to not really like my ds?(31 Posts)
This will probably be long so near with me.
My nearly 8 year old has been driving me mad for over a year now. He argues with absolutely EVERYTHING I or my OH say. Example yesterday we went to pick him up from school. He started arguing about some homework. Was asked several times to stop arguing , told the conversation was over. He continued. We issued a punishment (not allowed to play with a certain new toy). He continued arguing, saying the punishment wasn't fair, we are horrible because we want to make him unhappy, we want his life to be unfair, etc etc. This continued all of the half hour walk home. He does this pretty much every day. He consistently does things he knows he isn't supposed to do (winding up his baby brother, running in the kitchen etc) then argues when he is told off or punished. He is ungrateful. We spent the whole half term doing fun things with him and.didnt get one.thank you, just whinges that we.didnt buy him expensive.things. He is exhausting to be around and I feel like the worst parent in the.world because he is very polite and well behaved at school, and my Mum is always saying he's an.angel, he's so good etc etc because she doesn't see him argue with us. She thinks we are too harsh on him ND whenever I tell him sharply (for about the third time that day) to stop getting in the baby's face (he wears glasses, I don't want either child hurt by them.or the.glasses broken) she will call him over for a cuddle and tell him he's a lovely boy. He's picking up on that so now feels that we are.genuinely unfair to.him.
I am at my.wits end.
Apologies for all mistakes I am typing on my phone with cold hands!
When you say 'getting in the babies face' what do you mean? Because it sounds like you are penalising him because he needs to wear glasses...
What was the homework row about?
Was he argumentative before the baby arrived?
I mean literally putting his face a cm from the baby's and shouting at him, which,makes the baby upset or over excited.
It sounds as if he's jealous of his younger sibling.
Alternatively he sounds a bit like my youngest DS. He is on the autistic spectrum and will argue black is white and then if we agree will argue about the exact shade of black!
Have you tried asking him why he acts like that?
Please read 123 Magic. Reading that book has virtually stopped whining and arguing in our house. It also provides a way for me to not get wound up.
Do you ever praise him as it sounds like you are too quick to punish him?
Could you just stop answering him when he is arguing. He can't argue if he has no one to argue with...I look after a 3 yo who will argue when she gets tired. She's quickly realising that when I stop talking and replying the argument is over. I understand there is a big difference between 8 and 3 though!
Homework row was a long story, but he basically feels because,he's clever he shouldn't,have to do it so treats it as an optional thing, we found some that should have been handed in before half term.in the bottom of his bag and asked him to take it in. When we asked if he had he said no there was no point because it wouldn't get marked. He was difficult pre baby but not as bad. But we have been so careful to treat them the same, reassure ds1 that just because ds2 is here doesn't mean we love him less, let him vent any frustrations he has.
What has wearing glasses got to do with shouting at a baby?
YANBU to be struggling with his behaviour, but you need to try to stand back and be objective about whether what you are expecting from him is fair.
For example, the glasses thing seems to be a red herring, it would be much clearer to tell him you don't shout in someone's face full stop, baby or grown up.
Take him on outing that you want to go on. Don't expect gratitude from an 8 year old. Unless of course it is somewhere he has been wanting to go himself for ages, in which case if he moans, he doesn't get the next planned trip.
If he wants expensive things, does he have the ability to earn money to save up for them himself?
Is he jealous of the baby? If so , can you make some special time with just him, not the baby? And maybe give him some responsibilities towards the baby so he fells involved?
Just some ideas off the top of my head, I am in no way an expert! Keep telling us what the problems are and we can help...
Sounds like mine (5)
He can be the lovliest boy, but its rare.
He needs lots of sleep -that definately helps. He was in a foul mood when we went to legoland the other week and its because he didnt get enough rest.
He needs to earn money - he is very very whingey and expects new toys constantly. This is a lot to do with DH spoiling him which REALLY annoys me, however we have discovered that he really enjoys doing tasks that earn him money.
We praise him LOTS when he does do something nice wrt his little brother.
We cuddle him lots to which he finally is responding. He now asks for them at bedtime. He has never been a cuddly child and would push us away even when tiny. DS2 is the opposite. DS1 was hard-hit when DS2 arrived and whilst its taken 3 years, we have discovered that DS1 is a bit happier when he gets the cuddles whenever (took us a long time to convince him) I think it lets a bit of his tension and frustration out.
We also try to make time for him on his own both with me and DH and take DS2 out to give DS1 some toddler free time at the weekend so he can relax with his lego or whatever.
Dunno if any of that helps, but I do feel your pain!
