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Immediate & same day consequences/punishments for a 7yo boy?

(36 Posts)
sparkle12mar08 Tue 12-Feb-13 08:14:28

What do you use as a consequence/punishment for a 7yo who appears to have no levers?! I'm starting to feel that I have no control or influence over ds1's behaviour and I find myself getting incredibly angry with him because i feel that nothing we say or do has any effect. He's not a particularly badly behaved child and is certainly not worst of his peer group, but he is very impulsive and emotional.

The most typical situations I feel we need to discipline are the sheer rudeness and disrespect that's coming home from school at the moment - we're getting a lot of sarcastic "yeah, yeah, whatever". And the general low level disobediance - not doing as he's told straight away, the purposeful ignoring, the fighting and arguing with his brother. The main problem is he just doesn't think ahead, even over a few minutes - there's no filter between his brain and his mouth; and he doesn't read the body language and tone of vioce to see when he's gone to far and to reign himself in. And it's all day, every day. Every day I usually have to shout at least twice before we leave for school, and god knows how many times between hometime and bedtime.

There's no way he would treat his teacher or friends parents this way and I know he's only pushing at home because it's a safe place to do so, but it's incredibly frustrating. On the one side, we've had umpteen positive discussions about why people don't like bad behaviour, why it won't get him nice things, about what reading body language actually means, we've spelt it out for him.

On the other side, we don't have consoles or game things and he doesn't have television or laptop time on a weekday anyway, so removal of screen time isn't possible. I'm utterly loathe to stop him from going to the afterschool clubs he does because they're already paid for (and are not cheap) and aren't necessarily on the day the incidents happen. He doesn't get pocket money so it can't be taken away, but I suppose we could start giving it to incentivise good behaviour? I just feel that we have nothing that can be used as an appropriate punishment. He gets a couple of bedtime stories from us and ten minutes reading in bed time and that's about it. We sometimes remove various bits of those but again it's important wind down time, and doesn't seem to have any longterm effect at all. It's all forgotten the next day. I feel I do have some 'personal authority' in that I have my version of the 'voice' and the 'look', but I also feel we need an actual sanction as well.

What do you all do, and use? What effect does it have? How can I get my dream child back?!

NickECave Fri 15-Feb-13 20:09:22

DD1 has just turned six and we've started giving her £2 per week pocket money chiefly so we can threaten to take it away for bad behaviour. She is not particularly badly behaved but we were finding it difficult to have effective punishments as she shares bedroom and most toys with DD2 and taking away television deprived DD2 as well.

steppemum Thu 14-Feb-13 22:08:25

It is incredibly exhausting isn't it?

ds was at his worse about a year ago I think (age 8-9) He seems generally better this year, which I think is mainly that we have worked hard at finding things which work. But my heart sinks when we get that snotty grumpy attitude, and I know we are in for a horrible evening.

I am convinced that an underlying low self esteem is one of the causes for my ds. Not sure where it comes from, but he also has a very negative relationship with dd1 (but is lovely with dd2) So we are trying to make sure he knows he is as loved as she is (he would say we love her and not him)

my dds are so easy just normal childhood stuff, and when I am with parents who have straightforward kids, I know they just don't get how difficult it can be at times, and there is a lot of underlying 'it must be the parents' there too. I have had to develop a thick skin on his behalf really, so I don't react in any way do to with other peoples expectations, but react according to what he needs.

mumsnet is so helpful, just knowing others are having the same issues is so helpful

Interestingly, ds is mostly well behaved at school, and can contain he temper there (and then lets rip at home)

NTitled Thu 14-Feb-13 21:55:40

Thank you!

morescribbles Thu 14-Feb-13 13:57:31

I should add that if you do go to the second link you have to wait a short while while it loads.

morescribbles Thu 14-Feb-13 13:56:15

I feel for you. I have five little ones and a couple of ours have been through these stages. Our youngest ds is going through one now. I childmind too so I often peek in on this website - for ideas and theories. This is quite a nice link too, it is part of a free online child development course and is a section on behaviour:
Good luck!

