I can't take my boys' behavior anymore! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is how this morning has gone.

DS3, 4yo, got up first with me. Everything was fine. We came downstairs and had breakfast. DS2, 7yo, and DS4, 6 weeks, got up a little later. they came downstairs so we were all together. things were fine for maybe a half hour. then ds2 saw that ds3 had ds2's, broken fishing pole that he hasn't paid attention to since he was probably 4, himself, and demanded that ds3 give it to him. not once did he ask nicely for it. just demanded and then starting yelling at and threatening ds3 when it wasn't handed over. this really irked me, not only b/c it's just unpleasant behavior, but also b/c i know the only reason ds2 wanted the thing was b/c ds2 had it. he just didn't want his little bro to have it. after trying to talk to ds2 about asking nicely for things (ds3 almost always gives things to whomever asks nicely) and sharing (ds2 used to share almost everything when he was younger without any suggestion from me) i finally got fed up and told him that if he was going to act that way i would decide it wasn't his anymore and that it would be ds3's. so that was sort of settled although no one was happy.

a few minutes later, ds2 is trying to play Jenga with ds3. I don't know exactly what happened but there's ds2 yelling at ds3 again. DS2 had decided he wasn't going to play anymore and was putting the pieces away while ds3 was still trying to play with them. DS2 said something about ds3 crying if he didn't win so ds2 didn't want to play with him anymore. Fine, then don't play, but don't immediately start yelling and taking the toy away. I have to intervene and referee this now, too.

Then, again just a few minutes later, they are playing on the couch and next thing I know ds3 is whining b/c ds2 won't let him see something. DS2 was purposely hiding it from ds3 and then getting mad when ds3 would lean over his shoulder to try to see. It wasn't anything important or anything that ds2 was particularly interested in. Again, he just wanted to keep his little bro from seeing it, too. Then ds3 is kicking ds2 in the face with hard sneakers on. I tell him to stop kicking and he goes to punching so I have to separate them.

This sort of thing goes on all day and I can't stand it. DS2 acts downright, purposefully mean and then ds3 retaliates. Not only does it hurt me to see ds3 hurt but I don't understand why ds2 is acting this way. He used to be so tender and sweet and giving. And, I don't like spending my time constantly telling them to stop fighting, fussing, yelling whatever.

I know ds3 can be bothersome. He's very high energy and gets out of control, doesn't realize what he's doing sometimes and won't stop when he's asked. And before anyone suggests that it's a reaction to the new baby, it started long before new baby was born. I just can't stand it anymore because it's been going on so long and I have to do so much for the new baby now that I can't play referee as much. I feel like I've lost all control. I'm at my wit's end and all I can do is send them to their rooms, which isn't making any difference b/c they go right back to it as soon as they are together again.

I'm so frustrated and angry and don't know what to do.

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#2 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Sounds to me like ds2 needs to spend some time in his room thinking things over. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Or do like my old fashioned mom did and give the kid a list of chores a mile long... because if he's able to make trouble, he must need something to do.

And do cuddle the victim when the need arises.
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#3 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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That sounds so familiar, with the older sibling suddenly deciding that he was "just about to" play with a toy that he hasn't touched in years, right when his little sibling picks it up. That drives me crazy. 

 

Does your DS2 go to school? My DS is starting school tomorrow, and I'm glad because I think my kids just really need a break from each other, and that if they have a little time to miss each other they might get along better when they are together. At least that's my hope -- we'll see how it pans out! 


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#4 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post

Sounds to me like ds2 needs to spend some time in his room thinking things over. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Or do like my old fashioned mom did and give the kid a list of chores a mile long... because if he's able to make trouble, he must need something to do.

And do cuddle the victim when the need arises.

I do cuddle ds3 but he sometimes is just as much to blame because he purposely bugs his big bro, too. It's a two way street.

