Advanced search

Where am I going wrong with DS1 - 5yo

(13 Posts)
wellsie Sat 18-Jul-09 19:49:16

Hello Mumsnetters,
I am at my wits end with DS1. He is 5.5yrs and today has been an absolute nightmare.
He is a bright boy but when put in a social/family outing kind of situation he becomes unmanagable.
Last year we abandoned our family holiday because he nearly killed himself twice, once when he decided to walk backwards on the train platform and nearly tumbled onto the tracks (so awful, I feel sick thinking about it) and the second when he ran behind a van parked on the pavement which then decided to reverse - everyone screamed & luckily the van driver stopped (again with the sick feeling)
Today we had family visiting and they wanted to take us out for a pub lunch. There are no Charlie Chalks or Brewsters nearby (always trying to accommodate both DS's) so we went to the nearest pub thinking we would take the boys out to the park after, well he went off like a social hand grenade! He wouldn't sit still, kept running around and just wouldn't listen to any of us when we told him to stop. Twice I took him outside for a bit of time out but to no avail, in fact he ran off laughing the 2nd time.
This afternoon was not much better, even one of the relatives tried talking to him but he just makes these really silly faces & noises and can't make eye contact with you (embarrasment I think) Its like once he gets in these moods there is no bringing him back to reality until we are alone in our own home and then we seem able to communicate with him. But we can't go on like this. We deliberately didn't book a holiday this year because I can't face it. He gets so hyper and wild and neither my DH or I can manage him - where are we going wrong.
This evening, once the family had left, I confess I lost it (not physically) but he got both barrels verbally! And I finally got the desired reaction from him - apologies/tears, etc,etc. He has gone to bed with no bath, no stories and no special words (we say a series of sentences just before I close the door - its a big deal to DS1) I feel so guilty about this but I had just about had enough.
Like I said DS1 is very bright boy & perhaps this is a factor, he has received an excellent school report & when its 1-2-1 he is an amazing little boy but how can we help him to behave better when in social situations - even when he has play dates and the parent comes to collect their child he does the silly behaviour/faces/noises - what is that about?
I'm sorry to have gone on like this, even if no one responds its been theraputic to type all of this.
Ultimately I would love to be able to take my family out or go on holiday without having to worry about how DS1 is going to behave/react.
Many thanks for reading.

childcarecharlie Sat 18-Jul-09 20:44:53

didn't want your post to go unanswered, but not sure I can offer any practical advice.

I can almost picture your ds from your dscription, and i think its possibly because i have seen other little boys behaving in very much this way. Is it just a phase do you think or has it been going on for too long now?

does he enjoy family times together?

what do you do when he "misbehaves"?

I only ask as I wonder does he know that you dislike him behaving in that way? I think he is probably old enough to sit him down and explain to him the behaviour you find particularly distasteful (obviously during a time when he is receptive to a conversation with you) and explain the consequences if he does behave like that (i.e warning and then home immediately), or even incentives to behave well - ie if you sit nicely during dinner i have lego in my bag for you to play with etc etc.

am i making sense or am I way off the mark here?

my daughter is not yet 2 so forgive me if I'm talking nonsense

childcarecharlie Sat 18-Jul-09 20:45:51

oh, and I don't think it will matter that he sees you angry from time to time. It is natural afterall

GlastonburyGoddess Sat 18-Jul-09 20:48:51

wherabouts in the country are you?

my ds is exactly the same/worse and is currently under paed assessment.

I have no real advice to offer as we have no idea how to manage his behavioursad

Hassled Sat 18-Jul-09 20:51:42

childcarecharlie (top name!) talks sense - pick one of those moments when he is calm to spell out quite how it makes you feel when he behaves like that - angry, embarrassed, etc. Make sure you couple this with telling him how much you like it when he behaves like XXX.

Bribery might be a good way to break the cycle - if he associates certain types of outings with behaving badly, he might need something to jolt him out of it. But phrase it as "if you are calm and nice you will get XX" rather than "if you're hyper and wild you won't get XX".

And don't feel bad re losing it tonight - sometimes I think children need to hear a good old rant, and to understand that parents can be pushed too far. Otherwise they have no sense of where the boundaries are.

applepudding Sat 18-Jul-09 22:23:21

Wellsie - how does he get on socially at school with the other children and the teachers? How is his behaviour there? Is there lack of eye contact you mentioned the normal thing for him or just in this instance? Do you think that he is actively trying to be naughty, or that he doesn't understand what behaviour is expected of him?

slowreadingprogress Sat 18-Jul-09 22:46:39

last year during the holiday I guess he'd have been 4? TBH at 4 my ds still had no sense whatsoever - in terms of those type of 'walking out into the road' scenarios. We had to have a tight grip of him all the time, and I mean ALL the time; he was not to be trusted

However I do think for SOME kids that is normal at this age and I think it is possible your expectations are too high

Similarly with the getting 'silly' when people are about; he's only 5, he IS a kid, that's what kids do. Not all, obviously, but again I think it sounds totally normal. I do think as others have said though that you getting cross has shown him where the boundary is regarding this. Perhaps he needs that. Not shouting every time obviously but something equally as strong.

