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Advice / kind words needed please re: 4.6 year old

(6 Posts)
Embarrassedmum Sat 28-May-11 20:19:04

AAAAGGGHHH!!!!! Took my son to a party today and I was soooooo embarrassed/ashamed/mortified by his behaviour. Basically, he was rude, to me and other parents, trying to control me e.g. play with him/talk to him all the time and basically play however he wanted me to, didn't share well, snatched toys and "pushy/dominant" towards other children, and noisy. We moved here less than a year ago and he/I haven't really made any good friends yet. He's never exactly an angel and over the years his behaviour has been at times much worse (hitting / pushing children - thankfully this has stopped). I apologised to the child's mum as we left and might ring tomorrow and apologise too. When we got back I read him the riot act and made him sit on the carpet and think about all the naughty/unkind things he did while I unpacked the shopping. We went away last weekend and a couple of parents commented on how happy he/I am and how well behaved he was. This week I've been really busy at work and my manager has been putting pressure on me re: my targets; I had an overnight stay away so my son had a sleepover at his grandparents. I've been stressed so this has probably not helped the way he's feeling. Since I gave him a good telling off he has helped me tidy up, tidied his toys, put rubbish out, made his bed and said he'd make mine (he's never done these things before apart from the odd bit of hoovering and tidying away his toys). I am a single mum and after the compliments and the fact my son starts school in sept I was thinking I've managed well really given the fact childbirth nearly killed me; had bad back/health difficulties for months after; relationship broke up; been made redundant twice;moved to new area; feel enormous pressure to keep all the plates spinning and a roof over our heads. I absolutely love my son. Adore him and would go through it all again a million times again however how hard, exhausting and relentless some bits of the last nearly 5 years have been. I just feel really disappointed as I was hoping today would be a good opportunity to talk to other parents and begin to make friends but now I think we've blown it. I felt mortified. Feel like crying but won't as still got tidying/preparation for tomorrow to do. Many thanks if you have read all of this. Sorry for such a long post - I know how precious time is when you have child.

gkys Sat 28-May-11 20:27:21

aren't they charming when they do that? wink the allien will disappear and you son will return shortly, I have three of them, trust me you are doing a great job,it sounds as if he may be picking up on your stress levels, you sais sorry leave it at that, keep in touch if you need to chat smile

QueenCatherine Sat 28-May-11 20:32:06

He is pushing the boundaries - don't worry, you won't be ostracised, everyone has these moments with their DC's.

JiminyCricket Sat 28-May-11 20:38:10

are you being a bit all or nothing about it? It sounds like mostly things are going great. I would steer clear of making him feel criticised tho, deal with bad behavior clearly and on the spot whether or not other people are watching, not later on. Get him to say sorry and then forget about it, even if you still feel irate. Short answer, I think you were stressed and he was tired. You were trying to make a good impression, but he didn't know that. There are plenty more chances to have a better time with friends. Try be kind to yourself, too.

Embarrassedmum Sat 28-May-11 21:53:55

Thank you everyone for your support - brought tears to my eyes reading the replies though too tired to cry and am determined to spent at least 10mins reading the paper before going to bed - first time I've sat down all day since 6am except when i posted earlier. It's so hard/relentless being a parent sometimes though wouldn't swap it for the world. I'm just doing my best and hey, it could be a lot worse. My son is a blessing and a joy and a little miracle even though I could've used some choice other words earlier. Sometimes I think even Kofi Anan's negotiation and peacekeeping skills would be challenged by my little dictator/son. Thanks for helping me put things into perspective. Tomorrow is another day and I will spend some quality time with my son over half term figuring out whatever the latest Octonaut mission he presents me and battling past the dinosaur crew and we have Mr Bean DVD to watch as well which cracks him up!!! I'm going to try and spend some quality time in his world and try and switch off from work.

worriermum Sun 29-May-11 13:06:18

Embbarassedmum, we've all been there. Anyone who hasnt simply doesnt spend enough time with their DC! The most useful thing I can pass on is something a therapist helped me to see: stand back and look at the whole context when your DS is acting up.

In your case, this would mean realising that you are a single mum in a difficult and vulnerable position who badly wants to make friends for herself and her DS. You were feeling more optimistic after your weekend away and so you pinned quite a few hopes on this party. It sound like that for you, the party represented a chance for your DS to help change your lives a little for the better ie start making better connections and friends. So perhaps you felt it was quite important that your DS behave well and win friends and influence people! But that is exactly when our children always 'let us down' or rather buckle under the weight of our expectations. Maybe its a healthy response to pressure from us - who knows. It's so hard to be a single parent without close friends and family around. I've been in that situation myself and I remember well how much I longed for people that would just accept my DS unconditionally as someone precious in their lives, no matter what he did or didnt do in any one particular situation. But it just doesnt work like that! We simply cant expect our DC's to always behave well, and it doesnt meant that we/they are bound to remain lonely or dissapproved of if they act up for a time. The sterner and more disapproving you are of any 'slips' by your DS, the more he will act up in a desperate attempt to prove that you love him anyway even if he isnt always a "good" boy.

So try to remind yourself that one 'bad' party doesnt equal no friends. This was just a little boy getting over excited on one weekend. Relax, keep boundaries, set discipline in a loving and relaxed way and your little DS will respond accordingly: by feeling more peaceful, less frantic and less disapproved of, and therefore much more likely to behave well.

I really hope this helps and doesnt sound judgey or hectoring. I have been in your position so often that I really want to help, and explain what worked for me. It's so hard when you are alone, and there is no one else to help you 'keep the faith' in your little boy. But in the end its only you that will ever love him unconditionally. And he so badly needs just that from you, just as you long for it yourself. But the good news is that you can provide it for him right now. Just love him, forget about one silly party, and have faith that your wonderful little boy (he really does sound wonderful and responsive and empathetic) will make the world enjoy him in his own sweet, special little way as and when he is ready.

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