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DS 12, obnoxious behaviour and anger management
18

Anonymum40 · 02/12/2018 22:17

My son started at secondary school in September. He ended up at a different school to all of his school friends through the school being oversubscribed and us living further away than the others.

Over the summer he was absolutely awful to live with. We nearly packed up our family holiday and came home as we got fed up with him arguing about everything. But once he started school he calmed down and initially everything was great and he settled in really well.

He's a popular kid but he enjoys being popular and likes to assert himself. He always wants to be the top dog. The thing is he asserts himself at the cost of everything else. He will carry on and on if he thinks something is funny. He's always showing off and getting into trouble for it.

The other thing is his anger management. If he feels he has been wronged he will never just calm down and let it go. He has a score to settle and won't rest until it is. He lashes out. He tipped a glass of water over a family friend's son in a restaurant who was winding him up. He just couldn't laugh along and see the funny side. He takes himself so seriously.

It is all incredibly frustrating. He spends far too much time on social media and on screens and has very little ideas of how to occupy himself in his screens are taken away.

Anyway, I had my first (probably of many) calls from secondary school on Friday. He had had a fight with another boy. I fear he is going to go off the rails. He's a bright boy but has no common sense.

Any advice on what to do appreciated. I sound like such a lame parent but me and his dad are at a loss. His older sister is such a placid easy-going girl and he's the complete opposite! An anger management course might be a good first step but I'm not sure how you go about getting one...

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JiltedJohnsJulie · 03/12/2018 07:21

I’m no too an expert by any means but lots of the issues of concern would seem to fit with ADHD.

I think it might be worth reading up on the different forms and if you think he might have it, discuss seeking an assessment.

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donajimena · 03/12/2018 07:29

You could be describing my 12 year old son. Mine did have a diagnosis of ADHD. It was really tough and I had to parent very carefully. It was hard to find the balance between not letting him get his own way and avoiding triggering an outburst.
The good news is that at almost 16 he's a model child. I don't get any trouble with him at all. I can't say this is the case with every child but there is hope..
Start with your GP. Ask for a referral. It might not be anything but you will still get help along the way.

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StylishMummy · 03/12/2018 07:30

Hardcore punishment- he's had a FIGHT at school and you sound almost resigned to this becoming reality. Take away all devices, ground him, he can earn things back. Treat him as a much younger child, explain why this is happening and how he can fix it. Engage with school to see what suggestions they have for his behaviour.

Personally I'd sign him up to army cadets or similar, for the discipline and to get him out of the house etc. He needs to learn basic respect

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Anonymum40 · 03/12/2018 08:30

Thank you for the replies. It's interesting as back in the summer I had come to a conclusion that he might have ADHD. We went to the doctor and she insisted he be checked over for any physical reasons for his behaviour (hearing etc). He's had all the tests now and there's nothing wrong with him, but as he'd calmed down I haven't pursued it. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment today.

Donajemina - what you said about careful parenting is where we're at - a tricky balance of not letting him get his own way all the time but trying to avoid an outburst. It's very exhausting. How did you get from here to where you are now. Did your son get any medication?

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Pythonesque · 03/12/2018 08:46

I think you are on the right track for exploring explanations for his behaviour. What you said about him not knowing how to occupy himself if screens are taken away, leapt out at me a bit - at 12, he really needs to have things that can keep him busy. So physical activities, other clubs that fit his interests, or figure out somewhere you can send him for a regular run. Cadets might be a good option as part of this, though I'm not certain what age they start from.

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Coronapop · 03/12/2018 08:51

Maybe getting involved in a sport would benefit him, is there a local football team he could join, for example.

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Anonymum40 · 03/12/2018 08:57

He plays for the local football team so trains one evening a week and Saturday mornings are always busy. He's also on the school basketball team. I'll look into army cadets.
I'm just on hold to the doctor's appointment line...

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Jeeves93 · 03/12/2018 09:15

Cadets might be a good option as part of this, though I'm not certain what age they start from

Army Cadets start from 12 and in year 8 at school.

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Anonymum40 · 03/12/2018 14:43

So our family GP can't see him until the new year! Not a great start, but any tips for how to deal with an ADHD 12 yo will be appreciated in the meantime!

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JiltedJohnsJulie · 03/12/2018 19:17

The New Year! That’s flipping ridiculous Shock

I haven’t got any tips sorry but the videos from How to ADHD might be useful Smile

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lifebegins50 · 05/12/2018 21:02

How was his behaviour in primary? I think year6/7 there can be ia change in behaviour due to hormones but also the "top dog" attitude.

I found screens can negatively impact ao I think you should restrict access. How does he cope academically?

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Anonymum40 · 05/12/2018 21:18

Hi Lifebegins, years 5 & 6 were also fraught. Nothing really serious just lots of chats with the teacher about 'incidents'... Usually distracting other people, occasionally arguments with other kids, showing off etc. He was also talking to the SENCO every 2 weeks about anxiety he was struggling with at the time. He's quite highly strung and worries about things and was also having trouble going to bed at night without a great long routine.

Prior to that not much to report though. Academically he is very bright and easily bored. He does his homework in 5 minutes but gets good grades.

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JiltedJohnsJulie · 06/12/2018 18:57

Have you managed to do any reading on ADHD Anony?

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Anonymum40 · 07/12/2018 07:54

I have, well, I'm reading a book I bought in the summer again called 'Understanding ADHD'. I've managed to get the GP to Christmas Eve, so we'll see what happens. Other friends are trying to convince me their sons are the same, but I'm not convinced...

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olivertwistwantsmore · 07/12/2018 07:58

I'd start by getting a lot more strict. You seem to have accepted the situation, but if your son carries on like this he'll get into serious trouble and nobody will want to be friends with him.

I'd cut down drastically on screen time too as this can have a huge impact on behaviour. He needs to learn how to amuse himself without a screen.

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WhokilledO2 · 07/12/2018 08:03

Can definitely recommend army cadets. Ours is free and no subs apart from £15 that covers their registration from 12-18, free uniform , just pay for boots.

They go on trips and camp (again very cheap)

Lots of kids with ADHD and autism at ours absolutely thriving. They do camouflage and shooting and water sports and football, first aid , navigation, tactical stuff , running round the field in the dark looking for the enemy etc.
Mine is thriving there .

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Singlenotsingle · 07/12/2018 08:05

Being a lot more strict is easy to say, but it's exhausting. Pick your battles, OP. Rewarding for good behaviour gets better results than punishing for bad behaviour. The carrot rather than the stick.

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Lara53 · 10/12/2018 12:38

Anxiety and ADHD go hand in hand

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