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Need advice, 5YO out of control


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#1 misskrm

Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:48 AM

Hi everyone, I need help!

This has taken me alot, especially to get to this point. I feel like I am on my last legs as a mummy. He's broken me, and I don't know what to do.

DS1 is 5 and just started school. A sweet kid with a smile to light up the room. He's affectionate and smart...but lately, his behaviour has been out of control. He's rude, cheeky, defiant, aggressive and just plain horrible. He throws tantrums that would make a 2 year old cringe. He kicks out, looks to try and hurt himself. He's mean to his brother, mean to me and my DP and his Dad. He is never still, he has sooo much energy. I have tried EVERYTHING. Smacking, time outs, taking toys off him, stopping him from doing things he wants. Nothing works. I let him run around in the yard to try and burn energy off, I do fun things with him. I try so hard, different calm approaches, talking quietly to him. Nothing works. I have him on a preservative/additive free diet. These tantrums and his acting out is EVERY SINGLE DAY. The 5 days he is with his dad a fortnight, are so peaceful for me.

This morning, getting him and his brother off to school and daycare, was a nightmare. He wouldn't do what I asked, after 10 times..I lost it. I am so ashamed. I ended up in heap on the floor crying my eyes out. In the end, he quietly went and did what I asked, and waited by the door. (how hard was it really?) I know FYOS is a hard adjustment for kids, so give him a little leeway, but I am not his punching bag. I worry that his little brother is going to think that it is acceptable and be exactly the same.

This is so hard for me to admit, but it's getting to the point of me not wanting him to be here with me. I know this is horrible, and I would never ask his Dad to have him fulltime, but the thought is there, you know? I feel like I am failing him, and that I am the worst mum in the world. I have anxiety issues myself, and stressing about his behaviour doesn't help them. I have tears streaming down my face as I write this.

At school he is really good, his teachers (old daycare teachers too) love having him. I assume if there were any behavioural issues, then he would be acting out there too.

What can I do? I love him so much, and I just want my sweet little boy back.

Thanks for reading, I am sorry if it is all over the place, I just need to get it out.

#2 bark

Posted 12 March 2012 - 10:54 AM

Oh you sound so down :-(

Well one positive like you said is that he does NOT behave like this at school.

Have you spoken to yr GP about this? I think that would be a good starting point.



#3 Mrscoolcoolpants

Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:00 AM

OP I am sorry you are going through this. My DD is 5 and has been acting out as well but not to the extent of your little one so I cannot offer any real advice other than perhaps taking him to see your GP and see if you can get some advice there or perhaps a referral to a paediatrician or occupational therapist who can offer further advice or at the very least maybe they might 'scare' him into realising his behaviour is not acceptable IYGWIM, as I remember when I was younger my mum took one of my brothers to the our local GP who gave him a good talking to  tongue.gif

Good luck and you are not a bad mum as we all have our good days and our bad ones and I hoping this stage passes quickly for you.


#4 Ianthe

Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:00 AM

It does sound as though you are trying everything you can think of. I see it as a postive that he is fine at school. But the FYOS is huge for kids. They have to take so much in. And I think for a child that has a lot of energy if they are reining that in all day then at some stage it has to come out and it sounds as though in your case that happens at home.

Are you positive when he is doing the right thing? You said you talked to him but there was a lot of punitive consequences you mentioned. I get the impression that was you doing that as a last resort but for some kids that just doesn't work. They just switch off to any kind of punishment.

What does he love to do? You said he is never still but does he enjoy Lego or something like that? When my eldest (who was a really difficult kid) was that age we had a "calm down corner". He had a beanbag and a few toys and books in there and generally he would be happy to go and sit there for a while. And this was a kid who NEVER stayed in time out. But the novelty value worked in that situation for a while. And it just became a way for him to go before he got out of control and have a break from everything (and give me and his brothers a break!) He never saw it as a punishment but as a place to go to feel happier.

The only other thing I got from your post is to wonder how thing's are at his Dad's. Are there any changes there? Does he parent very differently to you? I was thinking if something is going on there that maybe he is struggling to deal with it and taking it out on you.

And I think you need one of these bbighug.gif

#5 misskrm

Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:19 AM

Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I need that hug. I have tears again. hehe.

