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please help me with ds. i am running out of patience.

(14 Posts)
BooyHoo Wed 03-Aug-11 16:36:12

i have posted before about his behaviour in the past couple of months.

just now i brought him into the house for climbing on my car. he reacted to this by yelling and shouting at his brother, telling him to stop looking at him, go away etc. i warned him if he didn't stop talking to his brother like that i would send him to his room. he kept on so i sent him up. after 6 minutes (he is 6) i went up and asked him to apologise to his brother for being nasty. he did and so came downstairs but went to go outside. i stopped him and said he couldn't go outside because he had been climbing on my car. he whinged again, told me he hated me, blew raspberries at me. i ignored all this. he was sitting in the living room. i went into the kitchen to take ds2 out of the cupboard and when i did, ds1 ran out the front door taking my keys ( i know, my fault for leaving them where he could get them) and he locked the front door from the outside. there is no rear access to our house so i had to climb out the living room window and go to get him. he was in my neighbours' garden 2 doors away, with her son on the trampoline, i called him and told him to come back in the house. he wouldn't come. i said if he didn't come in now he wouldn't be out to play with his friend tomorrow. he said he didn't care. i said "fine, you made that decision" and i went back home. so right now he is still playing with his friend which is exactly what he wanted. i know this is not the right way to deal with him but what should i have done? my brain doesn't seem to work anymore when it comes to disciplining him. i dont have the answers.

i cant keep going on like this. this is only one incident in a long list of things. not a day goes by where i dont have to send him to his room for something or other. previously, jealousy of his brother has been suggested as a cause of his behaviour but i have since put ds2 in nursery 2 days a week in order that ds1 and i have some time alone and we also have dvd night on a saturday just the two of us. i do make sure we have time together, he gets to pick the story at bedtime even though it is for bioth him and his brother, we talk about hsi day and what he has done. i have planned a 2 day holiday for us at the end of august which he is really excited about but even threatening to cancel that is not working with his behaviour. i have already scrapped plans for him to buy a scooter with his own money becaus eof his behaviour. he left his bike outside after me repeatedly telling him to bring it in and it has now been stolen. i just dont know what to do.

tigerlillyd02 Wed 03-Aug-11 17:05:25

Firstly, if it was me, he would not still be playing on a trampoline! I'd have picked him up, brought him back home kicking and screaming and sent him straight back upstairs for another 6 minutes. And, every time he continues to run out, the same would be done again until he understood the consequence. If sending him to his room is not something he's bothered about, then perhaps you need to find an alternative.

However, with the situation you explained first of all - bringing him in because of climbing on your car and then him shouting at his brother so ended up going to bed for that behaviour - it seemed like too much (it reads that way to me anyway). I think he was shouting etc because he had been brought in so was obviously upset that he was already being punished (which you are quite right to do so). But, perhaps at this stage he should have been sent upstairs (so out the way of his brother) and he could have shouted all he liked up there without further punishment for being upset - if that makes sense? And then, once the punishment was over and he came down, it seemed he was being punished again by not letting him back out. So, it appears he had 3 punishments for climbing on the car which has escalated to a whole big drama - and then he feels he's won in the end as he's happily jumping on his friends trampoline so in his eyes, he's had to disobey and create such a fuss in order for mom to back off. Maybe, once he had been punished for his behaviour by being sent upstairs, you could have allowed him out again but warned that if he jumped on the car again, he'd have to come back in. And then if he did so, carry through the consequence. So, then it is one punishment for one action.

It can be hard to assess the whole situation when you're right in the middle of it. I feel for you but you can change it!! Just remember to try and keep calm and when it gets too much, breathe!

BooyHoo Wed 03-Aug-11 17:15:23

i agree with you tigerlilly, my usual self would have automatically gone in and lifted him kicking and screaming into the house but i am jut so tired of the same thing. i am tired of the kicking and screaming and whenhe gets to that point, putting him in his room results in his room being trashed and things being thrown out the window, both his own things and his brothers. i just couldn't cope with that again today. the tantrums are so so stressful.

yes i see what you mean about being punished 3 times for one thing. i think i find it hard knowing what to punish and what to let go and what is an appropriate punishment for which 'crime'. it is easy with hindsight, but when the situation is right there in front of me i have to think "what is the punishment for this?" and i have to do it in a way where ds doesn't see that i am questioning myself. if he sees that then he plays on it by negotiating the punishment. i dont let him but then i think, "have i been too hard?" it is just so hard to know what is the right way to deal with every scenario. there isn't one rule fits all. i just need this behaviour to stop. he is laughing at me. i know he is. i am so tired of this. i think that's why i just let him get away with it today.

chickflick Wed 03-Aug-11 17:56:56

I am afraid that there is no magic answer that i know of.
His behaviour is very naughty and not acceptable.
For when I feel like you do i always hit the parenting books (plural) as then you get a balanced view.
CHristopher Green books are good.Having a flick through Raising boys ATM.Go to the local library they will have a good selection there.

