I really struggle with where to place the boundaries with my son, and always have done. He's a super bright, confident and very "quick" boy, he's constantly moving and a real leader - a strong personality all round. He's charming, and socially sophisticated so he understands what's what all right.
And. He. Doesn't. Listen.
Since he was about 2 I've felt its been a constant battle to stay at the helm with him - I can't keep up physically with his boundless energy, and he likes to have constant social interaction - getting frustrated if I can't meet those two needs, leading to fights. I struggle to know exactly where to place the boundaries - sometimes too lax and then I regret it, other times (more often) batting down the hatches in the interests of "consistency" and feeling massively inflexible. I feel I'm saying no WAY too much.
I DO know how to talk to my son and get through to him in a non violent, non punitive, collaborative way.... and then 5 minutes later I'll be having the same conversation.
I have used "consequences" but a. sometimes I can't find a logical consequence and b. sometimes they are just punishments by another name and it ends up being a power battle where I'm just trying to control my child by being fierce.
I make my expectations clear, in positive language and in advance. I keep my messages simple. And still, lately, I get a lot of "I don't have to listed to you" attitude, tongue sticking out etc.
I don't always have time/energy for creative, imaginative ways of wheedling my son to behave. sometimes I just want it done (leaving a friend's house, getting ready for bed)...
I'm about to be in sole charge of the kids (also have a 1 year old) due to DH's work, and I'd like to find a way of getting things clear with my son about what is expected from him behaviour wise.