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problems with a 7 year old

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  • #31
    Originally posted by JenJen
    I'm trying to think of what I would have said to him. I think I would look him in the eye and say " you're right. I can't get out of this bed and I can't stop you but it's still wrong for you to do things after I've asked you not to. It's not nice of you take advantage of that and my feelings are hurt right now." I might add "I don't think we should do this any more until you're willing to respect my wishes and that makes me very sad." Depending on what you think, I'd discuss it openly, the three of you when your brother returned or mention it to your brother privately.

    If you're going to address it, remember to speak in "I" statements and address his behaviour not his being.

    He is testing and I don't think he totaling gets the reality of your injury or just what a little... dickens... he's being right now. Sorry you're going through this.
    I have to admit that I didn't handle it very well. At first I just asked him to stop several times and he pretended like he couldn't hear me (my voice is very quiet but he could hear me just fine, I know). Then when I tried to talk louder he tried to drowned me out with humming and singing (while dancing around my bedroom). So yeah he was being a real little bugger.

    When I started getting madder at him (basically I started losing control which wasn't good), that was when he started with the "you can't make me you can't even get out of bed" statements.

    I then told him it he was right I couldn't stop him but it would be nice for him to help me out by listening to me. Then it was mega power struggle and he just kept repeating "you can't make me." I then backed off hoping if I ignored him he would lose interest and start behaving. He didn't do that, of course, until he heard his dad buzz the intercom to be let in. Then he was an angel and said he had a good visit lol.

    I am laughing (somewhat) about it now but it really bothered me at the time. And still does. Both that he would do that and that I didn't know how to handle it. But yeah you are right, I need to remember to speak in "I" statements when dealing with this.

    He's not a terrible kid (and I am appreciative nobody has posted a reply saying that) and I have to admit that when he was dancing and singing while ignoring me, I had to keep myself from laughing even though I was angry with him. I figured laughing would destroy my authority. Ha ha to that! I never had any in the first place...

    Thanks again everybody for all the great advice. I want to respond to more of the posts when I can.
    Last edited by orangejello; 08-07-2008, 05:49 PM.


    • #32
      My son will be 4 in Oct. and he has already started to see what he can get away with. When I tell him no or to stop doing something he will ignore me until I make a move towards him and then he tries to turn it into a game of chase saying, "you can't catch me." I try not to feed into and let him know it is not a game when I ask him not to do something, but that just turns it into a standoff. So, if its just me and him i'll let a few moments go by until he starts to focus on something else and then I do my best to snatch him up. He knows then it's not a game and starts to cry, I just let him know what he did wrong and to turn around and take his spanking(a light quad slap on the booty).

      If someone is with us(family only) I ask them to participate in the punishment and spank him while letting him know what he did wrong and that he needs to listen to his dad. This way he knows that he is accountable regardless of who he is misbehaving in front of and also my family reinforcing what I say so that he understands who's boss.

      I hate it that it's this complicated. When I can't punish him myself and I have to watch it it crushes me, it makes me feel so little. But he has to learn and IMHO this is the best way.
      Say what you mean and mean what you say because those who mind dont matter and those who matter dont mind.

      My Myspace


      • #33
        It's unfair that it's so complicated. When you think of all the 4 yr. olds that get away w/ murder b/c their parents can't be bothered, though, you know it's worth the whole chain of command.
        Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?


        • #34
          Originally posted by watchthisbaby
          I agree with Jen Jen. You may also want to ask him if he has any questions or concerns about your disability. I think sometimes kids around that age do start to come to a realization of their own mortality. Maybe it's kind of scary for him to see you as you are. Please don't take offense to that statement. I only say that because one of my own kids still struggles with that and he acts out negatively at times also. Of course he's a lot older, but my condition is new. You might be able to ask you brother if he can (in a secret squirrel way) talk to your nephew about you and your disability and see how his little wheels are turning these days. Maybe he's just acting out cause he can't fix the situation.
          No offence taken. I understand what you are saying and agree with you. I know its scary for him, and the rest of the little kids, to see me this way. I have never avoided answering any questions they ask me about my disability or about mortality but I don't generally ask them how they might be feeling about it. They have all adjusted well to me being disabled. Betheny is right that there was a time I feared this wouldn't be the case, but gradually they all did learn to accept it and just see me as their aunt again, even if we have to do things differently now. I guess sometimes I am afraid to ask them how they feel because I fear opening up old wounds. It was a rough adjustment for some of the older kids (the oldest was 8 when I was injured).

          I agree that going about it in a round about way is necessary at this age. If I ask him directly what is bothering him or why he is misbehaving, he is likely to get overwhelmed and shut down. I tried that once with my oldest nephew and he pretty much freaked right out at me and told me he hated me for not being able to walk. It was pretty terrible. So I don't want to go there again. I think an indirect conversation with him to find out exactly what he is thinking might be very helpful for him and for me. I might verywell be just that he is just being 7 and it has nothing to do with my disability. But I kind of think that isn't the case.

          After reading the replies in this thread it occurs to me he was just four and a half when I was hurt. It could be very well that as he gets older his feelings and understanding of my disability are changing. And maybe with that comes a need, as others have suggested, to test to see if its really true I can't move. I just don't really know. I wish I could read his mind. It would make this so much simplier to solve...


