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Anyone else got three children of quite varied ages (including at least one Very High Maintenance kid) who Just Don't Get On?

(12 Posts)
VulpusinaWilfsuit Sun 13-Sep-09 20:57:39

Because we are going mad and need to vent with people who understand. I am sure none of my friends believe me when I say my eldest can be difficult because in public he is a dream. But at home he is often very difficult: aggressive, defiant, sometimes violent, breaks into tears of despair, invents incredibly complex requests that we inevitably have to refuse, will not do as he is asked EVER, so it inevitably ends in defiance from him or shouting from us.

We have tried authoritarian; we have tried jollying him along and picking our battles. I am close to thinking we need professional help.

He is 10 and very intelligent. He would like to be in charge wink. We also have a 5 year old and a 2 year old. Therein lies one of the issues that we don't know how to resolve: there is just not enough attention to go around and because they cannot (and nor can we) ever find anything they like to do together, it is almost impossible for us to do family things. We have to divide them up, and that doesn't work well either. Because the eldest sets the tone, the other two follow his lead and are becoming stroppy gits too. And in middle of all of this, we know it is somehow our fault.

Ah jesus, I'm even too exhausted to post any more. I just want one co-operative kid. And a weekend that is less depressing than work.

cat64 Sun 13-Sep-09 21:02:34

Message withdrawn

Hassled Sun 13-Sep-09 21:10:01

Only 2 will ever get on at once. No point even trying to get all happy with the same activity, IME.

Re the oldest - he does sound like hard work. It's a dodgy age for lots of boys - all that testosterone starting to kick in. Have you tried the money technique? Come up with a fairly generous weekly pocket money amount (£1.50? £2.00?), with the proviso that you will deduct say 20p for a minor strop, 30p for wilful disobedience etc. And you do it in a calm, not up for debate, sort of way. These were the rules that were made clear at the start, etc. This worked well with my older DCs - although there were weeks when they ended up owing me money.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Sun 13-Sep-09 21:15:51

Thanks for your suggestions - I really appreciate it. Yes, I think divide and rule is going to be the way but it is a bit depressing. And good idea about the financial incentive: we just implemented a reduction in his pocket money of 50p knocked off for every use of the word 'boring' grin. He's lost £1.50 just today! I think the suggestion of tying the expectations to financial reward might work. We have been limiting privileges (time on his Playstation etc) but it no longer works.

The other thing I am thinking about is dangling some incentive in front of him (such as a mobile phone for Xmas) but on the understanding that he has to show some maturity.

But I hate the notion of behaving well only for a reward: I want him to develop some moral sense that it is just wrong to throw things or to be anti-social...

Hassled Sun 13-Sep-09 21:16:13

What I mean is that the prospect of money worked much better on my oldest 2 that me shouting, me pleading or me trying rational argument did.

Hassled Sun 13-Sep-09 21:17:28

X post - the moral sense will come with maturity. The world really does revolve around you when you're 10.

mathanxiety Mon 14-Sep-09 03:19:32

Maybe the 10 yo could do with some after school organised sports. Sometimes joining a team where co-operation and giving your best effort are demanded helps a child to get over himself. Plus, they are out with their peers instead of hanging around at home with much younger children. Also nice for the family to go and cheer him on at games; he would be the center of attention. Suggest as well as deduction from the allowance that you allow a chance to earn money back by doing some reasonable chores. 10 yo's have lots of energy.

VulpusinaWilfsuit Mon 14-Sep-09 11:22:52

Hi. thanks - yes, sports are good for him. He does quite a lot already, including cross-country team and football. In his report last year, his teacher pointed out how he needed to, ahem, accept the referees final decision more grinblush I can just see him contesting every decision...

I will sit him down tonight and we will do a list of things he can earn and lose money for...

I'd like to think it was 'just' teenage hormones kicking in but unfortunately he has pretty much always been like this. He is worse when hungry so we have to keep him well-fed.

cat64 Mon 14-Sep-09 13:50:20

Message withdrawn

OrmIrian Mon 14-Sep-09 13:55:00


Although our high-maintenance offspring gets on OK with the other 2 at times.

We have fallen into the habit of divide and rule TBH which is a shame but I guess it would be unusual for a 12, 10 and 6yr old to want to do the same things all that often.

And as for the fault things well, DS#2 has really shaken my faith in my
parenting skills - I got by OK on easy-going co-operative parenting with the older 2, it simply doesn't work with DS~2 and I find it very hard to find a method that works for all of them

lucysmum Mon 14-Sep-09 13:58:42

My 3 are slightly closer in age (9,6,3) and I guess reasonably cooperative but we expect them to do the same things quite a lot of the time - don't have time or energy to do 2 or 3 separate things. Things that all of us like include:
swimming - older 2 can go in big pool on their own, I have little one
cycling - with bike seats, tag alongs as necessary
walking the dog
going to park - big ones go off and do their own thing or play on bigger or outdoor play trial type things

Not everyone is happy all the time but they need to learn compromise etc

surprisenumber3 Mon 14-Sep-09 16:02:31

Vulpus I have no advice but wanted to offer my support as I could have written your post but mine are 10, 5 and 4 months.

Will watch thread with interest.

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