Feel defeated by my seven year old. I really don't know what to do now or how to make things better.(36 Posts)
He is obviously reacting to the whole separation & recent changes, but I am starting to get really worn down now. I don't know what else to try. We have tried the smiley charts, the smiley only charts (no sad faces), the talks, the taking away toys/DVDs until he earns them back etc, but after 6 weeks there is no improvements & I am starting to feel myself cracking.
Spent a lot of yesterday in tears (the boys even witnessed me crying at one stage, which is something I try hard to avoid), and I am already in tears this morning.
I really am at my wits end & don't know what to do.
I don't know your whole story, but can I recommend How to Talk so Kids will Listen, and Listen so Kids will Talk? Really good book, Cod did a thread on it a while back.
Again, don't know what's reallyhappened from you post, but sounds as if he is playing up after a divorce/separation?
Your kid is desperately insecure- his whole life has changed and he is scared witless- prob in case Mum disappears like Dad has done. (Is that right?) No good trying to rationlise it with him eg "Daddy still oves you , it's Mummy and him who are not married any more....."
he won't really get that.
You've got to make ahuge effort to make him feel loved- lots more cuddles, time with you etc etc. Stop the punishments- they only confirm his feelings of being unloved.
As the adult only you can get out of this viscious circle, by changing how you ract to him. Good luck!
Like nqc I don't know it all and can't imagine how awful things must be for you atm.
This is going to sound really patronising but I really don't mean it to...
Have you tried talking to him about how he feels? Has he movd house? Does he still have contact with your ex? Does he have a regular routine so he knows what is going to happen? -Hard, I know until the dust has settled.
Have you told his teachers? Sometimes a child might confide in a teacher if they feel they don't want to upset mummy/daddy etc.
Sorry if this hasn't helped/you've already trid it. My parents separated when I was 14 and no one ever thought to talk to me about it, it all just happened to me and I really felt I had no control over anything.
Will come back & answer all posts later as I have to shoot off to work now.
Thank you all for your responses.
I was trying to use methods of discipline that didn't end up with me getting cross & shouting (hence charts etc), but they didn't seem to work at all.
It is hard when it is constant & DS sometimes seems to go out of his way to get to me. I am trying hard not to get cross, but I am getting so run down after 6 weeks of this (some days it is pretty constant) & I feel like I'm reaching breaking point with it all.
I sat down with him on his own last night, gave him a hug & told him that I loved him & daddy loves him, and I asked what makes him sad. He told me that he is sad when I'm sad & he is sad when he is being naughty.
I know there is more to it than that & that he is obviously very upset about the whole separation, but he doesn't often mention that at all.
This morning started off really bad again though, with him refusing to do things & back chatting.
I told them they were not to watch Power Rangers before they got dressed (as I will never get them motivated if they start watching TV) and he was saying things like "Well I will just put the TV on anyway"
He then made a chart & drew loads of sad faces on, saying it was mummy's chart.
I am concerned that he is suffering & a bit depressed right now, and this is why he is behaving in the way he is. It really upsets me to think of how he is suffering, and I don't feel I am being a good enough mum, because I just don't know the best way to deal with him right now.
NQC - I really must look into buying that book.
PC - I e mailed you this morning....nothing helpful, just all my sympathy...
Don't be too hard on yourself, PC.
Until the SN are clarified and you have been given some expert help on what will be the most effective communication methods with him, you might not crack this at all.
I wonder what would happen if you just drop all attempts at 'discipline' and just ignore all bad behaviur...I really don't know. I don't know what the techniques parents with children with similiarities to your DS1 use.
So for now...just more sympathy.
Thanks Blu, and thanks for supportive words in the e mail. I have read it & will reply once boys are in bed & I have peace!
I am worried as to just what is really going on in DS1's head, and I have concerns that he is really quite a depressed little boy, apart from everything else, and I feel so bad. I just don't know the best way to deal with any of it, but I will try my best to ignore all the bad behaviour & provide more reassurance.
