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My ds1 and my other children(69 Posts)
Tonight my ds2 (aged 3) stood in front of me and dd (aged 5), spread his bottom cheeks and said, "Look at my butthole!"
I could have wept. His older brother (aged 7) is bringing all this disgusting language and behaviour into the house and teaching it to his siblings. Words like butt breath, constant (and I mean constant) talk of diarrhoea, poo etc.
It makes me so sad and angry that my younger dcs are losing their childhood innocence far quicker than ds1 did.
Ds1 has had huge anger and defiance issues. He's seen a counsellor for over a year now and his behaviour has improved slightly. As to whether this is him getting older or the counselling, I don't know.
He finds all this foul language hilarious and gets very giddy, hyper and silly to the extent where I look at him and wonder if he's actually sane. He won't stop it regardless of our asking him not to talk of such stuff especially to the younger dcs.
If I do anything like take a toy off him, he gets very abusive and writes stuff like "Mummy is a shit!" on the car windows.
Our relationship is pretty bad. His hostility to my every day requests like teeth cleaning, come sit down for a meal etc is pretty strong.
I can't leave him alone with the dog - the dog bombs into where I am after a few minutes alone with ds1 - or playing with the other dcs because one of them always gets hurt. I may not always see what happens but it's never ds1 hurt or crying.
He just doesn't seem bothered about his behaviour and our requests to modify it. I'm strict with removing toys or privileges but it doesn't change things in the long term. We just clash and clash because he resents my making requests of him and I detest what he brings to the family in terms of foul language and defiant, idiot behaviour. Almost every polite word from me is met with impatience, rudeness and a curled lip at best. He adores his dad who like me, condemns the poor behaviour.
He's only 7 (8 in April) but he has the air of an invincible teenager and thinks nothing of flying off into a rage. The counsellor just thinks he's an intelligent, highly emotional child who cannot handle his intense feelings yet.
I can't see things getting better and am exhausted by the constant conflict. Where does he find the energy for it? I get upset at the thought of him leaving home and never wanting to see me again. But then the thought of not having to deal with him brings me much relief too.
Is there something I'm missing? I've tried the time alone with him, going bowling, the cinema etc and if you're alone with him, it's fine. Otherwise, it's horrible.
Any ideas please?
Have you tried filming him? It would be good for the counsellor (for whom he can obviously behave) to see him as he is at home. You could also record him on your phone, perhaps.
How would he respond if you said, "Right well if you don't stop that kind of talk I'm going to record you and play it back to your teacher. What do you think she'll think of this?"
Yes I've filmed him and shown the film to his counsellor. Threatened to show it to teachers too. He went beserk when I was filming him and beserk again when I said I'd show it to the teacher. And later that day, he acted up again.
I actually think he is a prat too. Infuriating prat a lot of the time, desperate for any kind of attention.
I will continue to ignore and ignore some more. And keep him busy to occupy him.
You sound like you really, really need a break. Is there any way you could have a few days away, just to get a rest from it all?
Also, finding a support network of people who are in similar situations is essential.
Dies he ever spend the night away from you ie with grandparents or aunts/uncles??
Sounds really tough. Could you afford an assesment by an ed psych?
Am I the only one who thinks it's a bit weird to be still breastfeeding older children, and at the same time as the next one? It seems to say more about the parent not being able to let go. I wonder if he got a lot of your total undivided attention before DD came along, then reacted badly to a sudden necessary withdrawal.
Best, it's called tandem feeding. I guess it could be considered unusual but if you prefer weird then that's fine.
Fwiw, it's not something I have done again since. I bf until all my dcs (I have 4) are 2 and then wean.
Tandem feeding isn't weird. I don't even think it's that unusual
Am I the only one who thinks it's a bit weird to be still breastfeeding older children, and at the same time as the next one? It seems to say more about the parent not being able to let go.
No, you're not the only one who thinks this bestsonever. Sadly. It's a misconception held by many people.
All tandem breastfeeding really seems to say is that a woman has two children who are both being breastfed. Nothing else.
Everything, every single symptom you have described sounds exactly like my DS1 who is nearly 7. He has ADHD.
Although I should add he is also difficult at school too & I understand that's a criteria for diagnosis (difficulties in at least 2 settings).
I have no advice but you haven't sympathy.
