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What am I going to do with my 9yo son?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Its what I keep asking myself..

R is always denying things. He lies a lot! He tries to poke his baby sister in the eye when I'm not looking. Calls his 6yo sister names. They fight each other every day at least once. I call Dh because I don't know what to do. He says for me to write down anything bad that happens and that he'll deal with him when he gets home. I have lots of books here that I have read but it just doesn't work here. I homeschool so I have to deal with this all day every day. Dh doesn't read these books- mainly cause he doesn't have time and because he doesn't like to read. I keep thinking about sending him to school so I don't have to deal with him as much. I know its terrible that I'm thinking this way. What should I do?
post #2 of 20
Do you get any special connection time with him? Mine is much younger, so I haven't dealt with a lot of this, but my starting point would be to take some time to tune-in to him and try to talk about where you two are at.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Nope..no connection time. I spend most of the day teaching and by the time I'm finished I'm wiped out and ready for a nap! We start school at 9- and sometimes end around 2 or 3pm.
post #4 of 20
Could you take a special "vacation" from school? Let ds direct things? Have you asked him how he is feeling, what he would like to be doing? Are you asking him to be fairly stationary and focused for those hours? That could be hard for a 9 yo boy. Maybe he could play a little hoops or something while you spend some time with dd, then maybe you could kick a soccer ball with him for a while, something like that?
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacesmum View Post
Could you take a special "vacation" from school? Let ds direct things? Have you asked him how he is feeling, what he would like to be doing? Are you asking him to be fairly stationary and focused for those hours? That could be hard for a 9 yo boy. Maybe he could play a little hoops or something while you spend some time with dd, then maybe you could kick a soccer ball with him for a while, something like that?
Well Monday we didn't do any school because they got home really late that Sunday night. Today we're pretty relaxed doing school while watching tv. We'll probably go to the library later. I don't really play with my kids though. Its not something that I've been comfortable doing.
Oh and we do take breaks during that time since dd isn't as fast as ds at doing math.
post #6 of 20
JMHO. I would feel like I had a hard time trusting someone who was writing down my every mistake to report to someone. And I assume that by "dealing with it", your dh is at least scolding him, but probably punishing him, right? Maybe you could have a heart-to heart with your ds, or maybe a family meeting, and set up some new expectations. And maybe he would like school! maybe it would give you two a break from each other.
post #7 of 20
I am right there with you! I am homeschooling nine and six year old boys and have a baby. I even threatened sending them to school last week because they were fighting so much. My nine y/o has started lying, too. He'll slap his brother in the face, while I'm watching, and say it was an accident. And then, when I give him the, don't be ridiculous I saw you do it look, he acts all indignant, like how could I dare accuse him of lying. It is rough, rough, rough.
I mostly feel like crap at the end of every day, like I've failed because I've lost my patience so many times. I make sure and snuggle both of them at night and rub my older one's back so that we can at least have a few moments of peace during the day.
Not sure what the answer is, except to keep plodding on and hope things will get easier. One thing I've found that works is to send one to a friend's house and then invite the other one's friend over. They seem to really respond to having individual play time without the other one around.
Hang in there.
post #8 of 20
Read the book The Minds of Boys.

It's very insightful.

Is he getting enough sleep and enough exercise? And keep him off artificial coloring.

And sending him to school isn't "terrible." Homeschooling doesn't work for everyone. That's ok.
post #9 of 20
I think we need a lot more info about your family situation, but I would say from what you've said, that if he's denying things, you are giving him the chance to lie, rather than simply telling him what has happened. It almost never works to ask children if they have done something that you know they have done. THey don't want to have done something wrong, so they very often lie. It's much better off to simply confront the behavior. "I found this money in your pocket, and I know you must have taken it from my wallet since my wallet has that much less in it. We need to address that now, because I'm worried that you need the money for something that I don't know about, or that you really want something that's so important that you have taken the money. Let's talk about why you need the money."
post #10 of 20
My children are older, but there is a similar age span between them. One thing I have observed over the years is that my older son tends to look for companionship from the little one, and very quickly finds that the younger one is not capable of behaving like a peer. Within a few minutes of engaging him, he will get very frustrated with him for not meeting his need for a "buddy," and often his way of demonstrating that frustration is to "pick at" the younger one until they both disintigrate into fighting. When this happens, it usually indicates to me that big brother needs more time with peers. Boys this age get a lot from having a "best buddy" to hang out with.

I've also noticed that my older son became disastisfied with spending all his time with women and children. I'm not sure when this happened. Maybe around your son's age. It makes me a little sad because it is bittersweet -- a turning point. But I can see his face visibly light up when his dad walks into the room, or if we are at a friend's house and another boy or man walks into the room, my son will gravitate in that direction with a sort of brightness in his face. He is drawn to male teachers lately too. So I try to provide for that, though it is very difficult.

