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Sick of not being listened to, sick of yelling, sick of feeling disrespected...

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

This is a sort of post that I know is not foreign to this board. I know that these are issues that many people deal with but I am just so frustrated and run down that I need to share. Any inspiration or thoughts would help me out right now.

 

My kids (age almost 6 and 3.5) Are just not following my directions at all. The three year old is not quite as bad as the 5 year old. He literally does the exact OPPOSITE of what I tell him. I try not to give direct instructions about what they cannot do unless it is important.

 

It is constant, but I will provide a couple examples...

 

Yesterday as the kids were heading out to play (I was coming right out in 5 minutes with a batch of cookies) I got down to my sons level and very seriously told him that I could see the barn door was hanging off of its hinge and that for his safety I really needed him to stay away from the barn doors. I look out one minute later and he is not only playing there, but he is holding up the barn door that he knocked off.

 

They are watching a movie together and they are not getting along. I hear lots of, "I can't see! Stop touching me! Move your leg!" After a few minutes of constant bickering I firmly tell them that I am going to take the IPAD away if they cannot get along. I even said, I need to not hear any fighting at all. One second later more of the same thing.

 

I tell them to stay out of the junk drawer and they get into it.

 

I tell a kid to take a 5 minute break because they are listening and not only do I get "No, I dont want to!" But I get temper tantrums and the kid throwing things through the room. I don't understand why they (especially the 5 year old) can't accept that he messed up and take a short break. It is seriously like everything has to be difficult.

 

I am worn out.

 

We have some dinners completely as a family, but when my husband has masters classes It is just the three of us. Well, they follow proper table manners when my husband is here but when it is just me for some reason they always erupt into laughing, screaming, talking about poop...we are talking about really rude table manners and it is not safe because they might choke. I think I give too many warnings. I should remove them from the table immediately but I want them to get some food into their bellies so I am more likely to yell at them and give constant VERY firm warnings. Yesterday i forced my 5 year old to leave the table but did they learn today? Nope, of course not. That would be FAR too easy. They got ridiculously crazy and I warned and finally took both plates away and made them get into their pajamas a whole hour early. I read one book and put them to bed. I told them that since they were going to bed this early it would be hard to go to sleep but that I expected quiet. My son started in on farting noises. I looked at him VERY firmly and told him that I had better not hear a single fart sound out of him. Well, I walk out and there go the farts. Of course I start yelling at him because at this point I really don't know what else to know.

 

They don't care about yelling. They don't care that I am angry or feel disrespected. They laugh and giggle right over the top of me. They seriously don't care.

 

Today I felt like turning them each over my knee and giving them a hard spanking. I am SO angry and so frustrated.

 

How on earth am I supposed to be their mom if I am not respected and if my directions are not followed?

 

I am lost and depleted.

post #2 of 37

Take away something they value...such as all screen time or a favorite toy. Don't give so many warnings. At this point it's a game and they want your negative attention. Detach from the situation emotionally as much as possibly, and don't get into a verbal power struggle, just act decisively. Make a plan ahead of time and stick to it. Also, get your partner or a babysitter so you can take a break! 

Second, when they are not being brats, shower them with lots of positive attention and play...sounds like they mostly just want attention even if it's the wrong kind. 

Good luck!

post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangledblue View Post

Take away something they value...such as all screen time or a favorite toy. Don't give so many warnings. At this point it's a game and they want your negative attention. Detach from the situation emotionally as much as possibly, and don't get into a verbal power struggle, just act decisively. Make a plan ahead of time and stick to it. Also, get your partner or a babysitter so you can take a break! 

Second, when they are not being brats, shower them with lots of positive attention and play...sounds like they mostly just want attention even if it's the wrong kind. 

Good luck!

 

At this point I had already taken almost everything away. :(

 

You are right. Not so many warnings.

 

I do take breaks actually.

 

Some of it may be attention getting. I want to defend myself and jump in with, "They get lots of attention!" But it doesn't matter, they still might be asking for it with the behaviour.

