Avatar universal


How can I pretend to like my son?  He's 7 years old and is a smart mouth and does the opposite of what I say ALL THE TIME.  I've punished him but it doesn't help.  I work and my husband stays home with him.  I know my husband needs to be more consistent and supply more structure and dicipline but he doesn't.  I get to the point where I go down to the basement right when I get home from work, shut the door and stay there all night.  I can't stand to be around him.  What should I do?  I want to love him and I find myself bonding with other kids because they act the way I would like my son to act.   I'm so lost, what should I do?
126 Responses
203342 tn?1328737207
I think you're confusing his behaviour with who he is as a person. You don't love his BEHAVIOUR. You hate his BEHAVIOUR. It's not him you don't love, it's his behavious. You've got to seperate the two. He is your child, a part of you. There are many times I don't like the way my daughter acts. And sometimes I feel like I don't even like her very much (when she's acting badly). However, I KNOW it's her behaviour I don't like. I DO love her. She's my daughter and I'd give my life for her. Now that we've established that, you need to work on his behaviour. If you don't like the way he acts, then address the problem. No one said it's easy to be a parent. It's the hardest job in the world. But you don't have the option of just "checking out" like you're doing. How is that helping him? Did you think about the possibility that he may be acting up more to try and get your attention? Kids are funny that way. It doesn't make sense to us as adults, but kids don't act like we do. If he's getting a reaction out of you, then he'll keep up the behaviour. He may increase it too when you ignore him. He's trying to get your attention! He's crying out for your love and attention! YOU have to be the adult here. I don't know what kind of punishments you've tried but they're not working. You need to sit him down and go over the rules with him in a calm manner. Tell him what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Then start a reward chart with him. If he does the things he should, reward him with a sticker. Explain to him that after he's earned so many stickers, that he will get a special treat like going out with mom for ice cream or something. Give him something to look forward to. You say he's a smart mouth. He may be trying to be a clown to get laughs. Just explain calmly that he can't talk back to you or his daddy or teacher or any adult. If he disobeys, then he gets something taken away. But make sure you also give him rewards for good behaviour. He needs goals, something to look forward to. Kids need and crave praise and validation. Look for ways to praise him. If he brings home a good grade, praise him. If he cleaned his room without asking, praise him. If he's playing quietly by himself, thank him for being so good. It may take effort to begin with, but look for ways to praise him. The more you do this, the more he will try and please you. It may take awhile and it will take a lot of patience and work from you, but isn't it worth it? You are raising a human being here. That's the most important job in the world.
13167 tn?1327194124
Krissy - your post is so interesting because it's the flip of the usual husband/wife battle.    There are so many men who don't come home until the children are in bed,  or if they come home they hide in the house where the kids can't find them,  because the kids are unlikeable.  (And there's also the percentage of fathers who can't tolerate any kind of boistrous kid behavior,  so they seclude themselves because they are unsociable).

I think you need to have your son tested and in therapy if he's as unlikeable as you say.  The fact that you're bonding with other kids is an indication that you really like children,  and tolerate shenanigans,  but this boy is way way over the line.

Get him tested.

Best wishes.
13167 tn?1327194124
Oops,  I didn't finish my post.  

Do other people find him impossible to be around?  Grandparents,  teachers,  peers?  Is it just you who doesn't like him,  or is it that his behavior is such that no one wants to be with him?
Avatar universal
I've had him tested, he's fine and he's very well behaved in school.  I've even asked the teachers if they are actually talking about MY son at conferences because he is so different.  I went to one of his soccer games and EVERYONE loves him but at home, he's an animal.  The problem with us is that my husband is always his friend and not his parent.  I feel like a single mother with a husband!  I sometimes want to put him into foster care on a temporary basis (but not tell him that) so he might realize just how lucky he really is.  We are very poor but we are very blessed to have what we have.  I just have NO feelings for my son, am I completely abnormal?
203342 tn?1328737207
The fact that he's only doing it around you tells me a lot. He is looking for attention from you. See if you can sit down with your husband and tell him your concerns and ask him to try and be on the same page as you as far as discipline, etc. goes. My husband's kinda the same way. He's the fun dad. I usually have to be the disciplinarian. But you know what? My kids act like they respect me more. I don't let them talk back to their dad, but they listen to me more.
Have you tried the things I've suggested? The reward chart tends to work well for kids his age. It's just a suggestion.
Avatar universal
Have you ever thought that maybe the problem lies with you and not your son??  You lock yourself in the basement when you come from work??? My gosh, how much time do you give this poor boy, if any?? He is obviously starved of your affection and is trying the only way he knows to get your attention, and still you push him away?? Maybe he would be better off in a foster home surrounded by people who love him and want him!! I know how tough boys can get, I have a 7 year old myself, but his behaviour only pushes me to want to help him more, not give him away and hide from him. You maybe not abnormal not having feeling for him, but maybe you should have thought about that before you brought him into this world. He is your responsibility, but if you cannot love him, please give him to somebody who will, for his sake, because he deserves it, not you!!
184674 tn?1360860493
Wow, what a post.
Krissy, help us out here. What DO you do to be a parent to him? How have you addressed his bad behaviors, what kind of discipline have you used (well, before you decided to give up on him and lock yourself away in the basement)? And more importantly, what have you done for him to ever show him any *positive* attention (besides sitting on the sidelines of a soccer game once)?

