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I am amazed at his large capacity for spite and general unkindness. He's 6.

(55 Posts)
WinkyWinkola Mon 01-Aug-11 17:24:46

My ds1 has always been tricky. Since the age of 2, he's raged constantly. Defiant, contrary, violent. Generally unpleasant.

We've had him referred to a paediatrician via the g.p. who could find nothing wrong. I tried to get him referred to CAMBHS (I think it's called) but they said they wouldn't see a young child who hasn't been diagnosed with anything specific. Nobody can help. He's on a waiting list for some therapy now. Has been for 9 months.

At school he's an angel. Great reports - he's docile, obliging, diligent, intelligent.

But at home. My god. He's the meanest, most spiteful boy you can imagine. If there's is anything he can do to upset his sister and his little brother, he will do it. I often spy on them in the front to make sure that I'm not judging this wrongly and he is unbelievable. Taking toys away for no reason, refusing to share, give back toys that don't belong to him or are of no interest to him, pushing, taunting.

He'll constantly and deliberately do stuff we've asked him not to do like drumming on the table at meal times, saying rude words he's picked up. He does defiant stuff with a smile on his face.

When he's out on play dates (he has very few friends so this doesn't happen often), the atmosphere in the house is so different. It's like we all breathe a sigh of relief and just rub along nicely. As soon as he's back, we all walk on egg shells again. I guess that's becoming chicken and egg.

I'm afraid I find it galling when I read his reports and see him getting certificates for good work and behaviour when I know how vile he is at home. I feel hypocritical cheering him on in assemblies when that morning, I've had to take away one of his bionicles for being utterly vile to one of his siblings or for deliberately weeing in the corner of his room.

Right now he's on his bed indefinitely. I told him off in the car because he took his sister's best cuddly toy and threw it out of her reach, just to piss her off again and make her cry. She's 4. In response to my telling him off, he threw his water bottle out of the window, nearly hitting a woman walking along the pavement. Great.

I really don't like him. He's spiteful. Unkind. Ungenerous to a startling level. Massively attention seeking by doing and saying things that he knows are not allowed. In short, I think he's a total prat. And I really look forward to the day when he is 18 and I can send him off out to university and never have to ask him 5,000 times to get dressed again as he smirks and spreads his bottom cheeks in his sister's face in response.

I know I sound extreme - I've said it, I'm wishing time away being his parent - but I'm just so very tired of this child and the constant dramas and issues he brings every single day. It's like he thrives on conflict and seeks to create scenes and problems at every opportunity. I'm very worried he's teaching my other dcs how to behave and they too will think being mean, unkind and ungenerous is the way forward.

I feel helpless and worn down and feel like I cannot win and make this boy a better person by explaining, showing, rewarding or punishing. He is who he is and it's really not a good thing.

Dh feels exactly the same but because he's at work, he only sees it at the weekends really but come Monday, he is so glad to get out of the door.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WinkyWinkola Mon 01-Aug-11 17:38:00

He started behaving very angrily before his sister was born. But yes, he's probably still cheesed off he has a sibling or two.

We've been very conscious that we have been down on him and have showered him with positive encouragement, rewards, using marbles, stickers etc. His behaviour hasn't changed.

In fact, I think sometimes he's almost gleeful that he only has to do a tiny bit of co-operation and he gets so much in return for it. We're so grateful for a glimmer of niceness from him!

It's terrible. I hate our family life. Dh wants to send him to boarding school. It's that bad.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

changeforthebetter Mon 01-Aug-11 17:43:21

I think you sound like you have had it up to here and if you were my friend I would march you round to the GP myself. If you refused to go, I would see your GP and repeat what you had said. I think it is hard for you and your H seems to be letting you carry the lion's share.

On the other hand to be a small boy whose parents clearly loathe him, strikes me as the most desolate thing in the world. You not only seem to have given up on him entirely but you even resent his successes. Surely, you would take comfort fromt the fact he can behave in school?

I really think you need help. I am not judging you but you are on a disaster course with this child. My own 6 year old can be spiteful, selfish, rude, disobedient and generally vile (especially with her little sister) but she has good points which I acknowledge as much as I can.

Please get help for your whole family's sake. I am concerned about what your other DCs will be learning from this situation and it is the way you treat this little boy which will damage them most sad

swallowedAfly Mon 01-Aug-11 17:43:57

Message withdrawn

swallowedAfly Mon 01-Aug-11 17:48:04

Message withdrawn

wigglybeezer Mon 01-Aug-11 17:50:07

Been there Winky (We did get seen by CAHMS, they said we were doing OK). I don't have time for a long explanation but my oldest boy sounds very like yours.

