Ok, I admit it, I need help with my son.....

Discussion in 'Gentle guidance' started by ~Denise~, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. ~Denise~

    ~Denise~ Living life...

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    I am a mess. I am yelling, screaming, even wanting to clobber him. Ugh.....(No, no, I'd never do it....)) But this is not me, it's not who I want to be. I am not the Mama I want to be, nor should be, nor can be. My son is my issue. I have 3 kiddos, 2 girls, ages 7 and 13, and my son, who is 5 1/2. He makes it hard to want to wake up in the am. He is constantly negative, constantly whining, constantly grouchy and demanding. I don't get it. My girls were not a thing like this. I really feel guilty for this, but I have found myself from time to time *hoping* he has "something" wrong with him, something we can treat and diagnose. LOL. It sounds awful, I know. :eek: But I keep thinking hmmm, at least then I'd know why he was like this, and I could treat it....or at least work with it and know why. Right now I can't help but wonder if it's me, or him, or what?! Parenting? Maybe. But I am raising him the same as the girls. I do tailor some of the things, to fit each kid...but overall, it's the same. He does not respond to the discipline, and I wonder if he needs discipline for the things we experience, or just more understanding? I don't know. Big sigh.

    Examples? He wakes up in foul moods often. He will ask for something to eat, and it's always "made wrong". He whines about everything. He is just sooo negative. Ignoring doesn't work. Saying "Oh, I am sorry your grape slid next to your sandwich and touched the peanut butter" doesn't work. Telling him to knock it off doesn't work, even screaming it at him doesn't work. :eek: I am at my end, and I dread days like this. It's not right. I need to do something.

    Anyone with boys, or girls, 4 and up with any advice? Or anyone? LOL.
  2. elfmaker

    elfmaker mama to boys

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    btdt...sounds like he needs a good cry.

    when mine is like this i hold him tight until his whines/screams/fits turn to real good cries and let him get out whatever has built up...while validating that yes it is quite sad to run out of almond butter or not be able to find your favorite wash cloth.

    usually after that he take a nap and is perfectly lovely for days or weeks....they jsut need to get some tension out.

    come to think of it mine has been extra whiney himself recently. i bet he needs a good cry:)


    forgot to add that i also tell him a story about a little girl who cried and no one no knew why until she fell asleep in her daddies arms. this usually get a wail of ' i feel like that soemtimes' !!


    luna
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2004
  3. ThirtySomething

    ThirtySomething About to burst

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    Denise-Get this book! _Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys_
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...104-9695192-8180742?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

    I love this book. It is incredible reading and insight into boys.

    Remember, his bad mood is *his* bad mood.

    here are some other links:

    Dealing with rude behavior:
    http://www.becomingtheparent.com/subsections1/question28.html#beginning

    More on disrespect:
    http://www.positivediscipline.com/parents/archive/quest205.html

    Twenty alternatives to punishment:
    http://www.awareparenting.com/twenty.htm

    10 Guidelines for Raising a Well Behaved Child:
    http://www.stophitting.org/disathome/10guidelines.php

    Playlistening: http://www.parentleaders.org/articles/playlistening.html

    I've got to run put my boys to bed. If you give some other examples, I'll try to help.
  4. vicky

    vicky Member

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    Denise,
    I wish I had some good advice for you. It's not your parenting, trust me, some kids are just different. I have so much trouble with my son, he's 13 now but he has never had any fear of any consequence for his actions. His attitude has always been I will do what I like right now and accept the consequences later. All three of my girls have a fear of punishment of any kind. My 11 and 5 year old dd's cannot stand even the slightest disapproval or criticism. My son on the other hand could just care less, it's his personality and I swear he's going to give me a nervous breakdown before his teen years are over, lol. I guess the best advice I may have is to try to find something that works with your ds and use it consistently, but what might work with him I really don't know. If you figure it out let me know, lol.
  5. Katie

    Katie Amity's Focus Member

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    Just a thought; is your dh a grump in the morning? Is he mirroring his male role model?

