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The Bickering and Crying! OMG!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a 7yo and 3.5yo. I'm a SAHM and we homeschool so we are all together all day, every day. I swear the boys bicker as much as they get along. I can't stand it anymore. I have gotten to the point that I don't care what it's about or how to make it fair or even or whatever. I just take away whatever they are bickering over or I send them both to separate rooms or whatever. I just want it to stop. I'm completely lost with how to teach them to get along and problem solve anymore. I have tried and tried but it never ends.

On top of that, my 3.5yo has been very emotional and clingy/smothering lately. It's driving me crazy. He's not content with sitting next to me. He has to sit on top of me. He's constantly hugging me and kissing me. It's very sweet but I can't do anything else because he's hanging all over me.

post #2 of 14

grouphug.gif big hugs mama!

post #3 of 14
Subbing. I have a 10, 8, 7 and occasionally the 3 year old is involved. The baby is the only one I can count on to avoid it greensad.gif

Otherwise I could have written your exact post.

I have no answers but I'm subbing!!!
post #4 of 14

Not sure how this works with the homeschool/stay at home angle, but, when my kids (4 & 7) start bickering, a little time apart usually does the trick. I'll take one with me to run errands, while dh takes the other. Or, one goes to a friends house for a playdate, grandmas house for a visit, etc.


I'll be checking back for more ideas/techniques, though, because this is a recurring issue for us, too!

post #5 of 14

We homeschool, and I have an 8 year old and a 4 year old...who bicker a lot. It too drives me to distraction some days.


We do exactly what you do, they get sent to separate rooms to cool off, cool down. I do not allow ANY tv, video games, toys..anything apart from books until they have calmed down and are ready to deal. It can take a while, up to an hour for them to get bored enough to  agree to get along.


We do not have problems during work time/school time. I have two desks, and set them up with separate tasks. They are not allowed to distract each other unless it is recess/ break time. They leave each other alone during this time and the problems only come when they are `bored` and not working.


I also have a list of chores for `bored` children to help complete, like sweeping the floor, watering my plants. If they have enough energy to bicker, then they clearly do not mind helping me do something constructive instead.


I have set up a `contract` with them about reasonable behaviour and what they expect and what i expect from them. We have our agreement all set out, so they can understand it and reward charts for good behaviour. I also told them both how much it upset me to see them fight with each other and bicker. I know some people will say this is emotional blackmail, but I think my children needed to know their behaviour towards each other was affecting me and upsetting me as well as each other, and they need to think about other people too. To be honest since I said this, they have tried a lot harder with each other....I know, I know...Im a horrible mother!

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Taking one child out while the other stays home doesn't work when I'm the only adult. We do that on the weekends sometimes if my dh is home. He's gone a lot, though. In just a month, I'll be the only one here at all for a year and I'm having a baby in July/August. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Getting out more in general does help. I think that's why this has been such a problem lately. We've been stuck at home sick for 2 weeks so we haven't made it to Tae Kwon Do or the library or to play with friends. We are just now finally getting out again.

My 7yo does play with his friends without little brother sometimes so that helps. He's at the age now, though, that all of his friends are in school so there's no one to play with in the middle of the day. Even when we had another homeschooling family living 2 doors down with boys my older one's age, they couldn't hang out during the day.

mmmmochi ~ You are not a horrible mom. I think it's important that children know how their actions affect others. One of the problems I've been having lately is that my 7yo goes from 0 to 60 in a split second. Before I even know anything is happening, he's screaming at the top of his lungs. Once he starts doing that, my only focus is getting him to stop because I can't stand that. I can't even begin to find out why he's upset until he calms down. I have explained that to him numerous times.

I don't think my boys are bored when they bicker. It usually happens when one wants to play one way and the other wants to play another way. My 7yo has become very possessive and very bossy. My 3yo wants to do what big brother is doing a lot of the time but he doesn't always understand what or how big brother is doing things. 7yo ds comes up with some pretty elaborate scenarios for imaginative play and gets frustrated when little bro doesn't do it "right". So 7yo ds will want to play by himself but 3yo ds doesn't want to be left out and starts purposely annoying big bro. He won't be enticed into doing anything else, either. He's never been one to go for distractions.

I forgot to explain about the crying. 3yo ds seems to be very moody. He gets mad at me several times a day and stomps off in a huff crying. He won't let me comfort or help him when he's upset like that. Fine. I leave him alone. The problem comes when he decides he wants me again but I have to come to him. He won't come to me. Well, I might be doing something or maybe I just don't feel like going back up and down the stairs again after I've finally just sat down for a minute. Sometimes it's as silly as him being 5 feet away and he'll say he can't walk to me so he'll stand there and cry and have fit for me to come get him. This happens several times a day so that by the end of the day I'm so burned out by it that I don't care anymore. I just leave him to cry. Then I feel guilty for ignoring him when he's so upset. My 7yo even tells me I'm being mean when I do that.
post #7 of 14

I have 13, 12, 8, and 7 and the 2 month old baby.  The two older ones, my daughter and my stepson, fought like crazy from the age of 5 and 6 until they were about 9 and 10.  Seriously, every day and we home schooled for most of it.  I used my step dad's approach.  They would have to sit on opposite ends of the couch until they could agree to stop or if was really bad I'd give them a task that could only be accomplished together (moving the couch across the living room, cleaning the cat box, picking up the dog yard).  The team work approach seem to work the best for those two.  I noticed they were also fiercely loyal to each other.  If one of OS's friends wanted to exclude OD, OS would be all up in his face.  If a kid at the park was mean to OS, OD would on the kid before he could blink. I think it was partly the age, because OD and OS are best friends now just like when they were little.  Of course now their common enemy is DH and I.


