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Really struggling with my nine year old son. Seem to constantly be arguing and feel like the world's worst mom.

(38 Posts)
Splandy Mon 30-Jan-17 14:57:29

I may have to drip feed this a bit, sorry. Have to do school run in a bit, but I need to get this off my chest now because it's on my mind all the time, but will probably have more to add later.

I have always found my eldest to be hard work. Not particularly naughty, but always needing attention. I didn't realise that other children weren't like this until he got a bit older. I tried many different strategies while he was younger, things involving timers, rewards, sometimes shouting out of frustration, refusing to do anything in an attempt to bore him into doing things by himself. None of it worked. He is now nine and doesn't ever go into his bedroom or play. Doesn't read or do anything without prompting. Everything is a battle. Added to this is the fact that he is terrified of the dark/being alone, so even getting him to get ready for bed is a hassle. Nothing I say or do makes a difference, lights are always on in the house, he sleeps with a lamp on at night, i weaned him off me going upstairs with him when he brushed his teeth by moving down a step every night and within a few nights he was back to having screaming tantrums because he didn't even want to be in the bathroom without me.

I have a horrible feeling that the issues I have with him are actually just a part of his personality, so I'm basically telling him that his personality is wrong sad I get so fed up with the constant battles that I am very quick to snap and he shouts right back at me. I think it is really quite minor stuff, but the same stuff over and over again, iyswim. The attitude with which he speaks to me makes me feel very angry. I feel that he is sometimes asking questions just so that he can have a tantrum because he will do it no matter the answer. An example of this is asking what he is having for tea. I hate answering this and try to put it off for as long as possible. Unless it is junk such as a takeaway or pizza, he will have a tantrum. His useless dad (who I feel is a cause of some issues) only ever feeds him junk, so I end up having to give him all of the 'healthy' stuff he complains about. Nothing fancy, just anything which isn't McDonald's or chips or pizza.

I have tried many different strategies over the years with many issues, but feel I just don't have the energy to put into every aspect of our lives anymore. I now also have a fifteen month old and I get so tired and fed up of having to have ways of dealing with such normal, every day things because they are a problem. Will post some more once back from the school run.

Splandy Mon 30-Jan-17 16:13:07

Back now. It feels as though I am stuck in a rut of feeling irritated with him and shouting at each other, but I'm not sure what to do. I've just had the usual saga of getting him to take off his school things and put them where they belong. It's a routine he's had since starting school, has his own hooks, places to put everything and it should only take a few minutes. It is always me telling him over and over and over. He'll walk to the other side of the house, then manage to chuck things around on the way, then often throw himself over he arm of a chair and claim to be stuck so he can't go and do it. It's so tiring and tedious to have to tell him to do every single little thing every day, especially when he's been managing just fine for years and it's only the last year or two that he 'forgets'. This extends to forgetting to bring things home from school. He will come up with all sorts of excuses. He frequently tells me how much he hates school, and will intensely tell me about every single bit of unfair treatment he has received at school that day. I think intense is the best word the describe him, he's very intense in the way he deals with things. I worry about him, to be honest. I worry that he'll turn into an unhappy adult if this is how he is when he should be happy and carefree. I had to mention the homework and forgetting to his teacher, and his general attitude, and she was amazed. All of his teachers have been amazed when I describe the strength of his feelings towards school because he's apparently so happy and involved when he's there. I felt so disloyal to be talking about my son like that and almost grassing on him.

If he falls over, he reacts with anger. If he is ill, he's angry. If somebody falls out with him, he's angry. If he's caught doing something he shouldn't be, he's angry. He seems to feel angry about everything and I find it worrying. This is the point where I start to wonder how much is his personality and whether im giving him the message that his personality is wrong. His dad is an exceptionally angry person. You can hear the anger bubbling underneath even the most benign of exchanges. He sounds as though he is constantly on the verge of exploding. His dad will also rant and talk and talk and talk non-stop. Has a need to be entertained all the time, usually by spending money and going for meals, which has caused him to be in debt. His dad has lies rolling off his tongue like it's nothing - most of what he says is a lie. If you confront him with evidence of a lie, he will go as far as to claim that he doesn't understand the meaning of the words you are using rather than back down or admit that he is wrong.

