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To let my child cry himself to sleep over his own bad behaviour?

(47 Posts)
theoldmanfromup Sun 13-Oct-19 21:27:17

DS is 12. He has a history of causing damage to property when he's in the middle of an angry meltdown (ADHD). I have just spotted a hole in his bathroom door, looks like he's kicked it in a temper. It's not been done today, but I noticed it for the first time tonight.

I asked him about it, he denied all knowledge. There is only me and him that live here, it wasn't me. So he is obviously lying.

He's now in his room crying himself to sleep. I'm furious with him and will be docking his pocket money to replace the door. In the meantime, AIBU to let him cry himself to sleep?! I'm actually just as cross about the lie as I am about the door.

Sidalee7 Sun 13-Oct-19 22:46:32

I wouldn’t leave him to cry himself to sleep, no.
He’s 12 and has ADHD.

100PercentThatBitch Sun 13-Oct-19 22:50:36

Is this a straw that broke the camels back for you OP?

Because otherwise it seems a bit cruel

If it's just you and him don't go to bed mad at each other

gamerchick Sun 13-Oct-19 22:52:30

Go give him a cuddle. Would you like to feel what he does when he's in the middle of one?

Dock his money by all means but please don't let him go to sleep upset.

Moreisnnogedag Sun 13-Oct-19 22:52:48

No I couldn’t. Quick pop in, kiss on the forehead, and an “I love you always”. It’s shit I know but you can’t let him go to sleep like that. You’re the grownup, he’s 12 with ADHD.

Paperdolly Sun 13-Oct-19 22:55:22

What do you need when you are sobbing? Well that’s what he needs too. 🙁

Dogsaresomucheasier Sun 13-Oct-19 22:55:24

Trust your judgement. Will talking to him reassure him or give him an opportunity to kick off again and argue with you?

KatyCarrCan Sun 13-Oct-19 22:56:05

I wouldn't let him cry himself to sleep. If you're the only two people who are ever in his room, it was redundant asking him if he did it. You know he did. But since you don't know when it happened perhaps in his panic under your question, he forgot he had done it. Could it have happened accidentally eg moving furniture?
You've decided on a consequence for his action in damaging the door. You need to decide what to do about the lying. But I don't think you should withhold affection.

Ponoka7 Sun 13-Oct-19 22:56:33

It's really dangerous to take that attitude with boys who have ADHD.

ADHD can make people go down in mood like a ton of bricks.

He needs tp be told that you still love and value him.

His self esteem will take a knock over the next few years and he needs to know you are always on his side.

Greysparkles Sun 13-Oct-19 22:57:07

Has he actually admitted it? Or is he crying trying to manipulate you? ADHD doesn't give you a free pass on everything. He still has to learn same as others that lying is not acceptable. Also kicking his door isn't acceptable, but understandable with the ADHD. But he is 12 now he's got to try and control himself, because I doubt anyone will feel sympathy for him if he's still the same at 15

ongranaryplease Sun 13-Oct-19 22:57:41

Agree with Moreisnnogedag. You don’t need to go in and say ‘it’s okay I’m not angry’. You can still say ‘I love you’ which will reassure him. Show him that you are disappointed that he has lied but don’t let him lay there sobbing and thinking awful things

DonKeyshot Sun 13-Oct-19 22:58:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

AnneLovesGilbert Sun 13-Oct-19 22:59:49

Deal with the behaviour and damage by docking his pocket money and have a calm chat tomorrow but you’ll feel like shit if you leave him to cry himself to sleep without giving him a hug and telling him you love him.

Mikeymoo12 Sun 13-Oct-19 23:00:37

Never go to sleep on a row is what my mum always says and it's true. Yes you are angry but just go in and comfort him whilst saying he does need to face the consequences of this. I think you will find it will bring you some comfort too OP

pigeononthegate Sun 13-Oct-19 23:03:30

FGS I'm sure OP doesn't have a "heart of stone" hmm. She's solely responsible for a pre-teen with ADHD who has violent meltdowns. She's probably exhausted physically and emotionally.

OP I would make yourself a cup of tea and spend a bit of time calming down and deep breathing. Then quietly go into his room, give him a hug and say "I love you, tomorrow is a new day, try and get some sleep now".

Then in the morning sit him down, reiterate that you love him and tell him calmly what the consequence is for the damage and explain that lying about it will always make it worse, not better.

stophuggingme Sun 13-Oct-19 23:03:38

That is unkind and you will regret it.

DonKeyshot Sun 13-Oct-19 23:03:57

of stone

DonKeyshot Sun 13-Oct-19 23:12:12

He;s not murdered anyone, no-one's hurt. He's damaged a door and will be paying for its replacement and i would be inclined to remove the damaged door and NOT replace it until such time I was confident that the new one won't be trashed.

That being the case, I couldn't stand by while a child cries itself to sleep and, imo, the OP has a heart of stone if shes unmoved by her ds's obvious distress.

pigeononthegate Sun 13-Oct-19 23:14:12

If she were completely unmoved by it, she wouldn't be posting on here about it, would she? I can't see how it's helpful or constructive to tell an obviously upset, stressed and frustrated poster that she has a heart of stone. Seems like kicking someone while they're down to me.

SunshineAngel Sun 13-Oct-19 23:15:39

Is he seeing anyone such as a counsellor? My friend's son improved a lot from seeing one, as they taught him ways of managing his anger - he would kick and punch walls and doors, causing just as much damage to himself as to the property.

Please don't leave him crying. ADHD makes it more difficult to process feelings and emotions. His poor little mind will be in a whirlwind - not to mention the normal emotional changes that happen at this age anyway.

He needs help, not punishment. Of course it will be annoying for you, and he absolutely must learn that he has to pay for any damage that he causes, but letting him cry is only going to make things worse - he NEEDS to have people on his side, and know 100% that that's the case.

SamBeckettslastleap Sun 13-Oct-19 23:17:00

Pigeon had obviously experienced life. I agree with the reply.

SofiaAmes Sun 13-Oct-19 23:19:06

Is he getting treatment/medication for his ADHD? Angry, violent outbursts isn't necessarily a symptom of ADHD, but rather a symptom of the frustration that comes from being a tween in today's society with untreated ADHD.

OP so sorry you are having to go through this....Please try to figure out what he's so agitated about that resulted in kicking the door in the first place. And as others have said, tell him that you love him and want to help him. And that his emotions and frustrations may be valid, but that his violent reaction is not acceptable. And maybe talk tomorrow about other ways that he can deal with whatever is frustrating him most. It's so difficult being a 12 year old and even worse being a 12 year old who is constantly criticized for bad behavior without often any guidance on how to manage emotions more appropriately.

cakeandchampagne Sun 13-Oct-19 23:19:40

I wouldn’t let him cry himself to sleep alone.

TrainspottingWelsh Sun 13-Oct-19 23:19:57


Crying yourself to sleep is bloody awful, no child deserves it. There's far better ways to punish him without being cruel.

Re the adhd, I do empathise with him on the rage, but he is old enough to know it's not acceptable behaviour. However as neither you nor he can prevent the explosions, you need to have an open discussion about more suitable outlets. Eg a punchbag.

And adhd or otherwise, I wouldn't ask if they'd done it, I'd just ask when and why they didn't tell me.

AnnaFiveTowns Sun 13-Oct-19 23:23:33

I can sympathise. Ds has adhd and has broken things / made holes in furniture/ walls etc. But lack of impulse control is a key feature of adhd; your son can't help it. Is he receiving any kind of medication? I'd and give him a cuddle. If you're on Facebook then follow the Adhd Foundation.

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