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WIBU to keep removing privileges from DS?

(87 Posts)
LookAtMyRingsMyRingsMyRings Thu 02-Nov-17 10:44:01

DS1 is 8 and over the last year we have seen a big increase in him struggling with frustration/anger at home. He seems to overreact to so many small things and it's getting out of hand. we have 3 other DC aged 5, 5 and 2.

The bulk of the issues are between DS1 and DD1, constant niggling and winding each other up which has now progressed to him reacting to everything she does as if she's deliberately trying to wind him (maybe she is, its hard to tell). He growls/screams at her and can get violent (low level, kicking/hitting out once rather than full on beating up).

He really struggles with doing as he's asked first time and then he growls/screams/stamps his feet at me when i take away privileges when he hasn't done as he's been asked.

Example: Yesterday at 4.30pm i asked all DC to tidy their playroom. Spilt the room into thirds so they all had their own bit to sort (to save arguing). Half an hour later DS2 had finished but DS1 and DD1 were mucking about. So i told them both they had lost their 'daily challenge' (for good behaviour, reward chart thing). DS1 growls, stamps and shouts 'it's not fair'. i calmly reiterate he needs to tidy up and if it is not done in the next half an hour he will lose his game time before bed. it isnt done, so i tell him he's lost the game time. more growling and screaming at my face. I naughty step him for screaming at me and then send him back to tidy, warning him that he will also lose his reading time for any more bad behaviour. i go back in, room still not tidy so i tell him he;s lost his reading time and he loses it in epic style.

Once he had calmed down and the others were in bed i had a long chat with him (again) explaining that he couldnt behave this way and that my job was to teach him how to behave properly and as he didnt do as i asked, i had to take away something he enjoyed. Tried explain that the reason he lost his game time and reading was because of his behaviour but he wouldnt accept it, just kept telling me it was 'not fair'. I gave up, put him to bed and told him i loved him.

So what am i doing wrong? how else do i get him to understand that he has to do the jobs i ask him to do and that shouting/screaming at me is not acceptable behaviour?

the rest of the time he is wonderful, very clever (genuinely) and good fun. he gets one on one time with me and DH every night when the younger ones are in bed, he is excelling at school and they have no issues.

i'm at a loss of how else to handle this.

So WIBU to keep removing more privileges? What should I do instead?

Ttbb Thu 02-Nov-17 10:47:11

Tell him that it is in his control not yours, that's probably what he finds unfair? If he does what he needs to you'll leave him alone. If he doesn't and gets punished for it then it's his fault.

LookAtMyRingsMyRingsMyRings Thu 02-Nov-17 10:55:44

i tell him that but he seems not to 'get it'. sad

Ttbb Thu 02-Nov-17 11:02:57

Um, could you use an analogy? Like how criminals get sent to jail if they commit a crime but it's their choice whether they commit the crime or not so it's not unfair to send them for jail when they did sonething that they knew would result them going to jail?

Ttbb Thu 02-Nov-17 11:03:25

At any rate just keep it, YANBU at all to expect him to behave properly and hold him to it.

TieGrr Thu 02-Nov-17 11:07:56

So, not counting the naughty step, he lost three different privileges for not tidying? That seems excessive, tbh, and it doesn't seem like removing privileges is working with him.

You need to work out why he's struggling to do as he's asked.

If you can, maybe check out 'The Explosive Child'.

LookAtMyRingsMyRingsMyRings Thu 02-Nov-17 11:19:29

tie that's what i thought, but i couldnt see a way of getting him to comply otherwise, i set a time that the task had to be complete and he didnt make it, so had to lose the privilege. what should i have done after the first 'consequence'? I agree in hindsight he lost an awful lot for 'one' task not being done but he was given warning it would happen.

ttbb will try the analogy idea to see if it helps him understand.

DeadMorose Thu 02-Nov-17 11:48:46

You punished him 3 times for the same thing? YABU

LookAtMyRingsMyRingsMyRings Thu 02-Nov-17 11:52:04

sort of dead - he was told to do it by X time. he didnt so he lost game time. this then got repeated as he didnt do it by the next alloted time. How else should i have proceeded? I genuinely want to know - what would you have done when he hadnt done it the first time. the job still needed to be completed - how do i get him to do it?

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 02-Nov-17 11:57:01

One punishment, not 3. It’s draconian and more likely to make him escalate the violence as he vents his frustration.

He lost his daily challenge and that should have been an end to it. He had a clear choice and he knew the consequence. But you really wanted him to tidy up. So you upped the anti. And he lost another privilege. Then he got (very understandably) upset because you’re not letting him respect his decision and take his punishment on the chin. So you punish him for getting upset.

Jellycatspyjamas Thu 02-Nov-17 11:57:12

At the point where he had lost one privilege I'd have worked alongside home - by which I mean been in the room, keeping him on task, pointing out what needed done and praising the work he was doing. It feels like hard work but you probably spent more time dealing with the aftermath of the three punishments than it would have taken to be with him while he did his job.