NTitled Thu 14-Feb-13 10:56:46

steppemum, I could have written your post too!! We do all of the above, and just try to ride out the tantrums. It's very wearing, though...

steppemum Wed 13-Feb-13 23:19:15

Ntitled. Once my ds is angry, nothing works. All consequences are thrown in our face while he is angry. I did see a programme about anger and it talked about how the brain gets flooded with a chemical when you are angry and it floods the part that controls self control. As an adult we can over-ride that (or not which is when adult violence happens) but a child can't. This means in practice that once they have lost it they are like a tornado until they have calmed down. The calming down can take up to an hour.

I found that very helpful as it meant that once he is angry we stop negotiating, giving consequences etc, and concentrate on damage limitation. We do seem at the moment to have success in sending him to his room, and then anything broken is his. We also don't continue with consequences as you just add up more and more and he still isn't doing it, and then you have every consequence for the next week used up. So we wait until the temper is over, and apologies made, and then we say right well the consequence for all that (maybe the whole evening) is x. One consequence, and then fresh start.

The other side is that we have put a lot of effort into prevention, to stop the temper getting to melt down point.
The me time I mentioned above has been good for this. We also have given ds a friday evening special. His time for one hour (dh puts dds to bed so I can give him an hour) He chooses what we do. This started because he wanted to watch doctor who and dds are too young, so we decided to record it and watch it in friday evening. This gives him some 'big kid' time.

I have seen some stuff about love bombing on another thread and our friday nights are a bit like that. We cuddle up too, which he really needs.

We also notice the link between what he is playing on computer and behaviour. When he is restricted to only age appropriate games and has a clear limit on his computer time, he is less angry.

Also food, (he gets very cross very quickly when hungry) and exercise, he gets a bit of cabin feever in the winter and if I can get him to run/cycle/walk etc for a while then he is much better

but nipping things in the bud and making him laugh are the best for turning temper aside

sorry ended up very long

NTitled Wed 13-Feb-13 09:32:48

So much familiar on here...

I too have the problem of feeling that we are starting from scratch every day. DS is foul, I give him a warning, he is foul, I remove computer time, he has a meltdown about how horrible I am.

I use quiet time when he's being pleasant to talk about his behaviour and how he could have been more polite (etc). He always agrees - but then it starts again.

I don't find charts/jars helpful because he rips them up/rages at them when in angry mode. He also refuses point blank to go to his room (and I can no longer pick him up as he is 11 and I am tiny). Even to get him to go to his room, I have to threaten him with further consequences. Once in his room, he throws things around (he isn't interested in toys, so I can't remove them!) sad

Once he's calmed down, he then has to pick up all the stuff he's thrown around. But it is like groundhog day. The only thing that seems to improve his behaviour is when his sister is being horrid (though she is generally v obliging and, thankfully, easy-going). Then he likes to play the Mr Perfect role.

steppemum Wed 13-Feb-13 00:10:05

well, snice, I have manhandled him up stairs once or twice. Not great, but he does know I will do it. I did once give him a firemans lift (I started tickling him as I was doing it, which broke the whole mood and then we were able to move on!)

But when I get that sort of 'no' I stand very close and say in very quiet, serious voice 'I am going to start counting. When I say five, you have lost one toy from your room, when I say 10 that is 2 toys, when i say fifteen, 3 toys. You have a choice to make, do as you are asked or start loosing toys, YOUR choice, not mine. 1...2...3...4...' and so on (and i count fairly fast!)
he has been known to wait until 15 or 20, but he always goes in the end. And when he looses a toy, if he looses eg lego he looses all of it. and it is gone for 2-3 days.

snice Tue 12-Feb-13 23:32:50

i could have written these posts too-am having awful time with DS8 at the moment. One of my big difficulties is that if he misbehaves and I say go to your room' he plants himself and says ' No'.

