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Old 02-02-2013, 20:06   #1
RenoF250
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Problems with 9 year old

My son does not listen at all. We have to tell him many times to get him to do something and then it is after a ton of whining and trying to get his sister to do it for him. He also does things right after he is told not to. We have taken his stuff away, grounded him, put him in the corner, spanked him, and talked to him. None of that works. It seems he is just going to do want he wants regardless of consequences.

He is also getting in trouble with school work because eh rushes through it (it is boring) and does half wrong. He knows how to do them but refuses to take the time to do it right the first time so I have to go through it with him 4 times.

My patience is running out and I did not have much to start with.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:10   #2
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My patience is running out and I did not have much to start with.

Bingo. Sounds like he need some attention. Good or bad, he's gonna find a way to get it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:27   #3
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Do you yell? Yelling doesn't help in most situations. Talking quietly freaks my girls out when they know they've done something wrong. And Zonny also brings up a good point. If he is craving attention he won't care what kind he gets. Friend of mine is having this issue with her step-son.

As much as I hate reward systems, you may try it, but with small items. If he gets 90% and better on homework he gets a candy bar. If he doesn't then no reward. But really back it up with positive reinforcement. If he has a bad paper then just say gotta try a little harder.

As for chores and home life, every kid is different. But positive reinforcement is going to be the way to go in the long run. I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to spank my girls combined.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:28   #4
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Originally Posted by RenoF250 View Post
My son does not listen at all. We have to tell him many times to get him to do something and then it is after a ton of whining and trying to get his sister to do it for him. He also does things right after he is told not to. We have taken his stuff away, grounded him, put him in the corner, spanked him, and talked to him. None of that works. It seems he is just going to do want he wants regardless of consequences.

He is also getting in trouble with school work because eh rushes through it (it is boring) and does half wrong. He knows how to do them but refuses to take the time to do it right the first time so I have to go through it with him 4 times.

My patience is running out and I did not have much to start with.
I had a bit of that with the twin boys I raised. I bought a tent, told them that's where they'll stay until they decide to do things the right way. If they wanted to act like bums, well, I'd treat them like one. Certainly had life changing moment for them

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

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Old 02-02-2013, 20:29   #5
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Bingo. Sounds like he need some attention. Good or bad, he's gonna find a way to get it.
He needs some serious interaction that keeps him physically and mentally motivated to perform on a moments notice.


I have no idea what you can do beyond throwing him in soccer, football, or other sports, but you need to keep him occupied beyond his ability to cope with his surroundings. Otherwise you'll deal with his leftover appetite for destruction.

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:30   #6
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Introduce him to the board of education. Often as needed.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:48   #7
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Reward him with his things when he makes good behavioral choices. Turn as many things as possible around so he works toward a reward instead of away from a negative - less presentation of negatives (he earns a reward or does not - his choice by his behavior).

WRITE DOWN the expectations (determined with his input, by the family), in language he proves he understands, and post it, along with the rewards for meeting expectations, in several places - he should have a copy (or 3, or 5), one on the fridge, one in the hall, one in each car (wherever you find yourself with a moment to chat about how things are going, you should have it available.

He's 9. He's smart, he can learn, but he is largely behavioral, and adopting new behaviors can take much longer than an adult; consider that he might need 10 times the repetitions to learn a new item as an average adult - that means if it takes you 2 or three times to learn a new behavior, he needs 20 or 30 successful repetitions, with fading reinforcement. There are simple things and complicated things. It is extremely general to give ideas here, what really would help is having somebody who is good at this stuff (a home-based behavioral therapist) come into your home and teach you and your family how to do it (it's a shared problem - each member of the family suffers when one member makes less than great decisions, each member is rewarded when any member makes good decisions - balance is key).

Parenting is often not intuitive - little changes in emphasis or presentation can make all the difference to get you where you want to be. Kids have a billion things thrown at them in today's world, and it's no cakewalk being a kid. No excuses for anybody - just realizations that it takes time and effort (not necessarily hard, just consistent and useful techniques for your family) and it is worth doing. If it took 9 years to get him to where he is today, it might take 9 to get him where you want him - and where he wants to be...chances, are, though, that 6 months should be plenty for drastic changes.

Now, if things are beyond the pale - if we're talking radical behavior or sustained, informed, competent effort (which very well may be the case), diagnostic testing to rule out learning disabilities, developmental conditions, etc., are useful, but you didn't indicate concerns yet that come close to warranting any of that - you know the behaviors, so work to help your kid and family change those behaviors.

This is what I do for a living and have for 15 years. I form and run teams (often just getting people together who are already involved - school teachers or social workers, clergy, family, neighbors, but also psychiatrists, psych hospitals, substance use counselors, trauma therapists, recreational therapists, DFS, CPS, police, you name it - potentially anybody that might be involved in a family's life - what makes their presence necessary is usefulness to the family and youth and their vision) that help people with your described situations reach a vision of what they want their lives to be like. I teach them how to maintain a team that works for the family, and step out of the picture when the family is able and willing to do it themselves. I'd be happy to share more detailed information about my background or experience if it's useful to you.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:54   #8
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Put on a suit. Sit him down in an office like setting. Tell him it's not working out, and you are starting to look for a new place for him to live.