    I've found that my boys have picked up every nuance of their father....every single one. :)

    ***edited to add: I don't want you at all to think I'm implying your dh is a whiner or a grump. I was throwing ideas out. For example, say dad is not a morning person; he wakes up and is in a fog every time he leaves in the morning. The boy will pick that up, mirror it and carry it all day *because* he's not witnessing his dad shaking off the fog and rallying for his day. The boy is missing the change from morning grump to cool guy. Does that make sense?

    Katie
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2004
  6. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    Denise, I feel bad for writing this, but your post is comforting to me! lol

    Seriously, boys are boys. They are a different creature than girls (I'm already seeing this in Lauren who is only 2).

    One thing I have found helpful is that if the child is just making life miserable to everyone around him... he needs to take his anger/frustration to his room. Everyone else's day doesn't need to be ruined because of a grape, etc. kwim?

    It's helping me to stop yelling... taking the emotion out of it. There is nothing I can do to take back the grape hitting the sandwich. You decide what to do about, but this is the food that is for lunch, so if you decide to throw it out... sorry... that was your lunch you just wasted. We don't have the means (nor the mental sanity) to make umpteen dishes until it is JUST SO for one person. Can you tell we have been dealing with similar situations? If needed I walk the child to his room and give him the abilty to come down when he feels ready. Sometimes it's seconds... other times it is an hour. But... coming out of the room means the attitude is changed - no more making the house an emotional mess. If the fits continue, back up to the room. It gets old when it's up the stairs 20 times in half and hour... andsometimes when his attitude is changed, I ask him to please stay in his room because mine hasn't yet and I don't have the pleasure of completely removing myself. ;-)

    Just so you know... all 3 of my boys are doing this kind of thing now... and in cycles. It's really bad when they are all 3 in a bad mood on the same day.
  7. pmjmomma

    pmjmomma New Member

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    OMG, you've described my middle dd (4.5 yo) to a "t". Wow. I really thought it was me, too. I had a lot of issues with PPD after her birth, and I thought maybe I didn't give her what she needed. Except that didn't make sense, becuse my PPD was *worse* after dd#3 was born, and for longer, and she is the happiest, easiest baby you could ever hope to see.

    The only thing I can offer in the way of advice is that I have started pointing out her negative behavior to her *at times*. I do not harangue her, but I do tell her we will not respond to whines or demands. I'll occasionally do something like "Who said that? Couldn't have been *my* Mackenzie, because *my* Mackenzie has been working so hard on using her asking voice instead of her whining voice." I try to keep things light for the most part, but I have also been known to drop my voice in the park and tell her softly that we will not be able to stay with our friends if she continues to treat me in a mean way. That I am just not comfortable with it. Oh, and I've also been known to say "watch your tone" not so softly :rolleyes: but I do try to keep that in check. Really, I feel that in her case, it's a habit she's had for as long as anyone remembers, and telling her to "watch it" is not as productive as other methods. . .

    I hear you about wanting a diagnosable issue. We were actually pretty close for a while, but she has grown so much neurologically over the last year, most days that is really hard to believe. Then there are other days. . .
  8. maryhannahkali

    maryhannahkali Hangin' off a cliff

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    Oy - my oldest daughter (13) is just like that. God forbid if you tell her "no" to one thing out of 100. The day has just gone to hell and she'll let you know it for the rest of the day.

    When she was little, discipline of any form never phased her. She just never cared. (Still doesn't care) She cries when you're upset with her because you (meaning me) yelled at her, not because of what she did.

    I'm always exasperated when I need to deal with her. No amount of discussing, explaning, yelling, grounding, whatever, works. She doesn't care - period.

    I get sooo upset wondering why she just doesn't "get it." It's like there's some curtain around her that keeps her from "getting it." KWIM? And I cannot explain or discuss that curtain away. Sometimes I think my 3yo understands more than she does. Really.

