8 year old son rude and disrespectful(18 Posts)
I'm a single mum to my 8yo boy and I'm finding it very difficult to manage his behaviour lately.
I'd say it's been going on for nearly the past year, but has slowly progressed from mild cheekiness and being flippant to full-blown arrogance over the past few months...he says things to me that I would never have dreamed of saying to my mother.
For instance, this morning on the way to school I say in general chit-chat 'oh what a miserable day' (referring to the weather) he retorts, completely deadpan, 'no that's just you. The day isn't miserable, you are'
I said 'that's unkind and that hurts my feelings', he says NOTHING. After a few minutes I say 'do you have nothing to say' and he mutters a sorry half heatedly. I told him it means nothing if I have to ask for it and that he's hurt my feelings. He continues to say nothing until I drop him at school and kiss him goodbye.
I feel like everything is a battle, at home if I tell him to stop doing something (and I do give 5-10 minute warnings before doing so...eg. '10 mins til bath time'...'5 mins left on the iPad' etc) I will get a high-pitched panicked shouting terror yelling at me until normally I have to forcibly remove him or start counting to 3 loudly to get him moving.
I've taken away privileges, stopped him using iPads and the laptop (which he only gets for a certain time each day anyway), sent him to his room, tried having calm conversations with him after the event, tried giving extra cuddles, tried giving him praise when he's doing things right etc...I'm at a loss what to do next.
He is at home after school with me a fair amount, he does an after school club once a week and a boys youth club once a week and goes to his dads every other weekend...on dry days we go to the park after school or visit family, and he has playmates over fortnightly or so...I guess he might be bored although he loves playing Minecraft on the laptop but that's something I've banned for the week due to his behaviour.
I'm just at a loss of what to do now, please help
It's very hard isn;'t it. The first thing that struck me about your post though was that when he made the rude comment on the way to school...you asked for an apology and when you got it, you threw it back in his face by saying "It means nothing if I have to ask for it."
Then don't ask for it...sorry if that sounds harsh but it's unfair on a child of 8 to do this....I have two children of 9 and 5 and know just how mean they can seem...his social life is no different to that of most 8 year olds so don't blame yourself for him being bored...he has enough to do by the sound of it.
Is his Dad in a relationship? I wonder if he's picking up these nasty remarks while he is there? Does he seem happy going to his Dads?
I'm interested to see the answers on this topic. My DS is also 8 and behaving terribly at the moment....from conversations with other mums , it does seem to be an age thing, but that doesn't help with dealing with it.
I know if i stay calm it helps, but that isn't always possible in face of a monster!
Does your DS have an awful rage inside him? That's what i can't deal with.
Honestly, I think he needed to be told off for being rude rather than 'you've hurt my feelings' followed by the silent treatment. He said it to hurt your feelings, that was the point, he already knows that. What he doesn't know yet is that you aren't going to tolerate it. Being called on it probably made him feel sad inside but I don't think it will stop him doing it, it just makes you both feel awful and he isn't emotionally sophisticated enough to deal with that.
Maybe he feels crap, so he uses you to make himself feel better (by bringing you down rather than boosting himself up) but it doesn't work so he feels even more crap and the cycle continues.
Thank you for your replies!
ICame...that's a good point about asking for an apology and then essentially throwing it back, I hadn't actually thought of it like that...thanks. And in regard to his dad, yes he is in a relationship...one that's only a year old and they already have a young baby, so I'm sure this is having some kind of impact. He sees him every other weekend, and actually said to me the other day, unprompted and out of nowhere really 'I don't think their relationship will last long, they are always having an argument' to which I replied that sometimes it's hard with a new baby, perhaps they are tired...but it is unusual for him to make that kind of comment :/
Always...I too try to stay calm, afraid to say sometimes I do end up as 'equally shouty mum' which I totally understand doesn't help at all, but I get frustrated by the fact he doesn't seem to grasp what I expect of him.
Stravy...I get that he should be told off for bring rude, I just wanted him to know that his behaviour also impacts my feelings (it genuinely does hurt when he's being mean!)
I don't know, perhaps I expect too much of him?! I grew up with 4 sisters and went to a girls school, I genuinely don't know much about little boys and their behaviour...is it normal? And what are 8 year old only children normally upto in the week after school?
Forgot to say, although he commented on his dad's relationship, he is always happy to go there...and sometimes sad to come back! He does love being around his dad.