This is where I don't know whether my son is just like his dad, and whether I should accept some things as his personality or change it. Or, as I suspect, whether I am being influenced by the fact that my son really reminds me of his dad and I struggle with that because his dad has so many terrible qualities. My son refuses to take responsibility for anything and will always look for somebody else to blame. He has recently started to lie about things, mainly to get out of doing things. I have to be quite matter of fact with him when he tells me he is feeling ill, because at the slightest hint that I believe him, he really ramps it up and I struggle to tell whether he is lying or not. I don't want to tar him with the same brush as his dad, but they have very similar personalities and I'm not sure what to do for the best.

He frequently tells me that I'm a horrible person, that all of his friends moms are better, that he can't wait until he doesn't have to live with me anymore,he'd rather live on the street than with me... often over things such as me making him put his clothes away after two days of asking and two days of excuses.

I feel that our relationship is so rubbish now, and we have no bond sad I don't understand how it got to this. I was a single parent to him for years and we were so close because it was just us. I look at him and don't understand how my relationship with my beautiful little boy has come to this. I know that he feels constantly hRrassed and nagged and I suspect all children need reminding of some things and I should pick my battles. I think that really he feels like I don't have his back. I desperately want to have his back and for him to know that I am on his side, but i can't agree with him when he tells me that he was unfairly told by his teacher to stop talking and then goes on a big rant about it when I know full well that he constantly talks. All he hears is me siding with other people all the time.

Splandy Mon 30-Jan-17 16:23:05

In terms of attention, I feel that he gets quite a good amount of attention. His dad is a waste of space, which does upset him. We eat meals as a family every night (although my husband is often at work on evenings or weekends, so family can mean just me and the kids). Once the baby is in bed, we usually play a board game or a card game before bed. That's our bit of time together. I have found that I'm not even enjoying this lately though, he has become a very sore loser or will find some other way to spoil things. I often feel quite harassed at home. I haven't felt relaxed in the house with him around since he was a toddler. He won't do anything by himself, sometimes just follows me around to moan at me. I don't give in to it and it has never resulted in us doing things together, but he'd rather do that than do something by himself. If we talk about how important it is to have hobbies and activities you do by yourself, which we do frequently, he doesn't really get it. He'll stand in the middle of the living room floor, bend over and swish his hair across the floor repeatedly, for a few minutes. He considers this a hobby. Once that has been done for a few minutes, he's back to pestering me. If he ever does do something alone, he is never fully engrossed in it because he is watching us out of the corner of his eye or pestering me for food. As soon as I look like I might be free he's straight back to me. It does make me feel like I want to scream at times.

Does anybody else have a child like this?? He's not really naughty and does well at school, but is so full on all of the time. Any advice on how to deal with things?

ZuluWarrior Mon 30-Jan-17 18:03:52

Splandy, I am usually a lurker not a poster on mumsnet but I was so struck by your description of your DS that I have to reply. My ds1 is almost identical. He is nearly 8.

I don't have time to post properly just now but will be back later. I completely understand how you are feeling - we have been at our wits' end more times than I can count.

Back later x

Greenfingeredfun Mon 30-Jan-17 18:07:25

Yep! My and my ds10!

corythatwas Mon 30-Jan-17 18:11:29

The first thing that springs to mind is that he sounds an anxious child. I had one like that; it can be very draining.

One thing that helped for us was when I started being able to talk to dd about it as a problem which we could work on together, rather than something I just demanded that she should be able to stop (she wasn't). I think you are on the right track with it being personality, but it might help if you could think of it as helping him to deal with his personality he has. Talk to him about how he feels when he is frightened or angry, explore techniques he might use to control his anxiety.

The second thought was to wonder whether you are not perhaps also the anxious type. You mention his not hanging his school things up immediately as being something of a major problem rather than the normal sloppiness of 9yos. Would it be possible to pick your battles here? Yes, it would be nice if they weren't such walking disaster zones, but could you manage to view this as a minor irritant rather than lump it all together in the same big-problem pile?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 30-Jan-17 18:20:08

OP, I really feel for you.thanks

My DS was like this, intense, angry and very emotional. I arranged for him to see a counsellor in school, which did help. Following this, the school called me in and suggested they refer him to the ed psych. He was assessed and diagnosed with ASD. Since then he has improved immensely wrt his emotional regulation and self management. And I have become much better at dealing with him.

