Saturday, October 21, 2006

Little boys are made of puppy dog tails

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?


Maya's Granny said...

I worked as a parenting coach for over 12 years, and without being able to observe and assist, there are two books that I suggest. One is Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott. This is the most excellent parent/child communication book ever and will eliminate the vast majority of problems.
When that doesn't work, and sometimes knowing how to talk to them doesn't, you need Logical Consequences by Rudolf Dreikurs and Loren Grey. Read them, follow them.

Envoy-ette said...

Dan was a handful at 8. I think the experience was so tramatic...I blocked it out! "Mothers & Sons" is a good read. (and I think I had to use a lot of humor on him)