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DS (nearly 10) has been an absolute sh!t to my parents and I don't know why (long)

(39 Posts)
iwouldgoouttonight Fri 19-Aug-16 15:22:56

My parents have looked after DS once a week since he was a baby and I went back to work, and over the summer holidays they've had him and younger DS two days each week to help us out. They've always been lovely to both kids, take them for days out, give them treats, play with them, etc and admit they spoil them a bit.

But the last couple of times they've been DS has been really grumpy, going silent, being really uncooperative, or just being rude. My dad phoned me last night to tell me that when they looked after him on Monday and Tuesday this week DS had been absolutely vile to them. To the point my mum was in tears. Apparently he was grumpy and sullen the whole time, everything they did was wrong, eg they bought him a lemonade and he said he didn't want it he wanted a Sprite. They offered to buy a pudding for him and DS2 to share and he refused to share, and kept moaning at them to buy him a pudding of his own (which they did, I wouldn't have if he'd been like this). They took him to the park and the whole time he kept saying how rubbish it is. So they stayed at home the rest of the day and he got cross because they wouldn't let him sit at the computer all afternoon. Said their house was rubbish, the books he'd got there were rubbish, etc (even though he can take as many toys and books with him from home as he likes and he never does!)

So my dad said it's got to the point where my mum doesn't want to look after him any more. And I completely understand, why would you want to spend time with someone who is continually ungrateful when you try to do nice things with them. I've said that's fine and that we're really sorry, and if they don't want to look after him we'll make alternative arrangements. So they're going to have a think about it. I feel so bad for them though, they're so lovely and it's not fair for them to have to put up with this.

DP and I have both spoken to DS, telling him this behaviour is unacceptable and if he acts like that again he'll lose priveleges, and if my parents do decide to look after him next week, any sign of that behaviour and he'll be straight home and spend the rest of the day in his room with no toys, tv or computer.

He's been a bit unpredictable with us lately, kind of up and down mood swings, but he manages to snap out of it after a while. I think my parents are more lenient so they let him get away with more, but they do tell him off when they need to.

We've tried to find out if there is something bothering him particularly at my parents house, and he said there is something that makes him sad but he refuses to tell us what. In previous times when he's been upset about things, he's been reluctant to tell us too, and it normally turns out to be something like 'all my friends have a phone apart from me and is not fair'. But we have clue what is wrong lately.

I'm wondering whether it is early puberty hormones or something, making him overly emotional, but that still doesn't excuse the way he's been acting towards my parents.

Andro Fri 19-Aug-16 17:21:23

DS went through a phase at 10, he was all over the place with behaviour and emotions - and largely incapable of working out why he was feeling/acting the way he was. His boundaries were 50ft high and reinforced concrete for months, then he just...settled...no obvious reason for it at all.

We were all glad when the rollercoaster ride came to a stop - he's a teen now and someone has taken the breaks off again <sigh>

GoldFishFingerz Fri 19-Aug-16 17:32:52

Punish him now! Don't wait for next time. No screen time at all while he's being so awful. He may redeem himself and gain back the screen time privilege once he's polite to grandparents next visit. He may loose the screen time again if his behaviour falters.

I really wouldn't have any patience for poor behaviour. He either tells you what the issue is it doesn't.

I wonder if he feels your parents favour his sister? If so, he needs to verbalise it

ImYourMama Fri 19-Aug-16 17:46:03

It sounds like a screen addiction and going out for the day prevents him accessing it so he's being a shit

SavoyCabbage Fri 19-Aug-16 17:50:10

To me, it sounds like he might be feeling he wants to be a bit more grown up.

Some parks are a bit rubbish when you are ten. She me are brilliant fun.

He wanted to choose his own drink. So do I. He wanted his own pudding. So do I! Not that his behaviour is excusable as he was very rude.

Perhaps he could have some input into what they do when they are at his grandparents.

