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School for a kid with no friends?


Petrichor
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Some background:

 

My 5yo DS is slow to warm up, but not shy. 

 

He gravitates to adults and tends to want to make friends with childless adults (friends of DH and I (and neighbors who we don't know well)). He is also drawn to older kids. (but 9 yr olds would much rather be mean to a 5 yr old than actually play with one)

 

When he is prevented from doing something he wants to do, (eg. when we get to the "that's probably not a good idea" part of the conversation) he gets angry before I can even finish my sentence. 

 

If he doesn't get to interrupt us when we are talking, he gets upset and says "now I'm not talking to you" and goes off and sits in silence to try to make a point.

 

If we are telling him about a rule or about why something isn't a good thing to do, or how you need to be careful about something, he rolls his eyes and his tone of voice turns to sarcasm. 

 

We usually do school only 2-3 times a week and there are weeks where he refuses to do school. I know that is typical for many kids, but I really try to keep things fun. 

 

I feel like I tiptoeing through broken glass with him. Is that normal for a 5yo?

 

To get to the thread title, it's been suggested to put DS in school so he can make friends his own age and learn to listen to authority. I'd rather not do that, since we can't afford private school, and DH hates the idea of public school. 

 

 

 

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My guess is that a kid like your ds will not make friends with kids his own age easily, even in school. My son was not too different, as a matter of fact we had many battles over doing school, which I had to win, as I was the grown up and not learning to read was not an option, lol. For a 5yo I would keep school fun, but a 6yo should be doing some math, reading, and language arts at least five days a week, preferably six days because those skills take constant practice. If he really refuses to do school for you and you cannot make him, I think he needs to go to school. But as far as making friends, my guess is that he will make friends at sports, scouts, home school coop, ect but he may be slower at it than some other kids, and that's okay. I have three kids and two of them were not good at making friends, but as adults they have wonderful friends even though grade school was rough for both of them. My youngest has always had friends, and part of that is probably birth order and her natural personality of liking people.

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What's to keep him from refusing to cooperate at school? Why won't he be rude to the teacher and sarcastic to her and to his classmates? School doesn't exist to teach children to listen to authority. Parents teach their children to respect authority, and then send them to school to learn from those who are there to teach them. Parents teach their children to get along with others, and then seek suitable playmates with whom to continue learning those skills.

 

I think these problems are going to be your problems whether you homeschool or not. If he's homeschooled you have plenty of time to work on his issues, and far fewer distractions. If you can help him grow toward better respect and cooperation on the most basic level, you can add school to your toolbox when he's ready...

 

I don't think it's normal to have to walk on eggshells with a 5yo. You can ask his pediatrician for resources - maybe he needs an evaluation, maybe you need more support - you don't have to deal with this alone.

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This sounds so much like my oldest. She did go to kindy , but she did not manage to make any friends. Instead, she'd come home, crying about how no one liked her. I can remember times where I went to the school and literally see not a single other child talk to her all day. We pulled her to homeschool for first. She still really struggles socially: homeschooling isn't a magic bullet, but sending her to school didn't help, either.

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Plenty of 5 year olds are not ready for a classroom environment or have super close friends.  I agree something else MIGHT be going on and you may want to look into an evaluation.  But in no way do at all think school is going to be a fix all for an out of the box kid.  I sent my oldest to kindergarten and 1st grade and I know what it looks like.  I've been homeschooling ever since.

 

I find for my kids and in particular at that age, it's much easier to have a regular routine we sit down and do 5 days a week at a regular time than try to pull something together 2-3 days a week.  At 5, it can look like 10-15 minutes phonics/reading practice.  10-15 minutes math related.  Try to do something read aloud daily.  Get out in the world - garden, go to museums, go to the zoo, go to the park, etc.  If you think he would benefit from working with another teacher or have more peer interaction, find him a little class to try in something that might interest him. 

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Some background:

 

My 5yo DS is slow to warm up, but not shy. 

 

He gravitates to adults and tends to want to make friends with childless adults (friends of DH and I (and neighbors who we don't know well)). He is also drawn to older kids. (but 9 yr olds would much rather be mean to a 5 yr old than actually play with one)

 

When he is prevented from doing something he wants to do, (eg. when we get to the "that's probably not a good idea" part of the conversation) he gets angry before I can even finish my sentence. And then what do you do?

 

If he doesn't get to interrupt us when we are talking, he gets upset and says "now I'm not talking to you" and goes off and sits in silence to try to make a point. He's being childish. Normal. Ignore it. He does this stuff to get a reaction.

 

If we are telling him about a rule or about why something isn't a good thing to do, or how you need to be careful about something, he rolls his eyes and his tone of voice turns to sarcasm. Again, normal childishness. Ignore.

 

We usually do school only 2-3 times a week and there are weeks where he refuses to do school. I know that is typical for many kids, but I really try to keep things fun. 

 

I feel like I tiptoeing through broken glass with him. Is that normal for a 5yo? For some 5 yos it is normal. I have a 17 yo who is very touchy. The childish stuff can be ignored. The outright defiance should be addressed the same way that you would address any other behavior that's not okay. I mean you probably make him go to the doctor, brush his teeth and go to bed. Even if he doesn't want to. Use those strategies and outlast him.

 

To get to the thread title, it's been suggested to put DS in school so he can make friends his own age and learn to listen to authority. I'd rather not do that, since we can't afford private school, and DH hates the idea of public school. 

School won't fix this stuff.

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I think he sounds like a child who could use more predictability and a more set schedule. I would do a little bit of school every weekday rather than 2-3 days a week.

 

Also, what do you do out of the house with him? How much opportunity does he get to interact with people outside the family?

 

Maybe joining a sports team or taking music lessons would give you a better idea of how he does with listening to other adults and relating to other kids?

 

I would recommend something like:

 

Monday- Library and Park

Tuesday- A small amount of seat work and a larger fun project

Wednesday- Art (maybe an outside art class, maybe just a craft day at home)

Thursday- a small amount of seat work plus maybe visiting a different musuem each week or every other week.

Friday- sports team or music lesson.

 

With a read alouds, math games, music practice (if taking music lessons) and a couple of chores together most everyday.

 

Obviously my example is just random days for each thing, but I'm just trying to illustrate getting weekly flow going. This is my younger sons flow:

 

Monday- homeschool class, ceramics, music lesson

Tuesday- seat work, science at home

Wednesday- homeschool class, ceramics and park

Thursday- Field trip OR swimming plus t-ball practice in the early evening

Friday- park, library, sometimes a field trip.

Saturday- t-ball game

 

He does a little math, a little reading practice, a little spelling, handwriting and geography, a little yoga and meditation 4-5 days a week plus lots of reading and listening to books on tape. He practices his music everyday for 15-20 minutes.

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Well, I'll go ahead and post this, but I'm sure there will be people that disagree. If my child EVER did that to me, then they would get put in time out and told to stay there. If they jumped down ( like my daughter did when she was three) then they get one swat and put back on the chair...one minute for every year they are. Now, I also know this is a culture thing, but when I told them to do something at that age, they had one answer: yes mam. PERIOD. You do NOT argue with my authority. EVER. I was the boss.

