please help, at wits end with 5yo - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am in desperate need of help.

My 5yo has gone mad. He's started hitting me, doing the opposite of every single thing I say and finding things to do just to "get in trouble".

There have been a lot of changes for him, started school, 3 mnth old sister...

I need some quick tips on dealign with this until I can get my head above water enough to reread some parenting books. By the end of every day we are all ending up frustrated and growling at eachother. It's just terrible.

Examples from today.

I'm on the couch nursing DD and DS starts kicking me (not out of anger, just laying there kicking at me hoping to annoy me) I tell him nicely tot ake his feet off the couch. He starts kicking at me harder and laughing. I tell him to get off the couch, he refuses. I physically remove him from the couch. He melts down and hits me.

wth do i do in this situation?

as soon as he raised his hand i said " i see that you're very angry, we don't hit in our family" he proceeds to punch me

i tell him "i won't let you hit me, you need to spend some time in your room"

him "no!"

I tell him "you can walk to your room or I can carry you"

he lays in the floor screaming

i carry him to the room getting kicked and punched all the way

we both are angry and nothing learned.

please help.
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#2 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 08:58 PM
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Was today the first time you put him in his room?
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#3 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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no. i resort to it when i don't know what else to do.
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#4 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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You only gave one example but from that example it really sounds like he is having trouble adjusting to the new baby.

If it were me, and I had a free arm, I probably would have playfully tickled his foot and said something like, "Trying to kick me, are you, foot???" and then made plans to do something as soon as the baby was done nursing, "Hey, you want to build a lego tower with me when the baby's done? Can you go get the legos?" I would try to avoid negative associations with the baby, and give him more leeway during this time (as long as he isn't really hurting anyone). Playfully redirect if you can, rather than directly confront the behavior. It seems that confrontation right now is very escalating.

Try to set aside some one-on-one time with him, too. Its really hard to adjust to a new baby.
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#5 of 10 Old 09-02-2009, 04:58 AM
 
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Re: kicking while you're nursing

A couple of ideas:

1) See him beginning to kick? Nip it in the bud, describing how you feel and the consequences.

Example:
"I really dislike it when you kick near me when I nurse the baby. I'm afraid you'll hurt me or hurt the baby. If you want to kick, please do it on the floor away from me."

If he refuses then say "I asked you not to kick. If you continue, then you'll have to go to your room."

Make sure you use a no-nonsense matter-of-fact voice. Not mean, not angry, no shouting. Just expecting that of course he will listen.

Then follow through.

If this happens, at least he has been offered an alternative, and has been warned and may listen the next time.

2) See him begin to kick - empathize and try to re-direct.

Example:

I see you're kicking. Maybe feeling kind of bored and fidgety...? I get scared when you kick near me. How about you go into the middle of the room and do some (jumping jacks/ push-ups/ stand on one leg for as long as you can..)


3) Let him know that nursing time is happening & he has choices.

Example:
"I need to nurse DD. Yesterday it was terrible when you kicked at us and I had to send you to your room. Today, you can either play legos while I nurse or choose a picture book for me to read after the nursing...."

4) ? Bribe w/ TV (if you allow TV watching)
- Hey, it's hard starting kindie and having a new sibling. I'm not a big TV person, but I think a little of what you like does you good. Maybe it could help him unwind.

Example:
"I need to nurse DD right now. You can watch this Barnie/Teletubbies/Arthur.. while I nurse her. When she finishes nursing, we'll turn it off and do X".

- this way you have set a time limit immediately and he will want her to nurse quitely as long as possible so he can finish his show.
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#6 of 10 Old 09-02-2009, 09:15 AM
 
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It sounds like its hard for him to share his mom. Sounds like a way to try to keep you to himself. Its not acceptable but definately understandable.
I think you handled the situation ok, but second the ideas of distraction and prevention. If he knows that you still care for his feelings and for spending time with him, then it will be easier for him to bear watching you nurse the baby.
How about an answer such as "I dont like when you hit me. Are you doing it because it makes you angry to see me nurse your sister? I understand that. When she falls asleep we can do this or that together, how about that?"

Not that different from other suggestions, but they all seem good to me.
Dont despair. It sounds like a normal reaction. Keep making special time for him and respect that it is difficult having to share your mom with someone else and I am sure it will get better soon.

