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Nightmare 6 year old DS. At the end of our tether, please help.....!

(22 Posts)
50ftQueenie Sun 16-Aug-09 18:52:24

My ds has just turned 6 his behaviour has not been great for the past few months. It has got to the point where we no longer know what to do with him. Nobody in the family, including my parents and brother, enjoys spending any time with him because everything we do he sabotages. He refuses to help around the house, throwing a toddler like tantrum if we even suggest it. He has a terrible temper and screams and cries at the drop of a hat. He is also astonishingly rude to DH. We have no idea where we have gone wrong. He was a delightful child until he started school and we expected some things to change, but he is unbearable. He is punished when he is naughty and we follow through with these punishments, we also take the route of talking to him about his bad behaviour rather than just shouting at him, we never say he is a naughty boy, we say he is doing naughty things etc etc etc. He gets lots of praise when he is good and he recognises that life is better when he behaves himself. He is very bright (I know everyone says that) and has a very 'smart mouth' at the moment.

Obviously we love him to bits but it is all so waring! He is more trouble to 'police' than his 10 month old sister. It's making us feel sad as we just look forward to him going to bed every night. Does anyone have any suggestions about how we deal with his behaviour? I feel like we have tried everything, but I am hopeful that someone will have a fabulous suggestion to help us get our little boy back. TIA.

loujay Sun 16-Aug-09 18:57:07

I can only sympathise. Our DD (nearly 6 if she makes it to next Sunday!) is exactly the same. Very emotional, almost like having a teenager in the house.
I have been in tears today because we have finally put her toys / pictures back in her room , only for her to pull them off the wall and say she doesn't want them.
She now has nothing in her room except a bed and chest of drawers ( which has child locks on it)
My husband says this too shall pass but when you are in it it seems like forever!!
Keep up what you are doing and the holidays will soon be finished grin

50ftQueenie Sun 16-Aug-09 18:59:58

Eeeek! That does sound bad! DS is just like a stropy teenager too. I'm just hoping it means he will get all this out of the way before he is a teenager or heaven help him us!

Jazzicatz Sun 16-Aug-09 19:02:32

My sympathies I have a 6.5 year old ds and he has his moments! Could it be his testosterone surge they have between the ages of 4 - 6? My second son is currently going through it at 4.5 and driving me mad, exactly as you describe. If it is that it doesn't last for too much longer and they are generally much better after! grin

OldDoe Sun 16-Aug-09 19:02:58

Can I just ask, does he watch much telly? And the reason I ask.....both ours turned into right arsey brats after watching that wretched Tracey Beaker programme. They both copied her smart-arse, gobby ways. Has he watched owt like that? We BANNED it!

They copy a lot from school-mates too.

loujay Sun 16-Aug-09 19:41:54

For us I think that some of it is that she is missing the routine of school ( believe it or not)
We go from extremely good days to days from hell, and i know that she is a sweet kind girl most of the time, its just that 5% of crapness that really gets me!!

50ftQueenie Sun 16-Aug-09 19:49:59

Really Jazzi? That would make sense I suppose. He is acting like a teenager so that could be why. He is very angry and can be aggressive (kicking toy in anger and slamming his bedroom door).

OldDoe - He doesn't really watch any telly, but all his mates do so that could be it. I caught him being racist today which is something he got from an undesirable friend because he certainly didn't get it from home! He was horrified when I explained to him so it was a relief that he understood.

Loujay - It feels like 5% good stuff and 95% crap for us at the moment, but it probably isn't anywhere near that bad.

I have to go and attend to dd (10 months) who is screaming her head off in her cot because it's bed time not playing time. I had to come back down for a 5 minute breather.

HerbWoman Sun 16-Aug-09 20:56:26

Could it be because of the arrival of your dd (or if it started a few months after she wqas born, it could be the realisation that she is here to stay)? Our dd was 4.6 when ds was born and her behaviour was terrible for a long time. DS was born in the July, we moved in the June and she started school in the September so lots of stress for her in a short time. It has been very difficult, but by being calm and consistent we have managed to ride it out and she is a completely different child. Some of the improvement is probably due to the fact that she is growing up (now 9) and the improvement has taken time, but she behaviour did start to improve at least a couple of years ago. I'm sure the other kids at school have a lot to do with it as they all speak to each other with an attitude that I really won't put up with at home. I'm sure you'll get it sorted, and you'll probably develop a lot of patience if you don't already have it!

50ftQueenie Sun 16-Aug-09 21:07:38

Herb - I did wonder about that. There was a time when he seemed totally disinterested in her & was clearly unhappy about her being around. There has been a shift in his attitude towards dd recently, now that she is on the move he won't leave her alone. She gets really fed up with his constant affections and screams in anger when he tries to pick her up. I have angry children at the moment! DD threw her first full on temper tantrum tonight. Hurrah!!! hmm

HerbWoman Sun 16-Aug-09 21:36:34

None of dd's anger was aimed at ds at that point - it was all towards me or dh. But I'm sure it was because of him mainly. She would play with ds and now (dd is nearly 10, ds just turned 5) they often play together for hours (until they start thumping each other anyway wink) and if dd goes away to her grandparents' for a couple of nights without ds, they both miss each other - it's lovely to see. But it doesn't really make it any easier when she is screaming at me for whatever reason.

I bet your ds thinks you are always on your dd's side though as he is probably putting you in the position where you have to come to your dd's aid (eg when he picks her up). Our dd did this and so she's come out with that old chestnut "you love him more than me" on a regular basis. She also got the idea that I thought boys were better than girls. This is because she would at one point often hit/kick/pinch him and I pointed out that this is how he would learn to act towards her, and that one day he will be bigger and stronger than her and it will hurt. She took that to mean that I thought he would be better than her, which is not what I meant or said, but there you go. I hope I've put that straight with her now. Sometimes we assume they know we love them, but they can get very daft ideas and end up not sure about it.

50ftQueenie Sun 16-Aug-09 22:51:38

Interesting point about the taking sides thing. DH pretended to tell dd off for tearing one of DS's books and he keeps talking about it. Awwww, poor little guy. I suppose things have changed for him in that way as it used to be me and him against DH when he was in a mood. Now I am taking dd's side (in his eyes, in my eyes protecting her grin) against him. He is a big mummy's boy so I did wonder how it would affect him.

The more I think about it the more it's ringing true. We went to the cinema today, just ds and I & he was an angel. He kept cuddling me and laughing with me. I do tell him I love him lots and I have asked him if he knows that I love him just as much as ever. He always says that he knows, but you know males and their inability to express emotions! Hmmmmm...... definitely food for thought. Thank you everyone. I think it might be a combination of a few things. Hopefully the storm will pass with some patience. Things never seem so bad when the DC are tucked up in bad do they? wink

3littlefrogs Sun 16-Aug-09 22:58:38

What is going on at school? Have you spoken to his teacher? You say he was delightful until he started school, which apparantly, if my calculations are right, was also at about the time his sister was born.

That is a hell of a lot for a six year old to cope with all at once. In his mind he probably feels he has been sent off to school and his place at home with his parents has been usurped by his sister.

He needs lots of reassurance, and one to one time with each of you. His world has been turned upside down.

50ftQueenie Sun 16-Aug-09 23:26:36

Thanks Frogs - He has just finished year 1, he is one of the youngest in the year. DD was born during his first term of year 1 so he had been at school for over a year before dd was born. We do try to spend lots of one-on-one time with him and he also gets to do exciting things like visit grandparents (they are very local) without his sister which is something he loves. He is doing really well at school, a bit lazy because he's too busy mucking about with his mates. We have been very careful about the obvious things like making sure we spend individual time with him, this is why I was thinking there must be something we had missed!

piprabbit Sun 16-Aug-09 23:42:34

Hi 50ftQueenie, just a thought, but I was wondering if he's finding school very tiring. It might be worth shifting his bedtime forward so it's really early for a while and see if that helps at all?
I had a friend with similar problems and her HV recommended a 6pm bedtime - which was really helpful in improving her DSs behaviour.