 

Now with teenagers they have much, much, much more authority over their own life. But preschool and elementary was the time for unquestioning obedience to my authority. Period.

Some kids respond well or ok to this. For some kids though, it just creates a downward spiral of anger issues, power struggles and stress for the whole family. Some kids require a level of patience, flexibility and facilitating success rather than admonishment and rigid punishment.

 

We've had a lot of success with the Nurture My Heart approach. http://www.amazon.com/Nurture-Heart-A-Nurtured-Approach-Handbook/dp/0983861013

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Some kids respond well or ok to this. For some kids though, it just creates a downward spiral of anger issues, power struggles and stress for the whole family. Some kids require a level of patience, flexibility and facilitating sucess rather than admonishment and rigid punishment.

 

We've had a lot of sucess with the Nurture My Heart approach. http://www.amazon.com/Nurture-Heart-A-Nurtured-Approach-Handbook/dp/0983861013

yup. That was my kid. 3 of my 4 would've done fine, but my oldest...nope. Had to get reallycreative with her.

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Well, I'll go ahead and post this, but I'm sure there will be people that disagree.  If my child EVER did that to me, then they would get put in time out and told to stay there.  If they jumped down ( like my daughter did when she was three) then they get one swat and put back on the chair...one minute for every year they are.  Now, I also know this is a culture thing, but when I told them to do something at that age, they had one answer: yes mam.  PERIOD.  You do NOT argue with my authority.  EVER.  I was the boss.

 

Now with teenagers they have much, much, much more authority over their own life.  But preschool and elementary was the time for unquestioning obedience to my authority.  Period.

 

In my experience and observation, the more quirky and outside-the-norm a kid is, the less likely this approach will be fruitful, especially in a long-run, big-picture view.  Children are different from each other.  Some have more to learn in some areas than others do, whether it be academics or appropriate behavior in relationships and social situations.  We are teachers, with many tools in our toolbox.  Many moms of quirky kids have found that leaving the swats and the time outs in the toolbox, and choosing another option, is the most effective approach.  It's not always the easiest, short-term, but it can produce profoundly positive results.  OP, listen to a wide range of advice, and choose the tools that feel best suited to you and your child.  Take what you like and leave the rest.

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School is not the panacea that cures all social problems. There is no guarantee that your child will make tons of life long besties because he is in a classroom. Nor it is a guarantee that he will learn to listen to authority. More likely he will be labeled a "problem child".

 

That is not to say that school is or is not the right environment for him. All you can do is try to remove yourself from the equation and figure out what is best for him.

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This reminds me a bit of my daughter at that age. She pretty much always preferred the company of adults and older kids. It was a running joke that, when I would go to collect her from the playground after church, all I had to do was look for the supervising adult to know where she was.

 

She did a two-morning-a-week preschool for a little over a year, and she had kind of a rough time. There were things she loved about it, but she didn't really make any friends. Basically, she enjoyed working with the adult helpers, and at any one time, she would have maybe one kid in class she considered a friend, but she didn't connect with most kids her age. 

 

In her case, we eventually figured out that the reason she wasn't making friends with kids her own age was that she was really, really bright. She used to complain that the other kids were accusing her of making up words, because they so often didn't understand what she was saying. They also didn't play games by the rules, which drove her crazy, and had no interest in the kinds of elaborate fantasy games she wanted to play.

 

She became a much happier kid after we moved and she didn't attend the preschool anymore. One of the first things we did when we moved was to look up local homeschool groups and start attending activities regularly. It was great for her, in part because she was not required to stick with her age mates all the time. The kids ran in mixed-age groups.

 

She was also a handful, discipline-wise, for a few years. For example, after we had our son, we were do determined to make sure she didn't feel slighted or ignored because of the new baby that we let her get away with being a brat for a while. Once we realized what was happening, we had a chat with her and explained that we loved her a lot, but it wasn't good for anyone for her to behave that way. So, things needed to change. We quit letting her get away with stuff just because we didn't want to be mean, It was an adjustment, but things got better, slowly.

 

She was also just kind of an emotional sponge. If anyone in the family was upset for any reason, no matter how hard we tried to keep things stable and normal, she would pick up on the stress and act out as a result. Only when she got old enough to recognize what was happening and discuss how she was feeling did that start to ease. 

 

Each of my kids also went through a phase somewhere between the ages of about 10 and 12 that we refer to now as "cocooning." They started getting frustrated with other kids and the outside world that seemed to expect them to behave and think and feel a particular way because of their chronological ages. While each had two or three good friends with whom they enjoyed spending time, they rebelled against what we came to call "random kid time." Both of them were much happier and more pleasant when we gave them the space to withdraw for a bit. Each had a few activities that were important to them -- usually things that involved mixed-age groups based on interest -- but we stopped trying to enforce or even encourage typical kid activities. In each case, after a couple of years, my kid emerged ready to engage with the world again. 

 

As for whether putting your child in school would help, I offer this metaphor:

 

A friend of mine once told a story about taking her kids to the pet store to look at the animals. Apparently, the enclosures at this particular store were very full, and the staff had opted to have a single rabbit sharing space with two or three guinea pigs. My friend had us all laughing with her description of how miserable that rabbit looked, sitting still and calm in the middle of the enclosure while the guinea pigs ran frantically around him squealing. She said you could almost hear the rabbit begging for someone to get him out of there and away from the annoying little critters. 

 

Ever since that day, we've used the phrase "bunny in the guinea pig cage" to describe how gifted kids can sometimes feel in large groups of age peers. I have no way of knowing whether your son's issues stem from the same cause as my daughter's, but I think the metaphor can work for any kid who is "different."

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Some kids respond well or ok to this. For some kids though, it just creates a downward spiral of anger issues, power struggles and stress for the whole family. Some kids require a level of patience, flexibility and facilitating success rather than admonishment and rigid punishment.

 

We've had a lot of success with the Nurture My Heart approach. http://www.amazon.com/Nurture-Heart-A-Nurtured-Approach-Handbook/dp/0983861013

 

Yup. This is especially true of kids with ADHD. When people say a child with ADHD just needs more discipline (usually they mean in the form of spanking or other severe punishment) I just roll my eyes. That's exactly the opposite of what such a child needs.

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Your son sounds like he doesn't deal well with not getting his way. My daughter doesn't either. Certain, being in school has helped her learn she has to be kind to get friends (unlike adult interactions since adults just have to put up with kids politely, maybe being assertive). But it's not easy. My neighbor's daughter is like that as well. Both prefer the company of adults not because they are gifted but because they don't want to put up with people as selfish and rude as they are! LOL.

 

But they are getting better and both are emerging as real diplomats. They'd probably love to remain the center of attention, the baby, in a group of older kids and adults, bit that special patience doesn't last forever. Someday the baby has to learn to listen and compromise.

 

Five might be young for that.

