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Please can you advise me about how to deal with my nightmare child!

(26 Posts)
ssummers Sat 02-Aug-08 21:08:02

My ds is 5 - nearly 6.

Recently he has been getting very grumpy. He has always been a bit of a handful - but has a lovely personality - as long as I keep him in check.
lately though it is getting harder. He is almost like a teenage sometimes. he is really testing the boundaries.

i have always been quite structured in handling him. 2 warnings and the naughty step, I am firm - but dont shout - lots of praise. but it is getting harder and harder to be honest.

I was wondering - is this a phase? Also - should I pull him up on everything he does? I do ignore some of his 'attitude behaviour' - as I feel that if i pull him up eveytime - it would be constant.

It is things like "Ds I have told you keep away from the road" he will say "am I deaf?"
things like that. And if I ask him to tidy his room he will create a fuss - and when he goes upstairs slam his door.
He is also a nightmare with friends (although they can be a pain too!) they bicker the whole time.

Please help. Should I come down on him firmer? Is this a stage? Any advice appreciated!!

DiscoDizzy Sat 02-Aug-08 21:10:07

Watching this thread with interest, though DD hasn't got to this stage, I have a feeling its on its way.

Doodle2U Sat 02-Aug-08 21:25:17

I noticed this a lot with DS (7) and discovered some of it was being copied from Tracey frikin' Beaker, some of it was being copied from friends at school and some of it was pure 'him'. Apparently, they have some kind of hormone surge around the 6 to 8 mark and it produces teenagerish behaviour.

I found going bleedin' ballistic worked but I don't think you're quite like me!grin

I think I might impose summat more horrid than the naughty step now though - with mine, the threat of missing out on something he really wants, such as a sleep-over, does the trick. He knows I will follow my threat through, without fail, EVERY time.

bubblepop Sat 02-Aug-08 21:26:03

your ds sounds like my eldest ds-except mine is 11 !

DiscoDizzy Sat 02-Aug-08 21:31:00

Does he watch Horrid Henry by chance.

priceyp Sat 02-Aug-08 21:33:36

horrid henry is dire, dh and I have agreed to ban that one! We definately think that ds has been picking up tips.

QuintessentialShadows Sat 02-Aug-08 21:35:53

It is a phase.
I read about it in the original Dr Spock. My mum has it. The book is falling to pieces, and old, but it is really quite good on child psychology.

At this age they start moving away from their parents, testing boundaries as you say, discover themselves as an individual, friends outside the home become more important. They have learnt manners, and how to behave but infront of you they dont care, because they are "playing up" and testing you as they know that these are things that will get you going. By what Spock says, your son will be in the road because he knows he is wrong to be there, but is waiting for you to say something. etc.
Apparently the phase lasts till around 11 years og age....

Dottoressa Sat 02-Aug-08 21:35:56

All I can offer is: my DS (6) is the same. I can only hope it's a phase. He doesn't watch TV (hates it, bizarrely), but the HH books are banned!

I am desperately patient and non-shouty, but it really is beyond annoying...

Dottoressa Sat 02-Aug-08 21:36:33

Until 11? OMG. I will be on tranquillisers by then...

KTNoo Sat 02-Aug-08 21:46:24

Have just got hold of a book called "Playful Parenting" which seems to have some good tips on diffusing these confrontational situations you describe by being more playful. Things like joking and using humour to avoid both parties locking horns. I am going to try to do this more with my dcs, although sometimes I feel I don't have the energy to be creative! I think it could work with my ds who is very prone to digging heels in when confronted.

HonoriaGlossop Sat 02-Aug-08 21:54:33

KTN, that is exactly the approach I was going to suggest. The things you describe ssummers sound utterly normal to me...the 'am I deaf?' would be a PERFECT opportunity to defuse the situation with some humour. Boys this age have fantastic senses of humour and will respond really well to it. And it helps with your general relationship with them if it's much less pressured, lighter, and not as KT says, all about 'locking horns'.

look at your expectations as well; I must say I absolutely DREAM of being able to send my ds up to clean his room! He has just turned six but this is a job I very much have to do WITH him and be the driving force to get done. My ds would also slam doors and get very fed up if he was sent off to do it.

