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I'm really not handling this well......

(12 Posts)
Broadwalkempire Wed 20-Jul-11 18:37:23

I've started a thread before.....but I think DS and I have hit an all time low....He's 5....not only has he started to shout from his bed when he wakes up because he doesn't want to be there once he wakes up (he woke us all up at 5.30am this morning and dd who was fast asleep started yelling from her bed....and dh and i are at work today...) fights bed time (I have now started a story cd with him so he goes to bed but doesn't complain) and tonight because he didn't get what he wanted for tea he started picking everything out of it and then said he didn't like it...and to top it all said his tummy was hurting ie let's find an excuse that mummy will give into. Recently every day he says his tummy hurts...we've even gone to the doctor who thinks it's anxiety. Anyway, the tea thing is winding me up as he's gone from a pretty good eater to this becoming an issue...unless it's fish fingers then he moans complains etc.. I try to cook a range of things nothing fancy but try to steer away from too many orange breadcrumbs. I'm not handling this well. They are now sitting on the bath and I had to sit outside the door for a sob. I just end up yelling as no matter what I try it won't go in and I'm hating myself for it. The waking early and yelling is met with a telly ban. I have always stuck to it and don't give in . The bedtime thing I've dealt with with the story cd's. But the food thing is an issue...I have always been a take it or leave it. I home cook, am not a bad cook and we have some treats. Tonight I ended up binning the food and not allowing yoghurt( his sister was allowed as she ate hers up willingly). I've said that I'll continue to cook what I cook and any treats are banned until he stops complaining.....Reading this back it all seems trivial but at the moment it feels like a battle of wills and I spend most of my time feeling like a crap mum and DD gets ignore as I'd dealing with DS..what's the beat approach to the food thing ? I think it's part of a bigger picture.....

purplepidjincantatem Wed 20-Jul-11 18:48:09

What is he anxious about? Look up Emotional Literacy for help, you should be able to find visual resources to help him communicate his reasons verbally instead of through his behaviour iyswim?

In the meantime, what's changed? Is he scared to go up a year at school? Being bullied? Change in family circumstance?

Are you able to read to him yourself instead of the cd? That way he gets your attention for good behaviour - yelling mummy or smily mummy doesn't make much odds at that age, it's all attention to them!

Give him some suggestions for quiet activities when he wakes - lego jigsaw book etc - and give lots of praise when he does it even if it only lasts 10 minutes

Oh, and hands off your hair before you pull it out. Have a wine from me instead wink

spanky2 Wed 20-Jul-11 19:00:04

I felt like starting a thread about my ds2, who's 4. I said I love you to him and he learned over and hit me in the face today. He pooed and weed his pants at his brother's school, 2 weeks ago. He starts there in september. A lump of poo rolled out on to the new astro turf. I was talking to ds1's teacher and he has been to the toilets in school before. He also flicked his dinner across the table. I said " I see you've finished. Go to bed." He also fell headfirst out of the door rather than put his coat on. We've tried ignoring, smacking, withdrawing treats etc. I've been on the PPP parenting course and I'm a teacher so I've been on behaviour management courses. I've bought books... Just when you think it might be okay he does something sodish. We were the same, that ds1 wasn't getting the attention. I've cried on ds2 pre-school teacher, the health visitor, my mum, dad, dh.....I want you to know it is not just you. It is not you, I'm guessing your dd is okay, like my ds1. It is wearing, demoralising and mostly pointless. It sounds so familiar, he knows it pushes your buttons so he does it, like my ds2. Don't buy that book as they blame the parents. Like we have that much control over them! Buy Raising a Spirited Child. I found it very re-assuring. Especially as everytime I talk to my mum she tells me to 'sort it out before he's a teenager!'

naturalbaby Wed 20-Jul-11 20:56:50

i'm at this point with my 3yr old. thanks purple for those tips, they've really helped. he's not responding to threats - i told him i'd take away his current favourite toy earlier and he held it out saying "there you go" !!
i'm too fed up and exhausted to cry, breastfeeding baby so can't crack open the wine!

the food issue i worry about slipping into, we're o.k at the moment but i hate waste so get really wound up when he refuses to eat stuff. he didn't have anything for dinner but i'm trying really hard to be 'whatever' about it. i did let him have a yoghurt and figured he wasn't really hungry today. i just keep offering what everyone else is having, plus something small i know he'll eat (yoghurt) then leaving it at that.

Mobly Wed 20-Jul-11 22:13:43

Broadwalkempire, what else is going on in your life? You come across incredibly stressed yet the problems you describe, while irritating, are not serious, just normal pesky 5yr old behaviour.

Have you tried a reward chart with stickers, specific things to aim for and a reward at the end of the week if he gets x amount of stickers?

What good things has DS done today? Heap on praise for any good behaviour you spot, sitting nicely, helping in any way at all, geting dressed nicely, being a good boy at school etc etc

As long as he is a healthy weight then don't stress about food, keep doing what you're doing, you sound a marvellous mum with all that home cooking (wish I was a better less lazy cook!). I wouldn't use food withdrawal as punishment, I would let him have yoghurt or fruit after tea even if he didn't eat much.