Woofer & MrsCK, I haven't spoken to the GP yet, but that is my next step. We already have a great Paed that has seen him for sickness in the past.

lanthe, I try really hard to give positive reinforcement too, I always thank him when he does the right thing. I always go and talk to him when I have calmed down and I always give him a hug afterwards. His Dad is wonderful, and we are on the same page. He is very supportive and I can always call him if I am getting stressed. He is following the same approach at his house, but Talan is nowhere near as bad for his dad. I guess my ExH is scarier than me. I don't know. Our separation has been quite amicable, with little interruption to the kids. He has had 2 years to get used to it.
He loves Lego, but he will sit with me for about 10 mins.

I really do feel broken. Parenting is so amazing, but can be heartbreaking and so unbelievably lonely and hard too. sad.gif

Edited for double post.

Edited by misskrm, 12 March 2012 - 11:20 AM.


#6 GreenEgg

Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:26 AM

I don't have any advice but wanted to say you sound like you are doing an amazing job and you need one of these  bbighug.gif

#7 EBeditor

Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:27 AM

We've had a very rough transition to school in terms of at-home behaviour too OP.

How much sleep is your son getting? We've had to start the bedtime process earlier and put DS to bed before his younger sister because school is so exhausting.

I shall be watching this thread with interest!

#8 catty81

Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:30 AM

I feel so sad for you.  I don't have much advice to offer but felt like letting you know you are not alone.  When my DS was five and just started school he behaved similarly.  I remember one day I was driving and he was punching and kicking me.  I used to be a wreck and in tears a lot as nothing worked.  

Could there be something happening at school to upset him? Maybe an older kid is being mean?  Kids often internalise those sorts of problems.  Or maybe something has changed at his Dad's house?  

Keep your chin up, you are doing the best you can.  My DS is now 10 and a lovely, polite and caring boy so I can tell you from experience it does get better.

#9 misskrm

Posted 12 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE (pigeonpairsmum @ 12/03/2012, 12:26 PM)
14392295[/url]']
I don't have any advice but wanted to say you sound like you are doing an amazing job and you need one of these  bbighug.gif

Thank you, I do.
QUOTE (EBeditor @ 12/03/2012, 12:27 PM)
14392297[/url]']
We've had a very rough transition to school in terms of at-home behaviour to OP.

How much sleep is your son getting? We've had to start the bedtime process earlier and put DS to bed before his younger sister because school is so exhausting.

I shall be watching this thread with interest!


He usually is in bed by 8, story then straight to sleep. Bed is one thing he doesn't fight me on.

QUOTE (catty81 @ 12/03/2012, 12:30 PM)
14392304[/url]']
I feel so sad for you.  I don't have much advice to offer but felt like letting you know you are not alone.  When my DS was five and just started school he behaved similarly.  I remember one day I was driving and he was punching and kicking me.  I used to be a wreck and in tears a lot as nothing worked.  

Could there be something happening at school to upset him? Maybe an older kid is being mean?  Kids often internalise those sorts of problems.  Or maybe something has changed at his Dad's house?  

Keep your chin up, you are doing the best you can.  My DS is now 10 and a lovely, polite and caring boy so I can tell you from experience it does get better.


That's a relief. I feel like I am in tears constantly. We talk about school, and he knows he can tell me everything. I don't think he's having problems, his teacher has never said anything either. Thanks though, that is something to consider. His dad and I are pretty much on the same page, so I'm sure all is fine over there. I know he misses his dad, but heis allowed to call him as much as he wants, and my ex will call too.



#10 EBeditor

Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:08 PM

We tried to have DS in bed by 7, with some time for stories then lights out at 7.30 at the latest - he is up at 6-6.30 so seems to need that early bedtime.

Try not to be too hard on yourself, it sounds like yo are doing everything you can at the moment.

#11 kadoodle

Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:09 PM

You do know they get a massive testosterone surge at about 5 ish don't you?  My DS1 was the same from about 4 and a half to five and a half.  Then he mellowed.  Now we have the 7yr old smart alec backchat. rolleyes.gif

#12 Jenferal

Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:14 PM

You might see the break up as amicable with little disruption to the kids, but he may well see it in a whole different light. His little safe world as he knew it was turned upside down when you split and he had to go visit his dad in a different house.
I read on here someone said that people act worst with the ones they feel safest with, maybe he's acting so badly because he knows you'll still love him. Maybe he feels home life is the only place he CAN act out safely?
I'm no expert lol, and my daughter's not yet 2(though the tantrums have started!) so I might be way off base.