    She really is a sweet girl and isn't trying to drive us all batty. She's helpful (most of the time) and caring. But.......there's that moment that it all goes "wrong" and you can't get it back.
  9. patchwork~mama

    patchwork~mama New Member

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    I have no solutions for ya mama.... but just wanted to commiserate. :( My 3 year old dd is JUST like that already... and im having a really hard time dealing with it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. *sigh*
  10. NaturalNewborn

    NaturalNewborn New Member

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    My boys are like this, especially my 4 yo old. I try to validate his feelings by telling him it's okay to be upset that your grape touched your sandwich and I understand that it made him mad. But if he wants to whine, scream, cry, etc. he needs to do it alone in his room. And that he can come out as soon as he's calmed down. This is the only way I can handle his fits because they stress me out too much and I become a screaming monster too!

    Also, I notice things like this get worse when he's stressed out about something so I try to think about what could be causing the tension and talk to him about it to help him express his feeling appropriately instead of whining and such.

    For example, dh and I seperated and then a month or so later my oldest son went to stay at grandmas for a little while. Well, with his father leaving and then his brother left it was about all he could take and he all of a sudden developed this extreme and inappropriate fear of bugs, ants, flys, etc. Otherwise known as seperation anxiety. It could be manifest itself into lots of things but for him it was the fear of bugs. So I talked to him continually about how dad and bro still love him lots and mom is here and always will be and he's been lots better about it.

    So if there's something bothering them, these boys just show it in their behavior instead of talking about it, of course at their age it's hard for them to express their feelings anyway.

    I just have noticed that they feel lost in this adult world and need some validation. Once you validate how they feel, they're much less stressed out all the time and are better able to calm down.

    Anyway, hope this helps some! But you are definately not alone LOL!!!

    ~Christina
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ New Member

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    Could it be just a habit? Like a rut he has got himself into, so now it is just his " normal" way of responding to things?
    I have no idea how mature and understanding he is at at 5 1/2 years old and Im not trying to demean you by suggesting somthing so simple, Im sure you've tried everything already, but maybe have a talk with him and tell him you want to help him learn how to be happier, and ask him some ideas on what you both could do when he starts whining or demanding or complaining.
    I would tell him the social rules ( for lack of a better way of explaining) that you feel like he can handle ( like complaining about how you make something- like by saying, it hurts my feelings when I make you something and you tell me I did it wrong, and maybe even ask how he wants some things made) and decide which ones maybe are not a behavior issue, but just his personality ( like grapes touching his sandwich) and make some decisions with him like - grapes will be served in a seperate bowl so they never touch, and then ask him what you both should do when he sits there whining and complaining. Then when he starts, then tell him, ok now is a time whe we will do XYZ like we decided.
    I dont know if your not into punitive type responses from you or not, but I personally would want to say " You can go sit on your bed and come out when you dont want to be whiney anymore"

    I know somethings have to be dealt with differently because they happen so frequently that the child would be sitting on their bed all day if they had to do that everytime they crossed the line.
    I have one son like that but different issues then whining, so I have to deal with him differently.

    My 10 yo gets in that whiney complainy mood sometimes, and I've learned that NOTHING he complains about is actually wrong, he just wants to be grumpy for the sake of being grumpy.
    He'll starts whining hes hungry, saying he hasnt ate in like 10 hours ( LOL) but everything I offer him he complains about. I could offer him chocolate cake and he'd have something bad to say about it. LOL Then he'll complain about his toys, or nothing to do, or his favorite clothes are dirty etc.. every solution I give him he complains about.
    Its just more that hes emotionally tired and wants to have some one on one attention, but he doesnt even know that himself. LOL But it cures it everytime.
  12. kas

    kas Kinder & Gentler

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    :big hug:
  13. Casmi

    Casmi Girls R Us

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    Wow, this is so true. If my girls get out of hand, I tell them they need to do it in their room (for my sake and theirs).

    I don't even put up with whining... period! If they talk in a whining way, I tell them to go to their room until they can talk to me in a decent way. I don't whine to them - so they will not whine around me. I will admit - I'm not perfect. I yell which is awfull and sometimes it manifests when they are interacting with one another. I appologize, but I say I *AM* the MOM and the boss, sometimes I mess up, but that is not an excuse for impolite behavior from them.

