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8 yr old constantly pushing boundaries

(18 Posts)
ALemonyPea Thu 20-Apr-17 13:50:31

I'm exhausted with him. Every day, he pushes boundaries with everything.

He knows the rules for things, yet seems to go out his way to try a different way, or more so, his way.

Holidays and weekends especially.

He is an early riser, and I allow him to get up and go downstairs so that I can have an extra hour sleep. He knows he should get up, go downstairs, get breakfast, top the dogs water bowl up and then he can watch TV or play on his tablet. Every morning he does the opposite and goes straight on electricals. He is punished by removal of electricals for the rest of the day. The next day he does what he is meant to, I thank him for it and then the following day does the same thing, ignores everything else for electricals.

He lies about having done things like had a wash or brushed his teeth.

When we go out, he has to walk on the grass or on the very edge of the road, even though I constantly tell him to use the path.

He pushes his older brothers buttons all the time as well, I'm constantly having to stick arguements between them.

He gets plenty of attention, but at the moment it feels all negative. I've done fun 1:1 stuff with him, but again, he tries his own way with things and did the rules.

It's only a small glimpse into what he does, but it's a lot of small things that accumulate as the day goes by.

We are currently at a park, I've had to sit down as I can't take it anymore. I tried to do a woodland walk, signs everywhere that says to stay in the path yet less than half way through I gave up as he was hiding in the trees, and we are back at the park.

Punishments don't work with him, excessive attention doesn't work, I'm at a complete loss. My other two are not like this, one has autism and is easier to handle than his younger brother.

waterrat Thu 20-Apr-17 20:29:01

I know it's just a snapshot but two things jump out at me. Firstly ...if he isn't old enough to do as he is asked in the morning maybe just completely stop access to tablets tv etc. He knows he will get it bavk in the end so it's not really a punishment?

And 're the tree climbing surely most kids would want to be up a tree not walking along a path?

Sounds like a perfectly normal little boy with lots of energy. Maybe you have got in a rut of finding him annoying.. kids can be so annoying ! But perhaps if you try to see its normal behaviour it might make it easier to handle.

ALemonyPea Thu 20-Apr-17 21:40:57

I have taken it away for a full week, and it doesn't make a difference. He gets limited time anyway, it's not like he is on it all the time, an hour max a day.

Usually, he does like to climb trees, but this was a strictly stop on the path walk, and he knew that.

It's the constant doing the opposite of what he is meant to do attitude he has. And the constant me repeating of everything. I'm so tired of it all.

Wolfiefan Thu 20-Apr-17 21:44:26

Keep devices in your room.
Consequence for lying. Or prevent it being possible. Run him a bath. Clean bathroom whilst he cleans his teeth.
Make him hold your hand if he can't walk nicely.
I try and keep mine separate unless they are involved in an activity or can play something nicely.

ohlittlepea Thu 20-Apr-17 21:50:22

It sounds like you're both having a pretty miserable time at the moment. If he's not ready to make good choices independently in the morning, perhaps you need to get up at the same time as him, set timers on the devices or relax your expectations of him at that time. It's a nightmare when you feel exhausted from battling all day. And the consequences don't seem
To be working. What other approaches would you be comfortable with? Have you read how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk, there's some nice tips on joint problem solving in there that might help.

Crumbs1 Thu 20-Apr-17 21:50:23

Sounds like unreasonable expectations to me too.
At his age your expecting self control - they just don't have it. Answer would be to keep remote and tablet in your room until he's done other 'jobs'. Then he can come and collect the controls from you.
I think most children of 8'arent going to walk nicely along some boring path when they could run off into the trees, climb and build dens or collect sticks. Maybe next time do collect sticks for a bonfire later.
Punishments work best if used infrequently- carrots work better than sticks.

Pinkandwhiteblossoms Thu 20-Apr-17 21:51:40

Kids are just annoying flowers

Believeitornot Thu 20-Apr-17 21:56:23

I think you're being a bit over the top.

You are too lazy to get up with him so make him top up the water and tell him off for watching screens first. Screens are addictive.

So either get up with him or leave him to it. He's doing you a favour by leaving you alone!

Walking in the road is dangerous so yes he shouldn't do that. But walking on the grass confused why the big deal? Let it go.

You should be supervising his teeth brushing at 8. And washing as well actually. He probably lies for attention.

The woodland walk - again he's hiding in the trees. What's wrong with this?

I think you need to adjust expectations a bit. You sound too harsh.

