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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning - the following message is blunt and honest. Obviously, we do not talk to him like this, but I'm exhausted from this and will do anything to make it stop. ANYTHING. This message will be all over the place because last night was the end of my patience (his dad's ran out about 6 months ago).

My BF's 6 year old, J, won't try anything that he doesn't think he will be perfect at immediately. In fact, it is worse then that. He throws whining, crying hissy fits when you even suggest he do something that he doesn't approve of. He is a horrible winner and a worse loser. We even discovered that he would make his younger brother let him win all the time in X-box games. Once we talked to them about it, he stopped playing it because, "Michael always wins. I don't like that. I want to win. I want to be in front. I don't like it when other people win. IT IS NOT FAIR!!!" <insert major crying, whining, hissy fit>

If he loses at something, he throws a huge fit of whining and crying. He has even done this at school. If we do something that is not his idea, he makes it miserable for the rest of us, with his fits.

By fits, I'm not talking on the floor, smacking his fists. I'm talking whining, 6 month old baby behaviour. Fussing, brooding....

We try encouraging him to try new things. His brother goes for it, with a little urging, but Jacob refuses. If you ignore him, he cries and cries and will continue to cry the entire way home. He will ruin the fun for everyone. If you talk to him, he cries and cries and will continue to cry the entire way home. If you punish him, he cries...well, you get the idea.

I tried every trick I could find on parenting websites. NONE work. And I'm not talking a couple days of trying. We've been working on his for over a year. A year! I am sick of it. His father is sick of it. Last night, I had it. He was ruining everyone's fun at the park, because he was not in charge. I told him, "sorry, it isn't your turn to be in charge. You have two choices, have fun here or you can go sit over there (points to area) and have your fit there." I never say things like that to him. He did try a couple new things, but sobbed the entire time, made a complete ass of himself at the playground, got laughed at horribly, cried more, had us explain why the other kids laughed, he didn't care, etc etc and so forth.

I honestly thought school would have helped him. A semi-competitive environment that focuses on personal competition instead of group. Nope. Doesn't work.

As for specifics, he's like it because his mother has allowed, and still does, him to act like this. She has always had him as the special child, the one who is in charge of everyone (including her). well, he isn't in charge of the rest of the adults in his life and he is making sure they regret it.

I know, there are two concepts in this thread, but i think they are related. He won't try because he won't be good at it, thereby not being the "star."

We cheer him and make a big deal to get him to try something new, but that isn't good enough for him.

/sigh And people wonder why I'm on birth control

Tomorrow, we are going out and buying a T-ball and a soccer set. We're going to the park and we are playing. And he can either sit in the car and watch us have fun or can play with us. Or perhaps we'll force him to platy. heck, I don't know. When he was 3, this was bareable. He is 6 now. I'm tired of it.

Please....any suggestions. My bf has already lost all patience. The only thing that stops him from banishing Jacob when he has his fits is me, but my patience is exactly *------* this big.

Is there a camp I can send him to and they fix this for me? /sigh
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And, upon reflection, I believe I even said "life isn't fair, get over it".

Oh lord, I'm going to hell...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh my, Krista, can I soooo relate to you! My oldest stepson used to be like that and it took a couple years for us to break him of that. He's about to turn 7 now, but just recently has gotten over it.

The only thing that seemed to work with him was us constantly telling him that it's okay if he doesn't win or isn't in charge. We also constantly remind him that he's a child and that adults are the ones that make the rules. We still find him cheating a bit sometimes, but he's getting better.

I don't really have any other advice except for that. It sounds like you're doing everything you can, so just keep being stern with him about it and I'm sure that eventually he'll change. I do think his mother needs to stop letting this kind of behavior go, though. For every step in the right direction that you two take with him concerning this, her letting him get away with it when he's with her will set him back two steps. You know what I mean?

Sorry I couldn't be of more help, but just know that I can very much understand what you're going through!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BTW, I don't think either of the things you've said to him are wrong. Sometimes giving them a blunt, truthful remark or answer like those are just what it takes to get them to change. You're not calling him names or insulting him, so no harm done.
I've told my stepson that life isn't fair plenty of times. He seems much more accepting of not always getting his way now. I think these kinds of truths help to prepare them for the real world in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I'm not going to hell over this? Good....It seems like a lot of misery to go through, only to end up in more misery


We always say, "Are you trying your best?" He nods. "Then that's all the matters. You can't be the best all the time. But you have to try your best. Do you understand?" Nods head, sobs, whines, etc etc and so forth.

