Posted by: SAMB | 2008/10/29

I am loosing it and feel cornered

Please, I am so heartbroken and depressed that I scare myself. My boy is 7 years old. Every morning and some evenings are totally terrible. He does not want to do anything I ask of him. I have to ask 5, 6 to 7 times and he just looks me in the eye and ignores me. If I get cross with him, he starts crying and it can go on for a long time. I don' t know if he is angry, heartbroken or just naughty. I am a single mom, living with my parents, solely for financial reasons. I know it is not the ideal situation, because he has to live with other people' s issues too. He tries my patience to the utmost. He wakes up quite calmly, has his coffee, but when he has to start getting ready for school, he starts the mind games with me, trying to show me he is the parent in the house not me. He loves school, because when he gets into car, he looks forward to going to school. So, I ruled out school as the problem. His dad got engaged to a very nice lady with two children of her own, one being a year older than my son and one being 3 years older. They live with my ex-husband in the same house we' ve been living as a family. He sees his dad on weekend and if ranges from sleeping over 1 to 2 evenings, depending on their schedule. I don' t know if my son is mad with me for some reason, because the rest of the day goes really well. Or I don' t know if he is distressed about the children sleeping in his old room and the fact that there is other children living with his father. I don' t know which way to go. This morning was a disaster. I parked my car at school and he could not stop crying. The gates closed and I had to drive to the front of the school, entering where the teachers and parents enter. Fortunately, I ran into his teacher and we both started crying. I feel so helpless and in real dispair. She suggested I go see a family psychologist. Like I said, I am a single mom, I do have medical aid, but they are so full of nonsense when it comes to these kind of things. What happens to me and my son if I can' t afford to go see a psychologist. How will we get better without help. It feels like there is a enormous rock on my chest, I can' t breathe. I have no-one to talk to. My parents tells me the fault lies with me, I have to be more patient, more lenient, more tolerable. But where should I draw the line between leniency and disciplinning him? Did I let him do to much before and allowed him to much space? Please help........................

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

If you have DSTV access, check the BBC channel that shows Little Angels, Supernanny, and other brilliant programs showing how to transform unruly undisciplined kids. He's playing Power games, having discovered how much power he can exert by opposing you --- its not about you as such, but about exulting in his own power. He may feel in some ways supplanted by the new kids in his dad's life. Can you discuss this with his dad, and plan for dad to discuss this with him, and re-assure him of how special he will remain --- and perhaps have dad encourage him to behave better towards you ? Seeing a child psychologist even for a few sessions would be useful, to help draw up a progam for discipline which you could keep to. Sad that your parents don't understand at all and blame you for something that is truly not your fault.
And they're seriously wrong in their suggestions. It is NOT about you being more lenient and tolerating more nonsense from him. On the contrary he may be feeling adrift in soft territory with unclear rules. Draw up basic, reasonable, clear and unambiguous rules of what you expect from him and in return what he can expect from you. Breaking the rules must have clear consequences in loss of privileges or whatever he values and liekes ; keeping to the rules should lead to cumulating marks on a chart leading to set rewards which he values.
Apart from your very justifiable needs, he needs to learn that this is a world in which bad behaviours have consequences, but that one can work towards and earn good consequences
Also try the Parenting Forum here on H24, which may also be helpful for you

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Our users say:
Posted by: Eishhh | 2008/10/29

Ur ex left u and his son and married a woman with 2 kids that are not even his??
No wonder they say men are God' s rough sketches....we women are the masterpieces cause we wont leave our own kids to saty with other ppl' s kids?Never.

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