DS is 10. I am a mother-on-the-edge.(34 Posts)
Oh help, wise MNers.
DS is 10. Ergo I am being driven to snotty sobbing by his behaviour (and he's not that bad!). I have lost any ability to parent him I may have had. I don't know how to respond to almost every situation with him. I have read too much other advice and feel stuck in a maelstrom of possible responses.
Bright, dis-organised, defiant, kind, helpful, lazy, screen-loving, good reader, a homework-refusenik, sensitive, insightful, bedtime-resistant, grumpy and tearful in the mornings, stroppy, clingy, funny, prone to calling himself an idiot/useless if I challenge him on something, reasonably popular at school, lovely and hideous.
I can't seem to get him to do anything without it resulting in some kind of shouting, slamming, sobbing match...and the thing still doesn't get done. And I mean simple things like get dressed, go to bed, stop scooting indoors, have a shower. Let alone homework, helping around the house etc. The only things he'll do are on his terms, and his terms are not close enough to mine IYKWIM.
What should I do? I feel like I need to re-programmed with "Parenting 101 v2 tweenager". Repeating "this too shall pass" is no longer working...
Could he be on the autistic spectrum? I was shocked when this was suggested for DD1 (now 10) because she was reasonably popular at school, and dismissed it initially but after reading on the subject it was like a light bulb moment. I have since stopped pushing her buttons and more importantly stopped getting offended or upset by her incredible reactions for apparently trivial issues.
I wouldn't be shocked if he were tbh. I've read SO much and have suspicions he is highly sensitive /attention defecit ( without the hyperactivity ) already (! ). But that's just from reading around and you can diagnose anything and everything if you try hard enough! School seem blissfully unconcerned generally (probaby because he is achieving targets ) and i wonder if he is 'just' being a tweenager and I am overreacting...
Schools always missed DD diagnosis as she was well behaved at school and above average academically, but wow would she lash out at home!
Honestly I could have written your post, word for word, 6 months ago.
In our case son began to descend into school anxiety and we took the decision (after months of angst) to home-school for a while. Things have improved without the school stress. I'm not saying it's is ideal for everyone
I have taken to reading and learning a lot about ASD and parenting accordingly as it's the only thing I can think of!
I realise this probably is no help but take comfort, you are not alone!
See, tonight he's been fine (I say fine. He's been stubborn and occasionally tearful and is still awake at 20 to 11... but no crazy outbursts). And I have been calmer and gentler and maybe firmer than usual. But does that mean i have just basically parented him badly before OR that this approach works better for his needs (be they ASD, AD or whatever ).
Well my DS10 hasASD - long diagnosed, well managed - and I could have written your post. Had a bit long chat with the pead about it and she shut me right down. According to her this is 'normal child development' for a 10 year old. They are overwhelmed by hormonal surges, become incredibly oppositional, very aware of their place in the world and very scared by it, desperate for boundaries one minute, desperate to kick the shit out of the boundaries the next.
So I am precisely no help but apparently this is utterly normal.
Calm, gentle, consistent reinforcement of the boundaries while similtaneously picking your battles is all apparently the key. Although I have to say I think the pead was precisely no help either!
Watch Kevin and Perry. It's hormones, they are all like it at that age.
Thought he wouldn't be a teenager until he was, you know, a teenager. How daft am I?! Christ, will it get worse when his IS? I need to start stockpiling gin.
I have one too. I am place-marking so I can follow this thread and gather any crumbs of wisdom.
Snap OP. I could have written your post. We have had 2 relatively calm days in a row, but am now waiting for the inevitable storm to hit later this week. Things have been getting steadily worse since he was about 4yr old, and I am dreading the teenage years.
Apparently it comes in waves until they are teenagers, then it's peak pain, then they wave out of it.
Girls have a more steady trajectory.
I'm not sure the pead was a feminist. I'm sure she wasn't an optimist.
LonnyVonny that sounds worryingly like being in labour.... again.. for years...
My 10yr old DS is way more teenagey than my 13 yr old DS
The 10 yr old seems to need quite a lot of emotional support and reassurance. It seems to be a hard age to be.
Lots of cuddles, positive attention, early bed and extra food seem to help a bit. For both of us
Might be normal hormones, but maybe get him checked out professionally anyway?
I'm not saying it is, but there are types of Autism such as Pathological Demand Avoidance which could be worth reading about. I can only assume though that if your DS had this then you'd have noticed problems throughout his childhood?
My totally uninformed guess would be hormones though, given this problem has emerged recently.
Sounds exactly like my DS1. He's 10 and has suddenly gone very clingy. We also had the stroppiness all summer. We are trying to treat him as more grown up as he was getting very angry if we just told him eg we are going to the park today without involving him in the decision making process. But at the same time he's reverted to bedtime stories and cuddles. No help sorry but you are not alone!
I really wouldn't get stressed and bothered about homework/remembering kit. His teachers can pick him up on that particularly at secondary level.
No screen time unless he has done his chores/gets ready when asked. In fact you could always give him screen time in exchange for stuff. So 30 minutes for unloading the dishwasher, 30 minutes for getting ready immediately when asked (teeth,hair,clothes), 30 minutes for doing homework.
OMG it does sound like labour. Years of labour... too early for ???
Well, if it is ASD, and pathological demand avoidance, I wouldn't limit screen too much. DD can be an absolute nightmare but as long as her routine is undisturbed and I take a sympathetic tone (rather than an exasperated one) when she forgets her things, or fuss about her clothes, or insist on doing things in a certain order, life is manageable. As soon as I rush her, meltdowns and tamper tantrums are happening. I would make a routine, ask him what he thinks of it, and make a big visual chart for him. He should calm down.
For sleep, DD was always a poor sleeper, I mean she would take ages falling asleep, and last year I discovered melatonin. She is taking a low dose (0.4mg sublingual) and this was a miracle. If she forgets it she would invariably be wide awake until 11 pm, if she takes it around 8 pm, she is fast asleep by 9pm. Less cranky too.
Melatonin is prescription only, yes?
I filled in an online diagnosis questionnaire thingy for pda earlier. He scored too low for that. although some questions rang bells and a couple set of klaxons!
Routines are tricky. He resists them. Although when elements stick things do seem calmer. DH also resists them... frustratingly. I'll need subtle, flexible routine.
You appear to have my DS.
It's actually hugely reassuring to know it's not just him. I was genuinely worried this was going to be him forever and high school was going to be so hard for him.
But if it's hormones there's hope!
I, of course, was a delight at 10.
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