 

Thanks so much!

post #4 of 37

My not quite 3.5yo is testing every.single.limit.all.the.time. I feel for you. Nothing works, he just tantrums. I wish he didn't, but he does. He doesn't listen, he's not nice, he's not fun, its just torture day in and day out. Thank goodness I only have one - now I just have to get my tubes tied....

post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

My not quite 3.5yo is testing every.single.limit.all.the.time. I feel for you. Nothing works, he just tantrums. I wish he didn't, but he does. He doesn't listen, he's not nice, he's not fun, its just torture day in and day out. Thank goodness I only have one - now I just have to get my tubes tied....

Yep, we are definitely done at two. I love having two, but it is double the work.

post #6 of 37

Kids do like to be told what to do so they can know if they're doing what mom wants.  Now that doesn't mean they are little angels that sit with their hands folded.

 

I think you're not being firm enough.  I think it's easy to get "firm" and "mean" confused.  I don't think constant yelling and threatening is valuable.  You don't need to get angry to correct their bad behavior.

 

First you have to get over that they will do what they're not supposed to.  There is no "why" to this.  I stopped asking the kids "Why did you do that?"  They don't know, they just did it.

 

Then you need a pattern.  Three warnings or something.  If they won't listen at dinner, put them on the steps.  It will take some time to get them to realize you are serious and they won't starve in the mean time.  

 

Try and make sure you are constantly correcting or nagging them while at the same time being firm about things that are out of bounds.

post #7 of 37

What did you do about those things?

 

Did you bring your son in from the yard when he played with the barn door?

 

Did you take the iPad away?

 

My 6yo can be VERY boundary-testing too.  I find not being emotionally engaged works best.  She gets plenty of attention, but she wants more.  She is a good big sister to my nearly-2yo but she still wishes it was just me and her again.  She wants 100% of my attention.  She can't have it.  She WILL disobey/get into scrapes to get attention.  I just deal as i go.  The overall trend seems to be improving a little as DD2 grows and DD1 realises there are benefits to having a sister.

 

I think for us the main things need to be very consistent consequences and firm boundaries.  The 2yo gets 3 warning, the 6yo gets ONE.  She is big enough to listen.  If she chooses not to then she has to deal.

post #8 of 37

You need follow through and sooner than you are.  I noticed that my younger  children were starting to not listen to me.  I was giving warnings and not following through.  Now I give one warning and follow through immediately.  My son kept putting soothers in his mouth when they were supposed to be for bed.  When I would ask for it back he would run away with it.  Instead of telling him over and over and over I told him what the consequence would be.  I told him I would cut the end off of it if he put one in his mouth or ran away with it.  He ran away so I grabbed it, cut it and told him I would do it again.  He was shocked and didn't do it again.  My 4yo daughter was outside and I told her not to run to the front of the house without an adult there.  I told her we will go inside if she didn't listen.  She did it so we went in and stayed in while the other kids played outside.  She listened after that.  They have to know that mom isn't a pushover.  I can get like that sometimes but I notice the best results when I am consistent, follow through and right away.  

post #9 of 37

Advice from a different angle, not intended to contradict others.

 

Look at what you are asking them to do, and find the places you can back off.  Bickering?  Drives me nuts, too.  Try to ignore it.  This is hard.  If my kids want my help, I'll say I'll only help if they listen to my advice.  If they don't mind it, if they persist I say they are on their own, and I know they can find a way to work it out.  Then I leave.  It's not as perfect as it sounds, but they get the idea.  

 

Remove the worst stuff from the junk drawer and tell them they can play in it as long as everything gets back in there.

 

You get the idea.

 

You cannot reasonably expect to have the energy or sanity to clamp down more firmly if you have overcommitted your personal resources.  You need to pick your battles and forgo the rest.  Again, that sounds more perfect than it ends up being.

