB better etc) .
I childmind & know he finds the lack of my attention after school hard but I've recently gone PT because of this but if anything it's got worse not better. I've tried having grown-up conversations about mummy needing to work & at least I get to see him all the time & how it's only a couple of hours after school 3 days a week we have lots of children but he's so demanding when they're here (eg will get cross if I can't play football whilst I'm feeding little ones or have a conversation at pick-up times)

Any advice (for me or him) as it's really grinding me down hmm

Theoldhag Fri 11-Jul-14 08:33:39

Hi Phoebe I am sorry that you are having a tough time with your son, he sounds as though he has quite large jealousy issues which he is acting out by being angry and lashing out at you and his sibling.

What he is craving for is attention from you, positive or negative. I wonder if you tried to engage him on a different level than you perhaps have been may help. I would in your shoes encourage him to do things with you such as helping with cooking evening meals (making bread, cakes, cutting up veg, making sauces etc), this will give him and you time to chit chat whilst channeling his aggression into something creative. Give him some extra responsibility and praise him when he makes an effort to engage in this manner.

Try to do one activity every day that is between the two of you, it can be something fun or just every day chores, all he wants is time with you. So racing to see who can fold the biggest pile of washing, or helping in the garden.

Encourage him to do something creative that is just for him, a patch in the garden (or in an indoor planter) to tend to, growing veg can be very grounding and rewarding.

Has he a pet that he can look after? Looking after other small beings can help to channel thoughts and feelings.

Try not to engage in arguments, you are the adult he is the child. Acknowledge his feelings without excusing them, so say I see that you are upset/cross/tired etc but we do not behave in this manner, we talk about our feelings. Listen to his acting out, interpret for him, feelings are ok, it is what we do with them that ultimately matters.

If things get too much and he is unable to break this cycle with your help then I would ask the school or gp to help him access play therapy counselling. This would hopefully enable him to learn how to name his feelings and articulate them better as well as allowing him to work through issues of jealousy.

I hope that you can get your happy boy back.

3littlefrogs Fri 11-Jul-14 08:40:46

At this age they have a growth spurt and a testosterone surge and he may be extra hungry and tired.

Does he do any after school activities such as cubs or football club?
If not, this would be a good time to start.

PhoebeMcPeePee Fri 11-Jul-14 10:17:58

Thanks theoldhag for a really helpful post I'll certainly be trying some of those ideas & hopefully we can get through the next week or so before the holidays when I've got 2 weeks without childminding children & a week long family holiday so plenty of time to reconnect.

He does lots of activities (probably too many which is making him tired) & is a complete sports fanatic but again, holidays looming means most stop for the summer & then cricket stops for winter when school starts back & won't be replaced with rugby this year due to cost/time commitments.

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