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boys get a testosterone boost around age 7 don't they?

(22 Posts)
popperdoodles Thu 28-Mar-13 14:27:35

well somethings has got into DS aged 6.5. His behaviour over the last week or 2 has been horrendous. Rude and silly and not listening. Crying alot too and tantrums where he throws himself about like a toddler. The more I challenge his behaviour the worse to seems to get.

I need new ideas. Time out seems to make the situation worse and he desends into full on temper tantrum which we ride out.

What works for others with similar ages?

Teachercreature Thu 28-Mar-13 15:19:34

Yes they do I believe. I had trouble with my daughter and time outs around same age too - think they aren't as helpful past six.

In general, I'd suggest a mixture of carrot and stick, and aiming for "calm assertive" (easier said than done when you're getting screamed at I know!)

So set five or six simple rules - like, speak politely to everyone. During the day whenever you notice him keeping a rule give him some form of little reward, like a sticker on a chart or a marble in a jar, and when he builds some up give a bigger reward. Lots and lots of praise for doing the right things.

If he starts to break a rule, remind him of it. If he continues what you then need is a "sliding scale" of small deterrents, to be decided as best fits your child. For example, ten mins in your room, or no TV today, or whatever works best for you. If he continues, go up the scale. But think of them as consequences of his actions, rather than you punishing him - ie he is choosing to break the rule and therefore choosing that consequence.

I based this on a behaviour system used in my first school and have found it works wonders! The clear rules help you all know what's expected, and with rewards (and consequences) spelled out you always feel in control. Plus, the emphasis is on saying to the child, well you chose to break that rule, so you as the adult aren't the "bad guy" either.

Re the tantrums with any luck he won't get that far but if he does, there are several ways to deal with them. I think the key is what is the tantrum over? With my DD she actually weirdly kind of enjoyed them and also was using them to get my attention, even in a negative way! Once I finally worked that out, I discovered simply totally ignoring her was the answer - the screams upset me so I put my music on and read a book. First time she screamed for 20 mins, the second about three, then she never bothered again. (She was 6.5 too.) Also - does he scream in school? If not, why not? It struck me if she could behave in school there was no need to tantrum at home either.

Hope something in there is useful - do adapt for whatever best suits you though, and good luck! :-)

colditz Thu 28-Mar-13 15:22:53

Oh don't sy that. I've been waiting for the alleged fourth year testosterone rush to die down, and he's seven in three weeks.

Teachercreature Thu 28-Mar-13 15:28:22

Oh dear! They also pick up things from other children too of course, plus they're trying to cope with sitting still in school all day when they'd rather be playing... it's developmentally quite a tricky time for boys I always think. If it's any consolation they do often settle down more in Year 3!

popperdoodles Thu 28-Mar-13 16:00:08

Thank you. He is delightful at school. Might see if a sticker chart will get us through the easter holidays.

Teachercreature Thu 28-Mar-13 17:26:53

They often are! I think it's a sort of compliment that they trust you enough to let it all out, but it's no fun to live with! Hope all goes well and you have a lovely Easter smile

k2togm1 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:52:56

Sorry, only have a ds who is two so can't help with the behaviour issues, but testosterone affects boys only prenataly and then when they reach puberty, not at all in between! So the hormones are not to blame hmm

Teachercreature Thu 28-Mar-13 19:53:03

Oh that's interesting. I've read conflicting accounts myself with some saying no and some saying yes and an experienced SALT therapist told me they did so I must admit I took her word for it - have you got any links? I'd be very interested to read up on it! (Have only a girl myself so never looked into it much!)

k2togm1 Fri 29-Mar-13 08:35:33

I read it in pink brain blue brain by Lise Eliot. Very well researched and referenced book by the neuroscientist, well worth the read to understand stereotypes vs true biological differences, but even better is that she proposes things to help both sexes practice the skills that don't necessarily come naturally to them.

Teachercreature Fri 29-Mar-13 12:33:07

Interesting, thank you very much!

I googled the testosterone thing and apparently the source is mainly from this book:

He is a psychologist though rather than a scientist, and there is a very interesting article here challenging much of what is said at all, and claiming that the testosterone story got turned into a sort of urban myth:

So I think I shall be taking that one with a large pinch of salt from now on, thank you!!

k2togm1 Fri 29-Mar-13 13:42:41

Are you a teacher? I am a peri music teacher and found this book really interesting, hormones as excuse for behaviour that probably originates somewhere else does make a difference to how we treat small boys and girls, so to have that challenged and channelled is great!

Teachercreature Fri 29-Mar-13 15:59:05

Am indeed - and am definitely interested to read it. Been in an all girl school last few years, but taught mixed before that. Thanks very much, tips always come in handy!

desertgirl Fri 29-Mar-13 16:19:52

well whether or not it is hormones, I just had the day from hell with my once-upon-a-time very sweet and helpful 6.5 year old - as someone described, tantrumming like a two year old (only bigger and louder), in public - kicking, biting, hitting me, pulling my hair, telling me he hates me and is going to kill me.

