DS is turning into somebody I can't stand(33 Posts)
DS has just turned 6. He has always been challenging - endless energy, horrific toddler tantrums, a biting phase, speech problems etc....
This summer he has become truly vile. He is abusive, rude, aggressive. He lies, he ignores any kind of request. A daily battle over shoes or socks, or brushing teeth will waste half an hour at a time.
Reward charts don't work, he either couldn't care less or he helps himself to the stickers/whatever.
Same with punishments - he will just argue the point with you.
If you explain things from a safetyor risk point of view he just throws it back in your face.
eg. "Don't stick your hand out the car window it's not safe"
"yes it is, I'm too fast and strong"
"DS behave yourself or you will made to miss this or that treat "
"I will steal your keys and drive there myself"
He has started falling out with his friends, and I'm worrying that he'll soon not be allowed at any clubs or childcare places.
Where do i start? I'm currently hating myself and have started tip toeing around him.
What are the consequences or punishments for bad behaviour that you give?
He sounds like a 6 year old. He's pushing for more independence so things like star charts etc which, in my view, are suited to toddlers
if that will not work.
You need to adjust your parenting to suit his age.
It sounds like your parenting have become punitive and it's one big negative cycle. You don't like your son and he will pick up on it. Then he'll just keep misbehaving.
My ds is 6 and pushes the boundaries. However he flourishes when we treat him with respect and let him make more decisions.
Remind him how he should behave. Smile at him and encourage him. Talk to him about what he likes doing. Do fun stuff together.
We've tried naughty steps/on sad face on the chart/ removal of things/explaining why things are naughty/a proper telling off!!
I'm broken, I hate that I'm being terrorised by a 6 year old, with no clue how to proceed!
I agree it's a negative cycle.
He acts like a toddler, so we treat him like one.
Or you treat him like a toddler so he acts like one.
You're the adult here. He doesn't know how to behave, so he needs teaching.
How is he at school?
Does he do any physical activities? Sport?
Try letting him do stuff - let him help you cook, let him help with stuff around the house. Give him jobs to do but in a positive way.
Have you always done star charts etc? Does he recognise the idea of doing the right thing because it's right, not because he'll get a reward?
I can hand on heart say that he is not babied. He is encouraged to help make lunches, move laundry about, clear up dishes etc...
I explain to him "this needs to be done, so we can do x, y, z"
If it's something he wants to do he will go along. If it's something like going shopping/getting done so I can go to work etc... He will refuse to get dressed/get shoes on etc....
But becomes aggressive with it.
Sounds like my son. He's 13 now and is truly delightful. He really is. At one point I told my parent's I wished I could put him in care because his behaviour was so atrocious.
What helped is I am guessing is in part maturity. He has been diagnosed with ADHD (but I must stress before anyone not so enlightened suggests its poor parenting excusing bad behaviour) his behaviour has always been good its just that he used to rage in the house in the ways you describe leaving me treading on eggshells.
The other thing I learned in managing his outbursts was not to issue consequences immediately. It doesn't always work and often inflames the situation.
For example he broke his phone in a temper. My partner couldn't believe I didn't immediately take his Xbox off him.
I did the following day after he was calm and he accepted this. Had I done it when he was fired up there would have been merry hell.
I also give choices instead of commands such as 'bath or shower'? When he has decided I'll say now or after xyz (its always after xyz)
I recommend reading the explosive child. Its a fantastic book.
Not saying he has ASD at all, but there are similarities there with my ds2, who has ASD/PDA.
It might be worth having a look at PDA, as the strategies might help you.
As a start, something like 123 magic might work to break the cycle.
The explosive child is an excellent book as well.
It sounds very hard work
No I don't mean babied, I mean his misbehaviour - the tactics you're using might be more suited to a toddler. Do you let him do stuff he wants to do? How many choices does he have? That list all sounds like chores to me which he is made to do and has to.
With my DCs we basically ask them to help each other out. Ds loves to help me cook and carry things for me etc. Gives me the chance to praise him and ask him what he liked doing (the growth mindset is quite a good book to read for tips on specific praise).
