24 answers

Need Help with Disciplining My 8Yr Old Son!!!!

I not sure what to do. My 8yr old son is driving me crazy. He is talking back and being very disrespectful to me and my husband. He acts like he doesn't care if we discipline him for talking back or just being plain rude. We will say something like straighten up and he will be like "oh okay". I have put him in time out sent him to his room, no tv, computer, video games and I am not really sure what else to do.It's getting to the point that I don't even want to spend time with him because everything ends up in a fight. I feel bad and shouldn't feel this way about my son. He doesn't have that many friends anymore because nobody wants to play with him, because he always has to be right and its his way or no way. I try to explain to him that its not always about being right with your friends, and he will say yes it is. I explain that if he keeps it up then they won't want to play and he says that he doesn't care. He acts like he just doesn't care about anything or anyone.
Has anyone else had this same problem.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Try finding the things he IS doing right. Comliment him more and critisize him less.
Also, you might consider one-on-one "date" time each parent a few times a month. He is old enough now to know that you can't really "make" him do much of anything, so there needs to be a bond and mutual respect that makes him want to obey you.

3 moms found this helpful

Maybe you could try reading the book Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn. I can understand why you wouldn't want to spend time with him, but it sounds like he is doing all of this negative stuff to get attention--I think Alfie would say what he is really asking for is love. Also, Scott Noelle has a lovely parenting site called Enjoy Parenting--isn't that what we all want? It's http://www.enjoyparenting.com

i hope it helps.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

He sounds VERY much like my eight year old daughter! I read a book that saved my life and my relationship with her, it is called Raising Your Spirited Child (same author, but book before, Kids and Power Struggles). I can't recommend it highly enough. It taught me to look at all of these behaviors (and the labels I was putting on them) as what they would be in the adult world....prized by all. It made ME think differently which in turn made me stop 'hating' my child. *I didn't really hate her but I certainly hated our relationship!*

I am not saying it is easy, we still have a lot of struggles but my parenting has gotten a LOT better! I ask for a do over every time she is disrespectful and sometimes that means she has to say the same thing twenty times before I am satisfied with the tone of voice, facial expression, etc. She has understood what 'inappropriate' means for a few years now and that is my key question. "Is your behavior right now appropriate?" It makes her stop and think. I think just keeping them interactive with us and remembering that we are raising some real go getter adults will see us through. I don't allow the behavior that is terrible but I do allow stuff to go by when I can see it is from a highly emotionally charged place. I have figured out that talking when she is calm and not trying to fight everything I am saying is the best and I know that she is able to absorb what I am saying at that point. Otherwise it is like talking to a rubber ball :)

She also acts as if she doesn't care, but boy is that a cover up! I think she cares more than most and it is a defense mechanism. I also think that it has a lot to do with the fact that she is the oldest and by birthright a lot of pressure is put on the oldest. Anyway, this could become a book but if you want to chat about it shoot me an email.

Take care!

4 moms found this helpful

One silver lining in moments like these is we are given a chance to pause and think about what isn't working and consider what it is we might like to do differently. It gives parents a chance to learn about other ways to address what their family is needing right now, and to grow together.

I agree that the Unconditional Parenting book is very helpful. It really changed how I interact with kids in a positive way.

At one point I worked with children around your son's age and I know that they can be some pretty tough customers! I was very helped by is Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish's "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen, and How to Listen so Kids Will Talk". While Kohn's "Unconditional Parenting" brings up a lot of good points and principles, "How to Talk" gives adults some very solid suggestions for defusing power struggles and finding a way for parents and children to speak to each other with respect and empathy, while being authentic. The focus on cooperative problem-solving may also draw your son back into interaction, instead of his pulling away, which is pretty common at this age.I can't say enough good things about this book. (And I have read a lot of books in this department!)

My best to you and your family.

4 moms found this helpful

He sounds very defiant. This may be a stance due to his feeling of being over controlled, getting too many orders, not getting enough positive interpersonal attention from you.It can become a pattern for life.

Then again, is he receiving discipline or punishment? Punishment can set him off, if he feels that it is unfair. Are you dismissive toward him because you are working, tired, depressed or some mixture of the above?

You may need a professional to help you a little bit before things get really out of hand. Your son will be in his teens soon enough and then s--t can really hit the fan.

Children like your son are very strong minded but emotionally sensitive children.Any threat to his inner spirit, his self respect, his sense of survival or his sense of personal position is going to cause him to challenge authority/you. Understanding his dynamic now will help to bring you back together and keep you closer as loving, not angry people.

4 moms found this helpful

Years ago, before we had kids, I was watching my best friend discipline her son. She and her husband were constantly telling Sean "Don't do this or don't do that". Guess what? Sean wasn't given the tools to choose on his own. They did it all for him. Fast forward 15 years later. He still can't make good choices. They were doing him a BIG disservice by not teaching him this. He was still living at home in his mid 20's until his parents moved to another state without him.

So, TELLING him to "Sit up straight" will not work, he will straighten up when he has the confidence to do so.

We found these authors of books & video tapes that make a world of difference. Drs. Kline & Fay give you the tools to talk to him in a non-threatening way, that will give him the power to make a good choice or a bad one. After a few times, he'll start making the good ones. The books have short stories about how to implement them. They are intertaining, funny, but very helpful. The first time I tried it, it worked. The theory is called LOVE AND LOGIC PARENTING. Start by getting the one for young children. They sell them at all bookstores, online- Google="Love & Logic", Amazon, and most libraries or church libraries rent them. They also offer Love & Logic parenting courses at some churches. Worth every penny.
Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful

First of all pick your battles. I wouldn't fuss with little things like straighten up. Try to focus on more positive things with him. Give him praise for tasks he does. Right now it seems he is getting attention from you by being negative and receiving negative response.It can be a vicious cycle. I've been there.
He probually acts like he doesn't care as a defense, but I bet he cares a lot. If he wants to play with someone and children aren't thrilled with playing with him, he'll have to figure it out or be lonely. Play games with him, if you win or loss say: that was fun, I enjoyed playing with you. If he has a hard time losing tell him casually: It's fun to play with you, sometimes I win and sometimes you win, it's good to have someone to play with. Then just leave and let him alone. Play other games with him where there are no winners (co-opertive games).

3 moms found this helpful

Try moving away from the disciplining and try to focus on what he's thinking. It looks like he has a perspective your missing out on. I'm glad you're home. My son is not yet eight but whenever I feel like sending him to his room or taking away a priviledge (which still happens of course) I take the time to ask him, making sure he has my full attention. It's amazing what he says and what I've missed. It helps me to understand where he's coming from and why he acted the way he did. More often than not, punishment is averted and our bond grows stronger. Good luck. It might take some time to break the pattern that's been established.

3 moms found this helpful

Try finding the things he IS doing right. Comliment him more and critisize him less.
Also, you might consider one-on-one "date" time each parent a few times a month. He is old enough now to know that you can't really "make" him do much of anything, so there needs to be a bond and mutual respect that makes him want to obey you.

3 moms found this helpful

My daughter always responded to the classic discipline methods in love and logic and positive discipline. So I was shocked when my son seemed simply immune to these techniques. Another parent gave me her copy of "Transforming the Difficult Child" by Howard Glasser. As it seemed to work wonders for her difficult child, I gave it a try. I can't recommend it enough. The book helps kids and parents to learn how to structure responsibilities with a point system so that the kids learn self discipline. My son is still very very active and things are rarely easy but we now have a system to manage.

Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

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