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'emotional' 5.5yo - how to get some sort of compliance??

(5 Posts)
forshame Fri 30-Nov-12 10:29:52

OK here goes. I am expecting someone to flame me so go ahead, but helpful advice would be appreciated. I have namechanged in case I don't like what you say - kidding, because I have no self esteem today, having had 2 x meltdowns over getting out this am.

Behaviour management strategies used: reward marble jar. They go in when good things are done and when full (it's a BIG jar) there's a £15 reward shop at the toy shop. Very occasionally they come out for not behaving. Takes about 8 - 10 weeks to fill and very wellreceived.

Spot sitting - warning given and then if behaviour continues, time out used OR if behaviour a bit ott ie. physical fighting.

I do try and explain/talk things out. Sanctions are usually followed through - yes I am a mean old cow grin and if I say 'if you don't do X then Y will happen (ie telly off/toy put away) then it happens.

My emotional little one is generally well behaved and is a 'middle child' of 3. The eldest is a teenager the youngest a toddler.

It is relentless tho - dc2, when not getting the answer they want tends to melt down, howl, cry, get really wound up. Plus the telling him everything about a million (well several, well lots and lots of) times. He endlessly debates (or tries to) when there's something that he wants to avoid, or something different he wants to do. It is just trying my non-existant patience. I just want him to put his coat on, without debating it/howling about it. I just want him to do his reading without moaning/hysterically howling when we get to the second Biff and Chip book. When he wants / needs something often he won't just ask for it, there has to be some sort of howling/crying/whinging BEFORE anyone has even said yes or no or wait a minute or even before he has explained what he wants (and I mean in a lot of different circumstances eg. sat at dinner wanting more to drink...)

He knows how to talk - I just struggle to understand why he won't just ask/talk about what he wants it seems to need to turn into a big howling/whinging episode.

I have tried hugging him when he is like this, positive praise (ohh, you have done X so well focus on that, have a marble), sending him to time out, ignoring it, telling him I am ignoring it, I have lost my temper, I have smacked him before now blush. Nothing seems to be moving us on from this strategy/behaviour of his.


He is fine at school and considered well behaved and doesn't get like this when he doesn't get his own way / is told to do something. I have asked his teachers.

Possibly I am not consistent enough? I honestly don't know. When he isn't carrying on he is lovely. I don't expect him to be a saint ALL the time, but if we could get to the point where he can just ask for stuff without melting down and recovering more quickly from the crushing disapointment of not ALWAYS getting his own way, I would be ecstatic...more to drink at dinner - no problem son, need to get my pants on, ok mum...

There is atleast 1 meltdown a day at the moment. It is exhausting. sad Or maybe it just isn't as bad as I think??

lljkk Fri 30-Nov-12 17:20:13

Attention seeking personality type.
I end up drinking too much wine.

BrightenMyNorthernSky Fri 30-Nov-12 21:18:52

Mine is a bit like this too. The only thing I can suggest is to pick your battles. So he won't wear his coat? Take it anyway. Guaranteed he'll get cold in a few minutes and ask to put it on. Ignore a request to come to the table and eat? Fine, you've missed this meal and there is nothing else until the next one. Mine has been marched out of the swimming pool changing room in his pants on more than one occasion due to a complete failure to dress himself despite my asking several times, but I think he has now got the message on that one.

Are you asking him to do reading etc when he's tired at the end of the day? I find I get a (slightly) better response if I don't leave things like this too late.

wine also recommended.

Tgger Fri 30-Nov-12 21:55:19

Awwww.... what would happen if you quit the rewards and only did the punishments on the important stuff- maybe you do anyway? I much prefer going with the flow than all this reward stuff.

And perhaps he needs to go to bed earlier- could this be an issue?- my DS is generally quite easy going, but if we have busy/exciting days when he gets overtired then suddenly the tears and upset and howling as you describe come much easier.

forshame Sun 02-Dec-12 22:28:35

Thanks for replies. Have been working on having a good weekend;) Speaking with some other mums has put it all a bit more in perspective and some good advice here. Maybe we'll be going to school in pants tomorrow LOL. Reading is usually am and bed time/lights out at 7.30. Will persevere andwine.
Gold stars all round for managing to read the novel...

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