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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
oh boy am i having a time of it. this may be a little disjointed, sorry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
DS is getting picked on in school. i'm not sure what the deal is, but his father doesn't help matters by telling him in his macho way that if they have a problem with DS, they can come talk to him (stbx). DS also likes to brag about stuff and make stuff up, especially about stbx. he also does this with me, telling me that stbx did this or that with him when i know there is no way that those things ever happened.<br><br>
so as a consequence of DS's constant screaming and occasional physical aggression when he's told "no," i have limited his tv and game playing. stbx and i have both observed that DS becomes A LOT more aggressive after watching certain things and playing certain games. stbx also saw DS going up to complete strangers at the park and asking them, "do you want a piece of me?" now, he's usually a pretty sweet kid, but after watching Transformers (i did not buy this) or TMNT (the movie), he becomes unbelievably difficult to deal with and very, very aggressive.<br><br>
now let me tie this together, if i can. today, DS wanted me to give him back his play station, which i took away last week because he was trying to hit me. just thursday, he tried to hit stbx. when i told him that i would not return it, he began screaming that it's my fault that kids tease him because he can't be cool because he doesn't play video games and he watches "baby shows." and it is true, i only allow noggin and pbs kids, along with the occasional HBO family program.<br><br>
i'm tired of the screaming (DS screams CONSTANTLY about EVERYTHING and always has), and tired of these fights with him. i'm not sure how to deal with the teasing at school, and i'm constantly having to be the bad guy when i say no to watching the kinds of stuff that seem to set him off--yet i do know that it's true that the kids in his school ARE really snobby about what other kids watch.<br><br>
any suggestions as to how can i handle this better? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I am not sure how old your ds is, but I have an 8yo ds that we had "cool" issues with.<br>
To say upfront, I am strict when it comes to television, video games, websites, toys, and safety. Nothing over an E rating for games, and very few shows that his friends watch pass the test.<br><br>
However, getting him on board and not fighting me on certain issues took a bit of negotiation. If he wants to watch/play with/own something, I have to treat it like a real possibility (no matter what my feelings are initially). We watch it together, or try a demo, or read reviews and go and look at the item and then assess how it fits into our family values. If it doesn't, well, sorry, but that's countered a little by the offer of either a) me helping him find something that does and still has the elements he likes, or b) looking for a substitute on his own now that he has a clearer picture of our family ideals.<br><br>
I think limiting to certain channels may create more tension than you are hoping to avoid. We've found great shows on Discovery Kids, BBCAmerica, and even one or two on the Cartoon Network that were not objectionable.<br><br>
We're also trying to help DS build some real skills in areas he enjoys. Coolness is more about confidence and the ability to relate, so helping him find a niche and become good at what he does has bolstered his self esteem. He gets a chance to demonstrate and help other kids, which puts him in a sort of leadership role and gives him a positive way of getting the social position he desires without resorting to buying lots of stuff or watching shows just to keep up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you, i really like your idea about building skills, and the importance of being able to relate to people, rather than buying stuff--i think this is so important. what sorts of things, other than sports (our rec program only has football available now, and that didn't work out very well for us) are good for boys? he's 9, btw <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
i'd like to implement the other suggestion about reviewing stuff, but stbx and i are not on the same page about a lot of this stuff. stbx is only now starting to realize that these games and movies are having an effect. but he's not willing to do anything about it, and buys this stuff anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: so i have to deal with it after it's already a done deal.
 

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Swimming is a great sport for many reasons, and works well for some kids who don't do well at other sports. Check in to Y programs, club sports, etc. I believe that many of the discipline problems that are common in this country are because kids aren't getting anywhere near enough exercise. It also cuts down on TV, gaming, and computer use by filling time, and helps kids learn social skills.<br><br>
Learning to play games that require strategy, such as chess, risk, card games, and so on are good for kids this age. Some kids this age like to build models.<br><br>
I think that some of what your son is going through may be temporary. Since you refer to his father as "STBX," then it sounds like you are in a transition phase. Hopefully, as your life becomes more settled, your son will become more settled, too. And if you son is living with you most of the time, then the influence of STBX will be muted.<br><br>
We are a non-screaming household and if one of my child was to scream they would be sent to their room until they could calm down and speak decently. I know that some people don't consider this GD, but I do. No one in my home yells at me or any else, and if that is how you choose to behave, then you need to go be by yourself. Nine is too old for tantrums.<br><br>
I think that reading aloud from a good chapter book is another way to help build skills. It is a wonderful way to spend time together, and talking about the characters and why they do the things they do and how we think they should behavoir helps kids think about how to act. Reading a wonderful book to him that is harder than he might read to himself is a way to encourage a love for the written word, which is something many boys lack.
 

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You've already got some good thoughts here. Another thing that might be helpful is to work with him on communication skills. For example, even if he is not currently watching the more grown up shows and movies, he has seen enough to have a frame of reference. So:<br><br>
Random Kid: Have you seen "Mega-blaster Violencefest 12" yet?<br>
DS: (Instead of saying, "I'm not allowed to watch that.") Nah, I haven't gotten around to it yet. Are the effects as cool as "Transformers?"<br><br>
It turns the conversation around, lets the other kid feel important, and preserves his sense of cool. Sometimes, it's all in how we say things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TEAK's Mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10774123"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It turns the conversation around, lets the other kid feel important, and preserves his sense of cool. Sometimes, it's all in how we say things.</div>
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yeah, that's a GREAT point. we are starting to work on stuff like that, seems like the progress is slow, but i'll definitely do the other things, too <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
thanks so much, it's so great to get a different perspective, really helps <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bow2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bow2">
 

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If you think he might be explosive (easily frustrated/chronically inflexible) then you might want to read Ross Greene's "The Explosive Child". I found it insightful.<br>
If he's explosive then it's not really a matter of whether 9 years old is too old for tantrums. It's a matter of helping him develop the skills he needs, just as you would if he were having trouble reading.<br><br>
I agree with Linda on the Move about this being a (huge) transition time. I don't think the Transformers are to blame as much as what your DS is going through with the changes and tension in your family. I understand that some of the language is coming directly from the things he sees (it's the same with my DS) so I'm not saying it doesn't have any effect, but it's probably not the source of the problems.
 

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Another thought about *cool* stuff....<br><br>
sometimes there is a lot of resistance on the part of parents to anything that kids consider cool. While I think that we should always show judgement regarding what we allow into our kids lives, banning all things deemed cool doesn't seem like the solution to me. Exploring the cool things with our kids to find which ones are just fine and helping them understand why the others aren't fine with us would be a more positive approach. Having things in common with their peers eases peer relationships, makes it easier for them to chat, and helps give a sense of belonging.<br><br>
One of my DDs has mild special needs and has trouble relating to her peers. She doesn't care a bit about what is cool. My other DD is very social, and likes to be in on the cool stuff. Having watched this play out for them, I can't say that having a child who is a immune to wanting to fit in with her peers is a blessing. It is just another outcome of lack of oxygen at birth. Wanting to have friends and be part of a group is normal.<br><br>
With my other DD, I happily indulge her in harmless fads (such as Webkidz) because she likes to chat about them with her friends.
 
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