Punishments for ds11

(15 Posts)
financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 13:54:13

What it says really. Anyone got good ideas? He has no tv/DVD/ps3 in his room any longer. No mobile. Yet he is still being extremely rude and entitled.

I should say that they are set up elsewhere and if he is polite he does get to spend time on them.

What am I doing wrong, or is this what I should expect from him at his age?

My older two (nearly 13 and nearly 11) don't have any gadgets in their rooms (apart from DS1's rather low-tech phone) but they do get given timed slots on the shared family computer, laptop, TV and Wii. These sessions of screen time would be the first thing I would take away if they were disobedient or irresponsible.

I don't ever tolerate rudeness or disrespect from any of them, so I don't think this is something you should feel that you have to put up with.

Does he have chores? If not then these might give him a sense of his place within the family, that he needs to pull his weight and do things to help others.

Is his attitude a recent thing? It could be just end-of-school-holidays-itis, in which case he'll probably improve once term starts. If he's in Y6 then they can sometimes get a bit big for their boots as a result of being top of the primary school ladder. If he's in Y7 then he might be picking up attitude from new peers. Is there anything else that could be bothering him? He is old enough that you should be able to choose a calm moment (not in the middle of s conflict!) to sit down and talk about your expectations and his.

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 20:38:41

Y7. Started a new school in December because we moved and has recently been to his fathers. Unfortunately his father blames him for everything.

He has some chores, mainly his own room related and dinner related.

I have tried talking to him but it is in one ear out the other at the moment.

wordsmithsforever Sun 06-Jan-13 20:49:25

I remember reading an excellent book a while ago - the gist of it was that punishments don't necessarily work well (because they create resentment) and that what works better is to look out for the behaviour you want and then encourage that behaviour. So if DS is rude, "catch him" being polite and remark on his excellent manners. The premise is that DC do want their parents' approval even if it doesn't seem like it! Ah just looked at the title on my bookshelf - Children Need Boundaries - Effective discipline without punishment (Cawood is the author). I think it's particularly useful for the situation you describe where more and more punishment is having no effect.

Moving house is a significant life event, so that should probably be taken into account. Starting Y7 can be quite stressful and the worst of it usually comes out at home.

If he isn't getting much positive feedback from his dad, then that changes my advice a bit.
Next time he does something thoughtful / responsible, acknowledge it and mention how proud you are of him. Then give him a bit more responsibility / independence along with a pep talk about how he has earned this by showing how reliable / sensible he can be.

Cross-posted with wordsmith about the catching him being good idea! grin

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 20:55:12

Will give it a go. Thanks. Might look up that book too.

HappyTurquoise Sun 06-Jan-13 21:20:08

Punishments I find should be held in reserve and be doled out less often once they're in secondary school. Just saying no to something (after careful consideration, and presenting a clear argument as to why) should be enough. On the other hand, it's worth building him up too.

Try and encourage him into other interests or sports. If he only likes screen time, sign him up to try out some new things - tennis, swimming, rock climbing, learning to play the guitar, or just see what's available in your area that you could afford. Maybe he could try out one new thing each week/month. I know this doesn't sound like a punishment, but maybe he feels like he's being overly punished because his friends are doing lots and he isn't. Their self esteem can get a bit knocked at this age from outside influences, do I'm suggesting you give him time to develop his own interests outside of school, or separate to his school friends.

Having new friends over after school/weekends can help, if he has well behaved friends. Sometimes though, they make new friends at secondary school whose behaviour is appalling and it is a matter of relaxing a little and waiting until they realise they would rather be decent and well behaved. Making your life difficult has its drawbacks after all, as you are not going to find it so easy to find money to pay for the things he likes (broadband, TV channels, phone etc) if you have to get a cleaner (because he won't help out) or have to cut your own work hours to do more housework after him.

Having a regular, weekly time doing something together with yourself really helps to build up the relationship. It can be anything you'd both enjoy, like sharing a new hobby like kite flying or playing a game, going for a walk, making something together, just having a chat while driving somewhere in the car. We all need that. As children get too big for bedtime stories, we all need to work a bit more on spending time together in other ways.

Sorry if all this is way off, but your OP doesn't give much to go by.

