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7 year old attention seeking behaviour

(17 Posts)
Ickythumpsmum Sun 06-Mar-16 00:40:21

I'm really worried about DS1. His behaviour is getting worse and worse and yesterday he did something so stupid I can't even sleep now.

Before half term I was called into school regarding bad behaviour. Not listening, not doing his work to the best of his ability and carrying on with friends when he should have been working. Being rude to teachers to be funny. His teacher and I were very firm about a plan where he would be given a time period to fix his behaviour, and then if he hadn't fixed it he would have some punishments.

Once the time period was up, we had a second meeting. Apparently his behaviour was now worse. There really wasn't anything left for me to take away (hasn't had Xbox since the first meeting, hadn't been out with friends) So, with the teacher we agreed that if his behaviour didn't improve he would not go to a particular sleep over that weekend. He managed to hold it together at school according to his teacher so we agreed to let him go.

During the sleepover I messaged the other mum a couple of times to check everything was ok, and reassured if anything went wrong I would come collect him at any time. She said it was fine. When I picked him up from the sleepover, the parents still said it was all fine. Then when I went to get his clothes, they were soaking wet. He had been in their outdoor pool. He had gone in to get a ball. The other kids at the sleep over (a group of 4) had apparently cheered him on 'do it do it' style and so my DS had gone into the freezing cold pool unsupervised to collect it.

I am upset because obviously he has no idea how to behave - I have really failed him in this area. He used to be the kid I could always rely upon to be sensible and get glowing reports from their peoples parents. This has come out of the blue. The school thing is getting worse and worse. He is annoying and attention seeking and progressively allowing his standards to go lower and lower.

He won't be going on any more sleepovers. He won't be getting his xbox for months. I have asked him what is going wrong, but he can't really tell me. What else can I do?

whatdoIget Sun 06-Mar-16 00:52:21

A swimming pool? If so I'm horrified that he could access that without the parents knowing.

mouldycheesefan Sun 06-Mar-16 01:01:58

Are you rewarding and praising him when he does behave? Even if it's small things? Ypu need to catch him doing things right and make a big deal of it. You are in a punishment cycle. He probably doesn't feel good about himself, getting the ball from the ball gave him positive attention from the other kids.
So start a reward chart, praise him lots, well done for sitting nice
at the table, well done you got dressed really quickly, great job you did your homework. Stickers, praise, reward etc focus on the positive. Of course consequences for poor behaviour but strong reinforcement of good behaviour. The stick doesn't work without the carrot.

mouldycheesefan Sun 06-Mar-16 01:03:05

'He won't b getting his Xbox for months'...that will not result in a change in his behaviour.pointless. You need to rethink your strategy.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 06-Mar-16 05:11:06

I think I do praise him mouldy, and he does do a lot of very good stuff. He is such a kind boy. Praising him for sitting nicely at the dinner table is one of the things I do. You are completely right about him getting the ball to receive praise from his friends. That's why he is misbehaving in school too, he's trying to be funny and 'cool'. I've tried explaining that a true friend will like him anyway, but I guess that doesn't help much when the other kids are shouting 'do it do it'.

I haven't punished him for the pool thing as although he should not have gone in, it's not entirely the responsibility of a 7 year old. I will speak to him today and explain that his actions were dangerous and again, he shouldn't put himself at risk to win the approval of his friends. He won't be going to sleepovers again because I can't risk him drowning in a freezing cold swimming pool while his friends cheer on. I won't tell him that, just will be busy every time they are mentioned until he is showing signs of more maturity.

Mouldy I am rethinking my strategy but I'm stuck. I do praise the good bits. I thought by punishing the bad bits he would come to the conclusion good behaviour equals happier times. No luck so far. I also don't know how I can hear reports from teachers saying he is being rude and then not punish him. He has to be aware this isn't acceptable. Have you any ideas how else to show him? I'm keen to hear new ideas.

Gardencentregroupie Sun 06-Mar-16 05:31:53

What are the school doing to deal with bad behaviour in school? I'm not saying don't support them, but if they aren't dealing with it, why not? And if they are, why are you punishing him a second time for one offence? Particularly as the punishments will, to him, seem very unrelated to the 'crime'.

