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DS (5 y.o) just Won't do as he is told - help

(17 Posts)
Easy Sun 27-Feb-05 13:59:32

This is causing me marital problems too.

DS can be soooo defiant, esp. with his Daddy. If you wan't him to do anything, you have to ask, and ask, and tell and tell, and even then he might not do it.

I have always worked on rewarding good behaviour, we do treats, star charts, pocket money jar, the lot but we still get days of non-co operation.

I do take money out of the jar for bad behaviour, and send to room for timeouts, but dh says ds sees us as a soft touch.

I went out shopping for 2 hour yesterday, and came back to a house of war, cos ds had been putting his feet on the desk while using my computer, and dh had to physically carry him away from the computer to stop him. Dh argues with him too.

Dh and I have had a major row today (another thread on this), cos dh thought ds shouldn't go swimming today, cos of this yesterday.

How do you get a bright, intelligent boy to co operate more than 20% of the time.

Easy Sun 27-Feb-05 14:04:38

I should add that even the CM says that when ds has been a good boy, he asks her what his treat will be.

Easy Sun 27-Feb-05 15:27:28

No one has any other suggestions then?

I know I'm not alone. Just hope dh doesn't drown him as they are swimming this afternoon

Caligula Sun 27-Feb-05 15:32:04

No suggestions, just sympathy.

I do all the usual positive parenting stuff with DD (almost 3) and she's defiant and determined to get her own way, and seemingly impervious to most sanctions!

I'll be watching this thread closely to see if I can get any tips!

Yurtgirl Sun 27-Feb-05 16:28:18

Message withdrawn

KarenThirl Sun 27-Feb-05 17:32:46

Have you tried withdrawing privileges/toys? It often works to see things lost rather than gained.

The computer issue could have been dealt with by promising him he would be able to play on it again later if he showed that he could do it properly right now, with no feet on the table. If he doesn't then no more computer.

Agree the 'no swimming' might have worked, but it has to be a known consequence before the incident or it doesn't. You have to lay out the groundrules before arguments start.

vess Sun 27-Feb-05 19:37:23

Sounds very familiar. My ds is nearly 5 and sort of similar. A lot of it is due to attention seeking, I think. Staying very calm (which my dh doesn't do!) helps. What works best for us is asking him to do something, explaining the reason for it, if he doesn't - explaining what the consequences will be (some kind of short term punishment) and then if he still doesn't, following through with that punishment. Somewhere along the line imply that he's a big boy and you trust him - ds awlays gets upset if I say I'm not going to trust him anymore: 'Mummy please can you trust me?' Punishment the next day or later doesn't work with us - it has to be immediate.
I think dh sometimes thinks he should just obey instructions whereas I think talking to him with respect, like you'd talk to an adult, has a better effect, and besides, once I've done that, I don't feel guilty about getting angry and punishing him 'cause I know I've done the right thing first and offered him a choice.
Does that make any sence?
On the other hand, he sometimes behavse with dh like he was his older brother or something - he wants his attention and would tease him to get it. And because dh often starts shouting, it kind of proves that teasing works... When it's just the two of them, though, I think they are fine - mostly 'cause they do a lot of things together.
Does that help at all?

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Feb-05 20:01:22

Agree with Karenthirl about the known consequences being explained before the incident.
It also sounds as if maybe you and your dh aren't consistent and your ds exploits this and winds dh up because he can and because it's exciting! It sounds like he gets a good out of proportion reaction from dh! I know with my ds threats only work if they're explained first, very calmly and - this is important to my son - he needs an opportunity to keep face. So if I were to shout and say "IF YOU DON'T DO X THEN Y WILL HAPPEN" he'd probably say 'So?' and shrug in teenage fashion. If, however, I softly say 'ok, it's up to you. If you haven't done x by the time I come back downstairs then y will happen' and calmly walk away then he will very likely do it and there will have been no confrontation. It's not being soft: I mean what I say and I get what I want but we don't have a row or any drama about it. I think Steve Biddulph (? may be someone else) talks about it and calls it the 'soft No' Also, my son (he's 7 and lovely but had his moments at 4&5!) likes to know what is going to happen. So if I suddenly said 'come on, we're going out now, get your coat on' he would probably do it but I might get some moaning, depending on what the outing was. But if I'd said first thing, 'right, this is what is happening today. We are doing abc followed by d' then he's happier. They call it expectation management in business
Also, boys are like dogs in that they have lots of energy and testosterone (surge at this age I think) and need regular exercise and to let off steam or they will use that energy negatively imo/e. Distraction may still work and avert a tantrum too if you see one coming. I know you don't always want to distract because some things just do have to be dealt with but even now a big exclamation from me might distract ds from a paddy he's brewing up. Making things into a game or race also still works, as does timing him (bet you can't get your socks on before I count to 20) I hope there's something in there that helps. I like Steve Biddulph, Raising Boys and The Secret of Happy Children. I think you and your dh maybe need to agree some rules that you'll both stick to though so that your ds gets a consistent message. I hope you're not offended by my saying that and I hope there's something in that lot that helps.

roisin Sun 27-Feb-05 20:07:24

What a helpful post WWW! There's stuff in there that helps me anyway. I like the "soft no" - I guess it is something I do sometimes, and explains why my threats are sometimes more effective than others.
Thanks,
Roisin

slightlysane Sun 27-Feb-05 20:24:10

What a relief 2 hear that there are others feeling/experiencing similar things - I was beginning 2 feel like a character in Desperate Housewives myself! If it's any comfort, I never thought I'd get through this phase with my extremely bright (now 7 year old) and he's loads better now. Brighter children tend 2 play 'divide-and-conquer' a lot more in my own experience. My current 4 year old is v young for his year & has paddies mainly due to frustration.