Re the homework - I would have said that he hands it in. He has no choice, or he is docked pocket money or some other perk. Whether it is marked by the teacher is a separate issue, and I would be clear with him that if he has problems with the teaching then he needs to sit down and talk to me about it, and together we can decide if I need to go in and talk to the teacher.
I think your DS needs some 121 time. I also think this is common at this age
Learning from bitter experience as my DD is very argumentative and is a similar age. The only thing that works is diffusing the argument - as you're doing - but then also trying as much as possible to spend quality time together.
By that I mean time together with no rushing anywhere, no pressure to achieve anything - just time spent in each other's company.
Use that time to and remind him (and you) just how much you care about each other, remind yourself of what is wonderful about him.
For me that helps me out of the endless cycle of behaviour > punishment > behaviour > punishment etc etc.
He's only 7. Check his bag.
You do sound like you just don't like him much. what you've described is very normal behaviour.
I would presume the glasses thing is relevant so baby dosnt hit out at them and break them or hurt either of them. (has a 6 year old with glasses and personal space issues and a grabby 1 year old)
Sounds like your mother is the problem - she is undermining you in front of him, which is just downright confusing to a child.
Firstly, as other posters have said "You are not alone", many of us will have faced similar situations. My own DS1 was extremely jealous when I got married and had other children. He was 3 when I got married, 5 when i had my next child. Until he was 13 he would say things like "I wish it was just you and me again". Jealousy can be a huge deal at any age and having had your undivided attention for 7 years he will feel pushed out no matter how hard you try to make him feel otherwise. I found that being the strict parent had very little effect on my DS1. I don't know you or your son but maybe doing something special with him may help a littl ebit. All you can do is keep reaffirming how much you love him (loving isn't liking) and showing it through spending time with him. However this does not mean that you should let him get away with not doing homework etc. He needs consistency and praise for when he is behaving well (I learnt that with my DS2 ), not over the top, but just a thank you for when he fetches something for the baby, th eoccassional "you are a great big brother", "your baby brother will be so lucky having you to look after them/ look up to/ to show them how to...." etc. Just be reassured that other people have been there and got through it (and so have their children!)
Back on the glasses again - I can see the potential damage, but the risks are minimal. How many mothers wear glasses (myself included)? Yes the baby can grab them, but they are rarely damaged and even more rarely the glass broken so they are dangerous.
I would be much more concerned about the older child shouting 1cm from the baby's face. That is, in my book, absolutely unacceptable behaviour and shows a total lack of respect of boundaries.
And it sounds to me that you have got into a cycle with him that you need to break. And it is becoming too easy to see the naughty behaviour over the good behaviour.
Or you're stuck in the thinking that everything he is doing is with the intention of being naughty.
So you're both losing trust in each other and yes, you're risking being too hard on him. Don't forget he is only 7 and is still really quite a small child.
I know this is easier said that done. I certainly struggle with it. But trying to remember this helps me to be a bit kinder in my thinking and actions.
That's not to say that we don't have no boundaries or there is no discipline. We do. But I have found more success in this method than in constantly arguing.
Maybe your mum is undermining or maybe she sees that kindness and patience will work better in the long run.
"That's not to say that we don't have any boundaries"
Sounds like jealousy to me. He argues with you to get your attention, he continues to argue after you have asked him to stop as he is continuing to get your attention. IMO he needs more time with you both doing something that he likes, no baby around to distract. Maybe he can also sense that you don't like him, that can't be easy to deal with at his age.
Thanks for all.the replies. I do love him very much, which is partly why this is so hard, he used to be so lovely. And he still has his moments now, he genuinely loves his little brother (thank you to whoever clarified that baby grabs the glasses, probably should have said that) and can.be incredibly sweet and caring and fun, it's just those moments are few and far between. Im trying really really hard to pick my battles so I don't spend my whole life telling him off but when an argument (and the resulting sulk) can go on for.hours about ONE thing it's quite difficult! My Mum always says she was too soft on me and my siblings when we were children and it seems to be happening here. I have spoken to her about it but I guess I need to again. I know she means well and isn't intentionally trying to undermine me, she just sees me tell him in not the most patient tone of voice not to.do something (because I will have already told.him 5 more times already) and thinks I am being harsh and he will get upset. He plays on that too.
I will try to do more things for just us, it's hard finding something that holds.his attention other than computer games though...*sigh*. We do limit them and usually if he is going.to lose privileges that's what he loses.
He's just so constantly excitable, he seems to need.constant attention and stimulation and he can go absolutely hyper and find himself unable to calm down. I have stopped telling him not to run around, jump on the spot etc because I genuinely don't think.he CAN stop. He is on the go from the.time he gets up till bedtime, unless he is on a computer when he retreat T's into.gif own little world.