With aggression, I try and teach ds empathy and he's pretty good. I also teach him about using his words. It is quite intense having to remind him every time he lashes out at his sister that he needs to use his words first. But I'm seeing progress now and he tries to do as I say. And when he does, I make sure i tell him he's done great.
Is your ds able to express his emotions? Does he know how to?
Also where he doesn't do things, it's worth asking quickly why not. You can then say "ds, I know you don't want to because of X, but sometimes we have do stuff we don't want to. I'm going out now and you're coming whatever you're wearing". So being firm but acknowledging his feelings.
It is a grind it really is but I remind myself that ds is 6, he's still a child and he really struggles as his emotional maturity is miles from mine.
Star charts didn't work for us either. He'd say I am having a day off stickers today
pigpig I use PDA strategies a lot. I didn't mention it as I don't like to suggest SEN but as you have mentioned it I think its worth you having a read up on OP. Its a good way of handling behaviour sometimes SEN or not!
I'm going to look up pda strategies for my ds.
I can see that if we come down to hard on him, it blows his confidence. He's actually quite sensitive despite his high wire/high energy state.
donajimena thank, thank, thank you so much.
I imagine there will be testing for ADHD or similar in his future. It would amaze me quite frankly if there wasn't something underlying.
I said to my husband "If you said to someone, I live with this person, I adore them more than anything, but they frequently tell me they are going to kill me, they will bite me, hit me and I spend my days trying to keep the peace, that person would tell me to leave"
But when that person is your child?
I have a nearly 6yr old boy and I could have written your post. I do not know how to deal with him and feel like a complete failure. I'm sorry you're going through this, you're not alone.
I want to know where my loving happy boy went. He's been replaced with a ball of anger and unkindness that I don't recognise.
I really sympathise, they know how to push our buttons don't they?
Easier said than done but don't tiptoe round him and don't be drawn into arguments.
I found it helped to pick my battles wisely.
If it wasn't important I would let it go, but the times when it was important I would use a firm tone so she knew the difference.
If she didn't do as she was told I would say "I am going to count to 5 and if it isn't done the consequence will be..."
Always follow through and try not to lose your temper. It really helps if they can see you mean it and they are not getting to you.
My youngest is very money motivated. A threat of deducting pocket money for her worked well. Untidied toys were put in a black bag and she would have to pay £1 to get them back. It didn't happen very often. When she was being cheeky I would say " Carry on, you are saving me a fortune in pocket money" - but you do have to work out what your child's motivation is.
When that person is your child, you still love them and you do,everything within your power to identify what's going on and how to help him. He's not abusive, there will be ways you can improve things, but these things don't always follow the traditional parenting route.
For us 6 was the worst year, once we worked out we were not shit parents we found the strategies that helped. We worked out triggers, and learnt to spot difficult behaviour at a time when we could do something about it.
Oh and I used to start by saying " I love you so much but that is unacceptable behaviour"
OP I have no helpful advice but just wanted to say that I really feel for you and hope you find some good tactics and things get better.
I also self referred to a parenting course too. Its worth doing because if you do go down the road of referrals it will be suggested. It didn't help as the advice was very much praise/consequences based but I enjoyed it all the same.
I found my dd difficult at 6 and she is still quite difficult at times at 7! Not aggressive on same way but challenging to the point that everything becomes very negative!
I have found she really responds to positive attention - the concept of love bombing is quite interesting, taking a day to really spend quality time with your child and do things they like - when they have your attention. My dd loves doing things just with me and I am guilty of not always having time, getting irritable when tired etc - sometimes behaving badly is the only way of getting attention even if it is negative!
Thank you all.
I have just looked up www.pdasociety.org.uk/what-is-PDA/about-pda
And I could have written most of that about my son.
I haven't PMed you, it didn't work
Try the explosive child book, it can make a big difference.
If you're on FB there are some very supportive groups, good for day to day strategies and ideas, and it makes life easier to know there are others who have the same stuff going on.
And have a look at this
Even if he doesn't have PDA, this mindmap gives some very helpful ways to parent a child without the normal demands and confrontations that parenting usually has.
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