If that doesn't work. Punch him in the face. I'd have to say. If my dad just punched me in the face, I'd have changed my act.
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Old 02-02-2013, 20:57   #9
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My reward for doing what was expected, was not getting the belt. You can't parent anymore. You have to negotiate and bribe. The children are in control now.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:02   #10
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Parenting advice on GT, really?
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:05   #11
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Introduce him to the board of education. Often as needed.


well said


...the parable about the Padre & stick and the boy walking to market with the mule comes to mind.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:05   #12
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We have tried rewards, when he does not get it he gets mad and thinks we are being mean. We had him in soccer and he just laid in the goal. I try to spend time with him but it is very hard to keep his attention. I bought R/C cars for us to work on and play with but he only wants to drive and does not want to do the other stuff necessary. He has played chess and checkers all the way through but with chess I had to repeat over and over the move of the knight. He just does not listen. You can tell when you are explaining it to him that you are talking to yourself.

I am suspecting he is ADHD. I believe I and his grandfather are as well but we did not need medicine for it. My dad had a Dominican nuns to deal with him when he was this age and I think I learned to control mine a little better.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:06   #13
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Parenting advice on GT, really?
Sure, why not. You can always stake what you like and leave the rest.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:07   #14
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Parenting advice on GT, really?
Omnia Facimus, baby!!!

As you know.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:08   #15
RenoF250
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Introduce him to the board of education. Often as needed.
Is that code for a paddle? I gave up on spanking because it seemed to have no effect.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:14   #16
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Figure out how much time you are spending doing his schoolwork with him. Then tell him that you will do something FUN FOR HIM for that amount of time (or whatever is left of that amount of time) each day that you either DON'T have to do the schoolwork, or he gets it done with you correctly in less than the allotted time. That's the sort of thing that works with my 9 year old - "there is X amount of time available for you to do your math and to do X, get your math done quickly and correctly and you can have all the time left to do X WITH ME) - the important part is that she wants my attention - just letting her play some video game by herself is NOT enough motivation for her to do the math quickly - she'll sandbag on it because I'm doing it with her til all her time is gone, because what she wanted was my attention.

As for whining, well, one day that irritated me so much I pitched a glass of water at her. She was stunned speechless...and she didn't whine for quite awhile... hmmm... Must find the water pistol... Most days, I just walk away and put a door between us til she stops and uses a polite tone of voice. If I'm feeling ill-tempered myself, I sometimes whine right back. The little dingbats think that's funny at home, but are downright embarrassed for it to happen in public... which is the point.

FWIW, the ONLY thing that works on my nine year old is attention. She doesn't care about being yelled at, grounded, sent to her room, spanked, having her stuff taken away, losing privileges, NOTHING. I do still send her to her room when she misbehaves, but it is more so I can calm down and think of a rational consequence for her actions than as any punishment for her, or because whatever she was doing cannot be continued alone in her room (that would be bickering with her sister, especially).

Then I call my mother up and apologize to her for doing to her all the things my kids are doing to me...
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:14   #17
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This sounds very simple but, make sure he's looking at you when you're explaining something then ask him to repeat it.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:18   #18
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You might actually seek medical advice. My son was same way but was diagnosed with ADHD. 60mg of Straterra and he's an entirely different kid.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:25   #19
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I'm no parent, or a psychologist, so take this with a grain of salt. I have read up a bit on psychology, and I can't help but think this sounds like oppositional defiant disorder.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:42   #20
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Getting told to go outside and find a switch always straightened me up.

And you only bring back a scrawny one once,because it will make them mad and they will go bring back a tree limb
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:43   #21
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You might actually seek medical advice. My son was same way but was diagnosed with ADHD. 60mg of Straterra and he's an entirely different kid.

This.

For some kids meds is the correct option.

A friend of mine had the same issues and spent years and years trying to deal with it avoiding putting his kid on meds. Nothing worked and he finally went to the doctors. His kid, and more importantly, his relationship with his son did a 180.

I know it is frowned upon by most, but sometimes it is the correct answer.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:43   #22
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Then there is always the treat of sending them off to military school
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:51   #23
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Old 02-02-2013, 22:01   #24
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Originally Posted by RenoF250 View Post
We have tried rewards, when he does not get it he gets mad and thinks we are being mean. We had him in soccer and he just laid in the goal. I try to spend time with him but it is very hard to keep his attention. I bought R/C cars for us to work on and play with but he only wants to drive and does not want to do the other stuff necessary. He has played chess and checkers all the way through but with chess I had to repeat over and over the move of the knight. He just does not listen. You can tell when you are explaining it to him that you are talking to yourself.

I am suspecting he is ADHD. I believe I and his grandfather are as well but we did not need medicine for it. My dad had a Dominican nuns to deal with him when he was this age and I think I learned to control mine a little better.
Knights are hard to learn how they move.

I don't have any answers. My son is 7 and I've seen enough mild ups and downs to know it is not easy. I hope things don't get harder over the next couple years, but instead hope they keep going good for us.

As some of the other posters have said also, I think giving attention to your kid and having positive rewards are both good approaches. But sure, the kid also has to know you'll follow through with the bad, when you choose to play that card.

The part about rewards is you got to be strong and withhold them when he doesn't deserve them. And be fair about it. The getting mad at you is a way for him to get you to do something he wants. Maybe make it clear you won't negotiate with terrorists, but when he acts nice you guys can do something together. He might not get some specific reward if he was bad, but maybe he if he calms down and is nice he can get some other reward for that. He doesn't have to know it is a reward.





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Old 02-02-2013, 22:25   #25
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This might go over like a lead balloon, but you may want to have your son evaluated by a child psychologist. We have close friends who have a daughter that struggled in school, struggled in college and try as she might, she had trouble making better than C's in college. After her sophmore year in college, she was diagnosed with ADD. After starting a drug therapy, her grades picked up, she was able to study and concentrate and became an A/B student. She now wishes she had been diagnosed in elementary school, or whenever the symptoms started.

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