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Grandparenting

6 Year Old Grandson Out of Control

(39 Posts)
pinkym Mon 08-Mar-21 18:04:54

I just don't know how to advise my DS and DIL, their 6 year old son is making life a misery for them and his 8 year old sister. Last week he climbed out of his bedroom window onto the porch roof (quite a jump down, doesn't bear thinking about) they were alerted when he called out to a passer by to knock on the door to get his Mum & Dad. Today, he's come home from school, gone upstairs put a bath bomb down the toilet and poured his Mum's Clarins lotion over his bed sheet. He constantly takes personal possessions like watches and hides them then can't remember what he's done with them. Nothing seems to be off limits to him. No matter what they try, early bed, no treats, no ipad before bed, nothing seems to bother him. He might cry at the time, but within minutes is misbehaving again. We're all at a loss as to how to get through to him. I should add that he generally gets good reports from school on his behaviour and trying hard in lessons.

marymary62 Mon 08-Mar-21 19:30:07

Ouch that’s a hard one. You say he’s good at school and works hard - so it wouldn’t appear to be an innate behavioural problem. It may therefore be a reaction to something, either at home or at school, that he is unable to articulate in any other way. Is he attention seeking? Do you know what the routine is normally when he gets home? Are there any problems that you are aware of within the family ? How is he with you - I know it’s so hard at this time of covid but have you been able to spend time with him? Children respond to rewarding good behaviour rather than punishing bad .... if they get a chance to do so ! Look beyond the immediate and obvious presentation of his behaviour and how to stop it , to what might be triggering it. As a first start they should talk to his teachers. There is also a lot of help online if you look. All the best, it must be very distressing for you.

midgey Mon 08-Mar-21 19:54:53

It might be worth listening to what everyone is saying to him, it can be harsh when you realise how often family are saying negative things to him or comparing him to his sister. Praise for the good things however small is the way to go. Even well done for eating your meal/ sitting down etc. I say this as mum to two good little girls and a son!

Galaxy Mon 08-Mar-21 20:22:11

Have the parents spoken to the school, and asked for support, the fact that he is managing his behaviour at school is not particularly indicative that there isnt an issue that needs looking at. If they are a good school they would be able to offer advice and access to other professionals if necessary.

keepingquiet Mon 08-Mar-21 21:22:07

This must be so exhausting his parents and worrying for you.
If this behaviour is out of character (I get the impression it is a recent thing as he's 8 years old) then I would say there is more going on here.
One of the incidents was straight after he came home from school.
I would try and see if there is a pattern. How is he when he isn't doing these things- is there any contrast in good v bad behaviour?
I would certainly advise contacting school as this could be a bullying issue. School should have some mentoring system in place and would certainly be able to observe and monitor him at break time etc. School reports won't give you much detail about his peer relationships etc.
Although things are very difficult now I'm sure getting help and advice should start now before his behaviour escalates any further,

eazybee Mon 08-Mar-21 22:38:52

Ask the school for support and a clear picture of what he is like there. His behaviour at home is dangerous and destructive, and a professional should be able to give advice on how to cope with it, and unpick the reasons. If he has been attending school regularly during lockdown, perhaps he resents being there when classmates are at home.
Definitely seek advice and listen to it.

Gwenisgreat1 Tue 09-Mar-21 10:52:40

It sounds like he is seeking attention, either that or he has a problem and should be referred to a child psychiatrist. Sorry can't be more help than that.

Treacletoffee Tue 09-Mar-21 10:56:06

Has he ever stayed with you? and if so has he exhibited the same behavioural issues?

jaylucy Tue 09-Mar-21 10:56:49

How do his parents treat his sister ? Is she always held up to him as being the "good" one and gets all the praise when at home?
Perhaps he has got to the point where he feels he doesn't get the same attention so does things so outrageous that they will have to pay attention to him.
I just wonder if you sit him down and have a quiet chat with him, when you can and see if he knows why he behaves this way.
We had something similar with my brother's twins - the boys was constantly breaking toys, throwing things etc and my SiL was constantly asking him why he couldn't behave like his sister!
My DD sat him down one day and had a quiet chat with him while I explained to SiL that why she shouldn't keep praising her daughter to the detriment of her son - sh had no idea she was doing it!
It worked for us!

Sarnia Tue 09-Mar-21 11:00:54

As others have said if there was a behavioural problem it would show itself at school as well as home. You say he has an 8 year old sister. Do they have a good relationship? He may think she is his parent's favourite and that she can do no wrong. In his eyes he may feel she gets more attention than he gets so does things which will bring a reaction and therefore attention. My first point of call would be the GP who could refer him to a pediatrician or child psychologist. Good luck. I hope this can be sorted for all your sakes.

pinkym Tue 09-Mar-21 11:05:34

Thank you all for your input, just to clarify, he's been homes-chooled all through lockdown alongside his older sister. Considering his extreme behaviour in contrast to his sister's, never ever have any of us compared them in terms of behaviour or in any other way, they are just so different. Oscar has been a handful since the moment he could move himself, he would be put down for a nap and would strip the bed and throw the sheets over the safety gate at the door, followed by the mattress, his idea of playing was to pick up a box of toys, tip it upside down on the floor and walk away laughing. Thankfully he's outgrown all of that. He's an extremely active little boy, once he gets up in the morning he's like a coiled spring full of recharged energy and raring to get moving. When he's talking to you he's hopping from foot to foot, if you ask him to fetch something he'll run for it and run back. We can't blame it on diet, he eats extremely healthily - by his own choice. Take him to the supermarket and he's asking Mum to buy peppers, melon, strawberries, salad etc. He has positive relationships with both parents (he idolises his Dad especially) and whilst he torments his sister, there's a lot of love between the two. It's just how do you get through to him in a way that he'll take on board that his behaviour isn't acceptable?

sandelf Tue 09-Mar-21 11:13:09

Only a thought. Is this like anyone else in the families? Could he be so bright he is getting frustrated and bored?

Unigran4 Tue 09-Mar-21 11:13:47

I am only speaking from experience, here, and not suggesting that this is the case concerning your grandson.

When my grandson was 2 he began the "terrible twos" that went on until he was 12! He was finally diagnosed with mild autism. Crowds sent him in to a frenzy, as did last minute changes to plans, or a pair of socks in the wrong drawer. As soon as this was realised, things were changed and he became much calmer.

I hope it works out for him.

Jac53 Tue 09-Mar-21 11:14:07

As a retired teacher and grandparent to a 6yr old boy, my first thought would be for his parents to contact his class teacher and other staff who work with him. School is highly structured and coming home is like lifting the lid off a pressure cooker. Sometimes my grandson comes out of school in a foul mood, won't speak to me and throws himself on the sofa when we get in. He is usually hungry, tired out and just wants to rest quietly. Other children have different coping mechanisms to deal with the pressures of their school day. He might benefit from some time with a pastoral care teacher and might then be able to talk about his need for these extreme behaviours. Good luck x

JdotJ Tue 09-Mar-21 11:14:12

He sounds like he has lots of excess energy that he needs to burn off. Could he start some activity, lockdown permitting, even an obstacle course set up in the garden, bike rides, running the streets, with an adult obviously to wear him out.

Callistemon Tue 09-Mar-21 11:36:35

He seems to have an enormous amount of energy that could need channelling, not easy at the moment with everything n hold.

A sport or gymnastics, judo or something which he will take to. One of my DGC is very much into gymnastics and rarely sits still, she is flipping, cartwheeling, trampolining etc all day long when she's not doing her schoolwork.

Do they have a garden - could you buy him a trampoline, football goalposts and a ball or something he could take to to get rid of excess energy?

I know a couple of men who climbed out of their windows on to a window sill when they were young - they survived and grew up to be quite normal, neither has climbed Everest either!

Tea3 Tue 09-Mar-21 11:39:37

Excellent advice as always from Gransnetters. My two penny worth: as above and keep an eye and ear on the sister, especially when she isn’t aware others are listening. Undermining siblings can be a corrosive drip, drip drip of comments. Apologies to the little lass if she is a model of behaviour.

MissAdventure Tue 09-Mar-21 11:41:38

My older grandson was very much like this.
Even as a tiny baby, people who wanted to hold him soon gave him back, as he was wriggly and fidgety, and full of energy.
He grew out of it, thankfully!

Callistemon Tue 09-Mar-21 11:44:18

My DD was a wriggly fidget
She couldn't go to sleep without doing gymnastics on her bed. As it was directly above the sitting room, we endured bang, crash, wallop every night until she just went to sleep. She was older than 6, too!

grandtanteJE65 Tue 09-Mar-21 12:19:50

My younger sister behaved similarly at about the same age.

Nothing my parents did, made any impression, nor the advice given by what at that time was called a child guidance clinic.

Looking back, I can see two probably causes for her behaviour: one the fact that she was dyslexic and was treated as if she was either stupid or being deliberately obtuse.
Two that our mother made it blatantly clear all through our childhood that she greatly preferred me to my sister.

I am still amazed by the fact that my sister loved me, instead of resenting or hating me.

I am not saying that your daughter or son-in-law are showing favouritism or that the boy is dyslexic. He is obviously doing well at school, and his parents sound to be loving, caring people.

I am using this example from my childhood to point out that there is assuredly a reason that the child cannot express in words for his behaviour. That reason has to be found before the child falls down off a roof or something similar.

Suggest as gently as you can that the family need professional help to find out what is wrong and put it right.

pinkym Tue 09-Mar-21 12:23:32

Again, thanks to everyone who has replied to my update. My DH and I always say he should have been born in the 1950s, he's the sort of boy who will pick up a rubber band off the pavement and put it in his pocket - "I can do something with that", loves nothing more than putting on his wellies and going in the garden, riding his bike in the park with Mum & Dad and sister, poking around in the dirt with a stick. He does have an insatiable curiosity about everything, which is mostly very lovable. I mentioned the advice to talk to the school to DS and he says their advice is never to punish, sit down and talk about it. All that achieves is a smirk and clear evidence he's not listening to a word that's said then as soon as the talk is over it's business as usual. Once lockdown is over they are going to introduce him to a martial art, which as well as burning off energy instils discipline into children. I would so love to know how one of these TV nannies would deal with this behaviour!

icanhandthemback Tue 09-Mar-21 13:08:06

My grandaughter was like this at this age. An angel at school, a nightmare at home. Nobody can work out what is going on and now at 9 years old she is beginning to show elements of the same at school.
I don't know what the answer is and despite intervention by Social Services, Play workers and other professionals, it is still a mystery. Her parents are trying to find hobbies that she can do that allow for impulsivity and thrills to try to channel the behaviour but it is difficult. Punishment just makes her resentful and if anything, is counter productive.

Jillybird Tue 09-Mar-21 13:20:00

It's possible there is something along the lines of ADHD going on, although I would expect school to have noticed that too. If they have, they can refer him to the child psychologist who will do an assessment for you.

It's possible also that he's just fully occupied at school and needs more to keep him thus at home. (You seem to be describing an inventer or a 'mad' scientist in the making!) Are there any particular interests you could encourage, to keep him out of mischief? At his age, dinosaurs are often popular...

Or, and I hesitate to say this, are his parents just not strict enough? It could explain why he's OK at school but not at home - schools have clear boundaries, expectations and sanctions for misbehaviour...

Alexa Tue 09-Mar-21 14:27:09

I suspect he may be extra-intelligent and able child. He sounds a real handful but he should mature quickly.

GoldenAge Tue 09-Mar-21 15:16:26

At 6 he needs a child psychologist. No point in second guessing - there are lots of variables here and only a professional will be able to get to the actual cause. The bad behaviour has become a problem but it's not the root - there will likely be an attachment issue with the primary caregiver but a child psychologist will be able to talk with your gs and press the right buttons to get some answers.