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Issues with attitude (long, sorry)

Posted by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM
  • 10 Replies

Alright, I will try to make this as short as possible, but there needs to be a little bit of backstory.

I just recently moved here (in the beginning of April) to Indiana to be with my boyfriend. In that time he had been fighting for custody of his kids which was just rewarded to him about a month ago. The kids are essentially really well behaved, but I know things were and are hard for them because their mother is a piece of work, and that's putting it incredibly lightly. I spend most of my time with them because my boyfriend works 2nd shift as his job and is gone from 2:45-12 midnight. So I'm the one doing lunch, dinner, homework, bedtime and all that stuff for the duration of the week, minus the days they visit with grandparents and such.

Sara (8) has been wonderful, and we've both done very well with each other. She needed that maternal figure because her own mother is lacking in that department. (I could tell you the story, but we would be here forever. Basically, she manipulated Sara into believing lies and other such things. She also told both Sara and Ryan(6) she didn't ever want to see them again). However, Ryan and I, though we get along, are having issues with his attitude.

EVERYTHING I ask or tell him to do, I get talked back to, whined at, yelled at, and it's never just a simple thing. It turns into a production. Now I know things with his mom are hard and we've had the conversations of "You need to use your words to talk to me, I promise I will listen" but it helps to no avail. I'm sticking to my guns, but it's just hard. I know he's going through so much, but I can't allow him to walk all over me. I've talked to Kevin (Boyfriend) and he gets on Ryan as well for the attitude, because he recieves the attitude from Ryan as well, and every now and again Kevin will pop him on the butt for it. I refuse to do that, it's not my place. But I'm running out of ideas. I take things from him, I send him to his room, I sit down and I talk to him on his level, but it just seems to go in one ear and out of the other... 

I need some kind of advice, maybe there's a better way to handle it?



ETA: We have them both in counseling, and boyfriend and I have been consistant with the punishments, and I do take into consideration the struggle both the kids are going through with their incubator (because that's all she was). I was in a similar situation as a kid, so I understand a lot of what they're going through. 


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by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:34 AM
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Replies (1-10):
laughnchica
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:45 AM

This is probably a big adjustment as well as emotionally dealing with the stuff from BM. Not an excuse for this behavior but just to keep in mind. I would sit down with SO and come up with a plan that you both agree on how you both will respond to his behavior. Be consistent. That is key. Every time something comes, go to that punishment whether it is time out, sent to his room, loss of electronics wtv every single time. Don't keep the confrontation going like yelling back or trying to talk to him when he talks back or yells at you. Just respond with the punishment. But on the other side, any time he doesn't do the attitude or yelling or talking back, reward him. Make a point of making him feel good for doing the right thing. Consistently. Sounds like a tough situation but things will get better.

LoveMy2x4
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM

Make a chore chart and give a lot of rewards. With the chore chart, you can list each of his duties during the week (homework, clean room, go to bed on time, etc). Each time he completes one, he gets a star. If he gets all his stars at the end of the week, he gets a reward. 

There was one poster a couple weeks ago who was saying that she gave her son a nickel every time he completed a chore instead of a star. Then he was able to save up his money and buy something for himself. 

I would also advise your SO to maybe seek individual counseling for the kids and maybe family couseling for you all as well. This might help them adjust to their "new life" a little easier. 

CookiePwnz
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM

We have a chore chart, and they both go to counseling. He's a loveable little guy, he really is, I adore him, I just... I don't want him to feel like this behavior is acceptable

Quoting LoveMy2x4:

Make a chore chart and give a lot of rewards. With the chore chart, you can list each of his duties during the week (homework, clean room, go to bed on time, etc). Each time he completes one, he gets a star. If he gets all his stars at the end of the week, he gets a reward. 

There was one poster a couple weeks ago who was saying that she gave her son a nickel every time he completed a chore instead of a star. Then he was able to save up his money and buy something for himself. 

I would also advise your SO to maybe seek individual counseling for the kids and maybe family couseling for you all as well. This might help them adjust to their "new life" a little easier. 


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annabl1970
by Gold Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Give him some time. His mom is out. It's very hard for any kid to accept that his parent bail out on him and told him "she didn't ever want to see them again" :(  (Oh poor kids)

He didn't get used to a fact you are now parental figure.

LoveMy2x4
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

He doesnt do well with the chore chart? Some kids just dont care...

Do you think it is possible that he was taken from his mom and is now resenting you & his dad for it? What does his counselor say about this behavior? A lot of it honestly might just be the age.


Quoting CookiePwnz:

We have a chore chart, and they both go to counseling. He's a loveable little guy, he really is, I adore him, I just... I don't want him to feel like this behavior is acceptable

Quoting LoveMy2x4:

Make a chore chart and give a lot of rewards. With the chore chart, you can list each of his duties during the week (homework, clean room, go to bed on time, etc). Each time he completes one, he gets a star. If he gets all his stars at the end of the week, he gets a reward. 

There was one poster a couple weeks ago who was saying that she gave her son a nickel every time he completed a chore instead of a star. Then he was able to save up his money and buy something for himself. 

I would also advise your SO to maybe seek individual counseling for the kids and maybe family couseling for you all as well. This might help them adjust to their "new life" a little easier. 




CookiePwnz
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 11:59 AM

My personal thoughts on his acting out is that he just was never asked to talk about it. His mother would rather yell at him for acting a certain way than sitting down and actually trying to figure out the cause. I think that it's the adjustment which is causing the behavior. He's just so used to acting out to get any kind of attention. 

And I know this isn't going to happen overnight, and I told Ryan that. But I also told him that I love him more than the world and I'm not going to give up on him.

Quoting LoveMy2x4:

He doesnt do well with the chore chart? Some kids just dont care...

