DS1 (9) behaviour.

(14 Posts)

I am at the end of my tether with my DS1.

When he's with me alone, he's fine,
When he's with DP alone, he's fine,

When he's with DP and other people that aren't me or DS2, he's fine.

As soon as he's with the whole family (me,DP, 2 younger brothers) he's really really, unpleasant.

He's rude, whiney, argumentative, he tries his damnedest to get DO and DS2 in my bad books.

Today, as an example.

He was asked to eat nicely, (ongoing problem) he continued to chew with his mouth open. Taking huge bits of food to avoid cutting them up and shovelling.
So came a warning - "DS if I see you eating without using table manners again, you'll be asked to leave the table."

2 minutes later he's back to it. hmm
"DS down from the table please."

Cue screaming, shouting, swearing and crying. I had to send him up stairs to calm down so it continued from the stairs, him screaming that's he's NOT going upstairs, he's NOT moving for anyone, we're all idiots, deaf, stupid idiots" (we were ignoring the abuse)

DP walked past the stair way (I was there I saw it) DS hits the floor and starts screaming that DP had hit him. This is also a regular thing, I have NEVER seen DP do anything to physically hurt the kids and it's really upsetting DP.
DS has also done thins to me and teachers/doctors. It's got to the point where we don't want to even hug him or anything incase we're accused of hurting him. sad

DP gets the worst of it and it bringing him right down.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 03-Aug-14 21:24:59

Is DP his dad? Is DP the father of the younger children?

If the problem only rears it's head when you're all together, I think the problem lies in his perception of the family dynamics i.e. he feels left out or bullied/ganged up on when everyone is together.

Tbh I don't think you handled the dinner situation that well. A lot of kids have bad table manners, but it's more of a slight nag situation than a make him get down when he was obviously hungry and embarrass him in front of the family situation. Do you ever praise him when he eats well or just have a go when he doesn't? Maybe try ignoring the bad table manners, but really praising him or the others when they eat well?

DP is DS3's dad but DS1&2 have the same father.

We do praise him when he eats well, I praise all the kids when they do anything well.

If he had slightly bad manners at the table it wouldn't be a problem, at the moment he shoves food in so quickly he can barely swallow, he wasn't massively hungry either, he'd had a big lunch and a snack. It was just me, DP and him so he wasn't embarrassed in front of his brothers.

The dinner thing was just an example (possibly a bad one!) it wasn't even the not eating well that became the problem, it was the escalation to abuse and screaming that was the problem.

I'm not sure how to fix the family dynamics that are causing the problems, I'm all out of ideas! sad

MostWicked Sun 03-Aug-14 22:45:20

Your whole approach to the table manners is very confrontational.
He was given one warning, with the threat of a consequence and then because he failed, he was punished. It all got too far out of hand, far too quickly.
In the 2 minutes he was eating well, before he went back to poor manners, did you praise him? Are you specific about what you do want from him?

Maybe you could just focus on one thing at a time and just keep calmly reminding him. 'Mouth closed please' and no punishments at all. They aren't needed and they don't encourage better behaviour.

Family dynamics are always complicated and they can make children's behaviour really unsettled as they try to work out what the rules are and who fits where. Be patient, he's still young.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 03-Aug-14 22:50:54

It's a tricky one. Have you tried asking him outright? My friend got her 9 year old a journal activity book thing that was all about feeling and dealing with emotions etc, she's had some success with that. I'm not sure what it's called maybe look on Amazon?

You could try love bombing?

Or giving him more/less responsibility. Maybe try treating him a bit more like one of the grown ups and see if he responds to being a big brother. I find that works quite well with DD. Or if he is already being treated that way, maybe it's too much and he needs less responsibility?

I think it's about finding out what his problem is because it sounds very much like attention seeking behaviour rather than he can't/doesn't know how to behave.

Andro Sun 03-Aug-14 23:32:11

He's competing for your attention; he's fine when he has you to himself, he's fine when you're not there but he's not coping with sharing your attention.

How old are his brothers and how long have you been with your DP? It sounds as though there's been a lot of upheaval in his life and you are the only constant. I would suspect that fear is at the root of the problem, but getting him to talk about it (or even to recognise it) could be difficult.

Try talking to him about why he acts like he does, or alternatively a journal where he can write it down and let you read it. You might not like what he says, but his feelings are valid and you can't help him if you don't know where he it emotionally.

Does he have a good relationship with his dad? A solid bond there might help to stabilize him as well.

Lots of replies! Thanks. thanks

He sees his Dad once every 2 weeks, his Dad alternates having him and DS2 (7) so they have can some time apart because they fight so much.

DS3 is 20 months. I've been with DP for 3 years.

As I said the dinner thing was possibly a bad example. This morning he's already got up and is speaking to us all like we're something on his shoe.

He's been trying to demand things from us and order us around with no hint of please/Thankyou.

He's so far refused to get clean clothes on (instead opting to wear a T-shirt he's had on for a few days and is now filthy)
He's refusing to do his medication and phyiso that he's meant to do twice daily (another big ongoing problem)

He's throws his weight around like he's some sort of dictator ruling over his minions.. hmm

I do praise him heavily when he's behaving well,I make sure to tell him how lovely it is to spend time with him when he's been nice, I've made sure to say how well the day has gone when it's been non confrontational.