Does anyone have any advice on politeness? When we visit my pils he often complains of.being bored, or argues with my nephew if he is also there (He's only 3 so they can't really find a shared interest). It's embarrassing and I ask him not to do it but he still does. I know if I took his nintendo along he would.be fine buying can't help thinking that's incredibly rude. MIL has one that she allows nephew to play with but it's not quite the same...
If he's always on the go take him to the park while someone else has the baby for an hour. Your mum might well do so on the grounds that you are "being noce to him". I'd also try to limit time on computer games full stop. Set a timer for an hour or whatever you think it acceptable. If he is bored at PIL's then have you tried board games. They seem to have gone out of fashion in favour of computer games, but actually if you sit down and get one out many kids love them and interact really well over them. Buy a "special" game to take with you (charity shops always have loads), there's nothing worse than trying to keep childen entertained while visiting relatives - trust me, I know!
op, just saw your post, have to go out soon and couldn't read and run (sorry haven't read all the thread)
This is so like my ds aged 9 and last week talking to some other mums of ds of same age (all at different schools) they were all complaining that their ds were the same. it made me feel so much better that others were struggling too. It isn't a recent thing with our ds, he has phases when it is better/worse.
Apparently they have a testoterone surge at this age and that causes a lot of anger. if they are bright and generally goodish at school, then they have to express that emotion somewhere and mum and dad take a battering.
A few tricks I have learnt (not that thye all work all of the time, but each one helps a bit)
Hunger and tiredness are a killer. Snacks are especially your friend. Some days ds comes home like a huge thunder cloud, as her eats the black cloud lifts
Put in place some house rules about whatever the key issues are. We have whole weekends ruined by the homework battle. So we have stopped. The new rule is, after breakfast on sat go to your room with homework. You can do it straight away or play with lego all day and then do it at 6pm, but you may not play downstairs/go visit friends til it is done. At 5pm (usual tv time) you may not go on tv computer til it is done. We will not argue with you about it, that is the rule, you choose how and when (if he needs help he is allowed to come and do it with me, but he has to ask)
When you have a house rule, then there is no debate (well, he thinks there is but there isn't) you shrug shoulders and say sorry it is the rule, and then ignore all that follows. If he is clever as you say, he very quickly realises that he has been outsmarted and it is down to him.
We have house rules over homework, swearing, hitting /hurting dds, smashing door/furniture. (eg swearing is immediate go to your room, and we will call him when he can come out reason- rest of family should not have to hear that language, so he is removed from rest of family)
Anger - we noticed that at times when he is angry, he is no longer able to make a decision, so if he is really wound up after school and you put in a sanction and he doesn't care, he may be beyond decision making (there is a biological change that happens when you are angry, the decision making part of the brain floods with a chemical and they become beyond choice) So when we see this happen, we take a deep breath and calmly (!) say go to your room, you are angry and you need to calm down. i will not discuss this until you are calm again. it can take an hour to clear the brain. Then when he calms down we take his concern seriously and talk about them, but mostly by then he says 'I was out of order and I amd sorry' at which point we have a big hug. There may be one consequence for his behaviour, but if we hadn't sent him up then there would have been a long string of consequences. This has really calmed everything down, and he understands it too.
But on the other side we have introduced Friday night time. The little ones go to bed and we have an hour which is his itme, he can choose. We have watched doctor who together (can't watch on sat eve as dds too young) and played a game. Mostly it is just the fact that he is allowed to be up and we are giving him this time which has made a difference. He also complained that because he reads to himself in bed, he wasn't getting a bedtime story, and he said he missed his 15 minutes of time. So now instead of bedtime story we have a short game/ cuddle and chat.
I have also consciously remembered to copliment him, tell him I love him, catch him out being kind/helpful/good and thanked him. Recognise hw is older and give him respnsibility. Ds is allowed to local shop and and library (veyr close) to his friend's house on his own. Let him know he can do it because you trust him.
and acknowledge that baby is a pain, annoying and not necessarily someone he loves, but as you all live in the house he has to respect baby's right to be in house too, so no shouting etc
sorry very long, hope something in there helps
Steppemum that is really helpful. A lot of things you said really rang true with me. Now that Ds2 finally goes to sleep in his own bed without me, Friday night ds1 time I think would work really well. Unfortunately we don't have anyone to look after Ds2 really, pils live too far away (and probably wouldn't anyway but that's another thread lol) and my parents work full time, my dad does most weekends and my Mum looks after her dad and does all the stuff that she's been to busy for in the week so I don't like to ask.And I will try harder to tell him I love and appreciate him.
I would love to take board games to pils as he really enjoys them but it wouldn't work, we basically go and sit there for a couple of hours while they watch Telly, then go home again. Then they complain about not seeing us more often..
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