8 year old behaviour(7 Posts)
Wondering how other mums/parents would handle this situation. Sorry a long one.
My DS is generally exceptionally well behaved and mature. He is responsible and understands situations so I have not really had any rules, even as a toddler. When he was a toddler, he had no tantrums and was also very amenable to requests/directions etc.
However, since about 5, he has one I guess I could say behavioural trait, which I struggle with and is similar to his dad's, whom I'm no longer with.
He is stubborn. If he doesn't want to do something he will downright refuse to do it. We have in the past been through this with showers (went 2 weeks without one, but then just one day did it and no problem since), homework - but now will self regulate and gets on with it as soon as he gets home from school (he has a fair bit) so I'm grateful that this is no longer a battle (this used to go on for hours. Sometimes him hiding under the bed -- when I for instance hadn't washed a particular top he had wanted to wear.
At the weekend we were getting ready to go to a friend's birthday. He decided he didn't want to go and threw a massive tantrum. Not a stomping foot type, but stood at the front door and refused to leave. On another occasion, I would have just cancelled but I had promised that I would also pick up a friend of his to take to this party. There wasn't any screaming or yelling . Just a silence and glazed over look to say "I don't have to listen to you". As he is still small, I picked him up and put him in the car without his shoes on and left.
Today after school he had swimming. He had packed his bag but on arrival realised that he hadn't packed a hat, and his teacher had said that he needed to wear one from the last lesson, which I was unaware of. But he could have borrowed one from his friends once he got in. Refused to get out of the car. Coaxed him out of the car and then silence. Refused to move. After about 10 minutes said that the teacher would tell him off if he didn't have a hat, but I said that we could borrow one.
So he refused to go home and refused to go in. What would everyone else do?
I carried him again, with some squirming, and I understand that I won't be able to do this in a few weeks time when he is too big. My point was to show him that there wasn't anything to be worried about in this instance and he could deal with the situation.
Eventually got into the pool. Got changed and then started crying saying that he didn't want to wear someone else's cap. Got changed back into his clothes and refused to leave.
So this went on for the hour until the rest of his class were done and eventually coaxed him back into the car.
Similarly in school. He is top set in all classes. When he started the year, his handwriting was illegible. The teacher made him re-write work if it was not neat. It did not deter him and it continued for six weeks, with me pulling out my hair and the teacher thinking he wasn't capable of any work and previous reports from year 2 teacher were lies. Suddenly one day, he decided that he wanted to do work, and end of term exams he scored one of the highest marks for English and Maths.
No amount of bribes, compromises, threats, reward charts, help. His reception teacher commented in his report that he didn't respond to rewards, even at the age of 4. I am not soft and have not given into these demands and yet they go on and on.
I always smugly thought I was lucky as he is generally very capable and amenable and has great behaviour. But when he gets into one of these moods there is nothing I feel I can do. And at times I have lost my temper and end of screaming and losing any sense of control.
After each episode, when we are both calm, we have a chat about why he behaves that why, and why it's not appropriate to do so, and yes it may not happen again at swimming, but it will be another stand-off in another situation.
He is great 90% of the time, but these 10% are so extreme I just don't understand. How can he go from complete competence and maturity to utter nightmare and irrational behaviour?
Watching with interest as my 8 year old does similar things
The behaviour is not irrational to DC.
Acknowldedge his feelings rather than dismissing them when this happens / getting cross, and listen to him without asking questions. You are still the adult and have the final say but you'll be in a better position to get complaint behaviour if you empathise at the time. Afterwards is just too abstract, and too late.
My 7 year old similar. I wondered for a while if it was linked to anxiety and did some workbooks with him which he seemed to like and I noticed some improvement but he does very occasionally still do this and it can seem utterly irrational. I tend to frogmarch him/carry him for the rare times he does this sort of thing now but I agree it's really hard to deal with.
I actually thought it was anxiety too "Leghoul", but sometimes it'll be over something so minor!
I'm thinking of maybe getting him assessed. Some of the behaviour I sometimes think is ADHD or somewhere on the spectrum. I used to joke to his dad that he should get tested for autism.
I've wondered aspergers with mine or for a while thought oppositional defiant disorder but it's quite unpredictable now rather than frequent. I think I tried a book called the anxiety gremlin which was really good and there was another one about rules/sometimes having to do things, but I can't quite remember the title, will post if I find/recall which one it was
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