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Sick of not being listened to, sick of yelling, sick of feeling disrespected... - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl View Post

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

 

I laughed when I read this, not because I thought it was funny, per se, but because my boyfriend's youngest daughter does this, so I can picture exactly what you're talking about.  We have to be very stern with her, moreso than with the other children, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and I could have written most of your original post about her- I was lurking in this thread to find a solution for myself.

post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by kblackstone444 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl View Post

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

 

I laughed when I read this, not because I thought it was funny, per se, but because my boyfriend's youngest daughter does this, so I can picture exactly what you're talking about.  We have to be very stern with her, moreso than with the other children, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, and I could have written most of your original post about her- I was lurking in this thread to find a solution for myself.

 

My ds also does this.exact.thing. At this age, I think its so so so important to choose your battles. I personally choose safety as number 1, empathy as number 2 (I make sure he knows when he says hurtful things that it hurts peoples feelings, but I have reasons for doing that - other parents may not need to stress it as much), and everything else falls below my radar. Things like this annoy me, but aren't zomg important. So I leave them to chew with their mouth open, and might ask them not to - but I leave it at that. My ds dresses himself, and oh boy does he look interesting sometimes (stripes with plaid, etc), but it doesn't matter because he's happy.

 

I don't know why people call it the terrible 2's, 2 doesn't hold a candle to 3.

post #23 of 37
I agree with letting the little things go. Kids are desperate for autonomy, and they will fight to the death to get it. Giving up on most stuff gives them a sense of autonomy and hopefully makes them want to fight less, and at the same time keeps your strength up for handling the stuff that is really important, and hopefully helps keep you sane. It can be maddening to fight about a lot of things. When I want to push in about something, I try to step back for a minute and ask myself what is the worst that could come of it. If it isn't that bad and isn't a safety issue and doesn't cause my kids to annoy the world, I ask myself if I can let it go. If it is a safety issue or whatever, I try to think if there's a way to modify their behavior so it is safe, or not so annoying, or whatever, so they can get what they want and I can get what I want (usually safety.) This often means moving the behavior from one place to another. "Jump on this, not this." And if I don't have a solution to that, I'll often try to get them involved in the problem solving. "I see you're having fun jumping and I want you to have that fun, but jumping on that isn't safe because of X. Can you think of a way you can have fun and also be safe?" That many words obviously only works with older kids.

Anyway, good luck! It's not easy.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontgirl View Post

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

And it's so hard when it seems the only options are Mean Mommy or Pushover!

post #25 of 37

I just wanted to post with some more ideas. I also think that we have to pick our battles. When it is not so important, instead of stating a command, like "eat with your mouth closed," try saying something like, "it is yucky/not pleasant to see the food in your mouth while you're eating," or, "nobody likes to see the food inside your mouth." Then, it is not a command, they don't feel that drive to do the opposite of what you have said. They may choose to stop, or they may not, but if they don't they are not defying you, so it will not anger you as much, and you will start to change the cycle of defiance.

 

When it is important, state your command, give one reminder, and then if they do not follow instructions, take action. I know it is hard when there is more than one child, but you really have to remove them from the situation. Or, in some cases, have them think through things. For the barn door example, you could try showing it to your DS, asking him what do you think might happen given the door is starting to come off? What would happen if it fell down? Help them do their own critical thinking.

 

We really have to keep in mind that our purpose is to teach them, not to have little robots following our every command. We want them to think critically, we want them to help others, we want to instill values. When they do something you want to see more of, label the value, like, "you did X, that was helpful/kind/generous/caring/etc." Also, focus as much as you can on the positive, things they can do, not what they can't. Rather than "don't kick your sister," you can try "please keep your feet to yourself."

 

One thing that I love from Becky Bailey is the concept of always assume positive intent. Focus on what they are trying to accomplish and then show them or let them know what acceptable alternatives are in order to accomplish that. For example, if they are pushing the younger sibling who is trying to get a toy they are playing with, assume they are just trying to protect the toy, but they don't know how to do that. Give them options, like showing the sibling a different toy, or moving the toy to another location. Obviously, this is hard when they are directly defying your directions, but if you can steer away from commanding them as much as possible, and reserving the commands for only moments when they are truly important, hopefully some of the defiance will subside.

