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Please Help with my 7 year Old

(16 Posts)
Xena Wed 04-May-05 20:34:29

Our DS is 7 and is so rude and beligerant it breaks my heart, he has gone to bed having wound both me and DH up to the point of I don't know what to do with him, smacking him doesn't work but nothing else does either he just carrys on being rude and answering back, if we walk away and ignore him he follows us being more and more rude, I really am at the end of my tether have said to DH that maybe we should put a lock on his door because although he can't open the baby gate at the top of the stairs if we shut it then he wakes DD1 up. (this often gets worse at bedtime and he won't stay in his bed or room) I'm frighten'd to just incase the report me to SS for locking him in his room, am thinking that we need some outside help with him. He can be really well behaved while we out but is rude to me if we see anyone we know.
On the plus side he is so kind and caring to his sisters and is DD2's fav person she screams in the morning if I go in to get her as she wants him.

Mum2girls Wed 04-May-05 20:38:37

What about one of those charts used on Supernanny - it was stick on planes on a chart on the wall which you moved up a cloud (for good behaviour - being nice to siblings etc) and down a cloud (for bad - even if they said sorry). Enough moves up got you to the sun and a small present.

She explained how it was going to work before using it and it seemed to work well.

aloha Wed 04-May-05 20:39:41

Can you describe the sort of situation that really gets to you? Have you asked him how he feels when he behaves like this? What do his school say about his behaviour?
re the bed thing, have you tried the idea as seen in little Angels and Supernanny, first time he comes out, say, back to bed, then after that every single time he comes out, take him back without a word - even if you have to do it 100 times.

WideWebWitch Wed 04-May-05 20:54:27

Poor you xena. It sounds like attention seeking to me, sorry if that's stating the bleedin' obvious! I think you need to sit down and agree some rules and TELL him (don't ask) what will happen if he breaks those rules. We have rules and sanctions in our house and take things away if ds (also 7) is badly behaved, although he gets a warning first. I also try to catch him being good as often as possible and praise him for it - can you do that? Your ds sounds as if he is lovely to his sisters so perhaps you could tell him how proud you are of that? I don't think smacking is ever going to work on a 7yo tbh, it's humiliating imo. Can you agree you won't do it? I just think it probably isn't helping at all, since it just breeds resentment and you say it isn't working anyway so you've nothing to lose by giving that up. I think a star chart is a good idea too, my ds responds to rewards and treats. Also, do you get any time on your own with him? Is he your eldest? I ask because I've only got 2 but am aware that 7yo ds misses time alone with me since dd (18mo) came along and so I have been trying to take him out alone recently so he and I get time to talk properly. He really enjoyed being taken out for lunch, just me and him in a grown up restaurant recently. Exercise is important for my son too, if he doesn't release that energy it's cooped up inside him and I can see him feeling explosive, as is good food. Sugary things send him wild sometimes. And also, lastly, I'm not a saint, I lose my temper sometimes and then realise I've set my ds a really bad example. I can't blame him for having some of my character traits but also for copying my bad behaviour (I'm particularly ashamed of losing my temper at the weekend) so perhaps you could check you're being kind and polite to him too. It is hard sometimes, I know. I hope there's something there that helps. I'm finding some of the teenagerish attitude wearing too sometimes.

Xena Wed 04-May-05 21:10:47

Thankyou all for your encouraging words.
We are definatly going to start a chart because he is so lovely to the DD's
aloha the trouble with it is that he won't go without being dragged, so it ends in a fight (I also happen to pg and its not good for me to do it) It started this evening over his spellings (which he can get right but he wouldn't even start) We have tried this at different time of the day but the same thing happens.
WWW you make so much sense, we are going to stop the smacking as it has no effect and it makes us feel crap, we do try at least one a week to do something with him on his own and for over a year now hasn't had any e numbers. We have in the last couple of months cut out all pre packed food (with the execption of a packet of crisps with his lunch) But no shop fish fingers etc.
We must try harder with him. After DD1 was born (shes 3) he was so pleased but he was terrible after DD2 (although he loves her to pieces) and now the behaviour that we had after DD2 seems to have returned I am sure that it is because we told him I'm pg.

Xena Wed 04-May-05 21:12:29

sorry I forgot to add yes hes our eldest

Xena Wed 04-May-05 21:27:11

If anyone has any more advice it would be greatfully recieved. I am off to bed now and will check in the morning xxx

WideWebWitch Thu 05-May-05 09:31:12

Have you tried threatening to talk to his teacher, esp about his spellings? It got my ds to put his shoes on this morning (after repeated polite requests didn't work!) And bed time, what about the soft no? i.e. you say 'ok then, if you don't this is what happens: you lose x or y or z but it's entirely up to you. If you stay up that is what happens, if you go to bed you get thsi (something nice)' just to break the habit of disobedience around this? Worth a try I'd have thought. also, could you try reading a story to him in bed so he's already there and then incentivising him to stay there? The soft no works sometimes when all else has failed with my ds because it allows him to save face and pretend it was (well not pretend, I suppose it WAS) his decision to do what I want instead of fight me. Yes, I bet it's to do with your pregnancy, he's equating it with even less attention. HTH.