Can you get him some counselling?

scurryfunge Mon 30-Jan-17 18:23:04

I think that the poor example his father is setting is his driving factor. Get shot of that negative influence and concentrate on building a more positive and less destructive relationship with him. Don't give the child the feeling of having all the power....it's too overwhelming for him. Simple, clear boundaries with no deviation will help. It may be an effing nightmare to enforce to begin with but in the long run, you will reduce the stress this child seems to be experiencing...too many mixed messages.

Splandy Mon 30-Jan-17 20:12:53

Thanks so much for all of your replies, it's a relief to hear that other children are similar and that nobody has decided that I am in fact the world's worst mom.

greenfingeredfun how do you cope with this?
corythatwas, I think he is quite intense but I'm not sure about anxious. It's difficult to tell. I have suffered badly with anxiety in the past and he is actually very confident in most ways. He's extremely sociable and has no fears whatsoever about approaching children, introducing himself and making friends with them. I think he is very frightened and anxious with being scared to be alone, yes. I just don't know what to do to make that better. He's always been a bit funny about it but would cope. A lot of kids at school were telling scary stories over Halloween and then there was that whole thing with the clowns, which I tried to keep from him, but he heard about it at school, and he's been very scared ever since. He also read a book at school which scared him just before Christmas and made things much worse. You're right in that not hanging things up is only a small problem and I should pick my battles. It's more that I want to encourage him to be a bit more independent but he actually seems to be getting worse and I have to hold his hand through absolutely everything at home, and it is just laziness. He doesn't bring home his reading diary so I can't sign it, then admitted to me that he thought it was less hassle to have to stay in on Friday break than have to get his diary signed three times. He chose what he thought was the easiest option. He sees his literacy homework as an exercise in how little he can get away with. The coat and shoes is just an example but our whole day is filled with stuff like that. I wake him up in the morning, he strops about having to go to school, tells me how much he hates his life. Finally gets in the shower. I have to remind him quite a few times to get himself a towel. He often still doesn't do it and shouts out of the bathroom doorway that he doesn't have a towel, despite the towels being kept in the bathroom. He doesn't wash himself in the shower, he lies on the floor of the bath until we go in there and make him get out. Then he will complain about getting dressed. Was told this morning that he had no socks. I had to find out where he'd shoved them. Then there was our breakfast battle. He's decided that he no longer likes any of the cereal he's liked for the past 9 years. I accepted that tastes change, so we went to the shop and he chose another healthyish one which he would like. Decided he didn't like that one either. Wants toast for breakfast, but will only have a sandwich in his lunch box and then wants toast when he's back from school, so I explain to him that he can't have bread for every meal. Another tantrum, more speaking to me like shit. Finally eats breakfast. Then told over and over to get shoes on, get coat on etc. Stands in the hallway rubbing himself on the radiator. I go upstairs to find that, yet again, he hasn't lifted the toilet seat and has weed all over it and left it. He's fully aware that he's done this but can't be bothered to do anything about it. He's known how to use a toilet for years.

As I'm typing this he is next to me. Hasn't left my side all evening. I snuck downstairs after I'd fed the baby and he came down a few minutes later demanding to know why I hadn't told him I was coming downstairs. He's not doing anything other than writhing around, asking whether I'm done over and over and over, messing with the cushions etc. Occasionally rolling over the arms of the chair a bit. Generally filling time until I'm available again, which is all he does. I can remember locking myself in the bathroom and crying when he was younger because he was so relentless and he sat outside the door tantrumming that I'd gone into a room and shut him out. He kicked the door so hard he actually kicked a hole through one side of it.

I just feel annoyed all the time! I know for definite that other children aren't like this.

dionethediablist, thanks for sharing. I don't think he has asd though. Socially, he's very mature. He's far more adult in that way than his friends are, his understanding of social interactions and the way he talks to people. He loves being around people. He expects adults to just love him and want to talk to him. He's not this angry with everybody else, I'm the only person that sees it. Other people do see how talkative and 'full on' he is. He never stops moving. I can be talking to him and he's running forwards and backwards bouncing off the settees and he doesn't even realise he's doing it. His dad is just the same, always tapping, always on the move, always talking.

scurryfunge, I'm sorry, I didn't really understand what you were getting at. I'm not in a relationship with his dad and can't control what he does. I have tried my best over the years to protect him from the majority of the crap, but I can't do any more than that. What he eats at his dads house is up to him, we have lots of discussions about healthy eating but his dad is better, cooler and idolised so it goes in one ear and out the other. His dads family are very dysfunctional and he lives with them all. I just try to model healthy relationships and healthy ways of dealing with things and hope that it can counteract it.

