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I Can’t Cope with DS Anymore

(4 Posts)
AnnieOnAMapleLeaf Mon 03-Sep-18 23:35:31

My son is 6 and my daughter is 10. DD was a dream baby and has been a very easy going child (with certain exceptions of course).

My DS is a totally different story. He has been difficult from the moment he was born. He didn’t sleep through the night until he was nearly 3, in spite of us trying every possible form of sleep training, including hiring a sleep consultant and he didn’t sleep in his crib at all until he was 9 months old. Consequently, I slept on the couch for 9 months while he dozed off and on in his bouncer or his swing.

He cannot handle change of any sort, making childcare and school an absolute nightmare. I have literally had to pry his fingers off of me so I can drop him off at school and the reason for his refusal to let me go was because there was a substitute teacher.

He has epic temper tantrums, screaming and yelling for up to an hour. DH or I sit in the doorway of his room preventing him from leaving but not interacting with him at all. We have found that trying to reason with him is pointless and only prolongs the tantrum.

More recently, the behavioural issues have taken an odd turn. Out of nowhere, he has convinced himself that the toilet will overflow if he flushes it. Initially, this meant that he would poop and not flush it but would then hide the toilet paper in the vanity or closets. Eventually he figured out that by leaving the poop in the toilet, we would know that there was toilet paper somewhere. His solution to this was to poop on a piece of paper and hide it in his closet.

When he is good, he is the sweetest most loving child. But he changes in an instant and the screaming starts. I am at my wits end and no longer know how to deal with him. The crying and screaming is unbearable. Any suggestions would be welcome.

OP’s posts: |
Kleinzeit Tue 04-Sep-18 16:59:10

Oh bless him. He does sound like an awkward customer compared to your DD! You are handling him sensibly - leaving him to self calm is a good idea. Speaking from experience anything that works is a good idea for epic tantrums! smile Some kids respond to distraction, some to deep pressure (tight hugs) and some to just being left to calm themselves down. For those kids any form of verbal stimulation - like being talked to or reasoned with - just drags things out longer.

The toilet thing sounds like some kind of anxiety issue. The trouble is that once an idea like this takes hold it can very difficult to shift. Reasoning doesn't help. Maybe do a bit of investigation. Is he trying to stop you flushing at all? Is he trying to stop you flushing paper - because he thinks paper blocks the toilet? I feel reluctant to suggest alternatives (like you flushing with a bucket) because you could be stuck with them forever. On the other hand leaving poo in the cupboard isn't a solution either. You could say very firmly and confidently that you know how to flush the toilet properly. Plus you could try bribery - a reward just for leaving poo and paper in the toilet for you to flush "safely"? And once he is doing that OK, bribery for him to try flushing? Don't punish him for leaving poo in the cupboard, this does not sound like deliberate naughtiness or even attention seeking. But beware of the attention rule - behaviour that repeatedly attracts attention (even scolding) is reinforced, so stay as calm and casual about it as you possibly can in front of him. (Not easy faced with poo in a cupboard!)

And it does sound as if he could be anxious overall, that leads to temper flare ups. What are the triggers for the sudden switches - has he been scolded, or thwarted, or does it really come out of nowhere? It might be worth having a chat to the school to see how he is coping there - have they noticed rigidity about change too? or any other issues? - and then to the GP or health visitor.

butterfly990 Tue 04-Sep-18 18:59:01

Have a look at NVR connective parenting.

Also explore things like PDA.

You should also look at "not Fine in school facebook page"

AnnieOnAMapleLeaf Thu 06-Sep-18 03:43:23

Thank you so much for your wonderful suggestions! I’m sorry I am so slow responding.

Kleinzeit we are clueless as to how or why the toilet issue began. It was just a few months ago but there wasn’t a trigger as far as we are aware. I have just today registered with a new doctor and we are all going for our initial appointments in two weeks. I’ll discuss this with them. Until then, I’ll try telling him that we will deal with the toilet. It is purely his issue - he has never once tried to stop any of us from flushing.

butterfly thank you for the links. I have only had a quick skim read but will read further. I really appreciate it.

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