Case in point. His friends are in soccer classes. They are better then him (duh!), but they still want to play with him. He won't anymore because they were better then him. We told him that he could take a few classes to get better, but he cried so hard, that the neighbors probably thought we were beating him.

It's good to know we're not the only ones with this problem. They have been stressing me out.

We both know that his mother is, at best, useless and, at worse, neglectful, so talking to her is like talking to the wall.

Do you think the sports thing tomorrow will be a good idea? Myself, Peter, the younger boy michael and the dog will love it, for sure. Perhaps seeing us having fun and screwing up will help him?

As a side note, he is also having a hard time dealing with his brother being as good as him at some things. He calls him brother names and makes fun of him (NOT acceptable), but then his brother laughs it off and teases J back. J completely loses it, crying, whining, hissy, etc etc and so forth. Then, his brother does it more....vicious cycle.

He is 6. Sheesh, don't take yourself so seriously. There are days I want to shake him and scream, "You aren't that important!!!!" I resist this urge, but it is an urge all the same /blush

I'm not good at this parenting thing. I need a manual, darn it. WHY CAN'T I HAVE THE MANUAL?!?!?! SOMEONE GIVE ME THE (*&(*&E)**)(%) MANUAL!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb



He was ruining everyone's fun at the park, because he was not in charge. I told him, "sorry, it isn't your turn to be in charge. You have two choices, have fun here or you can go sit over there (points to area) and have your fit there." I never say things like that to him.


Umm.. why don't you? Honestly, that seems like the most logical response. If the kid can't play well with others, then what business does he have ruining the fun for the others? Eventually he'll get sick of being left out of the fun -- especially if you ignore his whining entirely -- and he'll come around. It takes consistency. And no, his mom can't ruin it for you. It won't help, but kids are perfectly capable of code-switching their behavior. If you and your bf are consistent and united about how you respond to his behavior, he will change his behavior for the two of you.

As far as my credentials for this response: I am not a parent, but I was the main disciplinarian for my younger siblings and was a nanny to the 8 year-old poster child for a spoiled ADHD brat. The kid would insult his parents, whine when his parents said "no" about anything (and eventually get what he wanted), hit his parents and brothers with impunity, wouldn't do his homework, ate crap, etc... Ten minutes into my first shift with him my patience was up. Within a month the kid was doing his homework, eating the food I put on his plate, putting his toys away without throwing them at me first (someone else had always cleaned up after him), going to bed without crying or hitting, and saying "please" and "thank you." He was still a little hellion, but it was quite an improvement.

His parents still let him get away with everything when I wasn't there, but the minute I showed up, he was well-behaved. His parents loved me (so much that they wanted me to take on a near full-time position with him, but there was no way I was going to deal with that!). The behavioral change didn't require beatings or rudeness, but they did require a high tolerance level for whining. Eventually he got the point that I wasn't going to change my mind about anything. It's not really my personality -- I like to make people happy for the most part -- but in his case, I never gave in.

I remember my first night with him. It was time to do homework, he was crying and whining and hitting and throwing toys saying that he wanted to watch a movie. I held his hands so he couldn't throw things, and I waited him out. A long time. When it was quiet enough that he could hear me talk in a quiet voice (I suffered a lot of bruises, since I was within reach of his kicking feet), I told him that he would put his toys away. There was no negotiating, no promises of a movie later, just an order. I released his arms, and he went into another tantrum. We did the same thing, I waited him out. He put his toys away, and then whined for his movie. After much waiting him out through the same process, he did his homework.

I don't think he ate that night. He either wanted pizza or ice cream -- I don't remember which, but those were generally the two things he asked for. I had been left with mac & cheese and some vegetables. I know -- not exactly healthy, but it was their kitchen and I was about 15 years old, so it's not like I could go shopping or anything. I do remember him having a tantrum about not getting the pizza or ice cream that he wanted. In any case, he was trying to see if I would give in. I wouldn't. He couldn't watch his movie until he ate, so he eventually took a few bites. I don't know how his parents put up with this. Oh yeah.. they didn't.
They gave in to him within seconds. Ugh.

The homework was done, the toys were put away, dinner had been served, if not eaten, and I was bruised. I figured I had done more than my share of babysitting for the night, and put on the movie, which he watched fairly calmly, singing along to the songs and such. I had a feeling his parents let him watch a lot of TV.

