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For not knowing what to do with my son?

(20 Posts)
extremepie Sat 13-Aug-11 12:19:55

Ok, this is probably not an AIBU but I thought I might get a better response here!

My DS1 is 4, 5 in Feb.

The main problem is that he cries all the time, every little thing sets him off and I'm not sure how to handle it. He doesn't throw a tantrum, just wails and cries. I can't punish him for crying all the time but at the same time I don't want him to use it to try and get what he wants. He usually stops quite quickly but I want to teach him that you can't just burst into tears every time you are unhappy about something.

I also don't want other kids, especially other boys, to pick on him for whining and crying all the time!

He also has big problems with wanting to be involved with everything I do all the time. If I go out, even to go to work or college, he wants to come with, if I go to the shop (about a minute away), he wants to come with and cries if I won't let him. He wants to be there when I cook, when I bath, when I go to the toilet, just everything, everywhere he wants to be with me. He's even started saying 'but Mommy, I want you' every time I leave the room and my patience is really beginning to wear thin!

I have tried to explain to him that sometimes I just have to go and do things without him but I will always come back and just because I leave him doesn't mean I don't love him but it just seems to go in one ear and out the other!

What can I do!

scurryfunge Sat 13-Aug-11 12:22:18

Have there been any upsets recently that have knocked his confidence or made him insecure?

ImperialBlether Sat 13-Aug-11 12:22:33

I assume you live with a partner, otherwise you'd have to take the child with you to the corner shop. How is he with him? Is he jealous if you and your partner are together, eg on the sofa or talking?

ImperialBlether Sat 13-Aug-11 12:23:24

Is he going to school in September? How has he coped with the introduction days?

Did he go to nursery or playschool?

Is he only like this if you are in the house?

SaffronCake Sat 13-Aug-11 12:26:54

As the mother of a once really difficult baby can I firstly extend my sympathies and second say it does get better, my tricky one is 11 now and has become a credit to herself.

Your sons insecurity is coming from somewhere. Have you got any clue at all what this might be related to?

activate Sat 13-Aug-11 12:27:56

walk away every time he starts

ask him to calm down

praise the quiet and calming down

FabbyChic Sat 13-Aug-11 12:30:06

Are you having relationship problems? Are you a single parent whereby the biological father sees his son intermittently or not at all?

These things will be causing your son emotional trauma, sort those out and he will get better.

If he is from a stable happy home and attends nursery is it something to do with that? Or with his childminder?

Has someone he see a lot suddenly gone from his life?

extremepie Sat 13-Aug-11 12:31:35

At the beginning of the year we found out that DS2 (only a year younger) is autistic. This obviously means I have to treat them differently to an extent, I try not to but the discipline that works with DS1 won't work with DS2. I feel like this may be a factor but, again, I'm not sure what to do about it as DS2 can't stop being autistic!

I do have a DH, who looks after the boys as he is a SAHD and a carer for DS2. He is pretty much the same way with him, he doesn't seem to care when we spend time together as long as he is included. He is still trying to sleep in our bed too.

He was going to nursery but unfortunately we have no school place for him (whole other thread about that one!) or his brother so we are being forced to home school him until one comes up, whenever that will be!

FabbyChic Sat 13-Aug-11 12:34:42

I think then this is clearly about how you are treating your boys differently, deep down he feels rejected and is scared that you don't love him as much as his brother.

Children pick up on things and he has clearly picked up on this and it is causing him emotional distress.

extremepie Sat 13-Aug-11 12:43:12

I realise this is most likely a cause of this but, again, I can't stop my DS2 from being autistic, I can't stop him from screaming every time I leave the room (which he does), and constantly trying to climb on me because he doesn't understand. I feel like some of the time he does it to copy his brother.

What can I do about it though? I get so frustrated sometimes because it seems like from the second I wake up till the second the kids go to bed I'm surrounded by screaming, crying children and I have no escape!

Feel like I'm going mad!

extremepie Sat 13-Aug-11 12:44:01

Feel like the DS1 is copying DS2 I mean, sorry, I didn't really make that clear!

youarekidding Sat 13-Aug-11 12:50:10

Firstly you sound very caring and with the love you obviously have as a family will get you through this.

YANBU to say the crying is getting on your nerves - your human after all!

I do wonder whether your ASD DS cries a lot out of frustration? When he does this I guess you have to try and find out what is wrong? Is your DS1 immitating this?

