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6 year old DS a nightmare right now

(13 Posts)
Ronia Sat 08-Feb-20 20:29:49

I really don't know what to do with him. In the last few weeks my 6 year old DS has been a complete nightmare. Probably 4 or 5 days out of 7 he has some sort of big fight with us - often starting as we're leaving to go to school or at bedtime.

When he was really little he was a buyer and as a toddler would absolutely rage - hitting and punching at times. That lessened and almost disappeared as he got older. In the last few weeks though he has just been a nightmare.

Tonight for example. Usually on a Saturday night he gets to stay up 20 mins later than DS3 and watch an extra bit of TV (Strictly nor football maybe). Both boys are having no screen time this week because of DS6 needing to earn it back after continued bad behaviour. So tonight we were playing snakes and ladders while his brother went to bed. We had a chat beforehand about how it's fun and doesn't matter who wins (he's a very poor, angry loser of anything) but when he landed on a big snake and was trying to insist it didn't count and cheat his way out of it I calmly explained that we can continue to play property or I'll put it away and it's time for bed (as discussed before playing). And that's all it takes. Absolute refusal to go to bed and spends next 30 mins trying to press every button we have - lying on coffee table kicking mags onto the floor, trying to turn TV on, jumping from couch to couch, hitting me a little (not much, or hard tonight thankfully). I ignored him until finally he went off and started to brush his teeth and eventually asked for help and apologised.

This wasn't a bad night, sometimes he can rage for much longer and be much more violent. Last week he fell asleep on the couch at 9pm in his uniform because he refused to go to bed.

There'll be consequences tomorrow. Can't discuss that in the moment or he goes nuclear.

Is this normal 6 year old stuff? I can't tell anymore.

For context he's also saying he's bored at school (he's quite bright and doing well) and his best friend is leaving at half term to emigrate. He's also lost 4 teeth in 2 weeks. I don't know if he's just overwhelmed or something, not that it excuses behaviour.

I'm at my wits end.

Ronia Fri 14-Feb-20 19:36:53

Another Friday night and another rage. This time I asked him to stop playing football in the living room. He wouldn't stop and then just started on about things trying to push my buttons no was ignoring it all and reading to his brother so starts grabbing the books out of my hand, shouting so his brother couldn't hear and shining a torch in our faces. Eventually he escalated to trying to hit his brother. I had to respond then and ended up holding him on the other couch as everyone I let go he went to hit his brother again. He's hitting, kicking and scratching me. Eventually I had to send the younger one out of the room so he didn't have to sit and watch. He went to get his dad (in bed with migraine) who, an hour later, is still trying to reason with him. At least he's stopped fighting though.

I don't know what to do. He's bright, doing well in school, well behaved there. Just a nightmare when tired at home.

Quartz2208 Fri 14-Feb-20 19:40:18

he is tired OP and its exhausting and its awful but it is sadly well within normal

Ronia Fri 14-Feb-20 19:55:31

Is it? I think if I know that then I can handle it and ride it out until he grows out if it. I guess I just want that reassurance from people.

Quartz2208 Fri 14-Feb-20 20:07:42

Not all children will be like it but definitely some will (I had one) and enough will be like it to give you sympathy!

But look at it this way all week he is behaving at school, following the rules, sharing etc and then at home it just all comes out.

I have found making sure food levels are good/nothing too much to over stimulate before bedtime and just riding it out. You cant reason either applying rational logic to someone who is beyond that is not going to help.

I sometimes find just cuddling/pinning him (and trust me mine is huge) helps given him the physical security he needs and calms him down

Ronia Fri 14-Feb-20 20:10:36

Thank you. That means so much to me to hear. Just to know that others have been/are going through it.

Quartz2208 Fri 14-Feb-20 20:28:18

He is 7 now and much much better. As I said it was not helped by the fact he is 98th centile for weight and height so not easy to manage.

PorridgeAgainAbney Fri 14-Feb-20 20:32:04

Loads of your post resonates with me. DS is 7 and from the age of 3 we've had very long phases of explosive tantrums that included hitting, kicking and throwing things at people (99% of the time I am the target, DH maybe 3 times if that).

He is very bright but I don't say that to boast, it's just that the most extreme tantrums end up being about the exact words that I use rather than the initial perceived injustice (eg, he'll go ballistic if I use a 'wrong' word by mistake or even slightly misquote something I/he said before). It's so draining, I said to DH the other night I feel like I'm trying to argue with a 16 year old computer geek with a photographic memory, not a 7 year old who will sometimes still ask for a "Spot the Dog" story!

He is also quite shy and behaves perfectly at school. His teacher has actually suggested that we need to try and work on getting him to try being less perfect at school so he won't feel like a pressure cooker that needs to blow its top once out of school.

Quartz2208 Fri 14-Feb-20 20:33:49

Porridge DS has a pretty photographic memory as well it can be quite unnerving.

DS teacher (who actually happens to know him well as her daughter is DD best friend) laughs because the difference between the child she gets and I gets is immense!

itsgettingweird Fri 14-Feb-20 20:36:07

I would suggest you know Friday evenings are a trigger you change the routine.

One of you take him out for a scooter or something after dinner and tell him 30 mins earlier bedtime due to tiredness in exchange for 30 minutes longer on Saturday.

PorridgeAgainAbney Fri 14-Feb-20 20:39:04

I forgot, a lot of it does also come down to tiredness. He has sleep apnoea so will often be tired if he's had a restless night and on those days can often be in a total rage from the minute he wakes up.

It is hard, I don't really have any advice I'm afraid, I try to stay calm and most of the time I think I handle it well but sometimes he catches me on a bad day and I end up shouting back at him. I hate that as it makes me feel like I've taken 2 steps back in trying to show that losing your temper doesn't get you what you want.

puppymouse Fri 14-Feb-20 20:48:15

I think this is totally normal. Tiredness, over stimulated, development stuff going on...

DD is an only and generally very easy, polite and does as she's told. We will get periods of a week to 8 weeks or so where she will be vile - screaming, crying, losing her shit so badly she can hardly breathe. It's just an outlet as she loses control and can't express how she feels and gets overcome.

I either put her at the bottom of the stairs or in a room by herself and ignore until she calms down and comes back to me. Or when she's really bad I will sometimes hold her tightly and rock her slightly, even if she struggles and kicks I won't react I just continue to hold her until she's done.

Very hard and always takes us by surprise when she gets like it again. It will hopefully all blow over...

Ronia Fri 14-Feb-20 21:10:56

This all really helps. Thanks so much.

Friday nights are not a trigger as such. Can be any night, nor any mornings. I do know tiredness is a factor - he does after school club weds-fri too and then we have to pick up brother from nursery so not home until 5.45ish on those days. We're in central London so get a bus from school to nursery then another bus home from there with a 5 min walk at the end. It's just that the last few weeks have been particularly bad. Maybe developmental or his teeth are sore or something.

This helps though.

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