 

Also, your presence is desired.  If they don't hear you, don't try to make yourself louder, just leave if it's making you crazy.  At the dinner table, read a book.  Or maybe that's the important part of the day.  If so, make it fast.  Don't call them in until the food is on the table.  When they start being rude, forget the rudeness, just say It sounds like you are done eating.  You may be excused.  Or change the subject.  Repeat your mantra or mental prayer and set a good example as to what good manners look like.

 

It sounds like this is giving them permission to do rude noises, etc.  But no.  They are doing these things because kids get hyper in response to these kinds of situations.  Fart jokes just aren't the thing in our house I think because I'll make farting noise right back.  Granted, the table manners in our house are not Emily Post, but then this is not my personal battle.  Be polite, keep the food in the mouth and out of view and I'm good.   Also, we have a standard dinner table conversation:  what did you do at work today?  Or whatever.  Same question every time, so they are ready for it.  But they sit for 5 or 10 minutes and get going to their playtime.

 

Lastly, find a time when you can set aside chores and be silly with them.  Runaround the yard (literally!) play "Calvin Ball", the game with rules that are invented as you go (like Calvin's ball games with Hobbes).  Lie in the grass and revel in their silliness.  Giggle with them when they fart or burp.

 

I'm not saying that these aren't good fights to fight, what I'm saying is that when you are going nuts trying to keep order, something has got to give.   The solution is not to become more unyielding and brittle.  Strength comes with being yielding at the right times.  Ignore all the pettiness and look at the big picture.  Find your center.  Choose what is most important and pour your resources into that.

post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post

Advice from a different angle, not intended to contradict others.

 

Look at what you are asking them to do, and find the places you can back off.  Bickering?  Drives me nuts, too.  Try to ignore it.  This is hard.  If my kids want my help, I'll say I'll only help if they listen to my advice.  If they don't mind it, if they persist I say they are on their own, and I know they can find a way to work it out.  Then I leave.  It's not as perfect as it sounds, but they get the idea.  

 

Remove the worst stuff from the junk drawer and tell them they can play in it as long as everything gets back in there.

 

You get the idea.

 

You cannot reasonably expect to have the energy or sanity to clamp down more firmly if you have overcommitted your personal resources.  You need to pick your battles and forgo the rest.  Again, that sounds more perfect than it ends up being.

 

Also, your presence is desired.  If they don't hear you, don't try to make yourself louder, just leave if it's making you crazy.  At the dinner table, read a book.  Or maybe that's the important part of the day.  If so, make it fast.  Don't call them in until the food is on the table.  When they start being rude, forget the rudeness, just say It sounds like you are done eating.  You may be excused.  Or change the subject.  Repeat your mantra or mental prayer and set a good example as to what good manners look like.

 

It sounds like this is giving them permission to do rude noises, etc.  But no.  They are doing these things because kids get hyper in response to these kinds of situations.  Fart jokes just aren't the thing in our house I think because I'll make farting noise right back.  Granted, the table manners in our house are not Emily Post, but then this is not my personal battle.  Be polite, keep the food in the mouth and out of view and I'm good.   Also, we have a standard dinner table conversation:  what did you do at work today?  Or whatever.  Same question every time, so they are ready for it.  But they sit for 5 or 10 minutes and get going to their playtime.

 

Lastly, find a time when you can set aside chores and be silly with them.  Runaround the yard (literally!) play "Calvin Ball", the game with rules that are invented as you go (like Calvin's ball games with Hobbes).  Lie in the grass and revel in their silliness.  Giggle with them when they fart or burp.

 

I'm not saying that these aren't good fights to fight, what I'm saying is that when you are going nuts trying to keep order, something has got to give.   The solution is not to become more unyielding and brittle.  Strength comes with being yielding at the right times.  Ignore all the pettiness and look at the big picture.  Find your center.  Choose what is most important and pour your resources into that.


