Have there been any significant changes in his life with those he is close to? Any deaths, divorces, friends who moved away? Has he expressed concerns about having time with you...attention? Has he been sick? I would be looking at those things. Also is someone bullying him? Sudden changes in behavior means something has happened.
If he were older, I would be thinking about puberty.
Have you taken him to the doctor for a physical?
I would definitely zero in on listening to him...take him out for some special one on one time and ask some questions amidst expressing interest in what he is talking about to find out if there are some things going on you are unaware of. Is he tutored or in a public type school?
Main thing is not giving up on him as he is going through something you don't understand....loving him through it is important. It is good you can vent/express your frustrations in a safe way away from him so you can unload. With children, it isn't always so easy as it could be any one of a number of reasons. I didn't catch how long this change has been going on.
Hang in there....he is worth it :-)))
It's interesting that you mention that you even tried sending your son to Martial arts, as that is what I usually suggest. I am a 2nd degree black belt and a police officer of 13 years.
When martial arts don't work for some families who have a child that has some behaviour issues or other similar problems, my next suggestion often involves counselling. I am not sure of your location, or whether you can get counselling covered by your insurance plans etc, but when we ourselves do not have the answers, which I know we don't always have, I wouldn't hesitate to ask someone for some help or guidance. It sounds like there could be other issues surrounding the behaviour. Could be hormonal, could be psychological - some call it ADHD, some call it needing more stimulation. My cousin just had her 8 year old son diagnosed as having Ashberger's syndrome. I don't think there are specific diagnostic testing for certain things, but if your son fits into a profile it may give you some alternatives on how to deal with it. Some doctors suggest medication, some do not. I am not sure what your stance is with having a diagnosis or with medication, but everyone has differing opinions. And each parent deals with it differently. My best friend's daughter was recently diagnosed as ADHD, and was given some medication. There was a great disagreement between her father and her mother on what treatment option they should take, but in the end, they chose medication and she is doing wonderfully, and has improved 10 fold in school. Her behaviour is now consistent. Another family friend has a 13 year old daughter, who was also Dx'd (diagnosed) as being ADHD, and was given a Rx for Ritalin. In the beginning she improved tremendously, but since she stopped taking it, has been very hard to discipline and control. Lot's of that has to do with teenage angst and hormones also, so mediation in itself is not always an answer. Each person reacts differently to any situation or treatment.
Perhaps with your son, it may be as simple to start off by addressing the behaviour with him, with out tone or repercussion. Ask him why he feels he is acting in a manner that is causing you some difficulty. Give him ownership of the problem. The more he sees you crying, the more he may take advantage of the fact that this is the results he gets when he acts out. I know it's easier said than done. But, all I can say is - do not ignore the problem, it can and will get out of hand and too large for you to handle if something isn't done, whatever you choose. I have seen it, many times in my career.
Good luck, and if you have any other questions that I can help you with, please feel free to message me directly.
In addition to anything I have mentioned, please keep in mind, that while I or others may have extensive knowledge in many areas, you should always seek professional medical advice from your own physician, as it pertains to medical conditions or concerns.
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