All I can say is "Fake it 'til you make it", pretend you love him and want to spend time with him (preferably without his siblings for part of each day) even if you don't feel it ATM. DS1 is considerably better now at 13, still have fantasies about boarding school sometimes!

Try not to react at all to rude words and bottom displays and remember that reward charts and toy confiscation don't work for every child.

Keep lectures down to a minimum.

Do small, random acts of fun and kindness that are unconditional on his behaviour. Keep hugging. I have three and often find two's company three's a crowd.

Get out of the house on your own sometimes.

WinkyWinkola Mon 01-Aug-11 17:50:55

My dh is good at weekends when he's here. He's very hands on with all the dcs.

We'll spend a lot of time together as a family. For example, we all go swimming together and dh will take ds1 off to the big pool whilst I am in the little pool with dd and ds2. We'll go to the zoo, pyo farm etc.

If we stay at home and try to relax, then ds1 really kicks in and starts his behaviour. And it all ends with him on his bed and the rest of us upset and startled as to why we as the adults seem utterly unable to make things better, regardless of the approach we take.

In terms of one-on-one, I don't think he gets any of that beyond bedtime stories or homework. Dh spends time making lego with him actually. But then the other two want daddy time too. I'm old hat at the weekends. wink

I've calmed down now. We don't loathe him. We utterly loathe his behaviour. It's extreme. We hug him and kiss him a lot and tell him we love him several times a day as well.

It's just galling that he can turn it on at school but at home tries to create merry hell at every opportunity. Even though it gets him nothing but time on his bed alone.

TanyaBranning Mon 01-Aug-11 17:51:14

Of course CAMHS can see you and your boy without a diagnosis for something! Go back to your GP and ask for a direct referral, no pissing about waiting months to see the Paed again. They can do this and if you push for it and tell them how desperate you are, they will. It isn't going to be an overnight cure, but you should be able to get on the waiting list to see a Psychologist or Pyschotherapist (they will probably want to see you as a family in some combination as well as see your boy). You should also be able to get some practical help/support in the meantime. Our local CAMHS run an anger management group for children, and they have a drop-in for parents of children with behavioural/emotional difficulties

My DS is 6 yrs old and incredibly angry. He has Asperger's Syndrome, so slightly different, but the anger coming from not having his own way all the time and this great feeling of injustice at the world and the desire (impulse, really) to just be incredibly mean and rude at every possible opportunity sounds very familiar! I do sympathise. It is very, very wearing and there are days I feel I am going mad.

But hey, he is ONLY SIX. He needs help to cope better with his emotionas, and that help is out there, you just need to be doggedly determined and not take NO for an answer.

best of luck

SenoritaViva Mon 01-Aug-11 17:51:43

I agree about going to see you GP (again). Explain that you need some kind of help, parenting skills (I am not saying that yours are poor as I simply don't know, more that you need further skills to help you deal with his character), family counselling etc.

There are loads of online resources, I can't recommend one as I don't have experience of them but you could start there.

Have you spoken to his teacher? Do you you have a good enough relationship that you could have a private word, explain the situation. They might be able to help.

WinkyWinkola Mon 01-Aug-11 17:56:25

swallowedafly, I would love you to come and stay with me and experience this child. Especially when he urinates all over his duvet or the sofa as an act of spite.

If I'd given up on him, then I'd've sent him to boarding school by now.

Despair is quite different to having given up.

I've spoken to his teacher about him and she said her son is exactly the same. She too has felt despair at how well he performs in school compared to his behaviour at home. She said positive performance in school is a good thing and that he is therefore aware of what is required of him in order to get positive reinforcement. She was flummoxed by her own child too. He is 13 now and she says he is much better.

She also said that my ds is highly intelligent but in need of constant structure. He doesn't like it when they're not doing structured activities, doesn't like free play and is always asking what's happening next.

You know, I look forward to seeing him every morning or evening after school but he just seems to need to kick off all the time. It's relentless.

didldidi Mon 01-Aug-11 17:57:50

We've had very similar problems with DS1 and he's now 8. Been grumpy since day 1! the same problems with his brother - winding up, aggression etc. Won't take any responsibility for his actions as there's always someone else at fault. Has a real 'victim' mentality. I know it's all attention seeking but we do everything 'by the book' i.e. praise the good, try and ignore the bad, rewards etc. but it just seems to be the way he is sad

Catslikehats Mon 01-Aug-11 17:59:34

Christ he is 6 sad

I have a six year old I know what they can be like. I also have a 5 year old.

They wind each other up. It is what they do.