 

As for friends--school is not automatic friends. What else can I say. He might make friends but if he treats them like he treats you... Do you think they'd want to be his friend? And I have said that exact thing to my own kids. "well if you treated her like you treated me at the park, no wonder she didn't want to sit next to you at reading "

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To get to the thread title, it's been suggested to put DS in school so he can make friends his own age and learn to listen to authority. I'd rather not do that, since we can't afford private school, and DH hates the idea of public school. 

 

You are his authority. If he does not listen to you, he will not listen to anyone else.

 

Unless your ds has some other issues that you aren't aware of (or haven't told us about), I have to tell you that no, his behavior is not normal; in my home, a child who behaved that way would be corrected and disciplined (discipline to be determined by the child's age and the things which work best for him).

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For some kids you have to Just Stop Talking. I have one of these. Wordy explanations of rules and why "we" behave and all made him just behave worse. What worked was short direct interactions. If he chose to not obey, I would take his hand and lead him through what needed to happen or remove him. I don't engage with his pouting (if I can help it) because he usually needs to blow off steam.

 

Other kids thrive with the wordy explanations and negotiations and grown up style interactions. DD13 is like that, so with her I tended to explain more and talk more about stuff when she was little.

 

Hard to say which might work for your kid, but if you are doing one without success, you might try a different style.

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School may very well take some of the opposition out of the learning part of the equation, but it is no guarantee of friends. It's not magic and it can be a very lonely place for a kid if they don't make friends easily.

 

I don't feel like he is opposed to learning. I feel like his opposition to school is more representative of his opposition to having to do something. On a good day, he is energetic about learning, he loves to read books, at times, but not when it's a chore. 

 

 

What's to keep him from refusing to cooperate at school? Why won't he be rude to the teacher and sarcastic to her and to his classmates? School doesn't exist to teach children to listen to authority. Parents teach their children to respect authority, and then send them to school to learn from those who are there to teach them. Parents teach their children to get along with others, and then seek suitable playmates with whom to continue learning those skills.

 

My thoughts exactly. I do send him to be babysat by my friends, at times, and he will also be stubborn and refuse to listen to them. I fear he would be the defiant, problem child at school. 

 

I think these problems are going to be your problems whether you homeschool or not. If he's homeschooled you have plenty of time to work on his issues, and far fewer distractions. If you can help him grow toward better respect and cooperation on the most basic level, you can add school to your toolbox when he's ready...

 

I don't think it's normal to have to walk on eggshells with a 5yo. You can ask his pediatrician for resources - maybe he needs an evaluation, maybe you need more support - you don't have to deal with this alone.  

 

We are speaking with a therapist. I'm not feeling very confident about the therapist we are seeing for him. I feel like she's not hearing what I'm saying, and it makes me feel like maybe I'm being a whiney complainer. Her suggestion was school, and DH liked that idea.

 

 

 

What do you do when he refuses to brush his teeth or go to bed? How do you handle those conflicts?

 

Maybe we haven't been strict enough as parents. Brushing his teeth is his own responsibility. He usually does it, and doesn't usually refuse. When he does refuse, we will sometimes let it slide. More often, we tell him he cant eat until he brushes his teeth, or can't play until he brushes, or at bedtime, we tell him no story until he brushes his teeth. 

 

He usually goes to bed too, because he is waiting for the story. But if he puts it off too long, I will start warning him that if he isn't sitting on his bed "by the time that the long hand is on the [six]" then he will only get one chapter. When it's on the 6, if he's still not ready, I'll tell him that he has until the long hand is on the [eight] or he wont get any story, and we will only do bedtime prayers. If he continues, I leave him on his bed and close the door and turn out the light, and remind him to say the prayers by himself.

 

I think he sounds like a child who could use more predictability and a more set schedule. I would do a little bit of school every weekday rather than 2-3 days a week. 

 

Problem is, schedules and I are like oil and water. I feel that every time I schedule something, it doesn't happen. 

 

DS and I don't wake up at the same time every day, that makes it hard to do a schedule set to any sort of time. If I try waking him up earlier on a day that he is trying to sleep longer, he wont wake up. bedtime isn't something we can push earlier because of other circumstances.

 

Also, what do you do out of the house with him? How much opportunity does he get to interact with people outside the family?

 

He goes to the mosque with DH a few times a week, and he will pray with everyone (5-10 min prayer) then play with all the kids in the gym after. These kids are usually much older than him (between the ages of 8 and 20), and playing basketball. They are often good sports about letting DS join in, but not always. It's not an organized game, and a lot of people have their own balls on the same court. We also go to the mosque on Friday, for the sermon and prayer, and he gets to socialize and talk with the women, and he usually prays with the men (cause he's a man, he tells me)

 

And there are typically some sort of weekend seminar going on at least 2x/month where he goes in babysitting with other kids, or sits with the adults to listen if he doesn't want to go in babysitting. 

 

And if there is no seminar or anything going on, we go to the workshops at Lowes/home depot, or to kids classes at our city's botanical gardens, or to the children's museum.

 

he sees both sets of grandparents often, and by that I mean half of one set lives with us (the other half of the set lives overseas), and one set lives close enough that he can call them whenever we aren't doing anything, and spend 4-8 hours at their house, 2-3 times/week.

 

During the week, he comes shopping with me, and I give him jobs to do there. We go to the library. We try to go to a different museum/zoo every week, and I let him pick. 

 

One time we went to a small shop, and he wanted to talk to the employee when it was time to talk to him. I forgot, the employee asked me something, and I talked to him. The guy was being really nice to him, was trying to high five him, but DS ignores him. DS ignores me, and wont tell me what the problem was. (I forgot that I forgot, and he reminded me ones I extracted it from him once we were in the car.)

 

I feel like I tell him constantly that he needs to actually TELL ME if he wants me to help him, but he doesn't get it. I don't know why he doesn't get it, but it's getting old.

 

Maybe joining a sports team or taking music lessons would give you a better idea of how he does with listening to other adults and relating to other kids?

 

He's going to do a sport this spring, so we'll see how that works out. 

 

I would recommend something like:

 

Monday- Library and Park

Tuesday- A small amount of seat work and a larger fun project

Wednesday- Art (maybe an outside art class, maybe just a craft day at home)

Thursday- a small amount of seat work plus maybe visiting a different musuem each week or every other week.

Friday- sports team or music lesson.

 

With a read alouds, math games, music practice (if taking music lessons) and a couple of chores together most everyday.

 

Obviously my example is just random days for each thing, but I'm just trying to illustrate getting weekly flow going. This is my younger sons flow:

 

Monday- homeschool class, ceramics, music lesson

Tuesday- seat work, science at home

Wednesday- homeschool class, ceramics and park

Thursday- Field trip OR swimming plus t-ball practice in the early evening

Friday- park, library, sometimes a field trip.

Saturday- t-ball game

 

 

Right now our schedule is much more packed. We might benefit from slowing things down a bit. Though, at the same time, I feel like we already don't do anything, but maybe we don't do anything because we have too much to do?

 

I feel like I've run out of creative ways to tell him "we have to do letters class after breakfast" without him breaking down into a tantrum. He wasn't like this before. 

He does a little math, a little reading practice, a little spelling, handwriting and geography, a little yoga and meditation 4-5 days a week plus lots of reading and listening to books on tape. He practices his music everyday for 15-20 minutes.

