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Parenting advice?


Mudfly
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I normally wouldn't post this, but I'm at my wits end with my oldest son, middle of 3 kids, who is 6 years old.

He is defiant, ornery, won't listen and constantly in trouble at school.   He thinks everything is a joke and just laughs it off which is about as frustrating as anything.  Just got a call that for the second day in a row, he was screaming and yelling at breakfast, so he is no longer welcome to get breakfast at school and might not be able to get lunch there anymore either. This means that I will have to make breakfast every morning, I can't drop him off early, and start work 30 minutes later.  Which means I won't be able to be done with work by the time they get home from school.... still need to figure out how that will work.

We have tried talking to him, we have tried punishing him (can't go play with friends, no bike, no tablet, no tv, no dessert, etc), we have tried rewarding for good behavior (earning rewards after so many good days in a row), we have even tried to pay him $1/day for good days.  Nothing seems to work.  The other 2 kids aren't perfect either but at least they are some what well behaved.  If he chooses to have good days, he can be the best kid, he just makes poor decisions.

Looking for some other ideas if anyone has any? 

I know how my dad would have handled the situation, but unfortunately that would be frowned upon in today's society.  However, when I was young I knew that whatever happened at school was nothing compared to what would happen when I got home.... and I really didn't want to find out what actually might happen.  Some times the old ways were better.

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Sorry to hear of your situation. Parenting multiple children can be difficult even under the “best” conditions. 

Are you in a position, and have you considered, to bring some sort of a doctor in to the picture, to have your son evaluated or diagnosed and who can possibly prescribe a course of action, preferably a Dr. who will not automatically resort to using drugs right off the bat?

Perhaps a good doctor would be able to discover if there is some sort of chemical imbalance going on, which may be able to be brought within tolerances through something as simple as a change in diet? 

Keep us posted. ….look forward to more comments here. What do I know? (Nothing) 

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You can't beat that out of a kid. I'm surprised the school hasn't already had him see a child psychologist. Now is the time to figure this out. Know that his behavior probably isn't that much fun for him, either. (Speaking from experience) 

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Consistency is a huge issue with kids these days. Every educator I know says that the children of the pandemic, particularly those about his age are struggling terribly. They were isolated, they weren't and aren’t prepared for social situations with rules and expectations (like school). I am not suggesting fault on your part, but what a generation of children have been brought up in is and was unprecedented. 
be consistent, work with the school and keep as open a line of communication as is possible and get him in to see a professional, i am certain  your primary care provider or the school can make some good referrals. As said above, nip it in the bud before it spirals out of control. 

 

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It’s easy to think you know what you are doing as a parent until you have a situation like this. My nephew is very different from my own children and am glad I don’t have to handle it every day. I think seeing a doctor is good advice. Some children can benefit from some physical discipline, but with others it only makes the situation worse. Kids who’s home life is a disaster can behave this way at my daughter’s school, but it is understandable. It is hard to know what to do when the parents are there doing their best to help and nothing works. I hope you find some answers. 

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You’re making an important first step here @Mudfly in bringing the topic up!

Our youngest was a royal PITA in middle school. Sixth grade didn’t end well and she went to 1 day of 7th grade and then refused to go back into the building after that. 

Long story short working with the school and an “educational advocate” we were able to enroll her in a County program that had her at a separate school with under 50 kids over 4 grades. They focused on behavioral issues and coping skills. She was a part of that program for 2 years and then was main streamed back into our high school where she is now a Junior.  She still has her days and has trouble getting herself started on homework and such, but she goes to school every day and gets good grades.

Here in PA the school district has an obligation to meet the kids where they are at and educate them.  Basically they can’t say to the parents “it’s your problem, figure it out”.  They have to work with you. I would assume that they have the same obligation where you call home. 

If you haven’t done so already I’d suggest that you reach out to the school’s guidance counselor to discuss what’s going on and ask for their help - all of our taxes pay for this resource to be available for you.  You might consider talking with an advocate. They can be expensive, but the knowledge they bring to the table might save you many times over in private program costs. I know ours did. 
 

