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4 yr DS suddenly v rude, won't sleep, gets up too early, ignores me-how to handle this?

(9 Posts)
kippersandjam Tue 02-Aug-11 07:42:55

ds has begun an awful way of behaving and now it is affecting the relationship with my dh and me as dh handles it by ignoring him sometimes, then flying off the handle and smacking. DS doesn't listen anymore. He just ignores me when I speak, repeats himself over and over again, as in I want to watch TV. A conversation might go like this

me- ds, what would you like for breakfast?
ds- silence
me- repeat
me- if you don't reply, I suppose you aren't hungry, you can get down.
Ds -what is there?
me- toast, eggs, apple puree, cereal...
ds-i don't want that, what else is there?
me-thats it
ds- i don;'t want anything, Im hungry, cue lots of whining and screaming i'm hungry
me- ignores him and deals with dd.
ds- finally eats dry bread which he deems suitable.

ds then complains to dh that he only got dry bread for breakfast and is still hungry. he spends all morning being hungry and whining for snacks. Dh tells him to eat properley in the mornings.

He will go to look for shoes, come back and shout in a scary agressive manner my shoes have gone FIND THEM. I remain calm and say, please don't shout like that,well I expect they are by the door, have you looked there? he shouts at me, NO< YOU GET THEM. NOW. I tell him not to talk to me like that, he ignores me, i put him in his room or a quiet chair. he sits for about 1 min then screams to say sorry over and over.

he sticks his tongue out at me, even in passing, and sometimes when he is just opposite me and trying to get attention. He argues and moans tries to negoitate everything, ignores me if i say, no only only helping, just repeats i want more and follows me round saying why, why and ignoring when i say why.
he doesn't seem able to ask nicely, say thank you anymore without being prompted. dd is 2 .3 and I am worried she is always with him so watching this stuff.

my dh and I and people around us don't talk to each other like this and i make a big effort to be as nice as possible, but am at wites end. dh and i are arguing non stop about how to handle him (he wants to smack) and i am tired of being spoken to like poo on your shope by my ds all the time.

sorry about the long post but am i alone with this?

74slackbladder Tue 02-Aug-11 09:34:01

I dont have an answer for you, but sympathise; my DS 4.5 has started to become rude and aggressive in recent months. he also ingores us when we speak to him sometimes and every conversation seems to be a serise of negotiations and bribes.
I have been putting it down to age/battling for attention with DD (16mo), my returning to work, and needing more stimilation - starts school in sept.
So like you, am a bit disturbed by the change in bahaviour. previously he was always very well mannered and pleasant.

exoticfruits Tue 02-Aug-11 10:00:57

You have to be consistent.Smacking isn't the answer. Firstly sit down with DH and agree strategy. Always back each other up-if you disagree discuss it later, out of earshot of DS. He will play one off against the other if he can.
He sounds an unhappy boy who needs clear boundries. I think that you are being too nice.

Breakfast. Put it on the table. If he asks what there is say 'it is all on the table, you choose'. If he doesn't like it just say 'OK -don't have any'. Eat your breakfast and ignore-don't encourage, enter into any discussion, get any emotion into it, or even tell him to get down. If he tries to discuss do the broken record in a bored voice 'its on the table'. When you have finished-clear away. Don't give snacks-if he says he is hungry just say ,in bored, uninterested tone 'you would be-you missed breakfast'. Do the same for all meals-he won't starve and he will eventually get the message.

Don't get into a discussion on shoes. Just say -in neutral tone-'they are your shoes, you will have to look for them'. I would stop that one by having a place for shoes.

Ignore him when he is being rude and sticking out his tongue. Just say 'I don't like being spoken to like that, I don't do it to you and I don't stick my tongue out at people'-I will read my book until you are going to speak to me properly. (or some other activity) Ignore, ignore, ignore.

He is getting lots of attention for poor behaviour. Some DCs don't mind what sort of attention as long as they get attention. Give him lots of attention when he is being good. e.g. when he stops being rude play something with him or read a story and say ' I love playing with you when you are being polite'. It is often tempting to leave them alone if they are playing nicely, but that is the time to give the attention and have fun.

Take care over language and try and avoid confrontation. Distract.

fargate Tue 02-Aug-11 10:56:30

Not much to add to exoticfruits excellent post, except could DS be copying DH 'flying off the handle' and you and DH arguing??

kippersandjam Tue 02-Aug-11 21:18:11

well, dh and i agreed on strategy, which at lunchtime after ds being up at 5 then action all morning resulted in lots of yelling he didn't want to relax and watch tv. he was so agressive and rude(although we knew he was tired, but its coming an excuse to be tired and rude) we just put him in his room. he fell asleep, woke up, and has been wonderful since, with a couple of glitches which a murmur of do you want to go in your room? has worked. dh and i have resolved to discuss alone, and are being super nice with one another, so its better- thanks ladiessmile

exoticfruits Tue 02-Aug-11 21:52:51

Good. Whatever you do be consistent.

survivingsummer Wed 03-Aug-11 15:12:21

Sounds familiar sad

We are having similar problems with 4 yo dd at the moment. Your description of breakfast sounds oh so familiar - everything seems a battle all of a sudden! We also try to ignore but is very hard especially when it happens in public followed by very loud screaming which she does if we say no or argue back blush

Sometimes witholding privaleges helps too - we have reading time before bed which she loves and we will take away time or she won't get any if she plays up a lot.

Agree totally with distraction and complementing the good behaviour. Also we try making up a fun game to break the frustration she is having over something e.g. refusing to wash her hands etc. Maybe finding shoes could be turned into a game if a tantrum or rudeness is developing!

I'm just trying to remind myself and DH she's just testing the boundaries and will be a phase (hopefully)!

bunjies Wed 03-Aug-11 15:30:17

Ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore, ignore - easier said than done I admit.

Oh and give him encouragement and praise when he does something good, helpful, kind.

It's horrible I know but it doesn sound like he's just attention seeking and testing boundaries.

Oh and smacking is NEVER the answer.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Aug-11 18:59:11

It is difficult to ignore-but it negates it all if you ignore, ignore, ignore and then snap. I think it helped that mine knew I loved reading, so I only had to threaten to sit down with a book and ignore them and it generally didn't need to go further.

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