Side affects of divorce on boys

Genevieve - posted on 11/27/2008 ( 7 moms have responded )

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My son is straight up difficult- manipulative and only 5. Everything is a struggle and a fight. I think he has Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I also think that his behavior is because of his desire to have power because he feels powerless due to being thrown in different directions due to a divorce. I don't know how to minimize his insecurities when I have no power over when he is with each parent since it's a ruling by the court. How do I minimize the effects the divorce has had on him? How do I show him that he is safe and that nothing bad is going to happen to him? How do I teach him that everything doesn't have to be a fight? Nothing works. I feel like I've tried it all and I'm exhausted from his constant fighting with me. It takes 20 minutes to get him to brush his teeth, for example, and I have to finally walk him to the bathroom and put the toothbrush in his mouth and brush. I know he knows how to do it b/c sometimes he WILL do it on his own. So, it's not like he doesn't know how to behave b/c I've seen him do it. He just doesn't want to do anything anyone asks him to do. Even asking him to wear certain clothes for church is a half hour fight.



Anyone, please!!!



Gen

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Melissa - posted on 01/25/2009

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It sounds like my son who is 7yrs old. Although, it's a little different, I've been divorced since he was 2yrs. and already had a relationship. In a way Im glad it was while he was so young because for awhile it was normal to him. Nicholas just started a year ago asking why daddy and i are not married. I had to tell him the truth, b/c i always want him to know i will never lie to him. I also told him that our divorce had nothing to do with him that even though we are not together we love him always. I don't know if hie behavior his due to that or not. (Nick, can be bossy, demanding, and expressive sometimes when he doesn't get his way). We(my fiance and I) are getting married in june2009 (we been together for 6yrs this march) and we are including Nick as much as possible in the wedding so he doesn't feel like it's nothing to do with him. We tell him we are becoming a family, Nick is actually escorting me down the aisle, we are doing a family sand ceremony instead of the unity candle, and at the reception ther will be a sweethears table for me, tony, and nick. We try real hard to keep nick's self esteem at a high, he's wonderful in school (he made principles honor roll), in public he's wonderful,helpful....great with others. At home is when he acts up, i believ he feels safe in his environment to be that way, and comfortable enough with us to express himself in his own way. It's healthy for him to express his individuality,but, he also needs to know where the lines ends. I try so hard to be patient and understanding,but, it can be difficult at times. If i have to punish i take something that means a lot to him away for a day. And, then after awhile i sit with him and explain to him what he did wrong, why it upset me, and what we can do to stop it. sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. But, I have learned you have to pick your battles, he can go one nite without brushing his teeth, he can pick out what he wants to wear sometimes, but, also give them a choice, this or that, now or latter, it makes them think they are deciding for themselves. I think i need to take my own advice...LOL!

Alison - posted on 01/08/2009

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ive been in your position and hopefullya nd finallys eeing the light..time does heal..he is prostesting in the only way he knows how..show him love,boundaries and routine..

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my almost 5 year old boy is having a hard time as well. He has been having extreme low self esteem isssues. He is so hard on himself when he does something wrong. He says he is stupid alot, which makes me so sad. I am going to be taking him to see someone because I feel that he needs it. No matter how much I tell him that I love him, and think he is a good boy, he still beats himself up. His dad hasnt been around much and doesnt call him every day or see him on a consistent basis so I think that is harming him as well. It truly sucks and I wish that I could do more but I am doing what I need to do by creating a safe place for him here at home, setting boundaries, rules and giving him lots of love and attention and doing fun things together. So anyways I feel for you and totally understand what you are going through. whew the tantrums can be awful!!

Jennifer - posted on 01/07/2009

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I have been divorced now for two months and went through the same thing with my older son, he is 9. He was diagnosed with Oppisitional Defiant Disorder. The therapist kept asking if he had ever seen a doctor for ADD. Which he didn't, I continued with therapy for several months, I can't say it didn't help but the fact that his father was acting like such an ass was most of the problem. I continued to try to make life as it was before. I know it can be hard to get along with your ex but I think that was the best thing for my son. We ended up showing him that we could still get along even if we are not together anymore. I did put my son on medicatin for a short time which did work, but my son begged me not to give it to him anymore. It broke my heart when he begged that he will be good. He isn't as defiant now but he is back to the whole thing of having to ask him to do things over and over again. Which is quite annoying. After a while though the defiant thing went away after we moved. You just need to keep reassuring him that everything is going to be ok. The kids and I are much happier now. I guess a happy Mom, makes happy kids. Don't give up, it will be worth the fight in the end. Jennifer Cyr

Saya - posted on 12/04/2008

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My son was 5 when my ex and I split. I think you need both parents on board and comitted to show the kids they are loved. We have consistant house holds and when the kids are being "ugly" we sit down together and talk to them. This way they see mom and dad are on the same page. My ex and I talk everyday to make sure we are both up to speed on everything about the kids. It is hard when you don't live together.

Shanna - posted on 12/02/2008

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Ok i have a nine year old boy and i was a single mom with him for 3 years before i met my husband now. When i left his dad my son did everything your son is doing and probably more. What i did was make sure that i was there for him and when he was with me i made sure he knew what the rules are here. I did the same things that you did and did things for him that he already knew how to do but he just need a little more attention because one person was missing. I had to be very patient with him and just baby him til things got better and he was on a schedule. That is the whole key is keep him on a schedule that he does all the time with you. It takes time to get threw this and make sure that he is well aware that both of his parents are working together and trying to make it easy on him. Dont fight with him because that it what he wants because he is angry. Just let him wear what he wants sometimes and just let him deal with it on some of his terms. IT WILL GET BETTER.

Gwen - posted on 11/30/2008

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play therapy! seriously, that is really your best bet- ask the pediatrician for a refferal, or at least get him in to talk to the councelors at school.



for transitions, try giving him a 1/2 hour warning before dad comes to get him. talk about all the fun stuff he might do with dad (stuff that you are pretty sure dad might actually do, lol). When he gets home give him some lovin' and some quite down-time.



On the other hand, you might need to go completely in the opposite direction! don't tell him dad is coming if it stresses him out- but make sure that he isn't doing anything he will throw a fit at having to leave.

Then when he comes home immediatly distract him with a game all set up, or your shoes on and ready for a walk, something that he'll enjoy and that will take his mind off of the coming-and-going.



Oh, and yeah, we went thru this too- the control thing.Let him control whatever he can, like "do you want to brush your teeth FIRSt, or AFTER your bath?"- if he needs it you can tecnically let him think he's making all the choices, like putting on his shoes or his coat first.

Or maybe a sticker chart? a sticker for everytime he does what you ask, or one for every morning/ evening he doesn't have a tantrum, with some rewards you BOTH agree on after a certain number of stickers.

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