Children are very good at seeing how others get what they want and trying it themselves.

I would let your DS do some things with you - corner shop for example and involve him in it, choosing, paying, carrying etc to give him confidence and be firm with the toilet/ bath being something you do alone. He may accept a compromise.

youarekidding Sat 13-Aug-11 12:51:00

sorry x posts!!

extremepie Sat 13-Aug-11 13:04:48

I think that is exactly why DS2 cries so much, he is non-verbal so is like a baby in a lot of ways, especially the way he communicates.

youarekidding Sat 13-Aug-11 13:19:33

Have you explained and had support to explain what Autism is to DS1? I wonder if there are any books in the library - you know the story type ones - which will help.

I expect if you involved DS1 in the shopping, helping you and praised him for being so grown up, helping without crying he would want to do more for the praise. Would saying your going to the loo, and as he's such a good boy you know he can play nicely whilst your there? Maybe he could go and get a game for you to do together whilst your peeing to distract him and then get your attention after for letting you go alone?

I work with Autistic children and whilst don't have any idea of how hard it is as a family to get a diagnosis I can imagine the rug has been pulled from under you? I expect you and DH are finding it hard and your DS1 is picking up on this.

Mainly I would say try and get some activity you can do with DS1 alopne once a week and something he can do with DH alone once a week. (out of the house). Then a family activity where you can all join in and praise DS1 for being so good.

youarekidding Sat 13-Aug-11 13:22:17

Sorry not much mention of DS2 there, I was thinking pbviously that whilst DS1 get 1:1 time DS2 gets it with the other parent and a family day out where both DS' have fun will help with their relationship.

Mainly though these things take time, don't be hard on yourself whilst your trying to extablish what works for you.

skybluepearl Sat 13-Aug-11 16:13:13

i think you should do the opposite and encourage him to feel more confident by taking him everywhere with you. Give him lots more attention and keep him close. After a while he will feel better about tings

legobuilder Sat 13-Aug-11 20:46:00

sounds exhausting - crying kids from dawn til dusk, and interuppted nights, are horrid. it makes it hard to think clearly, and to enjoy family life!
some suggestions from me would be that it may be worth using some strategies for kids with ASD for DS1 - he's only 4 after all, so a visual timetable which he can check for his own comfort, showing "mummy time" "family time" "nursery time" tv, visitors etc etc. may help him to gain more independence. also always answer "but mummy i want you" with "and i want you too darling and after i've done xyz i will have you all to myself! i can't wait" - then big hug and kiss and go. try to associate your exit with his fave thing e.g. tv goes on when mum leaves, chocolate button if you don't cry and wave mum off nicely etc etc. also give DS1 some control over family life - ask him what route he wants to take to the shop, let him choose his clothes, let him choose what's for dinner etc. giving him control in daily life will also build his security. good luck - hope you're getting support with DS2 - have you looked at using PECS and ABA or TEACCH strategies? I know he's v young, but some of these methods can really help.

LiegeAndLief Sat 13-Aug-11 21:01:54

That sounds absolutely exhausting. It also sounds a lot like what my ds started to do when dd (younger dc) got to about a year or so old and began to establish herself as a real person in his life, especially the screaming/crying. He was pretty much the same age as your ds1 as well. I think he (and possibly your ds) was feeling very insecure and jealous and was still too young to really comprehend the difference in the way I treated him and his one year old sister.

I did a lot of praise for the good things (mainly related to being "grown-up" and "helping") and tried to ignore the bad. Specifically I pretended I couldn't understand him when he was crying, so unless I really couldn't get away with pretending I didn't know what was wrong he began to stop crying to tell me, which gave me a chance to distract him / make him laugh before he started up again. We bumbled through it in the end although we are one year on and he is still more screamy than before she was born.

Ds also responds very well to sticker charts with a small prize (usually a kinder egg) when he gets so many stickers - any chance you could incorporate that into a strategy for dealing with it? We had terrible meltdowns at specific points in the day eg getting dressed, teeth brushing so I tailored a chart around that.

extremepie Sun 14-Aug-11 01:19:12

Thank you so much for all your advice, some really good ideas on here that I will definately try!

I feel so bad for DS1 sometimes as it's not his fault that his brother needs 'special attention' but sometimes he ends up missing out or being impacted in a negative way because of it.

It can be very exhausting but today has been a particularly bad day so thanks for being so supportive smile

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