I'll be honest with you, after reading your post, if you're for real, I'm appalled at how you handle being a parent. Of course you like other kids--you don't have to raise them. You see them for a brief time and then you don't have to deal with them as a parent. But when it comes time for you to step up to the plate with your own son, you are emotionally neglecting him. I guarantee you that he KNOWS you don't like him, and probably thinks you don't even love him.
And if you feel like a single parent with a husband, then so what! BE A PARENT anyway! Don't blame *your* issues with your son on anyone else, because the relationship you have with your son is between you and him and no one else. Put some effort into this!
Think of it this way if you're going to point fingers at your husband: children in divorced families get traded from one parent to the other. Say one parent is like you--expects the kid to fit a mold of behavior and qualities, yet doesn't do a damn thing to develop that in their kid, so that parent emotionally disconnects from the kid and what happens? The kid's behavior gets horrible and intolerable.
Then there's the other parent who has the kid the next week, and this parent dotes on the kid and takes interest in the things the kid likes. Say this parent is a moderate disciplinarian and could improve, but all in all, this parent is doing their part to raise a healthy, happy, likeable kid. But say this parent hates the other parent, and vice versa.
So the other parent claims they don't like the kid because the other parent has set the kid against them. Yet this parent is still doing absolutely NOTHING to emotionally bond with the kid. Oh, but it's so easy to point fingers at others and say, "I'm not responsible for this."

Grow up. And get some help for yourself so you can help your son, otherwise he's going to hate you right back in the very near future. Why don't you schedule an appointment with a family therapist. That would be a good place to start.
Avatar universal
WOW.  I guess I didn't realize that I would get such negative feedback.  Thank you all for your honest opinions, I do appreciate them.  As far as being poor, we are but we have a house and our health.  I'll try harder, it's just so hard for me.  Winter will be here soon and that's when I do have some fun with him because I LOVE winter so we're outside alot on the weekends.  Thank you for the rewards suggestion.  I know about that but have never actually put one into action.  And I'm not a Troll, I really don't even know what that's suppose to mean.  
Avatar universal
I will not be writing any more to this post.  Thank you again.
184674 tn?1360860493
Krissy, as far as negative feedback, I'm sorry, but I think you honestly could have expected it. You put a post up that was very negative about your own child.
You came right out and said you don't like him, that you can't stand being around him, you lock yourself away from him, you wish you could sometimes give him to foster care (and foster care is horrible, so I don't see how anyone could actually wish that on their child, if even temporarily), he acts like an animal, and you are bonding with other kids that are not your own.
Then you said your husband does not apply consistent, structured discipline for your son. Well, that sounds better than you giving up, doing nothing and locking yourself in the basement.
You didn't say one thing to indicate that *you* care enough to change his behavior, only that you want *him* to change so you can love him. You even confess to this when you said in your last post that you've *known* about positive reinforcement reward systems but you've never actually put one into action.
So as for "I'll try harder," please do, for your son's sake. He's a child who needs his mother, physically and emotionally. Locking yourself away from him, bonding with other kids, and wishing temporary foster care on him to "help him see how lucky he really is" is providing neither for your son.
I really think a family counselor could help you all develop a better relationship with one another. Seriously, get in contact with one and set up an appointment.
Avatar universal
I don't want you to give up.  You are writing to a bunch of Mother Bears here...we just want what is best for all children...including yours.  I would suggest having mother-son time each week regardless of his behaviors.  Children need to know you will love them no matter what they do or how they act.  I agree that he is striving for your attention.  So give it to him in a positive way.  Then he will be less likely to act up during the week because he knows he will have his "mom time" say on Saturday.  Make this time fun but it doesn't always have to be something planned.  Even running errand with you on Saturday morning can be quality time.  

