DS: charming but controlling(75 Posts)
My son is just wonderful (as is everyone's, I'm sure).
He is caring and kind, charming and incredibly articulate. He is particularly interested in electricity: how things work, making circuits (a game called Hot Wires is a sage way to do it). He is 5 years old.
Since he has been at nursery (2 and a quarter), I've heard nothing but complaints about his resistance to go along with instructions - be it signing at singing time, stopping to tidy up, sitting on the carpet, etc.
I'm quite strict at home a d have tried everything. Sticker charts / other positive incentives, consequences, etc.
I've even gone so far as to photograph, laminate and cut up a picture if his favourite toy to give him one if four pieces of it to incentivise good behaviour. Nothing! He loves in the here and now I'll do what if like.
He's not naughty - just determined to follow his own interests, ideas and plans.
I'm despairing as its been complained about at both nurseries and now at school. He's been asked to leave: football, ballet, Zumba, drama, etc.
He doesn't endear himself to have friends although he would love to - because he tries to tell them (nicely but all the same...) exactly what to play with/ how to play with it. He's fantastic at setting up games, activities, etc and wonderful with younger children. I'm at the end of my tether as we have had play dates and mums have said, surprised, "He's fine, isn't he!". They've obviously been told by their children that he doesn't listen and is 'redirected' a billion times a day. His eye contact and interpersonal skills (BAR LISTENING TO OTHERS unless they're telling him about something he would like to know).
Feeling isolated and at the point of getting him assessed. Can anyone relate????
Was one more effective then the rest? What about a visual timetable? It's trial and error I think, just keep looking for something that works. Mine's 13 and can be a bit quirky. It really does get easier.
I actually find that after about 2 weeks my son loses interest / is less incentivised by any of them. He certainly keeps me on my toes. Currently using a marble jar.
Hi, don't mean to sound dismissive, especially as I'm sure it can be very wearing and youre clearly concerned. But maybe your ds is just destined to be a leader, not a follower and perhaps you shouldn't be trying to 'correct' him, but embracing his uniqueness. I don't mean indulging him, every child needs to learn humility and empathy etc but he sounds like a really unique child with a lot to offer if focussed correctly. Your description actually made me think "yes, the world needs these kinds of people too". I don't think there's anything wrong with him other than being a true individual. I rather like that. Children like yours just need their energies focusing in the right direction.
Mantana, your response is really moving and hit home with me. I hope you're right but since school and his child minder are finding him difficult, I'm having to think harder a d consider having someone 'take a look' fir professional objectivity'. Occasional mildly aggressive outbursts towards childminder. That's not ok.
But yes, he'll please gd be a leader. That's for sure! Lol
Even the best leaders have to stop and listen to others though. It's a vital skill that he does need to learn.
What is he interested in?
Exactly what my DH just said to me. Exactly the problem. Moreover, I'd like this little boy of mine who'd looooove to have friends and affectionate adults around him to engender that by listening instead of being obstinate and controlling.
He is interested in electricity. In fact, thinking about it, this interest came about at the age of about 2 and a half - same time these controlling behaviours became apparent.
Have you tried a little reverse psychology? Show him that adults have to communicate and work with each other. If he thinks he's an adult then part of being an adult is being able to work with others and not dish out the orders. Can you see what I mean?
Can you buy him an electricity science kit? One piece for each day of the desired behaviour. He'll be able to build it up and will see what he's achieved. Trick with this is to only use it for one behaviour issue as it's confusing for him otherwise. Listening to others would be a good one to start off with.
Gosh he sounds very, very like my eldest son (now 7). DS was v. into physics, circuits etc, 'charmless' to visiting children (yet liked them coming round), very bright but very difficult, has to do things on his own terms - yet lovely and very affectionate on his own terms. He is also very kind to smaller children, animals etc.
I finally realised that DS is dyspraxic but it just hadn't revealed itself in the normal way. Have a look at the dyspraxia society website. I now home ed DS which has helped him massively and he has a couple of home edded friends who are into his hobbies. He does well academically as the one to one style of teaching really suits him. He too is often described as 'quirky' and I also used to be a teacher. I've decided I'm not really bothered about labels. He is happy and coming on well, academically and socially (albeit that he is still immature compared to others) and that's all that matters really.
I have Hot Wires and use You Tube to understand how to make potato batteries, etc.
I'd not home school him. I'm not against it but it's soooo hard to get him to do anything he's not interested in that we'd either spend the day waiting for a mini meltdown to pass or having time outs or doing what he's interested in.
I also suppose I feel I'd like him to socialise with others. It's healthy for him. We don't have a huge circle of friends or family with children and do its even more of an important aspect of his education.
How would I know whether he was Dyspraxic? He's not clumsy, his coordination seems fine (excellent fine motor skills), etc.
- scratching own head.
I think dyspraxia is now considered part of the big picture of autism in some circles. It makes sense to me as there are a lot of kids who are difficult to define but just stand out as being 'quirky'. Have a look at the checklist on the dyspraxia website. Dyspraxia isn't all about clumsiness.
DS was totally refusing to do things at school, saying they were ridiculous. He is doing maths/literacy etc through his love of physics and now he's got into programming too. Don't be too quick to dismiss HE. It has really worked for my son.
Find something that has lots of bits. He can watch his collection grow which will motivate him (hopefully). Have you tried relaxation techniques? May help when he melts down. The ASD traits do overlap with Dyspraxia, it can be tricky to differentiate the two. You're better off popping to your GP and having a chat, he needs a referral really. In the mean time you could do with some strategies to try and diffuse things when he's in melt down mode. Does this happen when he's asked to do something he doesn't want to do?
Also, you can't force someone to become sociable. I am an extrovert but finally I've accepted that DS isn't. He doesn't give a shit about pleasing the group. He likes who he likes and a couple of play dates a week are enough for him.
I'll never say never ... but I'd rather not! I am patient with others' children but not able to maintain it with him on educational stuff as he us so opposed to doing anything educational- however I disguise it (electricity based).
He listens to wonderful meditation CDs most nights. He also does a bit of yoga for kids with a video if he's inclined fir 5-10 mins at the end of the day.
Every child is different, chuck. They all require very different parenting skills, so what works with one child won't work with another. Is there something that triggers him off? What do you usually do to diffuse it?
There are many ways to home ed. Also there are very good networks for socialising. I had to take DS out of school for his own mental health. He was frustrated by the easiness of the work but instead of completing it to be a 'good boy' just refused to do it, no matter what the punishment. What is your son like re self-organisation, eye contact, listening skills and writing/drawing?
Also is he socially mature or immature compared to his peers? What is he like re sensorial experiences eg getting wet/muddy or textures of food?
Mature - in TES of knowing what's what, summing up and deciding immediately what and how he'd like to go about things.
In terms of listening skills (ie mouth closed, ears open, conversing TWO WAY), not great.
He hates anything related to listening, concentrating, writing. It's too constricting for his busy brain and independence. He will literally draw a line on the other side if the page to write his name rather than write it on the name line provided.
I know it sounds silly, but have you tried teaching him the basics of listening? Some children pick it up through osmosis so don't need teaching, some children don't. Have you tried role play? I used a book called the unwritten rules of friendship (someone on here recommended it many moons ago), it really helped.
I think home edding would allow him to tailor his day to exactly what he'd like to do- all day long. I'm not up for that. He needs to learn to cooperate and respect some instructions. Whether its at home or school.
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