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5 year old behaving very negatively :-(

(7 Posts)
omama Sun 11-Oct-15 11:43:02

Since turning 5 over the summer, DS's behaviour seems to have really worsened.
He's constantly whining, huffing like Kevin & Perry if we ask him to do anything (e.g. get dressed), he's saying 'I can't' all the time & not listening when we talk to him.

He has also started having the kind of tantrums a 2 year old would have - screaming & crying when he doesn't get his own way. We've had to carry him out of shops kicking & screaming, and last week at a farm party he completely freaked out at going on a tractor ride with all his friends but without me. I was the only parent who had to accompany their child in order to stop the crying. blush

At swimming lessons he has now started crying before getting in, then not trying & just saying 'I can't' until they pull him along. He won't /can't play by himself either, constantly seeking one of us to play with him & getting annoyed if we're busy. He's not interested in playing outside at home anymore & refuses to go in the garden or even on the trampoline/swing/slide unless someone accompanies him & stands within a couple of metres.

It feels like he is very insecure & unhappy & we've no idea what's causing it. He's bright and full of energy, but just seems so negative at the moment. He's always been emotionally sensitive, but surely at his age he should be care-free? Does this sound like normal 5 year old behaviour or something more?

We're struggling to know how to deal with it (ignore/shout/give more/less attention/positive reinforcement?). We both try to remind ds that he 'can' do stuff, but DH finds it very difficult to ignore the whining & reacts when DS starts. I try to ignore whining & positively reinforce good behaviour, but DS mostly ignores anything I say & responds more to DH's shouting, but then I feel like we're not presenting a united front. DH has been looking online for help but all he's found is articles blaming the parents for the child's behaviour blush but no constructive tips on how to improve things. Sorry this is so long, didnt want to drip feed. Any advice is very much welcomed.

omama Sun 11-Oct-15 11:47:13

Couple of other things - he has a baby sister but she is almost 11 months so don't think she's the issue.
He's been at school a year & just started year 1. Youngest in the class. Workload greater, sitting at desk all day instead of free play like reception, so probably not helping, but this all started before he went back to school so not sure its the reason.
No other changes in his life.

SevenSeconds Sun 11-Oct-15 16:49:55

Sounds like a normal 5 year old to me! DS2 is 6 now, but when he was 4 or 5 he went through a really wingey stage when he said no whenever you asked him to do anything (even something fun!), moaned all the time, wanted me to help him get dressed etc etc.

Try no to react (I know it's hard). Try not to shout. Stay calm and firm. Give him choices where possible. Remember he's feeling a bit insecure at the moment and try to be there for him when he needs you, even when you want to be getting on with jobs.

This too will pass! DS2 is lovely now - really sunny and helpful.

SevenSeconds Sun 11-Oct-15 16:51:46

Who cares if you were the only parent on the tractor? Don't be embarrassed about that - it's really not a big deal.

omama Sun 11-Oct-15 19:40:20

Thanks very much for your kind comments. I've reread my post & it sounds like I'm really down on him & its not the case. He can be such a delightful little boy when he wants to be, its just been a very trying couple of months!

Thanks for the tips on not reacting. Its really hard not to sometimes. I don't raise my voice to him at all & get down at eye level but he mostly ignores what I say to him & this is when DH often gets cross. Sometimes I think DS is holding out for DH's reaction on purpose, despite it being negative attention.

Re the tractor, I know its not such a big deal, its just its not a one off. Its always been my child that's crying at playgroup, at nursery, pre-school and school, when I attend school events, in the park after school, at parties & so it goes on. Its awful but I'm really starting to find it embarrassing now he's getting older & none of his peers are behaving in this way. With each passing year I think maybe he will improve/cope better with social situations but its still a struggle.

Badders123 Sun 11-Oct-15 19:56:29

This was my eldest child.
I do sympathise, honestly, but it will pass.
My eldest was also you gets in class and in had a new baby when he was 5.
He was always "hard work" compared to other children.
The good news is he is now 12 and a very confident and lovely kid.
One thing I would say...do make sure there are no issues are school. My eldest struggled with literacy and it really impacted his self esteem.

omama Sun 18-Oct-15 19:12:50

Thanks for your reply Badders.
He actually seems to be doing quite well academically at school but I think he finds the social side more of a struggle & being the youngest doesn't help.

We've had another tearful/whiny weekend & I'm wondering if this is some sort of regression or a delayed reaction to dd, maybe now she's crawling & we're needing to watch her a lot more he's feeling left out. He's started carrying his teddies around with him again and is just generally being a bit babyish.

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