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11yr DS pushing boundaries.

11 replies

dustybluebell · 22/10/2020 10:05

Posting for a bit of advice..
This is about my 3rd child. He can be loving, sweet and funny, but equally argumentative, has to have the last word, knows it all already, borders on rude at times and has been becoming more and more disrespectful. He is sensitive though and can get upset easily. So I know he has emotions as well. I am finding it tough to parent him right now.
We have banned xbox during the week. Homework first, reading then any clubs. We watch tv then bed.
Last night he had 1 piece of homework. He refused to do it as he'd already done the same work a month ago in class. I saw it in his book, but i said he needed to do the work set as practice and revision. He refused. We had an argument over it, but he stood firm and refused. He read his book and went to his club later, then home for about half and hour of tv and then to bed.
This morning he got up showered, but he's not using any shampoo or shower gel. Just getting his body and hair wet and getting out. He didn't brush his teeth, so I put paste on the brush and called him up to clean them. He came up, but I was getting ready so didn't notice and have got back from the school run and he hadn't cleaned his teeth. The brush is still there.
This is all defiance.. not forgetfulness. This is just to show me he can do what he likes.
My other 2 children have always (in the main shown respect) and behaved themselves. I never ever compare him to them. I am careful.of that. I treat them all the same and sometimes he does get off lighter as he's the youngest. I do make allowances but still try to maintain that 'I'm the parent'.
Any advice much appreciated.

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dustybluebell · 22/10/2020 12:04

Just to add.. we have just had a letter from his school head of year in the post to say that she is so pleased with his exemplary attitude to school and his teachers have put his name forward in recognition of the positive start he's made. At least he's behaving there :-)

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Pinkyxx · 24/10/2020 13:58

I'm Mum to a DD of similar age, who can be equally strong willed (was born that way!). I am very careful not to get into arguments these day.

If he wants to smell from not using soap - fine. Similarly on the teeth, he'll be the one to get cavities ( I'd remove all sugar laden food though). Refusal to do home, again, he can explain to the teacher why he didn't do it.

I'd let him get on with it if I were you and rise above it. He sounds like he's pushing your buttons, the more you try and make a child like this do something, the more they will fight you. Let him learn from the consequences of his choices.

dustybluebell · 24/10/2020 21:40

@Pinkyxx thanks for replying. Yes I think you're right. Pick my battles.

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Pinkyxx · 24/10/2020 23:05

@dustybluebell anytime, as someone who gets incredibly wound up by the kind of behavior you describe I can certainly understand your frustration.

lifestooshort123 · 24/10/2020 23:22

I disagree about letting him get cavities. That is a battle that needs to be fought.

dustybluebell · 25/10/2020 07:15

@lifestooshort123 thanks for replying..we do make sure he cleans them in the main. That morning was a from a handful of times he hasn't done them.
One of our pets passed away on friday, so at the moment he's complying with everything as he's needing reassurance at home.

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TherapyClient · 25/10/2020 07:28

You need to hit him where it hurts.
If he refuses to do homework, fine. He can do that. But he has to miss club because getting a lift to club is a privilege and he forfeits that privilege if he doesn't comply with house rules. Or you could decide that he can face the teachers bollocking him for not doing his homework. If he's that exemplary at school he won't want to blot his copy book there.
But you need to make sure you're not being overly strict too. If he can't move an inch then that's a discouraging impossibility nobody should be placed under.
Personally, with the homework I'd be inclined to let him get into trouble with that at school. If doesn't affect you, does it? It affects him.
But with the teeth cleaning, I'd draw a line at that and say that's non/negotiable because you'd feel a neglectful parent if you let that one slide. You only get one set of teeth. So if he wants TV or allowed to go to his club, then he has to brush his teeth.
As for soap? It's not going to harm him to just get wet, water is a form of cleaning and better than nothing. Maybe ask him to choose his own shower gel or soap in case he doesn't like the smell or feel on his skin. And remember, if he smells, his peers will soon tell him and then he'll want to use soap!

TherapyClient · 25/10/2020 07:33

Oh, and, have you ever heard of the phrase 'connect before you correct'? Basically it's the idea that you empathise and understand someone's position, maybe get curious (not demanding to know) why he doesn't want to use soap or clean his teeth? Maybe tell him you know he's a reasonable and wise kinda guy and you're curious to know what information directs his decision on that front? You need to be careful to stop yourself from contradicting him straight away though or he won't trust his through process with you so easily again.
Sometimes not feeling defensive can allow us to think about alternative viewpoints.

TherapyClient · 25/10/2020 07:36

By the way, when you've lost a pet, that's not the time to pick up a battle. Sometimes we just need to let things slide for a short while in compassion.

lostmymitten · 25/10/2020 07:56

I wouldn't enter into battles or arguments with him. It's like a toddler, don't reward his bad behaviour with attention. Ignore the 90% and only respond to the 10%. (Look up that phrase and info on it.)

If he fails his work at school then he needs to feel the natural consequence of his grades with his teacher. He knows you're invested in it and can get a rise out of you.

For things like teeth brushing I would say 'you've got twenty minutes to brush your teeth. If it's not done within that time then you will lose 15 mins tv time later'. Stay calm and follow through. Don't enter into arguments or discussions.

I would potentially consider allowing him some xbox time in the evening if he cooperates. But I would sit with him first and ask him what he feels is a fair schedule in the evening as he is getting bigger and probably wanting some control, but you have taken some choice away from his evenings 5 days a week which is quite a lot.

dustybluebell · 25/10/2020 20:29

@lostmymitten and @TherapyClient thanks for your replies.
Some things for me to look into and think about
I haven't heard of connect before you correct,but that make sense.
Yes we have taken the xbox away every week night and yes I agree that is a big change. We have been using it as a reward for good behaviour or good work at school, so he gets to go on for an hr in the evening if he's worked well.
We can't really use the clubs as he couldn't really care if he goes to them. It's more we want him to 'expand his horizons'. Is that in itself too harsh? I mean he would literally play on xbox or watch YouTube for 12 hours plus a day if it was left to him.

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