Apart from the weeing in his bedroom I am struggling to see what it is he does that is so awful? On the otherhand he has been sent to his room idefinitely. That shocks me and I don't pretend to be a great parent. Not be a long stretch.

It sounds to me that your DS is reacting against the anger and hatred that you feel rowards him and the injustice of laways being the naughty child.

You clearly need some support, but is it possible this could be an issue with you as much as him?

WinkyWinkola Mon 01-Aug-11 18:01:51

It's so wearing, isn't it, didldidi?

When we have a good hour, I feel like kicking my heels and singing out loud because we've actually had a stress free time as a family.

I don't know. I've called Parentline when he was 3. They told me I was making trouble for myself by taking him into my bed at night when we'd had a bad day and I wanted to make him feel loved. I've had a long chat with another charitable organisation - I can't remember what they're called now but they were very kind but not very helpful.

Then he's on the waiting list for some play therapy because I'm worried he's disturbed and long term upset. I mean, having a sibling can be traumatic but could it really be the cause of all this behaviour and long term dysfunction?


WinkyWinkola Mon 01-Aug-11 18:07:55

Oh okay, it's me then. He's perfectly normal. Except my parents (of 5 children) and my grandmother (mother of 7) have all been staggered by the constant displays of anger, aggression etc. They say they have never encountered a child like this. It's not sporadic - it's pretty constant. Weirdly, in front of my pil, he's a total angel. It's bizarre!

soymama Mon 01-Aug-11 18:08:04

Winky,you sound like your trying your absolute best tbh, I bet he grows up to be a genius or something!!

TheCrackFox Mon 01-Aug-11 18:08:58

I don't think he needs therapy, your whole family does.

"At school he's an angel. Great reports - he's docile, obliging, diligent, intelligent."

He only has problems when he is with his family but he is getting the blame for his behaviour.

SenoritaViva Mon 01-Aug-11 18:14:41

winky I think you will get a lot of judgemental comments on here. Whether they are justified or not I have no idea and in fact none of us do because we aren't there, but try not to let them hurt you.

My cousin had a son who was a 'real handful' and did a great deal of things, I never knew quite what but knew that my cousin felt terrible that as soon as he was gone they (DH, her and the other 2 younger siblings) were much happier. A few years ago (maybe 4) they went on a big family holiday to the other side of the world for a decent amount of time (3 weeks or a month?). Something clicked in their son, he just seemed to suddenly 'get it' and he is the most lovely 11 year old you could think of now. It just seemed that a life experience did seem to be a life changing event for him. So there is hope...

didldidi Mon 01-Aug-11 18:16:24

yes it is wearing, we're beginning to think it must be down to low self esteem although God knows why no one has ever given him reason to doubt himself.

wannaBe Mon 01-Aug-11 18:16:48

I think it's awfully easy to sit in judgement of how someone else is reacting to their child, especially when you don't have a child with similar behavioral trates.

The reality is that if this was one of us witnessing this behavior from someone else's child, we would be quick to label said child a brat, especially if the behavior was directed at one of our own dc. Yet listen to someone say that about their own child and his reactions to their siblings and suddenly we feel fit to judge and feel sorry for the child while labelling the parent.

Op - I have no experience of this type of behavior from my own ds but I have witnessed similar from a friend's ds.

What I would say is, go back to your gp and ask for a referral back to the paediatrician. The behaviors you mention i.e. urinating on his bed etc are not normal behaviors for a six year old, and while I wouldn't say he has sn or similar, I would say that there is almost certainly an underlying issue that causes this type of behavior.

You will have to fight for it, but tbh I think you need to think of the long-term. My friend's ds is extremely violent, and the point I made to her then was that at six she can still (just about) handle him. In twenty years time this won't be his teachers he's hitting, it will be his partner, or his children.

Of course you love him; but you can love someone while not liking their behavior, or even not liking them - even children can be unlikeable.

SenoritaViva Mon 01-Aug-11 18:19:24

wanneBe has said it beautifully, great advice.

NotQuiteSoDesperate Mon 01-Aug-11 18:19:32

OP, what's he like when you are on your own with him? Or when your DH is on his own with him? When I had issues with our DS1 years ago and felt like I didn't like him sometimes, I worked out that we got on loads better when I took him out on his own. It gave us chance to do things that interested him.

didldidi Mon 01-Aug-11 18:20:19

I asked my DS recently why he didn't behave at school like he does at home and his answer was "because I'm scared of them - I'm not scared of you" interesting I thought. It's almost as if he needs the very firm constant structure of school?

didldidi Mon 01-Aug-11 18:22:07

NQSD - totally agree with the one to one thing we can have great times when he's with either of us on our own.

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