Your advice is more aligned with what I have done in the past that has worked. Thanks so much for the reminders. This is my style. I have just lost my flare in my exhaustion.

post #11 of 37

My post seems like I am a general barking orders to my children. lol.  I am actually pretty laid back and don't give out too many rules.  It is when I feel like I am being disrespected by my children not listening to me.  That is when I have to be more consistent.  I do need to play with them more though.  That is my weakness.  I cuddle, read and tickle them.  I have a hard time actually playing with them.  

post #12 of 37

I think all of these have good advice - and they're not contradictory.  I only have one lil one-year-old, but I have to remind myself to look for "yes" in his day, and to pull back when I'm feeing exasperated.  Usually that means something isn't working on my end (e.g., my expectations aren't totally reasonable, or he needs more attention/playtime from me, etc.).  

 

An example I've shared before is his climbing the stairs - we put up a gate to stop him, but he kept trying to climb it.  So I just tried to pull him off the stairs and enforce a "no stairs" policy - of course, this failed miserably, resulting in lots of tantrums.  I examined my reasons for not letting him climb, and ended up with something lame like, "I don't want to stop what I'm doing to follow him up the stairs."  Now, I get up, take a break, burn a few calories, he works on his gross motor skills - it's win-win.  Similar experiences with things that make a mess, etc.  Maybe move the location, but let him go at it.

 

I think SweetSilver's advice is golden.  Relaxing expectations (for them and for ourselves!), looking for "yes" and making sure we spend active, engaged playtime with our kids is huge, even in my limited experience.  Sometimes the latter isn't super easy for me (like homeschoolingmama admitted) but like anything in parenting, a lil more (positive) effort up front saves you from expending at least as much (negative, frustrated) energy later.  

 

That said, I also agree with the PPs that suggested swift, clear and direct consequences.  I think these approaches go hand in hand - by not struggling over every little thing, you have more energy and focus available to enforce the rules you do set - no muss, no fuss.  You aren't spinning your wheels with warning after warning out of exhaustion (and kids pick up on your desperation like a lion picking out a weak gazelle!), because you are too exhausted to act quickly and confidently.

 

Finally, I really like the idea of age-appropriate consequences (one warning for an older child, more for a younger toddler).  It's developmentally appropriate and fair.  I think when moms have two kids (speaking more of my experience as an older sister here) they are so desperate to make everything "fair" that they level the playing field too much, and fail to respect differences between their children.

 

Good luck, OP!  You got some great advice - hope things improve for you soon. hug.gif

post #13 of 37

And to add: try to play offense as much as possible.  You can't always do this, but some things are so predictable.  Ask any chess or Go player, how miserable it is to be caught in a defensive role, forever playing catch-up.  You have absolutely no control over the game.

 

So, iPad fights?  Before handing it over (or in my case turning on the TV) you go over the rules.  Briefly.  Loudly, like you are talking to an auditorium, not 2 kids.  Or, conversely, sit between them and whisper the rules.  You'd be surprised how much kids listen to a whisper!  They often stop everything to hear you.  Then hand over the iPad when they have engaged you.  Not listening?  Walk away.  "Engaged" doesn't mean they understood you necessarily, or that they will comply and be perfect.  No, they get rewarded simply for giving you their attention.  Then if they break the rules, I will repeat them, but usually I will pause whatever they are watching to back me up.  Often, I will just say "No video *tomorrow* if you can't follow the rules" instead of taking it away right then.  Give them a second chance, but otherwise stick to your guns.  If you can't back it up, you should have done something else or dropped the issue entirely.  Chalk it up to the parental learning curve.  

 

About outside:  they don't get to go outside, even a minute earlier than I'm ready if I can't trust them to be out of my sight.  You might have to pull your oldest aside when his brother is playing by himself to talk to him.  The time to discuss is not necessarily the time to go outside, and 5yo is old enough to start having these conversations apart from the moment.  Then a reminder before you head out.

 

And this:  don't be afraid to change your mind, even if you've been a hard-ass, even if their has been near-tantrums about something.  Have courage and change your mind.  And let them know why, too.  "I didn't realize how important this was too you.  Clearly you really care a lot about it.  I guess it's more important to you, and not that important to me.  Go ahead."  Sort of like the Serenity Prayer, have the wisdom to see where you can do this, and where to stand your ground, and to see the difference between the two.  In my house, this has never resulted in more tantrums, but that's not a promise.  You know your kids.  I know mine.  It could work in my house, not in yours.