He needs boundaries and consequences.
He also needs to want to behave so in his world things are better if you behave and he gets that message consistently.
I agree with the one crime one punishment also.Also make it very immediate-no delays between crime and punishment.
Personally I don't get too stuck on one minute per age of child for time out and I use the floor or bedroom or I just ignore him for a few minutes with" I am not talking to you at the moment until you do as I have asked".
You sound tired.Can you get some time off for yourself at all?

BooyHoo Wed 03-Aug-11 18:06:39

my mum had the boys for 5 days to let me go away for a holiday that was just two weeks ago and it really helped me to de-stress. i'm not overly tired, just fed up of the same routine of his behaviour day-in day out. his behaviour was worse before i went away and i think being away from me and home for a while helped him. unfortunately my mum is now ill with shingles and i think maybe the stress of having my children may have caused it. i feel so guilty about this and it probably isn't helping me cope well with ds. so no, getting anymore time-off isn't necessary or possible. i have to sort this. i do have raising boys and have read some of it but i didn't like it. i found the author quite sexist (i understand the book is about raising boys! grin) and quite old-fashioned/idealistic in his advice.

tigerlillyd02 Wed 03-Aug-11 23:05:16

Ahhh, you question yourself all the time! I found myself doing this with my lo as I knew he needed boundaries but then wondered if I was being too hard!

However, what I decided to do was work out beforehand how I was going to handle his behaviour - using one method of punishment (I worked out what seemed extreme and what seemed fair) and stuck to it. Then, occasionally, I review to ensure that it is working and whether it's still an appropriate 'punishment' given his age etc.

To get to this stage though I had to weigh up a lot of pro's and con's. He's still very young, but is functioning well ahead and because of his age any type of 'punishment' (I hate that word!) to me seemed harsh. However, I decided I had to go with what he understood rather than just the numbers of his age and it works well - he understands (I wouldn't dream of punishing him for something he didn't understand) and has calmed down tremendously over the past few months as a result.

As pp said, I do not stick to the one minute for each year either. In a way, I allow freedom still - in the sense I've sent him away from me to calm down, and then it is entirely up to him when he decides to come back in a better mood! I don't hold him down for a specific time so if he's done after 20 seconds, he can come back. However, if he comes back and carries on, he gets sent straight back again. But, once he has come back without stropping, we then have our little talk about whats happened and then a cuddle and all is forgotton. I do think it's important you move away from the issue as quickly as you can so the atmosphere remains positive as much as can be.

You say you don't know what requires discipline and what to let go. I agree battles should be chosen. Perhaps minor things (which have caused no harm to anybody or your property) you could let go with just an explanation of why it was not nice or appropriate - some things can be best ignored as it can sometimes be attention-seeking behaviour. But then use the warning and then discipline of actions which are harming. So before deciding on what to do, you could ask yourself: has this caused any harm to anything.... and go from there.

It's just a suggestion which I thought could be useful when in the middle of it all.

chickflick Wed 03-Aug-11 23:13:01

I usually find one or two ideas from a book that I feel I can try and that gives me hope that things will and can improve.
I have a nearly 6 yr old that can tantrum for an hour overeg refusing to get changed when he has pooped his pants. He will shout, throw things around and bang doors etc.I find it very very hard not to completely loose it with him and try to contain him somewhere (downstairs toilet or if he starts trashing that then in the garden).I have then had to move him back inside as he starts throwing garden furniture aroundsometimes. Thankfully these tantrums are getting fewer.I have sat and held him when its at its worst( to stop him breaking things) which he hates but my response is that you stop trashing my house and I will let go.
Glad you have been able to get some time off.Try not to feel guilty about your Mum I am sure she won't blame you or your DS.
We currently have a home points chart where if you are kind or share or say something nice to your sibling or me you get a home point. 10 homepoints get a small reward.These things work for a few weeks max but can be enough to change things sometimes.
Previously we have had good results with breaking the day down into three periods.Morning, afternoon ,evening.Each period that passes with good behaviour gets a sticker/tick and 3 of these get a small reward ( we had a hotwheels car as the reward). So the reward is quite obtainable to encourage paticipation.Rewards/ticks are not taken away for bad behaviour.At the same time we also punished the bad behaviour ( he was being violent) so if he hit someone he was immediately sat on the floor for a few minutes or excluded for a few minutes and no tick for that period of time.

