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I am really struggling with DS1's behaviour

(77 Posts)
Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:18:00

I recently moved into a new place on my own with my two boys & I expected some behaviour problems with my boys as it is obviously a really big change & a very stressful time for them.

DS1 started behaved really badly from day 1 (as expected), but a month on it is getting no better, despite trying positive things like smiley charts etc.

Everything is a struggle (he is also being assessed for possible special needs), even simple things like asking him to get his shoes on is a challange.

He is answering back constantly, being rude, not doing as he is told & basically challanging me to the max.

This morning I started a new smiley chart with him, but it made no difference to his behaviour & he told me he would scribble all over it.

The second his father turns up to collect him, he turns into a different child.

I am feeling so low & so drained now. I am finding it so hard coping with it all on my own & just don't know how to make things better.

NoodleStroodle Wed 13-Jun-07 13:19:18

I have no experience of this directly but is it just a case of testing you really hard to see if you love him and he is going to stay with you?

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:20:45

I don't know, maybe he blames me for it all.

NAB3 Wed 13-Jun-07 13:22:25

What struck me from reading your post is that he sounds like a completely normal child! I know it doesn't help cope with his behaviour but I hope it helps that you aren't on your own. My 6 year old cheeks me like that and my 3 year old daughter had been an angel for my inlaws and then started with the cheek and attitude when I picked her up.

NoodleStroodle Wed 13-Jun-07 13:22:49

I don't know whether it is blame as such but perhaps more a case of loads of upheaval and change and he wants to see if you are going to change too - and if he pushes really hard he can test your love. It sounds as though lots has been going on and his life is a bit topsy turvy - I say give him time and time and more time and you must remain patient and understanding.

NAB3 Wed 13-Jun-07 13:24:29

My HV told me my then 5 year old must feel very secure to be able to cheek me in such a way....

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:24:31

I am trying my best, but it is almost constant at the moment & it is really really getting me down.

southeastastra Wed 13-Jun-07 13:25:55

pinkchampagne my ds(5) has only recently started to behave well at school and at home he still has his moments but they are getting much easier to cope with.

you know i've posted tons here about him and i really think it's something that they will hopefully grow out of. it's very very hard to deal with (ime).

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:27:50

I'm glad thigs are calming down for you, SEA.

He is 8 in September & it seems to be getting worse & worse.

BrothelSprouts Wed 13-Jun-07 13:29:04

I think he's taking his frustrations out on you, PC, because he knows you are a permanent fixture in his life, and he can rely on you.

southeastastra Wed 13-Jun-07 13:31:12

oh i realised you're talking about your ds1. (sorry)

does he attend any after school clubs or is there anywhere you can send him so he can get rid of any pent up agression? (and get a break for yourself!)

Blu Wed 13-Jun-07 13:33:11

Does he talk about the break up?
Have you asked him why he behaves when his dad shows up? (in a casual sort of way...the last thing, i guess, you want to do is let him know that it is a huge issue for you) Just wonderng if he has anything to say about it, or can articulate it.

It must be incredibly energy and morale sapping for you.

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:34:42

I guess that could well be what he is doing & also he knows that daddy (who they were always scared of pushing) isn't around, so they are testing just how far they can push me!

It seems to be pretty constant though, from the moment he wakes in the morning until he (eventually) closes his eyes at night, and it is starting to really get me down.

My 4 year old is responding well to the behaviour charts etc, but I just don't know what to do to improve things with DS1.

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:37:26

He doesn't talk about it at all, Blu.

It has got to the stage where I am actually dreading the start of each new day, which I know sounds awful, but it is all really getting me down.

Blu Wed 13-Jun-07 13:39:34

Could you spend half a day on your own with him, maybe on a special outing, and ask him if there's anything he wants to say about it, or ask you? And ask him how he is feeling? Or has he gone totally silent about it?

Hard, because you don't know, yet, how much might be mixed up with his SEN, and how much is a reaction to the changes.

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:42:13

He doesn't go to any after school clubs because he finds it hard to do kind of group things, SEA.

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:44:38

I have tried talking to him, but I don't get much from him at all.
I will try talking to him again later when DS2 goes up to bed.

Blu Wed 13-Jun-07 13:47:49

Have the charts made any impact at all, do you think? Or might they be being unhelpful? I think you are doing exactly the right thing by being consistent and fair and clear - but if the charts seem to cause him distress or disturbance it might be as well to quietly drop them?
What's your instinct?
There may be nothing to be done but to weather it out...hard, hard, hard.

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 13:53:15

Thing is, Blu, they know that they get treats from my mother & their dad regardless, which isn't helping me at all!

Blu Wed 13-Jun-07 13:59:10

Hmmm, no that won't be helping at all.
As no doubt they both know. sigh.

As you can't change that, I wonder whether it is worth working against it?

I just feel so cautious about thinking of any potential solutions because of the complications around the SN. There may be things that would be effective with typical children, but counter-productive with your DS.

Can you ask for speeded-up specialist help, I wonder?

How is he being at school? Any better or worse than usual, or the same?

He obviously has some cntrol over whet he is up to because of his change when he is with his dad. Is he still a bit afraid of his dad?

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 14:22:47

He knows what he's up to because he would change his behaviour immediately if his dad walked into the room, a lot of it is him constantly testing the boundaries, I think, but there are certain aspects that I have always struggled with (eg: the whole getting him motivated to get dressed, put on shoes etc), which I feel are possibly linked to his SN.

It is like a combination of him reacting to the split, combined with the frustrating behaviour which has always been present with DS1, also combined with the typical testing type behaviour that seems to occur in most of the boys in their final term of year 2!

In school they are not really having big behaviour problems with him (they can't imagine him talking enough to be cheeky!), but he is very lathargic & has no motivation for anything. Getting him to complete work is a challange.

Blu Wed 13-Jun-07 14:27:03

Does he change like a starteld rabbit when his dad walks in, or just sort of morph? Just wondering if he's still a bit frightened of his dad and supressing bad behaviour when he's there, or if he is generally, naturally well-behaved and deliberately being awkward with you, iyswim.

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 14:30:46

I think he is still scared of pushing his dad, and will change immediately when ex H walks in.
He is being harder work for me than anyone else though, that is for sure!

ahundredtimes Wed 13-Jun-07 14:31:31

Because I saw your post on the dyspraxic thread, I've got a couple of suggestions - but I think Blu's point about sorting out the SN stuff from the emotional one is really good.

Tbh Pink I'd drop the charts for him for now, things like speeding up and putting on shoes are probably very difficult for him (and not something to do with behaviour) as such.

Maybe a two pronged approach. Like others suggested -talk to him, invite him to talk about the break-up and tell him you love him whatever he does and whatever happens and you'll always be there for him.

Then, with regard to the day to day stuff. I've found a list for ds2 really helps, like a check list for what he's got to do each morning before school. Is difficult for him to sequence these things himself, and its made MUCH WORSE when I start to nag and urge him to hurry up. He feels less pressurised if I say - when he's standing there with one sock on and holding his school bag - you've forgotten some stuff, go look at the list. Allow about 30mins extra every morning than you think you'll need.

Hope this is of some help?

Pinkchampagne Wed 13-Jun-07 14:32:22

Definitely startled rabbit type change with his dad

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