 

All this advice together sounds like things are so together at my house and ooooh no they are not.  I still yell way more than I should.  I don't follow my own advice as often as I should.... because it is all so frustrating sometimes and I just forget.  And as soon I think I'm on to something, they change and everything becomes unpredictable again.  Again, its not perfect and neither am I.

post #14 of 37
Pickle18 - I agree with much of your advice. Except for one thing. With 3yos, more than one warning makes consequences seem very arbitrary, because they aren't keeping track of how many times you say, 'stay out of the flour'. If you say it 3 times, they don't understand the 3strikes and you're out concept at all. And they just aren't old enough to realize that every time they do something they get 3chances. However, when you say it once, remind them of the consequence, and then follow through the next time they do start taking you more seriously.
post #15 of 37

Thank you, Super~Single~Mama! smile.gif Just so I'm sure we're on the same page - you're saying that with younger kids it would be appropriate to remind them of the rule when they first do something, and then act to remove them (or whatever) when they repeat it?  That seems fair to me, because just like they wouldn't be able to keep track of three strikes (or differentiate why the response is different on strike 3), it doesn't seem like they would always be able to keep the rules in mind ahead of time before the first offense - it seems like at least one reminder/second chance is in order (especially at that age, when memory is still fairly short, and when their bodies are saying, "go, go, go!").  So that would effectively equate to a single warning/"two strikes you're out" approach, instead of three?

post #16 of 37
Yeah, except that when it's something like an iPad I tell the rules before he gets to play, and then it's one strike (I use it for work, it can't get broken).
post #17 of 37

I just wanted to give you a big cyber-hug! I have a very willful nearly-three year old and lately I have felt so HURT by her rudeness and not listening. I get frustrated and yell and am upset and she just doesn't care! It hurts my feelings when she says "NO!" and hits me and runs in the other room. My husband tells me not to take it so personally, that it's developmental and being willful can be good as she grows up, but she doesn't act like that to him.

 

I do agree with a past poster who said maybe you should let little things go. DD doesn't do fart noises but she makes other gross sounds just to rattle me and I try to ignore her. I get so worked up that I think every thing she does is related to how she's been acting all day and I freak out about things that don't even matter!

 

I also wanted to say thank you for sharring your story because I would see your cute profile pic and name and think, "That Vermont mom, she's prolly so much more natural than I am. I bet it's easy for her to be gentle and creative all the time." It's crazy, but moms do that! We have to remember not to compare our insides with other people's outsides. Mothering is HARD. You're doing ok, be gentle with yourself.

post #18 of 37

I was just about to post about this regarding my 4yr old.  Everything I say is met with "no, i won't".  It is driving me INSANE.
 

post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 

When I ask him to chew with his mouth closed he purposefully chews with his mouth wide open while staring me down.

post #20 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by femalephish View Post

I just wanted to give you a big cyber-hug! I have a very willful nearly-three year old and lately I have felt so HURT by her rudeness and not listening. I get frustrated and yell and am upset and she just doesn't care! It hurts my feelings when she says "NO!" and hits me and runs in the other room. My husband tells me not to take it so personally, that it's developmental and being willful can be good as she grows up, but she doesn't act like that to him.

 

I do agree with a past poster who said maybe you should let little things go. DD doesn't do fart noises but she makes other gross sounds just to rattle me and I try to ignore her. I get so worked up that I think every thing she does is related to how she's been acting all day and I freak out about things that don't even matter!

 

I also wanted to say thank you for sharring your story because I would see your cute profile pic and name and think, "That Vermont mom, she's prolly so much more natural than I am. I bet it's easy for her to be gentle and creative all the time." It's crazy, but moms do that! We have to remember not to compare our insides with other people's outsides. Mothering is HARD. You're doing ok, be gentle with yourself.


Thanks so much. This is very supportive and sweet. Parenting is VERY hard and you are right that we are all doing the best we can.

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