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If he breaks down into a tantrum, you say. "Okay. Let me know when you're done crying and we will do letters." And then you walk off and do something else. When he stops, you take his hand and go do letters. Does a tantrum equal not doing school?

 

ITA with the pp who said stop explaining. "Mama said no." is enough at age 5. Especially when you get sarcasm and eye-rolling as a respons

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Putting him in school may help or it may not. It depends on your child.

 

I put my younger ds back in for part of kindy and first grade. This is what I think you can reasonably expect.

 

Will learn how to function in a group of kids. Not the same as making friends, but being able to function in a group is a useful life skill.

 

Will learn how to take direction from different adults.

 

Will experience direct consequences for actions. (Not saying he doesn't get that at home, but the dynamic is different at school.)

 

Will be able to observe, for better or for worse, a wide variety of personalities and behaviors.

 

Will experience a great deal of structure and daily routine.

 

HTH!

 

 

 

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I want to add... We don't put up with backtalk.

 

However no amount of strict discipline has fundamentally changed either of my kids' basic personalities.

 

They are, however, learning when to put themselves second. E.g. DD2 is naturally gregarious but defensive. Recently she said, "if I don't give in sometimes, I won't have friends left". She is still more defensive than most but she has friends and is learning.

 

Interrupting here is punished by my restarting instructions from word one, ad nauseam, and if we run out of fun time, well who's fault is that?

 

Parenting strong willed children is hard. HTH

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(((Dust))) I am seeing a couple of things --

 

1. He might be overscheduled. Young children can act more oppositional when they're just exhausted and overstimulated.

 

2. You might need to get up and walk him through stuff more often. Our own Joanne, here on the forums, had a parenting site called "Get Off Your Butt Parenting" -- GOYB just means if he's not doing it, you stop telling him and warning him, and instead get up and make it happen. The first time. Lead him through his routines, kindly but like you mean it. He needs to learn you mean what you say.

 

What he says about praying with the men because he's a man -- that is adorable. :)

 

Do you have parenting mentors within your religious community? Honestly, there might be far more overlap in styles concerning authority, respect, etc. through that environment than through public school -- if you can spend more time with other families, if there are religious formation classes in a few years... The therapist is probably thinking he needs routine and consistency, but ps is chaotic for kids who already don't fit the mold. The routines and consistency might be more likely through your faith community if you can find a way to leverage those resources. Start by telling somebody that you respect, some older woman, that you need some support.

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Yup. This is especially true of kids with ADHD. When people say a child with ADHD just needs more discipline (usually they mean in the form of spanking or other severe punishment) I just roll my eyes. That's exactly the opposite of what such a child needs.

 

We used to spank him, but we started to realize we did it more out of frustration with him, he started literally asking for it and preferring it over things like time out, so we started to give him time out. And it's been about a year, and I worry that time out is starting to lose its effect. He's starting to think that you just have to serve your time out, apologize, hug, and everything is good. Then he does it again. To the point of meltdown. There are times I want to meltdown.

 

 I hug him, and give him words of love. I tell him "it hurts me when you..." and "I love when you/we..." when he is angry he shouts the meanest words he knows. "I hate you... stupid... shut up... I want to kill you... I want to knife you... I want to shoot you..." He scratches, hits, bites, throws things. 

 

You are his authority. If he does not listen to you, he will not listen to anyone else.

 

Unless your ds has some other issues that you aren't aware of (or haven't told us about), I have to tell you that no, his behavior is not normal; in my home, a child who behaved that way would be corrected and disciplined (discipline to be determined by the child's age and the things which work best for him).

I'm not aware of any other issues, and we/he are/is seeing a therapist. 

 

I don't let him get away with the things he does. I count to 5 for some things before giving time out, and other things he gets automatic time out for (hitting and throwing, etc.)

 

 

For some kids you have to Just Stop Talking. I have one of these. Wordy explanations of rules and why "we" behave and all made him just behave worse. What worked was short direct interactions. If he chose to not obey, I would take his hand and lead him through what needed to happen or remove him. I don't engage with his pouting (if I can help it) because he usually needs to blow off steam.

 

Other kids thrive with the wordy explanations and negotiations and grown up style interactions. DD13 is like that, so with her I tended to explain more and talk more about stuff when she was little.

 

Hard to say which might work for your kid, but if you are doing one without success, you might try a different style.

 I feel like he gets more frustrated if I don't talk him through things. I don't know how to convey that something is not proper to do without explaining why. "we cant use loud voices in the [enclosed place] because people will get bothered." but it's also because he asks why. 

 

I don't know how to not be wordy though. Some examples, please? :)

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We used to spank him, but we started to realize we did it more out of frustration with him, he started literally asking for it and preferring it over things like time out, so we started to give him time out. And it's been about a year, and I worry that time out is starting to lose its effect. He's starting to think that you just have to serve your time out, apologize, hug, and everything is good. Then he does it again. To the point of meltdown. There are times I want to meltdown.

 

 I hug him, and give him words of love. I tell him "it hurts me when you..." and "I love when you/we..." when he is angry he shouts the meanest words he knows. "I hate you... stupid... shut up... I want to kill you... I want to knife you... I want to shoot you..." He scratches, hits, bites, throws things. 

 

I'm not aware of any other issues, and we/he are/is seeing a therapist. 

 

I don't let him get away with the things he does. I count to 5 for some things before giving time out, and other things he gets automatic time out for (hitting and throwing, etc.)

 

 

 I feel like he gets more frustrated if I don't talk him through things. I don't know how to convey that something is not proper to do without explaining why. "we cant use loud voices in the [enclosed place] because people will get bothered." but it's also because he asks why. 

 

I don't know how to not be wordy though. Some examples, please? :)

If the current counselor is not helping, I would suggest seeing a different one and/or a psychiatrist.  The "walking on eggshells/glass" thing is a red flag for more serious issues.  A developmental pediatrician might also be helpful.

 

My daughter was a lot like that when younger and was later determined to have a mood disorder and with proper medication we could focus on parenting and now things are much better.

 

You might not have anything that serious but it would be worth addressing now.

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I want to add... We don't put up with backtalk.

 

However no amount of strict discipline has fundamentally changed either of my kids' basic personalities.

 

Ok, so I need to be more strict against backtalk.

 

They are, however, learning when to put themselves second. E.g. DD2 is naturally gregarious but defensive. Recently she said, "if I don't give in sometimes, I won't have friends left". She is still more defensive than most but she has friends and is learning.

 

We've been starting to try to show him that. 

 

Interrupting here is punished by my restarting instructions from word one, ad nauseam, and if we run out of fun time, well who's fault is that?

 

I like it. :) 

 

Parenting strong willed children is hard. HTH

 

 

(((Dust))) I am seeing a couple of things --

 

1. He might be overscheduled. Young children can act more oppositional when they're just exhausted and overstimulated. 

 

2. You might need to get up and walk him through stuff more often. Our own Joanne, here on the forums, had a parenting site called "Get Off Your Butt Parenting" -- GOYB just means if he's not doing it, you stop telling him and warning him, and instead get up and make it happen. The first time. Lead him through his routines, kindly but like you mean it. He needs to learn you mean what you say.

