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6 year olds behaviour(4 Posts)
I'm looking for some advice about my six year old son. He has never been an easy child; has always been difficult to please. As he ages, his tantrums are just getting worse. He has always had a bad temper - hitting and shouting when he doesn't get his own way. I'm quite strict and have just ridden out the storms because I don't want him to think that's the way to get things in life. Over the last few weeks, his tantrums have gone to a new level and he is now being very rude towards myself and his dad. If we ask him to do something e.g. Come away from the edge of the road because it's dangerous, he can't do it without sticking his tongue out at us or calling us idiots or stupid - this is completely new behaviour. I'll give you some examples of how he behaves and what starts it:
- around two weeks ago he has some school friends round for lunch and a play date, once they had gone he asked if he could have some time to watch tv. I said yes, once he had helped me tidy up his room as they had gotten so many toys out. He refused. I told him no to until the room was tidy. He started to hit me, call me names and throw household objects around.
- on holiday last week, we were at the beach and we went back to the hotel for lunch. As we arrived at the hotel, he realised he had left his toy on the sun bed. We reassured him that his toy would be fine, that we had also left our towels there and that the man at beach was watching them for us and, as soon as we had had lunch, we would be returning to the beach. He went crazy, kicking, screaming, shouting names at us in the street - highly embarrassing. My husband went back to the beach to get the toy and that eventually calmed him down. I did not
want my husband to do this.
- that same day we went to leave the beach for the day at around four o clock, it was getting windy and out one year old was tired. He didn't want to go and, again, was screaming and shouting and hitting. It took my husband promising to go in the pool with him when we got back to the hotel, for him to calm down and co operate.
He's always been this way. The problem is, I used to manage it quite well. During a tantrum, I would give him space to calm and, when he had calmed, I would talk to him and then give him a consequence for any hitting he had done during the tantrum. He used to apologise and then accept his consequence. That does not work. He refuses to go to his room, refuses time out and I feel I've lost control. His tantrums can now last 45 minutes.
I'm quite strict and never go back on my word, however, my husband has started to give in to him because he said he can't cope with such an unhappy child all of the time. He said my way of setting boundaries and sticking to them hasn't worked in five years, so let's try his way and just keep our son happy. It's causing conflict between us as I just don't feel this is the right way to go about it, yet he disagrees with my way.
Sorry it's so long. Some extra info - my son is in a happy household - we have a good marriage and adore our children. He has a good extended family around him.
There are many positives to my son - he is funny, caring towards his sister, loves toys and playing and has a real interest in the world around him. He behaves well at school. His behaviour for others is good, like when he goes to his friends houses. His behaviour for grandparents isn't always good, yet nothing like what we have to endure.
I just want to help him deal with disappointment properly. So far his consequences have been time out (for smaller things) losing tv/I pad for bigger things and only a few weeks ago we went into soft play and i told him he couldn't have cake until he had had his lunch. He kicked me and called me a stupid idiot so I took him straight back home and he lost his chance at playing. He took his seatbelt off on the way home and was hitting me while I was driving. That's a typical tantrum and i can't see how to deal with it any better. A friend of mine always gave into her child and she still smashes the house and screams and swears on a daily basis at 11 years old. I can't bear my child doing that at that age. X
What did you do when he unfastened himself and started hitting you as you were driving?
Stopped the car, shouted, held his arms so he would stop hitting and then waited for him to calm so I could drive again.
I do agree that his behaviour does sound difficult to cope with but I think you need to pick your battles. You’ve mentioned a few times that you’re strict, I am too, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick your battles. When he left the toy behind, I don’t think your DH was undermining you. He’s a little boy and sounded like he was anxious, going back for the toy was the right thing, if not what you wanted to do. Parenting often isn’t doing what you want though is it? It’s about providing gentle, loving care.
I think you did the right thing in stopping the car when he unbuckled himself. Do you often shout?