Hey all! Thanks in advance for taking the time to read! So I fully believe in gentle discipline. We have a really lax household for the most part. My older one rarely pushed limits (a little different now-- more on that later), but my 5 yr old is quite the handful. But I've always felt like he'll even out with time, he won't be a little mischievous sprite forever, etc. The issue is that the kids don't listen to me or DH at all. It's like we're jokes to them almost. Again, I think this is normal, especially with strong-willed personalities, and I am reluctant to change our style and become more authoritarian. But some things that have happened recently, and the general dynamic of my family has been bothering me, so here I am asking for advice from similarly minded mamas.
The most recent example was DS2 (the 5 yr old) trying to cross a very busy street twice without looking and without my permission earlier today. We were on our way back from the park and I was lagging behind a little with the baby. I caught up to him in time and yanked him out of the street just as a car was approaching. I reminded him to wait til I gave the all clear and that there are cars, and he starts arguing with me "but I'm allowed to walk" and then starts walking into the street again and I once again have to pull his arm. Then once we start to cross (and are doing so quickly as again, busy street) he stops to pick at some gravel. I say "we have to get out of the street, cars are coming" and he refuses to budge, and once again I have to drag him to safety. I realize this is normal little kid stuff, but it's getting really tiring? How do I get him to listen to me the first time? Or not even the first time hahaha just ANY TIME.
He also provokes his older brother a lot. Again, normal. But if he's doing something that could result in bodily harm (and I'm not talking about normal boy wrestling because I've gotten used to that) I have to physically remove him. He won't listen to me. At the park, also today, he was chasing around his brother with a stick and wouldn't put it down/wouldn't stop til I ran up to him and wrestled the stick away from him. Getting him to put his shoes on is a chore, go to the bathroom before we leave, pick up his toys, not act like a maniac in public (crawling on the floor in stores, running into people, pulling stuff off the shelves, etc), everything is HARD. He acts like a complete angel in school and also with other people (not "safe" people though, like close friends and family he'll act like "himself") so I don't think there's a diagnosis thing going on.
I also think my older son might be acting more because of him, too. It might be his age, but he's definitely in full out "you're not the boss of me" mode. He does a lot of the same things as his younger brother and it's starting to bug me.
Soooo I feel like we've tried a lot-- more outside time, more structured time, less structured time, more chores to make him feel a sense of responsibility, no chores, sticker charts for good behavior, etc etc etc. I guess I'm wondering if anyone has btdt and found away to keep their child safe and also the parents not feeling insane while still being gentle. Or are we just screwed?