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Argumentative ds (8) who will disagree with EVERYTHING

(26 Posts)
TheKitchenWitch Fri 29-May-15 12:31:32

and it's driving me mad!

Me: ooh it's nippy today
Ds: no it's not

Me: there's a lot of traffic today, isn't there?
Ds: no, I don't think so

Me: it's lunchtime!
Ds: it's not, it's still morning

Me: we need to go shopping, we've got no loo roll left
Ds: we have got loo roll

Me: you need to clear your room a bit, it's very messy, the floor is covered with toys
Ds: no it's not

etc etc etc

It is literally about everything, it's like he won't let me be "right" about anything at all, even totally stupid mundane things like the loo roll!
I get that some things are maybe a matter of opinion - the weather, for example - I might find it nippy, he might not, but he can't argue with me if I say it's raining, but he DOES, and hten when I engage or argue back he says things like "well, it's not really what I would call raining".

I know I should probably ignore it but I just can't, especially when it involves something that acvtually needs doing.
I am getting ridiculously wound up by it all - please tell me it's just a phase and pass on any tips for dealing with it before I tear all my hair out!! grin

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 29-May-15 12:33:16

Welcome world. I swear sometimes dd would hurl herself in front of a bus of it meant proving me wrong hmm

bisnet Fri 29-May-15 12:52:02

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

TheKitchenWitch Fri 29-May-15 12:52:41

I don't get it. Ds is lovely, intelligent, funny, kind - we have a great time together, and yet he seems hell-bent on being right all the time, even about things there is no actual "wrong" for eg the weather!
Why? Is it a control thing?
How old is your dd? And how long has she been doing it for?

Jasonandyawegunorts Fri 29-May-15 12:53:14

bisnet spamming the boards with links to your website isn't allowed.

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 29-May-15 12:57:35

She's 8 nearly 9. been at it for years now. shed start an argument in an empty room

TheKitchenWitch Fri 29-May-15 13:00:05

A lot of that sounds like something I'Ve read in a book - I think it's something like "Try and MAke Me" ? Can't quite remember the title, but it'S how to deal with challenging kids.

I do try and shut down thte arguement and not engage, but sometimes it's so hard, I'm just chatting about nothing in particvular and he will inevitably disagree with it, and i just DON'T GET WHY!

TheKitchenWitch Fri 29-May-15 13:00:32

Oooh, sorry about shocking typing, not sure what's going on there! blush

TheKitchenWitch Fri 29-May-15 13:01:31

Mine wasn't like this before, so I am hoping it really is just a phase.
How do you deal with it, Giles?

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 29-May-15 13:05:09

I don't if I'm. honest. I'm still trying to find a way to this effective. She's so busy trying to start a fight all the time she doesn't know what I've even said half the time.

bisnet2 Fri 29-May-15 13:45:37

Apologies to jasonandyawegunorts if what I was doing appeared to be 'spamming.' Wasn't my intention at all. We are a registered charity and was not looking to drum up business; just to share support ideas and links.

I will no longer post in this fashion as it appears I have since been removed from the forums and had to create another account just to apologies.

Would happily have simply posted any ideas that had worked for us or the families we work with without the link to the website. Just felt we had something to offer.

Apologies again.

PolterGoose Fri 29-May-15 14:03:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

justcallmethefixer Fri 29-May-15 14:12:25


CandyLane Fri 29-May-15 16:55:13

My DS is exactly the same!

He's nearly 6, I've recently posted about the possibility of him having Sensory Processing Disorder. I don't know, I'm so confused by it all.
Sometimes I think he is perfectly fine and lovely and there's nothing the matter but he is sooooo unbelievably draining.

He pesters me a lot, repeats himself a lot, is often grumpy over nothing and argues all the God damn time.

I actually checked he wasn't colour blind last week (with those colour blind test pictures) because he was adamant that something that was blatantly purple was black. He will argue until he his blue in the face.

"Mum can I play out?"
"Darling it's raining"
"No it isn't! It's not raining!"
"It is absolutely chucking it down, it's bouncing off the car"
"No it isn't, there's not even a tiny bit of rain"

AAARRRGGGGHHHHH it drives me bonkers!

