Desperate for advise regarding my son who has a really negative & disrespectful attitude.

Lucky - posted on 10/27/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am at a loss any advise would be really welcome. My son is in Grade 1 Birthday in September. Got called in for the upteenth time yesterday by the owner of the Afterschool in connection with my Son's behaviour. He has a "I don't want to & you can't make me attitude". Totally disrespectful to authoritive figure. My husband believes that giving him a good hiding is sufficient & appropriate punishement but it is not correcting the Behaviour. I am worried that he will be kicked out of the atfterschool & school that he is currently attending if I cannot curb & correct his behaviour. How do you teach a 7 year old to respect his elders, to do as he is told, to heed instruction from his teachers. How do I make him care? The afterschool Owner says he can demand, plead, beg etc. & he won't budge when he makes up his mind not to. My hubby went off at me last night when I mentioned to him that the afterschool owner suggested we take our son to see someone. Hubby said that I just keep wanting to run to doctors etc. Truth be told I don't know what to do with my son. He is not always this way. We recently completely changed his Diet after I read up on Feingold's theory & there has been a bit of improvement. We have cut out the majority of Junk food, preservatives, colourants, sugars etc. & my kids only drink watered down 100% fruit Juice, milk or water. What else could it be?

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Jill - posted on 10/27/2011

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i am by no means an expert or a doctor but it sounds like several of my friends' has had the same issue with their 7 year olds. they were at their wit's end and in one case, didn't get any support from the teacher. all of my friends have had their child tested for ADD/ADHD and all of them were tested positive. i totally get how your husband feels, though. it seems that too many parents out there dont want to take responsibility for their child's behavior and would rather label their child a "problem" so that an "easy fix" can be applied and the parent doesnt have to work too hard to correct bad habits. i get it! but when you've tried to take away privileges and favorite things, you've enforced positive reinforcements and you've even tried threatening and nothing seems to work, what do you do?

have you considered talking to his teacher? principal? how is he doing otherwise in school? grades good? does he pay attention, do his work? is he misbehaving only in this one program or is it happening all day long? i dont know what the afterschool you mentioned is but is it a program that he is just not liking? is there a conflict with that teacher or the adult in charge? is this a program that is happening right after school? does he get a chance to have any down time? a snack? is there opportunity to allow him to do an independent task instead of group work?

there are so many factors that could be considered and it could be just a plain ol' phase. when my 7 year old starts acting disrespectful and wont listen, i mimic her behavior when she wants something from me (and i exaggerate it a bit) so she can experience how i feel when she behaves disrespectfully. she usually gets the point.

keep us updated on how it turns out for you. good luck!

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Lucky - posted on 10/31/2011

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Hi Jill You are an angel !! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my mail. I am definitely going to get hold of that book & try all that you have suggested & will keep you posted as to the progress. God Bless :)

Jill - posted on 10/28/2011

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my daughter can put up a fight about doing homework as well. it becomes a battle of wills as well and doing homework together becomes very unfun. we try to switch it up with me working with her and then dad. we each have very different learning styles so that helps change things up a bit.

have you tried asking your son what he wants to do? what will motivate him to make good choices and get his work done? if he sets his own goals and privileges, he might be more apt to follow them.

a friend of mine gave me a book to read titled, "You Can't Make Me [but I can be persuaded]" by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. I havent had a chance to read it yet but i've scanned it. my friend has tons of highlights and tabs to mark for reference. and there's a lot of them. she said it's an excellent book. the book is about strategies for bringing out the best in your strong-willed child.

perhaps immediate positive reinforcements might be the key? if he can get a good report from the after school teacher, there would be a treat or prize waiting for him in the car. when he completes his homework at home without moaning and groaning, he can pick a prize from the box/bag. instead of making him wait a whole week, perhaps that would motivate him a little more. then eventually, you could space it out over 2 days, then 3, then 5, etc.

and NO! i dont think your son is a monster. it sounds like the challenge is that is for you to figure out what motivates him. sometimes kids need to learn in a fun way, through a game or role playing. sometimes kids would rather do their homework at night, in the morning or maybe right after school. some kids need more of a challenge, mixed with easy stuff. ask ethan what he wants and what goals he should have. have him tell you what it would take for him to accomplish that goal(s) and make your expectations clear for him to finish each goal he sets for himself. make sure you get his father involved in this process so that the whole family is on the same page. your husband needs to be on board with whatever you decide in order for something like this to work. that way, ethan cant play you both.