Do you think it is possible that he was taken from his mom and is now resenting you & his dad for it? What does his counselor say about this behavior? A lot of it honestly might just be the age.


Quoting CookiePwnz:

We have a chore chart, and they both go to counseling. He's a loveable little guy, he really is, I adore him, I just... I don't want him to feel like this behavior is acceptable

Quoting LoveMy2x4:

Make a chore chart and give a lot of rewards. With the chore chart, you can list each of his duties during the week (homework, clean room, go to bed on time, etc). Each time he completes one, he gets a star. If he gets all his stars at the end of the week, he gets a reward. 

There was one poster a couple weeks ago who was saying that she gave her son a nickel every time he completed a chore instead of a star. Then he was able to save up his money and buy something for himself. 

I would also advise your SO to maybe seek individual counseling for the kids and maybe family couseling for you all as well. This might help them adjust to their "new life" a little easier. 





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CookiePwnz
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Yeah, I'm really not a fan of her. And if I could, I would seriously knock her on her ass or bless her out. 

I know he knows that I'm different, and I think it's him figuring out that I'm not her, and I'm actually trying to help him become a better person and learn and grow. He's not used to that unfortunately.

Quoting annabl1970:

Give him some time. His mom is out. It's very hard for any kid to accept that his parent bail out on him and told him "she didn't ever want to see them again" :(  (Oh poor kids)

He didn't get used to a fact you are now parental figure.


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progressandjoy
by Silver Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Have you tried to find out what’s bothering him?

 

Regardless of what BM may have done, I’m sure he still feels a lot of loyalty to her. Maybe he feels like you swooped in out of nowhere, and you’re trying to replace his mother. Maybe he feels abandoned, because he father is gone the majority of the time. I’m sure that would be hard to be taken from your mother, and thrust into the care of dad’s new girlfriend, because dad is gone most of the day. I don’t mean for that to sound harsh or rude, but think of it from the perspective of a six year old.

 

Have you considered that this is normal (but not excusable) behavior for a six year old? What things are you telling him to do that’s causing him to have such an attitude?

 

I also have a six year old stepson, who as of late, has been plagued with a grumpy as hell attitude. He wants to argue. He wants to fight. He wants to say hurtful things. It’s to a point now, where DH and BM are getting on the same page – and when that happens, you know things have gotten out of hand.

 

We have a consequence chart that outlines the consequence for each negative behavior. If SS jumps on the couch (my biggest pet peeve) he has to sit on the floor. If he hurts and animal, he gets a spanking. If he screams or yells, he has timeout in the bathroom. If SS has an attitude because we don’t let him do ‘anything’, he gets a special list of household chores. DH and I have agreed on each consequence and it’s on display in the kitchen. SS knows what to expect each time he acts out, and it sets a guide for consistent punishment.

 

Also, after SS has calmed down we talk about why he acted that way. What was he thinking? What we he feeling? What caused those feelings? Why did he think acting that way was appropriate? We let him know that it is okay to feel angry or upset, but we can’t lash out at people and try to hurt them, too.

CookiePwnz
by on Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:54 PM

I have tried to find out, he just gives me the "I don't know" or "I'm tired". I can see it being partially the age, but I just don't think he's ready to really tell me, which I won't force because that would do more harm than good.

And everything you're saying he could be feeling, I understand completely. That's why when I do send him to his room after 5 minutes I'll go in there and talk to him. "Hey buddy, what's going on? What's the problem? How can I help? Let's be a team, let's work together, let's figure this out." I never really single him out, it's more of a "I understand that this is a tough time, but I'm here for you, and I want you to be able to talk to me because I will listen. All you need to do is tell me that you're upset."

Quoting progressandjoy:


Have you tried to find out what’s bothering him?

 

Regardless of what BM may have done, I’m sure he still feels a lot of loyalty to her. Maybe he feels like you swooped in out of nowhere, and you’re trying to replace his mother. Maybe he feels abandoned, because he father is gone the majority of the time. I’m sure that would be hard to be taken from your mother, and thrust into the care of dad’s new girlfriend, because dad is gone most of the day. I don’t mean for that to sound harsh or rude, but think of it from the perspective of a six year old.

 

Have you considered that this is normal (but not excusable) behavior for a six year old? What things are you telling him to do that’s causing him to have such an attitude?

 

I also have a six year old stepson, who as of late, has been plagued with a grumpy as hell attitude. He wants to argue. He wants to fight. He wants to say hurtful things. It’s to a point now, where DH and BM are getting on the same page – and when that happens, you know things have gotten out of hand.

 

We have a consequence chart that outlines the consequence for each negative behavior. If SS jumps on the couch (my biggest pet peeve) he has to sit on the floor. If he hurts and animal, he gets a spanking. If he screams or yells, he has timeout in the bathroom. If SS has an attitude because we don’t let him do ‘anything’, he gets a special list of household chores. DH and I have agreed on each consequence and it’s on display in the kitchen. SS knows what to expect each time he acts out, and it sets a guide for consistent punishment.

 

Also, after SS has calmed down we talk about why he acted that way. What was he thinking? What we he feeling? What caused those feelings? Why did he think acting that way was appropriate? We let him know that it is okay to feel angry or upset, but we can’t lash out at people and try to hurt them, too.


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Frustrated10
by Bronze Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 9:00 PM
1 mom liked this

It seems that he is very lucky to have you in his corner. Keep loving him and reaching out to him like you've been doing. Keep showing him that you are unflappable. The best advice I can give is this....get him a drawing pad and some crayons or markers. Next time he is upset or he shuts down on you, ask him to draw what he is feeling. He might be able to provide you some insight through his drawings.

By the way, you and I live in the same state. :-)

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