#13 misskrm

Posted 12 March 2012 - 12:32 PM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 12/03/2012, 01:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You do know they get a massive testosterone surge at about 5 ish don't you?  My DS1 was the same from about 4 and a half to five and a half.  Then he mellowed.  Now we have the 7yr old smart alec backchat. rolleyes.gif


I didn't know this. I will check it out on google now. Thank you.

QUOTE (Jenflea @ 12/03/2012, 01:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You might see the break up as amicable with little disruption to the kids, but he may well see it in a whole different light. His little safe world as he knew it was turned upside down when you split and he had to go visit his dad in a different house.
I read on here someone said that people act worst with the ones they feel safest with, maybe he's acting so badly because he knows you'll still love him. Maybe he feels home life is the only place he CAN act out safely?
I'm no expert lol, and my daughter's not yet 2(though the tantrums have started!) so I might be way off base.


That makes me feel worse, although I know not your intention. He was  only just 3 when we split, and I do know it has been hard on him. What I meant though, was that it is now 2 years down the track. We are very open and honest and we count down days till daddy's and mummy's houses. I do understand what you are saying in regards to acting out for those who will always love you. That makes sense. I just wish he could find another way. original.gif

#14 EBeditor

Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

I have heard about the testosterone surge too, but can't find any evidence for it other than Steve Biddulph in his book Raising Boys.

He doesn't provide references.

#15 LovenFire

Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:23 PM

Do you think he may respond to the whole "You're a big boy" concept?  See if Mummy and Daddy can take him out somewhere (which I assume would be a rare thing if you have separated, so perhaps may impress on him that this is important) - perhaps if you can get someone to babysit his brother - and have a talk about how, now that he is at a Big Boy School, he needs to act like a Big Boy and having Mummy breakdown as a result of his behaviour is not acceptable.  

Get some house rules for your house which he has input into as well and see if perhaps, being elevated to being the man of the house when he is at your place gives him the sense of responsibility and pride?  Do you think that may help?  

I'm not sure, but in any case, OP, you're being the best mum you can be and that's all your boys can ask of you.  I promise you, they will only remember all that you are doing for them and the tough times will be something only you remember.

#16 sahmmum

Posted 12 March 2012 - 01:28 PM

OP Your post sounds like my life with my DS who is 7. I went to the doctor for help who sent me to a councellor but I havent been yet as it costs $120 each visit.

#17 misskrm

Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:29 PM

QUOTE (LovenFire @ 12/03/2012, 02:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you think he may respond to the whole "You're a big boy" concept?  See if Mummy and Daddy can take him out somewhere (which I assume would be a rare thing if you have separated, so perhaps may impress on him that this is important) - perhaps if you can get someone to babysit his brother - and have a talk about how, now that he is at a Big Boy School, he needs to act like a Big Boy and having Mummy breakdown as a result of his behaviour is not acceptable.  

Get some house rules for your house which he has input into as well and see if perhaps, being elevated to being the man of the house when he is at your place gives him the sense of responsibility and pride?  Do you think that may help?  

I'm not sure, but in any case, OP, you're being the best mum you can be and that's all your boys can ask of you.  I promise you, they will only remember all that you are doing for them and the tough times will be something only you remember.


Thanks for your advice. We have done the fun time out with Mum and Dad when he was on School Hols. We had a lovely day, lunch and a movie. We are very lucky that we still have the relationship in which we can do something like that. We talked about behaviour and I know exH talks to him about being kinder to mummy. I don't want to be doing anything again like that, especially as he could see it as a reward. He hasn't been good enough to warrant it.

We have house rules, they are printed and on our fridge for all to see. He knows them, but the rules are broken every hour and the punishments etc just don't work anymore. I was talking to some of the other mums at pickup today, and it seems like I am not the only one going through this with their 5 year old. That is comforting in a way.

QUOTE (sahmmum @ 12/03/2012, 02:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP Your post sounds like my life with my DS who is 7. I went to the doctor for help who sent me to a councellor but I havent been yet as it costs $120 each visit.


I'm sorry you are going through this. I have my first appointment next week with my new therapist. I thought that maybe she could help me with some techniques.

#18 MaeGlyn

Posted 12 March 2012 - 02:37 PM

QUOTE
You do know they get a massive testosterone surge at about 5 ish don't  you?  My DS1 was the same from about 4 and a half to five and a half.


