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grumpy 11 year old son with n.v.l.d and sp learning difficulties ruling the roost

(54 Posts)
Beeksy Thu 26-Dec-13 21:59:41

Every day my son says mean things to me and my 10 year old son and it's pulling us all down. 11 year old is clearly fed up with being small with nuts and having a single mum set the rules so he sabotages whatever he can and so this xmas, when I dropped them off to their dad's I could not wait to drive away. Never in my life did I think I would so want to geddaway like that. I have been in bed ever since, recovering - deep exhaustion. Sure, he can't help it. So me and 10 year old are as nice as we can be. 11 year old hogs all the air time stonks off in a huff when he can't think of something rotten to say, imitates us, makes us late for everything. He says his dad is perfect and would like to live with him but step mother does not want that. I just feel like the mean bad parent even though I am doing all I can to make his life as nice as poss, just took him skiing before xmas even though it hurt my knees and wiped me out. Nothing is ever good enough. So now, I just send him to his room for an hour if he tries to wreck meal times e.g. The put-downs to his younger bro are the biggest worry because, here, there's a job vacancy for an alpha male and 11 yr old keeps trying to fill it and 10 yr old looks up to him. My youngest is being given a course in how to become a masochist from all directions. Help? Do I get a mannie? Something to dilute the ghastly triangular theme of hell here? Luckily, my youngest has taken up fitness fanaticism. Oldest's response has instantly been to grow a spare tyre - so that's been the only amusing aspect to it all.

PresidentServalan Thu 26-Dec-13 23:33:55

Oldest's response has instantly been to grow a spare tyre - so that's been the only amusing aspect to it all.

Really? shock

Beeksy Thu 26-Dec-13 23:37:27

I live deep in the country because I have no skin at all! You are staggeringly perceptive. However now is crunch time. I do have talks with him and he gets it; all is well for a few days. He behaves impeccably everywhere else and everyone comments on how beautifully behaved he is! It's such a contrast at home. I need to get this right because he will end up being nice to all and sundry but grotesque to his wife at home one day, if I don't teach him now, to respect women. I think both misogeny and masochism apply

PrincessTeacake Thu 26-Dec-13 23:40:55

MeMySonandI, I wasn't trying to suggest that, but I apologise if that's how it sounded. I do sign on to the 'it takes a village' philosophy, but the problem with au pairs is they come into a child's life and leave again within a relatively short period of time and if we're relying on that to form the cornerstone of how a child relates to the world then it's likely something will go wrong. The examples you've cited do sound a good bit more constant, especially the judo teacher who would provide key discipline.

Also, the essay writing was just something I thought up for the particular child I was looking after, and it worked for him. Every child is different and needs different systems.

Beeksy Thu 26-Dec-13 23:43:09

you know how with siblings one carves out a niche and then the others go to any extreme in their own choice of niche. It's always an extreme. So being one of six, we had a musical one, a mad one, a goodie-two-shoes, a booky one, a foodie/cook, a sporty one etc etc.... What amuses me is that as soon as my youngest took up fitness and running, oldest DS grew a spare tyre faster than you'd think possible. It began with saying his foot got twisted at sports day last summer. But this was just an excuse. When younger bro won a medal at tennis, older DS stonked off the court and hasn't picked up his bat since. It's just a phase and 'in relation' to his younger bro - he likes p.e. at sch.

PeriodFeatures Thu 26-Dec-13 23:43:16

I live deep in the country because I have no skin at all!

I found that I had no skin because I live in the countryside. Do your boys play out? In the countryside? Den building and all that stuff?

PeriodFeatures Thu 26-Dec-13 23:49:33

Beeksy, I have seen exactly this dynamic with siblings. In my work, years ago I was staggered by the role changes that happened after I undertook some confidence building work with one child. (play therapy) He absolutely flourished. Very quickly. Almost immediately his younger, confident and apparently stable brother became extremely clingy with mum, withdrew from peers etc. Whole family dynamic stuff. Fascinating.

Have you considered therapy? because you seem to be full of insight. I'm sure you would be fab to work with and therapist would love it! It might help you take a step back and a different view of your situation.

