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DS has no coping strategies

(15 Posts)
minxthemanx Sun 07-Jun-09 20:32:04

I'm at the end of my tether. Have posted on here before about him, so quick resume - 7, very very bright, very very sporty, very very confident. Essentially a lovely child - well behved at school and other's houses. BUT he cannot cope at all with criticism (even a mild telling off from teacher), losing, not being the best. Is over anxious, highly strung. Challenges authority ALL the blardy time - argues the toss over everything. Very attention seeking. I am finding him such hard work, and it's getting worse. If i try to talk to him about a bad episode, he says things like "well. I might as well die, that's what you want, " or the classic "well, I'm sorry you had such pain giving birth to me and have probably regretted it ever since."! (wtf?) We do praise, reward, sanctions, lots of physical outlets blah blah blah. DH and I feel that DS could do with some help - we are both worried that he will completely flip one day. Anyone knwo the best way to go about it? Ed PSych or something? How?

minxthemanx Sun 07-Jun-09 20:41:26

Anyone? Not sure whether to talk to GP or school - they will both look at me as if I'm mad as he appears fine outside the house!

minxthemanx Mon 08-Jun-09 07:35:45

One recent morning involved a stand off for an hour because he couldn't find a particular game for his DS - crying, stomping, shouting. I found the game, but said he couldn't have it before school becuase of awful behaviour, he could have it after school that night. DS screamed in my face, stormed upstairs, threw himself into bed and refused to get out. 40 mins later still there, when we should be in the car to go to school. i stayed really calm shock. Told him DS2 and I were in the car & he would have to wear his pyjamas to school. EVENTUALLY he slowly came down the stairs, dressed. We were late. This is what I mean about no coping strategies.

minxthemanx Mon 08-Jun-09 07:35:47

One recent morning involved a stand off for an hour because he couldn't find a particular game for his DS - crying, stomping, shouting. I found the game, but said he couldn't have it before school becuase of awful behaviour, he could have it after school that night. DS screamed in my face, stormed upstairs, threw himself into bed and refused to get out. 40 mins later still there, when we should be in the car to go to school. i stayed really calm shock. Told him DS2 and I were in the car & he would have to wear his pyjamas to school. EVENTUALLY he slowly came down the stairs, dressed. We were late. This is what I mean about no coping strategies.

HSMM Mon 08-Jun-09 07:51:50

My DD age 9 has huge temper tantrums over really little things (a bit like toddler tantrums). She lashes out and hits and kicks and seems to have completely lost control. She is fine at school hmm. I can see where you are coming from about not having coping strategies. There is no reasoning with her and I have also been sitting in the car having the "You're going to school in your pyjamas" conversation. I hope you manage to get some support from somewhere. Sorry I can't help!

By the way. Well done for staying calm and in control yourself. I find that very hard!

MIAonline Mon 08-Jun-09 07:53:34

I wouldn't wory about speaking to either the GP or school, though I think i would start with the school if you have a good relationship with his teacher. She may be able to talk a little bit more about how he behaves at school, any strategies she uses that may be useful.

It is quite normal for children to behave well at school and not at home. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't still work with the school and get some support from them, especially as you say he finds criticism difficult.

I would use that as your starting point, the things he is saying do sound like he could do with some support. In relation to your posts about the mornings, I would set everything he needs for the morning out the night before with him and perhaps start a reward system(if you agree with them!).

Hope you get some support from the school, and a bit more advice on MN! smile

minxthemanx Mon 08-Jun-09 07:56:28

HSMM I find it nigh on impossible to stay calm, I feel so wound up when he does it. I was just lucky that day! As I write he is in a tntrum upstirs - this time I aksed him to put a ball away, to have breakfast - after 3 requests he was still kicking it, so I threatened that DS would go if I had to ask again - he screamed at me "I AM PUTTING IT AWAY< LOOK!" in a foul temper. So I banned DS tongight for being so rude - hence tantrum. It is exhausting. My sympathies to you.