 

What he says about praying with the men because he's a man -- that is adorable. :)

 

Do you have parenting mentors within your religious community? Honestly, there might be far more overlap in styles concerning authority, respect, etc. through that environment than through public school -- if you can spend more time with other families, if there are religious formation classes in a few years... The therapist is probably thinking he needs routine and consistency, but ps is chaotic for kids who already don't fit the mold. The routines and consistency might be more likely through your faith community if you can find a way to leverage those resources. Start by telling somebody that you respect, some older woman, that you need some support.

 

 

 

I'm not sure I understand how to teach respect, or what it really means.

 

He was taught since he could talk to say "yes mom" or "yes dad" since he could talk. He still forgets but says it to us and to others. But that doesn't keep him from not wanting to do his own thing, which is especially problematic when that's not a possibility. And I give him lots of time to do his own thing. 

 

And the elders in our community tend to be immigrants who come from a culture where you hit kids until they just learn to hide their bad stuff from you, but are outwardly respectful.

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Your boy is 5. That's practically a baby.

 

Do you think he is ready for 'school' ? I know my ds wasn't ready till he was 6+.

 

I'll tell you something else about my boy, who, at 11, is comfortably part of a social group, with plenty of friends - he didn't even WANT a friend till he was 8. Seriously, before that, he was 100% content with the company of his family. Strange but true.

 

Personally, I would forget school, focus on enjoying your small boy - and exploring any pathways you think might be warranted, including possible evaluations - reading lots of books, getting outdoors a lot, having him help you do fun stuff and letting him PLAY. 

 

I think you may be projecting about the sarcasm. Small kids don't even understand sarcasm at that age. His face changes and he talks to me like I'm not capable of understanding him. Maybe sarcasm is the wrong word. Shoot, I just realized it's not. It's "talking down" to me.

 

He sounds like a little boy who needs to mature emotionally somewhat, in a loving environment, with half an eye towards a chat with a good pediatrician about whether he is within the realms of usual 5 year old behaviour...(he sounds like my dd at 5, who is now totally 'normal' with lots of good friends and an ability to knuckle down and work. ).

 

 

If the current counselor is not helping, I would suggest seeing a different one and/or a psychiatrist.  The "walking on eggshells/glass" thing is a red flag for more serious issues.  A developmental pediatrician might also be helpful.

 

My daughter was a lot like that when younger and was later determined to have a mood disorder and with proper medication we could focus on parenting and now things are much better.

 

You might not have anything that serious but it would be worth addressing now.

 

We just started with this one.

 

She saw him once with me in the room, then she met with me and DH, and she's going to meet with DS again soon. He can be really sweet with adults, and he talks very maturely when given the chance, and I'm worried she's not going to be able to see what he's like for real with us at home. And I'm worried we are throwing so much $$ away when our insurance isn't covering anything. 

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I'm not sure I understand how to teach respect, or what it really means.

 

He was taught since he could talk to say "yes mom" or "yes dad" since he could talk. He still forgets but says it to us and to others. But that doesn't keep him from not wanting to do his own thing, which is especially problematic when that's not a possibility. And I give him lots of time to do his own thing. 

 

And the elders in our community tend to be immigrants who come from a culture where you hit kids until they just learn to hide their bad stuff from you, but are outwardly respectful.

 

Good gracious. OK, I'm definitely rescinding that idea....

 

When my most challenging boy was small we belonged to a church with that sort of parenting atmosphere. We didn't last long -- they were as stressful to me as my child was! I felt like everybody was judging me all the time, which had a bad effect on my need to be calm and patient with him.

 

Keep talking to us, Dust. Lots of people here have helpful experience. I always think the homeschooling community can be a great resource for parenting the kids who are really challenging or out of the box. That's how lots of us became hs'ers in the first place, when our square pegs wouldn't fit into the school's round holes or timetables.

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We just started with this one.

 

She saw him once with me in the room, then she met with me and DH, and she's going to meet with DS again soon. He can be really sweet with adults, and he talks very maturely when given the chance, and I'm worried she's not going to be able to see what he's like for real with us at home. And I'm worried we are throwing so much $$ away when our insurance isn't covering anything. 

You might check with your pediatrician about a psychiatrist and/or developmental pediatrician as those might be covered by insurance.

 

Here is a behavior checklist that might be helpful http://bipolarchild.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/bipolar_chi_nnaire_v1_2.htm

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We used to spank him, but we started to realize we did it more out of frustration with him, he started literally asking for it and preferring it over things like time out, so we started to give him time out. And it's been about a year, and I worry that time out is starting to lose its effect. He's starting to think that you just have to serve your time out, apologize, hug, and everything is good. Then he does it again. To the point of meltdown. There are times I want to meltdown.

 

 I hug him, and give him words of love. I tell him "it hurts me when you..." and "I love when you/we..." when he is angry he shouts the meanest words he knows. "I hate you... stupid... shut up... I want to kill you... I want to knife you... I want to shoot you..." He scratches, hits, bites, throws things. 

 

I'm not aware of any other issues, and we/he are/is seeing a therapist. 

 

I don't let him get away with the things he does. I count to 5 for some things before giving time out, and other things he gets automatic time out for (hitting and throwing, etc.)

 

 

 I feel like he gets more frustrated if I don't talk him through things. I don't know how to convey that something is not proper to do without explaining why. "we cant use loud voices in the [enclosed place] because people will get bothered." but it's also because he asks why. 

 

I don't know how to not be wordy though. Some examples, please? :)

 

"This is a quiet place!"

 

He may benefit from more advanced discussion than after the fact. "We're going in the library. People are reading. They need quiet. If you must be loud, we will leave." And when he gets loud you say, "You're loud. This is a quiet place." If he continues, you take him by his sweet little hand and leave. Even without the books you wanted to check out.

 

I read this article this morning that might help you about consequences and time outs.

 

http://www.empoweringparents.com/Kids-Who-Ignore-Consequences-10-Ways-to-Make-Them-Stick.php?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter03312015NXR&spMailingID=48345711&spUserID=MTI1NTI4MDgwMTE2S0&spJobID=644048556&spReportId=NjQ0MDQ4NTU2S0

 

Read The Explosive Child. by ???? Greene

 

Don't worry about respect that much. I've learned with my kids things like, "Can you ask me with a nice voice?" or "Can you say that with a smile?" "Oh, my, that sounded rude. I know you don't want to be rude. Try again!" spoken cheerfully helps a little bit. I can't take their verbal disrespect THAT personally. I simply ask them to restate it kindly with a happy voice. Mostly, I need to not take offense at their rudeness, but simply wait until they can ask me kindly. I have to stay cheerful and upbeat because if I get frustrated things go downhill fast! Usually I start speaking unkindly and rudely when I get annoyed!

 

I know you said you are bad with schedules, but your son may REALLY need greater structure than you are providing. I HAD to be a lot more rigid than my personality naturally is for my intense kid. She greatly needed to know what was happening when and have a predictable day. I found it was more work to live without structure (because of increased tantrums and irritability) than it was for me, an adult, to get with the program and provide my child what she needed.

