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6yo's behaviour issues and power struggle(3 Posts)
I'm hoping for some advice, as I'm at my witts end and really struggling to handle/cope with my 6yo DS's behaviour.
As a general summary we really seem to be banging heads at the moment, in a constant struggle for power. We're experiencing a whole new level of rudeness, total disregard for rules and every little thing we ask of him becomes a major issue which is met with resistance (even the normal daily things such as taking a shower and brushing teeth). He seems to have a lot of anger at the minute inside and explosions are becoming more frequent. We've tried a number of ways of dealing with this, from ignoring, to sitting and talking problems through, to shouting and sticking him in his room. Nothing works and he's now even laughing and smirking when we tell him off which is so frustrating!!! He seriously has no fear or respect.
Now we have had a lot going on, our new baby daughter arrived 6 weeks ago which we expected would be met with a bit of a change in behaviour from him, but to make matters worse he had chicken pox when she arrived so couldn't hold or have contact with her. Then on top of that our baby caught chicken pox and ended up in hospital for a week which meant we were both away from home. We know this was quitr hard on him and he was very emotional for the first couple of weeks, and we have really tried to make allowances for his behaviour due to all of the emotional upheaval, but it seems to be going beyond that now. How long do these things take to settle? It's hard because this isn't the loving well behaved boy we know and love, and my patience is wearing thinner than usual, especially as I'm exhausted due to the lack of sleep with DD!
To top it all off my mum's trying to convince me DS has Aspergers and has been insistent on it for months. She's come up with the thought that she has it (undiagnosed) and she's telling me that if I can get it picked up whilst he's young it will be easier to get him the help he needs. What do I do? My gut feeling is that this is probably just 6 year old behaviour and I'm hoping this is normal and he'll snap out of it but what if he does need help and by not looking into it I'm neglecting to help him? School haven't indicated that there are any problems (his behaviour is very good there). It's just at home that he seems to rule the roost and pushes the line.
I'm desperate for some guidance on this one, as it's really getting me and DH down. Sorry for the rambling post.
Is this a recent change? My dd (similar age) is defiant but always has been like this. I have suspected for a while that my dd might not be NT but I think now, that her behaviour is more to do with her age and strong personality. As mums our gut feelings are usually pretty good but in this instance I think I might have got it wrong.
However, I suspect from what you have said, that this is a recent change in your ds's case probably since baby came along. You have a pretty large age gap, as I do between my dcs and I suppose you have to remember that your ds has been an only child for quite some time - central focus, has received all the attention and now he has to share all of that and I think that is a pretty tough thing to do. My dd has a problem with sharing and this does come across at school. I am trying to factor in some one to one time with her, I also remind her what a wonderful big sister she is and to be fair she does help out with her little sister - fetching and carrying and I always make a point of praising her, way over the top. When her baby sister was born, dd received a big sister present (because I knew that the baby would get all of the attention). I explain to her that her sister takes a lot of time from me because she is unable to do anything for herself and how clever dd is for being able to do so many things for herself and how she will be able to teach these things to her sister. Sometimes dd likes to say that her little sister has done something wrong, and so I sort of half heartedly agree and say that she mustn't do x, just so it looks like they are being treated equally (when of course you can't possibly treat them equally). Also, is your ds happy at school - no indication of friendship problems/anything that he might be worried about etc?
If possible don't enter into a power struggle or shout. I sometimes allow my dd minimal choice i.e do you want to put your coat on before your shoes or after, to make it look as if she is in the driving seat but achieve the desired goal (I have had to do this less over time, we have come a long way). There is a great book called 10 days to a less defiant child and it has helped me no end. My dd is prone to angry explosions but I have managed to reduce these tremendously by applying some of the techniques and also to look out for flash points - when she is tired and hungry etc. I know this is difficult with a baby and lack of sleep (I'm in the same boat) but I think your little boy might be struggling to express his emotions and wants to be included (not saying he isn't, but that's how he might feel), try to pull him close as difficult as it seems. Remember negative attention is better than none, it's tricky but you need to somehow stay calm and rational. That's my take on it but I'm no expert and I'm prone to psychoanalysing which doesn't always turn out to be right but still these are just a few things to think about, maybe.
Of course if things don't improve, you can always run it past your GP, my GP was a great sounding board when I was in the thick of things. Wishing you all the best x
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