Punishments don't really work to stop the behavior or teach the child how to behave instead. I can see from the last few weeks of sending ds2 to his room many, many times that it's having the opposite effect. He's becoming more angry, which then makes him act out negatively even more. I need something other than punishment. It just doesn't work.
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That sounds so familiar, with the older sibling suddenly deciding that he was "just about to" play with a toy that he hasn't touched in years, right when his little sibling picks it up. That drives me crazy. 

 

Does your DS2 go to school? My DS is starting school tomorrow, and I'm glad because I think my kids just really need a break from each other, and that if they have a little time to miss each other they might get along better when they are together. At least that's my hope -- we'll see how it pans out! 


No, my kids don't go to school. That is not an option for us. I will not send my kids to school b/c I believe school is harmful. I think my ds is behaving this way because he's learned this behavior from his schooled friends. It started about a year after all of his neighborhood friends started going to school. I saw the change in their behavior and soon after the change in my child's behavior. I watch the way they talk to each other and treat each other when they are playing and I don't like it. One thing I have done is become more active in a local homeschool group so he will, hopefully, make some new friends. I'm not trying to offend anyone and I don't want to get into a debate about that. That's just how things are with us. smile.gif

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#5 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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Why is the 7 year old antagonizing the 4 year old? I would talk to him about the whys. Is it just to be a pain or is he feeling he has no privacy etc? If it's just to be a pain, there has to be immediate consequences. Loss of the toy, apologizing, showing he can play nice together for 10 minutes, chores. If there is a need not being addressed, then you can go from there.

 

The 7 year old is old enough to have a discussion about his behaviour. With dad if possible.


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#6 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

Punishments don't really work to stop the behavior or teach the child how to behave instead. I can see from the last few weeks of sending ds2 to his room many, many times that it's having the opposite effect. He's becoming more angry, which then makes him act out negatively even more. I need something other than punishment. It just doesn't work.



No, my kids don't go to school. That is not an option for us. I will not send my kids to school b/c I believe school is harmful. I think my ds is behaving this way because he's learned this behavior from his schooled friends.

 
I never saw spending a little time in a room decorated to the taste of a child that was full of toys and books esp chosen for a child as a punishment. It's not a dungeon. shrug.gif At our house, it was just a "if you can't behave in a social manner, then spend some time on your own" thing. It wasn't a punishment, simply the obvious reality that we aren't all up for being around people, esp. our younger siblings, every single minute of the day.

 

I've seen this behavior in lots of kids who've never been to school, including those who are too young to attend school. Blaming it on other people isn't helpful to your son. Your son is behaving this way because either he IS getting something back out of it OR he believes he will get something back out of it. He is responsible for his behavior, not some other child.

 

I wouldn't have taken the ownership of the fishing rod away from the oldest child and and given it to youngest. We de-emphasized ownership when they kids were young. Most toys were just "family toys."  A few things were special, but for the most part, it was just our families stuff and they had to take turns. I think an over-emphasis on ownership is difficult for children. It's confusing to them. It makes them think they don't have to be nice because it's MINE. Of course he was angry the rest of his day, you punished my by taking away one of his possessions.


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#7 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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I've seen this behavior in lots of kids who've never been to school, including those who are too young to attend school. Blaming it on other people isn't helpful to your son. Your son is behaving this way because either he IS getting something back out of it OR he believes he will get something back out of it. He is responsible for his behavior, not some other child.

I noticed that, too. Blaming schoolchildren for your son's behavior? Aren't you trying teach personal responsibility? "No matter what other families do... this is the way we do it"... should be enough for your kid.
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#8 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I never saw spending a little time in a room decorated to the taste of a child that was full of toys and books esp chosen for a child as a punishment. It's not a dungeon. shrug.gifAt our house, it was just a "if you can't behave in a social manner, then spend some time on your own" thing. It wasn't a punishment, simply the obvious reality that we aren't all up for being around people, esp. our younger siblings, every single minute of the day.

 

I've seen this behavior in lots of kids who've never been to school, including those who are too young to attend school. Blaming it on other people isn't helpful to your son. Your son is behaving this way because either he IS getting something back out of it OR he believes he will get something back out of it. He is responsible for his behavior, not some other child.