Different kids need different things and respond differently to punishment and sanctions. If removing privileges didn't work first time round, keeling removing things isn't likely to work either. He may be going through/aboutvgo go through a growth or developmental change and just need a bit more support.

onlyonaTuesday Thu 02-Nov-17 11:57:35

What about reversing it?
So instead of losing something if something is not done. They are rewarded when something is.
It’s up to him them if he wants a reward or not.

Fruitcorner123 Thu 02-Nov-17 11:58:07

You sound like you are describing my DD. She is younger (4) but we have tried and tried with removing the things she loves like her favourite tv program, bedtime stories , playing out on her bike. The thing is because these are not necessarily in that instant I don't think it works that well because by the time it comes to bedtime storiwles(or whatever) she is saying exactly what your DS says, its not fair, and she doesnt really remember what she did. I have no solution I just sympathise.

Trailedanderror Thu 02-Nov-17 12:01:01

I avoided all this shit by tidying after them myself. Result is rather messy grown ups who can organise themselves in other ways, doing well and happy. I just CBA to make them do things I could do. So self care, homework, being nice people, I was on their case, the rest Meh.

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 02-Nov-17 12:01:17

At 4 positive praise is best. Sticker charts. With dd, when she was a little older, it was always immediate stuff confiscated. Her new shoes or her new favourite toy (not bedtime/sleep toy). We also continued with the sticker charts.

BabyOrSanta Thu 02-Nov-17 12:06:13

Is there a reason he needed to do it in that exact time slot?
Once he'd lost his daily challenge, he had no reason to do it really.
Taking more things away for the same thing is slightly draconian as PP said.
Have you tried letting him do it in his own time with the natural consequence of losing time with you later? So he can only sit and watch tv/read/whatever with mummy and daddy once the task is complete? If he doesn't finish it, he has to keep doing it until he's done.

Just an idea and I completely feel for you flowers

username7979 Thu 02-Nov-17 12:08:17

Hand in hand parenting has some great resources and great post on Facebook. You can read this one:

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 02-Nov-17 12:09:46

Any violence or kicking should be treated strongly though and is far worse than not tidying up the playroom. Especially as he is the biggest and eldest.

Do you ever spend any 1-2-1 time with your children?

NOMOREoatcakesandcheese Thu 02-Nov-17 12:12:38

I’ve run anger manage groups with kids. There’s a phrase called “catch them being good’ ie every time he does the right thing you praise him and you could put a token in a jar or a tick on a chart and when he gets to a certain number he gets a small reward that you’ve decided on in discussion with him eg a toy,, extra time with you, or an extra 10 mind on a game etc. Don’t go too big, keep it small and what he wants.
You decide what you’re looking for Ian’s you could change it every week It could be talking nicely to his sister, not losing his temper. You might have to teach him what behaviours you want - act them out with him.

BabyOrSanta Thu 02-Nov-17 12:13:13

I was just giving an idea on this on incident.

For me, physical stuff would be dealt with differently as that is really not on.

(Sorry if that wasn't aimed at me!)

LookAtMyRingsMyRingsMyRings Thu 02-Nov-17 12:13:58

thanks for the replies.

I d agree with hindsight clearly punishment on top of punishment was wrong and i will admit my own frustration played a part. i guess a bit of 'i want you to feel as annoyed as i do at you right now' - i didnt realise at the time that was how i felt but looking back i think i did.

I have 4 DC, i cant always be there to supervise tidying up as it is usually done while i'm making dinner.

He has the 'daily challenge' specifically to try and target him not doing as he's told when asked. he also has a sticker chart for other good behaviours.

fruit i can relate, he kicked off again when we got to bedtime and i told him he had no reading time, it was too far removed from the incident and he found it 'unfair'.

I guess technically there was no reason it had to be done right then, except that i had asked him to do it and he needs to do as he's told. maybe i need to adjust my expectations on that for a while. so perhaps i should say 'you have to tidy your section and we cant have game time/reading time until it is finished.' rather than trying to make him do it right then on a shorter timescale.

trailed not an option, they need to learn to tidy up after themselves in my opinion. my DM tidied up after me and my siblings and we are all messy now, its a real effort for me to keep on top of housework and i dont want that for them.

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 02-Nov-17 12:15:58

Yes, your comment really confused me. I have no idea how you thought I was aiming something at you. But anyway. No harm done.

LookAtMyRingsMyRingsMyRings Thu 02-Nov-17 12:16:59

mummy he is sent to the naughty step for any violence or screaming in someone's face aas i completely agree it is beyond unacceptable.

DS1 gets half an hour/45 minutes of time with just DH and me every night after the younger ones are in bed. we play board games or read, watch films together on the weekend nights.

we do also split at least every other weekend so one of me or DH will take one of the DC for 'solo time' while the other parent has the other 3. we do try and make 1 on 1 a priority.

Mummyoflittledragon Thu 02-Nov-17 12:18:23

“He needs to do as he’s told”. He’s clearly trying to tell you something and you’re not listening. Ordering him around and expecting him to act in a certain way isn’t helping. Moreover, why would you expect him to just keep going if you’ve already taken his daily challenge away? You’re not getting it.

Bobbybobbins Thu 02-Nov-17 12:19:13

I think your comment above is spot on 'we can't have reading time etc til the tidying is done'. Then he will get a motivation and an immediate reward. You are then reversing the situation to a positive one.

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