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I really DO NOT KNOW what to do anymore ..... 5 year old DS turning into a monster

(22 Posts)
OhCobblers Wed 11-Jul-12 19:09:18

I wish i could laugh at the Subject Title but i can't.

I don't know whats happened to him recently. He has been lashing out not just at me but friends at school - a recent thing but have had issues before with it. He talks back to me and is so rude i almost gasp with amazement - its like he's 14 already. I have to tell him to do something so many times before he does it.

I've tried all the positive sounds of praising the good, ignore the bad, but i shout when i lose the plot with him and he's now probably acting as he sees. I don't know how to stop getting so angry with him. He knows being violent is unacceptable and always says sorry but it never changes.

I'm sorry this all coming out as a jumbled incoherent mess but i'm so upset that this is all my fault - did i make him this way??? It HAS to change but i'm at a loss as to where to start.

Any advice at all would be so appreciated. sad

Nigglenaggle Wed 11-Jul-12 20:46:57

Have you spoken to his teachers about what is going on? They will probably be pleased you asked

Chippychop Wed 11-Jul-12 21:56:28

Been there, got the t shirt! First it is NOT you. I have tried various things, banned Or taken things away that matter eg tv, iPad, Xbox, fave tv programme, I've spoken to teachers, threatened to call teachers (at unearthly hours!) he never stays in his room when I send him there so I have to remove things. It definitely passes And may come back but you have to keep the faith it will get better. Here's my impossible advice try not to l lose it, calmness works best everytime. Every child is different so what works for one won't necessarily work for another but please keep trying.

OhCobblers Fri 08-Feb-13 12:51:24

Hate the fact that I'm coming back to this but had a hideous time this morning. Every morning getting ready after breakfast turns into WW3. I hate shouting, completely detest myself for doing it and most of all it has NO impact on DS.

Today was the worst. He hit me in the face hard because he was so angry. Angry because I said no cakes after school from the cake sale as he had behaved atrociously.

It seems that any frustration or anger he has leads to him physically lashing out. He is rude to get attention. I suppose it works as I tell him constantly NOT to be rude. Reward charts work for 5 mins then become redundant, same thing with filling up a jar with pasta or similar. Threats to take away toys, cancel his birthday party fall on deaf ideas. I've bern in a lot of pain recently so my patience is already at -2 before we start!

I'm fed up of being cross and angry all the time. I adore him so much and when he's being sweet he is utterly fabulous and I get so many comments from other parents/friends who say how well behaved and polite he is when he is with them but the transformation at home is dreadful.

What am I doing wrong???? What can I do to change this cycle of behaviour in him and me????? I have already decided today that the consequence of this mornings behaviour is straight to his room after school. He stays there, eats dinner there and straight to bed. I'm hoping this will have an impact on him.

Really would like to hear ALL tips and advice.
Thanks so much in advance for your help.

OhCobblers Fri 08-Feb-13 16:37:40


lougle Fri 08-Feb-13 16:42:25

Sounds like you're into a pattern of escalating threats that lead nowhere - or at least don't have the consequence you desire.

Don't give a consequence in the heat of the moment. He won't be listening. You say he will go straight to his room, eats dinner there and straight to bed? Do you think that will help?

I think he won't understand that it relates to this morning's behaviour, and you'll both be miserable for a long time. You risk having to back down (bad) or go through with an extreme punishment (bad).

MoelFammau Fri 08-Feb-13 16:53:16

Oh dear, not sure I have much advice but couldn't read and run.

My DD is a toddler. She's not as 'advanced' as your DS but has days that are truly awful. Like your DS, her first instinct is to lash out.

What works with her is redirection. Eg, we go into the kitchen because I have to hang up the washing. DD follows screaming 'noooooo!', flailing on the floor etc. She pulls down everything I hang up. I don't react to any of this but say 'hey, could you be REALLY helpful and give Mama the clothes out of the machine?'. DD has the satisfaction of pulling wet clothes around, and I don't have to bend down.

Same for tantrums when I'm cleaning. I give her a cloth and some bubbles and she 'helps'. I think with DD she's pretty switched on and has energy but nowhere to direct it. She's like a collie pup and I treat her the same way - I give her something to do that is sort of similar to the bad stuff she's doing so it's not asking for a total change of behaviour.

Throwing stuff around could be turned into feeding the birds. Moaning about dinner could be turned into helping make it, torturing the dog could be turned into brushing her and feeding her... It's just what seems to work best with my DD, but she IS younger than your DS so perhaps this might not be helpful.

