I am becoming very concerned about my son's attitude. He just turned 6 and has started kindergarten. For the most part he is a very bright, happy, funny little boy. He is quite a physical comedian! However, he has recently gotten worse with the whining, arguing, and talking back. He also tells me that he "looks for the handsome kids" on the playground to be his friends! I was horrified the first time I heard him say that, having been picked on as a kid myself. I have been trying to work with him and explain that you shouldn't choose your friends based on looks, that a person can look nice on the outside and be mean inside, and vice versa. I've also tried explaining that everyone has feelings and none of it seems to get through to him. He still continues to say the same thing. This summer we were at the playground with a friend of his and another boy wanted to play with them. He had more in common with my son, than the friend did, but my son and his friend were mean to him and wouldn't allow him to play, kept running away from him, and even spit on him. I was mortified. I apologized to the child's mother, made my son apologize to the boy, and then put him in time out. Eventually they all ended up playing together but my heart broke watching my son treat another kid this way.
I've been having some mild problems with him being whinny, mouthy, and argumentative....to combat it, he gets a warning and then gets set to his room. When he emerges, he's like a different kid, happy to do whatever I ask.
He's been acting like this at school with his teacher, and also with my ex. My ex and I have been separated for over 2 years. My son spends EOW with me and 2 nights a week with each of us, so the visitation is close to 50/50. In my home my BF (of 2 years) and I are pretty consistent on our expectations and our rules. We expect respect and we give it to him as well. My BF and my son have a "friendship" relationship and I handle the majority of the discipline issues, though my BF will repeat or enforce a well-known rule from time to time.
My ex has always been the softer parent, assuming I suppose that if the rules or punishment are too firm that our son will want to live with me full time or love me more. My ex also is very outspoken and judgmental against people and often comments on how people look or act in a very negative way (i.e., "I don't like her, she looks retarded"). It doesn't take a genius to see where my son is picking this up! We've talked and my ex understands this as well and is supposedly working changing this. My ex has become involved with a woman who has an 8 yo daughter with a genetic disorder that causes her to act younger than she is, so I guess now it's very obvious to my ex that our son treating people who are different with contempt is a problem.
I am so tired and fed up. My son is a sweet boy and I want so much to help him grow into a kind man. How do I help him do so when my ex is such a bad influence. And even more, how do I get my son to understand that he needs to respect my, my ex, his teacher and the other people in his life. This morning he spazzed out on his aunt on the way to the bus stop because he forgot something for school, he ran away from her, crossed the road alone, and ran back to her house. We are so lucky he didn't get hit by a car or something. We take away his video game privileges, TV time. He has been in TKD for 3 years to learn discipline and respect but obviously it isn't working.
I don't think he has ADD or anything. His teacher says he is doing great academically, it's just his attitude. Sorry to be running on like this, I am just out of patience and ideas on how to help him. I just want him to be a good person.