Having some bad behavior problems with my 11 year old son

Dianna - posted on 03/12/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )

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I am having some big behavior issues with my son who is 11 years old. Let me explain what's going on. Here are the facts:

--I am 48 years old (I had him a little late in my life).
--A few months ago I moved in with my soon to be husband (he's the same age as me). He's a wonderful man that I love deeply and he's my soulmate. The thing is he's been around children before, but he's never raised any from birth to grown etc. He wasn't able to have kids.
--My late husband (my son's dad) passed away 2 years ago. So I know some of his behavior might stem from that.
--My son was tested in school and since kindergarden has been recognized as being intellectually gifted. He's always done exceptionally well in school and scored in advanced results on all major school tests (the ones they give them yearly etc).

The issues:

--my son throws fits and has even hit me a couple of times when I have gotten on to him for doing something and even when I have tried to take away his laptop. I do restrict him by taking it away and other things. It works for a day and he's good, then he goes right back to being bad again.
--his grades at school suffered for a little while until I got into league with his teacher. He knows his teacher and I text twice a week so that's made him keep up with his school work etc. His grades are back to par now, but his teacher is telling me now that he's rude to people.
--he is doing stupid stunts at home and acting out. I have to tell him constantly to do his chores. He only has to clean out the litter boxes, empty the garbage and keep his room clean. I also have to tell him every night to take a shower.
--my son's behavior is putting stress on my otherwise great relationship. My man does love me very much, but my son is making things difficult. I guess it's the "step father" kind of thing happening here. I am worried that my son's behavior might become so bad and so much that my man ends the relationship. It is not to that point yet and I want to stop it before it gets to that.

My son acted up a little bit before I met my man and all, so I know some of it's the puberty beginning stuff.. but it's like my son changed totally. He used to be very well mannered and didn't talk back or throw these kind of stupid temper tantrums. Then suddenly he changed. I don't know what the heck to do. I have a daughter that's 10 years older than my son (by a previous marriage) and I never had such big bad behavioral issues with her as I am with my son.

Ok, so that's the most important parts of the story. I know I might need to get my son in some type of therapy. I don't know if I can afford that though. If anyone has been through this before, please advise me on how you dealt with it successfully.

Thank you so much. I am at my wits end with him.

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Dianna - posted on 03/12/2014

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hi Esther, thanks for your response. I know my man isn't abusing him for two reasons. 1. my man isn't like that at all. 2. they are very rarely alone together. So I know it's not that that's the issue. I have tried talking to my son, and after a talk he is ok for a little bit, then he starts again. I am looking for suggestions on how to deal with the situation so it doesn't escalate and get much worse.

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Holly - posted on 08/07/2014

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let me throw my idea into the ring I think he know;s what he is doing for attention, lets chat i have some great ideas to try thanks holly

User - posted on 03/13/2014

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Diana,
This sounds like a difficult time for you. Because I have a 5 year old boy I don't think I can speak from experience about your 11 year old boy.
I do know we all process in a multitude of ways and your son's way right now seems to acting out assertive behaviors.
For what my 2 cents are worth to you and keeping in mind these are ideas off the top of my head, I have an idea. Does your son have an area in his room with photos of his father? The idea is that some people ESP children have a notion of sadness and grief but they are learning what that actually is. Your sons development has a tragic imprint. It's a big and serious thing. Perhaps he is acting that out. He is hitting and that's making him feel powerful and he needs to be bigger to take over that father role.
Also how and what do you and your son talk about in regards to your deceased husband?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/12/2014

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Well, considering that his father's recently passed (and I'm sorry for that loss, it had to have been tough on both of you), this may stem partially from that.

But, I have to say this: He's also probably acting out more because he's upset about the new relationship. Dad's only been gone a short while. You've moved on into a new relationship fairly quickly. Yes, this is your right as an adult, but how much say did your son have about the whole deal? Because you and he are a package, and his feelings and thought should very much have been taken into account.

You make this sound like he's ruining your relationship with 'your man', and you would rather that not happen. I understand that you'd rather 'your man' not leave you because of your kid, but your kid comes first, and if he's not fully comfortable in the new situation, you need to do whatever you can to fix it.

Some of his behaviours at school could stem from his advanced status (bored, not challenged, etc), but more likely it is stemming from the situation with his father's passing (if I'm doing the correct math, he'd have been 9 at the time, right?) From his point of view, you jumped into this new relationship, but he’s still missing his DAD, and doesn’t want another male influence.

Yes, counseling is a good idea. Grief counseling, and family counseling. If you’re married to the new guy, DEFINITELY get into family counseling. If the new man “isn’t used” to raising kids, he either needs to understand that this will be a major part of his life for the next 7 years, and be on board with it.

Honestly, though, if his acting out is mainly at home, and your conversations are not having an effect, I’d get him to a therapist. And, if you’ve not married the new guy, perhaps separate living situations are a good idea until your son is in a better place mentally, and doesn’t feel like you’re trying to set him aside for a new man.

Good luck

Dianna - posted on 03/12/2014

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Esther I understand what you mean and I thank you for your opinion. It's not at a point where I have to pick between my man and my son. I am looking for advice on what I should do so it doesn't come to that. Everything is ok right now, but if I let things get bad and escalate over time, then it will not be ok. I will keep in mind what you suggested for sure. Thank you.

Esther - posted on 03/12/2014

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sorry if do not respond well but am speaking from experience,but is upto you because if is me i will rather loose my man than to loose my child, because they are my pride, may be you could get the school teachers to findout for you. good luck anyway.

Esther - posted on 03/12/2014

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sorry to hear that, i think you need to speak to your son with motherly love to findout what is actually causing the bad behaviour, to findout if your new husband is abusing or treating him bad. hope that help.

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