Good luck and keep us posted!  

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2 hours ago, Mudfly said:

 

I know how my dad would have handled the situation, but unfortunately that would be frowned upon in today's society.  However, when I was young I knew that whatever happened at school was nothing compared to what would happen when I got home.... and I really didn't want to find out what actually might happen.  Some times the old ways were better.

My Dad handled these issues the old fashioned way and I turned out fine.  I would never condone abuse of a child, but sometimes "stronger " methods are necessary.   For me, the threat of punishment was enough to make me change MY bad behavior.   I believed Dad would DO IT!  You have to be willing to be a parent, because children will not respect you if you are their "buddy".

  One very effective method Dad used was to throw (or give) away a favorite toy when I refused to behave.  Very effective!

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17 minutes ago, nepoweshiekfarmalls said:

For me, the threat of punishment was enough to make me change MY bad behavior.   I believed Dad would DO IT!  You have to be willing to be a parent, because children will not respect you if you are their "buddy".

I second this. See it almost daily in my job, parents are trying to be friends with their kids and then don't understand why they won't mind them. Dad was (and still is) a strict disciplinarian. He didn't tell you twice and wasn't afraid to use whatever was close at hand to "reinforce" what he said. To this day, as a grown, married man with a job and a farm of my own, I still move pretty quick when he's giving orders; he's still the boss, after all. Old habits die hard, but in the end I turned out just fine. The sister and brother, who were babied quite a bit more, not so much. 

Of course, I don't know if I should even comment as I'm father to none but uncle to many. I have taken in and raised a few young'uns however, and I can say that a calm voice, easy manner, and consistent routine work wonders. But for the times that they don't, just holding a three foot willow switch in your hand works miracles. The thinner the better, for the record. Whatever you decide to do, don't back down from it. I think the biggest key to solving the whole issue is to stick to your guns; when there's no other way he'll come 'round to your way of thinking.  

Mac

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In some instances, threats of pretty much anything just don't work. Start with professional help. Physical threats don't solve problems, and don't create functional relationships. Yes, you are not trying to be friends with your kids, at least not at this age, but fear is not the same thing as respect. You don't want to cover up a bigger issue just because you beat your kid into compliance. That's how lifelong trauma starts, and can end in tragedy.

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Are you neurodiverse? Or did you just need a little guidance? The point I've been trying to make is that in most cases, the usual methods work. In some instances, a different approach is needed. My mother didn't need to say anything. She would just look at you and you knew there was no point arguing.

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Growing up, dad had a “look”, and you straightened right up. I’m the youngest of 6 and I inherited it from dad because I can use it on my sisters and they will look at the ground and stop arguing with me. 
My wife and I put our son in one of those “programs” and he despised it. We put him in a private school after that and he was able to express himself in that school. He didn’t have the problems that he had in public school. He was also older at the time, 13-14. So it could be a completely different situation with your son. But we found out through his situation that the teachers in his school were pushing the, “all of you need to think alike and not question the book” mentality.

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5 minutes ago, Alan Dinan said:

But we found out through his situation that the teachers in his school were pushing the, “all of you need to think alike and not question the book” mentality.

Indoctrination at its finest. (and just passing along the way these 'teachers' were themselves 'taught' ) And I always thought, and undoubtedly picked up from my parents, was to think for ones self, and most likely from my Dad, to question "authority".  (Simply because "authority" NEVER has YOUR best interests in mind).

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My children are just grown. One still in law school. 2 of mine and 2 step kids. They are all different! Most  were well behaved but one would continually make bad decisions. Always choosing bad ideas. She was very well adapted socially but had terrible grades. No she's not the lawyer!

There are many genetic variations among two parents in addition to the teaching aspect (nature and nurture). Just find what works. Don't be afraid to use physical punishment but realize it doesn't work with all children.

Above all.

-Do your best. 

-Realize you are not perfect.