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Is he possibly gifted ? 

 

Just throwing that out there, based on his desire to interact with older kids and adults, and not be talked down to.

 

I don't know, and I've never really understood why it would matter other than to get into a certain school track. Would it?

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I don't know, and I've never really understood why it would matter other than to get into a certain school track. Would it?

 

(Not Sadie but a parent of gifted boys) - Yes, it matters.

 

In some cases, parents are the 'same kind of gifted' and mesh really well with their gifted kids; the discipline problems are temporary and few, the communication is good, homeschooling is the obvious answer, because Mom gets him. She speaks his language and can intuit how to shore up weaknesses and fill the gaps.

 

In other cases, the parent cannot figure out how the child thinks so it's just one string of ineffective tactics after another.

 

I have both situations in my house. It took a lot of reading and thinking to learn how to raise some of these boys the way I want them to grow, without frustrating them or driving them to worse behavior.

 

Edited to add: The last bit doesn't mean I think parents are responsible when gifted kids get into behavioral disasters or head down the wrong road. It's far more complex than that; I'll never just assign blame in some blanket fashion when a gifted child of loving parents goes off the rails. I'm not speaking very well today -- rather sleep deprived -- my point is that if children are gifted it's often not an easy row to hoe, but we can find out what's going on with them and help them in the unique ways that they need.

 

Not necessarily homeschooling, not necessarily one type of parenting style over another, but finding what fits for this particular child in this particular family. And knowing when to seek help.

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"This is a quiet place!"

 

He may benefit from more advanced discussion than after the fact. "We're going in the library. People are reading. They need quiet. If you must be loud, we will leave." And when he gets loud you say, "You're loud. This is a quiet place." If he continues, you take him by his sweet little hand and leave. Even without the books you wanted to check out.

 

I read this article this morning that might help you about consequences and time outs.

 

http://www.empoweringparents.com/Kids-Who-Ignore-Consequences-10-Ways-to-Make-Them-Stick.php?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter03312015NXR&spMailingID=48345711&spUserID=MTI1NTI4MDgwMTE2S0&spJobID=644048556&spReportId=NjQ0MDQ4NTU2S0

 

Read The Explosive Child. by ???? Greene

 

Don't worry about respect that much. I've learned with my kids things like, "Can you ask me with a nice voice?" or "Can you say that with a smile?" "Oh, my, that sounded rude. I know you don't want to be rude. Try again!" spoken cheerfully helps a little bit. I can't take their verbal disrespect THAT personally. I simply ask them to restate it kindly with a happy voice. Mostly, I need to not take offense at their rudeness, but simply wait until they can ask me kindly. I have to stay cheerful and upbeat because if I get frustrated things go downhill fast! Usually I start speaking unkindly and rudely when I get annoyed!

 

I know you said you are bad with schedules, but your son may REALLY need greater structure than you are providing. I HAD to be a lot more rigid than my personality naturally is for my intense kid. She greatly needed to know what was happening when and have a predictable day. I found it was more work to live without structure (because of increased tantrums and irritability) than it was for me, an adult, to get with the program and provide my child what she needed.

 

Thanks for the explanation and for the article. 

 

A schedule like a previous poster posted doesn't work for us. I have a schedule posted all over the place of what subjects happen each day. Maybe I have too much on it, but it's a total of 3 hr/day at maximum.

 

eg. mon, our busiest school day:

 

calendar, quran, english, math, science, history, art

 

sunday, our least busy school day: calendar, quran, math

 

One day a week, we pick up our farm share, and when I remind him that it's farm share day he doesn't fight me on it(anymore). Maybe I just have to start the day saying "today is monday, on monday we get dressed, brush teeth, eat, then do x, x, x, x, x, x."

 

but then he will say "noooooooooo" like he's about to die, and he will fall on the ground, and get angry [yelling "curse words," throwing stuff, hitting, biting] The counselor suggested holding him in time out if he's trying to hurt or throw things. It seems to make him madder. 

 

If there is something we have to do that day, like go to the store, or library, I tell him about it in the morning(and the night before if it's a special thing we have to do it in the morning). I go over the day's schedule. If I tell him what we are doing and he is NOT interested he will refuse. If I drag him there anyway, he fights me on putting his shoes or seat belt on, for instance. 

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(Not Sadie but a parent of gifted boys) - Yes, it matters.

 

In some cases, parents are the 'same kind of gifted' and mesh really well with their gifted kids; the discipline problems are temporary and few, the communication is good, homeschooling is the obvious answer, because Mom gets him. She speaks his language and can intuit how to shore up weaknesses and fill the gaps.

 

In other cases, the parent cannot figure out how the child thinks so it's just one string of ineffective tactics after another.

 

I have both situations in my house. It took a lot of reading and thinking to learn how to raise some of these boys the way I want them to grow, without frustrating them or driving them to worse behavior.

 

Edited to add: The last bit doesn't mean I think parents are responsible when gifted kids get into behavioral disasters or head down the wrong road. It's far more complex than that; I'll never just assign blame in some blanket fashion when a gifted child of loving parents goes off the rails. I'm not speaking very well today -- rather sleep deprived -- my point is that if children are gifted it's often not an easy row to hoe, but we can find out what's going on with them and help them in the unique ways that they need.

 

Not necessarily homeschooling, not necessarily one type of parenting style over another, but finding what fits for this particular child in this particular family. And knowing when to seek help.

This is interesting. Can you (or sadie) elaborate? Maybe give some examples?

 

I feel like DS and I are on similar wavelengths. But I don't know how to discipline him. Is there a book on parenting different types of giftedness and behavior characteristics or something like that?

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A schedule like a previous poster posted doesn't work for us. I have a schedule posted all over the place of what subjects happen each day. Maybe I have too much on it, but it's a total of 3 hr/day at maximum.

 

Three hours a day for school for a 5 yo sounds like way too much to me right there. When my boys were 5 we rarely did more than an hour. If we did, it was arts and crafts type stuff or games - nothing curricular per se.

 

I agree with others that your initial question is the wrong one. The real question is what's up with your kid and - while I get that you've had trouble implementing one - how can you get a real routine going. I know it's going to be an uphill battle, but I suspect this kid, whether he's gifted or learning challenged or what, will really benefit from having a lot more stability. If school were to help, I think that's where it would help.

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He's 5. Three hours in any one day of subject work is a lot. Some of the resistance and frustration you are seeing could be a by product of that. The fact that you say he refuses to do it for weeks at a time makes me wonder if there's a mismatch between your expectations and his capabilities.

 

All the schedules in the world are meaningless if they are wishes rather than reality.

 

Also dramatic differences in daily wake up times can be very disruptive and feed moodiness. I would try to make sure he has a good night time routine and fairly similar daily wake up times each day.

 

ETA- For what it is worth, I am not pulling this stuff out of thin air. I have one son who is highly gifted and has autism and another who has needed help with anxiety and anger managment. Quirky isn't new to me. I'm not a schedule person either, but as a mom I have realized, with a lot of trial and error, what works for creating that sense of stability and calm that they each need.