    Basically, I will not tolerate it and they get sent to their room until they can controll themselves and communicate in a normal civil way.

    I find the more firm I am, the better they behave. No whining means no whining - period! They will be sent to their room until the can controll themselves like I am trying to controll myself from yelling, hitting (LOL :rolleyes: ) or whatever.

    Good Luck! Raising Kids is Hard, isn't it????
  14. mikifrogspapa

    mikifrogspapa Tree hugger

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    With my dd, the more I raise my voice, or the more emphaticaly I express my frustration at her actions, the more she acts up. Almost like a "you don't understand", but in a 5 yo way. She's starting to grow more mature and easier to reason with, but I still find myself holding her hands together and talking to her sternly, even raising my voice only inches from her face. This does no good. She has even developed the habit of mocking me by moving her mouth when I'm talking and cocking her head back and forth in a mocking way. :rolleyes:

    I have a way I deal with it, but it only works if I catch myself at the very first frustration of the moment or session.

    I simply agree with her, and express myself the same way she is, but in an adult version of it so it's believable and she doesn't think I'm mocking her. For instance, if it was the grape touching the peanut butter, I'd get all "irritated" at it, and sigh heavily and roll my eyes and tell her, "Oh it just gets me so frustrated when my food mixes the wrong way, I know what you mean" Then I continue by modeling what the best way to deal with something like that is, something along the lines of "I guess since we can't get new grapes every time they get pb on them, then the only thing we can do is not eat that grape, or maybe wipe off the peanut butter. I'm sorry that had to happen to you, I bet you'll remember to watch out for it next time huh? I know I would" and now that I'd be 'on her side' I can point out something good like how yummy the rest of the grapes look, or suggest that she set the grapes further away, or off of the plate or something. something a little progressive, to move on away from the comlaint a little.

    Anyway, I think the trick with my little one is to accept, agree, empathise, then guide.

    Often, an hour later, or something, if a positive comment is made, tell him how happy the positive things make everyone feel, and congratulate him for making the people in the room a little happier. But that only works for me when we've broken free of the most recent blowout and things are running neutral for the moment.

    So I hope you find something good to use for your ds out of all the other helpful advice on this thread. Good luck mama. :)
  15. nanci

    nanci jelly belly

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    OK....that's weird...I could have written that post about my 5 1/2 year old ds. He's been especially whiney and complaining this week. I feel drained. I'm with you...saying it nicely doesn't work, losing my temper and yelling doesn't work...

    I think this will pass (we can hope ;) ). Griff has always been needy and whiney, but it seems to get worse around the time he at his half year...

    I'm with you on this one. Stacy has so many good book recommendations too!!
  16. Lizscloth

    Lizscloth Boys-r-us

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    HUGS mama my almost 5yo is the same way..

    I though it had something to do with the new baby but, I don't know anymore..

    He does the same things... If I am talking to DH I tell him to wait a min while I finish talking and he gets up in my face and YELLS at me to get my attention. He wont sit in the booster seat at the table and then spills the food all over the place. He wont eat dinner if I cut it up.

    If I take him food shopping he wants everything in the store and will take a fit if I don't get it.

    The hard thing is he ONLY does it to me :(

    I am starting to think while typing this that maybe I baby him to much?? LOL
  17. ~Denise~

    ~Denise~ Living life...

