Poor Behaviour of 5 year old/sibling problems

(19 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Jun-15 15:46:44

I have two lovely wonderful children, a girl aged almost 9 and a boy aged 5.5. Mostly they are well behaved, play reasonably together with only the usual spats and arguments, but with equal amounts of fun and love between them.

Up until recently. My DD has become more argumentative, demanding in her behaviour, deliberately ignoring requests, choosing to do the opposite of what has been asked, or if told not to do something, doing it anyway. However, for the most part, this has been taken on the chin by me and DH, expected part of growing independent, and we have been able to deal with it as we go along with consistency and calmness. It hasn't presented us with anything too unmanageable, or surprising given her age.

My DS's behaviour, and the two of their behaviour together, well that's a different story.

DS is 5.5, and it seems almost overnight, he has gone from a well behaved boy with some spirit and the odd naughty behaviour, often when hungry, or tired, and regular disruptive behaviour before school, which is all manageable, and interspersed with many, many positives - to a boy who is constantly not doing what he is told, ignoring us, shouting, tantrums, throwing things down the stairs wilfully, throwing things about, jumping on things, trying to break things. He says 'no' to many things we say, and his behaviour is borderline aggressive on occasions. He also gets into a state when he has a tantrum, in the mornings in particular when hungry and won't eat although hungry because he is so upset/angry, normally about something like not being allowed cake for breakfast, or coca cola for his drink (he never has these things for breakfast and doesn't have coca cola at all!).

But, the worst thing is his relationship with his sister. He is rude to her, picks on her, calls her names, hits her, tries to get her in trouble, name-calls, throws her things, knowing they are special things, runs around trying to grab her, making snide comments, threatening to punch her. He will push her buttons again and again, and often subtly until she lose her temper and screams at him, and she gets into trouble for invariably screeching and on occasions hitting him.

Now, DD is no angel, but, he just won't leave her alone, and it has made her general mood as above of being argumentative, and cross, even worse. She now as default is annoyed with him, and they argue almost as soon as they wake up until the moment they go to bed. DS generally finds it funny.

I don't know how to handle it. Neither does DH. We have tried, continue trying to be calm, consistent in our reactions, punishments, ways of handling, but the days are filled more and more with angry outbursts from us because the behaviour of both of them is intolerable. I don't want it like this, constant battle with both children, and the atmosphere is negative.

In particular it's DSs behaviour that is uncontrollable, he is wild, and either DD is wild with him, or upset as he won't stop picking on her, hassling her, making her upset. If we can help him become better behaved again, I think her behaviour will improve, and also become easier for us to figure how to manage.

Any ideas?

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Jun-15 15:53:51

Oh and he keeps talking in silly voices. Sometimes baby voices, but sometimes/often in baby type voice but not actual baby voice, with made up words, repeating words/rhyming, bordering offensive words, squeaking sounds, and strange sounds that he does again and again, noises and often with physical actions, kicking out, throwing something, laughing wildly.

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Jun-15 15:55:22

Sorry, last post before responses come in, forgetting to add things!

he is not like this in school (reception class). he is well behaved, happy, engages well socially, is on target academically (mostly, handwriting not the best, but not significantly far behind), no issues at all with his behaviour.

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Jun-15 16:17:01

ok, I think I have got to the bottom of some of it. He is tired.

He has just gone to sleep, after a not hugely great day behaviour wise, and culminating in not being able to take him and his sibling into town to get DDs feet measured for some special birthday shoes, because he threw sand over another child at the park, then himself, then shook his fist at his sister and threatened to hit her in the face with it. Cue temper tantrums from both of them, home, he cried (called himself a fool and an idiot, stupid idiot, which he often does when he's been given unpleasant consequences for poor behaviour), sent to his room to calm down, came up to say sorry, had a chat and cuddles about why he was behaving this way, was mean to his sister again, curled up next to me. Asleep.

He has gone to sleep several times in the last few weeks.