 

And, before you can do any of this, you really need to make sure you are not burnt out, that you have enough time to yourself, and that you are rested. Try to get some moments of relaxation and rest to rejeuvenate!

post #26 of 37
Porcelina's post reminds me of the great book How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, which I will highly recommend. The suggestion that she made and is in the book is to, instead of ordering ("Eat with your mouth closed), to give information, ("It looks icky . . .") That can work a lot better because it doesn't put you and your kid on different teams in the way ordering does. There are other great ideas for how to handle issues with kids in that book too, if you haven't seen it. It's aimed at parents with kids a bit older, but it starts being useful when you can start having two-way conversations.
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Porcelina's post reminds me of the great book How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, which I will highly recommend. The suggestion that she made and is in the book is to, instead of ordering ("Eat with your mouth closed), to give information, ("It looks icky . . .") That can work a lot better because it doesn't put you and your kid on different teams in the way ordering does. There are other great ideas for how to handle issues with kids in that book too, if you haven't seen it. It's aimed at parents with kids a bit older, but it starts being useful when you can start having two-way conversations.

I was going to say the same thing.  I've been re-reading this book lately and now that my boys are 5 and 7 it's really the right time.  Wording your request as an observation gives them the chance to decide for themselves how to solve the problem.  "I can see your food - people don't want to see the food in your mouth."  For pushing, etc.: "Your brother needs some space".  For bickering that you know is heading for distaster: "I can see you guys are getting really frustrated." "Can you two think of a way to solve this?"  Three is a little young for this kind of thing, I guess, but you can direct it at the 5 year old, getting his ideas on how to solve things.

And I want to add that when this approach doesn't work, they keep fighting or whatever, then I ask "can you two solve this, or should I come up with a solution?".  Then I have to follow through on my way, separating them to different rooms, or taking away the toy, etc.

post #28 of 37

Yes! This is one of my favorite books! I'm happy to realize I have been incorporating their advice without consciously doing so!
 

post #29 of 37
I just wanted to add a tip that I have found really useful (when I manage to do it...). Instead of constantly criticizing (don't do this, stop that, etc) it can be very productive to come up with a positive approach. So at the table, you can say something like: "how about we all try really hard to use our best manners tonight! Who can remember what good manners look like? Let's practice to impress dad!" Or, "can you show me how nicely you can share the iPad together? I bet you can sit SO quietly!"

This can be really hard to do when you are tired and fed up and not in the mood to be all cheery and happy. But I do find it works loads better than commands, and it avoids all those battles of will which are awful. Also the more you do it the easier it gets, you find yourself talking like that without thinking.

But I think it is also true that sometimes your kids do just drive you up the wall! Squabbling, not listening etc. - ALL kids do that, it is just par for the course in my opinion, to some extent at least.
post #30 of 37
First of all big hugs. I have had moments, days, phases of my life when I feel the same way you do and it is so disheartening. You have a lot of great posts all with good ideas. These are thoughts that pop into my mind.
First and foremost when I take care of myself I am so much better able to take care of my kids in a playful and productive way. For me that means some sleep, good cardio exercise, and less sugar. I have a 1 year old, 4 year old and an almost 6 year old. I am having a bit of a struggle with potty talk. For a while we would have to pay up a quarter for everytime any of us said a bad word, name called or potty talked...but that was so stressful for our almost 6 year old.
I would say don't sweat the small stuff. I remember giggling and being silly at dinner with my sister. Of course choking is a real threat and being safe at the dinner table is important but if my kids are being silly yet safe I am ok with it. Infact I feel happy that they are getting along and eating at the same time..
If my kids do something I ask them not to outside, they come in. They usually get one warning. I try everyday to yell and keep the mantra: stay calm and carry on.
For me I have realized that I am ok at the end of the day if my kids had momentary freak outs and tantrums what kills me is if I have yelled, been mean, or made a big deal of something small.
I say let him make fart noises, let him be silly at dinner. They fight over iPad, iPad is gone. I strive to keep emotions out but quite frequently I cry in front of them.
My main struggle is not so much that they don't listen..although I have that too...it's the attitude my 5 year old gives me throughout the day mainly when he is tired, hungry or just feels moody.
I may be of little help but I know that making my son sit on a step would make everything worse. We do send the kids to their rooms when they are off the hook and they do stay. They may call us names and scream and cry but they stay.
I say pick one thing that really needs to chance and let the rest slide.
You are doing a great job! Your kids have a full life and this is just a rough patch. 3.5 is a hard age, and I go in and out things with my almost 6 year old high energy boy
post #31 of 37

There are lots of good ideas on here! Thanks for the tips. Vermontgirl: I am sending positive thoughts your way, you are a good momma and your hard work is, and will be appreciated!

