I apologize if I'm not in the right forum. I skimmed through the categories and didn't see anywhere else this would fit. Feel free to move it if I messed up!
So, the topic says it all. I've suspected it for years, but tried to chalk it up to "boys being boys." He's my only male child, and I grew up in a family full of girls so his behavior has always been a bit of a mystery to me. But recently I started coaching soccer for his age group, and now that I can see a large cross section of other boys his age, I'm starting to think that maybe my suspicions could be right, as he's so different than the other kids.
-Cannot sit still, ever, at all. It drives me mental. Even if we sit down to watch a movie as a family - one that he chose, himself - he's bouncing around, sliding off the sofa, spinning on the floor... Constant movement. His teacher complains about this at school, as well. He is completely unable to be still, ever.
-Can't concentrate on anything for any period of time. When it's time to do his homework, he actually cries every time because the concept of having to read an entire paragraph (like 6 sentences) is so overwhelming for him. I help him break it down, which helps. But it's often a fight to get him to just sit still long enough to battle through his homework. I have to sign that his homework was completed, and he gets docked marks at school if he doesn't do it every night. So it's 5 evenings of torture for him, every week.
-Inappropriate outbursts of activity, all the time. This has really become evident while coaching his soccer team. I'll gather the kids to go over the next activity with them, and they all stand in a circle and listen to me....but not my son. Oh no. He's running off to dive into the dirt, and then rolling around and doing summersaults for no apparent reason, all while I'm calling him back to join the group, PLEASE join the group, you won't understand the activity if you don't join the group. The reason I decided to volunteer for this, honestly, is because the past few activities he's begged to join have ended in failure after he shuts down after being corrected (karate), or flips out after making a mistake (bowling) and instantly wants to quit/cry/pout/shut down. I decided to be his soccer coach because I couldn't, in good conscious, put another adult through his antics.
-Poor decisions making skills. And yes, I know this comes with the age. But having a daughter two years older than him and NEVER having experienced anything like this with her, it's a totally foreign world for me and I honestly have no idea if it's normal...or cause for concern. Example: Last night at soccer, we were getting ready to line up for the post-game snack, and he ran off to pull a large piece of loose concrete out of the freaking ground, and threw it down to smash it. We left immediately.
-WEIRD decisions. Like putting a wet wash cloth away in the cupboard full of clean towels, or hiding an apple core under his pillow, or spitting on kids on the bus for no reason (yay, another call from the principal...) Every single day, he does something completely mind boggling, and I wish I knew what was going on inside his head that causes him to make these off-the-wall choices.
-Easily frustrated. If he struggles with something at all, he flat out refuses to continue. This has become an issue at school, as I've had a few tests come back from school that I had to sign (in topics that are second nature to him and he knows inside-out) with scores of negative 32 and negative 28 respectively. HOW is this possible? He struggles with one small thing, and totally shuts down on the rest of it and refuses to continue with the tests. =/
What's weird is that there ARE some things he's able to concentrate on, and I see a different child when he sits down to do a puzzle (he's awesome at them), and will sit still for any length of time when he's allowed to play a video game. So he's able to concentrate and be still with a few very specific tasks.
I just feel like the world's worst mother because I don't know if I did something wrong to cause him to behave this way, or if this could be something deeper that I'm not familiar with. I have been raising three children and he is so totally different than the other two. I have NO idea how to parent him. I feel so lost and I just want to help him pull his way out of whatever this is.
Thoughts? Do these behaviors sound familiar to anyone? What am I dealing with here? A boy with a learning disability? Or just "regular" boy behavior? And where do I go, from here??