I've heard this too. A childcare worker told me boys have the surge with hormones from about 2 to 5, but girls have the surge in hormones from 5 to 8. So when the boys settle down, the girls start going loopy. It would make sense that this is probably also what is happening to my child

#19 Guest_CaptainOblivious_*

Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:04 PM

Our 5 year old went a bit nuts after she started school. It's week 6 now and she's mellowed a bit. We cut back on tv, worked on getting simple (but varied) food into her for dinner and made sure she was in bed by 6.30pm.

We've had to be pretty firm and go back to basics with a lot of the behaviour things better suited to a 2-3 year old but it seems to be working.

They concentrate so hard on being good at school that when they come home, they're just exhausted and you're a safe place to let of steam.

QUOTE
Get some house rules for your house which he has input into as well and see if perhaps, being elevated to being the man of the house when he is at your place gives him the sense of responsibility and pride? Do you think that may help?
I think this extra pressure would be counterproductive. He's just made a huge leap into starting school, let him cope with that for a while.

#20 Kay1

Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:30 PM

OP I don't have much constructive advice to give but I do feel that 8-8.30pm is too late for bed for a kid in FYOS. My son was in bed by 7pm at that age and even now in year one I always aim to have him asleep by 8pm. I know its hard if your younger one is napping and wants to be up a  bit later. I used to get DS1 in bed first, give him a book to read and tell him I'd come and tell him a story soon. Then I'd put DS2 to bed and usually by the time I got back to DS1 he would be asleep. Now that DS2 is not napping and needs an earlier bedtime I do the reverse.

We saw a psychologist with DS1 when he was 4 as we were struggling with his meltdowns etc. It was very helpful, she didn't really talk to him much but gave us suggestions for how to handle things. They worked very well for us. Even more helpful was finding his 'currency'. For us its playing the Wii game on the weekend. The mere mention of losing that privilege is enough to get through to him. We try to focus more on positive things now, he earns stickers for getting ready in the mornings by himself etc and when he has a certain number of stickers he gets a new game for his Wii or some other major treat. I know this may not work for all kids but it suits my son's personality well. With the getting ready in the mornings I got him a magnetic whiteboard and drew columns and a list of things to do. When he has finished breakfast he moves the magnet to the 'done' column and moves onto the next task. If he does them all (5 tasks) without a reminder he gets a sticker. He loves doing this as he can see his progress and its cut out the yelling and pleading in the mornings. If he starts to lose focus I tell him no tv til his jobs are all done and that usually does it.

FWIW I think its probably not a bad thing that your son saw how much he was affecting you with his behaviour. I think its important for kids to learn that their behaviour can hurt other people. If it was me I would talk to him tonight about why you cried etc. How upset you feel when he is behaving that way because its mummy's job to get everyone to school in the morning etc and you need his help and he wasn't helping you he was making it harder etc. Try to emphasise the team aspect and the fact that he can help you by doing the right thing. I definitely don't fancy the idea of making him think that he's "the man of the house" sad.gif but being mum's helper is a good angle.

Good luck OP. It sounds like you are doing all the right things - I am sure this is just a stage. We all go through them with our kids. There's never harm in getting some professional help though as it is obviously getting you down.

#21 itsmemacdolby

Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

Hi OP

I have a 5YO DD who is FYOS this year and she is quite an emotional wreck since starting. In our case she is tired and seems to be wired all the time, so much so she finds it hard to wind down in the evening to sleep (she'll stay up writing her letters as long as we let her). She can be moody and deliberately pushes my buttons which TBH is rather easy with a 9month old baby and sleep deprivation.

Anyway... the other thing I thought of was I know the separation from his Daddy has been mentioned before but you mentioned a DP in your original post (I think, baby brain, could be way off track here) - does he get on ok with your new partner? I only ask because my parents separated at the same age (3) and I know I was a right little terror for my mum when she was seeing someone, I just didnt like him/the situation and in my immature mind I pined for my mum and dad to reunite. I'm not saying it to make you feel worse or anything, just another idea?

It could be a combination of a lot of things just taking their toll on him emotionally.  I hope he calms down for you soon. In the interim, it sounds as though you're trying every approach known to man, hopefully others will be able to offer other ways to manage him.






#22 KT1978

Posted 12 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

What time is he awake in the morning?

I second the suggestion of trying earlier bedtimes. My dd was asleep by 730-800 in kindy and I still had trouble getting her up before 730. First year of school is so tiring.  Maybe by wearing him out playing, he is actually overtired and hyperactive?

It gets better! Don't worry they all go through stages.