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    See, I have wondered that. Am I too hard on him? Do I need to commiserate more? Empathize more? Or less? Be more harsh? Things like him being grumpy about grapes and such get to me, yes, but the most bothersome is when it's *my* fault...and it always is. Or whoevers fault that he is dealing with. If I take him a sandwich and the grape rolls over or I brought the "wrong" cup :)rolleyes: ) he says things like "See, I did not want this cup! You did it wrong, you always do it wrong!".....and I often say "Justin, it's not ok to say things like that, it hurts people. I understand you are upset about the grape/cup, but next time you need to tell me ahead of time that you wanted the blue cup and not the yellow one"......He will often say "I did"....and he didn't. Or I will try to "ward" off these episodes and ask beforehand, trying to prevent the issue from ever happening. But it's with everything, and I can't seem to prevent it all. LOL. His seatbelt, getting into the car. He knows how to do it himself, and I always offer to help if needed. But rather he will try, not do it, get aggravated and start to complain. "Ugh, ugh, I can't do THIS" and he will become pretty agitated over it. I will step in and say "Justin, it's ok bud, I can help you, I know it's hard sometimes to do it"...and on a good day he will reply and nod decently. Other days he will say something like "Fine, I hate this seatbelt".....Constantly negative. Ugh! Not only in the am. On a good day he will wake up fine and progress to worse. LOL. On a bad day he will awaken grouchy and get worse. And don't get me wrong, he can be loving and fine and has his days. But when the bad are overcoming the good, as of lately, it's driving me nuts. It's been like this for like 1 year or 1 1/2 year. It's driving me batty. I constantly feel picked on and bombarded. I strive to strike the balance between being an understanding and compassionate parent, yet also wanting my kids to know that while Mama understands and cares and values their needs, wants and input, that there are rules and we need to listen to Mama. It's become a chore with him. It was challenging with the girls at times too. But on an occasional basis. Like a challenging week or day...not a challenging 18 months. LOL. I just fear I need to change my own ways of doing things before he gets worse, and I guess I also need to change *something* because I am miserable and no fun to be around. I feel dread sometimes knowing he could be in "one of his moods". I feel guilt telling him that sorry, we don't want to hear the complaning and that he needs to complain in his room. He will cry aggravatingly and say things like "It's you, it's all your fault!" as he cries big tears of sadness and frustration. And then I feel bad, and think wow, maybe he did just need a good cry....let him have one, go in, hug him and tell him I hope he's feeling better and can come join us. And sometimes he will, and usually picks up where he left off about 15 min. or sooner later. He picks on something else, or someone else.

    )o:

    Thank you for all your hugs and suggestions. I truly value each one. Don't feel worry over offending me at all, I want to hear honest thoughts and opinions and experiences. (o: I *need* to. LOL.
  18. Caden's_mama

    Caden's_mama Just another momma

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    Please consider clicking on the "positive discipline" link in my sig. It's an excellent parenting resource and a great group of parents.

    I feel like a broken record but I dont care :D
  19. Livn4them

    Livn4them New Member

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    {{{{{{{{{Denise}}}}}}}}}}}}

    I'm sorry you're having a difficult time :(

    He actually sounds VERY much like my 2 nephews *who are 5.5 and 6.5 yrs*

    I have to say...I'm fortunate that my kids are most days pretty easy going. T. does get *whiney* at times, over the most ridiculous things *in my eyes*, they're obviously not ridiculous in his eyes:eek:
    I just let him know that his behavior/talking/whining etc (whatever it is at the moment) isn't acceptable. In my cases, that is generally enough.

    Since it's on a daily basis, do you think it could be a food sensitivity?

    Good luck.
  20. Kristerae

    Kristerae Amity's Focus Member

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    D,
    I havenot read the replies yet, but I just wanted to share that I have 4 boys and they are indeed a challenge.

    One of my sons was incredibly picky and whiny. He woudl freak over his shoe lace being slightly off balance. We went through that for so long, tying and retying over and over until I woudl get so ticked off I woudl throw the shoe across the room.
    It really was ridiculous, but nothing I did could stisfy him.
    This same son was a source of omplete frustration for me for many years. And finally we are really bonding.
    It is wonderful!
    But hell while he was young.

    Don't give up on the mother you desire to be, despite your sons weakness.
    Because one day he jsut may immensely bless you beyond measure and you will then see the result of all that hard work.

    How to get through it now? I dont know.Motherwort tincture *lol* (an herbalists fave for things that effect our emotions-especially relating to motherhood,hence the name)

    And dont beat yourself up if you aren't living up to the standard you set for yourself.
    Children can be trying and we are with them 24/7 for the most part. There are times we will lose it, no doubt.
    But it does not mean you aren't a "good" mom.

    Hugs to you Denise. I still have 2 small sons and you may need to remind me of these things form time to time when I am at wits end.

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