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i am absolutely desperate for help with 8 year old ds, am depressed and can't carry on like this

(16 Posts)
desperateforhelp Mon 19-Jan-09 10:10:13

i just can't carry on with ds like this anymore, he is rude all the time, never does anything he is asked, is angry all the time, he doesn't often actually hit me but raises his fist as though he is going to most days.

i seem to be crying all the time and have lost it with him loads which i know won't be helping but i can't help it, i have well and truly reached the end of my tether. his behaviour is embarrasing which makes it hard to go anywhere.

nothing is easy or straighforward, nothing is enjoyable anymore.

we went to the gp's and were referred to a centre where they deal with children with autism/aspergers and with pyschological problems, he was very calm and polite and they just said 'oh we think he's fine'. i phoned them in desperation about 6 months ago, just said we couldn't cope, so they saw him again (4 months later) and said they would refer him to one of the pyschologists, so far we have heard nothing.

i feel so sad, and so guilty, i love ds but i don't actually really like him, and i feel tense and stressed as soon as he comes home from school.

it all starts as soon as he wakes up, demanding, stropping, wingeing and i am physically and mentally exhausted to the point where i can't think straight.

please someone help us.

desperateforhelp Mon 19-Jan-09 10:11:29

i am a (fairly) regular by the way but so ashamed of how i feel that i have namechanged.

cory Mon 19-Jan-09 10:13:22

My 8-year-old is fairly angry too; I think
his level of stroppiness is normal though (hard to tell with yours as I haven't seen him). I try to enforce discipline as calmly and cheerfully as I can.

You don't think you need help for yourself? If you are depressed and he sees that, that could really frighten him and make things worse.

bellavita Mon 19-Jan-09 10:18:23

Sending you a hug desperateforhelp, because I know how you feel sad certainly with DS2 being angry, doesn't do as he is asked and being rude.

He has had me in tears on numerous occasions, in fact I have threatened to go to work full time so that I don't have to deal with him after school as he would be in kids club.

Although I must say he does behave when we are out (99% of the time)

I dislike him (although love him to bits) and I am sure this is why he is like that because he senses it? But it is like a vicious circle.

I have tried the praising, ignoring the little things etc etc.

I don't have any answers for you just wanted to let you know that you are not on your own.

Anneoftheisland Mon 19-Jan-09 10:22:15

I'm not sure how much useful advice I can give you, but don't want you to feel that no-one out there has heard your plea.

Firstly, give yourself a huge pat on the back for the efforts you have made to get help for your ds. However, I think that you need some help for yourself at this point. If you went and saw your GP, they might be able to point you in the right direction to get some support for you - some breathing space, so that you can relax a little.

I suspect that your stress and your ds's behaviour are in a vicious circle at the moment, and somehow you need to be able to step out of that circle - and I am not underestimating how difficult that is (nor how irritatingly easy it sounds). Can I suggest that the next time he kicks off, you walk away from him and go somewhere quiet where you can take a few deep breaths, as well as deciding how you are going to tackle whatever the issue is. Reward good behaviour with your attention and withdraw all attention for bad behaviour.

I wish that there was more that I could do to help - I had a neighbour and friend with a similar situation, and she used to come round to mine to unload and de-stress. Have you got a friend who you could talk to? One whose house you could go to with ds, knowing that she'd understand the situation?


stillenacht Mon 19-Jan-09 10:25:04

HI my DS is 9 and always angry - he is very aggressive too and i have always put it down to the fact that he is upset about his brothers severe autism (that he can't go to his school and that they can't play together). I worry about DS1 constantly too. He has had play therapy at school which he enjoyed but tbh i don't think made any difference. Is he angry to you alone generally as my DS is to me.

stillenacht Mon 19-Jan-09 10:25:47

btw at school and with friends etc he is placid just largely with me he is rude and aggressive

Niecie Mon 19-Jan-09 10:31:25

No you are definitely not alone. I have an 8 yr old DS who could try the patience of a saint. I was on a thread a few weeks ago with a group of other mothers who had exactly the same problems.

I think, possible AS aside, that it is a normal developmental stage. A lot of 8/9 yr olds are like this. Another 'testing the boundaries' phase. I personally suspect it is hormonal, pre-pubescent or something. The general feeling is though, that they come out of it nicer human beings at about the age of 10.