Tessiebear Thu 05-May-05 09:58:43

Bribary works well with my 7yr old DS. If i promise him a Wrestling character at the end of the week if XXXXX behaviour improves it seems to work very well

tiddlypom Thu 05-May-05 09:59:17

My dd is 7 and we continue to have difficulties with her behaviour, but what I'm trying to do is give her absolutely LOADS of positive reinforcement for her good behaviour. EG she's very difficult about dressing in the morning, and about eating breakfast, so every time she does do it without fuss, I praise her no end and email dh to praise her when he gets home. ONce I even got him to buy her a small present (a hair scrunchie) to reward her. We also use star charts, but only reward good behaviour - the only thing that happens if she's not good is that she doesn't get a star, and we say 'tough luck, try again tomorrow'.

All this did work with ds (11), eventually, he is a model of good behaviour now, despite being quite difficult when younger.

It sounds like your ds does plenty of stuff worthy of praise - he sounds a fantastic brother! Do you think he might be fearful in case you have another boy, thus threatening his position as only son so far? If so, can you reassure him? He'll always be your eldest son.

Could you also emphasise how much you value his help with the little ones, and maybe say you're hoping he'll help with the new baby as well. If it were me, I'd probably go as far as to say 'I don't know what I'd do without your help.' His position in the family is actually a very strong one, but maybe he doesn't feel that way at the moment.

tiddlypom Thu 05-May-05 10:17:36

Actually, having posted what I did, below, this occurs to me: is there a possibility he feels a bit lumbered with looking after the littler ones, and therefore resents the idea that another one is on its way? So then you'd need to make sure he's allowed to be a young child too, spend time playing with him, etc. And maybe make clear that only limited help will be expected from him?

Xena Thu 05-May-05 12:42:00

www after reading your post last night I resolved to be more positive with him this morning and the results were great, as I didn't have time to make up a sticker chart I wrote a list with a smiles next to it with everything he did that was nice and his behaviour was lovely to me as well. I'm hoping that even if we stick to this when he's not behaving then we should see emprovement. I have told him that I will tell his teacher if he won't practice his spellings and that just starts him of in a tantrum so I haven't done it lately , although at parents evening she did agree to drop him a spelling group so that it didn't cause so much trouble at home.
tiddlypom I don't think that he resents helping his sisters because everything he does for them is of his own back, he was sitting on our bed at 6.30 this morning and he heard DD2 mumoring and wanted to go and get her I had to persude him to leave her a bit longer, he also got DD1 some milk and I was calling him to wait till I got there becasue I didn't want him to spill it when he tried to put the lid on ut I did praise him when he didn't.
I think that what he thinks he lacks is time spent with him, mostly if we are going to treat him on his own he wants DD1 to go to. We do try to let him stay up abit later and do things with him at the weekend.
Re having a baby brother I think hes actually worried that it will be another girl he is desprete for his own brother and will probably be gutted if its another girl.

WideWebWitch Thu 05-May-05 13:19:30

Oh Xena, that's really lovely to hear, I'm so, so pleased. I adore my son, I really love him madly but 7yo boys can be hard sometimes can't they? Mine is wonderful when he's being nice, truly lovely and lovable. You know what, after I posted to you I also tried to praise my son spontaneously this morning and he reacted really well, so posting to you helped me remember what I ought to do and hadn't been doing enough.

bev1e Fri 06-May-05 11:43:15

Xena, I really feel for you. I have a DS also 7yo and up until a year ago his behaviour at home was intolerable. Outside of the house he was fine although there would be the odd incident. We took a back seat (which I found incredibly hard to do at first) and tried to look at life through his eyes. He is our middle baby with an older and younger sister but I found that being the only boy he was reprimanded differently to the girls and (I hate to admit this) harsher. We turned it round from thinking he was the one with the behaviour problem to realising that WE were the ones with the problem! Since we made this "discovery" and changed the we way we were with him life has been much better for him and us.

We also changed what we eat in the house and ensured he had one-to-one time alone with his dad and alone with me.

Hope you don't think that I'm implying that you are the cause of the problem just thought I'd say what worked for us

andif Fri 06-May-05 12:09:29

It's so hard isn't it! Our ds1 is 8 and also goes through phases of really trying to push the boundaries. Luckily he responds really well to star charts (I know not all children do, ds2 for eg!).

It sounds like you're on to the being positive idea - try keeping in your head 'catching him being good' - we found this really helped, trying to praise for even silly little things that were done right and without argument (this also requires some degree of ignoring being bad!!!).

We recently did a star chart for just 2 issues - he got a star every time he did homework without a fuss, and for not being rude to me between end of school and bedtime. Narrowing it down to 2 issues that were achievable rather than general behaviour which is a bit airy fairy, really worked.

bigdonna Mon 09-May-05 22:11:40

My son is also 7 and can be very difficult.We dont smack as he just gets more cross,so we either ban tv or he loses 5-10 mins everytime he misbehaves off his bedtime.he hates being sent to bed early.your son sounds so caring and obviously loves his little sisters.This is an area i can praise my son too as he loves help me look after the little ones i childmind.And he thrives on the attention he gets for helping.we do sticker charts too they do work in fact they have to get 10 stars for sweets after school.

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