What do I do?-I can't manhandle him up the stairs (although DP tried and was accused of 'hitting him')

steppemum Tue 12-Feb-13 23:22:56

actually I realised my post sounds very negative - all punishments.
But one thing that has helped us a lot is to make sure each child has THEIR time. We do this at bedtime. dd2 has story/her time from 7-7.15, then dd1 7.15-7.30, then ds 7.30 - 7.45 (and he is allowed to read until 8)

This time is sacrosanct. If they mess around so they are late, they risk loosing it, because otherwise the next person's time gets eaten into. ds especially values this time and at one point he wasn't getting it, because he likes to read in bed. Then he asked for it back as he was missing it, at he behaviour improved. Sometimes we read, sometimes we talk.

3birthdaybunnies Tue 12-Feb-13 23:13:57

Watching with interest as we also don't have much leverage with dd1, they do earn phone time (playing games on smart phone for homework etc), but then it is hard if they have already earnt that time it seems unreasonable to withdraw it, it is as if I marked 20 essays and was paid for it, but then didn't mark 4 and had to pay back some of the money I had already been promised when I was good (iyswim).

We do sometimes discuss what someone else has said and how rude/disrespectful they were and how unpleasant/hurtful it is, and that helps a bit, has a similar impact to when a sibling plays up and they become the perfect one. I probably do need to praise them more too, I do it when they have achieved something or worked hard, but it seems harder to remember when they have achieved 'not being naughty'.

We are lucky that dd1 is generally good and knows not to be too lippy as there is zero tollerance for it, however she will not admit she is in the wrong, and sometimes, especially when tierd she will blow her top, then the door slamming starts.

steppemum Tue 12-Feb-13 22:56:09

oh yes dewdrop, we have pennies in a jar too

DewDr0p Tue 12-Feb-13 22:44:31

Oh pennies in a jar also works well here. When the jar is full they get to spend them grin

DewDr0p Tue 12-Feb-13 22:43:57

I could have written your post. I have 2 of them - 8 and 6.

I also immediately thought about turning it round and making it about earning a treat. We once had a family "kind and helpful behaviour" chart which worked a treat - anyone (inc me!) could earn a star on the chart and when it was full we all had a treat together. They were so busy falling over themselves to be kind and helpful that they forgot to be naughty grin

Should really take my own advice, sigh.

The only other thing I can add is I wonder if it's this time of year - lots of my friends are complaining about the same thing - weather has been awful and dcs not outside much. We're trying to get more exercise in in the hope that will also help.

steppemum Tue 12-Feb-13 22:36:58

I think the disrespectful speech is the one that winds me up in my house. I have started to be very tough on it. I remind them - usually I just look at them and say PARDON?? they then either rephrase it, or apologise or continue. If they continue I send them to their room. I usually say, go to your room and as soon as you can speak to me in a civil way, you can come out. Ds usually comes down a few minutes latter and 'whatever' has gone. We are now a bit ruthless (it has taken us a long time to get ruthless, but actually, we are all calmer and more low key now, because we nip it in the bud) We will send ds out in the middle of a meal, in the middle of a conversation, any time, if he is giving me rude attitude.

dd2 aged 5 has just started to shout and demand what she wants and we are now doing the same, and she immediately changes tone and asks nicely.

At nice calm times we talk about why it isn't nice to speak that way, and how everyone in the family deserves respect.

For other things we use pocket money - ds is 10 and gets £1, when we want to change behaviour (eg he wasn't cleaning his teeth, went into bathroom and pretended) he looses 10p each time. It usually takes a couple of weeks and then the message has got through. Also, removal of computer time and tv time. Extra jobs around the house (I have a list on the fridge door, and anyone who hits/hurts has to do a job) 5 minutes early to bed, loss of bedtime story (bit of a last resort that one, and usually only if they have been a pain about bedtime)

I agree about immediate consequence, it has less effect if distant. Also, when ds is angry he doesn't care about any consequences, so we don't put them in. We send him to room to calm down, then when calm talk about incident and how it could have been different, and then get him to suggest a suitable consequence, one that links to the crime if possible.