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 22:30:37

Happy you might be onto something. We are looking into after school clubs and sports facilities for him because he does need that outlet and we moved the first week in December so have not had chance to sort something yet.

nannyof3 Sun 06-Jan-13 22:52:24

U might want to look into his behaviour, is there a reason behind it?
Boredom, bullying, finding it hard to adapt...

Try and talk to him..

Other ways for 'punishment' is to send him to bed early, ground him, not let him out,
But think u need to look more into why he is acting this way.. Ask him why he acts like this, ask him if he wants to go to his dads, and if he doesn't then tell him he doesn't need to go... Ask him what he thinks his punishments should be

financialwizard Mon 07-Jan-13 09:25:24

Done all of that nanny , have even had him at Camhs. He did want to go to his Dads. He knows I am happy with his decision when it comes to going there and that I will talk to his Dad if he does not want to go.

He has friends, although he has always been somewhat of a loner.

We have tried one on one time (not always easy because we have a dd2 and my husband is forces, so away a lot). When he has one on one he is happy and relaxed that day but the next he is horrendous.

I know he has low self esteem so I do praise him when he does things right, but he then takes it as a green light to run rough shod. He also went on report at school within a week of joining for his disruptive behaviour, and for talking back to teachers.

Maybe I should have said all of this before. Sorry for drip feeding.

HappyTurquoise Mon 07-Jan-13 22:17:10

Sounds very much like my DD at that age.

If he responds so well to time with you and to praise, it sounds as if that is what he really needs more of, and he also needs to learn to get this encouragement and sense of self worth from himself, as part of how he thinks of himself, so feeling good about himself is normal and doesn't give him an inflated sense of self worth. I know it seems as though that isn't the case, but it is as though he's starved of any attention because he doesn't feel good about himself all this screen time is a kind of escapism, a useful coping mechanism. (Let me stress that this isn't your fault, it is just a part of growing up, and just as much a part of parenting as reading to little ones, or teaching them to ride a bike. Also, having a coping mechanism is a good sign). I think if you find ways to help him tackle the low self esteem, by encouraging him to get a better idea of himself, beyond black and white. it's a complex world we live in - is it relationships, respect and being sociable he needs to work on, or tidiness and household chores, or respect and behaviour? Pick one at a time, and praise him as much as you can, in different ways - smiling and nodding and listening is good.

Also, let him hear you say good things about your DH, that you love him and appreciate his role in the forces as well as who he is and enjoying his company/missing him when gone. (I know this can be hard, and I'm not saying you should dwell on it, but I had a tendency to not mention DH when he was away working and it made things worse, we just all closed down emotionally and bottled things up instead of enjoying time together for what it was without DH there.)

In secondary school, they encounter a range of new peers, some of whom will be so much more emotionally developed or confident or impressive and it can make them feel inadequate and question themselves. They can want to be like someone else without knowing how to get there. So it's a matter of bit by bit, talking about how their day went, talking over what they've learned and what happened, and giving them those skills as you reflect on your own day's highs and lows and how you might have done something differently, or what you felt well prepared for that was successful. We can't manage it every day, so we go for at least once a week, preferably 2 or 3 nights a week around the table at dinner. One person talks at a time, and no one is allowed to put anyone else down. It was hard at first, but better when they have a friend over who is used to eating at a table and does the same kind of thing.

Again, don't know if this will help, but it's what has helped us. At one stage I said to DD 'I don't actually believe a lot of the things I say in our discussions, you know. I often just come out with something to see what it sounds like and see what the rest of you think about it, I'm ready to have my mind changed.' Some how, that was the break through, and also acknowledged that she's constantly changing too and so I shouldn't repeat anything she says as though it's fact as she is likely to have changed her mind, or think differently by then.

financialwizard Thu 10-Jan-13 13:39:01

Thank you. We currently sit at the dining table every night, do opening dialogue should not be an issue.

The rest of your post is very interesting, and is worth trying.

HappyTurquoise Thu 10-Jan-13 13:44:41

Sorry, i do go on a bit, but I needed to remind myself of most of it! grin

financialwizard Thu 10-Jan-13 19:32:35

Don't apologise, it has been very helpful.

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