He's fine at school, it's just like this with me, DH, my mum and his little sister.

He's so bossy and tries to control everything and everybody.

But he can also be lovely

lljkk Sun 31-May-15 15:33:04

Try sense of humour? Ignore or make light of your differences of opinion?

You: ooh it's nippy today
Ds: no it's not
You: Brrrrrrrrrrr!! I'm going to freeze into a giant icicle while you go swimming in the sea, won't you? Wish I was as tough as you.

You: there's a lot of traffic today, isn't there?
Ds: no, I don't think so
You: More than I like, anyway.

You: it's lunchtime!
Ds: it's not, it's still morning
You: Well it's MY lunchtime, you can wait if you like. When it is your lunchtime, what would you like to eat? Maybe I better get ready now.

You: we need to go shopping, we've got no loo roll left
Ds: we have got loo roll
You: Ah, but not enough to clean my big bottom, you'd be amazed how much I need.

You: you need to clear your room a bit, it's very messy, the floor is covered with toys
Ds: no it's not
You: Sorry mate, it rings my too-messy alarm. If you pick up 10 things I'll pretend it's as tidy as you think it is.
You: So just how messy do you think the room needs to be to be too messy? If you had so many toys on the floor that nobody can walk without stepping on them? Coz right now I'm afraid if I walk around in here I'm going to start breaking stuff, AND there's loads of dust that needs sweeping. I don't want to sweep up all your lego, too.

madeitagain Sun 31-May-15 15:56:17

TheKitchenwitch: I can so so identify with you. It made me laugh but actually on a bad day it is anything but a laughing matter. If anyone has any reading material or helpful hints on dealing with a child who has to disagree/dispute everything I too would be interested. I haven't found a workable way to deal with it sorry. Most of the time it doesn't bother me unduly but sometimes it's excruciatingly exasperating.

lexyloub Mon 01-Jun-15 05:50:11

Ds1 is also 8 & he'd argue black was white with you all day must be an age thing

TheKitchenWitch Mon 01-Jun-15 17:11:29

Humour doesn't work. Actually, nothing seems to work. It's like he is deliberately arguing with me until he has goaded me into getting really angry. Then he gets upset, I get upset, but we still haven't actually resolved anything.
Sometimes things just are, we don't need to have a big discussion about everything with him insisting that it's the opposite to how it actually is.
And sometimes I do just ignore it and don't engage, but sometimes it's not possible and I do respond and then we're straight into it again.
He does the same with DH too, so it's not just me. I don't know if he does it at school, but I suspect not - he's not very vocal at school anyway.

Today we took the dogs for a walk, like we do every day.
Ds asked which way we were going, so I told him.
"Oh, do we have to do such a long walk?"
I explain that it's actually not a long walk (it's not, it's basically the shortest one you can do with them to give them time to do their thang, have a bit of a sniff etc). He knows this. We do this walk regularly.
He then immediately launches into "It IS a long walk! It's REALLY LONG".
I try not to engage "I'm sorry you find it a long walk, but that's the one that we'Re doing" but he seems to want to convince me to say that he's right and that it is in fact a long walk. Which I won't do, because, well, it's wrong! Why should I?

Aaaargh, it's driving me utterly mad sometimes! And here (not in the uK) we have another week of holidays, so he's doing it all the time!!

ragged Mon 01-Jun-15 17:38:36

I wonder if he'd lose the habit if you made really obvious ways for him to get attention in other ways.

Try having teenagers if you want offspring who are spoiling for an argument ffs.

Kleinzeit Mon 01-Jun-15 22:03:31

My DS does this. By now I have an A level in dealing with it grin. You might try any or all of these:

Where possible, replace general comments – the sort that start with “it” – with personal ones. So “it’s nippy” becomes “I feel chilly”. Then if your DS says “Well, I don’t” it isn’t a contradiction, it’s just how he feels. Or “It looks nippy outside to me, do you think you need a coat?” (accepting that the answer may be no) Try to ask questions in a way that lets him express his own opinion, rather than just leaving a space for him to agree with you. So “There’s a lot of traffic today, isn’t there?” could become “do you think the traffic is busier than usual today?”

