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to think DS needs more attention not less.

(8 Posts)
hiddengems Tue 07-Jun-16 13:47:57

My DS1 is 10. He's lovely but can be very difficult at times.

I would say DH is the same.

Recently DS's behaviour has got significantly worse. Throwing things, ripping things, slamming doors etc.

We've tried to give him firm boundaries and consequences to his behaviour - replacing things that he has broken, losing his bike for a few days.

However DH and I can't agree on the cause. Some is hormonal obviously, and some is general testing boundaries. However DS says over and over again that we don't love him, prefer his sibling etc.

I kind of see what he means.

DH can be very preoccupied with his hobby, and although he tries to involve DS1 it's very much on his terms. He's also quite a negative person, easily stressed, and can be very critical of everyone and everything. Sometimes he behaves as if we are all an inconvenience, getting in the way of what he wants to do.

I know he doesn't feel like this, but when he's tired and stressed, that's how it comes across. I think DS1 is very sensitive to it and it is having an effect on him.

They are like two deer butting against each other constantly.

DH thinks nothing of the sort and that it's attention seeking behaviour that we shouldn't pander to. He says I am making things worse by trying to talk to DS about why he feels the way he does.

I feel that no matter what I do, it's DH that DS needs and wants and I'm just banging my head against a brick wall.

Voteforpedr0 Tue 07-Jun-16 13:52:04

You're absolutely doing the right thing by asking your ds to talk about the way he feels and why, try and see if your ds would explain to his dad the way he is feeling and you (when ds not around) have a chat about his negativity and the effects it's having on family life. Could ds join in with your dh hobby ?

hiddengems Tue 07-Jun-16 13:57:27

He does join in with his hobby - but I don't think DS feels as important to DH as his hobby (and neither do I!)

I try to talk to DH but he gets defensive and thinks I'm overreacting/making the problem worse. I maybe need to approach it in a different way.

VenusRising Tue 07-Jun-16 14:02:44

Hiddengems, please ignore your DH and cuddle your DS.

Spend time with your kids, and include him and your other ds in what you're doing. Lavish praise on them and especially ds1 for doing anything well.
Do you do a sport together? Can you and your DS1 walk / go for a run every evening? Give him some time with you in his own. He sounds stressed and it would be good for him and you have some time together.

Children need praise and attention. It's parents job to give it them, not just feeding and lectures on behaviour.

I'm sorry to say it but your DH sounds a bit jealous and like he's checked out long ago from family life.

It's up to you to be their father and mother at the moment.

Also I think you and your DH need marriage counselling. Make an appointment and tell your DH how you feel about him doing his hobby to the exclusion of everyone and everything else, and how his being angry and resentful is impacting you, your sons and your family life.

Imagine your perfect family life. Have a plan in place for what you'd like him to do, if he throws up his hands and asks "what can I do about it?"

Good luck.

hiddengems Tue 07-Jun-16 14:34:39

Thanks Venus, that's actually really helpful advice.

DH is often asking me what I want and I give very vague answers. I need to be more specific.

I don't think DH has checked out of family life - he's just quite self centred and wants his own way. I've always been quite accommodating and bumbled along but DS1 is not. They can't both have their own way all the time.

It's more like trying to manage 3 children not 2!

hiddengems Tue 07-Jun-16 16:32:32

I'm going to try to talk to DH again when we're all a bit calmer

PerspicaciaTick Tue 07-Jun-16 16:40:14

Yes, it is attention seeking behaviour and yes, you need to give him more attention but attention, kind comments and compliments when he behaves well. Ignore the bad behaviour as far as possible, don't allow yourself to get drawn into big emotional scenes (walk away, or count to 10 or whatever). Then, when you catch even the tiniest flicker of OK/good behaviour be sure to let him know that you noticed and appreciated it. Bedtime hugs and cuddles, quiet reading together, try and get as inventive as you were when he was a toddler. But if he abuses the situation, withdraw until he rethinks and then hug and make up.
He is still lovely, but very young and needs your help to believe in himself.

hiddengems Wed 08-Jun-16 18:36:27


We'll give that a try. DH is making a big effort with him and I'm trying to not rise to the stroppiness .

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