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Ignoring the bad behaviour and praising the good....does it always work.

(15 Posts)
TheMitsubishiWarrioress Mon 19-Oct-09 16:47:33

I have had many problems with DS, he has had help. I try to live by the OP
philosophy, but at 11, his behaviour can be very extreme and difficult to ignore.

Where am I going wrong? I lost the plot this morning after a horrendous weekend spent with his Dad, (we are separated, but he is struggling to have them on his own, and their relationship is fragile.

DS was;
Playing music on his phone very loudly in public places.
Kicking street furniture,
Kicking gravel even if there were people around,
winding his sister up and then punching/shoving her if she reacted or retaliated.
Throwing things in anger.
After his bath 'drew' all over the bath with the plug leaving a black mess, blaming his sister and letting her get 'told off' and only owning up when I said I was disconnecting the internet.
Refuses to eat fruit/veg at all.
Spends any money he can get his hands on on 'junk'. (big catalyst)
Swearing.

And all the minor stuff.

Doesn't put rubbish in bins,
Won't help around the house (I have tried to get him to do it 'nicely'....would you be a good boy and do x or y rather than nagging.)
Won't brush his teeth, etc etc etc
The list is endless, and I try to keep focussing on the positive but sometimes he doesn't give me much to go on.

I struggle to get him to co-operate and even though I try to be good humored generally, it is a challenge to achieve anything.
I am trying so hard, and unfortunately copletely lost the plot this morning.

Applying firm boundaries results in him losing his temper big time. I had started to get somewhere but the weekend was hell. For us all.
I feel I have let him down badly.

OnlyWantsOneFartleBerry Mon 19-Oct-09 18:02:20

he is 11 - sounds like my nephew tbh, I feel for you.

Is there any one that could give you a break and have a proper chat sort of man to man with him?

Ignoring stuff works, but not stuff like you have mentioned.

Cut the internet off - that got his interest - draw up a list of stuff to be done daily, if it doesnt done by 7pm - then unplug the net, and it doesnt go back on til it's done. End of.

Tortington Mon 19-Oct-09 18:04:43

no i think you have to have both

firm negative sanctions for bad behaviour and positive sanctions for good behaviour

think dogs.

wag finger for bad with stern voice - and lovely treat for good.

i firmly believe you need both

Tortington Mon 19-Oct-09 18:10:10

DS was;
Playing music on his phone very loudly in public places.

remove phone

Kicking street furniture,

revoke money and or equipment
Kicking gravel even if there were people around.. unless it was hitting people this i would ignore

winding his sister up and then punching/shoving her if she reacted or retaliated.
this is a big one for me - violence against a family member who isn't able to stickup for themselves - big deal ...big big deal - this would mean me revoking removing everything and grounding and no money the whole 9 yards

Throwing things in anger.
go to your room

After his bath 'drew' all over the bath with the plug leaving a black mess, blaming his sister and letting her get 'told off' and only owning up when I said I was disconnecting the internet.

he cleans bath and then cleans bathroom for lying
Refuses to eat fruit/veg at all.
so?

Spends any money he can get his hands on on 'junk'. (big catalyst)

how the hell does he get money at 11?

Swearing.
go to room

And all the minor stuff.

Doesn't put rubbish in bins,
if i was with him i would tell him to pick it up - or neg saction

Won't help around the house (I have tried to get him to do it 'nicely'....would you be a good boy and do x or y rather than nagging.)

get the family round the table explain everyone has chores - they pick what chores - draw up a chart - stick on fridge

Won't brush his teeth, etc etc etc
this i think might need encouragement like his own special toothpaste that he picks at supermarket - with his own battry operated toothbrush

Cluckyagain Mon 19-Oct-09 18:12:44

What custy said - basically no, I don't think you can ignore all bad (at 2 yrs old, never mind 11) Your house, your rules, your child - you are in charge, not them.

TheMitsubishiWarrioress Mon 19-Oct-09 20:04:50

Thanks....

custy..I agree with pretty well with what you have said..

Money...at his school they have this finger print system where they put money on and use it as credit, he was not putting it on, getting really hungry and then buying crap. So I am going to send a cheque. He has to pay to get to school, so he cadges lifts or walks the three miles home so he has the money to spend..I guess I need to buy one of these things that last a week so he only has the ticket.

Go to your room results in a rage, which will involve throwing things, anything. Or 'MAKE ME!' Firm voice, threat of sanctions, 'OR ELSE' his temper is monumental. He threatens to report me (I have been known to pass him the phone)

The rubbish thing..I don't do it for him, switch the telly off..'put your rubbish in the bin please' day after day after day after day.

Sending him to his room results i it being trashed custy..big time, and he will damage things that are important to him, and no, I don't replace them.

He smashes windows, punches holes in the ceiling above his bed, rips his clothes, throws things directly at me and sneers if I duck.

His homework is a nightmare, we can go through an hour of all this about getting it done,

Informed me that when a kid at school pinched his headphones he called him a 'motherfucker'.

He 'flips' custy, like a button has been switched and he is a snarling, sneering, angry, frightened, (he recognises it is bad but can't/won't try) hurt.

He has had and wrecked...an electric toothbrush, his mp3 player, a really good remote control car, a decent bike, his scooter, his skateboard, his PS portable, torches, endless 'toys', and yes, including things he has saved for himself, pulled doors off hinges, (slamming them against the natural way of the hinge).

