Need somewhere to turn (long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2008
Need somewhere to turn (long)
Thu, 05-29-2008 - 6:23pm


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2007
Thu, 05-29-2008 - 7:54pm

((HUGS)) to you; I do know where you are coming from. I have a rather difficult 8-year-old myself, who has been hard since birth; my 12-year-old, otoh, has always been easy in comparison, so I know what "normal" should be. I have found myself on that brink with him that you are talking about, and the good news is, you recognize it in yourself so you can do something about it.

We did take my 8-year-old to counseling when he was 6 & 7. It helped a LOT. It helped us to come up with better strategies for dealing with him. We worked on spending lots and lots of quality one-on-one time with him, first -- just "being," no nagging, no yelling, no criticizing... This was critical. We went on to use a reward system -- the main idea being, catch him doing something right as often as possible -- amazing how he responded to the positive attention.

I also highly recommend a book called "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. That book has totally changed my relationship with my child. Check out this site, too, for some of the key concepts in the book:

I have to run, but believe me, there is a lot more I could say. I know what you are going through, but there is definitely hope that you can make things better. Things here have improved 100% because I've learned to react differently to my son's difficult nature, and we have learned to really enjoy each other so much more. This is not to say everything is always perfect, but we are a lot closer to "normal" now than we were even a year ago.

Avatar for bradleyteach
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2001
Fri, 05-30-2008 - 5:26pm

Hugs, I am sorry that you are having such a tough time.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sat, 05-31-2008 - 11:45am

I'm going to echo the other posters and say that I think it will helpful to you and your peace of mind to get some help, to have someone professionally you can talk to about your feelings and actions.

It is possible to regain your happiness. Part of that may be learning how to let go of the memories of the difficult times you had with your son as a toddler and have continued as he has gotten older.

Kids mimic adults, that is one of the key ways they learn as babies and small children. If they see mommy or daddy react this way to a situation they are going to do the same. They need to learn and see appropriate behavior in adults in order to be able to do the same.

Reading your posts I also think part of his behavior is feeding off of your feelings.

As far as helping him study, every one needs a break so I think it was okay for him to go to see his brother practice. At school they don't stay on the same subject for hours, they move around and then come back to it. Teachers at our school will even sometimes look out over the class and see that the kids aren't understanding a new concept. They will take a break, have the kids get up and walk around and then when they sit back down approach it a different way. I tutor students who are in danger of falling behind at my son's school. Some students need to do things different in order to "get it". I've used songs to help teach the parts of speech and even refer to the time tables as songs. (To this day I hear in my head, "Verb! That's what's happening in!" when I'm teaching what a verb is.) One little girl I worked with could not recognize the different values of money or why it was important to learn to tell time. We worked for over a month on those two concepts trying different traditional methods. Finally in desperation I asked her do you like having to get a note from the office because you can't tell time so you missed the bus? No. Do you like missing your favorite show because you don't know the time? No. What do you think would happen to your dad if he was late to work all the time because he couldn't tell time? He'd get fired (something he's told her but she didn't understand). Do you want those things to happen to you? No. Okay, lets try this again. We had a similar conversation about money that boiled down to she needed to know how much money she had, how much things costs so that she can use her money for what she wants. I finally got her to see she can't rely on the sales clerk to know how to give her the right change because what if the sales clerk doesn't know how much each coin or dollar is really worth? That was an eye-opener for her.

You might want to see about maybe taking a step back from helping him with his homework and studying for tests and look into getting him a tutor. Often you can find high school kids willing to tutor for a reasonable price. Also try to make him responsible for the studying and the grade he gets. He doesn't put in the time to study then he gets the grade he deserved for not working on it. You've already been through 2nd grade, you don't need to do it again. Stepping back and making my 9 yo responsible for doing his own homework was hard. I'm there to help if he asks but I'm not doing it for him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2004
Wed, 06-04-2008 - 12:00am

(((HUGS)))) and chocolate coming your way...

This time of year is hard on all kids, they want school to be done and OVER, my 9 yr old DS(gr.4), can't do homework right after school. He needs at least an hour and a snack, and some "down-time"

Trust me, don't start a battle over homework...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2004
Fri, 06-13-2008 - 2:11pm

hello!! first of al, i feel for you-to be honest i could have written this post myself. except that i dont have 2 boys-i have 2 girls. one is 8(on 6-26), the other is 4. my 4 year old is very well behaved-she has her moments, but usually all i have to do is raise my voice and she stops. shes always been like that. my 8 year old is an attitude with legs lately. she gets mouthy, shes very bossy to her sister, if she doesnt get her way-shes throws a fit like a 2 year old. today she has been pretty good-yesterday, she was good until about 7 at night. we went to walmart-there is something about the air in walmart or something-she went from being good to a holy mouthy terror. my hubby even had to raise his voice and ended up spanking her when we got home for her mouth-he doesnt usually do that. but she threw one of her fits last night and carried on for about 20 minutes-i let her. i was on the phone-i let her cry and carry on. last afternoon, she was deliberatly slamming one of her toys into the floor to get me to lose my temper-i didnt give in and she stopped. i am mildly bipolar-and she acts just like i did when i was a child. well, except for the mouth-my mother would never have taken a lot of the backtalk that i do. but she knows what buttons of mine to push-and i am trying very hard to stop giving in. that means stop yelling at her, stop trying to rationilze with her...just say my piece and walk away. like yesterday-i simply said " youre not playing with your play-doh tonight. you can play with it tomorrow." after she cried and carried on and still didnt get her way-she stopped. now i am not a sahm-i work a ful time job. i try to explain her actions to the people i work with and theyre like "yeah..." but thats about it. either their kids are grown or teenagers or theyre young without any kids of their own yet. so they dont get it either. no one does unless theyre in our shoes. maybe therapy would work-it might help you to be able to talk to your son and might help him realize what his actionsare doing to you. one big thing is dont give in and dont get angry. just walk away. once he realizes that youre not going to give in and youre not going to get mad-then he'll have to change his behavior-he'll have no choice. this morning, my girls were up before me and decided to turn the tv up really loud. i dont know why, but i got pretty mad. i came into the living room, turned it off and said "i dont care who turned it up. i dont care whose fault it was. both of you know better. so the tv will remain off for the next 3 minutes while i make my bed. if i hear any protests, it will be 5 minutes and then 10. if it gets turned up like that again after i turn it back on-then you guys will lose it for a half hour." i didnt hear any protests, and the tv actually stayed off for about 10 minutes while they changed their clothes, go rid of their bowls of cereal, etc. i didnt give them any room for arguments and it worked. thats what i am trying to do-yes they will get choices, but not when they are misbehaving. and i am watching my cool too-cuz when i get mad, it just seems to spur my 8yo on. im trying-and you are too. you are not

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2008
Mon, 07-21-2008 - 3:25am

Hi there, I just came across your post while lurking around and thought I would reply.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2008
Wed, 07-30-2008 - 3:07pm

I completely understand where you are coming from as well.