 

One thing my brother-in-law does that I like: His kids are 4 and 5, and when they fight he puts them in a time-out together in the same chair. Being forced to sit together for 5 minutes actually helps, he said by the time the 5 minutes are up they are laughing again.

 

Much love to all you hard-working mommas   joy.gif    It is not an easy job!

post #32 of 37
One thing that jumps out at me is the screen time- I have boys and when either of them (or both) have had any screen time, behavioral issues follow. This has not changed even at ages 5 and 8. For the last few years we have become a TV free family, and the boys get virtually no computer time. My oldest is allowed to use the family iPad to check the weather and mountain conditions (he skiis) with my husband daily but that is the extent of his computer use.

I would also recommend increasing their outdoor time- this isn't to say they don't have a lot already, but I was shocked to learn that 3-4 hours daily of outdoor time is not too much for children, and in my opinion, especially boys! Males used to cover an average of 12 miles a day to survive, even at ages as young as 5, so when my boys act out I ask myself if anything unusual has kept into their diet recently (gluten, dairy, and anything artificial causes my boys to act out), have they had any screen time, and/or have they had a chance to cover their 12 miles??

I find that no screen time, chemical free eating, and hours of outdoor time make for a very peaceful family in our house. The reverse is absolutely 100 percent true in our case- screen time, little outdoor time, and processed foods lead to a very negative environment and it just is not worth it!
post #33 of 37

Wow.  This is my daughter.  She's 6.  Yesterday was like a festival of not listening and it made me insane.  All day. Didn't matter what I said, if she asked, or how I answered, she just did exactly what she wanted and to hell with everything else.  

 

I do think there is something about this age, and seeking independence, especially at home.  When we are out it is much less apparent, and she carefully picks what she is going to ignore. LOL

 

This is a great thread with a lot of great tips!  Going to reread now and I think, order a book to read. winky.gif

post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Youngfrankenstein View Post

 There is no "why" to this.  I stopped asking the kids "Why did you do that?"  They don't know, they just did it.

 

 

I read this and about cried.  My son is at the point (he is 3...4 in Oct)  where if you ask him why he did something that is his response "I just did".  I used to think that he said that just to get a rise out of me and be obstinate.  But now I see that to him, that is the correct answer and he doesn't understand why I get upset when he gives it.  He has a younger bro who will be 2 in Dec and they fight constantly.  And they are both going thru the stage now where nothing I say seems to get through their heads.  They are very headstrong.  But all of the ideas in this forum have been very good.  I will definitely need to implement a few!!  I, too, yell too much and  warn waaay too much without following through.  Thanks for all the tips guys...hopefully we will all (those who haven't already anyways) get through this phase without pulling all of our hair out!

post #35 of 37

Because I have been blessed with online support by many folks who could empathize but not directly identify with my plight, I comment here to offer you many hugs and good thoughts.  My little girl is just 12 weeks and our struggles are very different.  But, we both have struggles and adore our children.  So I applaud your efforts to do what is best for you all. Hang in there, mama!

post #36 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by erinsuzy View Post

There are lots of good ideas on here! Thanks for the tips. Vermontgirl: I am sending positive thoughts your way, you are a good momma and your hard work is, and will be appreciated!

 

One thing my brother-in-law does that I like: His kids are 4 and 5, and when they fight he puts them in a time-out together in the same chair. Being forced to sit together for 5 minutes actually helps, he said by the time the 5 minutes are up they are laughing again.

 

Much love to all you hard-working mommas   joy.gif    It is not an easy job!

 

When mine fight (11&7) I make them hold hands.  THEY HATE IT, but they stop fighting and they end up banding together a little bit.                                                                 

post #37 of 37

Thank you for posting, Vermontgirl!! Seriously, you are not alone. My almost-7 year old and 4 year old have been in rare form these last few days (or weeks or months or or or...), and it's been particularly hard to handle lately while I'm caring for a new baby. I love all of these tips, and I'm already feeling a little better about things just by reading! Thank you all!

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