That book looks really good. I do need something to help me out a bit here, because I am trying, but failing to do a good enough job on my own right now.
Can sympathise with you PC. I split with ex in March and moved into another house with the boys. DS2 (6) was just like your boy.
I knew it was because he was feeling insecure and needed the attention, whether it be good or bad attention.
It took him a good couple of months to start settling. They just seem more confused than older kids and feel scared.
DS1 and 2 are really happy now. In fact happier than they have been in a while as I'm happy and ex has them plenty (that's another story )
Try not to get upset as like he says it'll confuse him more and upset him. Just be patient and I promise you he'll come through it.
I felt a lot of guilt when ds2 was like this as I left but we're great now
I know how you feel with regards to trying and failing. Feels like walking in treacle doesn't it?
It sure does, Ulysees!
I go out of my way to try & avoid getting upset in front of the boys. I managed to prevent them seeing my tears throughout most of the drawn out separation process, and on the first real day alone in my house, even though I was on the brink all day. The other night it was just a case of one thing after another building up as the day went on, and I went upstairs to cry, but was soon spotted by both boys. I felt terrible because I knew that would disturb them a bit.
I agree about the attention thing. DS1 seems to go out of his way to say things he knows will get to me, sometimes he will say things like "Mummy is stupid" etc, but then later he will come up with a daisy he has picked me & want a hug.
I just feel like I am really struggling & doing a terrible job on the nice stable single mother front!
Really pleased to hear your boys calmed down, Ulysees, that is reassuring!
I was like you though, felt shit, must be crappest mum in the universe etc... luckily my bf was on the end of the phone to put me straight, he's divorced with 3 boys. Plus friends and my sister helped.
If you ever want to chat by email or msn just CAT me
Oh and I think seeing a few tears doensn't hurt them as that's life! It's just I tried to keep it to a minimum as my two are really sensitive.
I remember once screaming and crying saying "I'm such a bad mummy" and they were just watching me I'd really lost it that day, plus had pmt. Luckily that was a one off. Much calmer now.
I don't know how I would get by without my friends, both RL & virtual ones!
I haven't got MSN atm as I have a new computer, but I might well CAT you soon, Ulysees. Thanks.
I feel the same re: mates. They're like family aren't they?
Hey we're not virtual though you know, at least not last time I looked
email anytime it's goldenbrownandi @ hotmail.com same for when you get msn.
I know, I just call you my virtual friends because I can't see you!
It's hard work isn't it?
I have had the afternoon from hell with DS2 today while his brother was at school, and I'm feeling totally worn down with it all.
both boys have now gone out with their dad & I am taking a breather!
Thanks for your e mail address. Hopefully I will get MSN sorted on this PC pretty soon!
How old is ds2? It'll probably be because you're stressed that you're so worn down. I know kids are tiring but I was shattered when stressed, felt constantly drained.
Does ex have them overnight? I get a good break as my ex likes having the kids at least 3 nights in a row. I know I'm lucky with that.
My youngest is 4 years old. He can be quite demanding, but I normally cope with him quite well.
This afternoon though, he was a monster & ended up having time out, during which he screamed very loudly & told me he hated me!
Oh ds2 used to be like that but all the time. I'd cry when we went to pick up ds1 from school and ds2 was creating. He'd just scream all the way round the supermarket too. He's easy now though and I can't believe he's that same boy. In fact when there's just him you never know you have him, he's 7 in September and ds1 is 10 in october so similar age gap to your two. Do yours get on ok? Mine are very close and I've just got them to sleep serarately
Mine love each other & miss each other when one or the other of them isn't around, but they squabble & fight something awful!
DS2 is at a loss when DS1 is at school though, and I think that was part of the problem this afternoon. He demands lots of attention when he is on his own, and I had a friend round to see me, which he didn't like!
My two have just started sharing a room due to me having a two bedroom house, and bedtimes are a nightmare!!
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