BooyHoo Wed 03-Aug-11 23:20:49

yes i question myself all the time. i am not at all sure of what i am doing or even if i am making him worse.

he came back this evening and asked for his dinner. i told him that we had eaten and had he come back when i called him he would have known when it was ready. he sulked about this so i told him that he was to have his bath and then come down and get supper. he was happy with this, but when supper was done he refused to go up to bed. i didn't want to get into a tantrum scenario so i said fine. he then started throwing small things around the kitchen and at me. i ignored this as i could tell he was trying to get a reaction. he upped the ante and poured a yoghurt over the floor. i ignored this aswell. he threatened to pour my tea over me but didn't actually try to. i just kept on ignoring and was tidying round the worktops. i told him again it was time for bed and he refused so i told him goodnight and that i was heading up to bed. he put on a bravado and said he didn't care, and swaggered off into the living room. so i went up and sat in the landing where i could see him. he fiddled about in the living room, went to the kitchen and got himself a drink of milk then went back to the living room and just sat looking out the window talking and singing to himself. after about 20 minutes he started for the stairs so i went into my room and got into bed. he came in and told me he was going to bed now and that he loved me. total transformation in mood. no attitude at all. i gave him a kiss and said i loved him and would see him in the morning. off he went and got straight into bed. admittedly he didn't brush his teeth but i am so shocked that he did this. everything is usually such a battle, even getting him to do things he wants to do, like going to summer scheme. i dont think i handled it very well but i just couldn't cope with another screaming match that would definitey wake his brother.

i am thinking you are right with the 'freedom' thing. obviously there are limits to how much freedom i can safely/sensibly allow him but i am thinking maybe i have been too suffocating with him, giving him too many instructions and orders when i dont need to. i have to think about how i am with him but i will be trying tomorrow to see if letting him make more decisions himself has an effect on his behaviour.

tigerlillyd02 Wed 03-Aug-11 23:40:24

Ahhh, result! Looks like you might have hit on something there and definitely worth bearing in mind.

I was just thinking (as he's 6 I'm not sure how well it'll work, but maybe worth a try) - when he's throwing things at you and pouring yoghurt on the floor in the kitchen - perhaps you can ignore this but you start a task which is more fun, such as colouring or building with bricks and say to him "I'm going to (colour for example) now, it'd be nice if you helped me". And then leave the ball in his court. You act as if you're having lots of fun and maybe he'll forget his tantrum and come and join you. If it works, it might also show him that you can have lots of fun when he's calmer and helpful but the aggressive behaviour gets him nowhere. If you can do this before the tantrum errupts fully, it might work better.

This is probably more of a daytime thing as I doubt you'd be wanting to start colouring and playing at 11pm! But, maybe something similar could be done at bedtime. When he refuses to go to bed, you could say something like "OK, but I'm going to read a book upstairs now. It'd be lovely if I could read to you". And with that, just go.

Kiwiinkits Thu 04-Aug-11 01:32:10

Booeyhoo if you are looking for a great parenting book then I highly recommend "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen; How to Listen So Kids Will Talk"

It's an old book but is still a bestseller because the advice is practical, simple and it really works. On kids of all ages 3 - 19.

Whogivesa Thu 04-Aug-11 07:57:51

This thread could have been written about my 6 year old son! I am often tearing my hair out as nothing seems to work!

Have recently starting reading 'The explosive child' after a recommendation on here and it has provided an alternative POV as well as offering the comfort that you are not alone. Recognises too that it's not necessarily down to parenting..makes a change from the stares, frowns and criticisms I usually get!!

singforsupper Thu 04-Aug-11 08:12:11

The first thing that stood out here is that when he climbed on the car you warned him, then put him in his room for six minutes, all good. But then you said he can't play outside.

The fact that you have also been making lots of threats of sanctions might be confusing him a little bit and that will make the whole discipline thing pointless. Try to keep it simple and keep it clear. Don't do DVD night, do one to one play with him, 15 minutes a day.

He's a six year old boy, he will have masses of energy that needs to be used up. The indoors outdoors boundary perhaps should be more clear as well. A flag system might be helpful? Also if your neighbour had a flag system outside their house that might help too.

He sounds like a very smart kid. Try and channel it, although you sound like a smart Mum who is probably doing everything she possibly can. I hope my ideas help. Remember it will pass, so keep your cool and make sure he understands boundaries are NOT to be crossed.

singforsupper Thu 04-Aug-11 08:25:24

Booey - "How to Talk" as Kiwiinkits suggests is good.

Where you say you are not sure whether you are suffocating him or giving him too much freedom - that is normal parenting. As they get older you give them a longer leash, but at times you need to bring it back in again. Then they feel safe.

Do try the 15 minutes a day - best time is at night with the lights out - just sit with him and wait for him to talk. This ensures you are both relaxed and can enjoy that together. Might not be the answer but might be worth a try.

BooyHoo Thu 04-Aug-11 10:44:47

thank you all. i was expecting a bit of a flaming tbh for giving in and letting him dictate his own bedtime lastnight. i am going to get 'how to talk' as i have heard lots of recommendations here in the past so time to actually do something.

good idea about the 15 minutes of just talking. he often asks to stay up with me for a bit after his brother goes to bed but we just watch tv so i think tonight i will keep the tv off and chat with him.

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