Has anything changed, at school or in his life, if he hasn't always been like this? I would try to look for the root of the behaviour change as well as trying to modifying behaviour by punishments.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 06-Mar-16 06:04:15

garden he is being kept in at playtime if he misbehaves. Why did I punish him again? His behaviour shocked me. The same way that I praise good report cards and certificates.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 06-Mar-16 06:05:52

Garden in the last two years he has had a new brother and sister. Big change for him and this is why he craves attention. I just can't give him as much as he used to get and although I do my best, I'm sure it seems so different to him.

Fourormore Sun 06-Mar-16 06:10:22

Oh goodness, take a step back. It sounds like he's really struggling and the more the people around him punish him, it's just making things harder for him. He's trying to tell you something - he needs help, love, not punishment.

You'd do well to have a read of love bombing. A-ha parenting is a good website too. He needs attention - everybody needs attention, don't punish him for showing you in the only way he knows how.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 06-Mar-16 07:26:58

Ok, will try love bombing. It would be wonderful if this would help. I really want him to be happy and secure.

Gardencentregroupie Sun 06-Mar-16 07:52:57

2 new siblings in 2 years is a huge change in his young life. I would seriously suggest stopping the double punishments and carve some time out to spend just you and him if possible. Also don't just praise things like setting the table, praise things he manages to not do - like 'I could see your DSibling was being a pest, well done for doing <thing> instead of getting cross', and just talking about things that he likes from time to time.

whatdoIget Sun 06-Mar-16 08:47:41

Definitely don't let him go to that house again. The adults are not to be trusted if he went in a swimming pool without them knowing, That's terrifying, I would be speaking to them and letting them know.

Ickythumpsmum Sun 06-Mar-16 09:19:37

Garden takin this approach from this morning. Got everything crossed.

WhatdoIGet I know. I am not blaming him, but I am horrified. I have spoken to him about the dangers and the rules regarding pools this morning. I haven't told him he won't be going back, but I have learned my lesson.

MonsterClaws Sun 06-Mar-16 09:38:30

You sound lovely but so worried about his failings that you aren't cross with the right people. Those parents were trusted with your child and allowed a noisy group to congregate round a pool whilst one child jumped in the water, I would be livid. Pools are kept locked when other children around unless directly supervised. Seven year olds don't have so much impulse control.

The teacher started a regime of punishment and it didn't work, no surprise really as if he wants attention any will do including negative plus it doesn't address what you think are self esteem issues. He could do with some circle time stuff activities at school and a school day broken into three sections with a sticker to be earned for each segment...so many stickers equal a certain treat.

He sounds lovely and fun- I have a similar model, it's a bumpy ride sometimes;)

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 06-Mar-16 09:44:59

I know a child the same - any attention is deemed good attention

Have you sat down and said -

If you do X - why punishment should you get? And ask him why he feels that is the right thing

So he has input into it?

Is he rude at home? - like "move that's my seat" - don't punish ask him to rephrase nicely -

He does know so chooses to be mean

Ickythumpsmum Sun 06-Mar-16 10:16:25

monster regarding the sleep over family, I am upset with them. I am upset with myself for trusting them to look after my son, and it won't happen again. I will speak with them. My concern is my DS and I have to teach him not to give into peer pressure so easily. Even if I stop sleep overs it will come up again.

I feel really bad for him. It all seems to have gone wrong for him lately and I think many posters are right, it's time to just go all out on the praise and positive attention.

Sally I always call him on rudeness at home. He is frequently reminded how to ask for things, say thank you and so on. At school it was a different kind of rudeness - a deliberate type like giving a cheeky answer during the register and things. This seems worse to me because he does actually have good manners - but choosing not to use them.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 06-Mar-16 10:24:40

So you are talking class clown

Ok has the teacher addressed this with the class? That he's not funny -

Can he be given 20 marbles a day and lose one for each distraction?

Note home of how many left?

Can you ask for a behaviour log to come home?

So you can reward for a good day - rather than assume a bad one? Joint effort

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