I would also suggest having supper as a family as often as possible.  Sitting around the table!  At supper give each family member an opportunity to talk about their day UNINTERUPTED.  Letting your son know that his day is/way important to you is important to him.  You can also share your day with your son and husband.  Even if you had a "bad" day.  They will then understand how your day was and give you space is you need it.

I respect your honesty.  I agree that it is his behavior you don't like though and I think you agree with that also and not that you don't like your son.  Sometime it is hard to distinguish the two!!

Best of luck!  
154929 tn?1196187738
One thing I would like to comment on--you say you are the one working and not your husband (nothing wrong with that) but is because he is laid off and looking or on disablity--I only bring this up for if he is totally depressed about not working and he takes it out on you by not respecting you or other things like that--your son may also be picking up this behavior that mom is supposed to be talked to this way....you may all benefit from a family meeting or even counseling to help all of you get over issues that you have.  And yes being a prent is not easy--and there is no reason for any parent ever to check out on their child---You need to be strong and consistent and have total ground rules set for all of you to follow.  If it is tough now, Winter is usually harder for everyone gets couped in the house when it gets cold out--so I would think that it would be a great time to work on the family.  Good Luck
Avatar universal
I am sorry, but I can't believe that you are actually complaining about your son.  His own mother states she doesn't like him.............. gotta say that is kind-of not right.  I mean it's not like you are saying you don't like his behavior, you are saying you don't like him.  Maybe he needs his mother.  
How do you expect your son to be a good kid when he feels his own mother who is suppose to love him above all others is against him?  
I think there is more to this problem then just your son.  Dig deeper into your family situation and you might find something.
You seem to not like the fact that women are disturbed by you saying you don't like your child?  Does it feel like the forum is against you?  Good now you know how your son feels, except we aren't your mother.
Avatar universal
Krissy don't let others get to you. I truely understand what you are talking about. I am a guardian of a child who is my sibling that i have raised for 4 years now. I feel the same way about coming home and wanting to or going to my room and close the door. And i sometimes finding myself not liking the child. And I honestly think that if she wasn't my sibling I would return her back to foster care. I have had every test done, put her in activities and is very attentive to her but her behavior is still terrible. I am not giving up, I have signed us up for therapy and a psychiartise(spelling). So far no change but she is only 5 and I still have some years to go before she becomes a teenager and then i really can't control her. so best luck.
Avatar universal
It is very obvious in your response to Krissy that you do have compassion. You in no way are saying that you have given up on your sister, quite the opposite to Krissy. At least you realize that she is only a child and that there is still hope for change. I know it is very tough to parent a challenging child, my own son threatens to kill me and my husband, but out of love for him, we continue on loving and trying to help him.
273397 tn?1190574640
i think everyone is being very hard on you when writing on here i have a son at 4 and a half he is very hard work his tantrums are really bad and yes sometimes i say to myself i hate him because of the way he is acting everyone thinks my sons an angel but they dont live with him i love my son with all my heart but sometimes you just want to scream when they constantly keep misbehaving but there kids make the most of your son while you have him spend some time on your own with him i did that with my son and you see a different boy when you get to know what he likes and dislikes it may take some time but it does work i think you do love him give yourself a chance and dont listen to anyone on here not everyone bonds with their kids especially when they get away from the baby stage we forget they get older and it gets harder. dont hide away from your son spend time with him dont let your son think you dont like him you may regret it give yourself a chance.
get back to me and tell me how you get on.

good luck

203342 tn?1328737207
Wait till they become teenagers, hee hee. Then they will really test you on your love for them, let me tell ya!
273397 tn?1190574640
no-one is perfect she is on here for advice not to get abused yes she may have said the wrong thing when saying she hates her son i think everyone has said something but it came out the wrong way. the people on here that are saying that krissy makes you sick im sorry but you make me sick for abusing this woman she came on here for help and all she is gettin is abused yes children are hard work i know i have a son and daughter and im only 20 yrs old i think the people on here should look at themselves use are bullies i just cant believe that someone came on here for help and she gets this no wonder she doesnt want to put another post in i wouldn't if i got that.

and just before anyone starts about my age yes im 20 but i have my own mind and i will speak it the way i like.

krissy i hope you get help with your son and BETTER advice

take care

203342 tn?1328737207
Yeah, I think people jumped the gun a little accusing her of being a troll. I think we have to be careful to get all the facts before we assume things.
If you noticed, I didn't abuse her. I tried to get her to see that it was his behavior she didn't like, not her son. I told her that because I wanted her to not take it personal. It's not him as a person, it's his behavior. When you realize that it's the behavior then you know there's hope because people can change their behavior with help.
273397 tn?1190574640
i saw that what you said and i agree it just annoyed me with the person saying that krissy made her sick i felt she was being bullied  i agree it was the wrong thing to say but people on here want help not to get the abuse she got