When his parents came home, he called his mom fat and ugly and she took it! I wouldn't have that... not after all the hell I had gone through. So I let him know he couldn't talk to his mother that way and had him apologize, much to the shock of his mother. I still don't know if she was shocked that I said something, or shocked that he complied.

He was in my sister's class at school, so I know he got into trouble there, too.

I actually ran into him and his mother about a month ago. He's 18 now, has been on Ritalin since shortly after the year that I watched him, and is damn polite.


Okay, I know you didn't ask for the story of my nannying hell, but I found that once I got started, I couldn't stop. Sorry about that. I wish you luck with Jacob. I don't know if my experiences from when I was a teenager will help you much, but maybe they'll make Jacob sound a little less scary!


Quote:
/sigh And people wonder why I'm on birth control
*lol*
 

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OK - here is my personal opinion:

#1 thing is that you must understand that everyone in his life has taught him to behave this way. Now it is time to undo. Today. Now.

You must not allow his crying, whinning fits to affect you, and you must be willing to take immediate action. You must tell him what is going to happen, and, for a while, do it EVERY SINGLE TIME this behaviour rears it's ugly head.

Here you go:

I would sit him down and tell him the following:

Your behavious has been unacceptable. Perhaps it will be different when you are with your Mom, but FROM NOW ON, there will be certain rules in the house. If you don't follow the rules, there will be consequences.

The first rule is that you are not allowed to cry, whine, or throw a fit if you don't win at something. The moment that you do this, you will be put in time out, until you can get yourself under control. I don't care if this is at a friends house, at a ball game, at Chucky Cheese's....whatever....you will be put into immediate time out with no discussion. If you are embarrassed by this, then I suggest that you think twice about whether it is worth throwing that fit or not.

Do you understand this? OK - then I want you to look me in the eye and repeat back to me this rule while looking me in the eye.

*now - if he won't repeat this, he goes into an immedate time out until he does. Since he is six, I would put him in time out, and ever 30-60 seconds ask him if he is able to look you in the eye and repeat it to you. Do not let him out of time out until he does it. If he gets up, pick him up, and put him back. Ignore him no matter what kind of fit he throws. IGNORE IT. Keep him in time out, even if you have to sit there and put him back into place.

After he repeats it to you, should continue:

The next rule in this house is that we participate without throwing fits. If you lose, tough. No one always wins, so you might as well understand that now. If you refuse to participate in something, you will be put into an immediate time out, until you are ready to participate. No crying, throwing fits, etc are allowed. Do you understand this? If you do, then I want you to repeat this to me and look me in the eye as you do it.

*again, time out until this repeated. Make sure that he understands this clearly.

Finally, you are a big boy now, and you will be expected to behave like one. You will find that if you don't you will begin to be in time outs and have your privileges disappearing. If you don't want to play because you will lose, you will not be allowed to play are participate in any way.

I will not explain to you anything anymore. You are smart and can observe that other children that are you age don't behave in this manner.

krsitab - he has learned all of this. You must stop it now or it will continue to get worse until he is an adult who believes that the world owes him happiness, etc.

There are no other actions that you can take. Trust me, you will be miserable for about 3 days, but once he realizes that you have set limits and that you will stick to them, he will become a different child.

You must do the time out EACH AND EVERY TIME he misbehaves or acts out his anger (that's all that stuff is - manipulative anger).

I don't care where my daughter is, she knows that she will be put in a time out in front of everyone if she does something like this. She'll be sat down in a time out in the middle of a restaurant, the grocery store, a party, whatever. She also knows that doing things and participating in things is a privilege, and that she can lose it just like that *snap*.

You MUST HAVE CLEAR RULES, CLEAR LIMITATIONS, CLEAR RESPONSES, and above all you must be CONSISTANT.

This will end quickly if you do what I say.
 

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BTW, when I put her into timeout I do the follow:

1) I look at her with "the look" - DO NOT LAUGH OR GIGGLE. Look pissed as hell

2) I tell her that she has a count of 3, and if she doesn't stop it, she'll be in time out

3) I count to 3 in a slow, menacing voice.

4) The moment I hit "3", if she hasn't stopped it, I get up and IMMEDIATELY pick her up and take her away from where she is and put her in a timeout. I normally make it far enough away so that she can see what is going on (and other's can see her), but so that if she cries or whines she can't irritate us. If she DOES start to cry and scream I get up, take her outside IMMEDIATELY, and then tell her that we are going home, and she is going into time out in her room if we have to do that.