So. Firstly, I need to sort out his sleeping better. He goes to bed at the same time every night, but recently his behaviour is not great at bedtime, and he won't actually sleep until about 8pm. He often wakes in the night (always has) and comes to our bed, around 4am or so, back to sleep until about 6:30am. Sometimes he sleeps in his own bed. Sometimes he wakes at 6am, sometimes closer to 7am, recently, it's been closer to 6am. He wakes his sister if he is still in his (their) room. He definitely needs more sleep.

So, ideas about how to get him to sleep earlier would be helpful. Except, probably not tonight seeing as he is asleep now. He won't sleep at bedtime tonight now. If he so much as power naps, it means he won't sleep until maybe 10pm! <sighs>

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Jun-15 21:41:40

no-one have any advice? or a kind word or hug or 'this too shall pass?' grin

I currently have a wide awake boy irritating me. Having puked up my dinner, got everything ready for school tomorrow, put the children to bed, crawled into my own bed, DH gone out, before I know it, DD on one side, thankfully asleep now (just, having been kept awake by her brother) and DS on the other side, wiggling, playing with the light switch.

FFS. I am now silently reading Go The Fuck To Sleep in my head...

PavlovtheCat Sun 14-Jun-15 21:42:16

shock did I say 'kind word or a hug' shock grin <gets coat> that won't do at all!

PavlovtheCat Mon 15-Jun-15 07:58:10

I guess it ain't as exhilarating as what blood type you are and whether you puke or the other. Ot not as gripping as whether I need to ltb. wink

lexyloub Mon 15-Jun-15 09:13:01

Speak to school see how he is in class. My ds2 is also 5 and doing a lot of the same things he was a horror! I spoke to his teacher who said he was completely different in school good as gold. Ds was mortified I'd told his teacher about his behaviour, we had a system every morning I had to tell teacher if he'd been good that morning (getting up & ready for school was a massive battle) I'd say if he had a smiley face for being good or a sad face for being naughty and likewise after school she'd do the same to me to say how he'd been that day. Ds did not want to be in trouble with his teacher and his behaviour changed dramatically. He was naughty 1 morning so went to school with an angry face he was terrified his teacher would take his merit badge off him for having an angry face (of course she didn't ) needless to say he's not had an angry face since and the mention of the angry face when his behaviour is starting to slip is enough to get him back on track. I can't believe the difference in his behaviour.

lexyloub Mon 15-Jun-15 09:21:03

Also I think this time of year it's impossible to get them in bed early when it's so light. Will he watch TV in bed? Can you put some cartoons on in a morning so he stays in bed I know he's not asleep but if he's lying down he's not using up his energy.
I don't think there's anything you can do to stop the sibling squabbles it's part of growing up although if anyone else has some magic way to stop siblings fighting and tormenting each other I'm all ears

TheBakeryQueen Mon 15-Jun-15 18:16:05

He sounds extremely spirited, bright & maybe bored do you think?

Have you tried planning tasks for him at home? Using more structure like they do at school? I know it's hard work but could perhaps break this spell of poor behaviour?

I have 3 boys, 7, 5 & 2, and I can empathise with you. It's relentless some days.

PavlovtheCat Mon 15-Jun-15 20:07:59

lexyloce that idea about involving his teachers. He is very well behaved in school, often getting rewards/stickers etc for good behaviour, they adore him, he is kind, funny, happy, considerate! And he does care very much what his teachers think of him. I actually remember when dd was at nursery and misbehaving threatening to call her nursery worker to report poor behaviour and that worked. Forgot all about that!

bakeryqueen I am sure he is not bored, but Mae be wrong! We do plenty of varied activities, with down time too. and have reasonable structure of an evening and morning, or we would if he followed it! But, did put breakfast on table with milk in jug and some choice so he could be involved, funnily, to try to stop the morning melt down. Worked for breakfast, are without a fuss (also had it ready for literally the moment he woke so no time for distraction of hunger to take over). But it all went pear shaped getting dressed for school.

Definitely tiredness is part of this. He had his long sleep yesterday went to sleep late because of that. But woke at 7:25 which is late for him. Brought his bed time routine back by half hour and included a bath then straight to bed for story and cuddles, asleep by 7:20pm.