 

I wouldn't have taken the ownership of the fishing rod away from the oldest child and and given it to youngest. We de-emphasized ownership when they kids were young. Most toys were just "family toys."  A few things were special, but for the most part, it was just our families stuff and they had to take turns. I think an over-emphasis on ownership is difficult for children. It's confusing to them. It makes them think they don't have to be nice because it's MINE. Of course he was angry the rest of his day, you punished my by taking away one of his possessions.


I agree that spending alone time in your room is not necessarily a punishment but it seemed to me to be presented as use as a punishment in the post I was responding to.

The reason I say that I think he has learned this from his schooled friends is because I saw the behavior of his friends change after starting school. It was at that time that they became bossy and started teasing. My son was not like this before and neither were his friends. I have not noticed this behavior so much in the homeschooled children that I have known. That was just my experience.

I'm not blaming his behavior on others. I do express to him that our behavior is our responsibility no matter what someone else does. I do think it would be good for him to be around other kids who do not act that way toward their "friends" or their family.

He, actually, wasn't angry the rest of the day after I said that the toy wasn't his anymore. He gets angry when I send him to his room. I tell him he can rejoin us when he can behave appropriately. He behaves for a while but, eventually, the bickering and nastiness comes up again and again and again and we get in this cycle. He's not learning anything long term by being sent to his room for alone time or to cool down.

Yes, me taking away his possession was a punishment. I have been reduced to that because nothing else seems to stop the behavior at all and I need it to stop. It's not the answer, though, so I'm looking for other solutions. Obviously, what I have been doing isn't working.

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#9 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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"It sounds like everyone needs to spend some time by themselves." if you don't know who started it, or if they're both to blame. They take it better if the other one has to go to their space, too. And frankly, on days like that *I* need the peace and quiet, too!

 

I sometimes tell one kid it's time for a shower before it gets to the point that the other child is responding to their teasing. It's an alternative to getting on their case, if I feel like I've been refereeing all day. The other kid gets their shower second, and by that time they've had 30 min+ apart and have hopefully relaxed a bit.

 

Sometimes I take it as a sign to do something more structured with them for a while, like a board game.

 

With DS, I think sometimes it's a control thing... he figures he should be able to dictate how she plays with something, that she not play in a certain room, etc. So I try to find something for him to do that he can be in charge of... not right in the moment, but when it starts to be a trend it means he hasn't been given enough choices lately.

 

If he gets annoyed with her for something like singing or playing music, he often accuses her of doing it just to bug him... that's not often the case, she is just a very musical person and basically narrates her life to song. Yeah, it gets annoying sometimes but she's not directing it AT him, and he can leave the room if he doesn't like it (unless they're watching a movie or something like that, then I ask her to stop singing or be elsewhere)

 

I point out that by giving a big reaction to the antagonizer, they are showing them that it works. If one of them is nagging the other to finish up with a toy so they can have their turn, I tell them that the other kid would have put it down by now if you didn't keep reminding them you want the toy, too. I remind them of the last time, when they did the exact same thing to their sibling and if they have a problem with it now maybe they need to change how they behave in the first place (they're 7 and 9 though... this might be a little over a 4 year olds ability)

 

 


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#10 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 06:55 PM
 
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I have an almost-4 and almost-7 and the dynamic sound identical to what you describe OP.

 

Like the pp, I too use the "it looks like everyone could use a little space" line.

 

I also sometimes step in and get everyone involved in a structured activity (boardgame, etc).  Sometimes I get them involved with chores (washing dishes is a fave - and there are always at least a few dishes needing doing at our place).  This is not a punishment - they actually enjoy it - and for some reason seems to work to get them working together as a team.

 

In general I need to make sure that they each get a lot of time separate from one another.  Dd (turning 7 in a wk) has reached the point that she will often choose to take time apart.  We've worked on "taking space" not as a punishment (time-out), but as a way of cooling down... or getting away from someone who's behaviour you're finding annoying!  (works for me too, lol!!).  If I notice ds (almost 4) unwittingly pushing dd's buttons I'll often suggest an activity for me and him to do that I know he'd like but she wouldn't be interested in.