          • #35
            Originally posted by betheny
            I think it's a power struggle. He knows you are the only adult that can't physically overpower him. How utterly intriguing! So you have to exert your power some other way.
            You know, I guessed it was a power struggle but I never thought of it in terms of me being the only adult incapable of physically overpowering him. And fascinating for him! That really does makes a lot of sense.

            You say he only plays video games at your house? OMG, that's the best bargaining chip EVER.
            It is a great barginning chip sure lol. The problem the other night though was he was showing no interest in the video game at all. And a neighbour had even loaned me some new games for him to play. He was more interested in getting into stuff he is not allowed to do. Threatening to take the game away (which I actually didn't think to do...must remember that for next time!) probably wouldn't have been effective. But that doesn't mean it won't be next time.

            I'd tell my brother but ask him to let you handle it your way, first. I can pretty much guarantee that kid is testing them at home, too. They probably respond like normal ppl, which comes down to "You have to, because I'm bigger."
            See I have never seen him test other adults this way and I assumed he must not. But then I realize that I really only see him at my apartment (my brother's house isn't accessible) and on the rare occasion at my parents' house. So yeah it could be he is testing them at home too. That is a good point. I will have to ask my brother.

            Aunt OJ isn't bigger so she'll have to be smarter.
            lol true. But I have to admit when he said to me "you can't make me"--which nobody has ever said to me before, at least not since I have been injured--it just absolutely stunned me. I was like "wow he's right. And pretty smart to think to use it against me like this."

            This isn't happening b/c you're paralyzed. It's b/c he's 7. They gotta test everything. He's not bad, he's normal.
            Oh yeah I know he's not bad, just being a normal 7 year old little boy. And when he gave me a kiss as he was leaving I almost forgave him. Or actually I think I did. But I got to say it's not so fun being at his mercy like I was the other night.

            The reason I say I'd ask my brother not to interfere, is 1. As parent, he needs to be in the loop but 2. As an AB, he'll be horrified and overreact. He'll project how he thinks he'd feel if he were in your shoes, and it will look like the worst thing imaginable to him. We expect better from our kids, he'll be disappointed that his spawn would take advantage of a paralyzed relative.
            You are right, my brother will be absolutely horrified by his behaviour when I tell him. Especially if I give him the full details of what my nephew said and did. So this is why I didn't tell him right away. I was thinking if I waited a few days it might somehow take the edge off how he will react. That is probably just a pipe dream on my part. He is going to freak out regardless. But I aso needed some time to think about how I could tell him and somehow soften the blow. Because he has really made an effort to keep my nephew involved in my life post-injury, knowing how important it was to me. And whenever we have been in public together, such as at a park, my nephew has always expressed concern for any people with disabilies he sees. My brother is going to be very disappointed to say the least

            After this is resolved, of course, have as many "disability" conversations with the kid as you feel like. I can almost guarantee what's happening here is that you're being treated as an equal. He isn't going to discriminate and treat you special LOL. He'd do the same to anybody.
            lol well that does make me feel better.

            You know its weird trying to sort out how I feel about this. The night it happened I was very hurt about what he did and didn't understand at all how he could think it was okay.

            Then I was a little angry. More at myself for letting him get away with it than at what he did. But then I have to realize there wasn't much I could have done when it was happening, short of having my aide come in and physically intervene. But that would have just caused an escalation. And would have only served to reinforce his notion that I am powerless on my own to stop him.

            Then, especially after I read your story about getting accused of abuse, I started to see some humour in the situation. But only slightly as I admit I am still reeling a bit at what he said.

            But you are right, kids are kids. They are going to test you and take advantage, disability or not.
            Last edited by orangejello; 08-07-2008, 11:46 PM.


            • #36
              kids. at 7, my son was still halfway cooperating. at 15, all i get is "make me," "you don't do anything," blah, blah. been the whole gamut of taking things away, works for a while, then they forget after they get it back and you go thru the whole thing again.

              if it were my brother, i'd talk to him and ask him for suggestions. as a parent, i want to know what my kid is doing so i can address it. also, dealing with it at 7 is much easier than at 15. i would do a few things differently at 7 now i'm dealing with 15 yr old. although, i'm really not sure it would have changed anything.


              • #37
                I have the same problem with my 7 year old nephew. He never listens to me. He says, "You are not my mama, daddy, maw maw or pop, so I dont have to listen to you!" and then he goes and continues to be a lil shit.
                I love him to death and he is so spoiled. I guess him being the first grandchild/my first nephew, we have spoiled him but I think he should still understand that he needs to listen to me.
                When he was younger he would get excited if I would close my hand into a fist(something I had to try very hard to do). He would go run and tell everyone that I did it again and then sow them how. Then he got into the stage where he started being mean. When I would tell him "I love you" I would get the response..........."I dont love you because you cant walk"
                He finally grew out of that stage but he still dosnt think of me as an adult. I hope that he will grow out of that stage soon too.
                I think that they are just at the age where they are little shits. hahaha
                Keep your butt dry!