Apologies for coming back with more questions but, given that you have 4 dc of which your 7yo ds is presumably the eldest, are you saying that you breastfed your now 5yo dd until she was 2yo? If so, did you stop bfeeding her before or after the birth of your 3yo ds?
When your dd was born, you've said that you went from '3 per to one a week' with ds1. Is this 3 breastfeeds per day to one a week or 3 per week to one?
Do you wean your dc to a bottle or to a training or ordinary cup?
His behaviour sounds like ADHD which my 9 yr old daughter has been diagnosed with. She uses the most awful language. It is as if she has tourettes and can't stop saying rude words but ten minutes after she has taken her medication (low dose) she has stopped swearing. It's like flicking a switch.
However what is odd in your son's case is that he doesn't have problems in school. In my dd's case the issues were more extreme in school than at home from the age of 4.
This child's behavioural issues only manifest in his home/in the company of his immediate family.
While his behaviour as described by the OP may appear to have traits in common with ADHD, there's nothing wrong with this child's attention span as evidenced by his excellent progress in school.
Nor, again from what the OP has said, does he have any SEN that being on the G&T register can't address.
Hi again Izzy. Thanks for responding.
With my ds1, it should have read I went from 3 feeds per day to 1 per day in a week. He was upset by this but accepted it pretty quickly. He was already drinking from cups and eating very well by that stage.
I have bf'd my dd and ds2 until they were 2, yes. But because I was so uncomfortable tandem feeding with ds1 and dd and I saw that it has upset ds1 to stop when another baby is in the scene, I made sure there was no overlap in my subsequent children.
So, there is a gap of 2.5 years between them and almost 3 between ds2 and ds3 (12 weeks).
I should add that after the following week of only one feed per day, I stopped bfing him altogether.
It was abrupt. He was very upset. I was freaked out by feeding a newborn and a toddler. I was shocked by how strongly I felt.
I had researched tandem feeding and figured all would be fine doing it. I wanted to because of all the benefits still available to an older child. I feel like I ripped ds1's security away.
He'd also started nursery two sessions per week six weeks before dd was born. We felt he would enjoy it and that it would give him a separate world just for him once the baby was here. I thought it would help him adjust, confer big boy status etc.
I made a pig's ear.
My DS4 who is nearly 8 is exactly the same . ADHD has been mentioned but he mainly contains himself at school (or rather the school does not think he has a problem but seem to hand out to him a lot of yellow and red cards and he was the child in the class who had the least headteacher awards ).
Unfortunately family dynamics has a lot to play in our case, he is the youngest of 4 boys, 2 of his siblings have ASD (hence ADHD has been mentioned as it is connected to ASD), he likes to be the centre of attention etc, etc......
He is also very bright (being sent on an enrichment program by the school for maths).
Clutching at straws, I have bought Love Bombing here - I will let you know how I get on .
Good luck, you have my utmost sympathy.
I would also say that my DS is surrounded at school by DC who also have a lot of male older siblings so the language is choice at times. Even his male class teacher (who is quite young) said this particular class is the most "male", boisterous class he had ever taught and admitted he struggled at the beginning .
Are all these dcs that sound similar to mine dry at night by any chance? Ds1 still has a very full pyjama pant every morning. I wonder if there is a link. Who knows?
Love bombing is a good idea even if it doesn't improve behaviour as such. I mean, ds1 still behaves badly but I know he loves 1 on 1 time with his dad (preferably!) but he'll make do with me too.
My DS has ongoing bowel issues and is on 2 Movicol a day. He wasn't dry at night til 6.5 and we still have the occasional wet bed. The bowel issues don't appear to be linked to his diet and we are hopeful he will grow out of it (leaking etc).
I think a lot of the problem for us is the number of DCs we have (my last 3 were born within 5 years), all being boys and the fact that you really can't give them all the attention they deserve. I was one of 4 (all born within 6 yrs of each other) but being girls, we seemed happy to go off and play together so mum could get on IYSWIM (my mum had no washing machine and was washing nappies by hand so really didn't have any time).
