For the last few months we seem to have entered into a challenging phase with Trystan. He seems under the illusion that he’s in charge and has taken to bargaining with us over his every move!
At times we have found it exasperating to say the least, especially when your on your way out the door and he’s making every effort to make you late and wind the others up. The main areas of contention are bedtime, homework and food! I understand that sometimes homework is the last thing you want to do after a long day in school but its a necessary evil. This weekend has been one of those times when try as we might to persuade him to do his homework he has refused point blank.
Friday night he said he would do it on Saturday during the Rugby. Dad of 3 watched two games yesterday as part of the six nations and surprise surprise no homework was done at all. He then tried to shift the goal post and said he would do it today. But it’s now 4.05pm and you guessed it no homework completed, in fact he’s not even looked at it! Dad of 3 even sent him to his room this morning and told him he was to stay there until it was completed but it didn’t have any effect on him. We’ve asked if he needs help but he’s said not and simply said it’s his usual spellings and a few sums! So why hasn’t he done it? We’ve told him that he’s had plenty of time to complete it and that he now has to take responsibility for not having done it and explain himself to his teacher. Believe me when I say we’ve tried everything to get him to do homework over the last few months and okay there have been a few occasions when he has completed it on time, only to forget to hand it in on time! We’ve stopped his after school activities, with held time on the xbox or something else he loves to do but nothing works.
Bedtime is another area we struggle with with Trystan lately. He seems to think he can sleep when he wants and will spend literally hours walking around, coming in and out of our bedroom or reading in his room when he should have been sleeping hours before. I admit its exhausting especially after a full day running around after everyone, daily chores, work and homework/bedtime. We’ve sat him down and asked what’s bothering him but nothing. We’ve explained that mummy and daddy need time to relax and wind down before bedtime and can only do this when he’s asleep but it has no effect. We’ve staggered his and the other two boys bedtimes hoping he’ll realise that he needs to sleep, but all we get is ‘its not fair on him’ his favourite protest! I’ve even gone to bed and left him awake in the hope he follows suit, only to find the following morning he’s up bright and early ( usually with dark circles under his eyes) and discover he was up until his dad came to bed!
The knock on effect of him having late nights can be evident after a couple of days, whining, tired and very touchy. We explain it’s because he hasn’t had enough sleep and he simply tells us he’ll sleep when he’s ready! He seems to find the concept of Mummy and Daddy being in control very difficult to handle. I’ve talked to various friends and family about it and they can’t see what the problem is, he’s good as gold and sleeps without problem when he’s at his grandparents house. While others say well your the parent he has to listen! We’ve tried believe me we have, I for one am constantly reminding him lately that I’m the parent and not him and that sometimes we know what’s best for him even if he feels otherwise. We’ve let him have his tantrums and stuck to our guns when we’ve said he can’t do something but we see little effect. We’ve ignored his tantrums and ‘It’s not fair on me’ wails but nothing.
We have a bedtime routine, dinner, bath/shower, wind down time with a story if they want or quiet reading, bedtime drink and bed. Some nights it can be later than others due to after school activities but on the whole we usually try to have them in bed by 8pm at the latest on week nights. So it’s not a matter of poor bed time routine.
Meal times is another area of trouble, he’s always been such a good eater that was until he did ‘healthy eating’ at school over a year ago. After that we waved goodbye to our son who willingly ate more or less everything and in exchange got someone who suddenly ‘hates Sunday dinner’, hates chicken and what ever else you put in front of him. I refuse to raise to it and cook him something else, I simply don’t have time or the energy to indulge him! We’ve gone down the ‘if you don’t eat your dinner there’s no pudding route’. The no snack route as well but to no avail.
Everything is a struggle and ‘not fair on me’ for my lovely, clever, little boy. My son who we all adore but at present makes things so hard for all around him. I’ve given him the ‘cuddle’ treatment, every time he’s whined and moaned I’ve gone in for a cuddle until he stops and laughs. It works for a short time but then it’s back to square one the next day. I’m truly hoping it’s an age thing and he’ll grow out of it. I’ve been told he’s a ‘typical middle child’ and ‘he’ll grow out of it’ but at this point in time there is no light at the end of the tunnel in this struggle for who’s in charge!