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Did I handle this wrong? How would you handle this child?

(6 Posts)
lucas161212 Sat 14-Oct-17 16:18:04

Ds4 has always been very strong willed and stubborn since about 2. It didn’t help adding dd to the mix when he was 2.2.

I feel like he’s now a bit of a brat. I am worried he’s becoming one of the those children who I teach who has a bad attitude.

He’s a very whining child but it seems he’s like that only with me. He’s not like that with others. I think I am quite a strict parent who doesn’t give into whining and let him get his own way. When he was a toddler there weren’t many whiny tantrums as when he did it I would turn my back and ignore. He snapped out of it pretty quickly. But since he hit 4-5 it’s a lot worse again. I admit when I had dd I probably did let him get away with more than usual as I was just trying to get through the day. It was very stressful and I know I turned from patient, calm Mum who handled anything to shouty, short tempered Mum. I was influenced by friends who said they’d used the thinking step or shouted and guess thought if they do it that way I can too. Before I was calmer but then his behaviour was easier. But I guess all I ve taught him is to mirror my own behaviour now. Maybe I was t strict enough actually but dh tells me I am. I use a firm voice a lot which I don’t see as shouting but dh says it is. Ds and dd have started mirroring this but staying calm, trying to reason and talk him round or asking lots of time and staying calm doesn’t work so I then do loose my temper.

So, I wondered how people would have managed this situation. I took ds to the cinema today. It was after a hour football session and then lunch so maybe it was not a good idea. Maybe he was tired.

He asked for sweets so I got him and I some. I was using the scoop and said we d share. I want my own scoop, I want my own tub for sweets. So I let him. He moaned he wanted more, he moaned I had more. He wouldn’t share his sweets when I asked him for one. He was then coughing a lot in the cinema but not properly, that silly little clearing throat cough he’s decided to do. So I film finishes and we come out. He spots some masks about the film he wants me to buy him. I say I don’t think they’re for sale, maybe F.C. will buy him one. Bit of a moan but accepted it.

He then wanted water. He had been coughing and was probably thirsty but I wanted to get home as we had something else to go to later and didn’t want to spend any more money. I tried to reason with him, said we d get some at home (10 minute drive) I d spent enough, no money left. if he was quick we would get home faster etc. He had total meltdown in cinema and had to be dragged to the car as wouldn’t come. I didn’t shout. He continued moaning in car on way home. Everything was my fault. Was a right? It’s the way he asks me I guess. I ve told him so many times to ask nicely, people are more likely to do things when you ask nicely but he never does it.

We were due to go to the circus at 5 today. I am not sure if he should go or not. I am fed up of taking him for treats and him behaving like an ungrateful brat. He doesn’t say thankyou, he’s not grateful he just moans for more, more, more. I ve tried talking to him about this and telling him it’s not kind, mummy won’t want to take him for treats if he behaves like this. He should be grateful for treats not demand more. Mummy and daddy work hard to earn money to get these treats. I admit I ve shouted and probably go on and on at him too. Neither worked and it’s in one ear and out the other. He doesn’t care. So dd and dh has gone off to the circus without me and ds. Was this the right thing to do? I feel like I shouldn’t give him another treat after behaving like this after two other treats.

Ds is upset and crying but he does this fake crying thing rather than real crying. He’s upset at the time but then just does the same again when another treat is given to him.

We went through all this a couple of weeks ago. He doesn’t seem to learn. school was a half day. So I picked him up and took him and dd to the dinosaur museum. Stayed for about 5 minutes and then moaning about where more dinosaurs were, moaning about seeing xyz. When we came outside more moaning about hungry etc. I then took him to the frozen yoghurt place, again wouldn’t share. He moaned about having a small tub. He then moaned when we came out about wanting something else, repeatedly hit his sister when I asked him to use his gentle hands and wouldn’t listen to me. Continued to moan about not going in the pram as dd was in there, too far to walk etc. I ended up giving him a time out in the street.

KeepItAsItIs Sat 14-Oct-17 16:38:13

Sounds similar to us tbh. And I know I am too shouty and think I've been firm but actually I've heard it and it sounds awful, both DCs do it as well. Problem is DH is worse than me and I found I have more patience and I don't speak like this to them all the time, whereas he does. And I'm aware of it so I'm really trying.

