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struggling with my 5 yr old DS

(4 Posts)
snowqueenrollo Tue 28-Dec-10 19:41:36

I'm just venting really, though any shared experience would be welcome.

DS is very bright, very affectionate and usually a joy to parent. His dad and I are separated, we have 50/50 custody, all very friendly.

This month has been hard. DS started by playing up at bedtime. 3 hours of him being 'scared' - frustrating though I can see the funny side of his invented reasoning for not going to sleep. I cracked this problem (mostly) with a combination of hard-nosed mummy and reward.
Now i'm experiencing him just being defiant with me. He plays up over meals, leaving friends houses, turning the games console off, having to go shopping etc. He's also developed a temper. He tripped over a chair yesterday and kicked it in fury because 'it was the chair's fault'......
With the temper I've started to send him to his room until he calms down.

I've just made DP put him to bed because he wound me up so much over it being bedtime that I just needed ten minutes away from him. I went up to read him a story and he just dragged it out 'i don't want that one, or that one' ' that was a short one, read me another' and so on.

We parent consistently between households, we follow through with consequences.
He only behaves like this for me and I'm starting to take it personally. He hasn't seen his dad as much this month (his dad's busy period at work) and also they will be moving house soon, and I can only think that he is feeling unsettled by these changes. But why is it only me who gets this awful behaviour?

I feel like i'm living with a miniature teenager.

KnackeredNigella Wed 29-Dec-10 12:55:23

You have my sympathy, I'm the other half of that situation with a 5 year old DSS who also has feisty temper and a real desire to control every situation. He's normally with us each weekend but this is a seasonal extended run!

Any accident is someone/something else's fault, and if he doesn't get his way we have sulks, tears (fake ones I'm certain but they have the same effect on a guilt ridden DP!) and shouting. He's even pickier than usual over meals, but demanding snacks all the time (which as it's Christmas, 'kind' family members have been happy to indulge him with...grrr!) Nothing stimulates him for long, he can't seem to entertain himself for even a short time and he constantly demands 'what's next?' I hate to say it but at times he can be a moody, hyper-sensitive, demanding little monster!

We're expecting a baby in Spring, have just moved house, and it's Christmas, so all in all I know I need to make huge allowances and help him through this. But DP gives in on almost every demand and I can't help but find DSS's behaviour worrying. I don't want relations to become more strained or to give any signals that this way of dealing with things is OK and will get him what he wants.

So no, it's not just you that gets this kind of behaviour, and I'm the last person to offer any advice as I'm clueless! But I did want to ask, are you SURE he doesn't play up for his dad too? I know my DP's ex thinks we have no problems compared to hers, but to be honest I think we just get on with it and don't alway mention any difficulties. It might make you feel better to know that it's not just you...?

snowqueenrollo Wed 29-Dec-10 14:57:47

he has his moments with his dad, but nothing as extreme as I am dealing with.

The whole bedtime thing got ridiculous and so one night i text his dad to let him know and he actually phoned to speak to him. after 20 mins i got the phone back and ex apologised for not understanding quite how extreme it was when i tried to explain it to him.

DS also will not play alone, and when we do play with him it all has to be his way. Halfway through an imaginative play this morning he had a strop on me because i injected my own idea into the play. I walked away and told him we played together or I wasn't doing it. He then started dismantling the advent calendar we have so I sent him to his room to calm down and put the calendar away. he was upset when he saw it, and denied he was pulling it apart in his temper but was taking the bits off so he could do it again and make it more beautiful. hmm

He did say this morning he's glad to go back to daddy's today as he just wants it back to normal, so i think the disruption of his dad's work schedule is a big factor here.
Will have to wait and see if the new year is better when we get back to routine.

You have my sympathy. I know that this summer we did have a run of DS being a little bit difficult with his step-mum, and he has his moments with my DP too - but DP has the patience of a saint and is very good with him.

Thank you for sharing your experiences, it does help to read it.

KnackeredNigella Thu 30-Dec-10 11:52:25

I so recognise the imaginative excuses and defences re the advent calendar - if only half that energy was applied to being delightful! grin

Hope things settle down, maybe he is missing his dad and just needs the routine back. And thanks for the support, I like your use of the word 'run' as that implies it ends eventually - right?!

Happy New Year!

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