When it comes to giving instructions like cleaning his room, keep it simple and specific. “It’s a bit messy” is a matter of opinion and cleaning it wont feel like a “need” to him. So it comes across as if you are dictating to him “how the world is” and “how he should feel” and he’s going to challenge that. Try “This morning I want you to tidy up all the toys off the floor in your room. When your toys are all put away then we can…”

Lttle choices might make him feel more listened to. Instead of saying “it’s lunchtime” you could ask “do you want lunch now or in half an hour?”

As for the loo roll, you could ignore it, or “Yes you’re right there is half a roll, but that’s not enough. Put your coat on and get in the car”.

You could also try giving your DS extra time to change direction mentally. Some kids just react better if they are given time. “We will need to go out to the shop/have lunch/tidy your room/walk the dog in 10 minutes” may work better than saying something that he takes as “drop everything - we need to go to the shop/have lunch/tidy your room/walk the dog right now”.

Avoid insisting that matters of opinion are matters of fact. At the moment he says it’s a long walk, you say it isn’t. But who decides? And why does it hurt so much to agree with him that it’s a long walk? For me the most important thing is that my DS does what needs to be done – that he goes on the walk – not whether he feels the same as me about it. It can “be” a long walk if it seems long to him.

My DS has Asperger’s and so we have extreme issues around all this. He always has to “win” arguments and he always has to get the last word. Well it really doesn’t matter who gets the last word. When it's really important I use a strategy I read somewhere called “the lasting word”. I make my point twice, and after that I just stop arguing. It doesn’t matter what he says after that because in the long run I know he has heard what I have said even though he wont admit I have a point. Me saying more doesn't add anything, it just digs him in for a fight.

Hopefully your DS isn’t quite that much of a handful! Good luck flowers

deepdarkwood Mon 01-Jun-15 22:11:49

dd does this. One thing that DID help, was me introducing the idea of 'niggling' - arguing about stuff that really isn't worth an argument. We discussed it at length, and she found the idea quite funny. We spent a day shouting 'Niggle, niggle, niggle!' whenever anyone niggled.
So now, me pointing out (in a jokey way) that she's niggling, does diffuse her. For a while...

On non-negotiables (it IS going to rain later, so you are taking a coat to school, even though it's sunny and you dont think it will rain...): I do take no arguements: 'This is one where we are not negotiating or discussing. Sorry.' is a reasonably common line in my house!

deepdarkwood Mon 01-Jun-15 22:15:56

Oh, also: I DO let her win sometimes. Saying "Yes, you're right, I'm wrong" helps her/the dynamic, and only causes me a little pain wink. Plus, sometimes she is.

Effic Mon 01-Jun-15 22:36:00

My son developed an extreme case of 'opposite-itis' for about 18 months when he was about that age. I do think it is about 'control' and children trying to exert some control as in life at that age, they often don't have many choices/control.
Kleinzeit's suggestions are pretty much exactly what I did and it seemed to help - make all opinions start with I think/feel/believe and then when the child is disagreeing simply accept their PoV (even when you know they are simply saying the opposite) so there is no attention given to the behaviuor. And definitely giving some control or choice over somethings works too. Also, start by asking them, getting them to give their opinion first then they have nothing to argue with!. It also means you can 'model' agreeing with their opinion. I also actually sat my child down and explained what 'contrary' meant (we got the dictionary out at one point!) and had a really good discussion about what it meant, what it 'looks like' to others, how it makes people feel etc and we agreed it wasn't a pleasant personality trait so we agreed that if I felt he was being contrary I would say 'I think you are being contrary, let's discuss this later' and we agreed this would shelf the issue till later to ensure the current activity wasn't spoilt.
This all appeared to help and he gradually stopped doing it. This could all be nonsense and he just grew out of it of course but there we go - thought I would share!

WhatHappensNextNow Mon 01-Jun-15 22:48:20

Kleinzeit, thank you! My ds has aspergers and that is a fab post, really helpful, so thanks!

TheKitchenWitch Tue 02-Jun-15 15:44:34

Thanks for all the tips and ideas. I guess it's like any phase they go through, you find coping strategies (and then they move onto the next phase....grin ).

I also realise that because he's been doing it so much lately, I've become less tolerant of him disagreeing with anything, so I do have to watch myself.

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