I wonder if your son regularly participates in sports, and if not -- do you think that would help him? Being on a team, with a coach, and other boys might do wonders for his morale.

As far as the lying.... do you mean that he denies responsibility after having done things to the girls? Or is it more than that? Can you give some examples?
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Boys this age get a lot from having a "best buddy" to hang out with.

I've also noticed that my older son became disastisfied with spending all his time with women and children. I'm not sure when this happened. Maybe around your son's age. It makes me a little sad because it is bittersweet -- a turning point. But I can see his face visibly light up when his dad walks into the room, or if we are at a friend's house and another boy or man walks into the room, my son will gravitate in that direction with a sort of brightness in his face. He is drawn to male teachers lately too. So I try to provide for that, though it is very difficult.

I wonder if your son regularly participates in sports, and if not -- do you think that would help him? Being on a team, with a coach, and other boys might do wonders for his morale.

As far as the lying.... do you mean that he denies responsibility after having done things to the girls? Or is it more than that? Can you give some examples?[/QUOTE]


We were in tons of activities (guitar, karate, soccer, dance,etc) last year and so I thought of not doing anything till at least after Christmas cause I was starting a new curriculum. So right now he has only one boy his age (well he's a year younger) that he plays with and that isn't very often. As far as lying, he will hit one of the girls or poke someone in the eye. This child is crying and he will say he didn't do anything!: He does not apologize unless you remind him and I don't think I should remind him. Sometimes I will ask who put this on the floor or who did this and he automatically says it wasn't him. My Dh works long hours and sometimes Sundays too. So we don't get to see him very much. I guess it makes sense that he gets tired of being around the house and only playing with his little sisters. I guess I'll put him in karate or something like that. We're in a homeschool group but our group doesn't do a lot of activities or even co-op so maybe I'll call one of the moms to see if they want to do a playdate. I have an Unconditional Parenting dvd here that I haven't watched so maybe when Dh is home we can watch it together.
post #12 of 20
Wow- you're doing formal schooling from 9:00 AM until 2:00 or 3:00 PM every single day? 5 or 6 hours is a LOT!! Maybe you'd do better switching to a more relaxed teaching method, or using this curriculum in a more relaxed manner, so you'd have time and energy to give him some 1:1 time and attention.
post #13 of 20
i too think that heis just needing some "boy" time. my experience with my little brother is guiding me here. he was always up my butt (lol) before the age of 9 or 10, then all of a sudden he could care less about me and my friends.

also i agree that 5-6 hours of formal "learn" time is a bit much for homeschool, where the attention is more consistently on just them, rather than spread among 15-40 students. i would cut back to 3-4 hours maybe every other day. with smaller learning/more natural learning periods on the alternate days. trips could also take place on alternate days.
post #14 of 20
I was going to comment that it sounds like you do a *lot* of school during the day! Do you think it would help to look at your curriculum and maybe scale back a little?
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
We get up and we do the 3 R's first thing in the morning. They take 2 small breaks plus they have lunch and "recess". When they come back in then we might do an activity or Spanish or Chess. So I count all of it as part of school and that might be why it sounds like a lot.
post #16 of 20
Does it feel very structured? It sounds like it might feel awfully structured to a young boy.
post #17 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallacesmum View Post
Does it feel very structured? It sounds like it might feel awfully structured to a young boy.
Well we went from unschooling last year to this. Unschooling just didn't work. All he wanted to do was play video games or watch tv. We do the Konos curriculum. Its unit studies.
post #18 of 20
Ah! So, you were living a very unstructured lifestyle within which he had very different priorities from yours. Was he happy? How did you all reach the decision to use a curriculum? What kind of input did he have? How does he feel about it?

If this curriculum has been imposed upon him because you didn't like how he was spending his time, it is no suprise that you are feeling some resistance from him!

What is your objective? Are you wanting him to obediently comply with the new program? Are you wanting him to go back to "good" unschooling? What would that look like, in your mind? Why were you not schooling originally?

Honestly, it sounds like you guys might be a little out of connection with each other right now. My priority in your situation would probably be to re-establish connection.
post #19 of 20
http://janenelsen.com/lying.html My suggestion: print out this short article and you and your husband can read it together.

As far as not playing with the kids. I can see that as a justifiable choice if they have someone else to play with. But, if he doesn't really have other kids and dad works long hours and you don't play with him - that sounds lonely and unhappy. If these major factors are fixed, what do you see as the downside of putting him in school?
post #20 of 20
I highly suggest Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen. Playing with your kids is important and it sounds like y'all really need to connect. You may be able to check out this book from the library.
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