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10yr old DS just wont do as he's asked, really struggling with him

(9 Posts)
SpanishFly Wed 15-Jul-15 07:48:14

This has gone on for years - he's very confident and thinks he knows best. Doesnt matter what the request is, he thinks he has a better way to do it. Then it ends in tears or something going wrong. I am at the end of my tether with constant disregard for the rules. He has xbox removed for a week at a time, and behaves better, then it all goes back to constant battling. He doesnt argue with us about things, so it's not that we're battling all the time, just a complete not-giving-a-shit about others' feelings/rules etc. It's as if he has no empathy at all. He just cant seem to see why his behaviour is making everyone so unhappy. To everyone outside of the family he's a wonderful happy boy who is very clever and very sociable.

We were in the US last week, and he is the only one who is still jetlagged. He is put to bed at 8pm, and won't attempt to sleep, despite us telling/asking/explaining then ultimately warning him to try to get the hell to sleep. Last night it transpired that he was messaging his friend on his phone at 11pm. (Didnt know he had his phone in his room, as this isnt allowed at bedtime). So he's had his phone banned now. But this morning, all he was concerned about was how long it's banned for.
No concern that yesterday we had had a huge row about rules not being followed, and me being visibly upset at his behaviour, and him apologising and saying how he would do as he was told from now on, etc etc etc etc etc.

I just feel permanently exhausted, always waiting for a battle, always feeling letdown by his behaviour. It's affecting my health now, and I have a GP appt next week. I just dont know how to deal with any of this any more.

ProbablyMe Wed 15-Jul-15 07:50:12

Sorry no advice just wanted to show a bit of solidarity as mine (12 and 18) are the same. Will watching to see what others suggest.

SpanishFly Wed 15-Jul-15 07:51:43

ah, thank you. It really does help when you know you're not alone.

I just get so frustrated at how little he seems to be bothered at how upset we all are.

purplesnail Wed 15-Jul-15 20:13:51

www.amazon.co.uk/How-Talk-Kids-Will-Listen/dp/1848123094
Reading this book at the moment, has some good techniques which might help, no practical advice though DS is only 2.

worldsworstmum2015 Wed 15-Jul-15 21:59:40

I've got a 9yo exactly the same watching with interest

Ferguson Wed 15-Jul-15 23:13:28

My initial reaction is: WHY has it been allowed to go on for years? Hardly any good for you, or for the children. If behaviour wasn't good at age four or five, it should have been sorted out then.

It sounds as though all you do is apply sanctions, and he - understandably - fights back. Try to analyse WHY he behaves this way, try to treat him with understanding and respect - and maybe he will start to respect you more.

Try the book purplesnail suggested; I just looked at it on-line and it might help.

Fishmilkshake Thu 16-Jul-15 10:57:37

Hi, I just posted a very similar message on this board 2 days ago, concerning my 9 year old. His behaviour just like your DS, tho possibly not quite so extreme, but not far off. I disagree with Ferguson (sorry) - in my experience, I have spent years negotiating, explaining, showing how I feel when he is badly behaved etc. None of it made any difference. He will be sorry for a few minutes and then it all goes back to normal. Now I am trying to use sanctions that are very clear that he can understand, target the behaviour not the underlying empathy or lack of it. Ie no pudding, no DVDs etc. This works up to a point but I'm sick of being the bad guy having to enforce sanctions, I never wanted to parent like that. I love him and just want us all to have a nice time together.
Why is there so little parenting advice for this age group?

SpanishFly Thu 16-Jul-15 11:19:31

Thanks for the link to the book, I'll have a look at that.

fish your post is 100% my situation too. Years of negotiating/explaining/asking/empathising. Nothing works. It hasn't been "allowed" to continue for years. I'm sure this has taken years off my life through stress and upset. Family holidays have been ruined too. There is certainly no lack of effort on my part!

SpanishFly Thu 16-Jul-15 11:20:46

And ditto re not wanting to be this kind of parent. I too want us to have fun and not be an enforcer or shouter

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