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Thread: Help! Need "parenting a son" advice.

  1. #21
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    Wow!!!! I leave to go to the conference and come back to all this great input! I never expected this kind of response. A BIG THANKS TO ALL! It makes me feel good that so many of you can reach out to a cyber-stranger!

    Anyhow, here's the low-down.....

    it basically comes down to him wanting to be the center of attention, he wants to feel liked by his peers and is fiercely competitive. If someone is turning in a paper ahead of him, the teacher said my son is not far behind but most of the time, the paper he is turning in is either half done or not done right (and he gets it back for re-do and he aces it). He is highly disorganized which is why he is forgetting to turn in his completed work, homework or bring stuff home. His desk is a mess! Funny thing is, he keeps his room at home very neat and is very protective over his belongings here. His teacher agrees that he is highly intelligent but very easily distracted and difficult to engage.

    I did have him tested for ADD/ADHD 2 years ago at the end of his kindergarten year when he started exhibiting these types of poor behaviors and at that time, the Dr ruled it out and pegged it on the school environment he was in. The battery of tests he was given also revealed he was highly intelligent on certain levels but his overall cognitive ability was weaker than expected. Anyway, we switched schools and tried it. He still has similar problems two years later in 2nd grade. Before I test him again for ADD, we are going to meet with the school counselor. She is apparently a great resource for these kinds of classroom problems. Also, he is the youngest in his class since he is a summer baby, but I didn't want to hold him back simply because he was immature because I was concerned with academic boredom.

    He is so witty, I do have to stay on my toes with him on what I expect. I am an avid self-help reader and have tried all sorts of things because he is a big wheeler/dealer and learns loopholes etc. I keep telling myself that one day this happy go lucky, witty spirit will lead to good things. I refuse to medicate him for immaturity. I have tried rewards like stickers, pizza, special outings, a new toy or game/privileges given and taken away/no TV which we watch very little of anyway/no play with friends/grounded to his room,etc.

    He is the older of my two children. I also have a 3 year old daughter and she is so opposite of my son. Daddio, you nailed it, sort of. I WAS a single parent for a little while but I remarried and my new hubby and I have the daughter together. Although my son's Dad and I have a very good (almost abnormally good) relationship, I am still the primary parent in my son's life 24/7. My new husband simply does not take that role with my son. I also work full time, but I have a flexible enough schedule that I am able to be home early a couple of days per week and we spend quality time together every day over dinner, homework and bedtime. It is hard, but I signed up for it and I don't take the challenge lightly.

    I sometimes wonder if the dynamics of fitting in as big brother, new family and the pressure with that come in to play and I have been told just to be patient with that if true. School may be his outlet to feel like he can let his guard down (I'm always telling him what a great big brother he is, but I also remind him to be a good example sometimes)-maybe this puts pressure on him somehow?

    Anyhow, I am not beyond getting him help if its needed, even if it does end up being ADD or something like that.

    Thanks all! This really helps. Believe it or not, all of my good friends either have girls or infant sons or teenagers. No one I really knew had a son that was the same age as mine.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ineedalife
    Daddio, you nailed it, sort of. I WAS a single parent for a little while but I remarried and my new hubby and I have the daughter together. I am still the primary parent in my son's life 24/7. My new husband simply does not take that role with my son.
    I would have to think that THIS is a MAJOR part of the problem indeedalife.

    Your son is likely confused as to what his new Step-Dad's role is in his life and vice versa. Perhaps he is seeking out additional attention and acceptence at school because he is sometimes uncertain as to where he stands at home.

    He may be thinking to himself "Mommy loves this new man and he loves her, but where do I fit into all of this?"

    Add in the new baby sister who is the product of you and your new husband and his little head is likely spinning like a top.

    Just a thought. But I would think your new husband must step in and assume role of daily father figure or things will likely just spiral and become more confused as time goes on.

