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Need some advice about an out of control 11 year old !!

(10 Posts)
Evizza Wed 15-Jun-11 09:23:37

I have a beautiful son who has just turned 11 - he will be starting high school in September. I am worried about him as he has some major issues with his temper sad

My dad died 2 years ago and my son was very very close to him, and with his death being so sudden it really really affected my lad. At first it was just before holidays (we go to Skegness 2/3 times a year) and my son used to be so weepy right before them as I think he felt guilty about looking forward to the holiday as my dad always used to come too.

Over the last 4 months it is getting worse. He has tantrums, throws things and his attitude is terrible. He is especially worse with my OH (his dad). He also gets really childish too - he plays with his 6 year old brother and gets really daft, and when we try to tell him to behave he laughs at us or just ignores us and carries on.

I can't really describe how bad he is in words - it's not just normal temper issues - he has serious temper problems, where he tells us he hates us, wishes he was dead and he is also violent to his brother and sister (aged 7).

What can I do ??

I have tried grounding, losing pocket money, losing his laptop and phone, but nothing works sad

He is such a good boy when he is not playing up, and has a heart of gold and I want the best for his life as he deserves a good one - but it worries me that his temper and behaviour will be damaging for his future if I don't do something now.

I am sorry for the very long post, and hope someone can help x

whippet Wed 15-Jun-11 09:51:50

I have an 11 year old (also about to leave Year 6) and a 9 year old, and they can both be very moody and bad-tempered.

I think boys can have great relationships with 'other' men in the family apart from their Dad. Have you talked much to Ds about his grandfather - about how he feels, what he misses most etc? Could you do something special like create a photo album for the anniversary of his death?

However, do you think his behaviour could also be hormonal, rather than necessarily (or only) linked to your Dad's death?

I think both my boys are going through pre-puberty/ pubescent changes. They have tantrums and shout at us and each other. They seem to oscillate between wanting to be little children again (and being loved, cuddled, and doing babyish things) and then also wanting independence.

Can you try to relate to your DS on a more adult-to-adult basis? Give him some responsibilities to show that he is growing up and that you trust him.
I know this sounds silly, but DS was really chuffed when we said he was old enough to use the kettle and cooker on his own. It was almost a 'rite of passage'!

One other thought - all my friends have said that the last term of Year 6 is hell. the kids are ready to move on, and are 'in limbo'; they're 'top dog' in their primary school, and get a bit mouthy/arsey whatever. They can sense things 'shifting' around them, and this is their way of coping with it. Often underneath they're anxious about the move to senior school/ change of friends etc.

Could you spend more time with your DS preparing him for Sept? Choosing stuff (bags/ books etc) . My DS1 certainly is less moody the more I am able to give him my attention. But it's hard with such busy lives!

Evizza Wed 15-Jun-11 14:27:58

Thanks for the reply Whippet, has made me feel so much better smile

I think a good heart to heart is on the cards now, see how he is feeling and coping etc.

It is so true about them not knowing if they should be children or adults, my lad wants cuddles and cartoons one minute and late nights and facebook the next hmm

I think sometimes you just need somebody to tell you that they have the same thing going on too...makes it seem not so out of the ordinary.

God help me when my daughter gets to this stage shockgrin

whippet Wed 15-Jun-11 14:55:49

Evizza - I honestly think it's just a phase, and those old pearls of wisdom "this too will pass" are valid!

It's so hard to spend time with them when they're being horrid, but I honestly think that is often what they need. They're acting all 'grown up' and defiant, but are still anxious little boys underneath. smile

Deliaskis Wed 15-Jun-11 15:34:41

I think Whippet speaks sense when shey says: "One other thought - all my friends have said that the last term of Year 6 is hell. the kids are ready to move on, and are 'in limbo'; they're 'top dog' in their primary school, and get a bit mouthy/arsey whatever. They can sense things 'shifting' around them, and this is their way of coping with it. Often underneath they're anxious about the move to senior school/ change of friends etc."

This I can absolutely relate to from both my own memories of preparing to move up and also to some extent my interactions with some of my girls at Brownies. It's like they are living their primary school 'golden days', but with a sense that it's all about to end/change and get maybe a lot harder. It's an exciting time but also a frightening one and I guess for some one of the ways to deal with is temper. I think you're right, lots of talks, lots of time with him etc. will help him feel more secure and ready to take on the challenge of the next phase of his life.

D

whippet Wed 15-Jun-11 15:46:54

Ha! It's easy to advise other people - I must remember my own 'advice' when I next have a row with DS1, which will likely be in about [looks at watch...] er.... 14 minss blush

whippet Wed 15-Jun-11 18:46:24

Evizza - can you have a 'heart-to-heart' with him without it being intense/ face-to-face IYSWIM?

My DS will clam up if I try to 'interrogate' (his words) him about something, but sometimes we have the best chats when we're both half engaged in something else e.g. in the car together (don't have to look at each other!) or doing some household chore etc

Evizza Wed 15-Jun-11 23:23:32

Thanks for the replies smile

I decided to have a chat with him, without making it seem like a lecture (t'was hard grin) and think I got a bit wiser as to what's made him change so quickly. I have had so many problems with my iron levels due to my pernicious anaemia and he has picked up on some of it through conversations he has over heard between me and OH. Seems he has been scared that I am going to die sad I think that it could be due to my dads death being so sudden, maybe he feels like it could happen suddenly with me ??

Anyway, we decided to write 2 lists - 1 for the things he loves about life and 1 for things he doesn't. He said that he doesn't like being told off and grounded and doesn't like it when we are angry with him. So I wrote him a note back telling him why we got angry and grounded him and how much we love him. Seems reading and writing about it helped him open up a bit. He read it and gave me a hug and smile and then went up to bed smile

I am really glad to have got a little further with him and think it is a good start, will definitely ensure I spend more time with him.

It's so easy to forget how hard that stage of life is, isn't it ??!! Poor sod has sex ed on Friday too grin

Deliaskis Wed 15-Jun-11 23:42:54

Evizza am so glad to hear about your chat, sad that your boy was worrying about that, poor thing, I can imagine an overactive 11yr old mind getting carried away with that. Sounds like you made real progress and the opening up via reading/writing is great, especially at a time in his life when having face to face conversations might in some cases start getting awkward/difficult/confrontational/embarassing etc. - I mean maybe he'll go through none of those things, but it's good I think that you have opened up another line of communication for when he's struggling to talk about stuff.

D

whippet Thu 16-Jun-11 09:16:28

Evizza - that sounds like a great start - well done!

Just to reassure you that you're not alone, my DS1 has been out of sorts this last couple of days. Last night he said he just 'felt depressed' sad but didn't know why. He has lots on before the end of term, and I think he's just feeling a bit over-scheduled. I think he was angling for a day off today, but I dug my heels in and sent him to school, I he needs to learn to cope with the odd bit of stress and pressure.

He also had the sex ed lessons recently, and you know, I think these also affect them/ their emotions a bit. Even though DS already knew all the 'mechanics' as it were, beginning to discuss it in class has definitely made him think about it all a bit more.

They are growing up! It's only going to get worse for a few years - eek!

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