So not much advice unfortunately. But I think you were right to say no circus after poor behaviour that morning. On the other hand, a drink of water wouldn't have hurt. It's hardly a treat. DH does that a lot, thinks DD should accept what he says even though her request wasn't unreasonable then gets arsey with her when she then kicks off. I also wouldn't force him to share his food, I don't believe in people being made to share food. DD shares her food happily, DS doesn't, I'm not bothered. I wouldn't pander to a child who whined that an adult had more than them. Children should learn that as adults we eat more due to being bigger than them. I am wouldn't get a single thing to someone who says I want. As I say to mine "I want gets nothing" and they know they have ask nicely, which they generally do.

Do you think he is tired? My DDs behaviour gets more like this when she is tired. But I completely get what you mean about giving nice treats and them acting like spoiled brats. I've said it to mine as well as it's just so ungrateful.

lucas161212 Sat 14-Oct-17 16:55:36

I know, I hate that I am shouty and short tempered. I know I am. I used to be so calm and measured until I had dd.

Truth is, I can see so many of my bad personality traits in him and know he’s mirroring me. I try to use the postive behaviour strategy not telling him no directly but putting it in a different way, saying what I want him to do not what I don’t etc. Done thinking step. Think I have got bit lazy and don’t follow through warnings.

I ve told him so many times to say please, thank you, ask nicely etc. He’s pretty articulate so can have sensible conversations about his people are more likely to do things if he asks nicely etc but he just doesn’t seem to care.

Yes, maybe should have got him water but guess he had such moaning, ungrateful attitude I didn’t want to buy him something else. He doesn’t appreciate any treats or things he’s brought.

Kleinzeit Sun 15-Oct-17 08:54:43

Some of what you said seemed familiar from some kids in my family. You might be over-thinking things a bit. It sounds as if your DS may just get a bit over-tired and over-stimulated by exciting outings. I don't mean they're a bad thing, but it's as if he gets a huge "wow! amazing! I want it all!" feeling and then he gets overwrought and demanding and tired. Hence the whinging tantrums. Try not worry about it - my DS and nephews used to regularly make demands and even have tantrums especially towards the end of big outings, they were just over-tired. In general I think you handled his crossness pretty well, and those episodes were embarrassing but they didn't have any long term bad effects!

A couple of things that could help - decide what he can and can't have, before you go, and tell him. Water he should always be able to have if possible, a drink of water can be very calming for an overheated overwrought child. And decide (for example) you will either buy him some sweets or a toy (etc) and tell him so before you go. If you want him to share the ice cream then tell him so before you buy it - imagine if your boss gave you a big bonus and then told you to split it with your co-worker grin He might get upset the first time you tell him he can't have a toy because he's already had sweets, but if you stick to your guns it will probably help after a couple of outings, when he is confident about the rules and knows where he stands.

It also sounds a bit as if some of these trips are a way to give him some more special attention? He might do better with shorter dabs of attention in familiar places - park or library, tea in a local cafe, just reading a book or watching telly or playing a game with you at home - as part of his daily or weekly routine. Might be a bit calmer for him.


Kleinzeit Sun 15-Oct-17 08:56:46

And also, most four year olds don't have perfect manners. If he's doing some please and thank yous then you're doing well! Just keep reminding him. Broken record. smile

Goldmandra Sun 15-Oct-17 14:30:44

I think you need to back off with the treats and trips out. My DDs both have AS (not suggesting your DS does) and we learned early on that lots of exciting outings and activities produced sensory overload and exhaustion, leading to bad behaviour and them seeking inappropriate ways to feel better, e.g. wanting sweets.

Plan a few weeks where you keep a predictable routine without any exciting trips and lots of walks, games, pottering in the garden type activities.

If you do plan something exciting, don't do it after school, shopping etc.

Stop making up excuses not to buy him things. It's OK to just say no.

If he does lose it, don't ignore him. Be a positive, reassuring presence who is available for cuddles once he is calmer and would like one. You can be sympathetic that he was upset. Labelling his emotions and describing how he and you dealt with them will help him learn to manage his own emotional overloads in the future.

Start looking for positives to praise. Tell him you like how he hung his coat up without being asked, thank him for using a nice voice to ask for something and keep picking up on lots of other minute events that you can highlight as good. This will help him not to use negative behaviour to get your attention.

Could the throat-clearing be a tic? Think about how you respond to it.

Plan on short bit of time every day which is his and yours only. Maybe when his sister is asleep or with another adult. Prioritise it and tell him it's important to you. It's your time with him, not his time with you.

Remember, they all try behaviour we don't like. All we need to do it try not to reinforce it and it will go away.

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