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Please help! I just want to give up being a parent!!!

(17 Posts)
bini Sat 19-Jul-08 22:32:15

Hi There. I really need some advice. I am a lone parent since 2&1/2 years ago. My eldest son has recently become absolutely unbearable towards his little brother. He constantly picks on him and says mean things to him, hits him and generally provokes him. It is all completely without reason. My youngest is very loving towards him and always thinks of him eg when buying a treat he always wants to include him. I can't cope anymore. Most of the time at the moment I try to ignore it because I don't know what to do. I have tried time out, shouting, ignoring him, star charts and god knows what else. i am totally fed up. His harrassment of his little brother is relentless from the moment we get up till the moment they fall asleep.

My eldest has been through a lot over the last couple of years (i left my husband because of domestic abuse, mostly emotional/psychological). He has had 6 months of play therapy which ended recently and I have to say it has got worse since then. They see their Dad in a contact centre and behaviour is always worse after that. Their Dad has no boundaries or rules, stuffs them full of junk and says and does completely inappropriate things but I think stopping contact would end up being worse (I already stopped it once). Please, please can someone give me some advice, I really want to walk out and just give up. sad angry

Rhubarb Sat 19-Jul-08 22:37:47

How old is he?

Sounds like he really need some love and attention. The worse he behaves, the more negative attention he gets and so he thinks negatively of himself and therefore is badly behaved - see the cycle?

Can you not do something special with him, just him, once a week? Make some time to be with him, say 20 mins every day give him your undivided attention, ask him about school, his worries etc. Don't cut it short, don't give up if he doesn't answer, give him his 20mins anyway, he'll open up after about a week! smile

Be persistent. You should also do things with your other son, perhaps when your eldest is at an after school activity or something, so that your youngest doesn't feel left out either.

Some siblings don't get on and he may feel that being the eldest, he gets too much responsibility, perhaps he's jealous that the youngest got it easier than he did. So give him a break, don't expect too much from him, be gentle, be loving, be persistent.

tigana Sat 19-Jul-08 22:41:47

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/8/570686
No advice, although rhubarb's makes sense to me. Just wanted to add this link as you have exp of play therapy and there is someone wanting to know more...

katyamum Sat 19-Jul-08 22:41:49

The fact that you are posting this message already shows me you are a really good mum, and you really care. We all have terrible moments where we want to just walk out of the door. You situation is extremely difficult for you and your children, but you made a decision to leave your partner for the benefit of the children and yourself, and I am sure that was the right decision to make.
My sister is a lone parent, and the children find it very hard at times. Do you have any close family who you can get help from? I think the pressure on single mums is enormous. Remember that it is normal to have sibling rivalry and only the other day I read a posting about exactly this behaviour from a non-single parent. So it's not all about your situation. It could just be normal for his age. And obviously the thing he probably craves is one-to-one attention. There is a great book called Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph. It says that at a certain age they really need a good male role model. Perhaps a teacher or someone who runs the football team at school or someone you know?
I don't know if what I am saying will help, but you sound like a lovely mum who is struggling and you need support. You children are lucky to have you. They will come through. xx

iarel Sat 19-Jul-08 22:44:01

my heart goes out to you, but please don't give up on your boys. you have been though a lot and children find it more difficult to express their feelings. if that is the only male figure he has known it might be that he is copying his dad. do you have any family whom might help with childcare, if so maybe take turns to spend some quality time seperately. do you think their dad is doing it deliberately to get back at you? there should be support groups around your area. contact your GP and they should be able to refer you.

bini Sat 19-Jul-08 22:52:19

He's 6 and youngest is 3. I can see the cycle of behaviour. He does have special time with me although probably not enough. It's so hard to find childcare. My parents are local and do a lot but my Mum isn't well at the moment and I don't want to ask even more of them. They are also both in their 70's. I have arranged a couple of days next week when my youngest will be with my parents so we can have some time together. I have tried having time together with him for shorter periods of time and he says he misses his brother but it all goes back to 'normal' after about an hour. My ex has also recently told him that he has got a new girlfriend. I think that may have something to do with it as he is completely obsessed with girls and does stuff like kisses pictures of women, which I don't think is normal for a 6 year old.

I will try and find a way of giving him some time each day though. My youngest gets quite a lot of time when we do things together so I don't think he will feel left out

retiredgoth Sat 19-Jul-08 22:56:58

.....I have boys too. Four of them, and they can be very similar to what you describe. I fact, the latter part of today was VERY like it, and I had a few moments feeling the same way.