 

Distraction still works at older ages!  And in calm moments we take time to talk about taking space, responding politely to people, being kind, etc, etc.

 

Don't forget too that hungry, tired, and bored kiddos act out a lot more.  The days that I stay on top of those things always tend to go smoother.


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#11 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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I also sometimes step in and get everyone involved in a structured activity (boardgame, etc).  Sometimes I get them involved with chores (washing dishes is a fave - and there are always at least a few dishes needing doing at our place).


I agree with this. And if the problem is related to the style of homeschooling you are currently doing, then it's really a question for the homeschooling board.

 

He needs something to do other than torment his little brother. He can't figure that out on his own.

 


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#12 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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No, my kids don't go to school. That is not an option for us. I will not send my kids to school b/c I believe school is harmful. I think my ds is behaving this way because he's learned this behavior from his schooled friends. It started about a year after all of his neighborhood friends started going to school. I saw the change in their behavior and soon after the change in my child's behavior. I watch the way they talk to each other and treat each other when they are playing and I don't like it. One thing I have done is become more active in a local homeschool group so he will, hopefully, make some new friends. I'm not trying to offend anyone and I don't want to get into a debate about that. That's just how things are with us. smile.gif


It's not "school kid" behavior - it's "school age kid" behavior.  I have 3 boys (ages 4, 6, and 8) as well as a 10 yr old girl, and they fight similarly to yours - they are pretty competitive with one another, which feeds that sibling rivalry.  They can also be the best of friends and play for hours.  Your 7 and 4 yr old are just in that age dynamic right now.  I promise that your new homeschool friends will also have sibling groups that behave similarly with one another.  It's not isolated to school-attended children.  If anything, kids at school don't behave that way at least for the majority of the time they are at school b/c it doesn't fly there like it does at home.  School is typically structured as such that there is a lot of supervision and also a bit of positive peer pressure where that type of bullying/arguing/fighting doesn't happen as often as it does in a home setting where there is a lot of free time and many more hours in the day to argue/taunt one another. And, yes - they need plenty of breaks from one another, and individual attention so that they aren't as likely to pick at each other (or the older one messing with the younger one) as frequently.  Not saying they aren't socialized enough, so don't take this the wrong way,  but if they are each other's main playmate 90% of the time, they are bound to fight - with the older child usually being the main instigator. 

 


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#13 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 09:38 PM
 
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You've got a new baby. That means your children are all getting less attention from you work through life with another family member. It sounds like they're doing everything they can to get your attention, especially your 7 year old.

 

Is there any way you could give him some 1-1 time?

 

It does sound like the 7 year old needs some 'space' of his own. Right now he's the oldest at home, right? What kind of activities does he do? What does he have to do that's his and helps make him unique? 

 

Can you add more structure to the day so they're not at loose ends so much? It might not be the homeschooling style you want, but it might be the homeschool style he needs.

 

Can you get him some 'male bonding' time with a trusted male friend or his older brother? 7-8 is about the age when many kids (boys and girls) are trying to identify with their same gender peers/parent. Since his dad is gone, he needs some extra help there. It would also be another way to get him some positive attention so he won't be so desperate for attention that he's doing things for negative attention.

 

One of the most helpful books on sibling rivalry that I've read is "Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!" by Anthony Wolfe. I think your middle child is old enough for some of those ideas to work (some of which are ignoring the little stuff, intervening for violence (I would say verbal or physical, he says physical), and sending them both to cool off when they start to bicker.

 

Much of these behaviors are typical for children of their age. Arguing about whether it comes from being schooled or homeschooled is counter-productive. If YOU can fit any reading in, have you read the series by Louise Bates Ames, Your One Year Old, Your Two Year Old, Your Three Year Old, etc. ..... there's one for 4 and 7 year olds too. These books are old and somewhat sexist, IMO, but if you can get past that, it might help you understand their behavior patterns.