It's nice as he had calm time with me, did got to spend time with daddy doing comic strip drawings and then some time with me, no fighting, no arguing between them as they keep each other awake. Now just need to figure out how to get DD to go to sleep!

I don't think tiredness us the whole thing, but if it helps w little it's progress.

PavlovtheCat Mon 15-Jun-15 20:09:41

Sorry for typos, fingers not enjoying iPhone!

TheBakeryQueen Mon 15-Jun-15 21:40:24

Would completely agree with the tiredness being a likely cause of poor behaviour. 5 is still pretty little & they can struggle to contain emotions. I'm always trying to get mine to sleep at a decent time & definitely see an improvement in the mornings when they've had an early bedtime.

They are coming to the end of a school year too. I think reception is a year full of change isn't it? They have to be so grown up at school & maybe they just can't control it anymore when they get home. Lucky us confused

PavlovtheCat Mon 15-Jun-15 21:48:41

yes, lots of stuff going on at school, preparing for sports day, which has just happened, started rugby practice (mostly a kick around for an hour on sunday to build some skills and confidence for september if he wants to continue), better weather means more parks/beach/outdoors. And his writing and reading is coming on leaps and bounds so mentally tired as well I think.

TheBakeryQueen Mon 15-Jun-15 21:54:34

It's just a phase. If he behaves so well at school then I'm sure he will get back on track at home. It's just reinforcing the boundaries isn't it? So hard to remain upbeat at times though.

I found 6 to be a lovely age in my oldest ds. He is now 7 & testing boundaries again!

PavlovtheCat Mon 15-Jun-15 22:11:10

I look forward to that time! DD has been such a relaxed and easy going child, up to now, i mean she has her moments, and pushes boundaries herself, but it's only recently that her behaviour has been pushy enough that it's needed more closely managed. DS has oodles of energy, but also gets tired. He gets hungry easily too, but there is a fine line, where if he gets too hungry, even a tiny bit, he refuses to eat. That's been difficult in the past, as there are only so many peanut butter sandwiches the boy can eat before it becomes unhealthy! But his variety has improved recently, so easier to give him healthy snacks to keep him fuelled.

I will see how tomorrow goes. I have a cold myself, come on today, so getting up early to get his appetite addressed immediately he awakes will be tricky.

But, for all the difficulties, he remains a lovely little boy. Our stories and cuddles were lovely this evening. He cuddled in, I sang him a lullaby and he went to sleep. So I know 'this too shall pass'! Just need a helping hand figuring it all out!

And the sibling rivalry is yet to be tackled in a healthy way. I don't want them to hate each other. Particularly DD to hate DS as she is very upset at how he is behaving at the moment, towards her.

TheBakeryQueen Mon 15-Jun-15 22:23:18

It sounds like you've got a really good handle on things to be honest.

Knowing the triggers is half the battle I think.

Maybe have a good chat with your dd about her little brothers' behaviour. I know it doesn't excuse it but he is probably looking for attention from her. Maybe if she can keep her reactions in check (I do appreciate this is difficult!), he'll get bored of trying to wind her up. But also I'd let her know that you do care about how all this affects her etc.

It must be hard sometimes being the eldest.

My older 2 bicker, but it's fairly even as to who is the instigator, and despite the teasing & rough play they choose to spend all their free time together so I know they love each other. I think it's healthy to a certain extent, within reason. They learn useful skills for later on in life I think.

lexyloub Tue 16-Jun-15 02:55:10

Do you give your children pocket money? I've just started with mine ds2 doesn't have chores (only to make his bed) to earn his pocket money he simply has to get up and dressed in a morning without any fuss. It's early days and the novelty may run out soon but so far it's working

Atenco Tue 16-Jun-15 05:27:27

No tips, OP, but I imagine every child has different needs regarding sleep and tiredness really can turn them into little monsters.
Many years ago I agreed to mind two children while their parents worked and the little boy was horrible. I later found out that they were keeping him up until midnight when he had to get up at seven for school, the poor wee mite.

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