Easy Sun 27-Feb-05 20:30:16

Thanx so far, I am trying to listen. I agree that quiet and calm threats work best, but dh just seems to 'lose it' more than I do. When I can get his attention I'll try to explain that to him AGAIN, and point out the bits in "Raising Boys" which I read about a year ago.

I was cross about the swimming thing, because that wasn't one of dh's sanctions from yesterday. TBH he didn't want to go swimming today anyway, but there is a whole thread on him today in 'Relationships'

As it happens ds has been pretty good today anyway. Just need to work now on getting dh in line

Easy Sun 27-Feb-05 20:35:56

Oh, meant to say, he seems to be Okay at school, teacher hasn't said anything so far, mind you it's parent's evening tomorrow.

Generally his childminder has less of a performance from him than we do.

WideWebWitch Sun 27-Feb-05 20:37:31

Havng looked at the other thread I think he's reacting to the situation between you and dh or to your dh's depression and the way it affects him (i.e. not taking him swimming).

psychomum5 Sun 27-Feb-05 20:45:52

Sooo nice to hear I am not alone in the 'terrible boys' !!

My DS1 is a bit of a nightmare at the mo. He has 3 older sisters, and has been a real eye-opener on how different boys verses girls are. Before having him I honestly thought that the bad behaviour from boys was down to discipline (and that from me, who had nannied twin boys for 5yrs before having my own kiddies! I have to admit tho, I thought they played up because of the fact that they wanted attention from their mum, rather than it just being a 'boy thing')

I now know that both my boys play up more when they not getting enough activity, so I now have to make a concious effort to take them outside every day, rain or shine.

On the discipline front, if they are being little monster's, I do the count to three method. IE.."if you don't stop what you are doing before I count to 3, then X will happen"
And I always carry out my threat.
Not that I have an easy time of it. Last monday I was ready to run away where DS1 had been so truly awful all day. But I get thro by realising it doesn't last forever, they do improve, and if all else fails, I open a bottle of wine a de-stress that way..LOL!!

Easy Sun 27-Feb-05 20:50:38

I think some of this is a boy thing. One day last week I told ds 19 times (yes 19) to get his shoes on for school.

Trouble is dh doesn't really remember what it was like being 5 (and powerless), so can't get any empathy with him. Oh and from what I can gather his parents were pretty useless anyway, not at all the loving sort, so he has poor experience to draw on.

KarenThirl Mon 28-Feb-05 07:36:27

I'm a big fan of the 'soft no', though I haven't heard of it being called that till now. Like the games idea too, use that quite a bit.

It's also useful to try positive consequences. Instead of "If you don't do X then Y will happen", turn it around so that it becomes "If you DO do X then Z will happen". It's incentive rather than punishment, and can be very effective.

Is your ds fond of money? Our current star chart dictates how much pocket money ds gets at the end of the week as each point represents 10p on payday. Works very effectively!

kelli22 Sat 26-Mar-05 12:30:22

I didnt have time to read all the replies so sorry if i repeat what some have already said, i have a 5yr old dd and is very loving - most of the time but she has her moments of not doing as shes told and general bad behaviour (as all kids do at some point)
I used to get really annoyed and occasionally still do it's only natural but i find the best way is as soon as they do the slightest thing wrong, you can tell they're in one of those "moods" say i want you to be good today. the next time say i have asked you to be good today please do blah blah....
then next time say if you don't do as your told and behave i will take X off you until you can be good.
This way they know whats coming and its not instant punishment, you have warned them you asked them to be good, they are old enough to understand this.
Make sure whatever you say you will take you actually do it or this won't work
I tried this with my dd a couple of weeks ago, she had misbehaved all day and i have given her more than enough warning's (i should have taken it earlier really) anyway i said i would take her stereo out of her bedroom (just bought her a pink one - yes she's spoilt, my own fault really)so i did and she didnt get it back until the next day, now when shes naughty i just have to say you remember when i took your stereo away? she remembers i really did it and she starts behaving.
At the time she screamed for ages as she was also put in her room to calm down she wanted it back and thought screaming would make me give it to her. i just went up and said if you don't stop that i will take another thing. she soon shut up.

Don't know if any of you think this is harsh but it worked and im sticking to it

Good luck, parenting has gotta be the hardest lowest paid job ever, no sick pay, holiday pay and no one mentioned we would suddenly become nurses, speech therapists, hairdressers, cooks, cleaners, management, counsellors and teachers! and be on call 24/7 still when theyre tucked up in bed they look so sweet, your heart melts

Theres no-one in this world other than your children you can forgive and forget anything they've done so quickly

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