I do know that on the days when I'm just too stressed with other stuff that I don't redirect her, she plays up hugely. She just wants eye contact and will do anything to get it. Not sure if this rings any bells though.

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 08-Feb-13 17:04:35

I'm just muddling along with parenting so not sure if this is good advice but what we do with our DCs (6 and 4) is they are behaving badly is firstly put them in the time out corner and if that doesn't work give them two minutes to calm down and apologise or we will take toys away. And then take a toy and hide it from them for a day. If they repeat the behaviour we take another toy, etc.

What did you do when he hit you in the face?

I think the most important is following through with things, so if you say he can't have his party, for example, then you'd have to not let him have his party. So probably best not to threaten something that extreme! I hate it when I say something like no TV for the whole day if you don't stop hitting your sister or whatever, and then we have to follow it through so none of us can watch telly later on when it would have been nice to calm everyone down before bed!

I know what its like with shouting and getting angry, I used to be so calm before having kids and now I find myself yelling at them even though as i'm doing it I know its not going to help and its just to make them copy me.

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 08-Feb-13 17:10:13

Also in the mornings give yourself more time so that if he is playing up you have time to put him in the corner to calm down, and you're not so stressed rushing about trying to get everything ready. And we also give five minute warnings before we do anything, eg, you have five minutes to play and then we need to put coats and shoes on, and then do a countdown each minute so they're prepared rather than them suddenly having to stop what they're doing.

Also remember that all children have tantrums and play up, and go through stages when it seems never ending, but he will get past it, just keep being consistent with how you deal with it.

OhCobblers Fri 08-Feb-13 17:19:43

Well he was in a foul mood in the car as he didn't get a cake at the cake sale. Kicked my chair all the way home and out of the corner of my eye saw his feet up on the window - both big no nos but I completely ignored it. When we got home he apologised.p - more for this afternoons behaviour than this morning's.
He understood why he was being sent to his room but lashed out at his little sister which is when I lose it.
Ended up sitting on the stairs having a chat as to why all this was happening but once in his room he continued to call me an idiot - another big no no.
He's up there now. I I'll take dinner up to him. I feel I have to follow through with this as it was such outrageous behaviour this morning.

Surrealistrhinoceros Fri 08-Feb-13 17:22:40

I have a six year old who is very like this. It's horrible and you have my sympathies!

About getting ready in the morning, have you tried sand timers? Get a visual egg timer (lots on eBay) and set the ten / fifteen/ whatever you think is reasonable. That's how long he has to get ready and when it's out you are going to school. In his pyjamas if necessary (and take clothes in a bag!) it was recommended to us with DS and it did work - and we never had to actually go in pyjamas though it was a damn close run
Thing at times smile
Also I assume you do no telly/screen until ready? That really helps and these days DS will often get ready at speed in order to have ten minutes of something.

General advice - if he doesn't respond to a short fairly simple consequence, try and avoid upping the ante. It's really hard but I think if consequences aren't working the answer isn't more consequences. Try and set things up so hes likely to succeed, praise the good and if he has a bout of terrible behaviour try to start again with a clean slate.

Hope that helps a bit? Also, is he new to school or to Y1? Is he just tired out?

CaptainCalamari Fri 08-Feb-13 17:30:09

Sounds like you've got stuck in a negative cycle, leaving you both feeling stressed out and unhappy. There were a few articles recently about "lovebombing" where you pick a time (a couple of hours at the weekend, or 15 minutes every day after school) to focus 100% on your child and let them take the lead in what they want to do, just go along with it, play with them and focus on them. As you say, at the moment he's being awful as a way of getting attention - the idea is that by having special time together he'll feel better about himself and eventually will stop acting up quite so much!
Right, need to go and take my own advice now.... smile

OhCobblers Fri 08-Feb-13 18:03:09

Thanks so much for replies.

Getting dressed thankfully isn't a problem. It's once he's downstairs and makes a performance of eating badly, not brushing teeth promptly and crashing into his sister creating a drama (it seems) every 5 mins. Its completely hectic.

And the rudeness is consistent from him.

OhCobblers Fri 08-Feb-13 18:09:15

Sorry forgot to say he's in year 1.

Kleinzeit Fri 08-Feb-13 18:16:30

If you are in pain and finding it hard to keep your temper, it’s very easy to get into a kind of downward cycle, where the more angry and upset and worried and shouty you get the more frightened and defiant and angry your son gets. Anxiety is one of the big triggers for physical aggression (as well as for your own shouting). The more you shout at him and punish him the more anxious he gets, so the worse he behaves, so the more you shout and punish, and round you go.