He has time with all of us alone as much as I can facilitate it.

The main problems are how he behaves to sanctions, a simple "DS could you go to your room/on the stairs for 5 minutes please, to calm down/to think about what you've done/said" will turn into a screaming session with him stamping his feet and pleading for another chance.

The other problem is his attitude, a conversation from this morning with DP;

DS- "How are you getting to work?"
DP - "I'm going to take the car, Mum is quite tired this morning"
DS - "Well I'M not staying in all day! She can get up and take me out!"
DP - "you can play out with your friends today, I'm sure they'll all be around at some point"
DS - "NO, I want some new trainers and football boots so YOU get the train and MUm can get up and take me to town"

This then became a case of DP calmly telling DS that he was being quite rude and could he please think in future before speaking to people like that.

DS then erupted into a huge tantrum, saying he's not done anything.
He has again had to go back upstairs to try and start the day again because he jumped straight into calling DP names and slamming gates, stamping his feet.

He's now making all the noise he can, I've seen DS3 have a better attitude to him and it's getting the rest of the family down.

I'm not sure I can handle another day of it today.

Sorry I've had a few quite breaths and steeled myself for the day.

He's a great boy, when he's in a good mood he's helpful. Kind. Funny and thoughtful, he has a great imagination and is sooo keen to participate and get involved.

I'm just so tired of the battles. sad

DoItTooJulia Mon 04-Aug-14 08:27:24

Whatever you're doing isn't working, so you need to change tack.

I have a 9yo and a 20 month old. It's hard. The 9 yo has such different needs to the little one.

Can you reverse whatever you're doing? Let the table manners slide for now, give everyone a break from it for say 2 weeks.

Make a plan for the next two weeks so ds1 knows who is doing what, when, avoiding the type of conversation this morning. With my ds written instructions really help. I also think my ds is hormonal, so I try to remember that and hug him more. It helps everyone.

Get the paddling pool out/arrange something easy and fun, distract them from being awful!

Best of luck

He's been great so far, out playing with friends. I've just come in the front room now though to find him helping himself to the contents of my purse shockangrysad

This isn't something I've been aware of him doing. I saw him with my own eyes, he dropped it and saw me see him. I've asked him to go upstairs and I'll go in and talk to him in five minutes. He's so far told me he wasn't taking anything and he wasn't in my purse.

I need to calm myself and have a chat in five minutes. I have no flipping clue how to deal with this.

We alps ready have a locked cupboard in the kitchen because he was eating his way though the packed lunch things eveytime our back was turned, we gave him chance after chance but he always went back to taking it without asking.
It's maddening, he has snacks, sweets, treats, 3 good meals a day and yet he was still taking stuff... And now he's moved onto money sad

I've given him a piece of paper and a pen and asked him to write down words about how he's feeling, what he's thinking for us to have a chat.

He said the children outside told him he can't play with them anymore unless he gives them £1 angry

MostWicked Mon 04-Aug-14 12:16:22

I would try
"It seems to me that there's a lot going on for you at the moment, and you're having a hard time. Would that be fair?"
"You're more erratic than normal and I am worried about you. I'm wondering if there's something in particular that's troubling you at the moment?"
"I was very hurt when I saw you with my purse"
It might just open up a conversation.

It does seem like he is getting lots of attention for this behaviour.

There are a couple of ways you could try to deal with the rudeness:
You could ignore all the goady demands. And I really do mean ignore - don't respond to them at all. Your DP's second response could have been on a completely different subject, trying to plicate him isn't going to work at the moment.
DS- "How are you getting to work?"
DP - "I'm going to take the car, Mum is quite tired this morning"
DS - "Well I'M not staying in all day! She can get up and take me out!"
DP - "I must remember to pick up some milk on the way home"
It's not always easy, as you have to keep your cool and not respond, but it works well for some kids, to diffuse the situation.
or
Ask him to say that again politely, and become a broken record.
DS- "How are you getting to work?"
DP - "I'm going to take the car, Mum is quite tired this morning"
DS - "Well I'M not staying in all day! She can get up and take me out!"
DP - "Can you say that again politely please"
Any rudeness, just respond with the same thing, so in order for him to get the attention he is after, he is going to have to repeat politely.

Avoid confrontation, telling off, sending to his room to think, because that seems to spiral very quickly. You can always model to him, better ways of responding. "I need a few minutes to calm down, then if you want to talk to me, as long as you are polite, I will listen"

That's really helpful and seems achievable mostwicked I'm going to show it to DP and have a chat tonight with him about it.

We need to do something to regain some of the happy families we had only a couple of years ago.

smile

OutragedFromLeeds Mon 04-Aug-14 14:04:01

I agree with MostWicked that's it probably a good idea to lay off the time outs/sending to his room stuff because it just escalates the situation. I would save that for when he's actually physically done something rather than just being a bit mouthy.

In the example conversation you give, I would have made a joke because it was sooo rude that it was almost funny. I'd have said something random like 'ok I'll ride the elephant to work, you have the car' or 'I'm taking the car, but mum can give you a piggy back into town' or 'you don't need to stay in all day, I've got you a job as a window cleaner and you start this morning' or 'you have to stay in because I've heard there's a gang of pirates headed this way and we can't leave the house unattended' or just 'yes your highness' to everything. With my DC this generally disarms them and diffuses the situation, might be worth a try.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now