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Good school report followed by weekend from hell - why?

(8 Posts)
Palika Mon 08-Jul-13 15:35:32

DS14 brought home a much improved school report on Friday, which caused joy all round. He will now get his long desired minecraft game for the computer after this great achievement.

And then? Friday afternoon: lying, aggression, running away in big anger tantrum (there was no real cause or argument)
Saturday: 3 times lying and aggression
Sunday: more anger and aggression, not keeping to rules, generally unpleasant to be around.

Why, why, why? DS has always had a really bad reaction to good things and events: beginning of school holidays, good report, good feedback on parenting evening, birthday, Christmas even watching a movie - he always gets aggressive and very unpleasant.

My best guess is that he just gets very big-headed and arrogant.

I just can't get it into my head that he is like this and it always gets me unaware. I will now put a post it note on the fridge when something good happens.

cory Mon 08-Jul-13 15:53:01

Does success make him nervous? Afraid he can't live up to it? Impostor syndrome? Over high expectations?

Some people are like that: such low self esteem that any kind of praise makes them try to self destruct.
(ds used to be a bit like that: we had to be very careful about praising him because otherwise he would just stop working altogether- much better now that is self esteem has grown)

Or so anxious that anything like a special day puts them in agony, for fear that it isn't perfect
(my mother is like that: rushed in tears from dh's 50th birthday party because the paper napkins weren't right).

Or a combination of both.

Big-headed just doesn't seem to enough to cause so much anger. You could see it causing smugness and overbearingness, but the anger seems to point elsewhere. To me, it suggests fear.

livinginwonderland Mon 08-Jul-13 16:13:25

I was like this. I put SO much pressure on myself to do well that when it happened, I was so stressed and anxious and wound up about it that I just lashed out at people. I still do it now, but I know it's coming and can control it better than I could as a hormonal and moody teenager!

Palika Tue 09-Jul-13 19:54:13

thanks guys, for the replies. Sometimes I wish I was psychic to understand why my DS behaves the way he does. I still don't really know if he has low self-esteem or is simply big-headed and anti-social as the result.

I know that I get more angry if everything goes my way (it's very rare!) - but there is suddenly a certain sense of entitlement that is not there if I have worries and problems.

We have now some post-it notes on the fridge as 'red flags' for the recent or impending good news so that we are forewarned.

I mentioned to Ds a few times today that he is still at risk because of the good news of his school report. Surprisingly, the angry vibes I got from him subsided and he was much nicer.


sfek Tue 09-Jul-13 20:48:20

My son does the same..he even ripped up a certificate the other day,before i managed to see it??and then gets stressed about it. I'm not sure why he does it, and he is also 14

NoComet Tue 09-Jul-13 20:57:18

Do his peer group work hard and behave at school?

My only experience is with primary aged boys, where the brightest of the 'trouble makers' had really mixed up feelings about behaving and trying hard.

He did way more work in English when he was in a different room.

Palika Tue 09-Jul-13 22:59:37

DS tends to hang out with underachievers, which points to low self-esteem. But I think during the last year that has slightly changed. He claims that he does not know how well his friends are doing in school. They are all in different streams etc and may share just one or two classes.

But DS does not only behave badly when he achieves something. It can be something simple as saying we will be watching a film tonight. He freaks out, is aggressive and sure enough will not be watching the film.

So, over the years we have learnt to not make such plans. Everything good can get cancelled until the last minute and he knows that and behaves a bit better.

But at his birthday, which can't be cancelled he becomes absolutely awful. Same with Chriistmas.

He's gotten worse and worse like this over the years. arrrrgghh!!!!

Palika Sun 14-Jul-13 21:47:36

Here are some good news: we made a list which counts the number of lies and the number of temper tantrums that hangs at the fridge (cryptically written so that no visitor will know what this is about) and then we put on post-it notes the next 'good thing' that may make him loose control.

DS fully cooperates with that because he really wants to be helped and appreciates it when I come up with some form of practical solution. He is very unhappy with all his lying and aggression himself and says it just comes over him and he can't control it.

On Saturday he was allowed to download the computer minecraft game that he wanted for at least a year. During the week we kept reminding him about this 'good thing' and how it would normally make him aggressive etc. and how wonderful it would be if he could actually enjoy it and not getting punished for bad behaviour.

Friday came and went without outburst - a miracle! Saturday morning came - he was nice and got ready before asking for the computer to be switched on - another miracle!

He got to play a lot on Saturday and he still did the dishes etc. as he should and he was absolutely fine.

Today, Sunday, I said to DH (privately) that I think we may have solved this conundrum....and then (of course) DS kicked off a bit with lying and aggression.

BUT...he caught himself and suggested that he should dig out a ditch in the garden as punishment, which he did, and since he has been very nice again.

I am really glad as you can imagine.
Just wanting to share something positive and not only moan smile)

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