Believeitornot Mon 30-Jan-17 20:19:34

I'm guessing you've split from his father? So that's unsettling massively as a result.

Also he's scared of the dark....

And you're quite angry about him and he will definitely be internalising that and it comes out in his anger.

He may be confident in some situations but hide his anxiety well. I certainly developed a habit of smiling widely and acting carefree as a child yet inside I was very wound up.

Stuff like his dinner, you can teach him how to respond. Just answer his question straight away and, importantly, let him express his emotion. You can remain calm and tell him that it's okay to be annoyed about it but that's his dinner. Ignore the tantrum (dont send him out of the room) until he calms down. He will get used to it and actually it will give him stability and certainty.

Basically you need some rules which he knows will be stuck to.

He sounds like he's attention seeking. If he weed everywhere, he clears it up. Stay calm. He's pushing your boundaries.

If he doesn't get ready for school or going out then announce you're going anyway.

Basically don't be scared of him or his emotions. He will be all over the place. And do not get angry with him. Be positive. Tell him what he can do and how he can ask for things etc.

Splandy Mon 30-Jan-17 20:38:15

I can remember going into a meeting with his reception teacher and telling her that I was very concerned he didn't have an imagination since he is incapable of playing alone. She was amazed and told me that he was very imaginative, in fact regularly came up with ideas for games to play with other children and invited me to go and observe him. I could see that he was fully engrossed. He just won't do it by himself. He's just been to brush his teeth as quickly as possible and has now come down and is literally on me, argh! I think typing all if this out is making me feel annoyed because it's making me think about it all.

I feel utterly drained by having raised him for 9 years though, and the fact that I even think that makes me feel guilty. I know other parents have it much tougher. Being a single parent to him was the hardest thing I've ever done. I had depression and anxiety at the time and we rarely left the house. It was a tiny house. I sometimes felt like I couldn't breathe and was trapped in a box with a child attached to me at all times. I sometimes wonder whether I subconsciously blame him for me feeling like that? I know it's not his fault. I've just never known anybody be so suffocating. I'd love to be able to freely walk around the house or read a book when he was awake or something. Other people talk about pottering around and joining in with things and naturally having fun. That would never happen in my house. Ever. I feel so suffocated and stifled all the time sad Saturdays are absolutely terrible because my husband usually works and 13 hours of it pushes me to my absolute limit. The only thing he does alone is sit in front of a screen and I have to put time limits on that because he'd do nothing else if he had the choice. I feel so crap and guilty saying this kind of stuff. But I also feel drained at the thought of continuing to find ways to deal with him. I've done so much reading and research and tried loads of different things over the years to try to help him be alone but nothing has worked. I feel so drained and like I don't have the energy to devote to just that and to dealing with him without getting annoyed. But that's my job, as his mom. Just feel useless.

Splandy Mon 30-Jan-17 20:46:34

I split from his dad when he was a baby, he has no memory of us ever being together. Actually finds it amusing that he was ever my boyfriend!

I am angry though, you are right. I try very hard to hide that but I don't think I'm doing a very good job of it at all lately. I used to be much better at it and much more able to put on a smile and calmly deal with everything. I never acknowledge tantrums but he still continues with them. The dinner tantrum is something that has been going on for years now and shows no signs of going anywhere. I only send him out of the room when I'm absolutely at the end of my tether. He is scared to be alone and I don't want him to be scared, so I don't send him to his room as a punishment. It would be very cruel. We've had the talk loads of times about how it's ok to feel angry but not ok to chuck stuff around the room or known furniture over. That level of anger is usually only to do with his dad letting him down though, but is usually directed at me in some way. I don't think weeing on the seat is attention seeking. He just doesn't want to take those extra few seconds to sort it out, possibly because he's not in a room with other people. He does the same with getting changed. He comes down in pants most days claiming he's hot, but then wraps himself up in a throw or blanket. I think it's really because it means he's out of the room for as little time as possible.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 30-Jan-17 21:19:58

I didn't think DS had ASD and was a bit hmm when the school initially discussed a referral. But I'm not saying that your DS has it too OP. Have you ever thought about getting him some counselling?

