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unbearable 7 year old(4 Posts)
To summarise, if Im honest, Im starting to actually dislike my 7 year old son. He has become obnoxious lately; aggressive, rude, ungrateful - kind of what I expected of the teen years. For example today, first day of the bank holiday, Im spending the afternoon indoors, as the park and pizza outing we had planned was cut short due to him exploding when his father and I didn’t want to do exactly what he did. He straight away started screaming and calling us stupid names and pinching and hitting us. So we bought him home, put him in his room to calm down, and since he’s still being obnoxious and refusing to apologise, we're all stuck indoors. How our son is, is putting intolerable pressure on mine and his dads relationship. His dad can barely tolerate him a lot of the time and has had to leave the house to get away from him. His dad automatically blames me, as in his view Im the primary carer and must be too soft on him - Im the one that will try and reason with him and explain why what he’s done is wrong. I’ve just now had to bring him in from the garden when he threw his ball over the fence and he again immediately started screaming and shouting at me. I know all kids have days like this, I often wonder if all mums feel like this sometimes? I feel like this most of the time. No matter how positively I start each day his hatred often has me in tears by the end of the school run and no matter how much I look forward to picking him up I generally end up feeling angry and frustrated once the reality of our afternoon hits me - i.e. if a friend is not available, or I need to go to the supermarket or he need to do homework or anything other than the playdate he’s set his heart on. He has an OK social life - mainly because Ive made myself the available mum that facilitates playdates - and if Im honest I find every other kid better company than mine. Im proud of loads of his achievements and I know he struggles more than others with most school and social related things. But I just want to like him a bit more and I want us all to be happier. I should add Im naturally positive and optimistic, Im reasonably outgoing and friendly, I exercise and have supportive friends.
He’s always been 'harder work' than other kids; once he started school it became obvious he had auditory processing issues and the attendant frustrations - and we have made great progress with Tomatis listening therapy (and a tutor). Im vague about it because we have only had a general paediatric assessment (which was inconclusive) so far and have been on a waiting list for the follow up for over 6 months. Im getting as much support as the school can offer without an actual diagnosis (which seems so far off Im not even sure if its worth pursuing) - he has a one-to-one weekly with the family liaison officer who does role plays with him to explore how he reacts when things don’t go his way. She says he knows whats expected and doesn’t want to be this way - which broke my heart - but it seems he can’t control the impulse. Its had no apparent effect on his behaviour at home, he even says, when he’s in a rage, that he’s not going to listen to what she told him.
I actually enjoy maybe 1 day a month of parenting, the rest of the time, I feel like Im firefighting and Im exhausted.
Has anyone else's 7 year old emerged from this into a decent, well adjusted human being?
Oh, OP. This sounds really hard. and maybe also for you. Bumping this for you in hopes someone who's been in a similar situation will be along soon.
You sound like a lovely mum. Tell your partner to have a word with himself about assuming this is 'your fault'!
It sounds like your DS is a lovely boy too and just has real difficulties with things not going to plan. I wouldn't want to offer any diagnosis being as (a) I'm completely unqualified to do so and (b) this is the internet! But something I've heard other users on Mumsnet talk about a lot that sounds similar in some ways is Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA). Maybe worth looking into that just in case? But it sounds like you're well on top of his auditory processing issues (and the hideous labyrinth that is getting a diagnosis and then the help needed). Just wanted to offer a hand hold really and say I'm sure this will get better at some point. Either through a diagnosis and the right support in place for him, or that he will grow out of it. This too shall pass (one way or another).
Do look after yourself. It sounds like you need a day to yourself. Maybe let your partner do a weekend alone being the 'primary carer'. Might have the twofold benefit of giving you a much needed break and letting him see that it isn't that easy!
Anyone else out there had experience of this sort of thing? <presses help klaxon>
I’m having similar issues with my 5 yo daughters behaviour becoming so unbareable that I also feel that I don’t like her. 1-2 days a week are good days, the rest are terrible.
I wish I had some advice but can only offer my understanding on this x
I agree that this behaviour could be the result of a developmental disorder, e.g. autism. PDA is on the autism spectrum and demand avoidance can be common in children with autism whose anxiety is very high.
Changes to routine, going to new places and having planned things that don't follow through can be very stressful for children with ASD. This would explain his behaviour on the pizza trip and other things you have described.
If he does have ASD, he won't know any better than you do why he is so distressed. He will also feel just as anxious and overwhelmed by things he wants to do as things he doesn't. Having them spoiled by his own meltdown must be so confusing and frustrating for him.
Try to see his behaviour as communicating distress and take time to thing through what might be causing it. Punishing him or criticising him for behaviour he can't control will just make life harder for all of you.
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