Many parent/child interactions of the sort you describe can have an eroding influence on the bond between parent and child, resulting in anger and resentoment. This process is clearly happening with you, and you are correct to be worried about it. It will be important to seek professional help. The problem isn't with you alone; the problem is not with your son alone. The problem is in the interaction between you and your son. With professional help, you can change the nature of the interaction and break youself of some habits you have developed in responding to your son. He will change to the degree that you are able to change. One very critical ingredient in the change process will be for you to develop a systematic way of responding to your son's behavior. This is one of the results you will achieve with professional help. On your own, you can read Lynn Clark's very helpful book about managing children's behavior. The book is called SOS: Help for Parents, and it describes in useful detail the sort of systematic behavior management plan I am referring to.
In response to Exscape, I know what you are going thru. My 9 year old son sounds very similar. One minute he can be good as gold but the next minute, he will be rebellious, mouthy and sometimes downright nasty. I can ask him to pick up after himself and he will look me straight in the eye and tell me no and just go on doing what he was doing before. We had made plans to go away for the day, I asked him to get ready to go but instead he just laid on his bed refusing to get ready. I told him he could get ready nicely or else we could have a fight about it. He just looked at me and stood there refusing to cooperate until I blew my top. I can't understand why he becomes so defiant in just seconds. Once I got mad and punished him, he was good for the rest of the day. I have tried taking away priveledges, toys, sending him to his room, etc. but nothing works. Time out is a joke and so is grounding him to his room. Often times, if he gets mad at me he will run off outside and hide in the outbuildings until he thinks I have forgotten about punishing him. My husband refuses to get mad at him so I feel like I am constantly the bad mom. I have asked the school to intervene and have him tested for ADD or other behavior problems but they say that until his grades or behavior starts causing problems they will not do anything. Our family doctor can't seem to see anything wrong either. Where do I go for help when the husband and the doctor don't think there's a problem?
You and your husband must be united in your efforts as parents if anything is to change. Your description, if it is accurate, indicates that your husband is sabotaging your eforts to manage your son's behavior. He is colluding with your son to defy your parenting authority. There is no indication, based on your account, that the onus is at all on the school. This is a family problem, not a school problem. Unless the situation between you and your husband changes, there's no reason to expect that your son's behavior will change.
Reading the previous comments was like it was being written about our family! Here's our situation: About 3 years ago I met the man of my dreams that came with an added bonus, a 4year old son. Not knowing what the future would bring, we took one step at a time and now 3 years later we're engaged to be married in October. We've had our ups and downs off an on like any family does but lately it's been horrible. He's shown at different times taht he can't be left alone with other people's stuff, and has even "stolen" stuff from our home and hidden in his room. Every chance he appears to be busted for something, he lies. Then he continues to lie until you think you're about to go nuts. You can literally see him do something, bust him on it and he'll deny it (example--the other night I walked into the bathroom and could smell the distinct smell of Listerine-- The son was conveniently just flushing the toilet. When I inquired about it, he said "I didn't touch it" and then finally got it out of him that he spit it down the toilet). We've had him speak with a police officer on 2 different occasions about why it isn't a good thing to lie (one with his bio-mom and once with me) but it didn't seem to phase him. He had problems in school last year with behavior, and the school didn't find it necessary to do further testing on him, deciding that he wasn't THAT troubled for further action from the school. However, after making some very unappropriate comments and having this "naughty" behavior continue, his bio-mom scheduled him to meet with a therapist. WE met with the doctor about 6 times and we all enjoyed talking to him. It seemed to help Casey for a little bit, but did no long term help. We've talked with teachers and administration, and no one has found anything that has helped. And to make it even worse, lately he's gotten more out of control. Calling people names, making little comments about wishing he lived somewhere else, doesn't like us, etc. While we have heard more things said about bio-mom usually (she has SEVERAL issues that we believe attribute to his behavior--as did the therapist). We have tried so many different techniques, but nothing seems to help him understand and treat anyone with respect. Just today, he was very mouthy to the daycare provider and her assistant and very disrespectful to me when we tried to talk about it. He doesn't understand respect or how to treat others, but he gets very upset when others do this very thing to him. How can we get him to understand what we're trying to teach him and get him to understand that we are trying to help him become the best person he can, and have as many friends as possible. He shows no remorse and we're just at a loss for what to try next!!! I did see somewhere online a book that I'm going to purchase to see if it has any other ideas: SOS Help for Parents. Please don't think that you are the only parent dealing with these behavior issues, it's becoming apparent to me that there are a lot of us out there and could possibly benefit from comparing notes a little. Feel free to email me at ***@**** if you would like to do that...
I have a almost 7 year old step son who lives with us five nights during the school year and 4 nights during summer. His mom was absent from his life for two years while she came out of the closet when he was 3-6 years old. She came back after I met his father and ever since my step-son has gotten worse and worse. I don't know if it's related to her being back but she does not like me and speaks badly about me to her son (my step son) all the time. For the last year he has gotten worse and worse. He speaks bad about his mom when he's here and her partner then speaks badly about us at her house. He says that he wants to please her so she won't leave again. He lies compuslively even though he gets caught all the time. He will lie even if you have proof until he is sure that he can no longer sustain the lie, that the proof is just to good. He doesn't care if we take away toys and activities or give him time outs. I have been telling his father that he needs help for some time but he thinks the problem is with me. Our interactions are very similar to the mom in the first post of this thread. They have deteriorated. In the morning, I will be upbeat and happy, but by the late afternoon I have been disrespected and ridiculed so much that I can't even look at my step son in the eye. The looks he give me really hurt. His father thinks it is me but my family and his mother all think he needs help. I should share that I have a very happy well asjusted, four year old at home also that is my son. His father visits us every week and we all get along really well. I don't know what to do. Right now, my step son has started doing dangerous things. He got up really early a week ago and lit the stove which he has never touched before, and left it on all day. We left early without using it so no one noticed. His father works nights and was asleep in the house all day though. Today, he tried to bite me! I told him to go to his room and he wouldn't so I took his wrist and guided him there. Then I cried. Then he told his father that I made it all up and his father doesn't want to beleive me. I am at the end of my rope. I feel like my partner is in denial and that soon someone will be hurt. My step son was sent home from school last year for being disrespectful and he has been kept in from recesses but his father thinks this is normal. He tells other adults that they are wrong in public and disrespects them, the librarian, moms at the park, the waitress at the diner... help! my email is ***@**** if anyone has any ideas.
Thanks for your help.... I need it..!
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