He has had a mentor who felt it more prudent to mentor me. He won't talk to CAMHS, as he says I am the only person he trusts in the world (whilst telling me I am a crap mother, useless, I don't care for him, that I let him down). His relationship with his Dad is a mess. He self harms, (punching himself), refuses to wear his glasses,

He is a mess, and having a bad day myself just isn't allowed.

I am going to bed, but thanks for responses, I am not being negative to suggestions but he seems to be one step ahead and I need to recharge my batteries.

Jelly76 Mon 19-Oct-09 20:16:12

Hey there,
Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I used to be a teacher (before kids!) and whilst I was teaching one of the things I had to do was work with and Educational Psychologist to implement an anger management program for a child of 8 who was hitting out and going a bit crazy about things now and then!! This involved helping them recognise the signs that they were angry and giving them ways of expressing it without getting physically violent with anyone/thing.
I think this is a bigger issue for you some of the smaller, although annoying issues, and maybe if he could express himself better in this way, you wouldn't have to put in so much effort yourself.
You really do need to sort out his relationship with his dad, as often this is where the route of the problems lie.
Hope you find this helpful and not condescending in anyway.
Hope things get better soon...

TheMitsubishiWarrioress Tue 20-Oct-09 13:02:44

No, it is not condescending jelly,
I really agree, but getting him to co-operate is a challenge in itself.

This all started 2 1/2 years ago and while we have made some progress, I feel helpless and TBH, have just had enough.

pointyhat Tue 20-Oct-09 13:15:24

Is it the case that the really big issue here is your marriage breakdown and how your son is reacting to it?

This makes it very difficult and not as easy as saying, yes you need to be very strict too.

Calm, calm, calm, firm and confident (and confident) will always work better than loud, raised voice, extreme disciplinarian tactics when dealing with an angry child but I am sure you know that, bishi.

How much support do you have, from friends and family, to help you remain calm, firm, loving and supportive to your son (which might also help stop him taking you for granted and hurting you)?

pointyhat Tue 20-Oct-09 13:16:00

lol - my brackets were working overtime

TheMitsubishiWarrioress Tue 20-Oct-09 15:04:59

pointy..our marriage broke up because of huge conflict about how we deal with DS, who is challenging to say the least.

It is OK if I am calm and confident, yes. The hard thing is he is constantly challenging and ready to raise things to another level and I am exhausted from it.
From trying to get him out of bed in the morning to what he wants for supper is hard to achieve. I do so much of it with humour most of the time and love and encouragement, but I was frustrated this weekend because I am ill, Their Dad was reluctant to have them on his own because DS stormed out of his house last weekend, (on the first night I had taken the opportunity to go out with a friend), when I just wanted to spend the weekend in bed.

I did OK, and then flipped. Badly.
I shouted and joined in throwing things. I told him I was fed up of it all sad, and that I can't cope any more, and he NEEDS a strong adult in his life and I let him down.

He has 2 older brothers but they are not close. His nana on his Dads side is more than capable of aggravating things, and my Mum and Dad will help in an emergency but my Dad is hard work and can be very negative towards me (the last time he came over he called me a shit).

I have friends who I talk to but this is day to day, and I do most of the emotional stuff alone because their Dad gets hurt by their refusal to walk with him, or hold his hand, or whatever and starts saying things like ''there isn't a role for me in this family anymore'' so I get torn between them both, they compete for attention and I am just bloody stuck.

And I was fed up over the weekend because I feel trapped. DS want for a school trip and I HATE saying this, but it was lovely, like being a normal Mum. And that is so crap.

I can't win. And it feels like it is just going to go on and on because pretty soon we have puberty to enjoy and I am absolutely emotionally drained.
But I have to find something from somewhere because he deserves better from me than I managed sunday night/monday morning.

womblemeister Tue 20-Oct-09 15:13:59

You can win. You have already done the right thing by putting firm boundaries in place - his reaction will be to kick and kick against them. Have you tried supernanny-style rules taped to the fridge? If he rips them off and flushes them down the toilet, just stick them back up.

He will only stop kicking against the rules when he sees you are not going to give in.
Stick with it.

pointyhat Tue 20-Oct-09 15:35:16

bishi, you are in a tough situation and I wish you had a stronger network of family and friends to help you through. You sound as if you are the lone calm sensible voice among some unhelpful adults. I didn't realise this is what caused your marriage break up.

I don't think it'll hurt to show your son how upset and frustrated and sad you feel at times, so don't beat yourself up about your outburst. Could it not lead on to a quiet, making up/explaining sort of chat?

TheMitsubishiWarrioress Tue 20-Oct-09 16:59:44

We do have those chats and since his Dad left (July) we had made massive progress.

He has come from the trip and he is very sorry (as am i) and loving.

It is not for me to judge what has triggered his setback, but his Dad has come off AD's and has also reverted to some old ways.

He says things to DS like 'oh, do what you want' or says in front of him that there is no point as things can't be fixed. He needs his Dad to be strong and know that he won't keep either threatening to quit, or walking out. I am a complete mess. I thought it would get easier without their dad and in some ways it has but all the emotional fallout is just there.

Sorry for all the rants. I seem to take one step forward and three back, although I suppose feeling like I do I am not seeing the positive at the moment.

Thanks for 'listening'...

pointyhat Tue 20-Oct-09 20:45:15

It sounds like you're getting there, bish. Good on oyu. It can't be easy

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