ZuluWarrior Mon 30-Jan-17 21:22:58

I'll try to summarise what DS1 is like but I'll forget lots of stuff.

He's always been high maintenance (became much more obvious once we'd had much more easy going DD and DS2). Wouldn't be left alone as a baby and toddler. Lots of sleep battles. Used to wake up as a toddler in the morning and run through to our room screaming.

He too is scared of his room (we have moved house recently and he's scared of his new room too). Won't go upstairs to brush teeth by himself. Happy in his bed with his cover over his head but that's it.

Can't/won't play on his own. Flops about saying there's nothing to do or he's too tired. Needs constant 1:1 unless he is in front of a screen which like yours he would happily do all day, zombie-like. Plays happily with a couple of friends now but this is relatively new.

Transitions are a nightmare; countdowns don't work. Wailing, screaming, avoidance tactics.

Never seems happy - days out often a nightmare of expectation versus reality and he can and does often ruin it for everyone.

Recently has started being verbally aggressive especially towards me; I hate you when things aren't going his way. No I won't do that - really pushing boundaries.

Tons more which I will remember in bits and pieces.

We've never gone down the diagnosis route but suspect anxiety and demand avoidance. Like yours he does OK with social and empathy etc so not classical ASD.

How do we cope? Badly I think. We've tried all the tactics, try our hardest to be calm and consistent but oh my fuck it's hard. There have been tears, ends of tethers and despair. I've stopped looking at facebook now because all the pictures of people having lovely days out with their kids just makes me sad.

Feels good to get it off my chest tbh smile gin

TanaLawn Mon 30-Jan-17 21:46:58

I am actually really struck with the similarities with my DS (9). He is the eldest and has always been really hard work.

If he hurts himself his reaction is anger, if he gets something wrong he gets enraged.

Key words are intense, quick to anger, unhappy with everything, complains about everything, hard to motivate, kicks off when things don't go his way.

We have shouting and drama and tantrums every day when we get him to do his chores (help tidy away toys and take out the recycling)or piano practice.

He often swears at me, kicks or punches when angry, goads his little brother.

Whenever you try to talk to him about all this he immediately goes into this self pitying complaining about how I am a shit mother and he never gets to have any fun or do anything he likes.

Unless he is glued to a screen (which I limit very severely because it makes his behaviour worse) he says he is bored, there is nothing to do and he can't ever think of anything to do.

School wise he is top sets but lazy. Often gets A for achievement B for effort. This is a bad combo for him.

We try to encourage sport - he is a talented swimmer but again, he will often rant that we forced him to do it.

Rant - yes, that's the word, he rants a lot.

He is also scared of the dark and has trouble sleeping.

Has friends and is considered 'funny' at school.

God, it is so depressing I really feel so sad about the whole thing, it is so draining trying to cajole, convince, encourage and yes sometimes I get bloody frustrated and angry about it. It's exhausting.

The whole thing is so intense that I have wondered if there is a real psychological issue. I don't know what it would be exactly though, I've got a feeling it is something that may become more obvious as he gets older. Plus it tends to manifest itself only at home, he isn't like this with other people.

Tonight I have had the rant and the tantrum from him because I cooked fish, stir fry veg and rice for dinner, which is apparently a disgusting concoction that no one can be expected to eat that I have deliberately made in order to make him angry.

We have also tried to be consistent. It's like we go through the same thing all the time though.

I do suspect anxiety and notice that he is not good with change.

Feel like I just need to keep plugging on. We do get some good days.

TanaLawn Mon 30-Jan-17 21:53:53

OP, I forgot to say that I think some of the stuff you mention is maybe just preteen boy laziness - the weeing on the seat and not bothering to get dressed/brush teeth and the food thing.

Sounds as if it is combining with other issues in your case. I too had depression so I know how hard it can be to feel like you are parenting effectively, and then on top of that you feel the guilt which compounds it and makes it worse.

Sorry you are going through this.