My middle two kiddos don't fight as much because they are very different from each other.  My 8 year old is very laid back and my 7 year old is very energetic and intense.  They share a room, but my 8 year old spends quite a bit of time playing alone with his Legos or over at his best friend's house.  My 7 year old is enrolled in pretty much every home school activity we can find.  When they fight, it's a brief border skirmish that is resolved before we get up the stairs.  It's nothing like the epic battle the older two had.  I remember just wanting to run from the house screaming from the sheer amount of noise, yelling and bickering.  Wow, I don't miss those days.  hug2.gif


post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Haha, Ravi. That's how I feel a lot of times. I just want to run away.

My 7yo is the more laid back one. He's more likely to play quietly by himself or with his one best friend, too. My 3yo is very energetic. That's part of the problem. My 7yo feels like he can't get away from little brother. That's partly his choice, though, because he refuses to play in another room by himself. He wants to be in the same room with me most of the time. Obviously, putting the 3yo in another room to play by himself for any length of time isn't going to happen. Even when he asks to watch a movie in his room, he only stays in there for a few minutes. That was before he became so clingy, too. Now he won't go anywhere without me unless he's playing with older ds and his friend(s).

Just talking about it on here helps a lot.
post #9 of 14

OMG mama I so hear you on this.  My scenario is just about identical, I have a laid back 7.5 y/o and a high-strung 3.5 year old.  Somedays, I just cannot deal with the whining the crying the mommy-Avery-looked at me BS.

post #10 of 14

I *so* hear you. I've been seriously thinking about putting my middle two (or possibly just ds2) into public school. I don't think it would be a good fit for either of them. I don't want to do it. But, the bickering and squabbling is driving me around the bend. I can't get anything done, because everything is in crisis mode all the time. (I'm only here while I nurse dd2.) DD1 is also seven. DS2 is older than your little one, but he's emotionally very...immature, I guess - don't have a better word - maybe "delayed"? And, he's also all over me a lot of the time. It drives me nuts.


I hope things settle down a little, OP.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have considered putting 7yo ds in public school. Then I remember what that was like with ds1. It was horrible. That wouldn't solve anything. It would just create a bunch of new issues.
post #12 of 14

Thanks MarineWife, it really was the only thing that made the bickering stop to any extent. Once they realised they were upsetting me with the fighting, they seemed to feel bad about that and made an effort to stop. They really are much better recently. I ask them if fighting makes them happy, does it solve anything? How does it make them feel....I think I got lucky that my two are easily guilt tripped into stopping. Public school is not an option for us either right now, otherwise they would both be there!

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
That doesn't sound like guilt trip stuff to me. I guess it could depend on how you do it. I think it's good that you are prompting your kids to think about how they feel while behaving certain ways and how they think that behavior may make others feel. I've been doing a lot of reading and learning lately about the importance of feeling good vs. being right wrt to arguing. In the big scheme of things, it's much better to feel good and be happy than to win an argument. I think it's sad that it took me 40 years to figure that out. I could have saved a lot of pain and heartache if someone had showed me that a long time ago.
post #14 of 14

hug2.gifMarine wife. It took me years to come to that conclusion. I came from a family where fighting was the norm, where the drama and the desire to `be right` and win an arguement over things which just did  not matter was much more important than being happy, or a household that ran smoothly with thought for others and their needs.


I do not want to raise children who do not stand up for what is right, but the drama of the household and the petty arguments and feuds do  not make a happy time for anyone. There are some things worth fighting for. The spot your brother has on the sofa is not one of them. Nor is your sister`s favorite cup for the sake of it.


I was guilt tripping them, I let them see my tears and my upset....but I simply could see no other way to get them to finally understand that their behaviour was making me sad, was making them sad, was making the house an unpleasant place for everyone. They finally understood. Now dd will not fight ds if he gets a favoured spot to sit before she does, and she went and made her own comfy place, ds respects his sisters belongings...most of the time...They know I will not tolerate bickering now, and if they do fight I do not hesitate to tell them how it makes ME feel and get them to think of how they are making the other people in the house feel by their behaviour. They are old enough to be considerate.


I feel for you, it is not nice to  be stuck in a house with two fighting children, who just cannot get on and to be honest just be quiet and nice for a few moments so the harassed mother can at least collect her thoughts.


Heaven help me, adding a third to this mix. I shudder just thinking about it.


I really wish you peace, MarineWife!

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