Single mom to ds(8), dd(6) and ds(5)
 

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#7 of 10 Old 09-04-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
You only gave one example but from that example it really sounds like he is having trouble adjusting to the new baby.

If it were me, and I had a free arm, I probably would have playfully tickled his foot and said something like, "Trying to kick me, are you, foot???" and then made plans to do something as soon as the baby was done nursing, "Hey, you want to build a lego tower with me when the baby's done? Can you go get the legos?" I would try to avoid negative associations with the baby, and give him more leeway during this time (as long as he isn't really hurting anyone). Playfully redirect if you can, rather than directly confront the behavior. It seems that confrontation right now is very escalating.

Try to set aside some one-on-one time with him, too. Its really hard to adjust to a new baby.

Bellingham Crunchie, do you have any book recommendations for this kind of thing? Is it playful parenting? Whenever I go to head to head with DD we both lose and it is AWFUL. She is very strongwilled. But I don't always have the wits and patience to be playful. More of this kind of thing would probably work wonders in my house.
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#8 of 10 Old 09-04-2009, 01:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madskye View Post
Bellingham Crunchie, do you have any book recommendations for this kind of thing? Is it playful parenting? Whenever I go to head to head with DD we both lose and it is AWFUL. She is very strongwilled. But I don't always have the wits and patience to be playful. More of this kind of thing would probably work wonders in my house.
Yes, I was thinking of Playful Parenting by Cohen. It really is hard to be playful when you're annoyed or trying to multitask. For me, its something I've kept practicing, and its become a lot easier. Instead of thinking "what can I do to stop this?" I automatically think, "how can I connect through being playful here?" Often, I don't FEEL like being playful. But the results have been amazing which motivates me to persist.

In a situation where I think my DD is acting obnoxiously because she needs my attention, when I turn it around by being playful, her relief is so evident. She practically collapses into my arms for a hug, and then I feel like crying, for almost missing how important her need was to connect with me and I thought she was just being annoying.
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#9 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 07:41 AM
 
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When my six yr old does this I say "I don't like it when you kick me" and walk out of the room calmly. Basically, do not reinforce the aggressive attention seeking. Then sometime when you guys are feeling connected (like bed time) I would talk about someone else (like me for example) in a similar context. Tell a story or read a book about a character who tries to get attention through negative behavior, and then I would tell her "You know sometimes when I want daddy (dh, her daddy) to pay attention to me and he's reading the newspaper I just want to bug him until he pays attention to me. I know I shouldn't but it just really annoys me that he won't pay attention to me" and then I ask her what she thinks would be the right way to get his attention, like I'm asking her advice. I think it works because a) she gets that it is ok to mess up and everyone does it b) she feels important helping me work through something. We usually end up talking about her in the end.
The next time he kicks you you can say "I don't like being kicked. I'm going in the other room. " or even "Please don't kick me. I don't like it. If you would like me to play with you or pay attention to you you just have to ask." Sometimes kids can understand their own motivations only when you point them out.
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#10 of 10 Old 09-05-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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If it were me, first I'd say "Don't kick me. I do not like it when you kick me. If you uwant something, then you can ask me. But if you continue kicking me, I am getting up and leaving." Then if the kicking continues, getup and leave with no further explanation.

Again, like I mentioned in another post, I don't think poor behavior should be "rewarded" with responses/reactions to placate your child. They need to know that if the behavior that you don't like continues, your reaction will be leaving them by themselves, instead of the reaction that they want.

It does sound to me like your child is having trouble when you give attention to the baby................and, perhaps that your child is bored and the repetitive kicking is just something to do. You could also try "I don't like it when you kick me, so please stop kicking. Is there something that you want from me?" And, maybe instead of kicking there will ban answer to your question----like maybe "Yes, I want you to play with me." If getting some attention from you is the reason why you are being kicked, then just say "I need to nurse the baby right now, because the baby is hungry. When I am done nursing the baby (changing the baby, putting baby to sleep) I will play with you/give you a snack/talk to you. But right now, the baby needs to eat, and I am the only one who can feed the baby."

Maybe when school starts your child won't feel so bored.............LOL!
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