I don't care if I am in the checkout line at the grocery store with a basket full of stuff, I'll pick her up and take her home (I have only had to go outside the store and threaten this before and it ends, but I was willing to leave if necessary). Keep in mind that you won't have to do that more than a few times. Kids are smart and figure these things out pretty quickly.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by EquiPro



You MUST HAVE CLEAR RULES, CLEAR LIMITATIONS, CLEAR RESPONSES, and above all you must be CONSISTANT.

EquiPro has the manual!


There are books on authoritative (as opposed to authoritarian or passive) parenting out there, btw. I had to read some chapters and articles on it to get my degree. Basically, it's what EquiPro said above. But also, the consequence should fit the crime, should not be too lax or too severe, or too removed from the offense. For that reason, I don't think a time-out should be a catch-all punishement, but if he mostly whines during games and such, it does seem to fit since it would keep him from participating until he behaves.

Again, good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Will one of you take him? Please? I'm begging. I'll show you my boobs?

I guess I never looked at this the same way as the temper tantrums that his younger brother used to throw. But, when you explain it out like that, it is the same, isn't it? It's just over different things.

This helps alot, in two ways. Realizing that this is a temper tantrum, the same way as anything else, helps a lot. Also, knowing that the way I cured his younger brother's grocery store tantrums was not abuse (dispite the parenting websites).

Would someone please remember me to stop visiting parenting websites? They don't help evil future step-parents, who are only trying to help.
 

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Another BTW, forget about "cheering" for him when he tries. He is EXPECTED to try, it is NOT worth that kind of positive enforcement. When he does something without throwing a fit, you can say to him, "I appreciate the fact that you behaved so well today....let's go get an ice cream cone for controlling yourself so well". Do the encouraging of his performance LATER, after he has learned to control himself. They are two different issues right now.

My daughter is 5, and was a terrible loser when she was 3, but we have been working at it. She takes ballet, gymnastics, swimming and piano. She is understanding that no one is great at anything from the start, and that everything takes work and practice. This is a good lesson for him. It IS important that you get him into something like sports or music. What I would do then is to drop him off and not be around. If the coach has any kind of stuff, he will recognize the situation, and will reprimend him and get him to participate. You might even discuss this with the coach first, and let him know that your child might do this, but that he is allowed to reprimend him in the form of time outs.

In my daughter's dance class they don't allow the adults in but once each semester just because the children do better without the parent's input or presence. Heck, dance would be a good thing for him because it promote self control and has no element of competition in it, at least at his age. Gymnastics, too.
 

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http://www.educarer.org/nha-intro.htm

Okay. Hey, I have to say, I have a daughter who was born and packaged exactly like this. I have never treated her like she was 'the special one' and I've never put up with her bad behavior over loosing and not wanting to try something she won't be good at right off the bat. And yet, this is how she is. She's five years old, HIGHLY competative, pretends to know everything, acts badly when she looses...used to act badly when she won. Did I leave anything out?

Okay...first, an explanation of this behavior. He's the insecure guy. Need to be the best at everything all the time is insecurity. It's not that he's spoiled or meanspirited or a bratt. He's a kid with some security issues. It helped me to face this with my daughter. Seemed like her behavior really took a turn for the worse when her Dad left...but, on the other hand, she was BORN high strung.

With games. You know, I had to make myself sit down and play a game with Madison every night this fall. She hated loosing, but loved playing. So we'd sit down, and she'd learn through trial and error that sometimes you win, and sometimes you loose. Board games, card games....etc. I explained to her exactly what was appropriate when you won, and exactly what was appropriate when you lost. I knew we HAD to work on the issue, because I'd seen her loose AND win, and she was horrid at both. So we had a thing when she won, I even gave her a 'script'. "Thank you for playing with me," is what I'd ask her to say. And when she lost. "Congratulations." Always shake hands at the end. Now, it didn't work itself out overnight, but she came to a place where eventually she no longer cried when she lost, and eventually even, she said the appropriate things without prodding. She STILL hates loosing, but handles it better.