Beeksy Thu 26-Dec-13 23:52:32

am sure you are right - his dad would agree with you. But what do I do? The sch ask you to take DS to the ed psych they suggest. You go, it costs a bomb. Then you give the report back to the school where it apparently helps them to get an "independent educational plan" (IEP,&more bollocks) in place - which his dad thinks is an excuse not to teach. It's all positive discrimination too. I hate it all but what do I do? The sch then send it on, (without my knowledge even though it's supposed to be confidential) to Eton, Harrow and wherever else his Dad wanted him to go from Y9 and seeing as it was out of date, I needed to get another wretched one done. I agree with you. He's just my DS and when the ed psych orig said to me, "didn't you notice he was different?" I could not see in the least what she meant. If people were all the same.... how abnormal the world would be? Just because some people can categorise possible new things, does it mean they should 'label' them and stick them on our children? I don't think so. I think there is too much info out there and a lot of it is either balls or irrellevent

Beeksy Thu 26-Dec-13 23:53:54

when I can get them off their nintendos, sure but they are at a town sch so they want to do townie things so it's a battle. Luckily we have dogs - they wanted them - so that's good for all

Beeksy Thu 26-Dec-13 23:57:44

I am in psychoanalysis and training to be one. My own shrink gets annoyed if I pop my children on the couch for too long and it's the holidays at the moment. My parents are not around and my sibs are all scattered round the globe and right now, after a string of care-in-the-community invites by well-meaning neighbours, I am trying to come up with a plan of my own for my children. Anyone with an ounce of humility should have psychotherapy because insight naturally follows and it's only then that we can learn anything at all. thx for your post

Beeksy Fri 27-Dec-13 00:02:21

know what you mean. I am off the male-ego AT THE MOMENT because it is exhausting and I don't geddit, not needing praise/recognition/status like the male ego needs the whole time.... Am going to curl up with my whippets soon. They don't steal the duvet either

PeriodFeatures Fri 27-Dec-13 00:05:11

My own shrink gets annoyed if I pop my children on the couch for too long and it's the holidays at the moment

Not them, god no!

Get their friends round, send them out to play in the woods, build fires, have adventures. That's the only therapy most kids really need.

Beeksy Fri 27-Dec-13 00:06:49

thx for all these. I am so grateful. We have pets and he is brilliant with them - except when he gets too cross with one of the more spritely of the whippets. "anger management issues" they call it these days

Beeksy Fri 27-Dec-13 00:11:50

yes - "loose play" it's refered to at school, i.e. normal unstructured play which today, children do not get enough of. I have managed to not give him a mobile phone yet = because he'd miss out, eye contact etc... Being SUCH an older mum has some advantages. Chucking them outside is another great way to deal with things but because they are at school in the daylight hours and at Dad's every alt w/e, there's only every other w/e here - able to play outside. The thing about the country is that there is way too much mud and darkness. The neighbours are truly ancient and a field away. So we are all a bit isolated, except in the hols and the two w/ends a month I get with them here. That's why orig, I thought if I got an au pair.... but last time, they adopted me as their mum and I had another problem, so it's not something I want to do again without a lot of thought. Plus here, they would suffer from the isolation as much as we do

Beeksy Fri 27-Dec-13 00:42:10

seen the link - explaining the pop science pref for right v left brain link and agree it's all poorly understood and not backed up. They are guessing, - the scientist who 'discovered' n.v.l.d. in the early 1990s - that the left and right brains don't communicate that well due to "white matter" being either in the way or not enough - so clearly it's all balls. Nevertheless, it's discrete enough from autism or aspegers and different to semantic pragmatism and anything that helps us understand our children's learning patterns probably helps. I still think that even if you are more of a verbal learner than a visual one, in the end, teachers can't use different styles for a whole class so how is any info like this helpful? When my son is shown a graph he's thrown whereas when my other son is shown one, it helps. It means in effect that extra time is allowed in exams for less mainstream learning styles (ie non average)but none of these styles should be labelled disabilities, should they?! It's just more discrimination

MeMySonAndI Fri 27-Dec-13 00:54:49

Princess, did i suggested an au pair??? You need to be careful not to make assumptions in your mind an offering advice on those false assumptions.

forthview Fri 27-Dec-13 07:51:38

OP, I like you! I think you're probably doing just fine and I'm sure the three of you are rubbing along just fine. Expect plenty of battles but don't try and analyse it all too much. Relax and enjoy the craziness.

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Fri 27-Dec-13 08:05:56

I would also ask for advice on SN children board as you will mostly get advice on AIBU which ignores his SN or says it's bollocks, as someone did already.

On a quick read it seems to me you are pushing him quite hard with all the music practice and clubs and if school is a pushy one too it is going to overwhelm him somewhat if he had learning disabilities.