Thx-Ace 

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I have tried not to be too quick to respond to suggestions as I want to take it all in.  More listen, less talk. 

A couple of things, I don’t think this is COVID related, he was in daycare or school for the majority of COVID, so he has been in that classroom setting since he was 6 months old.  When he was younger, certain ‘teachers’ could control him better than others.  One in particular got great results, others have struggled.

As he gets older, it hasn’t gotten worse, but he has learned how to get an emotional response out of just about everyone, myself included.  this means that something small quickly escalates if there is any bit of emotion attached to the response.

I will sit back for awhile longer before commenting further if there are any more suggestions.
 

 

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Kids are a he!! of a lot smarter than many adults give them credit for. I see it all the time at home (my wife does daycare). Little (years ago I would have said Johnny) Hunter doesn’t want to listen. He learns pretty fast not to phuck with Martha. But when Mommy shows up he cries that he’s hungry (little ******* didn’t want to eat his dinner) and she gives him candy. 
My opinion, it’s probably worth exactly what it cost you—screw today’s society—if you are trying to raise a man, that boy needs an ass whuppin’.  Nothing that will injure him but enough for him to know you mean business and you won’t stand for poor behavior. If you’re raising a metrosexual, I got nuthin’. 

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11 minutes ago, Mudfly said:

I have tried not to be too quick to respond to suggestions as I want to take it all in.  More listen, less talk. 

A couple of things, I don’t think this is COVID related, he was in daycare or school for the majority of COVID, so he has been in that classroom setting since he was 6 months old.  When he was younger, certain ‘teachers’ could control him better than others.  One in particular got great results, others have struggled.

As he gets older, it hasn’t gotten worse, but he has learned how to get an emotional response out of just about everyone, myself included.  this means that something small quickly escalates if there is any bit of emotion attached to the response.

I will sit back for awhile longer before commenting further if there are any more suggestions.
 

 

Not trying to bring religion into anything, but look up Chip Ingram. He is a pastor and has a good multi part video series on parenting and discipline. It's called Effective parenting in a defective world. I believe it can be found on YouTube. I recommend it to everyone I know and especially my friends who are new parents. That said I know that no 2 children are alike and some are more difficult than others. I was one of the difficult ones and grew up in a home that had a discipline structure that was similar to what Chip promotes. I could have turned out rotten, but my parents stuck with it and I turned out pretty well. I've always been told to be parents when they are little and after they move out you will be best of friends. It held true for me

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3 minutes ago, ihrondiesel said:

Kids are a he!! of a lot smarter than many adults give them credit for. I see it all the time at home (my wife does daycare). Little (years ago I would have said Johnny) Hunter doesn’t want to listen. He learns pretty fast not to phuck with Martha. But when Mommy shows up he cries that he’s hungry (little ******* didn’t want to eat his dinner) and she gives him candy. 
My opinion, it’s probably worth exactly what it cost you—screw today’s society—if you are trying to raise a man, that boy needs an ass whuppin’.  Nothing that will injure him but enough for him to know you mean business and you won’t stand for poor behavior. If you’re raising a metrosexual, I got nuthin’. 

I see your first point exactly.  As to your second point, I don’t disagree with you necessarily, however, as you said kids are smart, all he would have to do is say the correct 3 words at school or to the wrong person and you will have social services knocking at your door and digging into your life.  Not worth the risk.

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8 minutes ago, Mudfly said:

I see your first point exactly.  As to your second point, I don’t disagree with you necessarily, however, as you said kids are smart, all he would have to do is say the correct 3 words at school or to the wrong person and you will have social services knocking at your door and digging into your life.  Not worth the risk.

I’ll say this, then be silent on the subject. Adolf Hitler is reputed to have said something along the lines of “give me the first 5 years of a child’s life and I can shape a nation”.  Your son is 6–it’s now or never. Don’t be too busy to be a parent. Kids will do crap for attention, and bad attention is better than no attention. 
RE: “not worth the risk”. W**, man?  This is your SON, no one else’s, not a pet. He damn well IS worth ANY risk if you want him to be a MAN someday.  If he’s really not worth the risk to you, please let me adopt him. 
 

