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Please help me to sort out DS1's behaviour at home! Sorry it is a rant...

(9 Posts)
sagelynodding Mon 08-Oct-12 01:35:57

I am feeling utterly fed up and unhappy about the weekend I have just spent with my Ds1+2. DS2 is 21 months and mostly pretty good.

DS1 however has been quite frankly a nightmare. At school he is very very well behaved (tries hard, listens to the teacher, obeys rules etc) but at home he whines, screeches, sulks, lashes out verbally, and has huge awful screaming tantrums when things don't go his way. He seems unhappy and angry a lot of the time.

There is a lot going on at home at the moment-I have gone from PT to FT work (nights) covering for a very sick colleague, so am knackered. I am miserable in my job, and I wonder if this shows at home.

DP works 7/7 but will be taking a longish period of leave soon. ATM he does help out, but we are nowhere near the 50/50 parenting we used to do.

We are moving house, and DS has now grasped that he will be moving school at the end of the school year (he swings from being happy to being upset about this).

School this year has so far been disappointing for both of us-in a 4 day school week (abroad) he has 3 different 'class' teachers on a regular basis-2 scheduled, but also a different supply teacher probably for 1/2 a day per week. I feel that the situation is far from ideal for 4-5 year olds.

Anyway, after a weekend where despite having almost zero sleep, I have tried to do fun things (beach, park, playdate, macdonalds) and had nothing but tantrums and screaming, I NEED a plan.

I am thinking of going back to basics to reinstate discipline-posters with the rules on à la Supernanny, star charts for mealtimes (big sticking point), and for morning/evening/weekend behaviour, banning the television (I would cheerfully sling it out of the window, but that is extreme), spending proper 1 on 1 time with each DC...what else can I do?

What behaviour do you expect from your 4/5 yo? What things around the house do you expect them to do? How unreasonable would it be to get DS to take a nap on weekends (he does sleep 12h easily every night, and has only dropped his regular nap in the past 6 months)?

Can anyone recommend a book for DS about talking about feelings?

If you got to the end of this, thank you for reading, and sorry about the disjointedness, and the self pity...

TanteRose Mon 08-Oct-12 13:48:00

poor you [sad[

my DS was very difficult at about the same age

one good book is How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk - very practical. www.amazon.co.uk/Talk-Kids-Will-Listen-Child/dp/1853407054

sagelynodding Mon 08-Oct-12 16:37:39

I will order it! Thanks for the reminder.
DS calmer today so far...

Fuzzymum1 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:22:26

I would second the recommendation - it's a really good book that made me go "aaah of course" so many times :D

MrsFrisbyMouse Mon 08-Oct-12 20:09:27

Wow. Thats a lot of things on. Their behaviour can be bad at home if they are using lots of energy on being 'good' at school. There is a theory that we only have a finite capacity for behaviours we are still learning. (why as adults we find change so hard!). He probably just has nothing left in his tank!

I'd be wary of implementing too much change at home. Try and remove the most obvious sources of conflict. If you have to feed him stuff that is limited for a while then it won't hurt him. Same if he doesn't eat for one meal. Stop meal times being a battle. Remember you only have so much capacity yourself!

Don't worry about doing lots of stuff. Maybe you need to do less for a while, not more. Again the more tired children are the worse they sleep.

Maybe not a nap at weekends, but certainly so quiet down time or activity.

Oh, and no TV or screens at least an hour if not two before bed, as it takes this long for the stimulation to go away.

Be kind to yourself, and remember this too shall pass!

ilikemysleep Mon 08-Oct-12 20:48:38

I would start giving him picture schedules of what is happening. Who will be teaching him that day, what activities you are planning at home...so he can see the day ahead. You can hand draw on a whiteboard or use pictures printed out - there are lots of sample schedules at websites like do2learn.com. Don't panic that is says 'for special needs' - lots of young kids benefit from visual cueing at times of uncertainty or stress, especially more 'sensitive' souls!

ilikemysleep Mon 08-Oct-12 20:52:50

I would start giving him picture schedules of what is happening. Who will be teaching him that day, what activities you are planning at home...so he can see the day ahead. You can hand draw on a whiteboard or use pictures printed out - there are lots of sample schedules at websites like do2learn.com. Don't panic that is says 'for special needs' - lots of young kids benefit from visual cueing at times of uncertainty or stress, especially more 'sensitive' souls!

Sagelyhaunting Tue 09-Oct-12 00:35:13

smile Thank you all.

TV before bed has been stopped for a while now except on weekends, and the difference for both DSs has been remarkable.

I'm trying not to make a fuss about mealtimes, but it is hard when you know that at school (school lunches only) most days DS has bread, yoghurt and fruit... I think I will just cook things he likes alongside things he 'might' try one day.

I like the idea of picture schedules Ilikemysleep - you are quite right, DS1 is sensitive and highly-strung, so maybe knowing exactly what is going to happen each day will help him. It does mean I will have to actually plan our weekends though, but that is probably a good thing!

ilikemysleep Tue 09-Oct-12 20:35:11

Well, Sagely, you can plan in Surprise time (if you don't know what you will do, or lazy time, or choosing time...you don't have to have the weekend schedule TOO rigid as that can cause its own problems! You are aiming for reassurance and a feeling of safely having an idea of how the day will probably be, rather than a militarily mapped operation wink

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