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Will your child do anything to constantly be the centre of attention?

(9 Posts)
ItsGrimUpNorth Sat 17-Sep-11 10:01:02

My ds1 (aged 7) is desperate for everyone to have their focus on him and has been for as long as I can remember.

He'll do stuff like narrate his actions, "Look at me, I'm pouring the milk," to silly stuff like making loud grunting noises and then going full pelt for the hysterics and drama when he feels he's not getting enough attention. He'll throw his breakfast bowl on the floor, call us names like "stupid idiot", "fat bossy mummy" or hit his siblings to get attention.

He almost seems to seek out conflict, thrives on it almost. If I respond calmly to his "I hate you, mummy," with a, "But I love you ds, I always will but I don't like your behaviour," he goes wild because I'm not giving him the fuel he needs to carry on. He then is in his room, with a full explanation of why he is in his room. He stays there until he's calm.

Weirdly, he gets the most attention because he refuses to do stuff like get dressed by himself, won't even try to wipe his own bottom etc.

He's the oldest child and our other dcs are just as amazed and wearied by this as dh and I are.

We tell him we love him every day. We tell him off for his bad behaviour. We praise him for good behaviour. He's great at school. The teachers think he's amazingly well behaved, he gets good marks on his school work etc.

What the heck is going on with him? As I said, he's been like this for as long as I can remember.

Any ideas or advice please?

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Sat 17-Sep-11 10:08:58

Sorry to be captain state the fucking obvious, but have you advised him that he would get more positive attention for doing the bottom wiping getting dressed mundane stuff?

ItsGrimUpNorth Sat 17-Sep-11 10:27:55

Yep. We've tried reward stickers, small lego prizes etc. It doesn't seem to please him as much as getting the actual attention itself.

Doodlez Sat 17-Sep-11 13:21:53

Let him fail.

Don't wipe bum.

Don't help him dress.

Just leave him to deal with the consequences. Gird your loins for a couple of weeks of extra hell - his peers will soon put him in his place when they tell him he smells, has poo on his pants (will see it when he changes for PE), gets a rollicking for his uniform not being right, gets teased by peers for uniform/clothes not being right etc.

Like I say, let him fail.

biffandchip Sat 17-Sep-11 15:28:46

My ds2 is 7 and we are going through exactly the same. can be lovely one minute then fly off the handle for no reason, is rude, hits his brothers, calls us all bullies, says we hate him and he hates us etc. We have done the obivous, tried to ignore, comment on the positive, not let the punishments go on for too long as he forgets what he is being punished for, tried to reason with him say we love him but don't like his behaviour and we are not getting anywhere. Like your ds OP, mine is a star at school, stays in line, does whatever he is asked to. it's not like the bad behaviour happens when he gets out of shool and he needs to release some energy, it started at 7.50am today ffs! He is in his room now. His behaviour is affecting our family. His older ds is fed up and the younger one is picking up some really bad habits. Leaving him to deal with the consequences doesn't work when he is messing about and not getting ready for school, wandering about from room to room when we want him upstairs/shoes need putting on. He seems to thrive on being really horrible. We're at our wits end too. Sorry I've got no advice but maybe if we both sit here some wise Mnetter will have some tips!

MollieO Sat 17-Sep-11 15:36:24

Another one with an unruly 7 yr old ds only mine is equally badly behaved at school. He is currently spending the afternoon in his bedroom and I've cancelled his planned activities tomorrow. Not sure what else I can do.

Fortunately he is an only so the only person at home he affects is me. He was supposed to be at an activity this afternoon but refused to go which means I have to stay at home too rather than do the shopping I need. So I've had to cancel his activities tomorrow so I can do the shopping then (no one to look after him today and I don't want to take him with me).

biffandchip Sat 17-Sep-11 15:42:18

A while ago, a chinese doctor commented I was a bit stressed and asked me about home life. When I said I had 3 ds's and their ages she said there was a saying in China that 'even the dogs don't like 7 and 8 year old boys'.

MollieO Sat 17-Sep-11 17:00:38

grin biff. Don't like the thought of having to wait until ds is 9 though for all this bad behaviour to pass.

jojomom Sat 17-Sep-11 19:35:23

I agree with doodlez, sounds like a good plan to me.

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