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Things like extreme resistance to going to the farm share place might be a part of something else.  Are you looking at special needs at all?  Giftedness, spectrum stuff, sensory stuff, low blood sugar, etc?  Reading up on some of these things might help you to find a working label that in turn can help you to find strategies that work best with the challenges your child may be facing.  
 

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when he is angry he shouts the meanest words he knows. "I hate you... stupid... shut up... I want to kill you... I want to knife you... I want to shoot you..." He scratches, hits, bites, throws things. 

 

Where did a 5 year old learn to make violent threats? The original post noted that the child responds in a sarcastic manner. I've seen lots of sarcasm--but not from a five year old. Children learn these things from somewhere.

 

I don't know what type of community the op lives in or what the other people around this child are like, but my first thought when I read about sarcasm from a five year old went to television. Maybe it's not tv, but it could be movies, the internet or video games that he either watches or sees someone else in the house watching.

 

This is not normal behavior from a five year old, but it is normal for 5 year olds to imitate what they see and hear.

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Yes, of course there are books on parenting gifted children. You do need resources, but firstly you need to know what the real issues are. Don't go down the gifted bunny trail until you discuss the possibility with his therapist and pediatrician - they also need to know everything you've shared in this thread about the extremities of his behavior.

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I have a stubborn, difficult, gifted child.  I have posted about him here a few times.  He is amazing and attains great things.  But!  It's a trade-off and he is very difficult at times.  I will echo what Tibbie said.  

 

Giftedness DOES matter.  My oldest is gifted in a way that I completely understand.  Her personality and style of giftedness often matches up to my experience as a child.  As such, parenting her is fairly straightforward for me.  (That's not necessarily true for my husband.   :lol:)  HOWEVER, my son is gifted in a completely different way.  And his personality brings forth much more strong will and defiance.  So, yes.  It matters.

 

I agree with Get Off Your Butt parenting.  It's very similar to how we parented this particular child at 5 (and still now at 7 sometimes).  You might be able to find some previous posts about it if you search around here.

 

I'm also going to agree that three hours of seatwork (even if it's just once a week) is too much at 5.  That's MAYBE what my 8yo does.  Routine IS important.  If I were you, I would work on the simplest of routines: We wake up, we eat breakfast, brush our teeth, get dressed, and clean our room.  NOTHING HAPPENS until that is done.  NOTHING.  And if he wants to scream and yell, I'd either stick him in his room and continue my things or stick him outside and tell him he can come back in when he can use his inside voice.  When you get really good at that routine, add in one or two subjects (AT MOST).  At 5, I'd prioritize math and reading.  Keep those lessons short, 5-10 minutes a day five or six days a week is preferable to twenty minutes a day three times a week.  So now you're getting done your morning junk and two important subjects done.  

 

Getting to that point can be a lot of work.  I would aim to have those things done by lunch.  If you can get there, then you can play your free time and fun activities in the afternoon: park, museum, TV, whatever.  Soon, you'll realize a few things are happening: morning chores don't take as long because he's learned you really do mean business, chores are shorter also because they're done with frequency, schoolwork becomes part of the must-do options before you can do fun things.  When you get to the point where all of that can be done well before lunchtime and you feel like you've got that down, you may consider adding in another subject.  If that doesn't happen for a few months, at least you're getting the important things in first.

 

I will add that school does NOT have to be fun.  Sometimes reading (or math) is work.  It's totally age appropriate to expect a five-year-old to be able to buckle down and do five minutes of work, five minutes of break (run around the back yard), and five minutes of work again.

 

I have had hurtful words hurled at me at times: "I hate you." "You're not my best friend."  "I wish we didn't live in the same spot."  And some attempts at controlling: "You're not the boss." "I don't have to do what you say."  All of that stuff comes down to not being offended, don't allow your 5yo to control you or your emotions (continue to remain neutral or upbeat), and outlasting.  "You don't have to like me, but I still told you you must do your reading.  You can read the word, or we can sit here for a bit and then read the word.  Either way..." (This is why I always have a phone or iPad with me because it means I have something to do to fill my time while my kid is deciding he really will work.)

 

I would be concerned about the threats.  I'd ask him (at a later time) where he has heard people speaking like that or what makes him think it's okay to say those words.  We'd talk about how tone of voice and words can be hurtful.  I'd also talk with his therapist/pediatrician about that.

 

Temper tantrums and whining aren't okay at my house either.  Those are likely to have you placed in the Quiet Rule (which means you cannot make ANY sound or dire consequences will occur).  

 

Also, I will note, with my son, I need to raise my voice occasionally.  It is not demeaning or yelling at him.  But he needs to hear that I'm serious.  He needs a reaction that is not calm and soothing for him to realize sometimes that whatever behavior is not acceptable.  Otherwise he just doesn't get it.  He will step near the line, toe the line, and even cross the line if I've drawn one.  At times (and I only know when they are because I'm his mom), if my voice is not raised, it does not send the appropriate message to him that he is out of line.  He NEEDS the sensory response of me raising my voice for him to really get it sometimes.  There is a difference between yelling AT a kid and yelling TO a kid.

 

Lastly, I will say, with my kid, this often goes in waves.  We have peaks where he is awesome and compliant and I'm amazed at how things are working and how pleasant it's been.  And then we have valleys where I'm wondering where I've went wrong and how in the world am I going to make it to bedtime, let alone adulthood.  It helps to realize that (for my sanity's sake).  And I really do mean it.  Just recently we had to re-review the proper way to respond to each other is (to include not hitting or kicking just because).  On my wall behind me are currently papers titled "Okay" and "Not okay" as a visual reminder because that seems to be the phase we're in right now. 

 

:grouphug:

 

(And, no, I agree that school would not be beneficial for a child like this.  I would, however, see if you can either let him play outside with neighborhood kids or find some other group that he can run around with.)

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Is he possibly gifted ?

 

Just throwing that out there, based on his desire to interact with older kids and adults, and not be talked down to.

This is by no means an exclusively gifted trait.

 

I dare say I've yet to meet a child who didn't adore the patience of adults and hate being talked down to.

 

Gifted children may exhibit this trait in addition to being able to hold their own in the conversation, but attitude and lack of willingness to entertain others is hardly evidence of giftedness.

 

Deleted sarcasm. But i want to say that immediately jumping into diagnoses which are found at most among 7% of the population, and that's the absolute highest estimates anywhere for ADD, ADHD, ASD, or giftedness, from "my kid is not listening to me and throws fits" is just really inappropriate. Throwing around those terms as if any of these normal childhood behaviors were in any way a sign of a more serious problem or really unusual issue like top .5% IQ, is misleading.

 

The vast majority of children will exhibit one or two things that are also especially pronounced in the common atypical syndromes. They just won't meet enough criteria, it won't be as intense.

 

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Where did a 5 year old learn to make violent threats? The original post noted that the child responds in a sarcastic manner. I've seen lots of sarcasm--but not from a five year old. Children learn these things from somewhere.