One book I found helpful was The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It didn't fit our circumstances exactly but definitely gave me some new insights into how to deal with the anger and what the anger might mean. I definitely had a few light bulb moments reading it.

corythatwas Tue 31-Jan-17 11:02:22

Just come back to this thread and was interested in a couple of your points, OP.

"I think he is quite intense but I'm not sure about anxious. It's difficult to tell. I have suffered badly with anxiety in the past and he is actually very confident in most ways. He's extremely sociable and has no fears whatsoever about approaching children, introducing himself and making friends with them."

That is exactly like dd!! She is extremely sociable, works in a customer facing job and regularly performs in front of hundreds of people on stage. And yet she has been on medication for anxiety since she was 15 (now early 20s) and I recognise every word you say about the clinginess. It was like having a large hysterical leech permanently attached to your leg.

Basically, I think generalised anxiety is about *feeling anxious*: it's not about whether you are anxious in this or that situation. You have a general painful feeling of anxiety and then your brain goes around looking for something to hang it on. For some, that will be social situations (I was also very shy), for others it will be health anxiety, for others it will be fear of going to work or school.

I have found it absolutely exhausting living with somebody with high anxiety levels; it sometimes felt like I was physically carrying dd for the first 18 years; there was no let-up. If I tried to go out when she was around 7 or 8 she would cling to my leg screaming and have to be prised off; she would come into my bed and physically cling to me for hour after hour. She had violent meltdowns up until the age of 10, where I had to restrain her (dh is not much bigger than me, and is more physically timid). During these meltdowns she would get into a state where she could no longer recognise people around her or know what she was doing.

What helped us was:

my staying very calm and accepting that this was simply a problem that our family had- perhaps easier in our case as dd was also physically disabled, so I had already had to accept that we were not going to have a normal life

CBT- working on it together, and thinking about it as a type of physio: there are some good techniques out there and it helped her to take charge of her situation

recognising her safe places/triggers and trying not to push those- for instance, I accepted that her room is her safe space and any attempt to get her to tidy that to somebody else's standards would only exacerbate matters

trying to keep some fun in our lives that was about what she found fun, not what I felt she ought to find fun- yes, it may be a disappointment that she absolutely hates outdoor things, but what we needed was common ground

medication- though obviously, you are going to want to avoid that as long as you can, and it may never come to that

not giving into anything I felt I ought not to give into, but at the same time trying not to think of her as manipulative or pushing boundaries- because I don't think she was. She was pushing boundaries in the same way that a drowning person might clutch your neck: you have to stop them to keep you both safe, but it's a bit pointless to think of it as a deliberate attempt to get one over on you.

time

LoneCat Tue 31-Jan-17 11:12:09

Agree with cory some of it sounds like typical kid stuff, but a lot of it is screaming anxiety to me.

Anxiety is a funny one, it can come across differently in different people. Some people are very passive and quiet when anxious (that's me). Other people appear controlling and angry and oppositional (DD).

Also anxiety is not necessarily to do with circumstances, some people are just prone to it, possibly due to their underlying neurology. So it doesn't mean it's anyone fault if he is anxious.

LoneCat Tue 31-Jan-17 11:14:12

Also people who are anxious can be very good at putting on a front to the outside world (ie. School, work) and letting it all out at home where they feel safe.

ChipInTheSugar Tue 31-Jan-17 11:42:46

I second reading The Explosive Child book. My ds(8) is like this but has just been diagnosed with a type of attachment disorder. Previously I was looking at Pathological Demand Avoidance.

Write out all of the things in your OP and take it to your GP and ask for a referral - something needs to be done for him and for you as a family.

ZuluWarrior Tue 31-Jan-17 11:45:33

Very helpful Cory - thank you

Splandy Thu 02-Feb-17 10:03:45

Thanks everybody, I've only just come back to the thread and seen these respondes. I shall have a look at that book. I'm just not sure that it's serious enough to warrant a trip to the gp. I don't think there would be anything they could do because I don't think there is anything 'wrong' as such. Some of what other posters are describing sounds much worse than the behaviour my son exhibits.

I don't actually think he's attached to me in particular, he just can't be alone or do anything alone. If we go out somewhere he is fine because we are out doing things with him. If we go to a group or see other people he's off without a backwards glance. If I attempt to do an activity with him while my husband is around, baking etc, he's constantly going back into the living room to just see what he's doing because he'd rather be doing it with him as he's more fun in his mind.