another idea, this had to happen for my husband to spend more time with his older sons, is that i would schedule an activity FOR them. i'd arrange it with his son, and then tell my husband that that is what he was doing that day and not to make other plans (it was already arranged). it may not have been something my husband was interested in, but interested his son. sometimes just showing an interest and learning something new that his son was involved in make the world of difference. my husband realized that even though it was something he wouldnt normally had done on his own, they found something to bond with and they found other interests in common. your hubby might not like being told what to do, but if you get ethan excited about an activity that he and his dad are scheduled to do, it might be the push your hubby needs to spend more time with him. (oh, i'm playing devil's advocate here!!!) :)

Lucky - posted on 10/27/2011

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Firstly thank you so much for all your advice.
In reply to Jill - regarding the possibility of ADD/ADHD - so many of my friends kids have also been diagnosed with the same thing - but then a friend who's child is about 4 going on 5 took hers to see someone who suggested she read up on Feingold - she changed his diet & with therapy now he is doing tons better. I really want to do everything possible to avoid medicating my son. that to me is not a solution & like you said is just a easy fix. Not really, seeing as your child becomes docile & artificial. At least that is my opinion - probably many moms out there who feel differently. I've been called in numerous times by his Teacher in an attempt in finding a way to correct his behaviour - she even consulted with a Psychologist we took my son too at the suggestion of my Mother-in-law - he advised that my son's school maturity might be the issue & that his Father needs to spend more time with him. That has improved only slightly. The problem is he constantly disrupts the class whether it be at school or afterschool. In order to help here I started working half day in order to do his homework on a one on one basis. There are days that I think I am going to go nuts. It is not that he cannot do the work....his handwriting is neat if he tries, maths is easy for him & he loves books so he pushes through the reading exercies - it is that he doesn't want to do homework & it then becomes a battle of wills. I have managed to motivate him by using a timer hence teaching him the meaning of time - when he tries his old tricks & sits & fiddles or moans that he is tired or doesn't want to do it I remind him that his time is running out. It works to a certain degree but then the work is still on occassion done in a lacklustre attitude - it feels like butting heads with a Mule! & if I am experiencing this what must his teachers be going through? We usually arrive home from school & he has a snack or plays for about 20 minutes or so while I start preparing Dinner. So he does have the opportunity to wind down a bit from school before we get started. The Afterschool I Mentioned is where he goes after primary school which comes out at one - before he used to stay there till about 16:30 when we would pick him up. they usually go there directly afterschool unless he has an activity at school then he first completes that & then goes to the afterschool - there he has lunch & the kids then sit to do their homework in the first homework session. If they don't finish they have to stay on for the 2nd homework session. All the other kids know to sit down & take out their books & start on their exercises - Ethan just refuses & disrupts all the other kids who are trying to get their work done. He has even lied & told the teacher he doesn't have his books there to do homework. The kids who don't complete their homework return for the 2nd homework class. which in Ethan's case was every day for him. Tired of being called in by her as well. Everytime I stop there & get told to wait I want to scream. The other problem is that he occassionally hits other kids - recently they informed me that he was pulling down his pants. Reading back through all this you must be thinking he is a monster. The thing is he is not always like this - not sure what triggers this outrageous behaviour. The pulling down of the pants hasn't happened again because his dad gave him a good talking to as well as a good hiding. The behaviour started beginning of last year already - if it is just a phase please tell me it will end soon! One thing that did work when he keeps saying no to me was that I then inform him that in that case I don't have to feed him either. Extreme? It seems to work so maybe not. I just explained to him that as the Mother it is my responsibilty to make sure he is cared for which includes providing him with food but since he is not prepared to fulfil his responsibility of finishing his homework then no food would be the consequence. In reply to Khara - Have definitely done that but then recently spoke to a friend who suggested since that was not working that I should give him the opportunity to play playstation etc. but to remind him that should he misbehave in anyway that would no longer be a privilege he can enjoy. We don't currently go to church for may reasons but am seriously considering finding somewhere he can go for Sunday School - but here is the kicker I do I know he won't do the same thing there?? Don't think I can take another person calling me aside to talk to me about my son.

Khara - posted on 10/27/2011

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Have you tried taking away stuff that he likes... That's what we do.. & it seems to work pretty well. We have 3 kids & they fight and argue all the time so it's not the exact same scenario but another thing we just started doing is taking them to Awana... I don't know how active you are in a church but it's like a kids group that meets during the week & they learn positive things & play games & things like that... We just started it because we figured it would be really good for them & maybe they would learn some manners & respect. We haven't ever been active in a church but it's something we are just now beginning to do... Just a thought hope my tiny bit of advice can help :) Good luck!

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