agree with apple that he needs to know what you want him to do; before people arrive, do you sit down and really spell out clearly what you DO want him to do? i only ask as it's something as a parent I forget to do; you end up reacting to their behaviour and telling them how to behave when they're giddy with excitement and unable to listen. I think he needs to know FIRST; then a couple of loud words as reminders are more likely to hit home?

cory Sun 19-Jul-09 17:37:06

I think it is quite normal to be hyper and silly at such a young age, perhaps particularly for boys

ds used to be a nightmare at the dinner table when we visited his grandparents, at least until he was 6 or 7: two young cousins and the three of them would be egging each other one until they were totally out of control

I found it made it a lot worse if I got tense and started telling him off straightaway; I got better results when I reminded him beforehand, then backed off, but removed him if he got really bad; to some extent I got better results when ignoring silly faces or noises

lots of 4-5 yos can't be trusted around traffic: I even know of one mum whose dd was so unreliable that she used to take her to school in a buggy because she could not rely on her near roads; a few years later, the child is perfectly sensible and no different from her peers

mine have been more sensible, but I probably would not let go of the hand of a 4yo in a train station, so maybe your epxectations are a bit high

Miggsie Sun 19-Jul-09 22:06:56

My friend's 4, nearly 5 yo boy is just like this. Runs off in the shopping centre (and other places) all the time. She and her partner have to watch him like a hawk and he has elder sibling who help them. She worries all the time.

There is also a boy in DD's class who has no sense of personal danger and doesn't listen to a word you say...I don't think it's abnormal or poor parenting, some children are just like this and they take longer to become mature about their own physical safety.

I remember my cousin when we were growing up having to "test" everything you said and his father foolishly said the new veranda roof was so strong you could jump on my cousin went up to his (second floor) bedroom and jumped out of the window onto the top of the veranda (which didn't break, he rolled off it into the flower beds)...he also had a charmed life and never actually got hurt by any of this. That was the way he was. His parents just made sure they limited his options for being completely mad.

He became a solo round the world yachtsman when he grew take heart.

slowreadingprogress Sun 19-Jul-09 22:30:10

good post miggsie - totally agree that some children just 'take longer to become mature about their own physical safety"

and (possibly) boys are less mature. My ds is 7 and I was just talking with dh tonight about how immature ds is; not in the way of being silly deliberately, but in terms of genuine lack of maturity; he's in so many ways SO like a toddler still in his naivety and his general emotional development. Some kids just ARE immature; they all mature in their own time and their own way.

It's well worth remembering imo that a 5 year old boy can be just like an overgrown toddler. There is nothing abnormal about that; though of course for the parents it's hard work and as the OP has shown it limits options though abandoning a holiday is quite extreme (but I understand the feelings behind that)

wellsie Fri 24-Jul-09 21:24:07

Thank you all for your posts & apologies for my delay in responding.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and after nearly every instance where DS1 has played up or endangered his life I can see where I went wrong. After the train station incident & the running behind a parked van incident we started to use a wrist strap - I loathed it & so did he but I only had to use it a few times before he got the message and then just the threat of using it made him walk nicely.
He started school in September and apart from the odd scuffle in the playground, which I was informed about by his teacher, he has had no probs. His teacher said when focused and learning he is brilliant, a real pleasure to have in the classroom but as soon as there is no structure he gets "silly" - she knows him well smile
I know you shouldn't compare but when you see other children behaving so well and listening when being told whats right & wrong I just can't help thinking I'm doing it all wrong, theres also a part of me that thinks DS1 knows I'm doing it all wrong and o doesn't bother to listen grin Did I mention he is bright grin
I do talk to him before we go out or before we have visitors about how he should behave and I tend to use bribes as way of achieving this but it doesn't appear to be working because as soon as the visitor arrives all of what has been discussed is instantly forgotten & then I end up using threats.
I don't think he has any behaviour issues, but this over excitment, silliness and dangerous actions - he loves a tree!! is making me anxious to the point where I don't want to take him on family outings or have visitors sad
Thanks again for your posts.

dubbletrubble Fri 24-Jul-09 23:35:15

I have completed a mega post about my DS who was 6 last week and it is so similar to yours it scares me? I have read all your replies and yet, still dont have an answer. DS has just completed his first year at Primary School and is very bright and able. He socialises well with his friends as far as I can see (how they put up with him I dont know) and makes friends quickly wherever he goes. His 'best' friend is a lovely quiet boy who is like chalk to his cheese. I can see elements of 'leader of the pack' with him too and doing silly things for effect. As a teacher I worry that he will find this more appealing later on in his school career than his school work.

I am facing the school hols miserably because his behaviour irritates me so much that I feel I cant take him anywhere. Like you, we had a mixed holiday this year where on a daily basis we had to deal with some kind of behaviour issue with DS1. Like you too, it is not necessarily 'bad' behaviour, but brash, overconfident, in many ways immature too and generally just annoying.

I have gotten to the total frustration and anger stage and most nights this week he has gone to bed with 'a talk' with me which has absolutely no effect on him the next day. I am at a loss what to do (but strangely comforted that someone else is in exactly the same boat).

hmc Fri 24-Jul-09 23:51:18

"I confess I lost it (not physically) but he got both barrels verbally! And I finally got the desired reaction from him - apologies/tears, etc,etc."

There you go then, perhaps a bit more of this is in order?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: