24 answers

I Love My Son but He Is Annoying.

I love my 10 year old but he is annoying. I don't know how to help him without damaging his self esteem. He likes to be the class clown and is always trying to be funny during inappropriate times. It really works my nerves. For example I'll say something like "Oh I like that song" and he'll respond "no one likes that song". I'll be having a serious conversation with my husband and he'll tap me on the head. He also is not a touchy feely person so I don't if this is his way of reaching out. I also want to deal with it now because I'm six months pregnant and have a six year old who is the opposite of him. I don't want him to feel like I prefer them over him but he really annoys me and I feel bad when I call him on it.

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hello Everyone,
It has been a while but I had a baby girl and am finally getting back into the swings of things. He has definitely gotten a lot better. At the moment that he is trying to be funny if it is not appropriate I stop and explain to him why it is not an appropriate time. I've also stopped telling him that he is annyoing me. He is actually very affectionate with his little sister and any time that he does something positive I give him praise and tell him how much I appreciate his help with his sister. He has in two occasions hugged me and for me that is a big deal. Thank you everyone for your advice.

Featured Answers

Get him involved in theater -- they always need boys to be stars. It might give him the outlet he needs. Maybe he'll be the next Jay Leno or David Letterman.

1 mom found this helpful

He is just being a ten year old.... I wouldn't personalize his behavior too much. I already sympathize with him. He is probably just looking for attention he may not feel he is getting and now with another kid on the way, he will probably act up even more. Why not spend some quality time with him and see what's on his mind. Kids act out in many different ways, this is no different.. He will probably outgrow it, but I wouldn't break his comedic spirit too much. Maybe he is funnier than you think and since as you say , you are short on patience and stressed out, you don't get his humor. I would try and lighten up a bit.

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Who has patience at 6 months pregnant with an over-energetic 10 yr old? :o)

Believe it or not, this is a normal "boy way" of reaching out to his mom for attention....boys are soooo DIFFERENT! They have these "noises" and these "mannerisms" that are so........well, so much a boy!

At 10, my oldest had already been "bugging me" for about 5yrs, so I had practice on how I dealt with him ;O) It takes ALOT of positive reinforcement with his personal successes to get him to "calm it down"....but it doesn't go away completely.

The "tapping on your head" part made me laugh.....my son used to make this 'swishing vavoom' noise with his mouth, then his hands would somehow become a Star Wars Jet or something....basically it would crash into my arm.....about 3 times a day! Everyday! For about 6 months! Drived me nuts! It would spill my coffee and everything....it was so 'weird" that it was funny to me. So, one day, I woke up with my "solution".....I was going to do it to him BEFORE he could do it to me.....I did. And, you should've seen the expression on his face! He didn't know whether to laugh, or be in shock....he asked me, "what was that for?" I said, "oh nothing, I was just trying to be like you"... :O) He laughed.... so, I did it a few more times "out of the blue" when he least expected it (in the middle of a video game is good).....we laughed together....he eventually stopped doing it....

Now, he's moved onto blowing in my face :O) At 13, he has NO IDEA how bad is breath can be either! I guess I have to blow in his face now....I don't know, this is too new still.

Seriously, J., if it's not one thing it's another....my youngest son isn't like this at all (yet), although he does have his quirks.

The more positive attention I give my 13yr old, the less he does these annoying boy things :O) He likes to play on our computer alot, so everytime he sits in our kitchen to play, I walk by and kiss him on the head :o) hug him, and tell him I love him.....because of this, he is LETTING me hug him more now, and ALMOST without asking, he puts his arms around me, too :O) So, finally, after 7 years, my not-so-affectionate boy is becoming affectionate. Yay! I am loving that right now :O)

You are dealing with a reaching out, of some sort. Maybe it's because of your new baby....honestly, I think it's just 'time' for him to act this way :O) Try to find ways in HIS life that you can be in....just like I did....I found "kisses on his head" while he was playing game. It took very little effort (only a conscious effort), and it is working.

Boys are funny....and annoying, yes. I don't know......I wouldn't trade that sweet face for anything, though :O)

Hang in there, J.!

~N. :O)

3 moms found this helpful

All of the examples you have given are pretty clear indicators of a kid whom is craving some positive attention. The clowning, inappropriate humor, touching, etc. they are all ways of trying to get a rile out of you. Yes, some kids are a little on the ornery side, but you've got to remember that sometimes, negative attention is better then none at all. Kids pick up on things-he knows he annoys you probably. Be careful, he's at a real 'turning point' age-the age where "class clown" can easily turn into becoming sself destructive due to poor esteem. I know beause I totally was this kid, back in the day. My suggestion is that as hard as it may be, try praising him when he does little things, even if it's something little and stupid, just try showing him some love and positive attention.

2 moms found this helpful

Ha...Your description of your son's behavior reminds me of my boys. A lot of boys do the "saying the opposite" game, contradicting whatever is said. It's worse if they do it in the classroom--it really undermines the teacher.
Some of the responses make it sound like they think your son is not getting enough attention--but I think for some kids there is no amount that is "enough".
Also I know that my son sometimes does this sort of thing not so much for attention, but rather because he is uncomfortable ...when he isn't sure what to say or do. Like at a funeral, for example.
Maybe the serious conversation with your husband made him feel tense, or concerned that his parents were unhappy, and he was trying to make you laugh to lighten the mood?

My advice is to try to find ways to "PLAY" with him in a way that fits with his "clown" personality. What about a puppet? He can practice his act, and you can show him how YOU would express yourself in a funny but appropriate way. =)
But definitely teach him some appropriate methods and times to make people laugh, and reward him when he sticks to those methods or times.
He can tell jokes at the dinner table, for example, but not interrupt a conversation. He can be sarcastic, but not openly contradict.
Also, because you are pregnant, talk to him as if he were a grown up, like, "I am really tired and emotional because I am pregnant, so I might sometimes say or do things that I wouldn't normally do. Like I might get mad at you more easily, even if you are not doing anything really bad. It would really help me if you could help me to stay calm. Maybe you can listen to hear if I sound tired or stressed and just remind me that maybe I should take a rest for a little while. And if sometimes you see something around the house that needs to be done, maybe you can help out a little bit."
If he has more responsibility, he might feel special and stay busy, plus he may be paying more attention to you and pick up on your tone of voice or your facial expression, to know when you are unhappy or worn down.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't feel bad about correcting that behavior. Saying "no one likes that song," isn't just inappropriate, it is rude. Same with interrupting you & your husband. He needs to learn that it is not acceptable to treat people that way. I don't know how you do discipline, but whatever it is, you need to be consistent in giving a consequence for rudeness. He is old enough to know the difference. It may take a very long time, but you will have a lot more peace if he learns to keep quiet if he doesn't have something nice to say. It may hurt his feelings in the short term, but he will have a whole lot more friends in the long run.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear J.,
You have your hands full, to be sure. And a new baby coming. Congratulations, by the way.

Little boys can be really annoying. I have lots of experience with this. I have a son and his friends have been part of our lives since they were babies. I love, love, LOVE them, but there have been days where if I had a last nerve left, they would have been tied up with it and locked in a closet.

Nobody likes that song....
Just like Rene said, my son went through a thing where it was "Your mom..."
If I said I like a song he would say, "Your MOM likes that song". One day I said, "Okay...now this is just getting irritating". He said, "Your MOM is getting irritating". I said, "Ummmm, my mom is your grandmother and I think I'll just call her to tell you you said so".
One day he said he was going to pour the milk out because it really stinks and I don't know why, but before even thinking I said, "Your MOM really stinks."
Then I said, "Hey wait! That would mean ME!" He thought that was the funniest thing ever. They grow out of that stuff. It's fun for a while and then they're on to something else.
That said, it sounds like your son is at an annoying age and it may be that he wants attention and doesn't know how to go about it. However, it doesn't matter if you are talking to your husband, or a neighbor, or the mailman or you are on the phone, the interrupting thing, in any form or fashion, is not acceptable. You won't destroy his self esteem by telling him that. Tell him it's not polite, it's distracting. If he really needs something, he can say excuse me, and ask "may I have (or do, or whatever it is). Even with the excuse me's, if you find he is interrupting for the sake of interrupting or just coming up with some random thing, you can say, "Thank you for saying excuse me, but this is something we can talk about when my conversation is done."
I raised my kids by myself and I tend to be pretty blunt, a little on the sarchastic side, but my kids knew that if they interrupted me, somebody BETTER be bleeding. It's not that I had no time to listen to my kids, but dang it, the minute I needed to behave like an adult civilized person was not the time for them to be bugging, nagging or poking me for attention. That was a no-no.
I had a client that used to call my agency and then tell ME to hold on while she sreamed at her kids. The louder her kids got, the louder she got. "Stop hitting your brother! I told you to get down off the table. Why did you just spill that on the floor?" That household was so loud that I literally held the phone as far as I could reach away from my ear and people sitting 5 feet away from me could hear it. One day I said that maybe she could call me back when she had things settled down. She said, "No, it's okay...this is just how my kids act everytime I need to make a phone call." I heard her screaming plenty, but never once did I hear her say, "Mom's on the phone! You will sit down and behave and I don't want to hear a peep out of you until I'm done." I have a friend who calls me and mostly I listen to her talk to her son. He's 12. He'll say, Mom, remember that rock I found on the beach on my second grade field trip? Where is it? Totally random.
Instead of saying she's on the phone and she will help when she's done, she will say, Did you check your shelf? Did you check your treasure box? Did you check your junk drawer or the basket in the laundry room? He'll be back every 30 seconds to report, it's not there and it's not there and it's not there. I don't want to sound rude or anything, but I'll say, Help your kid find his rock and when you have a minute to talk to me about whatever reason you called me for, we can talk then.
If you go to their house in person, that kid is flipping around on the floor and showing off. He reminds me of Stuart from MadTV. "Look what I can do".
He really is a good kid, but he feels regular attention isn't good enough. He wants to be the CENTER of attention at all times. They had a guy come out to give an estimate about remodeling one of the bathrooms and introduced him to everyone. The contractor shook hands with everyone and when he got to this kid, the boy said, "Pull my finger and see what happens." He would not leave them alone for 5 seconds to talk about the issue at hand. He should have been sent to his room.
I'm not saying your kid is bad or anything. But some of the stuff like "nobody likes that song" is likely just popping off or he's heard it somewhere else and finds it funny. I have a sense of humor and so do my kids, but they know when I am dead serious. Interrupting, never funny.
If you have a son with a sense of humor, that's a wonderful thing, but it's not that hard to teach them that there is funny time and NOT funny time. Your son is old enough to know the difference.
With a new baby coming, you need to let him know that you love him and his quirkiness is part of why you love him so much. But, there is a time and a place for it. He doesn't have to be naughty to be noticed because you notice this, this and this good thing about him. He doesn't have to be the center of attention. He doesn't have to go out of his way for people to realize what a great kid he is. You need to spend alone time, as much as you can, talking with him. "Poking me, interrupting me, distracting me isn't the best way to go for either of us. You're my first baby, you always will be and I love you so let's work on ways for you to tell me what you need and what makes you happy and let's work on you being the best person you can be."
Take him for a cup of hot chocolate somewhere, just the two of you and have a heart to heart.
Give him an outlet. Let him and his brother make up a play and say you'll make popcorn and watch the performance. Schedule it so they have time to prepare and just let them have fun. If his brother doesn't want to, then let him plan it himself. Undivided attention from the whole family. Give him a time each week to shine. No more interruptions or poking...schedule time for him to go for it when he gets to be the star. That shouldn't end when the new baby comes. Family night.
Your son is getting older and I hate to tell you but this most likely isn't even his awkward stage yet.
He will love you more for being honest with him. And let him be honest with you.

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Get him involved in theater -- they always need boys to be stars. It might give him the outlet he needs. Maybe he'll be the next Jay Leno or David Letterman.

1 mom found this helpful

I think all boys that age are annoying! Okay, maybe not all, but I have a 9 year old step-son and he actually is very considerate, and touchy-feely but he still does annoying things all the time. It's probably age-appropriate. They haven't learned how to censor their behavior in various situations yet. You might find that your 6 year old is just as annoying when he is 9 or 10 as well. Or maybe not. If he does something that you think is inappropriate, tell him so. That's how kids learn. Also, is there someone around who is modeling annoying behavior? Sometimes my husband does annoying things blowing the wrapper off the top of a straw in a restaurant and then his son just copies him. In that case my issue is with my husband - because the child is just doing what he sees the adults doing. I loose patience because sometimes I feel like I have to model good behavior for both my husband and my step-son and that gets exhausting.

1 mom found this helpful

He is just being a ten year old.... I wouldn't personalize his behavior too much. I already sympathize with him. He is probably just looking for attention he may not feel he is getting and now with another kid on the way, he will probably act up even more. Why not spend some quality time with him and see what's on his mind. Kids act out in many different ways, this is no different.. He will probably outgrow it, but I wouldn't break his comedic spirit too much. Maybe he is funnier than you think and since as you say , you are short on patience and stressed out, you don't get his humor. I would try and lighten up a bit.

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