RedHelenB Fri 27-Dec-13 08:08:56

Am I the only one here who thinks you are REALLY unreasonable & should cut out the pschocobabble!!?? Honestly, he's an 11 year old boy who gets annoyed with his mum & younger brother - totally normal! Doesn't mean you have to like it or let bad behaviour go but stop with the alpha male crap! I'm a single parent, yes my eldest sometimes thinks & acts like she's the parent but i think that's par for the course. Ultimately she knows what i say goes. And she was pretty horrible ( not all the time & not to her youngest brother so much) from about 11 - 14!! Vut they're your kids, you love them & you get on with it. If he doesn't want the music then let him drop it

NearTheWindmill Fri 27-Dec-13 08:15:05

All sounds terribly confused. He needs to learn no more than two instruments and only if he really wants to and the practice isn't a big deal. Stop trying to force him to be what he probably can't.

Not at all sure about the learning difficulties at all - is he perhaps just a bit confused and needing attention? Younger brother needs some space and encouragement and needs to have his sporting abilities thoroughly encouraged.

Set some ground rules and stick to them. Sort yourself out and stop wallowing in the therapy - the answer is simple you make a list of what you need to achieve in any one day and you start getting on with it. Sort out why your marriage broke down if you have to and move on.

If he's going to be a full boarder from 13 then this is self limiting anyway and hopefully a good school and house master will sort him out - perhaps that's why his father wants him to go. Although to be fair, knowing how demanding and selective Eton is nowadays I think you are pushing it to expect him to get in.

MeMySonAndI Mon 30-Dec-13 20:15:27

" Being a single parent is always ill-fitting, whatever age you are, whether you are the parent or child - it's horrible, unnatural and always a challenge. And you are too busy or knackered to meet anyone"

It is challenging but it is not horrible or unnatural. Yes you are busy but you can still do plenty of things and have a good life if YOU organise YOURSELF"

Remember that old adage "if the mother is ok, the children will be fine" so, yes, if your child has not been diagnosed by a professional cut the psychobabble, sort yourself first and your children will be fine. Being a single mother is as good or as bad as being a married one as you make it.

If it helps, every time your son misbehaves or has unreasonable demands ask yourself the question, what would I do or say if I was still married? You will be surprised at how reasonable those answers are. Of course you can say that you would have asked your husband/partner to help you out, but being divorced I am somewhat convinced that your ex wouldn't have been much help anyway even when you were together.

WilsonFrickett Mon 30-Dec-13 20:32:20

Nope RedHelen I'm completely with you. Op IMHO you need to drop the psychobabble bullshit and parent your child. Your no doubt hugely expensive school is absolutely failing him too.

An educational Psychologist cannot diagnose any of the things you mention, btw. So ATM you have a child with identified issues, no clear diagnosis, no clear support and a mother who is having a lovely time with a lovely experimental approach to family dynamics and maybe even getting a lovely mannie in. I'm sorry you are a single parent, I know that is tough but you need to be the alpha male, you have to be the mannie, you have to get your arse of the metaphorical couch and parent your son.

AmberLeaf Mon 30-Dec-13 20:49:41

His dad does not want me to let his ed psych report get out into the public domain and so I dare not take it to the G.P. in case he gets 'branded' for life. In my view, you grow out of these things to a large extent by the time you are in your late teens at least if not before

If by 'branded' you mean an official diagnosis, then that will be a good thing as he will have a better chance of accessing support.

You don't grow out of learning difficulties.

This read as though private ed psych consultations are pushed by your sons private school to aid entrance exams for prestige public schools?

It is not uncommon for 11 yr olds to suddenly get a bit of a spare tyre, what often then happens is they grow a few inches and it evens out, two of my 3 sons had that happen. You seem to be saying that your son did it on purpose!

friday16 Mon 30-Dec-13 20:52:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

elastamum Mon 30-Dec-13 21:18:42

Honestly OP, your DS is 11. You dont need a mannie or male au pair (done that - they are mostly useless), but you do need to grow a backbone and start insisting that he treats you and your other son better.

I am also a LP to 2 young male teens and know from experience that you have to be very clear about what is or isnt OK in terms of behaviour. I joke that we dont have a democracy at home, but a (mostly) benign dictatorship run by me - but in reality I am only half joking. BUT my dc both know that they are expected to contribute some effort to the running of our household and poor manners or unreasonable behaviour are just not tolerated.

Stop trying to psychoanalyse your son and start insisting on some good old fashioned manners. You say he does respond and then slips back, so keep up at it. It takes at least 30 days to change a habit.

You need to build a healthy relationship with him before he goes off to boarding school, based on respecting you, otherwise he will come home in the holidays and expect to be waited on.

pixiepotter Mon 30-Dec-13 21:34:00

I don't think he is a happy boy.I think he is acting out because he is worried about all the pressures he is being put under.Common Entrance when he has learning difficulties.Being sent away to boarding school.
And if you are worried about the way he related to females , sending him to a boys boarding school really isn't going to help that!

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