I'm starting to feel quite frustrated at my inability to control my DS1s behaviour when we are socializing or in public (eg - shops, etc.)
At home he is amazing. Never a fuss over bath and bed and even now dinner is a breeze. He plays beautiful, offers to help me all the time, uses manners, loves cuddling and interacting, loves doing homework, reading etc.
The problem is he just can't cope when we are out and about. If its just me and him that's okay. But if there are a lot of people around its like a hypo switch just instantly flicks. We were at a friends place for a BBQ today and he kept pushing tgevother kids and was really rude to me when I spoke to him about it. He threw toys put of the cubby and was just buzzing around in general. Then when it was time for lunch he wouldn't come and eat when all the other kids did. He back chatted and was rude and I just lost it. I made us leave and he was bawling. But he'd been testing me the entire time. This happens A LOT!! At parties etc. he just almost always ends up misbehaving.
I do the prep talk on the way there. Take him aside to remind him of correct behaviour so it's not confronting in front of other kids. Give warnings, remind him of things we are doing for fun later on that he won't want to ruin. But it doesn't make a difference. As soon as we get in the car to leave he apologises and says he wishes he could be a good boy. I follow through with going home and giving him a time out but I'm at a loss as to how to help him. He just turned 5 last week.
Any ideas?? (I think what makes my blood boil so much is I am a teacher and can manage the behaviour of other children much better than my own.)
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28-04-2013 14:09 #1
Son misbehaving in public
28-04-2013 14:16 #2
Is he an only child?
And does he get much interaction besides school? Sport, play dates etc
Just wondering before I say anymore
28-04-2013 14:21 #3
No he has a 2 year old brother. He goes to school but doesn't play sport after school.
28-04-2013 16:06 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
DS1 is the same. Dream child if its me and him, but add lots of people/noise stimulation, unfamiliar place and its such a nightmare!
Christmas shopping last year was an experience that stuck in my mind (last minute, no choice and a feral 4 year old...).
I too would follow through with going home to time out, but it wouldn't fix the problem, it was a never ending cycle. I've started taking him back to the car mid shop (like I would take him to bed if we were at home) and strap him in, explain why etc (same routine at home) and sit there for the allocated time. Then back to the errand we were doing. My record was 5 times in an hour, but its improved our outings a great deal! It's like him expressing his frustration etc would iron the gremlins out. (Also, fyi, if its a hot day I'd turn the air on on etc and sit with him). When at people's home I'd pick a quiet spot away from the noise and explain that negative behaviour would result in a time out and if he had 3 time outs we'd leave. It took him testing my resolve several times but he's got it. Everywhere we go, I pick a spot, we have a discussion and leave if necessary. It's changed his whole attitude. I still allow for some difficulty (its his personality), but its reeled in his behaviour somewhat and gives me some control over the situation as well. Hope that helps, and sorry for the long essay! I just fou d that consequences that weren't immediate held no sway with him?
29-04-2013 18:24 #5
Thanks so much for your reply spunkles. I think I need to try something more. He doesn't even need time outs at home so I'm out of practise of using them - but they'll be on the cards for the time being for sure!!
29-04-2013 18:42 #6Senior Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2010
See, usually DS1 doesn't either. A firm word, or at most counting 1-2-3, will result in him changing his attitude/behaviour at home too. I would just take him home too at first, but then I'd never finish errands or DS2 would miss out on the rest of a play date because his brother was being *ahem* a turd, poor guy. It by no means has magically transformed his behaviour, but it has improved, thank goodness!
Glad to help-I'm finding his age quite hard to deal with, and quite exhausting, I'd take a newborn anytime (at least they don't back chat!!)
29-04-2013 19:19 #7
My DS is very similar, but he suffers anxiety.
At home he's great, but get him in a crowded and loud environment, it all turns to hell.
29-04-2013 20:36 #8
My initial thought was it sounds like it is an attempt to get your attention. I have been guilty of this in the past. Especially grocery shopping - I am busy looking at the items to buy instead of the child and so they act up to get my attention. Just watch that it isn't this - because you can cater for the insecure child.
But what others have said about anxiety also makes sense. I would try smaller gatherings and shops when it is not busy and slowly increase the "busyness" of the outings. But whatever you do, don't stop taking him out!
My third thought is to watch for triggers. Just like a tantrum. DS was an extreme tantrum thrower, and I had to learn his triggers - no shopping when he was tired, get him home and in bed before a certain hour, stop the behaviour before it got too out of control, distract, distract, distract!!
And most of all, do not give into your embarrassment about having to "parent in public". Maybe your son knows you will not chastise him or give him time-out in public so he feels free to act up as much as he wants? I always said, "Stuff what others think of me, I need to think of my child." I would sit on the floor next to a tantruming child and not care about the looks the old biddies were giving me. I have been known to give my child time-out in the middle of Kmart. I didn't care about the dirty looks and put a "leash" on my child to stop him running away. Stuff 'em!
29-04-2013 20:55 #9
He sounds anxious and yet normal to me. You are saying that the other kids at a party with lots of people, food & stuff going on actually sat down and ate? Were they also just 5 and boys? We get together with my brothers & their kids on a regular basis so there are 6 kids for dinner (ages 8, 6.5, 6, 6, 4.5 & 1.5). Getting them to sit down to eat anything, let alone a proper meal is a recent thing, despite YEARS of effort. Seriously. I would say that once the boys turned 6 (so, only a few months ago) things improved a lot. Prior to that usually 1 - 2 of the 6 kids would finish one small plate of food and the rest would either not sit down, or sit down briefly only.
And do they behave? Heck no! My ds is 6 and a few months and he can be feral when we are out. He gets over stimulated SO easily (always has) and if he happens to be a bit tired or grumpy he can lose it at the drop of a hat. He can throw things, he can yell and he can just plain ignore us. There are plenty of consequences believe me and lots of tears as a result often (eg. we go home early), but it's the only way he learns. But, as parents we need to watch him and intervene asap if there is a disagreement and we know he's overtired or otherwise struggling. And we need to get out of there at a reasonable time so he doesn't get overtired.
5yo boys like to run, jump, ride bikes, make mess and yell. He is letting you know that he doesn't like parties with lots of adults and to be honest I doubt many 5yo's do. Take stuff for him to do, let him feel comfy and let him be near you if he needs to be. He will be easier to manage as he gets older, but he's still pretty little.
30-04-2013 10:12 #10
hi theboysandme. I think you know what your boy needs, and he is not just 'acting up' for attention. I would try the yellow card, red card, as a warning system for him. like in soccer, yellow card x2 is two warnings, then the red card, the game is over. It is just something simple and quick that he will understand, and it will help you not loose your cool when you are out. Your boy cant handle too much stimulation, and perhaps when he sees a yelow card, he might try to take himself to a quite place and calm down. That would be an ideal solution, I might be dreaming, but it would be good. hugs, Marie.
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