My almost 5 year old son (he will turn 5 in May 2012) has been recently misbehaving...what I mean by misbehaving is that he is rude and disrespectful to myself, my parents and my boyfriend (not his father) for some reason he seems to think he is the adult and should call the shots, everything from what to eat, what activity we will be doing to how things around the house should be done. I would like to briefly explain that his dad and I were married for almost 13 years and we have been divorced for 2 years, the ex sees our son every weekend....while I realize that this is difficult for my son I have tried everything and I mean EVERYTHING....I talk to him to find out how he feels, I admit I was guilty of buying him things to make him feel better (early on) and taking away things/time outs/scoldings but nothing seems to work I am at my wits end and do not know what to do anymore...The irony is that I am working towards my Masters Degree in Psychology yet I cannot seem to figure out my son and my life. Any advice would be greatly appreciated..thanks to all you moms out there :)


Jenni - posted on 03/11/2012




Is it possible that he is wanting so much control in other aspects of his life because he feels so little control over the divorce and you and his father no longer being together?

I don't have a whole lot of advice. I'm not experienced in children of divorce. I think the first thing I would recommend is picking up some literature specifically on how children experience divorce and how it affects their behaviour.

It may help to encourage a routine, so he knows what is expected and it helps him to feel stabilized. I know it's probably natural to feel guilty about how yours and your husband's decision is affecting him. But this should not mean things become inconsistent in discipline and how you treat him. I would suspect this is where many behavioural problems stem from in children of divorce. The parent's guilt can lead to inconsistencies in discipline.

I think it best to try to keep the rest of his life as unchanged as possible and as routine as possible. I also think it will be really helpful for you to read up on children of divorce if you haven't done so already.

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