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Help, feel like I don't know my son since school broke up...

(8 Posts)
tiredteddy Mon 03-Aug-15 11:14:22

I need help. Advice. Something.

My son just turned 11. It's the school holidays and I feel like I have a different child living here that I just don't know at all.

I do know he is anxious about secondary school. He also seems to feel a lot of social pressure to be on social media. We allow Instagram on condition I have access to his account and that he does not have his phone in his bedroom at night.

This is the trigger. He fights back about leaving his phone downstairs at night. He has Been nagging for months to have his own bedroom. He previously shared with ds2 age 7.5. It was not working. Lots of fights etc. so we split them up. And now ds1 won't go to bed. When I say won't I mean refusing, lashing out, running away, slamming doors, shoving furniture, shouting etc. another trigger. The behaviour is getting worse every night.

We warn him the consequence of his actions. We try to be consistent and follow through on threats. Last night peaked with him slapping me.

I don't know what to do.

MabelSideswipe Mon 03-Aug-15 11:20:00

Leaving aside his behaviour for a moment and I have a 12 year old so you have my sympaththy, what time do you tell him to go to bed?

tiredteddy Mon 03-Aug-15 11:24:42

9pm. I also said I didn't expect him to go straight to sleep. I was happy for him to read. He likes to listen to an audio book so we put that on and made sure he had a light on. I also go and check on him to see he is ok. It's like he regrets what he wished for. I know he has to adjust but he isn't trying at all.

TwinTum Mon 03-Aug-15 11:39:25

Oh dear, I have twins who have just turned 11 so no doubt have this to come! We gave them a set of rules (which we wrote out) before getting them ipod touches which they signed up to. One of the rules was no ipods upstairs at bed time. They have actually been very good about this (no doubt helped by the fact that the internet does not work well upstairs when the booster is removed). I do though think that having written down the rules with clear consequences (confiscation) has definitely helped. it has also helped that the rules are not overly strict (in my view) for their age and do involve some degree of trust, and there is some lee-way around the edges. DTD1 has broken the rules twice and her ipod was confiscated both times. DTD2 has never broken the rules except through absent mindedness.
They will be getting smart phones over the summer ready for senior school and my plan is to update the rules (in part because they are older and I think it is appropriate to relax some of the rules, in part because we will need a bit more focus on social media use as they will have access outside the house). We will let them negotiate the rules a bit first before signing if they think any are too harsh (can you tell I used to be a lawyer?)

I do need to think about consequences of breach as it is not as easy just to confiscate as they will need them for travelling. I have a couple of old nokia bricks so may get pay as you go cards for them so that they still have a phone if their smart phones are confiscated.
It might seem over the top, but so far it has worked for us. I think the fact that they got to input on the rules also helped and that we explained the rationale for all of them - it means they do take them seriously. Alternatively it may just be that we have been lucky so far!

tiredteddy Mon 03-Aug-15 12:16:47

We agreed the rule about no phone upstairs at night a year a go when it was just an old handset essentially used as an iPod. And in general it is ok. He now has a SIM card. We have a Nokia brick ready for times of confiscation. It is the thing that matters most so the most effective consequence for behaviour is to remove the phone. It's recently that he's been fighting against this rule. Pretending he's lost it/ hiding it etx to keep it upstairs. On sleepovers I do allow him to have it or follow the rules of the house he is in. Do what they do. I think it's something to be angry about at the moment for him.

MabelSideswipe Mon 03-Aug-15 13:47:11

From my experience with my son I think if it wasn't the phone it would be something else. He is flexing his muscles. He wants control and feels powerless so loses it. I don't think you should back down about the phone as its sensible (we also do that and it used to cause eruptions here too but he came to terms).

It might just be a case of having to grit your teeth and hope he snaps out of it. We used the threat of no internet access the next day if he kicked off at night. This is huge to him as he plays games with his mates over skype. Pick your battles over everything else that is not so important.

It might get worse when he begins secondary school. He is likely to come into contact with kids who have less rules in place so he feels hard done by. That can cause more friction. We are getting to a slightly better place now but he still drives me up the wall with his stubborness and hermit tendencies. When I do get him out for a day trip he is actually delightful company.

Also don't take any notice of people on Facebook and the like talking about their kids the same age because they always make them sound like paragons of virtue (I prefer to think they are all horrible at times).

tiredteddy Mon 03-Aug-15 17:54:38

Thank you. I'm sticking to my guns. The ban will continue for this week then we have our holiday where is no wifi or 3G for anyone ��

He is pushing boundaries that's for sure. What hurts me, I'm sure he doesn't even know it either, is how when we go out he is gorgeous. Polite, chatty, nice to be around. Friends and family think he's wonderful. It's in Our home when it starts. It feels so deliberate. No one believes me if I say what he's like and think I'm massively exaggerating.

TheSnowFairy Sun 09-Aug-15 22:46:46

It could be porn? We had this (even down to one slap across the face) with DS1 (then 12) who was accessing horrible stuff online from very innocent original lookups, within 2 or 3 steps he could see the most awful stuff.

We have also stopped phones upstairs or after 7pm, plus we took away the web browser icon so he couldn't access the web at all. We then gradually built up but he's still only allowed the iphone rating 12 (he's 13).

Good luck.

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