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I am at my wits end with my 5yo ds

(21 Posts)
99redballoons Sat 20-Sep-08 13:11:43

Why doesn't my ds 'listen'??!!!!

Is this normal? How can I improve this?

It's not 'tidy up this' and he doesn't listen, he's actually very good at hearing and doing commands. It's when he's snatched something off his younger sister, or continues to do something (usually an action that could end up damaging something) and he's just down right defiant. You ask him not to do it, he does it again, you warm him saying he'll be sent to his room or will lose something (a toy or privilidge) if he does it again, he does it again, then it's announced he's lost it or whatever and major tantrum insues, lots of shouting on both parts and a physical struggle to remove him from the room so he can calm down alone (usually to his bedroom).

He's always been a bit of a live wire, lots of energy etc. but generally he's a 'nice' boy. He's been upset going back to school (one of the youngest in the year(1)) so we thought he's just a bit more uptight because of that, but there's been no improvement and it seems to be in a downward spiral. We praise him for his good behaviour, but the bad far outweighs the good for a few weeks now.

Is this normal? Is it a phase? What should we be doing? My mum has suggested trying to be more calm and laid back with him but we start of with that intention, but things still end up exploding. I jsut don't know where to go from here. Heeellllppppp!

Curlygirly Sat 20-Sep-08 13:22:48

That could have been me writing that!
Ds1 is so tired after school and I think that contributes to his behaviour. He was a lot better during the hols. Have talked to some other y1 mums and it seems all the children are horrible when we get them back from school.
Really hoping it's just a phase!

99redballoons Sat 20-Sep-08 13:33:30

hi curly, with us it seems to be any time of the day! things blow up over the littlest of things (in our eyes) and it's the full on tantrums which he's never really shown before that wear down our patience.

He's started saying 'you silly old man' to my dh etc. which my mum has said to ignore, but how can you? She said if he doesn't get a reaction from you then he'll stop saying it. So we're trying that one, but it's just getting him to listen the first 2-3 times of repeating ourselves. ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!

How do you improve concentration and listening?

Curlygirly Sat 20-Sep-08 13:42:20

I've no idea. Ds1 was trying to flush the toilet with his foot this morning?! I told him not to 5 times but he still did it.
Everyone says it's just testing the boundries etc but he's been doing that for 3 years now!
I'm more lenient and patient after school with him and at the weekends he is generally better behaved.
The listening thing is selective. I also remove privilages but sometimes the tantrums are worse than the original outburst.

99redballoons Sat 20-Sep-08 13:47:04

grin they are the same aren't they!

At the end of the day I have a long sigh and think I've been too hard on him, cos afterall he's only just 5, and resolve to try much harder myself the next day to be calmer with him, but things escalate so quickly it's all happened before you realise it...

Curlygirly Sat 20-Sep-08 13:50:01

I know exactly how you feel. Let's keep fooling convincing ourselves it really is only a phase grin

inkdrops Sat 20-Sep-08 14:02:03

This sounds like my DS aged 4. This past week I have been really laid back with him, loads of praise, reminding him that we have lots more fun when he does as he is told and behaves well, etc. I have also spent a lot more time with him, reading and drawing and generally chatting to him about things he enjoys.

He does seem to be worse after school, which is the time when I do all of the above!

I found that the minute I started reacting to his bad behaviour - shouting, etc, that everything starts to escalate, ending in all concerned being upset.

This past week he has been like a different child - honest! If he has started playing up, I use a quick bit of distraction - "OOoo.. look at that big spider!... can you remember that time when we found the spider in the garden? Why don't we go and see if he's still there...."

Works every time for us smile

99redballoons Sat 20-Sep-08 14:08:33

So are you saying maybe the distraction has to come in before you start all the telling off?

99redballoons Mon 22-Sep-08 14:28:41

any other words of wisdom?

outnumberedbymyboys Mon 22-Sep-08 19:33:51

This sounds very similar to my DS. Youngest and tallest in year 1. The not listening is now extending to school, having been a nightmare at home over the summer. Also very very tired. Basically he will listen if it is something that he wants to hear but otherwise he continues to do exactly what he wants. At the moment I feel that rather than do our best to bring him up 'properly' (good diet plenty of fresh air, drawing and trying to limit the TV) we may as well have fed him on a diet of chips and parked him in front of 'This Morning' for the last 5 years.

Also really worried about the affect that the amount of stress that his behaviour is causing could be having on my beautiful 7 month old DS. Any ideas anyone??

blinks Mon 22-Sep-08 19:50:11

When you see it descending into naughtiness/destruction, distraction is definitely the best approach, followed by guiding him into a task... you can get away with really random distractions at this age, the funnier the better. If in doubt, mount something and start singing.

Doesn't work every time though so be realistic- he needs obvious boundaries and your mum is right, if you stay calm, even when issuing threats etc, he won't feed off your reaction so much.

It's bloody hard though, isn't it?

99redballoons Tue 23-Sep-08 11:36:04

Hi onbmb and binks, thanks for the further comments.

