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  1. #1
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    Default Annoying, backchatting 8 yr old boy

    I need some advice and possible pointers on where to seek professional help. My 8 yr old boy does exceptionally well at school, is fit, healthy etc. But recently our relationship is suffering for a few reasons.
    1. He is very restricted with screen time but is always thinking about when he can play his device next. He would play it all day if allowed (he’s not allowed!). He cannot seem to monitor or control his own behaviour. Only has other interests because he HAS to.
    2. I have to say the same things over and over. I HATE things like toys and books left on the chairs and floors and he is told multiple times a day not to do this. Keeps doing it. I throw things out if he’s told more than once to move them but doesn’t learn.
    3. Backchatting. It’s awful. ALWAYS whinges when told no. Speaks rudely to me and his 6 yr old sister. Always trying to negotiate when told firmly no. Again no respect for others.
    4. Annoying. Stupid things like singing the same lines of a song over and over and keeps doing it when told not to.
    5. Annoys his sister (who is a stubborn drama queen) so much and can’t control his behaviour as an older sibling who should know better. The same arguments multiple times daily and I have stopped taking them out on school holidays for this reason.
    6. Has no life skills. Won’t do things like butter his own toast because it’s too hard. Just thinks about himself and is an unhelpful brat.
    Maybe I have high expectations but he knows his behaviour is wrong and keeps doing it. I do not understand this behaviour from anyone and end up yelling at him and calling him stupid as I’m at my wits’ end from the stress.
    I really don’t know what to do and feel our relationship is just one of a constant battle. I hate myself for how I deal with it (poorly) but I cannot handle stupid behaviour.

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  3. #2
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    It sounds like you had a very long school holidays! I can sense the frustration from the language you are using to describe his behaviour. My advice to you would be to pick your battles and make sure you have some down time to yourself. Do you have much support for you to have a break regularly?

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  5. #3
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    He's an 8 year old child, seems pretty normal to me. I wouldn't be looking into professional help for typical behaviours.

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  7. #4
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    Thank you. Yes, we have a balanced life - although I work a lot (job and PhD student) I manage to spend a lot of time with the kids. Same with my husband.

  8. #5
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    Thanks for the response. However I don’t see other kids behaving so poorly with each other and from what I hear from talking with others mine are exceptionally bad. It is reassuring that it might be normal behaviour but I don’t believe 8 year olds behaving like that “should” be normal. I guess I shouldn’t feel such anger toward my boy and have such a deteriorating relationship with him; I don’t know what to do to help it improve

  9. #6
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    Seems like a typical 8 year old! Especially when you said he cannot seem to monitor or control his behaviour, leaves toys around & would be on his device all day if he could ... he’s 8! It’s completely normal to push boundaries but I kind of find it concerning that you get so irritated just by him repeating a song over & over? Also that you refer to him as un ‘ungrateful brat’ & describe feeling so angry towards him & calling him ‘stupid’. I’m not judging you I understand parenting can be tough but from your post I’m concerned about how you’re coping & also concerned about how your anger, high expectations & words towards your son might affect him. Is there anything else going on in your life causing you stress? Perhaps it would be wise to speak with a professional (perhaps go to your gp & ask for a referral to a psychologist) - if nothing else then at least to help you come up with different strategies for dealing with your sons challenging behaviours. Good luck x

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  11. #7
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    Default Annoying, backchatting 8 yr old boy

    Have you looked into any of Maggie Dent’s resources? She’s a great expert on boys...you might get a better insight into how to deal with your son’s characteristics.

    Is there any way you can empower/lift up your son with any responsibilities/special jobs? Positive interactions will have a bigger impact than negative ones (I teach all boys - teens - and that’s one of approaches to discipline, especially with difficult students).

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  13. #8
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    The behaviours you describe are perfectly normal for an 8 year old.

    However you don't sound like you are coping with him.

    Have you considered doing a parenting course eg Triple P to give you some pointers and strategies to manage his behaviour?

    ETA you may also like Steve Biddulph "Raising Boys"

    Oh and another tip, remember to reward positive behaviour. I get that some days it can be difficult to find anything positive in your child's behaviour, but if you can praise him for doing the right thing it will reinforce the behaviour and hopefully he will keep on doing it.
    Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 22-01-2019 at 00:58.

  14. #9
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    Sounds normal to me. He’s 8 and turning into a tween. It happens a lot younger these days compared to when we where kids.

    My 11 year old ds1 is exactly the same. Some days are better then others. He can be a right royal **** then 5 mins later the most polite child and doing chores for me

    I’ve got maggie dent book. It came out in sept it is a great sourced. Purchased online for $30 including postage.

    Remember things will only get worse before they get better

    And I can assure there are other kids you would know that act the same way behind closed doors to their parents they aren’t going to advertise it though

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    I have an 8 year old son and what you are describing sounds completely normal.
    I would be more concerned about your behaviour. Calling a child stupid can be so damaging.
    Maybe he is trying to get attention from you. Try spending some quality one on one time with him.


 

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