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getting DSS to listen and behave!

(11 Posts)
GreenGoth89 Wed 17-Aug-16 12:39:36

My 4.5 y/o DSS is becoming a nightmare, and as I have been told on several occasions I am not going about it the right way, but I'm not sure what is. We are having reoccurring issues everyday of him putting whatever toiletries he can get his hands on down the loo/plug hole (been going through 4 bottles of shower gel a week, and it's not just at bath time either), he'll cry every time someone asks me to do something, you ask him to do something and he'll wreck it, does dangerous things like climbing up bookshelves too. He will stop doing something for a bit when told only to go back to doing it straight after. We have used time out, we have sent him to his room, we have used reward charts (doesn't seem to care), and I'm getting at my wits end. Here comes our part though - I am the strict parent (he lives with us full time) and my DP is a cool one (who feels in some respects he's got to make up for the difficulties he had when he was smaller - he's lived with us for 18 months). I get told off for shouting but he says that he's got to treat him sometimes - yes but for good behaviour not for the sake of it. He feels bad that he's not getting out with other kids at all (as we don't know anyone with similarly aged kids in the area), and we've had to be sat in the house a lot due to my health and lack of money. I'm worried that if he continues like this then we'll get called in to school on the second week of term and be told he's being put on a behaviour management plan or something...

Any ideas? I'm not expecting perfectly behaved child all the time but I don't even feel safe waiting at a bus stop with him because he will run around and has to have he hand held at all times unless we're in a park. I'd just like a kid who I can play with but will work with me too.

VioletBam Wed 17-Aug-16 13:05:11

You sound stressed but honestly it's normal for 4 year olds to try to climb bookshelves and both of mine went through phases of pouring stuff down the sink...have you ever heard of something called "Schema"?

Schema is a way of describing the urges children get as they play and learn...and though their play could often be called naughty...often IS naughty....it's often because they're looking to learn something and it involves whichever Schema they're currently on.

The schema are as follows

Orientation ....this one describes climbing and so forth
Positioning
Connection
Trajectory....chucking stuff basically smile
Enclosure/container
Transporting
Enveloping
Rotation
Transformation....your DSS sounds like he's on this one. Pouring stuff, making a mess, mixing things up.

Why not try to provide him with outlets for his urges?

When my DD was into transformation, I let her make "experiments" in the garden. I'd give her a load of old tupperware or plastic bowls and cups, with spoons, sieves and so on...then I'd give her containers of cheap rice, cheapest soap in a press down bottle...some out of date dried lentils...whatever I could find...and let her mix them and play with them.

If you don't have a garden he could do it in the bath! My DD also loved painting the bath. I'd pop her in there in her old knickers and vest and let her paint the bath and herself. She would have a couple of pots of cheap paint.

Obviously you have to tell them not to put it in eyes and mouths.

I know it's hard but when they're "INTO stuff" and being a pain, it's because they're looking for an outlet.

COuldn't DH take him to ride his bike in the evenings?

andintothefire Wed 17-Aug-16 15:39:13

I may be completely wrong, but have you considered that he might be bored and need more of an outlet for his energy? Can you make an effort to meet more people with children his own age? He is naturally wanting to explore and be active, and possibly needs more time outside running around and tiring himself out in positive ways!

GreenGoth89 Wed 17-Aug-16 23:21:40

I'm not sure how we can. We can't afford summer schools, I've been unwell and unable to do more than a few steps at a time and DP has been looking after me, DSS and the house. In the evenings DP takes DSS to the allotment to water which he seems to really enjoy.

VioletBam Thu 18-Aug-16 00:20:49

Is DH at home in the day to look after you? It's hard...caring for an adult and a child but he needs to be more organised and to arrange some activities for DSS in addition to looking after you.

You mustn't need him by your side literally all day I assume? Just to cook and care for you generally?

So he could do as I suggested and once a day, arrange a fun, at home activity for DS> The internet is loaded with ideas of stuff to do including crafts and games which don't cost a thing.