Don't boys have a huge testosterone surge at around 8? Could be hormonal? Sounds tough but sounds like you're doing your best, hopefully it's a phase
Not all boys have a testosterone "surge" no. I think OP it sounds like he's feeling a little insecure....his Dad and his partner aren't getting on and they may be arguing where he can hear...a new baby adds more pressure too.
I would be talking to him about the fact that adults sometimes say things which sound really bad but that often, they're just ill thought out arrows designed to hurt for a moment...and that while it's never good to say hurtful things, sometimes people do...but that it's best to think before you speak. Talk about the brief moment which we all have before we choose to say anything and about how in that moment we can choose...choose to say the words or let them go....tell him how intelligent he is...he does sound very bright...and big him up a lot. Bless him....he sounds a bit worried.
Thank you...I have spoken to him about choosing his words, and thinking before he says things...but that we do make mistakes and sometimes people say things they don't really mean when they are angry or upset. Thank you for your comments and advice
And in regards to hormone surges, I'm totally clueless...
we generally have a good relationship, he is a very honest child and talks to me a lot about feelings etc so I will ask him how he's feeling later...we are home from school/work for the day now...I haven't mentioned anything and he's actually been a delight since he came home from school!
Feel free to tell me to wind my neck in if I seem out-of-line, but maybe he was just being honest when he said that you were miserable this morning...Maybe you were miserable.
Ds1 is 9 and almost identical. I can offer no advice, only sympathy.
I kind of agree with ellesababe.
If ds1 said something like that to me, I would be asking him why he said it and trying to find out what was behind it.
My usually easygoing dd1 started to say out of character stuff like this when she turned 8.
I think sometimes they hear stuff at school and then fancy trying it out in a safe environment (ie the family home) to see how it lands! They know they will get a reaction, but that nothing too bad will happen - like it might at school if they spoke this way to a teacher!!!
Even so, I agree that this behaviour is awful and does get you down. Also that it needs nipping in the bud.
I don't think you really need to overanalyse it though. A simple and firm "you don't speak to me like that - that is extremely rude" worked for us. She is still a little bit 'last word' from time to time, but I think this a normal stage of growing up! As for the not listening to the countdowns and having selective hearing - again normal 8 year old!!
As long as his school is not complaining then I would not stress over it and just be firm and it will pass.
And ellesabe...I was actually in a good mood and so was he before that comment! I'd have understood more if I WAS miserable...the reason I told him it hurt my feelings is because I wasn't, and there was no indication or reason for him to say/think otherwise!
Thank you for all the comments though, I have taken it all in...and it feels better to know I'm not alone and others are experiencing this with their children...more than anything I guess I worry as it's just me, with no other parent for support which is why it's good to come here and ask for advice
I know this is a zombie thread, but I am going through exactly this with my 8 year old DS at the moment.
OP Did things improve with your DS?
Does anyone else have any more advice? My DS is like this with me constantly, although he's good as gold for everyone else. There has been a big change at home (I married and DH moved in with us), but it's been made clear that my DS is just as important to me as he's always been. I accept that he will still need to adjust to the changes though.
I am currently in the throws of an 8 year old with bad tudes and disrespectful behavior.
I think the best thing to do is:
In the moment, comment on the problem behavior, and get out of the heat of the situation. At some point when all are calm and able to "Deal" with it, talk it out and prob what is happening that triggers the disrespect? Be ready, open, and accepting of the reasons they offer, but probe deeper until you get to the underlying truth of the matter.
In the discussion there is no room for argument, when confronted by something that is hard to accept, refuse to argue the point, in fact force yourself not to argue. this is a reasoning session.
If you do get to the golden truth of what is behind the behavior, help your child discover alternative solutions, or actions to take. When they can puzzle out the best choices, ask them to choose wisely and help you avoid the problems that the bad behavior causes.
Oh god I am right in the midst of this with my 8 yr old. He is fine with his dad, but when we are on our own he can be soooo rude, arguing about any minor thing I ask him to do, even when I lay down the law, raise my voice and give him ultimatums, he just continues to fight regardless of the consequences. I just end up fett
Oops posted too soon--anyway I just end up getting so annoyed, shouting and then make him sit down and listen to exactly what has upset me, and then tell me back what he has done wrong so I know he understands. It's just constant though-Almost every day. I hate it as I end up feeling so negatively towards him. I'm pretty sure it's some phase straddling the gulf between them being wee boys and pre-teens where he is forming his own ideas and mind and wants to feel independent etc. but his way of asserting himself is so misplaced and aggressive, and saved up for solely me...!!!! Aaaaargghgggggggggg
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