Saw an old friend last night and she too said that staying calm has helped her relationship with her ds. She also says she gives the silent stare... he knows he's just done something wrong and her silence leaves him confused (and slightly scared) about what's about to happen as normally he'd expect her to shout. I tried that with dd this morning (poor her, she's usually so good, but this morning bit her brother on the hand which she's not done for over year, she's almost 3) and she just kept looking at me and averting her eyes and didn't know what was going to happen. I just said quietly 'I think you better say sorry to your brother, that wasn't very nice' and she gave him the biggest cuddle and kiss (meanwhile he was still wailing, suggesting it was the most hurtful thing ever!)

I will try alot harder and see what happens. Thanks.

junkcollector Tue 23-Sep-08 11:41:49

Same here, I get soo bored of the sound of my own voice sometimes. Tried the quiet voice 'I told you no toy and I'm very cross that you ignored me and ran away' and silent stare on DS1 (5) when he ran off out of the park and down the road to the shop yesterday having completely ignored me when I said we couldn't get a toy. Felt really guilty but it worked a treat and he was falling over himself to be extra good for the rest of the evening.

99redballoons Tue 23-Sep-08 15:51:29

shock about ds running off (what the heck do they think they're doing!!), but grin that the silent stare worked junkcollector!

IsAnybodyOutThere Wed 24-Sep-08 14:44:03

Gosh. So goo to hear the struggles (sorry) and the top tips. I feel like I'm on a constant nagging loop with my 5 yr old ds; asking him to do things and being totally ignored. Nothing seems to work and I spend most evenings going to bed feeling like the worst mother in the world. Now though I feel slightly more inspired to try again with slight reassurance that I'm not just a crap mother and my son is crazy. Wish I had a top tip of my own to share!

charmedmum Wed 24-Sep-08 21:18:22

So nice to hear that I'm not the only one having difficulties with thier children. My 5 year old boy and I are constantly falling out, I must admit I wish I could get out of the cycle.

Honneybunny Wed 24-Sep-08 21:36:33

it's always such a comfort to read that my ds1 (4.9yo) is not the only one playing up. mine has just started in reception, and is also exhausted at the end of his long school day.
he seems to think it is hilarious to do something he is not supposed to do (like jumping around the living room from sofa to table to chair etc without touching the floor) and then see his little brother (2.9yo) copy him (and fall down halfway between the sofa and the coffeetable)
ds1 also says 'you silly old silly' and whenever i do something that he doesn't like 'you are not my friend anymore, i won't talk to you ever again, mrs nessbit' (the mrs nessbit i think is from toystory).
will try the quiet serious stare, as the yelling at the top of voice doesn't seem to have only adverse effects here as well...
one thing that does work with ds1 is to separate him and ds2 and have a chat with him
alone somewhere quiet. i think it's the fact that there are two of them and they both want their parents full attention.
will follow this thread with interest.

Honneybunny Wed 24-Sep-08 21:43:49

blinks, i have employed the singing trick a bit too often i think as now, when i desperately start wailing 'old macdonald had a farm', ds1 just goes 'oh mama, just STOP singing (you silly old silly etc etc)' grin

fridascruffs Wed 24-Sep-08 22:39:34

I get this with DS and DD sometimes, especially when they're tired. If I know they're really tired cut them some slacok, but if it's just routine afer-school tiredness, well, they have to learn to function as decent human beings through that. I know it sounds naff, but the Supernanny techniques work for me- You're having your usual irritated go at them to do/ not do somewthing, and if they ignore you once too often, get down to their level, use a deep and firm voice, and tell them to stop or you will... whatever it is that you do. Don't sound too threatening, just sound firm. Then carry through on it- I put them outside the kitchen door. they can't get onto the road and there's a lobby between the kitchen door and the ouside door so they're not out in the weather. (It's got windows- don't shut them in the dark, or anywhere too small, it makes them claustrophobic, but bedrooms usually have toys in so not so great for time out). Anyway, they hate being excluded. they can come back in when they're ready to say sorry for not listening. I find that it's much more effective to use a firm low voice when giving that final warning, then a neutral-to-positive voice when offering to let them back in- make them want to come back- don't use a bulliyng, blaming tone of voice when you're offering to let them come back in.
I don't do this too often or it loses its power, but if itcomes to it, the memory lasts a while and they will gerenally comply after a firm warning on the basis of the threat of being excluded without you having to carry it through.
I know some people dislike these methods and prefer to 'lead by example'- staying calm and kind and only ignoring bad bhaviour and praising good- which is I think the best thing, if you're more of a saint than I am, but without some sort of power to enforce my few rules, I end up in that endless cycle of yelling that's so dispiriting for everyone concerned. That must be worse than the non-violent enforcement of some basic decent behaviour.
I agree with some of the posters that
putting aside time to spend entirely on them, and engaging them in conversations they find interesting (I took my 4 year old DS to look at our septic tank the other day- he loved it; many gigglings about poo), and using distraction techniques as a first response, are all good moves. They help to establish mutual respect which will help their behaviour more than anything.

edam Wed 24-Sep-08 22:52:06

"If in doubt, mount something and start singing." Blinks, that has to be the best piece of advice I've ever been given!

Has to make quote of the week, surely. grin

Shylily Thu 25-Sep-08 22:01:47

I've just been reading 'Unconditional Parenting' by Alfie Kohn which is opposite to all other 'Supper Nanny', 'Toddler Taming' advice. I've changed the way that I react to my DS' behaviour and give him more choice and control in general where I can. It's been working for me and he is generally more relaxed and compliant. (Except tonight when it all went a bit mad).

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