GreenGoth89 Thu 18-Aug-16 10:11:33

I have needed him 24/7 on some days but I'm much better now and yeah I just need him generally. Keeping DSS occupied is generally my job - but it's hard to get him to do things that don't involve TV or Lego (which he will not share), he's not even that interested in baking when we've done it (getting DP to actually stick it in the oven), but we try practicing Spanish together, we steal pots and pans just before DP needs them and do a percussion performance, we took him to a dance class but he didn't want to join in and school starters aren't allowed to join in summer classes :/. We do a lot of colouring together but he often gets bored of things half way through and walks off. His favourite things to do is run around the garden and camp out (but it caused my back to go badly so I now can't be involved with that. We read a LOT of books, but we don't do that many structured activities.

Perriwinkle9991 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:25:06

To me it sounds like you occupy but it's not his general interests. I do bake with my 4 year old it lasts 10 mins cause he likes to stir and that's it. He loves trains and occupied by trains. So trains and locomotive stuff is his thing.
If he loves to climb it sounds like he needs to be getting out more. Find a local park or children's centre. Go as a family if you can't be left Alone, take all the cushions off the settee and build an assault course (safe one). Get some tunnels or a tent for the garden... Can get them reduced in tesco and BnM.
We all go through it... I am now with attitude and hitting but it's just trying to find something that works.

strawberrybubblegum Sat 20-Aug-16 08:39:05

It sounds really hard with your ill health.

Children that age have a really powerful need for physical activity. If you can find some way to allow him to be outside and active, it will really help his behaviour and concentration.

You've had some good tips above.

Since it's summer-time, it seems the easiest thing would be getting out to a playground most days. At 4.5 he doesn't need you beside him, so you can sit on a bench while he gets on with it. Bring a picnic and a book and stay there all day! Explore all the different playgrounds in your area. If walking is difficult, does your DP drive - could he drop you off and pick you up?

Swimming is great for tiring them out. Council pools only cost a few pounds for a session. They usually have a shallow teaching pool which is good for this age. You'll need to check times (phone or internet) since those are sometimes used for lessons. You do need to be able to stay close to them for safety, so perhaps this is something for your DP rather than yourself. The upside is that you only need an hour or so in the pool to tire them out, so that should be manageable once a week or so?

It sounds like your garden would be a good resource as well. Again, you can sit while he runs around. He might need some things to engage him though - could be as simple as a couple of buckets of water, and some old pans/containers and encourage him to make a mess with mud! A large container of sand can make an improvised sand table (cups and small boxes to play with, and let him take some small cars and figures/dinosaurs out there for role play).

If it was possible,some kind of climbing frame in your garden would be amazing - since he could play without you leaving home. I know you said money was an issue, but maybe you could ask family to group together to get him a 2nd hand TP off ebay - something like this. You get a few variations.

strawberrybubblegum Sat 20-Aug-16 08:56:15

Oh, just thought to mention - don't leave the sand outside uncovered overnight, otherwise cats will use it as a toilet.

A small paddling pool would also be a great thing - maybe next time your DP wants to treat your DSS, suggest that would be a good one :-) They are vreat even if it isn't that hot - for paddling, putting hands in etc. Again, just put a few plastic containers in.

GreenGoth89 Sat 20-Aug-16 12:30:27

Neither of us drive unfortunately. He is out in the garden 24/7 when it's not raining, he has a slide, a paddling pool, he has his own patch to grow things, balls, a little pop up goal, and a tunnel - but that cats get more fun out of that! We've been swimming (but I had to spend the next 3 days in bed) and he goes to the park but he prefers to walk around. We're planning a picnic next week - might see if one of our friends who has a son who's nearly 3 (but very very bright) might come for a picnic with us, he loves smaller kids.

GreenGoth89 Sat 20-Aug-16 12:30:40

Neither of us drive unfortunately. He is out in the garden 24/7 when it's not raining, he has a slide, a paddling pool, he has his own patch to grow things, balls, a little pop up goal, and a tunnel - but that cats get more fun out of that! We've been swimming (but I had to spend the next 3 days in bed) and he goes to the park but he prefers to walk around. We're planning a picnic next week - might see if one of our friends who has a son who's nearly 3 (but very very bright) might come for a picnic with us, he loves smaller kids.

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