9 year old ds becoming a nightmare! Help!!
belfastmumxx · 16/09/2014 09:09
Apologies for the extra long post but I am at the end of my tether with my 9 yr old (10 next month) His attitude the past lot of months has gotten worse and worse. I am a single parent and i work nightshift and am currently going back to college 2 days a week. My mum does most of the care when i am working and his dad sees him once a week. He has became very disrespectful towards my mum when he is at her home to the point where she has had to ring me to come and get him as she cannot handle the bad behaviour. His dad has rang me on occasion aswell due to his bad attitude. This seemed to have came about when he doesn't get his own way. Is he maybe testing us all? I am by no means soft when it comes to boundaries and rules so can't understand where the confusion would be there. Bedtime and wakening in the morning is another issue and usually ends in a screaming match that just upsets us both. I have tried explaining the importance of sleep and his bedtime is 8.30 lights out at 9 but my mum tells me when i get home from work at 6am that he has been up alot or watching tv etc. Which i can't do anything about if i am at work. Everyone always comments on what a lovely well mannered boy he is but what they don't see is how he acts behind closed doors. He is by no means a bad child just his behaviour lately is bad and i am afraid of it getting out of control. Do i need to seek medical advice? Counselling? I am getting to the end of my tether to where i am crying everyday and i am not sure what to do next. Any advice would be great. Thanks, J x
misscph1973 · 16/09/2014 09:28
Hi belfastmumxx, sorry to hear that you are having such trouble with your DS. I have a 9 yeard old DD myself and a 7 year old DS, and I must say, it is DS that gives me the most trouble, and it is ont unlike what you describe, just a bit more immature ;)
You must be doing a good job seeing that your son is well behaved in public! He is testing boundaries and "getting it out of his system" at home, which is actually a healthy sign, in a way, he feels safe enough to let his guard down at home.
But it's hard for you as you are not there when he is at his worst. And I think that is part of it, that you are not there. I think he is reacting to you not being there. I have done night shifts myself, and it's hard. Does he know you are plannin on going back to college? Could he be reacting to this?
Now I know that if I am right, then you will feel frustrated as there is not much you can do about it (I work full time myself, and it's obvious when I work too much, it's reflected in my childrens behaviour).
Your mum needs help with the boundaries. Get her to enforce no screens after dinner or 6pm, which ever comes first. That would be a great start. It will help your mum regain her authority and it will help your son sleep better, which will improve his behaviour.
When you don't work (wold that be weekends?), make sure that you do things with him where you have a lot of eye contact and communication, so he really fills up on your attention. Board games are great for this.
I also suggest you ask the school if they have a Family Support Advisor. I have used ours on a few occasions and she was great and really helpful.
belfastmumxx · 16/09/2014 09:51
Thank you so much for your reply misscph1973 . Thank you for saying about me being a good mum.
I guess he is testing his boundaries but it is so difficult when I am the only one who disciplines him therefore feel responsible for his behaviour wherever he is.
I think you are right about my mum having to regain her authority although when she tries and he kicks off then they get nowhere quickly.
He could be reacting to me not being around as much although i do spend as much time as i can with him when i am not working. It is so difficult to balance everything, work, college, quality time etc. I am a one woman band when it comes to doing everything, just feel like i am failing him at times.
Mornings are definitely the worst as that is when he screams and shouts like a 2 year old. When he eventually gets up and dressed he leaves the house tired and grumpy due to lack of sleep and has commented that his teacher has noticed and will have to speak with me if it continues.
Feel like my DS is the only one that behaves this way and it is so upsetting not knowing what to do.
misscph1973 · 16/09/2014 10:34
I am sure you are doing a great job!
But I really think that no screens after 6pm is the key to better sleep and this will improve his behaviour. If my DCs have not slept well, they are horrendous (and so am I, if I haven't slept). There are many studies showing that the light from screens disturbs the release of sleep hormones and disrupts the entire night.
Also, I do think that you need some support, and if the school has a Family Support Advisor, that might be just what you need.
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