What to do for my easy child?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by forkeeps251, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    I have two boys, a 5 (almost 6) year old, who is my difficult child, and a 9 year old, who is my easy child. The younger one just started kindergarten and it has been really rough on all of us. We haven't had any formal testing done, so no diagnosis or idea what might be going, but we are in the process.

    My easy child has had a great year so far. Straight A's, no behavior problems, nothing. He has had problems in the past, but mostly because he is a friendly kid and an avid talker :). No where near the problems we are having with my younger son. But this year has just been outstanding for him...

    ...until this morning.

    He brought a hotwheel into school (without asking me if he could). I don't know if it was in the cafeteria, the hallway, or the gym where they wait before class, but at some point a teacher or monitor told him to put it up, and he refused, so he got it taken up. And then he started crying and telling the teacher or whoever that he just wanted to beat them up. :-O

    This does not sound at all like him, and he went to the counselor (who I talked to later), to settle down, and told her he knows what he did was wrong and he was sorry, that he just had a hard time controlling his anger.

    I'm not worried about him, and I think I know what is going on. I think it is in part due to the extra stress that has been in our house lately with the problems we have been having with his brother, and also in part that he sees the extra attention his brother is getting for his bad behavior, and he wants some of that too. Of course he will have some mild punishment tonight (probably no x-box or TV time), and we will have a major talking to, but I'm not concerned this kind of thing will be a real problem.

    I'm thinking though, that we need to do something for him, some special one on one time or something. I'm thinking maybe he can go see a movie with his Dad, or maybe I could take him for ice cream, or something like that. I think that maybe quality alone time with mom and dad in the case will be better than a tangible award... he already get's something for making an E in conduct and straight A's. Now I just need to figure out what :)

    Any ideas or suggestions on how to keep this from happening again? I don't want him to feel left out, but at this point his brother really does require a lot of praise and attention and what not.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For the moment, while we "talk", ignore the whole difficult child-impact component.

    You're talking about a 9YO male easy child. Right?

    BONDING at this stage is critical, in my opinion. With both Mom and Dad - but not together. He is at a stage where he will begin to redefine his relationship with you. It won't be adult-to-adult, but its the beginning of the beginning, if you know what I mean.

    Therefore, ignore STUFF. What he needs is time and attention. But it doesn't have to be $$ stuff. You can do that sometimes... go for "coffee" or a movie or something. But especially for Dad and Son... they need to find some no-$$ things to do together. For example... at 9, he's at a good age to start looking at cars. Cruise the lots, discuss the merits and disadvantages of different sorts of cars, look at cars you would never be able to afford to buy, and cars you would never be caught dead in... you can drive there, or bike there... that sort of thing. If Dad enjoys fishing, does easy child want to learn? What about carpentry or mechanics stuff, if Dad is into that? (if not, is Grandpa? because THAT relationship is also changing at this point). The advantage of no-$$ stuff is that, if you want to do this once a month or 3x per week... you can still afford to do it!

    In other words... what kinds of activities can two of you enjoy together that you can see doing together 10 years from now, and 20 years from now... and start those NOW.

    There is no greater gift to a child than the undivided attention of a parent.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Movie, lunch, park, flea market shopping, bowling, skating of any kind, ice cream, fishing, nature walk, museum, etc. Seriously, anything at all can be used as a "treat" and quality time with mom or dad. Even something as mundane as grocery shopping or running errands can be turned into a "treat". Better than a significant one time thing, is to make it a consistent reoccurring event.

    Reinforce the fact that he gets that kind of special time because he DOES generally behave well. Give him an opportunity to express his frustrations or possible jealousy of difficult child's behavior and resulting attention. He might need/want therapy of his own to deal with a difficult child brother. Better yet, any sibling support groups around. That way he'll have support of peers and not feel so alone.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The others are exactly right. I would also STRONGLY suggest that you reward S's and B's also. Often around 9 is when learning disabilities that are not terribly blatant show up. Until then many kids can use memorization to get top grades, but now more is expected and he may not be able to keep A's and E's. While those are things to reward, you do NOT want to encourage perfectionism because it can truly handicap him. My 11yo has had a hard time this year because HE expects all A's from himself. We don't really care about grades as long as he is doing the best he can. HE knows it, but we have to keep working on it because he really stresses himself to the point where he can't cope at times. Good enough is sometimes better than excellent because you want him to have a full life and not be afraid to try something if he doesn't think he can do it perfectly. Again, this can kick in around his age.

    Just a thought.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I had to do this with easy child/difficult child. As a single parent, it was even harder for easy child/difficult child to get the attention he needed and deserved. What I ended up doing is setting 1 (in your case 2) specific day/time each week for just the two of us to do something HE wanted to do. I told him to let me know what he wanted to do and, if I could afford it, we would do it. If it was something outside our budget, we would plan that for a future outing and save "pennies" here and there to cover it. It helped for a long time (until he started becoming more of a difficult child: UGH puberty)
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Most boys like to play ball of some sorts. Even tossing the ball back and forth for 1/2 hour or more then maybe followed by a trip for ice cream (even if the trip is indoors to your own freezer). Even a few minutes of ball tossing so build in that on the way to/from your vehicle when you are out and about together it becomes a habit of a short once or twice back and forth toss.

    Just being with him will make a world of difference - watching a show together, riding bike, going on walks.