Again lower your expectations re the friends and bickering; I've yet to see DS and his friends actually be NICE to each other grin they are dreadfully competitive at this age. It will be a few years yet I think before friendships settle in to more 'genuine' good times!

I think you certainly don't need to be harder on him. Keep your consistent boundaries, but work as a team with him and keep a sense of humour and he'll see you as his best friend IMO smile

goodasgold Sat 02-Aug-08 22:02:48

If he's says 'Am I deaf?' just say 'what?'

HonoriaGlossop Sat 02-Aug-08 22:07:01

grin exactly goodasgold....

MsDemeanor Sat 02-Aug-08 22:07:57

Omg, so normal. Infuriating to the point of homicide, but normal. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh.

SimpleAsABC Sat 02-Aug-08 22:11:23

Planned ignoring, ignoring the bits that won't cause harm / offence to others (other than you... unless waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off) in the hope that maybe it'll fizzle out?

Good luck

KTNoo Sat 02-Aug-08 22:30:25

The bit I read even has advice for dealing with obscenities - apparently you should say "oh well you can say that as much as you like but whatever you do don't say "(insert random nonsense word)". Then the child goes on to say the nonsense word instead. Apparently.

And if he calls you a name you can say "oh don't tell everyone my secret name!"

QuintessentialShadows Sun 03-Aug-08 00:11:22

But what to say when you toddler keeps insisting he wants to wee on your head???

KTNoo Sun 03-Aug-08 00:25:02

Oh I don't know, how about "go on, see if you can wee so much on my head that the whole room is full of wee and we have to swim out and what if we can't find the armbands in time?"

I'm sure someone else can do better - it's late and I'm not the most creative at the best of times....

QuintessentialShadows Sun 03-Aug-08 00:29:58

Quote of the week material.....

gingerinosister Sun 03-Aug-08 01:03:23

my belief is that all behavour is learned and that this can happen at school, at play on the tv or overhearing adults. How to deal with challanging behavour is difficult.i have 4 DDs and i found that using a reward chart helped me a lot. It worked for the older girls.With the 6 yr old twins i sat them down with me to design the chart. They picked out the chores they would be able for. plus the issues they did not like eg(brushing teeth, cleaning room).at the end of each day they would come to me to fill in the chart. If they did every thing they got a sticker for that day. At the end of the week if they had recieved a sticker for every day they got a small reward of their choosing (decided at start of week).At the end of the month if they had recieved 4/5 rewards i would take them on a special outing. If they behave badly they lost out. This worked for me. you know yours and you can design to suit your Ds and the end of the day all children love to be rewarded. this form of positive renforcment does work.

Dottoressa Sun 03-Aug-08 08:49:24

If I challenged DS to wee on my head, he would accept the challenge with relish. Especially if he thought it might mean having to swim out.


onwardandupward Sun 03-Aug-08 14:09:08

Another vote for "Playful Parenting" here.

Or even "Uncondiitonal Parenting" (Alfie Kohn) if you feel like going really out of the box...

My feeling is that when we parents set boundaries and rules for our children, our children are at first small enough for us to enforce those rules. But when they get to be great big hulking 15 year olds, it is going to be well-nigh impossible for us to be the authority figure any more. So children who start straining against our authority really young are in many ways doing us a favour - because it forces us to think more about ways of reasoning with them, persuading them, playing with them, negotiating with them, problem solving with them. Those are better longer term strategies than being the authority figure IMO

(awaits complete flaming)

HonoriaGlossop Sun 03-Aug-08 15:15:11

no flaming from me onward - I totally agree with you.

juuule Sun 03-Aug-08 15:32:09

No flaming here, either. You're spot on, Onward.

Miggsie Sun 03-Aug-08 18:47:25

...if he says he wantsa to wee on your head you can tell him you always wee in his food to improve the taste, and your wee is much better quality.

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