Can't cope with DS behaviour(11 Posts)
I'll give a brief background as it may help. DS is 12, he lives with me, his step dad ( been in his life since he was 2) and his little brother (7). He has EOW contact with his dad. His Dad has remarried and has more children.
DS behaviour is perfect at school, he's seen as a role model student, in fact wherever he goes people think he's absolutely lovely ( which he is!)
However, when at home, we have a real issue with his behaviour, in particular his major issue with being told off and subsequently having a consequence that comes with it.
He hates being told off, even if it's something blatantly obvious. He feels a real injustice and won't back down. He'll goad for arguments, so will tell you to leave the room (!!!), I'll try and ignore him but in the end leave, he'll then follow to carry on the argument. We try very hard to pick our battles, not get involved in arguments with him but it's very difficult.
I'll give an example of a recent argument
Yesterday both boys were asked to calm down ( they were messing around in back of car), they weren't shouted at, threatened, punished etc, just simply asked to calm down. DS2 accepted it and stopped, he was on a promise of going out Pokemon hunting with DH last night and knew that if he didn't behave then he wouldn't go. So that was the end of it with DS2. DS1 however was furious that he was asked to calm down ( it honestly was not a big deal) so dragged it on, pestered constantly about why was he told off ( which we explained that he wasn't as such, just asked to calm!). He carried on and on, started becoming verbally abusive by name calling, being really very nasty so I told him he wouldn't be getting his treat today ( to go out after school with friends) as I won't tolerate being called names and smirked out. He then became even more nasty telling us that we hate him and its fine as he hates us. Subsequently he refused to go to bed as he was being told that he wouldn't be going out with his friends and that wasn't fair. After an hour stand off he went off to bed.
We don't hate him, far from it. He's a lovely boy, we just need to get to the bottom of this issue he has at being told off! We can't spend our lives allowing him to do whatever he wants, we just don't know what to do!!
I don't feel were strict, I pride myself to think were nicely in the middle. I hope the boys have a nice life in our family, but DS1 always makes me feel like he doesn't. It always feels like there's an undercurrent of anger in him 😞
His behaviour has always been this way, he's always resented being told off and would really struggle to be punished, so for instance we couldn't send him to his room as he would refuse to go. When he was little we would just carry him upstairs to make the point which was horrible but I would be determined to not give in to him.
We've tried to talk to him, to no avail. Last night he was texting me whilst in bed saying he can't change, he's a bad person 😢, which he's not!! He's lovely, very friendly and caring, his behaviour is just skewed and I don't know what to do about it.
We've spoken to his primary school in the past and they were amazed but sorted him out some sessions to talk about any issues he may have but the report we got told us how lovely he was and how much he loved his family, so we didn't really get anywhere!
Has anyone got any tips?
What do you do when he carries on arguing? Do you tell him you're not prepared to discuss it further?
When he texted, did you text him back?
He sounds like my ds, he's sharp as a tack and knows exactly how to extend an argument . It's all attention/ manipulation.
He's calmed down a LOT recently, he's 15 now.
Have you tried not engaging/broken record routine?
Maybe you need to be more strict and show him where the boundaries are? If my 12 year old was shouting verbal abuse at me I would have pulled over somewhere safe and refused to proceed until the haranguing stopped completely as it's a safety issue with driving!
I have done that before when the kids were younger and squabbling +++ in the back of the car - they would get the message pretty quick.
The message is 'The world does not always revolve around you and your needs. You need to be respectful to other people' etc etc
Hi dame, yes I text back. I told him that of course he isn't a bad person, that he's lovely and we love him to pieces. He really is a gorgeous boy and we are very very proud of him.
We try and not argue with him but he hates if we ignore him or try and change the subject. It's infuriating as what starts off as being something very minor gets out of hand as DS can't seem to control himself.
DH thinks he hates him, which really upsets him as he has always tried so hard to have a good relationship with DS. He very much treats him as his son and adores him
Hi brew, thankfully we weren't driving when the verbal abuse started, we'd got home by that point!
If you haven't before it's worth explaining why you are telling him off or asking him to do something such as "it's distracting when driving and you don't want to crash etc" as sometimes they need to understand it more but it sounds in this case that he's battling with his own frustrations and anger, maybe induced by teen hormones. Maybe give him something that he can use when he feels this coming on just to help him identify it and also maybe a signal to you to give him a minute before talking again. Some do bands on wrists to ping, a stress ball to squeeze etc. I'm not saying this is the answer but it may aid whatever action you take long term
It can be just a habit. Going on and on. Keep saying the same sentence. Don't engage. If you're at home go to the bathroom. Don't say anything just go like you would normally. Break the habit. Some kids just have that personality. Be very conscious that you don't engage as you can be sucked in before you know it. Also don't be afraid to get strong. No talk of punishment just say Stop right now.
Be aware of anything happening when he is at his dad. Have they a good relationship? Does he resent going or maybe feel out of things at home? Has his dad a habit of argument and stubbornness? Remember he will have inherited stuff from that side of the family which you and dh might find more difficult as not your way. My dh gets some stuff about our kids as they are his family traits and same for me re reminding me of my brothers at times.
Have you read How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk?
And finally it's good he is doing well in school etc so you are doing a good job.
I would've popped up to see ds if he'd texted as it might have opened up the opportunity to have a chat.
I agree with pp, you need to disengage, just explain your reason then get on with what you're doing. If he carries on, say ' I've already explained why'
If he becomes infuriated, leave him to it!
Ds is better now partly because I have to disengage sooner.
I was really interested to read the OP as we have the same problem with our ds (except he does it at school too). He will argue until he's blue in the face and massively resents being told off, regardless of the reason for the telling off. He also feels worthless after an argument. In my ds's case he has ASD and this is at the root of his seeming inability to understand the motives and feelings of his family and teachers.
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