Life is more stressful now too. I asked my mum if she could remember it being like I find it ie school runs, packed lunches, sheer amount of paper coming home from the schools, after school clubs etc. Mine are at 3 different schools so my school run takes an hour in the afternoon plus the stress of trying to park, be time etc. When we were kids, we all had school dinners (there was no choice), we all walked to school with older kids, school started at 9.00am and finished at 4.00pm (why did that change?) so mothers had more time to get everything done. I have to get my first to school by 8.30 and start the afternoon run at 2.35 just to park (and I have to use my car to get to the other schools on time, we are not on a bus route for older one and the council decided to split up the 1st & middle school which are now a mile apart ). My dad did the afternoon run with my mum the other day as we were away and nearly had a cononary! Told my mum he wouldn't want to do it too often!
My ds4 just wants attention most of the time, his older siblings don't really play with him that much or that well which doesn't help the situation. DH & I am trying to change the way we react to him as it really isn't helpful or working but DH is extremely stressed with the business and DS4 knows which buttons to press. Ds4 probably gets more attention that the others put together whether good or bad, they are clever really.
I have actually made a decision to try and cut back on stuff we do so not so much running around and spend more quality time with them so this holiday we have been doing board games in the afternoon as weather is rubbish etc and sod the housework.
Sorry for the long post.
Countingto10. Bloody hell. You are definitely under the cosh with the amount of haring about you do. You must be bracing yourself for the new term! Is there any chance of car shares/lift timetables with other parents?
In terms of games, ds1 loves battleships. Quite handy as you can play it anywhere on paper! Cars Monopoly and Guess Who also popular.
sorry to state the obvious but are you praising the good? it's great you're trying so hard to ignore the bad behaviour but the other half of that strategy is the praising the good supposedly even if it is minute things that don't feel all that impressive.
i really think you have to stop beating yourself up about the breastfeeding business and nursery etc - some kids are good at picking up on maternal guilt and playing it like a fiddle.
also if he loves one on one time so much use that as a reward - obviously you can't cut it out totally so the reward would be 'extra' one on one time. so if you had a chart that monitored stuff all week there could be mini ones for each day he does well (a game of battleships with dad or something) and the opportunity to win a big one if the whole week is good overall.
sorry no great ideas - it sounds really bloody tough but please do knock the guilt on the head and stand firm so he can't play you.
i do find the coincidence of toilet problems and behaviour problems interesting - have a nephew who was similar and heard of lots of others. from a psychotherapy perspective it's interesting that the toileting 'phase' of development is linked to behaviour and boundaries and the tension between authority v autonomy. not sure i believe in those theories mind despite studying them for years. i'm wondering more if there is a physiological link between developing healthy toilet control and emotional control - as in brain development.
We have been told by a psychologist who we are seeing re DS3's food phobia and discussed DS4 that the brain doesn't mature in these children til 8/9 and hopefully the behaviour should moderate then. She was from Eastern Europe and felt that children in this country (especially boys) start formal education for too young and before they are ready for it.
Maybe the school hours I mentioned before are something to do with it too - DS4 is always rushing his lunch to go out and play because they only have half an hour break. When I was at school we had a whole hour, half an hour hot meal and half an hour play, plus morning and afternoon break and there were certainly no kids with extreme behaviours in my school. In fact it is all probably to do with how life is lived now - the thread in chat about 70's & 80's childhoods and the freedom and control kids had over their own play and life etc, the freedom to roam etc - ok not so good in some respect but much healthier in others. I hardly ever saw my mum in the school holidays then, out with friends going everywhere with no real restrictions. I even remember at the age of 10 going on the bus to the middle of Brighton to the cinema with my 5 yr old brother to get him out of my mum's hair (2p return fare - showing my age) - would anyone contemplate letting a child to that now?
I have started the Love Bombing book and it is about letting the child have full control of the time and play so maybe freedom does have something to do with it. Even at school they do not have enough time for proper play.
I have an active 9 year old who can be a PITA, though like as bad as yours. Also he is the youngest.
Couple of things:
- he is an active boy but doesn't have many friends / emotionally immature for his age perhaps? Does he get on ok at break times at school?
- as the oldest, can you give him so more control? Chores, jobs, tidy his bedroom? Though maybe initial refusal, should get into it.
- look for places to praise - not just academic, sport but emotional skills (kind, helpful, thoughtful, funny) DS1 counsellor - said that kids with low self esteem often don't see when they themselves are being kind and in fact can be kind.
- bunker down it will get easier
- is he year 3? New school perhaps
- maybe he is working so hard to hold his emotions together at school that it explodes at home
- kinesiology / cranosacrial therapy. Kids can be so highly strung that they are unable to let go. Stress affects kids as well
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