If he does have some sort of spectrum disorder that will only make it worse as he won't be easy to reason with. My DS has mild AS and he can whinge for Britain. He is far worse than my (spirited) 5 yr old and it is difficult to get through to him as he finds it difficult to put himself in your shoes and see reason. If he wants something, he wants it now and cannot see why he should wait even if something is inconvenient or hard for you to do.

No great help I'm afraid. I would say that you have to try and change your own attitude rather than him and hope that he follows. Much easier said than done and I frequently fail myself. Try and see his positives and ignore the negatives. The two of you fighting all the time won't help but if you ignore the small stuff, let him get away with things occasionally so he feels he has some control then it might help him and you in turn won't have to get so wound up.

Can I also recommend a book that I have seen recommended many times on here - 'Talking to Tweenies' which is about dealing with just this age group. I have read bits of it but not managed to make it to the end however, as I say, it is recommended reading apparently.

Salem1 Mon 19-Jan-09 11:01:36

Not giving advice as I’m not in the position to. I am pregnant and have no kids yet so I’m definitely no expert. I feel for you though as have been watching tons of Supernanny to prepare me for what may be coming my way. However, my DH looked after his nephew for most of his life so I do get an insight from their relationship.

My DH always says that boys have a high dosage of testosterone and that is a key factor in their aggressive behaviour at toddler stage, just before puberty and during adolescence.

Because boys don’t really communicate verbally as much as girls they do so physically. Boys push their boundaries subconsciously as apparently they are learning how to be men (easier for kids to push with mum but probably more difficult with dad). BTW, is your DS’s father around? I think it always helps when there is a strong man around to deal with boys.

If it’s worth anything – try doing something with him physically to distract you both from each other and release your tensions. Go bowling, let him play football or let him just run from one end of the park to another after school. By the time you get home he’d already exhausted himself and ready to relax.

Of course you can ignore my text book reply if you want.

All the best

Merrylegs Mon 19-Jan-09 11:26:39

Can I add my voice to the 'been there, it's OK now' lobby. You sound like me 3 years ago. Ds was rude, angry, just really unpleasant.

The other thing that really got me was that I could never second guess him. One minute (not many of those) he could be absolutely fine - and the next he would just turn into a child possessed by all that is bad.

On one occasion he was so vile, kicking off about not going to bed, I actually locked him out in the garden for fear of actually doing him some real harm. He continuted to kick off outside. It backfired on me when a 'concerned' neighbour rang in tears to say she was worried about my child and what I was doing to him.

On another occasion he spat in my face. I burst into tears (he did have the grace then to look suitably shocked at what he had done).

I remember taking away things he liked doing, shouting at him, ignoring him, telling him how much I loved him and he was fantastic (even when he was being a little sh*t).

It made me so sad because I loved him so much and he was/is a great little person.

I'm not leading up to a miracle cure here, but in time he just grew out of it. He is 11 now and lovely. (Still has moments, but the difference is he has an awareness now of how his behaviour affects people and he is really sorry.)

I think he spent a year or so just being really really angry and didn't have the emotional maturity to be able to deal with it. I rode it out. Not sure what else I could have done really. Fortunatlely I had two other kids who were fab. (Perhaps that was part of his problem?)

brainfreeze Mon 19-Jan-09 11:29:23

What is he like in school ? or does he save this behavior for home and you?

desperateforhelp Mon 19-Jan-09 14:02:35

hello and thanks for replies smile

yes dh is around (he is not ds1's biological father but has been around since ds1 was 4, he calls him daddy and has never met his biological father) and we also have have 2 little ones aged 1 and 2 (who are a delight and keep me sane tbh).

ds1's behaviour in school is great, he came home on fri with a certificate for being polite at all times, god i wish he was like that at home... he is not very confident at school in groups but does have a good circle of friends. he is very clever (has the reading/spelling/numeracy/science ability of an 11 year old) but zero concentration and can't organise himself at all. academic stuff comes naturally to him, he doesn't have to try at all, but gets very frustrated and gives up easily as soon as things don't go quite right.

i agree, we are in a vicious circle but i can't see how to get out of it, every morning i vow to be patient, calm etc etc but i am completely worn down and have very little patience with him now. i am depressed/sad because of this situation iyswim, if i went to the docs they would probably just fob me off with ad's which i don't want. i am going to have acupuncture on thurs though!

