Does anyone else feel like a rubbish parent?(6 Posts)
Okay it's going to be a long one.
My DS (almost 6yrs old) has behavioural issues (he has an EHCP at school, 1-2-1 support etc) and recently has come on leaps and bounds with his actual behaviour. However, we are at present feeling like the worst parents in the world due to his constant attitude. He laughs in our faces when being disciplined, seems completely unable to follow basic instructions (only at home) etc. We take toys away, take away days out, TV time, use reward charts, naughty step etc and NOTHING is working to take away his horrible cocky attitude. He also tells the school lies, saying we've hit him when we inflict a particularly severe punishment, I.e. we took away ALL of his toys once.
Literally at my wits end and don't know what to do any advice?
I'm not in your shoes but I've found books on gentle parenting/discipline really helpful with my toddler. Explains why punishment, reward charts etc doesn't really work as a form of discipline. Sarah Ockwell-Smith's gentle discipline book has just come out I think (or is just about to).
I would try going the complete opposite. No punishment at all. Just ignore the bad and overly praise any good. I think it's called love bombing.
Have you heard of Time In rather than time out? Essentially when the child misbehaves you say that they need to stay near you for a while until they are able to be calm or behave nicely again. Then Bring them with you whilst you do something pretty dull and keep interaction to a minimum ( not ignoring but not rewarding with lots of attention).
It sounds very stressful but if punishments don't work there's really little point in repeating the strategy. Have you read The Explosive Child?
I'm assuming you are receiving some professional help but if not please do ask for a specialist referral because this is not normal behaviour. There are various diagnoses around the asd spectrum where following instructions and cooperating are key issues.
You are certainly not a rubbish parent and I'm sure nobody thinks that at all. You are dealing daily with big challenges and sometimes can only do your best. If you are not claiming DLA can I encourage you to apply since you don't need a diagnosis. Get help filling in the forms and if successful consider buying some respite care. Also find local support groups to find others who 'get it'.
I think if you are using lots of 'sticks' you also need carrots aplenty.
Do you set up time where you do things you all enjoy ( not wildly exciting, expensive days out but a cuddle and story type thing or shared cooking - get him to make pancakes etc)?
Do you 'catch him being good and describe what is pleasing about his behaviour specifically? Not 'good boy ' but 'I'm really pleased that you helped me put the laundry away' or 'thank you for listening so well'.
Are you and your husband/partner working in partnership agreeing acceptable behaviours and limits?
I think it's easy to get in a negative cycle and that can only end badly. He is only six. Does he do beavers or other structured social activities?
Thanks for all the responses. Me and OH aren't really on the same page re discipline. He's of the old school where no good behaviour=no privileges/rewards. I (being the mom) am much softer and constantly worry that I'm a horrible nasty bitch for telling him off/taking stuff away all the time. It causes a hell of a lot of arguments, mainly due to the fact that the amazing progress with his behaviour has been due to this strict punishment regime. I don't even know what I'm asking, just kind of after reassurance that I'm not the Bitch Mother I imagine I am. He is in other ways a very well adjusted, polite, happy little boy but his attitude would put most teenagers to shame
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