Hope tomorrow is a better day smile

purplepidjincantatem Wed 20-Jul-11 22:53:05

"i hate waste so get really wound up when he refuses to eat stuff"

He's five. He's pushing your buttons and stretching your boundaries. He needs to know that you are consistent so that he is secure within them.

He won't come to any harm by missing a meal, surely a 5yo portion is only just big enough for a late night grown up snack? If not, tupperware and freezer grin Put your foot down tomorrow - no dinner, nothing else. You will win wink

Broadwalkempire Wed 20-Jul-11 23:24:45

Thanks for the tips...and the perspective. In reality it's been a hectic 4 weeks...I work part time in a stressful job which has also been particularly busy recently. DS is coming to the end of his first year in reception and is tired and cranky. Part of me is dreading the summer as there won't be any downtime....DH works really long hours so I'll either be working or have DS/DD...like most of us part time parents....We're not taking any holiday time off altogether....tonight was just a bad end to the day. He's a lovely little boy and the other part of me is looking forward to a bit of time together out of term time routine to loll around and not do too much. We've a few things organised but only local and mostly meetingnwith friends......tomorrow will be a better day....

purplepidjincantatem Thu 21-Jul-11 10:31:26

Sounds like a calm and cosy few days will do you all good - give in to the lure that is CBeebies, whack in a DVD, and get the kids baking loads of scrummy stuff like krispy cakes that you can then eat warm from the saucepan in front of said DVD grin

Broadwalkempire Thu 21-Jul-11 20:33:28

Thank you ! a much better day today.....after a tiring sports day, we got home, I got a dvd out which we all watched together cuddled up under a blanket on the sofa (a disney one we could all enjoy and laugh at together) , cooked (whilst the two of the kids played with the playdough and generally pottered nicely) and ate supper together (often I cook for them and then eat a bit later when DH comes in - we tend only to eat all together as a family at weekends )... DS helped by setting the table - I stoked the praise on DS and told him that he'd been fab all day....I am feeling much calmer. Must take each day as it comes and not think that the world is falling apart because we have the odd awful period of a few weeks - tis a phase ....will pass .....!!

Mobly Thu 21-Jul-11 20:50:09

That's so lovely to hear smile

We all have bad days when everythings gets on top of us but I think it's the nice days you will remember.

mamster Thu 21-Jul-11 21:52:01

I have a couple of my coping tips that may or may not help:
- I bribe my 5 yr old DS with sweets. Not many but after tea if he has eaten ALL of his breakfast, lunch AND tea then he gets a small handful of sweets of his choice (usually picks a 10p haribo packet). Works a treat. I'm not going to get a parenting award for this but it does work. It applies to both DS1 & DS2 but I'm less strict with the little one (2 yrs). Have to make sure meal sizes are appropriate. If DS1 doesn't eat it all he doesn't get the sweets or anything else. At bed time if he's hungry he can have plain toast (otherwise wakes up starving and is really grumpy). Nothing else.
- I tried the taking toys away thing. Didn't work. Kids have too many toys these days.
- Counting to 3 nearly always works with both my two (5 and 2 and v lively). I say I'm going to do something or not do something if they haven't stopped what they are doing by the time I count to 3 slowly. Works a treat. Usually get to 2 and a half! I always do what I'm say I'm going to. ie if you don't calm down right now I will take you out of the bath. I'm going to count to 3. If I get to 3 I will take you out. 1....2..... If you get to 3 you MUST carry out your threat.
- Give praise for good things - stickers work a treat with mine. Esp shiny ones or ones they picked out themselves. Not for everything. Save them for things you need them to do. We just have stickers for getting dressed in the morning quickly and on their own (obviously the little one needs some help)
- At bath time, we have a rule that if they are naughty in the bath they don't get a story in mummy & daddy's bed. They get a story on their own in their room. They hate that. Want to be together.
- If naughty at story time they have a bedtime song taken away. They start with 5 every night.
So I guess I have little rules and treats that get us through the day. Doesn't always work but I like having a structure and I hate reward charts. I want something I can fit in to my normal routine where ever I am. They know what to expect at each time of the day and it's not the same all day so it doesn't get boring for them. Make sure you get some nice time to yourself and if possible on your own with DH. I sound really sorted but I'm dealing with it all on medication for depression. My DS's really got me down with that type of behaviour. It's tough. At nighttime be thankful for the good things that happened today, no matter how small. Don't worry about the eating. Show them a good example and one day they will follow. And if they don't and eat fish fingers every day (like a kid I know) they will still be alive and happy and won't know what they are missing!

purplepidjincantatem Thu 21-Jul-11 23:24:13

Broadwalk, that sounds absolutely fantastic - well done grin

Mamster, sounds like you've got it sorted.

Just remember - it won't always work, but if it goes tits up it's not the end of the world.

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