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#14 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 01:27 AM
 
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My kids, nearly 7 and 5, get along like saints, about 95% of the time. Seriously. They play together well, "egg each other on" in a very nice way, can usually resolve conflicts themselves... Other parents comment on it and ask what my magic trick is. (Nothing, luck of the draw and personality).

 

HOWEVER, if they are home together 24/7 more than say 2 weeks (for example summer holidays), then the fighting levels start rising up and up. They need a break from each other. My 7 yo has a right to socialize with other 6-7-8 yo's, instead of having to always dumb-down to 5 yo level. And my nearly 5 yo also needs some times with her friends. Because her interests are different than his. So I resolve this by giving them their own time; either by DH taking one and I taking the other for a half day, or by inviting their "age and interest appropriate" friends over, so they can do their own thing. After that, when DS and DD get back together, they are refreshed and much better with each other again. 

 

My advice -  Give your 7 yo a day a week, or more if you can, when he really has time with age and interest appropriate friends. Same age or slightly older would be best, as he is the oldest at home. I'd also give your 4yo access to some other 3-4-5 yo's sometimes as well. And no, you may not like every single thing that the other kids do. But if they are happy, healthy, reasonable kids, then the benefits to your children will far outweigh the occasional bad word or school-aged tricks or whatever that these kids introduce to your kids.

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#15 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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 I think my ds is behaving this way because he's learned this behavior from his schooled friends. 

 

The only person responsible for your son's behavioral difficulties is him. The only people responsible for helping him work through it are you and your son.

 

Passing the blame is the easy way out-the "I've tried nothing and I'm all out of ideas so I will blame someone else" philosophy.  We all do it because looking at how we parent and where we can improve can be painful.

 

 

Quote:
i finally got fed up and told him that if he was going to act that way i would decide it wasn't his anymore and that it would be ds3's. so that was sort of settled although no one was happy.

 

 

Why not ask them what they think they should do in these kinds of situations. I think your kids are playing you off against each other and you might want to consider fighting over a toy to be both of their "faults" and engage them in finding acceptable solutions. Swooping in and coming down on the side of one kid or the other might be causing resentment.

 

They are also siblings and lots of siblings fight-especially if they are together 24/7 with no break.

 

 

Quote:

My advice -  Give your 7 yo a day a week, or more if you can, when he really has time with age and interest appropriate friends. Same age or slightly older would be best, as he is the oldest at home. I'd also give your 4yo access to some other 3-4-5 yo's sometimes as well. And no, you may not like every single thing that the other kids do. But if they are happy, healthy, reasonable kids, then the benefits to your children will far outweigh the occasional bad word or school-aged tricks or whatever that these kids introduce to your kids. 

 

This is wonderful advice. Going through life convinced that other kids are going to somehow impart difficult behavior that is already present doesn't make much sense.

 

 

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#16 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the positive suggestions. my 7yo does get a lot of time to play with other kids his age. sometimes my 4yo plays with and sometimes not. i've been trying hard to balance my 4yo getting to play and my 7yo getting time alone with his friends.

finding friends for my 4yo is harder. there aren't any kids his age close by in our neighborhood. taking him to playgroups and story times and such for his age can be a pain b/c my 7yo complains about having to do baby stuff. he has to come, though, b/c there's no one to stay with him while i go.

i have been trying to do more structured things with them, like games and reading more often during the day. my 7yo pulled out a test booklet himself the other day and announced that i needed to give him a test. lol.gif

it's hard for me to find a balance of attention and fairness. i feel like my 4yo, who is now sort of like the middle child, gets the short end of the stick a lot of the time. but i also feel like my 7yo is held back a lot b/c of the younger kids. and now with the baby i can't jump up in the moment to deal with things quickly.

i do have serious issues with the behavior of the other kids in our neighborhood. i don't think they are bad kids. they aren't stealing or vandalizing or anything like that. but they do lie and encourage hitting and fighting. idk, maybe that's normal for the age and i'm intolerant but i can't stand it. my 7yo does get very upset with me b/c i sometimes won't allow him to do whatever the other kids are doing, like when there are 7 or 8 of them on the neighbor's trampoline playing WWE wrestling with no supervision. or yesterday when i found them with vaious clubs in their hands getting ready to hunt down some guy that one girl said had stole something (and, no, it wasn't for pretend).