ds1 behaves like this with everyone he knows really well, eg me and dh, both sets of grandparents, auntys, uncles etc also his best friends mum. if he goes to play at a friends house, often the parent will comment on how polite he is.

i can't believe that i feel like this about him, i know i am the grown up and need to change my reactions but i don't know how. nothing we try works, dicipline, praise etc

both dh and i try to spend time alon with him, the little ones go to bed at 7pm then dh, ds1 and me sit down to play a board game/do craft/watch a dvd together, every saturday morning ds1 and i have time together on our own and every saturday afternoon is dh and ds1's time together (ie no babies).

i love him so much and just want us to get on.

sadnog Mon 19-Jan-09 19:28:44

Hi, just wanted to respond after reading your last post, especially the bit about "very clever but zero concentration and no organisational skills". This was my DS few years ago. Also my DS was always angry and same as you, I loved him loads but didn't like him very much and didn't want to be around him. I used to blame myself (his father and I separated and it wasn't very pleasant. DS saw a lot he shouldn't have and witnessed terrible arguments). I became so stressed that I eventually plucked up the courage to ring school nurse who referred him to Paed. After two sessions with paed she diagnosed him as ADHD. After much deliberation I opted for the medication route (not everyones choice, I know) and things have improved no end. He still has the occassional angry outburst, but he is 11 now and I put it down to him growing up. Even his teachers have commented on his improvement in school and on the rare occasion we forget his tablet in the morning, his teachers know as soon as he gets into class!! I'm not saying your DS has ADHD but maybe getting him to see a paed would be a good first move.

sadnog Mon 19-Jan-09 21:51:20

Have just re-read your original post, it could have been me that wrote it. Everything you describe is exactly how i felt with DS and believe me I lost it big time on more than one occassion so don't feel bad about that, it's hard to keep it together when you're under that kind of stress day in, day out. Thankfully DS is much better these days but I am now having problems with DD, so it's a case of hold tight, here we go again! I'm not managing any better with her either but didn't hesitate in getting professional help involved this time. I didn't realise your DS had already been referred when I suggested a Paed in my last posting, hope you hear something from them soon. In the meantime please remember this is not your fault, nor is it your DS's and you are certainly not a bad parent. smile

Stayingsunnygirl Tue 20-Jan-09 09:37:09

I second that last statement, sadnog. In fact, desperateforhelp, the fact that your son behaves in school and at friends' houses shows that you are bringing him up well - and that however tough and horrible things are at the moment, it isn't affecting his schoolwork or his friendships - which is something for you to be very proud of.

A friend of mine had similar issues with her ds, as I said in my first post on this thread (as Anneoftheisland - a brief namechange that didn't last - I was sunnygirl1412 and now I am Stayingsunnygirl - sorry for any confusion). She spoke to the school nurse, who was able to help her find help for her and her son. And just like your son, her lad behaved in school and at friends' houses, and the school nurse was still able to get involved.

For the moment, can you try walking away when he is rude or won't do what he's told? Or simply repeat, in a calm voice, "Ds, that is rude and I will not put up with it," "Ds, if you don't get ready now, we will be late for school and your teacher will be cross," or "Ds, unless you ask nicely, you will not get what you are asking for" Take deep breaths and adopt the 'cracked record' approach. Alongside this approach, when he is polite or does do what you ask, then reward him with lots of praise and perhaps a starchart.

Above all, remember you are a good mother, and you can do this - I know that the problem seems insurmountably huge to you at the moment, but don't look at the whole thing - tackle it a little bit at a time - one day at a time, or even one hour/minute at a time.

I hope this doesn't come over as supernanny-style preaching, because the last thing I want is to make you feel any worse.


MrsBrendaDyson Tue 20-Jan-09 09:57:02

i think he is old enough to understand at 8, and i think a serious conversation is in order. MY dh would be very angry if my sons raised a fist to me. and my sons would be made VERY VERY aware of this (drill seargent stylee)

deterrents are needed for negative bahaviour - you have the positive reinforcement down to a tee - but i bet my arse, that your sone would be sweeter knowing that his dad wouldnt put up with that kind of behaviour to his wife

revelation that.... his wife....

my dh said to my oldest son once "don't you treat my WIFE like that" and you coud literally see a lightbulb moment - that i am not just mother, i am wife, and most husbands wouldnt let their wifes be threatened by anyone.

and sweeter if you send him to his room each evening he is horrid and spend llots of fun times with the babies.

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