mulranno Mon 08-Jun-09 11:40:42

HI minxthemanx...I have had this behaviour with my son. Things are better now ...he will soon be 11. On reflection I think that we LET/ENCOURAGED him to do too much...again he is very sporty and didnt have too much down time.I think that they become exhausted...and it is hard to see as they have so much energy...I think my son doesnt have an "off" switch...just burns out. We have encouraged him to veg out (ie rest) a bit more. It is really important not to rise to the conflict. Just say I will be waiting in the car. They will come as they will have the teachers to answer to. On a good week we probably have one of the kids having a blow out as you descibed....he had a meltdown yesterday...squeeling, I hate you etc...but on reflection he has been really il all week off school and I think he was tired and bored. I also think that it is not worth punishing the tantrum there and then...they are already out of control and it is fuel to the fire and winds them up to add another layer. I think that a quiet time to talk is when he has cooled down. Also children who ar ein this temper state do not want to be this angry...so I often approach it with a "but I really love you and I think you just need a hug right now"...it difuses it much quicker and we have less frequent and intense tantrums. Its about winning the war not the battle. I also think that tantrums at whatever age are being "controlling" of a specific adult. They want a reaction or attention...and choose to use their volatility to hold parent to randsom...thye dont do this outside the home ...so they can control where they unleash it. Our job then is to make sure they are aware it doesnt work with us. I have wondered if my son has or will develop mental health issues...but trying to keep calm and contering the anger with a cuddle seems to reassure and thngs are much better

minxthemanx Mon 08-Jun-09 13:11:58

Thank you so much, what a brilliant post. I agree whole-heartedly - I offered to cuddle him when he was in one of his awful states lately (tho I wanted to thump him really,) he said no, but at least I made the offer.

The only time I see him really relaxed is when he's been to our elderly friend's house after school on a Wednesday when I work - he lies on the sofa for 2.5 hours, watching tv, eating a few sweets, and is relaxed and gentle when I pick him up - none of the aggression or uptightness. Yet at home he has the same option - will watch for half an hour tops, then charges around kicking a ball/annoys his brother/demands attention from me.

I feel in some ways I need to be really firm in ooder to help him - he will hate it, but I'm almost tempted to make a sign for the lounge - "this room is for relaxing, watching tv, playing with lego/drawing/reading." Just to stop the incessant charging about with a ball, which I think makes him manic. Am I being draconian?

bigTillyMint Mon 08-Jun-09 13:20:03

Mulranno and Minx, my son is the same!

The comment about the off-switch is so true!

My DS is 8 and is gradually getting better at calming down, but still can have massive tantrums and wants to be on the go all the time. Interestingly many of his friends are the same - we don't have them all round at once grin

I find it really hard to keep calm too, and sometimes he really wants to push it to me getting very cross and shouty - it feels like he wants to offload his stress onto me and make me feel how he does. Time Out in his room works best,particularly if I do it before he has gone too far. And he sometimes "loses" his DS time / TV time when necessary.

slowreadingprogress Mon 08-Jun-09 13:36:41

goodness I recognise this so much in my ds - the thing about no 'off' switch. Just keeping going till burn-out (or end-of-tether ranting)....I am actually very lucky as ds seems, at 7, to not have real tantrums any more but he can get clearly 'end of tether'.

I think minx that you have hit on something with the idea of having the living room as a chill out zone only. Certain relaxing activities. I guess the only problem may be tempting our activity-hungry boys in there TO calm down. Perhaps massage/head massage/foot massage would be good too but again, it's getting them to WANT to do it

another thing you said which I think is spot on is giving 'firm boundaries' - I really do think ALL boys benefit from this. They really do need to know strongly and clearly where the line is. Maybe a chill-out time after say, 5.30 each day?

Also I think too many activities can be part of the problem. School is tiring enough and if they do lots of other stuff as well.....

mulranno Mon 08-Jun-09 15:48:10

balls are for outside...no ifs no buts

mulranno Mon 08-Jun-09 15:54:27

My inner rage can see clenched teeth etc...and also would really like to punch him.....BUT walking away helps...and also if I do end up screaming...I then try and recover the situation and apologise for shouting -- as I have thern lost my temper...think modelling is important so that I show him that I can remain calm in a stressful situation ...and if I dont I apologise for shouting -- so modelling that you can regain composure. .... but I am just startingt his phase again with my 8 yr old...so here we go again

Ferncottage Sat 13-Jun-09 20:51:28

have you also considered what he is eating and drinking? my nephew was like this until my sister cut out enumbers

kalo12 Sat 13-Jun-09 20:57:33

what about scouts? or something similar that includes team building and taking in to account other peoples needs and also a bit of disciplne

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