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How do you stop things revolving around your most demanding child?

15 replies

flashingnose · 14/03/2005 09:48

That's it really. DS is 6, dd1 is 4 and dd2 is 2. DS throws the most enormous tantrums if he doesn't get his own way whereas for the most part, dd1 and dd2 will fall in with what's suggested without complaint.

An example: we told the children we were going to the woods yesterday afternoon. DS wanted to take his bike but we hadn't been to these particular woods before so said we'd have a look this time and take it next time if it was OK. Cue enormous strop by ds - meanwhile his sisters have got themselves suited and booted and are in the car, waiting to go. DH and I spend a good 15 minutes trying to calm ds down and get him into the car, which we eventually did. So we're both stressed and snappy with all the children, when two of them really don't deserve it.

I'm fed up with him taking so much of my attention, of him running the show and of his sisters losing out because of it. Any suggestions?

OP posts:
debs26 · 14/03/2005 09:55

he is old enough to be ignored without the worry that he may accidentaly hurt himself. plonk him in his room and leave him there whilst doing something lovely with dd1 & 2 (loudly so he knows he is missing something). if he is in your way just carry him there. once he realises you are ignoring him instead of giving him 15 minutes of lovely attention (even if you are mad at him attention is lovely) he will soon change - a six year old will probably notice the chenge in routine within a day

Miaou · 14/03/2005 09:55

flashingnose, would it be possible for you to ignore his tantrums while giving attention to the dds? Eg could you have stuck him in the car kicking and screaming and ignored him while talking to dds about what you are going to do at the woods? In other situations could you just turn your back on him/send him to sit on the naughty step etc whilst making a fuss of dds - thereby giving him the message that if he doesn't behave he won't get any attention from you.

Miaou · 14/03/2005 09:56

Great minds think alike, deb

TracyK · 14/03/2005 10:03

they had exact same scenario on an old episode of Little Angels. The older kid had tantrums all the time and 'ran' the house. the younger ones were left out and were really well behaved, but got no attention as the parents had to give all the attention to the naughty one.
They changed him dramatically by doing, as you all said, ignoring him completely and giving all their attention to the good kids. also praising him over the top when he was good.
it didn't take long at all.

flashingnose · 14/03/2005 10:08

One problem with that - he won't stay in his room/on a naughty step. The only way I could separate him is to lock him in somewhere . This is the biggest problem - I want to withdraw attention (I've read the books ) but he follows me round the house, provoking me, picking on his sisters etc. I have locked myself in the loo before now, just to put a piece of wood between us, so we can both calm down (can't do that when his sisters are around though). I'm just so sick and tired of spending time thinking of strategies to cope with him while his (mostly) well behaved sisters lose out.

OP posts:
debs26 · 14/03/2005 10:10

hold the door! ds2 started trashing the room once when i did this but afterwards i made him tidy it up so he knew that wasnt a good idea. it is heartbreaking at first and very difficult but a child that age knows exactly what he is doing and is manipulating you. he will carry on acting this way for as long as you let him

TracyK · 14/03/2005 10:12

what are the thoughts of locking him in a (safe) room? or put a personal stereo on when he's following you and then you could ignore him easier. I know it's the constant whining that I hate when my ds follows me around when he's tired!

flashingnose · 14/03/2005 10:12

I know you're right, I just feel that even by holding the door, he's got my attention! Grr .

OP posts:
flashingnose · 14/03/2005 10:14

Trouble is Tracy, he gets himself in such a state that it's not just whining (i can ignore whining - get a lot of practice with dd1 , he's quite violent - kicking, punching etc. If they did Anger Management for Kids, I'd send him tomorrow.

OP posts:
debs26 · 14/03/2005 10:16

if you dont talk to him and you tell him you are locking the door and going away he wont know that he has your attention. this situation is very unfair on your little girls, they deserve to have attention for being good. surely its worth trying it just for a few days? by that time it you will probably see a dramatic improvemant if you expain to him what you are doing and why

TracyK · 14/03/2005 10:17

put a lock on it?

flashingnose · 14/03/2005 10:18

You're right, I know you're right. Just goes to show, these things creep up on you and you're not even aware it's happening until it's got really bad.

OK, this is the week where things change [rolling up sleeves emoticon]. Will report back.

Thank you so much for your help .
OP posts:
Tissy · 14/03/2005 10:20

Just a thought, is he jealous of his two "goody-goody" sisters? Would it be possible to organise some regular quality one to one time with you or dh, which he can look forward to? Maybe a film trip followed by pizza, or the local soft play?

I'm sure some of his behaviour is testosterone-fuelled, but if he perceives that his sisters are being better treated because they are girls, then maybe he feels justified in winding you up. (Not suggesting that you are treating his sisters better, but he might think you are?)

debs26 · 14/03/2005 10:20

it WILL work, you just have to be strong and dont stop once you have started, that will just make him more determined next time you tell him no. good luck!

TracyK · 14/03/2005 10:21

can you get back copies of Little Angels anywhere?
I spose if you can dedicate a week of your time - it'd be hell but prob won't take longer than a week so would be worth it.
Plus use stickers/rewards for the times he is good?
Does he behave better at grandparents/school? Maybe give rewards for there if theres no chance of getting enough good behaviour occurrences at home?

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