    And give him DAILY if not hourly re-assurance that Mommy still loves her baby boy. No matter whom else she marrys and that his new little sister is his sister too and not just another new housemate. Assure him that you are all one big family growing and loving together. And let him play a role in the family. Give him a role and let him make it his own.

    Good luck my friend.
    Last edited by Daddio; 12-03-2003 at 06:41 PM.

  3. #23
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    Let me tell ya ineedalife, as a daycare provider.. boys are a special kinda hell LOL. Mischevious little beggars - the lot of them!
    It's great that you are taking an active interest in your child's school, you wouldnt believe the parents that feel 'what happens at school stays at school' (like it's Vegas or something!)
    It sounds like you got your son into a school/class that uses a teaching style that jives better with ineedalife jr's learning style (there are 3, visual, auditory and kenetic(learn by doing) )

    You would think that the teacher would recognize jr's competitive behaviours and try to circumvent them. Instead of having the kids hand their assignments in as they finish, she could give them time limits and have them wait at their desks then collect everyone's at the same time.
    In regards to his disorganization - how about a reminder book? I had one in school. It was a small notebook that I kept ontop of the mess of my desk, when I didn't finish an assignment or if I had homework I had to write it in my book myself - the teacher looked at it everyday before home time and my dad signed it every night after I finished my homework - it was a system that worked very well for me ( I was not a class clown... apparently I was the class 'social butterfly' ) Actually.. I still use that system today. I have 3 notepads on my fridge
    1 - groceries
    2 - supplies (Cost0co Wal Mart)
    3 - to do list
    That is the only way I will ever get things done ( I guess this belongs in the quirks thread )
    "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

  4. #24
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    Um.. hasn't new hubby been in the picture since jr was 2 or 3?? Jr's had 3-4 years to know his place in the family. This is not a transition time for him, everything is stable - he should feel secure and protected. I honestly think this point is beleagured - if not moot.

    (ya know I loves ya Daddio)
    "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duxxy
    Um.. hasn't new hubby been in the picture since jr was 2 or 3?? Jr's had 3-4 years to know his place in the family. This is not a transition time for him, everything is stable - he should feel secure and protected. I honestly think this point is beleagured - if not moot.

    (ya know I loves ya Daddio)
    I know you love me Duxxy. And it makes me all warm and oogly googly all over. I love you too you know. LOL

    I guess I was so caught up in analyzing things that I missed that they have been a family unit for a few years now. Pretty typical for me to miss the forest for the trees.

    Although... I STILL think that Step Dad needs to be Daily Dad just the same.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daddio
    I would have to think that THIS is part (a major) part of the problem too.

    Your son is likely confused as to what his new Step-Dad's role is in his life and vice versa. Perhaps he is seeking out additional attention and acceptence at school because he is sometimes uncertain as to where he stands at home.

    He may be thinking to himself "Mommy loves this new man and he loves her, but where do I fit into all of this?"

    Add in the new baby sister who is the product of you and your new husband and his little head is likely spinning like a top.

    Just a thought. But I would think your new husband must step in and assume role of daily father figure or things will likely just spiral and become more confused as time goes on.

    And give him DAILY if not hourly re-assurance that Mommy still loves her baby boy. No matter whom else she marrys and that his new little sister is his sister too and not just another new housemate.
    Good luck my friend.
    I have thought about this a lot and for this reason alone, my husband and I have worked it out that when he gets home, he puts our daughter to bed (with my peeking in and out for kisses etc) and I go to my son's room and bathtime etc. to give us daily one on one time together with no other distractions.

    I also always tell him that I am the luckiest mommy, and I will not have anymore babies because God gave me the most wonderful boy and a girl and I don't need any more than that.

    His Dad, his step-Dad and I have all talked to him together and individually to reassure him that he is loved, part of the family, no one is going anywhere, etc. I have thought a lot that he may feel cheated that HIS mommy and Daddy divorced and here is his little sister and she has mommy and her Daddy-why can't he have that? He has made comments about wanting HIS Dad to move in with us in our new home or for us to be remarried and I have to talk to him about it. It's hard, but it is what it is and I do try to be patient with him, but if his conduct is a result, what can I do to change that? Just give it time?