KissMyAssDailyMailcentreplus Sun 16-Aug-09 23:47:54

TBH that age they can be a handful especially if they are smart..I have a 7 yr old and she is similar..drives me nuts!..and the new bubs just gives him sound like you are doing whats best and being good parents just keep strong and encourage him to think of his sister as something he loves as much as you and daddy ..<hugs>

50ftQueenie Mon 17-Aug-09 10:43:15

Pip - Extra sleep has almost always solved the problem of bad behaviour in the past. I think we will try a couple of early nights. DS is very difficult to 'police' these days as he tends to play for ages with his stuffed toys (such a big baby bless him) before actually going to sleep.

KissMyAss - It drives you mad doesn't it?! Good training for those teenage years I suppose.....

loopyloulou Mon 17-Aug-09 12:48:26

i've just posteed my own msg about my 6 year old who is doing the same but being very agressive and even hitme yesterday, whihc left me in tears..... reading all the comments has given me hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel... and i think the rountine/discipline of being back at school will help. its a nightmare in my house at the moment. i feel like i hate him.... what an awful thing to say about your child, but its true.....

Scotia Mon 17-Aug-09 13:46:54

I have no advice, but I'm glad I've read this as ds (5.5) is the same - driving us round the bend with his behaviour. He's not violent or aggressive towards anyone, but he's started throwing toddler-like tantrums for the most trivial things shock

I've got some hope now that this is just a phase and that our lovely, smart, caring little boy will come back to us eventually.

tethersend Mon 17-Aug-09 13:53:53

50ftQueenie Great name by the way...big PJ Harvey fan!

I thought it was interesting that you said that it seems to be 95% bad, 5% good... One strategy you could try is to see if this is true in realty? If you record each incident, smart word, tantrum, racism, whatever, and then have a look back at the end of the week, it can be useful for two reasons:

1. You may see a pattern- as piprabbit suggests, if he is tired, you may find there are more incidents near bedtime

2. It gives you some much needed perspective on his behaviour. It sounds like you are labelling the behaviour rather than your ds already; that's really positive, and this allows you to take a step back, and 'examine' the behaviour more objectively.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, but if you can make the time to produce a 'tick chart' with the type of behaviour down one side and the time of day on the other, then all you need to do is tick it when something happens. Don't show it to him though, not yet!

I would definitely talk to school about it- sometimes children love the structure of school so much that they save all their tantrums for unstructured home time! It may not necessarily be a sign of something bad happening at school, but you need to check this out for your own peace of mind.

Good luck

50ftQueenie Mon 17-Aug-09 13:57:24

loopyloulou - I often feel that although I know I love ds, that I don't like him, so I know exactly what you mean. Yes we're mummies but we are also human.

Scotia - Sounds just like my ds! It is good to know you're not alone even if it doesn't actually take the problem away!

On a positive note, I have had a pleasant day with ds today. DH works from home so took dd out for a walk to the library so ds and I had some time together. He seems in a better mood and is going to bed at 6.30 tonight (6 seems a bit harsh during the holidays!!). We are also going to make some cakes together which should be fun. Did I say fun? I meant messy.

loopyloulou Mon 17-Aug-09 14:38:18

i'm just about to make some cakes too !!!
good luck.... an ealry night & some proper sleep is also happenning.

posieparkerinChina Mon 17-Aug-09 14:50:03

My two DSs (6&7) are the same.... makes me want to murder (not them but a passing starnger would do!!). I have tried ways in which they get positive attention. I had gone down a terrible route. So they kind of get their ow way without knowing it and then we get positive praise and it has started to spread. It's a long game and no quick fix. So we do things like create plays, teach them games like charades etc and they've really begun to respond. I am hoping they turn a very sharp corner before they really injure eachother or teach their little sister anymore bad behaviour.

I totally sympathise.

I read that another good thing to do is have a photo of your ds and write all the things you love or have loved about him to remember the nice feelings. IE my oldest DS is very very mean to my 6 yr old but sooooo sweet to his baby brother.....

Easy activities with no set up is good, let them decide what you do, dates with just Dad or Mum. Think of it as solving a problem and not giving in to his demanding behaviour. In my very long summer away with my 4 dcs my oldest is the most demanding by far, probably the most forgotten too.

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