Taffeta Tue 12-Feb-13 22:18:03

I remind him. Stupid ipad.

Taffeta Tue 12-Feb-13 22:17:37 terms of making things stick, they never do in the heat of the moment IMO.

When he is snuggled in bed at night and we are chatting, then is a good time. I reind him of what he said, tell him how it made me feel, what does he think of it? Etc. IMO that's the time to talk about it.

Taffeta Tue 12-Feb-13 22:15:30

Also sounds like my DS, who is 9 now and is Jekyll Hyde ATM.

The one and only thing that I find really improves his behaviour is when his sister is naughty. Then, and only then, he is the saint. hmm

The rest of the time is mainly me banning screen time, sending him to his room, throwing him out of the front door in the cold until he's calmed down, and sometimes rewarding and bi time praising for those golden nugget moments when he is being delightful.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 12-Feb-13 22:13:46

Oh god Confused - that's it, that's the root of my frustration - the inability to remember and LEARN from it! That's actually what makes me rage - having to constantly remind him - it literally makes me tongue tied with rage!!! Thank god I'm not the only one, not that I'd wish it on anyone else!

ConfusedishSay Tue 12-Feb-13 22:09:45

I, like NTitled could have written this. Seems to be par for the 7 yr old boy course hmm
Perhaps he is now old enough to have access to an MP3/Nintendo/other gadget at the next available opportunity (birthday/whatever other gift-giving occasion may crop up) My DH is Mr Gadget guy and convinced me a Wii was a good idea....not entirely sure, but at least the horror on DS´s face at the mere mention of removal of Wii priveleges is enough to stop me hurling it from the nearest window grin
What I AM still enormously frustrated with, is the seeming lack of ability to LEARN his lesson. Despite the leverage working, it still has to be used daily. He STILL must be reminded, nagged, cajoled, threatened and shouted at. I have tried consequences with only 1 warning, consequences with NO warnings, etc day: SAME story.
Short of electric shock treatment, does anyone have any great advice about teaching things and making them stick??
Feeling your pain, OP

notheroldie Tue 12-Feb-13 21:57:05

I say stick to your morals and your manners, you will be teaching him good things , respect for one.
There are fewer and fewer children being taught these these days and I say stick to what you want him to be like, with manners etc and nip any bad behaviour iin the bud. Tho I understand it is soo very tough as I have a 5yr old who is just the same.
Me and DH sound so old saying 'in my day we would never have got away saying that.. etc' but modern times don't mean no manners!

NTitled Tue 12-Feb-13 21:51:14

I could have written every one of your posts for you, Sparkle. Not helpful, I know, but do rest assured that you are not the only one who is going through this. When my DS was 8, I introduced computer time just so I could remove it as a sanction. He's 11 now, and we are not much further on. Funnily enough, I'm regarded as pretty strict by all my friends. confused

sparkle12mar08 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:47:21

You know, I've often wondered whether the problem is actually me, or rather, my reactions to his behaviour. I feel as if we should be punishing him, as if we're failing by not doing so, as if we need to be seen to be disciplining etc. Other friends seem to tolerate much, much more than we do. I just can't abide the stuff that is, in my opinion anyway, rude. And it makes me rage inside. I'd have been knocked from here to next week as a child if I'd said and done the things he does. I don't want him to think it's okay and that he can get away with it. But am I completely skewed in what I think is not okay?

housesalehelp Tue 12-Feb-13 21:25:03

he does sound like a normal 7 yo - at least very very like mine -and I do appriciate how annoying it is -Would it not be worth - and I am in way anti punishment - but at least trying for a while - ignorning bad and praising good behaviour - sounds like he gets ALOT of attention for this kind of thing - and really in my view you do have to pick your battles -

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