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Laying the law single handedly, give me some tips please...

(14 Posts)
MeMySonAndI Sun 24-Jul-11 19:20:27

I have an adorable 8 year old (most of the times), who is kind (often), considerate (not that often) but who more often than not, thinks I exist to entertain him and tidy after him.

I understand that many 8 years old are like this, many do not lift a finger to help at home and many find it extremely difficult to be considerate.

So what makes our case special is... I have absolutely NOBODY to share the responsibility with. I have no family in a radius of 6,000 miles, most people I know are married and very busy with their own families, those who aren't are busy with their own lives (don't blame them either).

My son needs a lot of extra tutoring due to special educational needs and is extremely active and even more distracted, no matter how many hours of intense activity he has had during the day, he finds it difficult to fall asleep before midnight, even when he has been routinely put to bed at 8 for the last 5 years. He has a lot of food sensitivities as well, so everything has to be cooked from scratch, I envy other parents who can take fish fingers and chips out of the fridge and have the food on the table in less than half an hour.

I'm at the end of my tether, I'm exhausted, I have not had more than a couple of hours to myself in more than a year. Either I am working or he is with me (can't afford not to work full time without getting into debt so extra babysitting/reduction of hours is not an option), I cannot even use the phone without things going ridiculously wrong. The house looks like a tip even when I sort each room at least 2-3 times a day.

I have read the books, I gave him plenty of quality time, my house is run with military precision, I cook in advance, do the housework at night, he has shores assigned which he has to do and do, but someway it feels as if he has not realised I am HIS mother, how do I get him to respect me more and understand that I am not to be treated like a slave?

I know it's my fault, hence why I am accepting defeat and asking for help, but please be kind (**please** because I am already about to start crying with frustration).

aubergine70 Mon 25-Jul-11 10:11:47

Can't really offer any advice as you seem to be doing everything right, just wanted to offer a big cyber hug.
Please stop blaming yourself, it nobody's fault your son has special needs and food sensitivities which mean you have to work so hard at home. Hopefully as he grows older your DS will be able to show a bit more appreciation and it will all have been worthwhile.

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 10:34:23

have you tried giving him melatonin to help him go to sleep? is extrmeely effective for my son who has ASD. he takes 3 to 6 mg in juice and falls asleep within 45 minutes. he was initially prescribed 5 mg at about age 8 . before that getting him to sleep was a nitemare . you need it prescribed by a paediatrician. ask your paed.

(now he doesnt need it all the time - but you can use it to set a pattern )

have you asked S children in need/disabled chidlres team for help?
does he go to play schme in holidays? does he need specialsit scheme? does he have statement of needs? (ie does he qualify for extra help)

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 10:35:58

you can also freezxe food so cooking from scratch should not mean cooking from scratch every day.

what do you cook?
eg i do pasta, veg, grilled chicken breast - raw food to table in half an hour .

MeMySonAndI Mon 25-Jul-11 13:33:03

Thanks Aubergine, I guess I am having one of those weeks when everything becomes too much.. but definitvely need to do something about it to stop this downward spiral.

Cestlavie, his special educational needs refer to Dyslexia, and the distraction to short memory problems. It is not a severe case, so he doesn't get much help at all, which I understand, we would be fine if there were more family/friends around to help out from time to time, it is being on my own what makes it difficult. I think I have heard about the melatonin being sold over the counter for jet lag, thanks for remindingme about it, I will try to get some.

I normally cook twice as many portions of everything I cook, which goes into the freezer in little containers ready to be used for school lunches, I definitively need a bigger freezer.... my life would be so much easier if I had enough space to keep a weeks worth of frozen food..

We had a good chat tomorrow where I told him once again... Will see how it goes..

MeMySonAndI Mon 25-Jul-11 13:33:55

tomorrow... gosh... this morning!

cestlavielife Mon 25-Jul-11 14:04:43 melatonin is ok - if you get capsules you can split and put the powder in juice or water (drink with straw to get all the bits ) i woudl try 3 mg to start

it sounds like you have worked out a food solution - bigger freezer.

also check free from ranges for frozen fish fingers and chicken nuggets eg sainsburys

MeMySonAndI Wed 27-Jul-11 01:32:30

Thank you. I will order some soon.

AMAZINWOMAN Wed 27-Jul-11 08:26:17

It is so hard isn't it, never to have anybody say "Just be good for your Mum."

I'm in the same position and it is the hardest thing to deal with when you are tired at the end of a working day. You are probably doing this already, but I just pick my battles.

My youngest son is very active too. Two days ago he kept himself awake all night just for the fun of it. He coped for one and a half days with no sleep and he wasn't even irritable. I think he needs less sleep than other kids as he has always slept much less than his elder brother!

I tried lots of hobbies with him and luckily I have found a sport which he really, really enjoys. This seems to help with his excess energy.

slavetomyson Wed 27-Jul-11 20:52:47

Hi memysonandI, you sound really down and I know how you feel. My son is only 4 and a half though, though he really does treat me like a slave, although I don't give in to it. I sometimes think boys tend to be lazier too, and are reluctant to do stuff for themselves. Know it might sound like a cliche but have you tried the usual reward type stuff, maybe extra pocket money if he does certain chores for example? My son is autistic, so I can imagine he's only going to get worse with his issues of not wanting to help himself. I can also vouch for the melatonin as he also needs it to get to sleep which luckily I discovered after 4 years of complete exhaustion with him waking in the night. I now try to do chores with him around as i'm too tired in the evenings to do it. If he doesn't play up when I do the ironing one morning I reward him with a trip out somewhere he likes. Fortunately he likes copying so he will follow me around with his toy hoover happily. It's all about knowing what makes your son tick, and what would really be his bargaining issues. I know it sounds like bribery but sometimes a chat just isn't enough (particularly if he's got memory/attention span problems, this won't make an impact anyway). Do you get any help from your ex?

MeMySonAndI Wed 27-Jul-11 21:20:05

Thank you for your kind words. I think that melatonin might be the way to go... I have been looking at the ones in the website and couldn't make my mind about the dosage, especially as it says they are not suitable for under 12 years old. Should I start with 1 mg or go straight to 3 mg capsules/tablets?

How long before bed time do you use it?

I might get some myself too!

slavetomyson Wed 27-Jul-11 21:25:38

It might be worth speaking to your GP about your sons sleeping issues, fortunately mine is prescribed by consultant so I KNOW that the tablets are safe for his age, whereas if you just get them from anywhere else it's a bit of a gamble. Would your GP be sympathetic? I give my DS his tablet just before his bath, so all in all it's about 30-45 minutes before he's due to sleep. He's on 3mg at the moment, but he's only 4 and a half, with your son being older he may need a higher dose. If your worried about GP not helping, really push it through that your son being tired the next day is affecting his learning and attention span, they can't fail to ignore you then, even if they suggest another form of treatment it's worth a try?

MeMySonAndI Wed 27-Jul-11 22:40:21

That is a good suggestion... mentioning bout school... thank you

happygolucky0 Thu 28-Jul-11 00:53:59

Hello wondered which part of the country you are? There are some free activities going on through Asda this hoilday. Have you tried to get some respite? You could try a website site called flylady if you havnt already it helps me sometimes. I have a 13 year old and am not too well myself and manage with some baby sitting from my Mum and Dad. I work part time and also only really get a break when I go to work!!
I have friends kids sleep over sometimes then they have my lad over to theirs in exchange as I cant really afford sitters either. I dont have much advice really just wanted you to know that I kind of understand where you are coming from and yes it can be tough. Planning helps me too so I know that I can cope without losing the plot!!!

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