So, having dealt with plenty of anixiety-related aggression myself, I have three thoughts. My third thought is, can you avoid making punishments too big, and piling punishments one on top of another? So, if your son is being rude because he's sent to his room don’t store up punishments for that. Let him “start afresh” tomorrow. And don’t threaten his birthday party. Keep the biggest punishments (for aggression) within the day or the week and most punishments should begin immediately and finish quickly.

And my second thought is, can you go back to rewards and praise? Sticker charts don't suit everyone, so find little rewards for the “here and now”. “If you’re all ready before the kitchen timer beeps then I’ll read to you for five minutes before we go to school”. If you think he’s attention seeking then praise and rewards that involve your attention will likely work extra well – reading to him, walking with him and chatting, eating a snack together, playing a game of his choice together – even if it’s just for a few minutes each time. It’s a good idea to schedule shared time anyway (if you aren’t already doing that!), but giving him extra as a reward never hurt.

My third thought is that like ChippyChop says, the more calm you can maintain, the better. Your DS is not a monster boy and you are not a monster mum, he is just an upset little boy who can’t cope, and you are a very loving caring Mum. It will work out.

Kleinzeit Fri 08-Feb-13 18:17:47

(how did I get two third thoughts? ah well!)

ThreeBeeOneGee Fri 08-Feb-13 18:19:40

I found DS3's behaviour quite challenging in Y1 and Y2. Things improved a lot in Y3 as he developed the maturity to take responsibility for his own behaviour and understand the impact of his actions on other people.

OhCobblers Sat 09-Feb-13 10:48:10

Thank you so much for all your replies.

I've tried a few things already. Have just explained to him that if he uses feet or hands on anyone that he goes straight to his room - no warnings just gets taken immediately out of the situation.

The pasta jar is very empty. So I'm going to do as someone else does on another thread which is give it in all situations for positive reinforcement, ie, getting dressed quickly, brushing teeth, etc, so he sees it filling up quickly and gets a "treat" sooner, so not just for good behaviour.

I will be doing everything in my power not to shout and the kitchen timer is a great idea! Plus lots of one to one time which we do have already but probably not enough so I'm going to increase it a lot.
I also have the book "how to talk so kids will listen ......." so will find it and re-read as I stupidly never finished it.

Thank you.

peachcake Sat 09-Feb-13 22:28:51

Sounds like you need to spend some quality time together, just the two of you to reconnect.
Possibly a bedtime story followed by a chat about the days events? It's always a good opportunity to tune into your child, a good time for them to let you know if anything maybe bothering them? This behaviour maybe caused by something you are unaware of and spending some time alone together to chat if your son wants to or play together if not will help you to work things out maybe?
Being at loggerheads with your child is miserable sad Really hope things improve for you both soon, hugs x

Shattereddreams Sat 09-Feb-13 22:42:08

And he is teething!! Back molars. Bet my life on it.
Dd was exactly the same last year. Then lost her first tooth so I did a bit of research and lo she had four fat new teeth.

Had noticed her chewing and thought nothing of it.

Pocketmonster Sun 10-Feb-13 15:32:05

ohCobblers - I sympathise with you so much, just had the most awful day with my 7 & 8 year old DD's who are just as you describe your DS. They are bright and articulate and can be delightful, I love them so much but at the moment I just feel like we are sinking into a negative cycle of behaviour - they question everything I ask them to do, they lash out at each other, the way they speak to me is - at times - appalling. The 8 year old has the most ferocious temper tantrums if she is frustrated or angry about something, calls me dreadful names and is physically threatening and aggressive.

Tomorrow I may have something helpful to say, as I know there are things I do that do work, but today I just feel too defeated so just wanted to say, hi, you're not alone and I honestly don't think it is that you are doing anything 'wrong'.

I have watched this thread and will come back!

hillyhilly Sun 10-Feb-13 15:50:33

I know that he is the one that lashes out and is rude and I understand how difficult it is but much of your post sounded as though you are mirroring each others behaviour (angry and shouting) so could you try to model calm, smily, pleasant behaviour? I have tried this and it was really hard at times and didn't always work but it definitely got us out of the negative cycle. If you look at other parents it seems to be the quiet ones who have quiet children and vice versa (though I swear that a day with my ds would soon have them shouting!!!)
There is a good thread running at the moment called "help me to stop shouting (really shouting) at my children" (or something very similar) with lots of parents going through similar, especially in the mornings.

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