Avatar universal
first of all krissy, i am hoping youre still reading these comments at least. i appreciate your honesty and the fact that youre on here shows that you do love your son more than anything and you want to find a place to not only let out your emotions and anger, but to seek some help from women whom i am sure have felt anger towards their children countless times. i admire your courage to talk so honest. that comes from you being hurt, angry and tired, and frustrated. it could be angry at your husband for reasons unknown, your misbehaved son, and your hard day at work. adn you come home angry and the first place you come to talk was probably here to let out some steam. so your words were just out of anger i am sure. and how could the rest of you women not understand that? regardless of some women with their pride say, ALL of us do go through the times when you dont wanna deal with the moment of their misbehaving. sometimes you even want to strangle them. lol
but you love them with all your heart. parenting is hard. but what you need to know most of all right now is that every second that youre mad and hide away or neglect your child, scars him in some way. he is at an age where lots are going on with him and he needs to feel your love and care so much when you come through the door. change your reaction and mood for a couple of days and see if he continues his behavior. i am for certain he will change. be patient sweetheart. thats what being a woman means. we gotta learn to be patient mothers, husbands and all the above. dont get offended and dont stop talking on these posts. show your courage. there are lot of us here who do understand you and are here to really help instead of insult. i would like to hear you come back and acknowlege the ones who are here to help. let us know how youre doing and how your dear son improves with the love of his mother. remember, youre the most important human being, role model in his life! without you, he is nothing and without your love, he will never have the confidence and insurance to go on with the battles of life. a womans role in life is the most important. we spin the world around. be strong! and do seek for help. we are here for you. you are not being judge for your honesty .
Avatar universal
Hi, i feel totaly the same as you. My 4 year olds behaviour makes me feel as though i dont like him at all. He is so mean and nasty, exactly the kind of child i dont like. He does things he knows will annoy me, he listens to NOTHING i say. I am a stay at home mum and ive absolutely had enough. He hurts his baby sister on purpose all the time. Ive had thoughts of foster care although i never would. Ive tried reward charts, special time, smacking, time outs, naughty step, positive encouragement. The behaviour specialist says never shout, never s,mack, always praise, dont take anything away7, dont make him eat of he doesnt want, dont make him tidy away toys, only say no if you really have to....WHAT?? Ive even tried this and this does not work either. At the moment i find it so hard to look at him and have to force out every positive remark to him. I fake the friendly happy voice and force myself to spend time with him, through a gritted teeth smile. This is the hardest thing i have ever done. Im just trying to keep my head low and plow through this terrible time and one day ill wake up and he might be nice to me! I know exactly how you feel and you are not odd - just very brave to admit your felings. I would suggest spending more time with him however hard it is. Good luck!
Avatar universal
I have a 7yo son that I cannot stand to be around. There I said it.

He is always, always in trouble. Always. Irresponsible, untrustworthy, defiant...

He is a full on brat. Yes, a brat. Impulsive, hyper, annoying, defiant, and the list continues and continues. I have 3 other children YOUNGER than him, and he is by far, THE worst behaved child. I have an appt. this week to put him on meds (ADHD tendancies) because I am at the end of my rope with his 2yo-like behavior.

Yes, I am his Mother. Yes I love him as a son, but I hate his behavior. Call me immature, psycho, mental, or whatever, but I live with this every single day, and until you are in my shoes for one day, you will never understand my or Krissy13's view.
Avatar universal
I don't think you are immature, psycho, mental or whatever.  I think there is no place else to turn and your family (including your 7-year old) requires "rescuing".  Yes, this is when a child requires medication - when there are no options left.  I know; we have been there.  By the way - think of how awful life must be for your son.  He probably can't stand himself either.  To help ease your mind, research is beginning to show that children who require medication for certain disorders can actually lose brain cells when denied certain chemicals.  Often, these chemicals are found in the meds prescribed.  I don't know about your particular case, but in our case, the research is proving this to be true.

One more thing - a wise psychiatrist said that "medication does not change you, it corrects you".  Of course, this would be true only if the dose and meds were also right. By the way, it took three different meds at varying doses to find the "correct" fit for our child - but what a fit!  
This discussion was closed by the MedHelp Community Moderation team. If you have any questions please contact us.

You are reading content posted in the Child Behavior Community

Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441126518
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments