I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with a surly 8 year old. My dear J has developed an attitude that any teenager would be envious to own. He has decided that "school is boring" and that any question you ask him will often result in an answer of "I don't care"- be it about dinner, doing homework, jumping off a building, whatever, it is all the same to him. He has also decided that he does not need to do his school work.
Our punishments so far have been ineffective in motivating him, and all that I have gained is a bedroom full of Bionicles, Legos, and Yu-Gi-Oh cards. I personally think they clash with my bedroom decor so I am begging you all to help me come up with some solutions. My close friend, a 3rd grade teacher, assures me that this is the age where they start to assert themesleves and try to be more independent, that the surliness is just one response to what they perceive as "unwanted" help from their parents, even though they do need it.
This is good to know, but that does not stop my urge (don't worry, it's just an urge, not an action) to wring his neck every time that phrase "I don't care" comes out of his mouth. What do you suggest?