Also, I would tell him that your parents are wonderfully kind having them like this so that you can work and provide for your family.

rainbowstardrops Fri 19-Aug-16 17:56:57

Tricky one. Something's clearly bothering him - but it might be something really valid or something that to us would seem really petty.

I'd encourage him to voice his opinions to you but I'd make it clear that being rude to his grandparents is definitely not on and there will be sanctions for rudeness. Your poor mum and dad sad

tribpot Fri 19-Aug-16 18:01:31

It does sound like early onset teenagery-ness, but that's no reason for him not to be punished appropriately now. (In fact, possibly all the more reason to do so).

Might be nicer for your other dc to have some grandparent time without him there. Can you keep him at home and ensure he has a dull day with no screen time or treats this time?

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 19-Aug-16 18:08:42

GoldFishFingerz we did punish him straight away. As soon as I put the phone down from speaking to my dad I told him to get off the computer and I sat him down and told him everything my dad had said about his behaviour and that it was completely out of order. I've told him they won't be letting him play on their computer at all. And he has to apologise next time he sees them.

He does love playing on the computer and would probably spend all day on it if we let him, but we only allow an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon in school holidays. He's normally fine when we tell him his times up.

My parents do ask him what he'd like to do but he just says he doesn't want to do anything. They want to keep DS2 happy too so they try to get out and do things with them.

Tried to have a casual conversation with him earlier and he said he loves going to see grandma and grandad. confused

PrettyBotanicals Fri 19-Aug-16 18:12:20

In previous times when he's been upset about things, he's been reluctant to tell us too

It sounds as though he's struggling to communicate what's upsetting him.

I remember being very down at that age and being constantly bollicked and threatened, told how rude, bad-mannered I was etc.

Much late I was diagnosed with depression and it was that bleak feeling that made me sad (grumpy, silent, uncooperative, out of sorts) that I just couldn't get out of.

Do try to be more kind than angry, he needs to learn how to find words and to know he will be listened to.

Freshprincess Fri 19-Aug-16 18:13:14

I'd punish for the behaviour now, rather than a threat for next time.
And make him apologise.

Redcrayons Fri 19-Aug-16 18:14:07

X post.

ImperialBlether Fri 19-Aug-16 18:17:22

I think he needs to apologise to them. They've always been really kind to him and he's treated them badly.

Could they look after your other son so you just have to get your older son sorted?

Missgraeme Fri 19-Aug-16 18:25:00

Explain to him u work to provide his technology and if u have to pack in your job because nobody will tolerate his behaviour he won't be getting any new stuff!!

drinkingtea Fri 19-Aug-16 18:42:43

There are 3 separate issues

1) actually being rude - not ok, make this clear

2) being grumpy is ok - if he's "at home" with grandparents not on Sunday best / visitor behaviour then being grumpy is ok - are you a ray of sunshine all day, every day, in your down time? Far too many people expect children to be "on" people pleasing, smiling when they are glum, all of the time - it is bloody unfair to expect a 10 yo to be "grateful" and sunny and plaster on a smile even when feeling down all the time in order to meet the need of adults to be appreciated. He may be feeling anything but grateful and sunny due to hormones or worries that are massive to him but silly to adults.

3) Maybe something is bothering him, and the guess that he feels grandparents prefer the younger sibling is quite a likely one especially if younger child is naturally sunnier and/ or grandparents are doing the activities he used to like, now better suited to younger child, or he feels they are seen as a unit with the same wants and tastes who should be happy with the same things (younger children are often happy to share with older as feel grown up, older sibling not happy as it feels babyish and they want to be an individual - this does not mean younger is perfect and older a shit!)

3)

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 19-Aug-16 18:51:42

PrettyBotanicals both DP and I have a history of depression so that is something that worries me. I've tried to explain to DS that is OK to feel sad and not want to do anything but it's not OK to be rude about it. I said if he feels fed up he can take himself off and say he wants a bit of time on his own, but to be polite about it.

drinkingtea yes you're right, it's fine to have all sorts of different emotions but he needs to learn how to handle them. I guess its only going to get harder as he becomes a teenager!