#23 Mighty-Mel

Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:10 PM

I am so sorry ou are going through this OP, I don't have much to offer other than a few things.
My fourth child has also just started school and I forgot how horrid they are. She starts going to bed at 6.30 does reader and a story and is ready to sleep by 7, she wakes again at 7.
Also keep an eye on his nutrition depending on your school policy regarding lunch time, you may find he is not eating all of his lunch, often playing is a priority. So offer a good afternoon tea. Coupled with the testosterone surge boys also become irrationally hungry, also try to steer away from artificial colours and flavours and give him plenty of water before and after school.

Adapt a zero tolerance policy, as soon as he starts remove him, put him in his room and he will soon get the idea that you are not interested in being his punching/sounding board.
Along with the house rules on the fridge include a step by step morning routine and eliminate tv.

I think the fact he is only acting out at home is a huge positive, he obviously curently feels his behaviour at home is acceptable. Well done to you and XH for keeping things so grounded and amicable for the boys, given he has had years to get used to the idea it does not sound like this is the issue.

Good luck OP I hope things get better.

#24 HubbaBubbaMumma

Posted 12 March 2012 - 05:36 PM

QUOTE (Kay1 @ 12/03/2012, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP I don't have much constructive advice to give but I do feel that 8-8.30pm is too late for bed for a kid in FYOS. My son was in bed by 7pm at that age and even now in year one I always aim to have him asleep by 8pm.


I agree. My kids are 14,12,11 & 9 and the younger 2 are in bed at 8pm, the older 2 at 8.30pm. When they were the age of you DS bedtime was 7pm. Regualr, early bedtime is critical.


QUOTE (Kay1 @ 12/03/2012, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
FWIW I think its probably not a bad thing that your son saw how much he was affecting you with his behaviour. I think its important for kids to learn that their behaviour can hurt other people. If it was me I would talk to him tonight about why you cried etc. How upset you feel when he is behaving that way because its mummy's job to get everyone to school in the morning etc and you need his help and he wasn't helping you he was making it harder etc.


Absolutely agree. Children must understand that their behaviour has consequences, for them and others.

#25 Cath42

Posted 12 March 2012 - 08:58 PM

I don't know if this will help or not (and I'm sure it will not be popular), but here goes:

As a sole parent of 4 children (aged 10, 7, 3 and 20 months) who also works outside the home, I just don't have the time to negotiate behaviour with my kids or humour them with endless explanations. If they behave badly, the older kids lose privileges and the younger kids get time out. And by time out, I don't mean being made to sit in a corner that they can move away from. I mean being shut in their rooms for 10 or 15 minutes and ignored, regardless of whether they're throwing themselves bodily at the door or screaming blue murder, and being told that they're not coming out until they stop making that noise. There comes a point where bad behaviour is just bad behaviour, and all you're doing by engaging in endless negotation and psychological analysis is perpetuating the cycle.

I don't smack my children, I don't verbally abuse them and I don't have unreasonable or age-inappropriate expectations of them. But I also don't thank them for doing the right thing or for ceasing to do the wrong thing. I know I'm coming across as a hard a*se, but I'm honestly not. I just think that sometimes we parents can be too tolerant and too diplomatic when what is required is "if you don't stop that, you can go and sit in your room and scream at the wall" and then following through.

With all due respect, I think the message that your son is getting via all this negotation and discussion is that he is in charge and you will tie yourself in knots to deal with his behaviour. Of course, I accept that I don't know anything about the situation other than what has been written here... but I think there's a lot to be said for coming down on really vile behaviour like a ton of bricks and making it clear that regardless of the reason for it, it will not be tolerated.

When my eldest was 6, he went through a stage of refusing to put his school uniform on in the mornings. One morning, we got to the point where we were running late for school, I needed to drop his younger sister at childcare on the way to work, and I was running the gauntlet of being late for a vital appointment at work. I picked up the uniform (shoes and all), frogmarched the kid out to the car, put him in the car, gave him the uniform and said, "If that's not on by the time we get to school, you can go to school naked. I really don't care". He had the whole uniform on by the time I backed out of the driveway, and we never had another problem with uniforms.






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About 70 per cent of couples experience a slump in their relationship within three years of having a baby. Here's how we tried to get back on track.

America's favourite baby names of 2014

Americans are turning to television, Netflix and sports for ideas for what to name their wee ones.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

As Sydney grieves the loss of Sydney siege victims Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, reports have suggested that both died as heroes.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
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