Yr 2 playdates, going crazy and mean spirited 7yr old(11 Posts)
Please help - I'm at the end of my tether with my son's behaviour.
My son has just turned 7. He has always been full of energy, bouncing around and full of beans. He is clever, right at the top of the class for reading and maths at school. He has the attention to sit for long periods at home (and at school obviously), reading, playing lego, playing with toys. One on one at home he is quiet and happy and polite and easily occupies himself.
Add his friends into the mix and he becomes wild. I am finding play dates awful because he just goes into crazy mode. He's rude to me and mean to his friends. These play dates often end up with physical fighting, meaness and tears and all the while my son is just so hyper that I just can't talk any sense into him. He is also very boastful which I worry is a product of me bigging up his achievements (I thought this was the right thing to do). For a long time I just avoided playdates but this is not always practical.
I don't know what to do. It's not just play dates. Simple tasks like picking him up from an after school club or fun things like parties become really stressful for me and I come home feeling full of tension and really fed up because he just is in this mode where I can't get through to him. What can I do? I feel sure I must be parenting him all wrong and this makes me so sad.
I have given up my career to stay at home to raise the children and just feel like he would have been better all along in childcare because I've messed up. His temperament is so different from my daughter's, and always has been. Help... please!! His teacher's say there is no problem from her perspective and that he is well behaved at school. It just seems to be this interaction with his peers that is the problem.
Do you lay down the law before a play date?
This is what I expect
This what will happen if you do X
Kids will go home
You'll go to your room
You will apologize to parents and kids
TBH - my DS would only have one play date with yours - it wouldn't happen twice
You need to let him know because he'll end up in parents black list
Maybe he needs total supervision when he has friends around? Organised activities /games? And like said - repercussions if his behaviour falls below acceptable.
I do know that.. about the black listing, that's why I'm asking for help.
I speak to him before and after, as well as during but I have to say I don't stop the play date and maybe I should be doing that. Do you actually send the other children home? I think perhaps I'm generally trying to keep the peace too much for the sake of the other child as I know he'll kick off if I send him to his room but looking at it as I type now I can see that is wrong.
Yes also to supervision. I tried that on the last playdate he had but he ended up getting upset that he wasn't winning the games I was playing with them. But yes, this is definitely an area I could work on.
I would send the kids home - sorry X is playing up - can I drop Y home
Do this until he learns
Is he an only child?
Can you let him lose when it's just the two of you?
So you play all happy while he wins and stop the game - say nothing clear it away - silence works wonders when you refuse to engage - he will learn
Thanks Astro. Great advice and I shall take it all on board.
He is not an only. He can play very well with his sister (but they can fight too). I'm less worried about that relationship as he does genuinely seem to look after her. It's when he gets over excited with his friends that the problems start.
Good tip about the game playing - will do that rather than trying to talk to him about why winning isn't always important!
If the bad behaviour started and there was one other child there I would offer the child the choice to go home or would he prefer to chill with an iPad or the tv while DS has a time out. Sometimes the peer pressure of being seen to be naughty and punished could act as a very good incentive to do as he is told ask he is in effect currently showing off about getting away with bad behaviour. Friends are often quite resilient about being without their playdate for a short time and I would only time out for 7 minutes anyway. Explain before the play date that will happen and follow through after your agreed one warning. I bet he won't carry on much longer as he will know you are now setting boundaries and following through.
At other clubs have an agreed boundary too- one warning and the leader can time out. Or call you and you will come and also sit for his time out (don't take home as this can avoid the punishment part and the social influence)
Honestly he will change right as soon as you do. So be strong and firm and explain it all to him and then follow through. It may be hard to begin but so so worth it.
It's weird isn't it?
I have 5 kids and obviously they all got over excited at play dates but dd1 (dc4) could be a real pita. I remember when she was about 7 we went on holiday with my friend and her little girl and my dd was hideous the whole week, boastful and jealous.
In your case I'd keep play dates really short, or do park on way home from school so time at home a minimum.
That way you can set down your expectations and apply appropriate sanctions immediately.
Maybe warn the parent that you might cut it short as you are teaching him to behave.
I'm so grateful for these replies, I can't tell you. Thank you. It all makes perfect sense.
If you are still reading, can I ask about a couple of specifics:
1. Name calling - there is a lot of what I'd call toilet humour name calling going on on play dates. "Silly bum head" etc. If I hear my son saying it I try to call him in on it but I often get "X called me Y first". Should I just have a zero tolerance on any name calling, if I hear my son saying it then time out after 1 warning?
2. Generally the whole X started it scenario also applies to kicking and hitting each other. It starts playfully and then it spills over when one get hurt. Is zero tolerance on play fighting the way to go too?
Most schools ban play fighting fi this reason - one always hits a bit harder and a scrap happens
A sharp 'We didn't name call in this house'
Don't stand for the kids doing it without friends there either
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