ALemonyPea Thu 20-Apr-17 21:58:10

Am I expecting too much from him to get up and make himself breakfast?

How do I make positive consequences? It does all seem negative. I'd just like to be able to sit for 5 minutes without having to remind him of what not to do.

Believeitornot Thu 20-Apr-17 21:59:49

Am I expecting too much from him to get up and make himself breakfast

Maybe he wants to eat breakfast with you....

Why not let him do whatever he wants in the morning as long as he doesn't disturb you.

Then when you roll out of bed, you can make breakfast with him and have him do his chores.

Pinkandwhiteblossoms Thu 20-Apr-17 22:00:02

I don't think it's expecting too much exactly but a lot of kids will play up for attention if they feel that's the only type of attention they'll get.

I wouldn't say getting his own breakfast was a big deal but every single day, I don't know ... I imagine he might feel a bit unloved!

Mummybear8 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:23:08

I have no advice but am in exactly the same situation as you. I could have written your post.
The only difference is I do get up with my kids in the morning and supervise breakfast, I think the average 8 year old is capable of making themselves a bowl of cereal though, in your defence.
Also, as far as showers/toothbrushing/hand washing, I'm guessing you have the same battle as me. Asking over and over again, back chat, excuses, stalling, lying. Showers and teeth I agree probably need at least, a bit of supervision. Using the toilet properly and washing hands is a perfectly reasonable request to expect an 8 year old to follow.
I have also tried to have 1:1 time solely aimed at my child's enjoyment. 50% of the time this goes well. The other half is nothing but a nightmare. Even when we do do something enjoyable, at some point instructions to do something like you say, walk on the path/stay close by/we're leaving in 5 minutes etc will be disobeyed or challenged.
I am at the end of my tether and I just want you to know you're not alone flowerswine

ALemonyPea Thu 20-Apr-17 22:27:35

It's only at weekends and school holidays he gets up occasionally by himself. During school days I get up before him and make his breakfast etc. I'll just have to get up with him from now on, no sleeping past 6 for me for a bit. I just thought that little bit if independence would be good for him.

rachmack Thu 20-Apr-17 22:39:07

Things I've tried with my nearly 8 year old are:

This one sounds a bit earthy but works really well. I got the idea from a psychologist I heard give a talk in a different context - Listening blanket (a place I can only listen no talking) this meant he said stuff to me he wouldn't have otherwise said - stuff like "it made me really sad that you said well done to my sister" and other really random things that to me, with the ability to rationalise, seemed so daft but were massive deals in his mind. I then follow the psychology advice of reflecting back "so you feel upset at x" and asking if he can solve it.

Giving options instead of telling e.g. "Would you like to hold my hand walking on the path or would you like to walk on your own". "Would you like to brush your teeth before you put your PJs on or after". Seemed to make him feel empowered so he chose to be do the thing he was meant to.

What about making breakfast a focal point of the day together so the whole day is set up well?

Mummybear8 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:39:53

If it's only occasionally that he gets up by himself and makes his own breakfast then I think that's perfectly ok. It's not like every morning he's fending for himself!
Like a PP said, it's probably a good idea in this case to make sure he's done the things you've asked him (topped up water bowl, had breakfast, got dressed..whatever you see fit) before he gets rewarded with electronics/tablets.
I think you're right about the independence thing. My eldest DC can sometimes be so helpful, unprompted; Getting clothes out for the next day, tidying their room, making the bed, tidying up younger DC's room.
Other times, if I ask for these chores to be done, it's like I've just announced I'm going to burn all the toys in the house!

FreeNiki Thu 20-Apr-17 22:41:50

Does he have to eat breakfast as soon as he gets up ffs? He'd get it if he wanted it. it's hardly a punishable offence.

ditto the dogs water bowl. Seeing as you dont get up for another hour this means the dogs wouldn't get their water for another hour anyway.

If you want to control his early mornings and your dogs bowl topped up get your arse out of bed and be with him.

Mummybear8 Thu 20-Apr-17 22:43:00

rachmack great advice about giving choices to make them feel empowered. I'm going to try to make a conscious effort to do this and see if it reduces arguments.
Thank you smile

purplehonesty Thu 20-Apr-17 23:19:24

My ds is like this
Don't sweat the small stuff, let him eat when he is hungry and play iPad until you get up if it means you can sleep in a bit
That's what we do. He isn't allowed to get up before 7am but can play it after that.
He sounds just like mine - running around and all over the place. Just a boy with lots of energy. He'll grow out of it

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