    Basically my new husband does not want to cross the line with my son to interfere with his relationship with his DAD PLUS my hubby's work hours are terrible (6 days a week and until 7:30 PM) where he is simply not here and I'm a single parent anyhow. My husband does take the opportunity to do things with him but as a "whole", it is too inconsistent and because of his work, I can't really change it.

    The Mentoring program is a good idea. I did get him involved with cub scouts and Tae Kwon Do for the male bonding stuff. I also encourage his Dad to participate as much as possible. I have read many books on how important it is to help the boys bridge over to a male role model when they need it and let go.

  7. #27
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    My kids are both grown and on their own, and are stable members of society. (I don't know how that happened!) I think the thing that got us thru it (their dad and I divorced when they were young) was spending time with them and tons and tons of patience. So I found that there are a couple of things that seemed to work.

    First, it took me a while to realize that my job was to ultimately prepare my kids for the outside world. So everything was sort of geared in that direction - make sure they have the knowlege to get along. You know, reading, writing, basic math, etc. It took daily attention to their homework and lots of help and suggestions from me.

    Of course they are going to test the boundaries to see what they can get away with. If he's good at home, he understands your boundaries. However, he may not be getting that at school. That may be something to look into. I'm not in favor of home schooling, I think an important part of schooling is socialization.

    I was pretty lenient with my kids, but I had a few rules that were not to be broken. You have to pick your battles. Having a clean bedroom was not a big priority to me. Reading and speaking well and learning how to get along in society were my goals for my kids. They are going to go thru many phases and looking back it seems they were not the crises they appeared to be at the time.

    Simply sitting down and talking to them, asking questions, asking them why they act like they do, and asking what they need from you to make some changes, and how you want to get there are very important. And of course, you have to be willing to do what it takes. It took up a lot of time, but defintely worth it. Both my kids graduated high school early with college scholarships. And make sure the boundaries are clear to them and don't make threats you are not going to follow thru on. No, I'm not mother of the year by a long shot, but I do think my kids turned out okay.

    Disclaimer: This is just my opinion and feel free to disagree or ignore if you like. :smile
    Last edited by J.D.; 12-03-2003 at 07:00 PM.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duxxy
    You would think that the teacher would recognize jr's competitive behaviours and try to circumvent them. Instead of having the kids hand their assignments in as they finish, she could give them time limits and have them wait at their desks then collect everyone's at the same time. Very good idea! I will mention that!

    In regards to his disorganization - how about a reminder book? I had one in school. It was a small notebook that I kept ontop of the mess of my desk, when I didn't finish an assignment or if I had homework I had to write it in my book myself - the teacher looked at it everyday before home time and my dad signed it every night after I finished my homework - it was a system that worked very well for me ( I was not a class clown... apparently I was the class 'social butterfly' )
    I mentioned the reminder book and she thought it was a good idea as well, but before she committed to any changes like that for one child, she wanted to see what the counselor suggests.

    She basically described my son as the lolly gaggler....he is the last one to get going on something, the first to finish (or near it), loves to doodle and talk about everything to infinity.

  9. #29
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    Well, good luck with all this, Ineedalife. The counselor will probably have some good ideas. And whatever happens now, it does sound like your son is going to turn out to be an interesting adult.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by JDHeninger
    Of course they are going to test the boundaries to see what they can get away with. If he's good at home, he understands your boundaries. However, he may not be getting that at school. That may be something to look into.
    Thanks JD, one thing that struck me when I read your post was that yes, at home, he is a very good kid about boundaries. I have never had to "kid proof" my house, my kids know what fire is and how to respect it, he actually used to help me with a hammer when he was 2/3 yrs old which would make some people shudder at the thought of giving a kid a hammer, he remembers to wear his bike helmet, his chores, doesn't run away at the store, never colored on the walls with crayons, he's not aggressive, etc.

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