 

I don't know what type of community the op lives in or what the other people around this child are like, but my first thought when I read about sarcasm from a five year old went to television. Maybe it's not tv, but it could be movies, the internet or video games that he either watches or sees someone else in the house watching.

 

This is not normal behavior from a five year old, but it is normal for 5 year olds to imitate what they see and hear.

I will say that I heard that much and MUCH worse----knives, blood, gore, etc.---from my then 5 year old and I can assure you she NEVER EVER saw anything other than a rated G movie/kid's show and was not exposed to it.

 

I agree that it is not normal for a 5 year old but does not nec. mean that the poster is exposing her young child to these things.  

 

I am NOT saying that the poster's child has a mental illness but kids with mental health concerns (in our case it was bipolar) do exhibit these behaviors even when never exposed to them.  Once my daughter started on proper medication those words/phrases/thoughts totally disappeared.

 

It is though cause for further evaluation.  The counselor should be addressing these issues and if not, a new counselor needs to be found asap and/or a psychiatrist or other specialist consulted.

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How does he respond to your husband? Perhaps part of it is that he has misunderstood what it means that "he is a man." If this is part of it, maybe your husband can talk with him about proper respect and be very intentional about modeling how a man treats someone. You mentioned that he spends a lot of time around people from a different cultural background. Kids pick up on a lot. Is there any talking down to some people there? It is especially hard for young kids to sort through which things are good and which are bad when they see them happen at a religious place. You may have to counter some things explicitly.

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Things like extreme resistance to going to the farm share place might be a part of something else.  Are you looking at special needs at all?  Giftedness, spectrum stuff, sensory stuff, low blood sugar, etc?  Reading up on some of these things might help you to find a working label that in turn can help you to find strategies that work best with the challenges your child may be facing.  

 

He doesn't resist going to the farm share place. He used to when we started going. I think maybe he likes to maintain control of the situation? I had to begin by dragging him into the car, and not-so-gently buckling him myself, because the farm truck is only there for a 5 min window of time, but now he doesn't resist, probably because he knows we HAVE to go.

 

Where did a 5 year old learn to make violent threats? The original post noted that the child responds in a sarcastic manner. I've seen lots of sarcasm--but not from a five year old. Children learn these things from somewhere.

 

I don't know what type of community the op lives in or what the other people around this child are like, but my first thought when I read about sarcasm from a five year old went to television. Maybe it's not tv, but it could be movies, the internet or video games that he either watches or sees someone else in the house watching.

 

This is not normal behavior from a five year old, but it is normal for 5 year olds to imitate what they see and hear.

 

I think the violent threats come from this line of thinking: "Mama made me go in time out. I'm mad at her. the mad hurts. I want her to feel hurt. mean words hurt. stupid is a mean word. knives make you hurt and bleed. I want to say stupid and I want to knife mama. "

 

"... when he is angry he shouts the meanest words he knows. "I hate you... stupid... shut up... I want to kill you... I want to knife you... I want to shoot you..." He scratches, hits, bites, throws things."

 

 

What the... ???

 

This is NOT normal behavior. Not in the least. Is this being addressed in the therapy sessions? I'm not saying this to be flip, but I really think there is much, much more going on beneath the surface with this child. Holy cow.

 

That's the reason for the therapy sessions. Therapist hasn't seen DS on his own yet.

 

I have a stubborn, difficult, gifted child.  I have posted about him here a few times.  He is amazing and attains great things.  But!  It's a trade-off and he is very difficult at times.  I will echo what Tibbie said.  

 

Giftedness DOES matter.  My oldest is gifted in a way that I completely understand.  Her personality and style of giftedness often matches up to my experience as a child.  As such, parenting her is fairly straightforward for me.  (That's not necessarily true for my husband.   :lol:)  HOWEVER, my son is gifted in a completely different way.  And his personality brings forth much more strong will and defiance.  So, yes.  It matters.

 

 

How does he respond to your husband? Perhaps part of it is that he has misunderstood what it means that "he is a man." If this is part of it, maybe your husband can talk with him about proper respect and be very intentional about modeling how a man treats someone. You mentioned that he spends a lot of time around people from a different cultural background. Kids pick up on a lot. Is there any talking down to some people there? It is especially hard for young kids to sort through which things are good and which are bad when they see them happen at a religious place. You may have to counter some things explicitly.

 

 

blondeviolin: The thing is, DS matches my personality. He's sooooo similar in all the weird ways to me when I was young. (never with the threats though) I feel like DH doesn't understand how we work. I didn't realize there are different types of giftedness or that they come with different parenting reqs. I also feel like my parents didn't do a good job with me. God knows they tried, but they couldn't figure me out. Everything they did made me feel resentful. I fear DS is feeling this kind of resentment. 

 
 
 
xahm: He's the same with my DH and with my FIL and with my dad. He thinks he's smarter than everyone. Yet, he is astonished that mama just seems to have this magical knowledge of everything. ;)
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Where did a 5 year old learn to make violent threats? The original post noted that the child responds in a sarcastic manner. I've seen lots of sarcasm--but not from a five year old. Children learn these things from somewhere.

 

I don't know what type of community the op lives in or what the other people around this child are like, but my first thought when I read about sarcasm from a five year old went to television. Maybe it's not tv, but it could be movies, the internet or video games that he either watches or sees someone else in the house watching.

 

This is not normal behavior from a five year old, but it is normal for 5 year olds to imitate what they see and hear.

 

I completely disagree.

 

I have seen all kinds of children make these kinds of threats.There are even books about it.

 

I know that there are families, low-key nice families, where this doesn't happen. We are not among them. I don't think that my entire family and everyone I know has a mental illness. Really, I swear, we are decent, productive, caring people. We don't watch TV.

 

Sometimes our kids say "I HATE YOU!" They use all the meanest words they know. They're kids. 

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Structure structure structure....

 

At 5 he needs a little counting time, handwriting, letters practice...and that's pretty much it. The religious education will come in time. Toss in some science-y books from the library. Max 1 hour of book work.

 

Basically, work on getting him into a routine every day. It takes work because sometimes these kids just hate being told what to do and will balk for no other reason than you told them to do it. However, it is indispensable to have a morning routine. Breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth, etc. every single morning no matter what. Even if at first it takes 3 hours to get there, work on that. Then slowly add in other stuff. I have a kid who doesn't handle interruptions to her routine well, and having a routine meant that mornings were on autopilot after a time.

 

Does the word routine or structure sound better to you than a schedule? I am married to someone who balks at any kind of routine; he says it makes him feel stifled. (Can you see where my daughter gets her hatred of being "bossed around"?) But my dd needed it, badly. If you work at it, pretty soon your boy will be working the routine without balking.

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Some kids respond well or ok to this. For some kids though, it just creates a downward spiral of anger issues, power struggles and stress for the whole family. Some kids require a level of patience, flexibility and facilitating success rather than admonishment and rigid punishment.

 

We've had a lot of success with the Nurture My Heart approach. http://www.amazon.com/Nurture-Heart-A-Nurtured-Approach-Handbook/dp/0983861013

Just ordered this from amazon. Thanks for the rec.

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