I really don't think my parents have favorites, although I guess that wouldn't stop DS thinking they do. Ironically he's been in such good form today, been laughing and playing and chatting away, and getting on really well with DS2.

MamaMotherMummy Fri 19-Aug-16 19:05:03

When you say 'learn to handle' emotions, what do you mean? Bottle them up or express them in a different way or learn to talk about them? Because the former is certainly not healthy, and the latter two you will have to equip him with the skills to do. He won't just learn to do it on his own successfully.

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 19-Aug-16 19:21:01

I mean express them differently or talk about then, definitely not bottle them up. How can we help him with this? We talk to him and listen to him but I guess we don't specially sit and talk about emotions.

PerspicaciaTick Fri 19-Aug-16 19:26:43

Welcome to teenagerdom.
He is treating your parents as he would treat you (because he feels so familiar with them and trusts them to keep loving him), but they aren't punishing him like you would so he needs to know that there will be consequences to his behaviour.

He may also feel that it is unfair that he is still treated and grouped in with his younger sibling. Do you differentiate enough and give him age appropriate responsibilities to go with the rights he seems to crave?

Oly5 Fri 19-Aug-16 19:26:53

Sounds like you've done/are doing all the right things OP.
Your poor parents. Of course they shouldn't to have to give their precious time
To somebody who treats them badly.
And he should apologise and not be so rude.
But he's also a child who is only
Just leaning to deal with emotions. It's tough at that age. I was very sad from age 10-13 and I couldn't even tell you why now. It was a phase... Even though it lasted three years!

Rainbowunicorn73 Fri 19-Aug-16 19:34:01

My guess would be that some of his friends are allowed to be home alone for a little while at this age and so he resents going to grandma and grandad's as it's babyish.
That said, he absolutely should not be treating your parents this way and you are right to put consequences in place.
I wonder if you could discuss this as a possibility and work towards a little "home alone time?
Maybe if he shows that he can behave in a suitably "grown up way" he could begin to stay at home for half an hour whilst your younger son goes to the park?

iwouldgoouttonight Fri 19-Aug-16 19:45:50

He does stay on his own sometimes, my parents have left him in their house while they've gone to the shops with DS2. And we leave him for up to an hour on his own. We let him go to the corner shop on his own too. Maybe my parents could let him know he doesn't have to do everything with them. Because he's a summer born, all his close friends are almost a year older than him, so may well have even more independence.

veryproudvolleyballmum Fri 19-Aug-16 19:49:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Freshprincess Fri 19-Aug-16 20:22:53

could you take a look at things to do online with him? Perhaps he could do older things with them. Mine are a bit older but still too young for a full day on the hols on their own.
Mine have been working their way round local crazy golf courses with my parents.

CPtart Fri 19-Aug-16 20:34:39

This sounds like my oldest nephew who has spent a great deal of time with PIL as he's grown up (they live next door!) They've had so much input over the years that there's now no special grandparental relationship because they've always been so 'over involved'. There's no novelty in seeing them, no desire to please, and as he borders on becoming a teenager they are increasingly out of touch with what interests him and are becoming an obvious irritation.

MumsFlouncingOnASummerHoliday Fri 19-Aug-16 20:48:36

My DS2 (10) has huffs, gives us the silent treatment and is sometimes obviously upset but can't express himself. On a similar thread to this someone recomended 'What to do when you grumble too much' by Dawn Huebner.

Its a work through together activity book about what happens when you hit a problem in life and the consequences of how you manage that problem. It uses the example of problems being hurdles and whilst some people just fly over them, others naturally dodge and some of us run right into them, then get annoyed, kick the hurdle, get hurt, get angry, kick those around us etc.

Its no magic cure, but its given DS2 and I some nice one to one time. The chance to try and break down challenges and helped him explain some of his 10 year old woes.

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