Managed to stay calm, did not get into shouting match (which is about the only good thing about the day!). Cancelled a theatre trip this afternoon (couldn't go without him as no childcare, so DD and I had to miss too) and have told him he isn't coming out with me tomorrow as I can't trust him to behave. However, I'm finding it very hard to cope, partly as it has really scared me that he will end up turning out like his father (ultra selfish, pathological liar (as in, all the time, for no good reason - eg tells everyone he was at a completely different school than he actually was - and he is in his 50s, nobody cares), horrible temper which can get violent).

It is kind of reassuring to hear it isn't just him. Might try the stars for keeping rules bit, but he is so 'I'm only doing X if you do Y' that I feel it might just feed into that and encourage him to think he is owed something every time he does anything nice sad

Teachercreature Fri 29-Mar-13 17:56:06

desertgirl I really really sympathise. My DD went through a very very bad phase after my marriage break up, and even with years of training in behaviour management I still felt lost.

My first thought would be, has something changed in his life recently? That can trigger this sort of thing. Secondly, does he behave the same at school?

If no, then try the sliding scale of "consequences" thing I described. They used it in schools in Harlem and it worked! You spell them out to the child so they always know what will happen next if they break your rules. You need to use this with reward system, hand in hand, so that you are teaching what is NOT acceptable too. It honestly does really work, as long as you are totally consistent with it.

If yes, and there's more going on - I went and got help. I saw my GP, who referred me to a really nice health visitor. Just talking it over with someone else really helped. That's probably a first step.

Hope that's of some help!

desertgirl Fri 29-Mar-13 18:48:06

Thanks teachercreature - nothing particularly changed recently, (left XH 5 years ago so not a break up thing); and he apparently behaves fine at school. Going to think about sliding scale and what to put on; will definitely give it a go.

Teachercreature Fri 29-Mar-13 22:18:19

I know it sounds harsh! But it does work. I found my DD was the same and behaved perfectly at school. Asked her why - she said "because if I was naughty they'd send me out of the class". At which point I twigged I needed more of a deterrent at home too! Rewards alone didn't cut it (sadly!) and nor did reason. Didn't like doing it, but the one good thing was once she saw I was really serious I only ever had to do it once (in her case, favourite toy put away for 24 hours). Never again after that. And she also did understand that it was purely as she had tantrumed at me!

Wish you the best of luck with it and a lovely Easter smile

MadameSin Sat 30-Mar-13 13:11:01

I ask our paediatrician about the hormone surge and she said it was a myth. But what does happen at this age and again at 14, is brain growth development, what ever that means. It's part of the normal process of what shapes your child into the adult they will turn out to be. Obviously, it's a lot more complex, but basically behaviours can change at these times. It's really important to recognise them deal with it appropriately and effectively. I have a 16 year old and he definitely changed at both these ages. Good luck!

desertgirl Sat 30-Mar-13 20:20:20

Thanks teachercreature.... Oh I do provide consequences... (usually missing out on something they want to do, or cutting out screen time, or otherwise 'removing' something) just not a proper system; I just warn and then impose.

Have a lovely what's left of Easter too!!

tostaky Sun 31-Mar-13 21:37:49

So can anyone give me examples of their sliding scales of consequences... because i just cant figure it out...
1. Get removed from situation/has to sit for 5 minutes next to me
2. go to your bedroom for 10 minutes (what if outside?)
3. ????
4. ???

MadameSin Mon 01-Apr-13 10:56:35

Check out '1-2-3 Magic' behaviour management .. can get book or audio book from Amazon. Ds2 has ADHD and it's been great for him .. works upto around 12 years old. Tells you what to do if you are out of the house as well. Basically, it's a count up to consequences. After about a week, I never had to count passed 2 .. result!! grin

Teachercreature Mon 01-Apr-13 19:04:15

I've used:
Verbal warning/reminder she is breaking a rule first. Then if it continues -
1) Loses a "point" (we give her points for every rule kept at end of day which then translate to pocket money! Would need something more immediate for a younger child though - loss of a sticker???)
2) Go to room for ten mins
3) Favourite toy removed for 24 hours
4) Favourite toy further 24 hours (never had to go past this!)

A friend of mine removes TV privileges instead - really it's about using something your own child doesn't like for it to work (also needs to be age appropriate). Out of the house I'd adjust it to a time out in the car instead, and then if necessary go home. Usually they test once to see how serious you are. If they know every time what's going to happen, it removes the curiosity element! Plus it helps you avoid that "what on earth am I going to do next?!" feeling.

Madame that sounds very interesting and will also have a look at that, thanks!

Crawling Mon 01-Apr-13 19:12:51

Just thought Id say my ds was like that at age 6:5 now at 7:2 he is a angel 90% of the time.

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