I'm a single parent and lately my son has been acting out.
Everything is a constant power battle - from doing chores to homework to going out in public.
For example, he refused to do his homework recently. He's a bright kid, and I know he can do it, but it always devolves into a long-winded argument and a large waste of time before he does.
It doesn't stop there though. Yesterday we were in a car park and he decided to run ahead, knowing that it was dangerous and also knowing that it would scare and upset me.
As far as discipline is concerned, I don't spank -- I ground him from using possessions like his gameboy. I never deprive him of things such as books though, so oftentimes it turns into a waiting game to see who will back down first and this results in him reading for long periods of time but ultimately not doing what is required of him.
Has anyone encountered this sort of behaviour before? He is patient, something unbecoming of many kids his age, so the power battles and waiting games need to stop. The biggest problem is that he is prepared to wait it out.
Regarding safety in public, what should I do? He pulls away when I try to hold his hand. I am actually considering purchasing one of the boy's clippasafe harness/rein sets to keep in my handbag as a bluff, but I don't know how to go about doing that in such a way that he takes the threat seriously. Any ideas?
As for chores, what do you see as acceptable for a 9 year old child? I have him make his bed, feed the fish and the cat, set the table, etc. Am I being too demanding of him in this regard?