He definitely can control his reactions, but it seems to take a lot of conscious effort for him to do it and lots of talking beforehand about how he is going to react. I had a throwing himself around tantrum the other night because he had to turn off his computer game. I started doing a countdown fifteen minutes before and reminded him every few minutes, after agreeing on a time a bit earlier. He ended up being able to stay on slightly longer because I had to change the baby. He still refused to do it, threw himself around and shouted that he hates his life, but it was over quite quickly. Do you think other nine year olds are able to deal with things like that now? He will do it in front of friends at times, even crying, about things like being told to keep his coat on. I would've thought he'd feel a little embarrassed to cry about things like that now. Actually, I can tell that he does feel embarrassed because he tries to hide it a bit. He's definitely embarrassed if he falls over or something and tries his best not to acknowledge it.

Would you really take him to the gp for this? He is capable of not doing it around other people. His teachers have never seen it. His dad had some sort of anger counselling as a child. I've never fully understood what it was, because his mom isn't quite 'right' herself. She's often hysterical and neurotic but doesn't deal with things in an adult way. She wasn't allowed to have my son alone as a younger child because she couldn't be trusted. Their whole family are quite unusual in many ways. I think they're emotionally immature and selfish, but there's possibly more to it than that. My ex's childhood wasn't the greatest. She mentioned in passing that his friend died as a child because his dad pushed him down the stairs, and my son's dad had to see somebody but the therapist told him it was his fault so she never took him back. It wasn't mentioned as a serious incident but as a funny bit of gossip. I knew his dad as a child and he was very angry and naughty, though not horrible. This is why I wonder whether it is just his personality. I am desperate for him not to turn out like his dad. They are very similar which surprises me because he hasn't spent much time with him throughout his life when you add it up.

He's cried about going to school again this morning and I can't even work out why. There is nothing going on at school to put him off. He's said it since nursery, though goes through periods of it being much worse with crying and begging or having tantrums instead of it just being a little comment.

I look forward to seeing him every day in the playground but he often seems to find some way to spoil things. He went to a school disco last year and my sister picked him up. I opened the door, excited to hear what he'd been up to and he stormed in saying 'well THAT was a waste of my time angry'. Turns out that at the very end of the night a girl had drunk some of his drink and thought it was hers. He didn't get the drink back, though I think he'd had most if it and was about to leave. He went on a rant about it for quite a while, asking what the point of even going was. He didn't mention anything else about the disco, the entire thing was shadowed by that event. When I was a child, I would have been annoyed about the drink but not to that extent. It wouldn't have been the only thing I mentioned about the whole evening and I wouldn't have been storming around and shouting about it.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 02-Feb-17 10:05:44

Does anybody else have a child like this??

yes, I am going mad with worry about my 8 year old DS, and I am marking place to read this properly later

I have only sped read but feel quiet teary as I am clearly not alone

I''l be back sad

Splandy Thu 02-Feb-17 10:14:26

I hope I'm nut being offensive by saying that his mom isn't 'right' but I'm unsure how to describe her behaviour. I think she may be on medication for anxiety? She used to refer to medication for her nerves. She phones her children multiple times a day and goes on and on and on about things such as not understanding why the tv hasn't come on. She isn't able to deal with it herself and goes into a panic and calls them in hysterics. She walks around the house chewing tea towels and was for a time convinced that she had a beard so should be signed off as disabled and never have to leave the house again. She was always very needy with her kids - would tell them they didn't have to go to school and could just go shopping with her instead. She hasn't had a single healthy relationship or ever been single and my ex was around abusive boyfriends at times. I think he mainly tried to stay out of the house as much as possible sad but my son hasn't had any of that and I hate to think that some problem could have been passed onto him.

corythatwas Thu 02-Feb-17 18:14:13

"Would you really take him to the gp for this?"

That would depend entirely on whether you think you can help him to learn to handle it himself or not.

It sounds to me as if he may well have inherited a genetic tendency to high anxiety levels. That may not necessarily be a bad thing, but it is a thing he will have to live with and learn to make the best of. Can you help him without constantly judging him or thinking this shows that he will be "like his dad"? Can you manage it and still manage a reasonable quality of life for yourself? If you can, then fine.

If you feel you need help, there is no shame in asking.

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