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10yo ds is argumentative, grumpy, rude and lazy....and I need tips on how to deal with it.

(10 Posts)
TheKitchenWitch Mon 20-Mar-17 08:18:05

I realise it's a phase (god, I fucking hope it's a phase) but it is getting me down as we argue all the time about everything!
He doesn't want to do anything, ever. So any suggestion or comment is met with sulking, backchat, grumps.
Then, he will ask a question about something I've mentioned, and when I explain, he will say he hasn't understood (in a "that sounds totally stupid and implausible" way), so I explain again, and he'll again say he hasn't understood and it makes no sense...etc. He is a bright child and often asks about quite complex matters which he has no problem understanding, yet simple things like "why are we getting a freezer for downstairs" - "so I can bulk buy meat and fruit etc directly from the farm and freeze it" (this morning's example, as I'm staying in waiting for delivery of said freezer) are met with utter incredulity and requests for more explaination. I can SEE he's doing it deliberately, and I shouldn't let it wind me up, but it does.
He is also very hostile and rude when it comes to homework (an ongoing battle tbh but it's reached fever pitch) - anything I say will be met with arguments, discussions, downright refusal. So it could be something simple like me pointing out he needs to use the ruler to underline stuff, or him not understanding long division and me trying to explain it to him - and off he goes, half an hour of arguing, rude comments, snorting derisively etc etc.
Due to his school being totally useless and homework actually being very important (we are in Germany), he needs to get it right and understand what he's doing - it's his last year before high school in september. So just backing off isn't an option.

But it's not just homework, it really is everything. I'm so sick and tired of it, it's utterly draining. Any advice would be gratefully received before I implode with frustration.

arbrighton Mon 20-Mar-17 08:58:57

Pick your battles.

Don't enter into the explaining.,

Say when he's being rude but do so calmly then ignore him. Don't give attention to the unwanted behaviour.

Re homework: Partly pick battles, e.g. the underlining, not worth it. Have you had a discussion with teacher to inform them he is being difficult and while you are trying to support, he's not engaging. If not, do so, tell him you have done so and as such he will have to accept consequences from school.

arbrighton Mon 20-Mar-17 09:00:34

Sorry i see you say school are useless. However, you're not being productive for you or son with all this conflict so leave him to it for a bit

traviata Mon 20-Mar-17 09:06:02

here comes puberty!

Do you think he might be a bit worried about high school and all the changes and expectations that will come with it?

You sound like a lovely patient parent.

I agree with pp - pick your battles; don't let him draw you into long pointless explanations (when he probably does understand perfectly well); mention his rudeness once then let it wash over you and don't respond to it further on that occasion.

Important to make sure that he and you get enough sleep & exercise.

TheKitchenWitch Mon 20-Mar-17 09:08:53

Any techniques on how to let it wash over me? I think you're both right, I shouldn't get drawn in but somehow I always do sad

ferriswheel Mon 20-Mar-17 09:09:52

I am a teacher with much younger children than yours. So, I'm speaking as a teacher, not as a Mum. I think I would start having a stock phrase to repeat when addressing all of his rude behaviour. When my oldest was a toddler someone said to me to say, 'that's not fun'. It really helped, stopped me making the problem bigger and it made it obvious what I was not approving of. A kind of short hand if you like.

Actually, you could have the same stock phrase. Introduce it over a week. Then, I'd give him an added incentive. What about a pocket money jar. I have no idea what amount would be appropriate but say it was £5. Put £5 in 50p pieces in a jar. Then, if he needs more than one 'that's not fun' warning, you take a 50p out.

That might help?

Reckon you'd be better listening to the advice of someone whose already been through it though.

Good luck.

troodiedoo Mon 20-Mar-17 09:15:07

Pick your battles is the only thing you can do. The pre teen years are a nightmare, even more so because they take you by surprise.

Deep breaths and try and be as consistent as you can. He's testing your limits. Don't get drawn into the explanations. You don't have to justify why you are getting a freezer to him.

TheWoollybacksWife Mon 20-Mar-17 09:23:28

Kitchen I could have started this thread. My DS is also 10 and is a grumpy little beast. He is expected to help out with a few chores (setting the table, putting dirty laundry in the basket, putting clean laundry away etc) but lately request to help have been met with a massive strop and the chorus of "I have to do everything round here and it's not faaaaiirr"

He does a sport for a couple of hours at the weekend and is much better natured afterwards. I'm hoping that the lighter nights may encourage him to get out and ride his bike or kick around his football - just to see if exercise improves his mood.

I really like the pocket money idea from ferris. We deal with strops by removing gadget time which helps. iPad time is earned by doing homework and guitar practice first.

TheKitchenWitch Mon 20-Mar-17 10:20:45

I suspect more exercise would indeed help him, but OH MY GOD trying to get his arse out the house is impossible! He hates any form of sport or exercise, although once out he does enjoy being on his bike for a bit, or occasionally I make him walk the dogs with me and he comes back all psyched up and happy. But actually getting him to go? It takes forever. And the disadvantage over toddler ds2 is that I can pick up my 2yo and basically get him ready to go out, whereas I do need a certain level of co-operation from 10yo ds1.

I mainly don't understand what he's trying to achieve - i am generally very easy going and happy for him to pootle around doing whatever he likes. i expect homework to be done, and we had actually reached a really good routine with that (since I've been helping him his grades have improved drastically and he's liked that), and bascially the sooner he gets on with it and stops arguing the sooner it's done and he can do the fun stuff. I can't get my head round what he's doing.

I have banned tablet and laptop / games - he can still watch tv, but no films. So it's not all bad. But you'd think I'd ruined his life! The complaining, the strops, the tears!

I know I don't have to explain anything, but he is usually a very curious child and enjoys discussing things, so it's quite natural to answer his questions. I'm going to have to ignore the "I don't understand" comments.

It's so hard, isn't it WoollyBacks? When every single thing results in strops etc. It is so bloody wearing.

traviata Mon 20-Mar-17 12:01:24

I get what you say about a curious child, especially when you've spent years carefully explaining the world to your child when they were very young.

How about turning it back on him? if he starts with the 'whyyy?' ask him what he would do, what does he think would be a good solution?

my DS is exactly the same about going out. Taking the dog is the only way, but my god it can take ages to make it happen.

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