As I said, my opinion, worth what you paid for it. No disrespect to you intended.  You asked for advice, I gave you my $0.02. PM me if you want, I won’t mess up this thread with further replies. 

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34 minutes ago, ihrondiesel said:

I’ll say this, then be silent on the subject. Adolf Hitler is reputed to have said something along the lines of “give me the first 5 years of a child’s life and I can shape a nation”.  Your son is 6–it’s now or never. Don’t be too busy to be a parent. Kids will do crap for attention, and bad attention is better than no attention. 
RE: “not worth the risk”. W**, man?  This is your SON, no one else’s, not a pet. He damn well IS worth ANY risk if you want him to be a MAN someday.  If he’s really not worth the risk to you, please let me adopt him. 
 

As I said, my opinion, worth what you paid for it. No disrespect to you intended.  You asked for advice, I gave you my $0.02. PM me if you want, I won’t mess up this thread with further replies. 

I will only say that I know people that were stuck in social services **** for 2-3 years not knowing if they would retain custody of their 4 kids because 1 of them knew the correct words to say, which were 100% false.  I do not wish that on anyone and would not risk losing all my kids for something that is unlikely to correct the problem.

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13 minutes ago, Mudfly said:

I will only say that I know people that were stuck in social services **** for 2-3 years not knowing if they would retain custody of their 4 kids because 1 of them knew the correct words to say, which were 100% false.  I do not wish that on anyone and would not risk losing all my kids for something that is unlikely to correct the problem.

You have already lost out if you are afraid of the system. Pull him out of school and be a DAD! 

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Not being nosey, and no means judging, but do you have a lot going on to the point he’s not getting any alone time?

reason I ask is because our daughter (5)was a real shithead for a period and it cleared up almost instantly when we started doing “board meetings” with the kids. Once every other month, Emily takes one and I take the other and Caleb heads to grandma and grandpas and we do one thing that the kids want, one on one. So last month Luke and I went to gun range and he learned how to make scope adjustments, addi and Emily went to the park and then went fishing. It’s 4 hrs of no phones and no interruptions. It’s actually pretty nice to do, and I’m telling you, it helped with both kiddos and their behaviors.

and a swift and decisive response has seemed to work at our house. Usually it doesn’t get to spanking but soap in the mouth and eating with the dog and cat (not eating supper/wasting food)aren’t out of the question 

we are almost to a quarter here with opinions with my .02 added in lol

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Are you and your wife on the same page?

Do you back each other up or does one undermine the other ? 

Until there is unity nothing will work. 

You cannot use the same tatics on each child. 

One of my kids i could look at and break their spirit, then there was me, my mom said she whipped me daily whether i needed it or not, i was that rotten. I think I still am some days. I'm a recovering rotten kid. 

I would engage in counseling, GOOD CHRISTIAN counseling. Maybe medicine might help, maybe testing could help.  Not saying other counselors arent good but I want my kid to understand where the rules come from that I live by. I didnt make them God did. 

My family has a history of broken chemical pumps in their noggin and a few of us have issues with that. I have been on antidepressants since 2000 and its been a true blessing for me, my family and my health. I will take them till the day i leave this earth. 

There is such a thing as genetically medically broken chemical regulation, just like people have knock knees, pigeon toes, or bad eyes. Dont discount a medical issue. 

I totally agree someone said stability/regimen is substantial in coping with challenging situations regardless of who/what, person/topic. 

Im still learning as a parent, its my first time being a parent for each child and each grand child. They are like a litter of pups, or if you are familiar with horses, you cant jump on one and ride it the same as the one you just got off. Try it and see how that goes for ya!!!

We are here for ya, I have failed many times and still doing it just trying to cut down on the mistakes as I get older. I own them with my kids and we talk about it. Thats right from as long as I can remember I let them know I could have done something different/better. Do I discount their behavior NO - so we are both learning. 

You got this Dad!! hang in there 

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