Now, I linked the above article because I'm reading the book right now in preparation for my upcoming school year. I've also been using the techniques on Madison for some issues' we're having (namely transitions). And it WORKS. The basic premise NEVER allow yourself to be pulled into a 'negative cycle' of emotion with your child..ie a power struggle or crying fit or tantrum. Set rules and when they aren't followed, he simply gets a consequence...no lectures, none of your time, none of your emotion. Meanwhile, when you catch him in 'good behavior' you objectively comment on what's happening. "I saw you were upset about not winning the game, but you really controlled your anger very well." Thus you can give him cues as to when he's behaving appropriately. I'm VERY excited about this approach and I can tell you it is working for us. I often get entangled in my daughter's 'negative' emotions, where I know my buttons are being pushed, and I end up lecturing and getting angry, etc. This way you give no attention to the negative except a consequence...and you 'notice' (not reward, but notice) the good things. It's the NOTICE they want...you're attention. That's what he's aiming for. When you ignore him and he continues, he's doing that thinking you will finally give it to him. Or he makes the entire ending of something about HIM and his problem...thus garnering all the attention, albeit negative, for himself.

So...do some practice with him. I'm finding sports are actually quite helpful with Madison right now. She's learning her bike and I make her practice nightly. She gets frusterated that she can't do everything perfectly, but I just keep encouraging in the right direction, and eventually she gets over herself. I ignore her outbursts and allow HER to get control of herself. Instead of me trying to 'get control' of her. The other night she threw her helmet on the ground, her pads, her bike...I kept mildy riding around not looking at her...except to say, "I know as soon as you've calmed down you'll get your gear back on and get back on your bike."

Guess what, SHE DID. And when she did I said, "Thank you for getting control of your emotions as quickly as you did, that was quite an improvement." That was after she got her pads back on. I came around the next time and she said, "This will make you proud Mom, I got my helmet on too."

Okay, that's enough. Go to the site for ideas, and if you'd like to ask more in depth questions about this process, feel free to pm me as I'm reading the book and I can lay-out all the steps for you. Meanwhile get him to practice games, both physical and board games....once he gets some practice at winning AND loosing, I assure you that part will improve.

B
 

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Time out doesn't work for some children, but for my daughter, it is the golden punishment. I take away things occassionally, but usually the threat of a time out takes care of it.

At this point, kristab MUST have a quick, immediate and understood response that the child doesn't like. Time outs are good in this situation because it helps the child to calm down and get control of themselves. When my daughter is really crying a lot (all due to my husbands complete and utter indulgence where she is concerned), I tell her to leave my area and the area of others because I don't want to listen to all that noise. She sucks it up really quickly then.

Kristab - OF COURSE THIS IS A TEMPER ISSUE......he does this to get his way AND IT WORKS.

Remember, the best way to change any situation in life is to change the way that YOU respond!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kristadb



This helps alot, in two ways. Realizing that this is a temper tantrum, the same way as anything else, helps a lot. Also, knowing that the way I cured his younger brother's grocery store tantrums was not abuse (dispite the parenting websites).

Would someone please remember me to stop visiting parenting websites? They don't help evil future step-parents, who are only trying to help.
Wow! What do they consider abuse!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Really? I can stop the cheering crap? God, I hated it.

And thanks for the reinforcement on the sports class idea. There are some fantastic outdoor summer programs here that he can be involved in. I wasn't completely sure on the idea, though it was my own, but now you've convinced me.

Thanks everyone. I know how to fix some of the behaviour, but I don't always know what to do. They aren't my kids, but I trying very hard to be the best part-time guardian I can be. /sigh I try so hard, but I do't know what I am doing half the time.
 

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"Will one of you take him? Please? I'm begging. I'll show you my boobs?"

hmmmmm........mine are pretty impressive......is there something there that I might not have seen before? Do you have 3 nipples with double piercings in each..........?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mskedi,

I read on one site (I dont' remember where, I punted the cookie for it) that my responce to grocery store tempers was abusive and served no purpose, only to humilate the child by leaving with them; that my responce as an adult was not loving. When I started crying, I decided to leave that site.

Bethanie, I will try that websites techniques, in combination with the immediate responce. Tomorrow will be a good day to start, considering we are doing the sports day.

Just so you know, we don't let him get his way in regards to always being in charge. We ignore him, for the most part, but he stills makes us and his brother miserable. But, we all wanted to be at *that* park and we weren't going to babysit his needs the way he wanted. So, we have been partially there, but it's a slow process. Treating the temper, instead of the unwillingness to try, will most likely be the best.

Thanks, everyone. i am trying. /sigh

*makes mental note to take her BCP tomorrow morning, on time*
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
There is nothing like a kid that isn't yours to ruin your self-esteem.

God, I feel so horrible as a rolemodel and guardian. I feed him, which is a step ahead of his mother, but I can't shake the "evil step-parent" feel.
 
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