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what do we do w our 8 yr old?

Our 8 year old boy covers his ears and starts chanting words and laughs when he is getting scolded for doing something wrong. He wont look at you when you ask what he did wrong he will just just laughing, making weird faces, cover his ears and start chanting words quietly that we cant hear. Why does he do this and what can we do about it? When he gets caught doing something wrong or given a punishment he throws temper tantrums and covers his ears and chants. He denies doing things even though he gets caught red handed.
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973741 tn?1342342773
Hello, I hope you come back and tell us how this is going!!  Parenting is hard and we're here to support you and each other.  
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189897 tn?1441126518
Not sure I have seen a parenting book that says to change a child's behavior you should make him look at you while you are scolding him.  Seems like torture to me.  Scolding is punishment on top of punishment.  You know what he did wrong....you don't have to ask him.  You do need to make eye contact when giving directions.  But when he has been caught doing something wrong.  Tell him what he did and put him in a timeout (appropriate for his age).  When the timeout ends, you can talk with him about better choices.   Remember your object is to change his behavior.

What does bother me a bit is it sounds like he has been punished often enough that he is developing defense mechanisms.  It is possible that he cannot help making some of the mistakes he is making....like if he has ADHD.  If so, the normal punishments will not work.

Finally, is he having the same problems in school?  If so, there may be more going on here then just him being a bad boy at home.
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My thoughts on eye contact come from help from our occupational therapist.  :>))  I do try to make eye contact with my kids at those tough moments for a couple of reasons.  Not to shame them but to be on the same wave length.  It's so easy to tune out the conversation otherwise.  I have a sensory kid and tapping him on the shoulder and locking eyes is a communication style that keeps him in touch with what is going on.  Keeps us both accountable that we are connecting.  The other reason for eye contact is that it can convey the situation better. Example, sometimes I have to 'say something' to my kids about behavior or what I want them to do instead of their current choice of action but I'm not mad.  But if they just assume I am, they may drop the wall and resist dialogue that needs to happen between parent and child. I do attest to the idea of prioritizing what is going to get someone in trouble in my house with two sons. I let a lot of things go and have a 'work on list' for general habits I want to change or improve that would just make their lives better.  Dropping clothes on the floor is frustrating for me, for example.  But more than that, as they get older, they have to be able to live in a decent environment so it would be in a good habit for them to put their clothes in the hamper. So, 'training' them to do these life things is part of my job and sometimes it involves undoing bad habits they've fallen under.  But these things don't make me mad, they are just part of my job as parent.  But if my kids were to cover their ears and freak out so that the 'parenting' never happened, no one benefits.  That's just my opinion. But I do make eye contact with my kids in good and bad times to be on the same page with them and have both of us 'present' and engaged. I'm also dealing with teenagers these days and no single digit in age kids so . . .   whew, new challenges with every stage, I will tell you that.  

The question as to whether this happens everywhere or just at home is important.  And if there is an underlying issue that creates a child having regular issues with choices, behavior, reactions, etc. that would be wise to uncover for the good of all.

Thank you for your insight....when talking to him he will always look away and i ask him to look at me so i know he understands what was just said and i also ask him because if we dont ask him he wont respond to us. we are having him go to a counselor because i think it will help for him to have someone he doesnt know and maybe make it easier to talk to. He has been through alot the last 3 years, one of those being the divorce and now a new baby in the family and i really feel that the new baby is part of the issue with his bad behavior because i think he feels like he doesnt get enough attention anymore and he is not the baby anymore. However his bad behaviors should not be his solution and we need to come up with something better.
Oh, absolutely.  Between a divorce which is life changing and a new baby which brings on a lot of mixed emotions for a young kid, that definitely can contribute to behavior.  Does he do alright in school or are his issues primarily at home?  Is he having the issues at his other parent's?  I never think a counselor is a bad idea!  I think I would parent with empathy.  That means understanding more may be going on but still setting appropriate boundaries and limits.  Giving him a little slack when you can and set the boundaries with lots of love that he feels.  We're here to talk about how to do it if you need any help!
973741 tn?1342342773
This probably gives you a moment of infuriation as a parent.  Does it work, does he derail you?  I think I'd calmly say after the fact when he is NOT In trouble that you need to set a rule that he make eye contact and listen when he has warranted scolding.  That you will sit quietly when he does that and as soon as he stops, you begin again.  And if he starts you stop and wait again.  And every minute it takes is one less minute of an activity that he likes.  And then if he gives you eye contact or attention during a scolding moment, praise him!  

Things kids do perpetuate usually because it works.  He gets you off your parenting game with these antics.  I wouldn't raise your voice or anything like that but he needs to now that you are the parent and WILL come out as the one who is doing their JOB in parenting them.  Does that make sense?  

I did have someone tell me this though once when my kids were little. The old pick your battles thing.  Envision three buckets. Bucket A is the non negotiables . . . you absolutely can't do. Things like run out in traffic, take your clothes off in the grocery store, etc.  There should be very few things in bucket A.  Bucket B is for the things that you'd like such as don't yell at your sibling, Pick up your toys.  Things that are important and you'd like to engrain.  there are more things in Bucket B than A.  And bucket C is for the things you can let go.  If it isn't done your way.  Or they are a little loud when excited.  or they are running in the house.  Things that maybe bug you but are not major infractions.  Bucket C should have a few in there and these are the things you pick your battles or distract them to change.  Basically choosing what you'll make a federal case out of and what you won't.  

What grade is your son in?
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