....you know (as I do too) that neither you nor I will actually give up and walk out. It is entirely reasonable to feel like it sometimes, though!

...there are lots of good moments, and things to celebrate in our kids. You hint at a few in your post. On other days they will seem more prominent...

..this may be of limited help to you, but can I say thank you for posting this, as I felt like posting something similar earlier. Just knowing that there are plenty of others out there feeling just the same makes things seem easier for some strange reason!

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sat 19-Jul-08 22:57:13

Oh sweetheart, hell!!!!

And you can get through this. You have already come through much, much worse. Part of this is age and absolutely nothing to do with you/XP.

I think I have "Raising Boys", the book katyamum mentions. I haven't read it but am happy to send to you if you if money is an issue and/or you think it will help.

My 3 children argue persistently. Age 7 and two age 3 (almost 4, twins). I am reading "Sibling Without Rivalry" and it has some great pointers.

Try to have a think about what stuff you can ignore and what you can't. Think of how you want to deal with the stuff you can't ignore. Then try to do it exactly the same each time, without raising your voice or showing any irritation on your part.

So, my little boy hits his twin and thinks its ok because he says sorry. I tell him brothers and sisters aren't for hitting and put him in his room. He bangs on the door and screams and shouts. I go in and tell him when he stops and uses his talking voice he can come out. He bangs and bangs and shouts and screams. I repeat. This goes on for a bit. He stops. I go in and hug him and tell him I love it when he uses his talking voice. I tell him once more brothers and sisters aren't for hitting and I change the subject quickly onto a nice thing.

I'm trying and trying to do the same thing each time, without reacting or shouting. I'm trying. Thats all any of us can do when we are pushed.

Keep posting, you're not alone out there x.

bini Sat 19-Jul-08 23:00:20

Hi katyamum, thank you so much for your support. I do feel incredibly guilty for what my kids are going through and sometimes i need reminding that i did the right thing.

iarel, thank you too. I do think he is doing it to get back at me, he has said so many times he will never let me go. what concerns me is the injunction runs out in september, i have no idea what will happen then. I will just have to wait and see. I have been thinking about seeing my gp so will make an appointment on monday.

bini Sat 19-Jul-08 23:05:16

Thank you. It gives me hope knowing other people feel the same. I have Raising Boys and it's a great book. Who is Sibling Without Rivalry by? I think I need a copy.

katyamum Sat 19-Jul-08 23:10:40

If it's any consolation, I am struggling enormously with my middle child who has terrible jealousy of his younger brother and older sister, but he is aggressive to me, not them. It's really heart breaking at times. You just want to wrap them up. But they need to be gently guided by us. I'm sure your eldest will turn a corner. My mother-in-law always says to me ' Oh he's having a testosterone surge ' if he does anything aggressive, and it makes me laugh. Good luck with it all.

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sat 19-Jul-08 23:10:51

here bini xxx

iarel Sat 19-Jul-08 23:13:39

my DS is a 6 yo as well. it is quite a demanding age anyway i have just had a DD and although he is good with her, he has been playing up a lot in other areas. i sat down with him and asked him why he was being naughty and what we could do to make it better. the response that i got was quite remarkable. he told me that i would pick on little things to tell him off and that he felt a bit left out when i'm holding the baby. we had quite a 'grown up talk' which made me realise that he knows and feels more than i assumed. i have started to give him more responsibility around the house and with getting him to do more things for himself. we also discussed and agreed on suitable punishments when he does step out of line. i agree with katyamum on the positive male role model definitely.

iarel Sat 19-Jul-08 23:21:51

just read about the injunction. maybe try citizens advice to point you in the right direction with regards to your and the boys' rights. at least you can be prepared and have all the facts before it runs out.

bini Sat 19-Jul-08 23:23:40

The funny thing is he does have a couple of positive male role models in his Grandfather and his uncle although maybe they need to set up some activities to do together.

frumpygrumpysooksgin i meant to say thanks for the offer of sending the book, i already have it though. Thanks for the link for the other one though xx

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sun 20-Jul-08 09:43:41

No prob. I woke up thinking about you today. Meant to say I am also a fan of total and utter bibery. One dolly mixture for every little bit of helpful/kind/friendly behaivour. Bit like training puppies. You can wean them off later grin

Hope its a better day for you.

frumpygrumpysooksgin Sun 20-Jul-08 09:45:41

And don't make a big deal out of giving the reward. Subtlety is key.

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