How do you all handle situations like that?

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#17 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 09:49 AM
 
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No, my kids don't go to school. That is not an option for us. I will not send my kids to school b/c I believe school is harmful. I think my ds is behaving this way because he's learned this behavior from his schooled friends. It started about a year after all of his neighborhood friends started going to school. I saw the change in their behavior and soon after the change in my child's behavior. I watch the way they talk to each other and treat each other when they are playing and I don't like it. One thing I have done is become more active in a local homeschool group so he will, hopefully, make some new friends. I'm not trying to offend anyone and I don't want to get into a debate about that. That's just how things are with us. smile.gif


That's totally your call -- I just notice with my kids that they do better together when they spend time doing their own thing too. It doesn't have to be school, but maybe they just need some time apart so that they can appreciate their time together more.

 

I've never encountered little kids walking around with clubs looking to harm someone, so I definitely don't think that's just typical school-kid behavior. I'd be having a very alarmed talk with their parents if I saw that in my neighborhood. But if they're the same parents letting them play WWE unsupervised on the trampoline I guess you might not have much luck -- that's a tough situation!


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#18 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 09:58 AM
 
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I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said, but I definitely second or third or whatever the recommendation that they need something to do.  And just because they're brothers doesn't mean they'll always be best friends.  7 and 4 can be difficult ages and knowing what to expect (and what not to expect) may help with your frustration.

 

 

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#19 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

You've got a new baby. That means your children are all getting less attention from you work through life with another family member. It sounds like they're doing everything they can to get your attention, especially your 7 year old.

 

Is there any way you could give him some 1-1 time?

 

It does sound like the 7 year old needs some 'space' of his own. Right now he's the oldest at home, right? What kind of activities does he do? What does he have to do that's his and helps make him unique? 

 

Can you add more structure to the day so they're not at loose ends so much? It might not be the homeschooling style you want, but it might be the homeschool style he needs.

 

Can you get him some 'male bonding' time with a trusted male friend or his older brother? 7-8 is about the age when many kids (boys and girls) are trying to identify with their same gender peers/parent. Since his dad is gone, he needs some extra help there. It would also be another way to get him some positive attention so he won't be so desperate for attention that he's doing things for negative attention.

 

One of the most helpful books on sibling rivalry that I've read is "Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!" by Anthony Wolfe. I think your middle child is old enough for some of those ideas to work (some of which are ignoring the little stuff, intervening for violence (I would say verbal or physical, he says physical), and sending them both to cool off when they start to bicker.

 

Much of these behaviors are typical for children of their age. Arguing about whether it comes from being schooled or homeschooled is counter-productive. If YOU can fit any reading in, have you read the series by Louise Bates Ames, Your One Year Old, Your Two Year Old, Your Three Year Old, etc. ..... there's one for 4 and 7 year olds too. These books are old and somewhat sexist, IMO, but if you can get past that, it might help you understand their behavior patterns.



yeahthat.gif It really sounds like they need some one on one time with mommy and away from each other.

 


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#20 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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How do you encourage them to work it out with one another?  Do you point out the negative behaviors and offer positive alternatives? 

 

My kids are a little younger, but when they bicker like you describe I find they are trying to draw me into their battles.  I have found that if I encourage them to work it out with one another, encourage peaceful speaking, and try my best to keep my nose out of it they do well.  If they are not able to resolve conflict, the item or situation is removed for the time being.  If they can agree on a peaceful resolution then it comes back.  So for the fishing rod, I'd have had the two discuss what was fair, and if they couldn't come up with it and kept fighting, I'd tell them that I will keep the fishing rod until they can agree on something. 

 

It's not perfect, and sometimes seems like too many "I'll take that away" threats, but it does make sense and work.  They both work harder at finding a peaceful resolution when they know it means they can keep playing with whatever.  They tend to try to draw me in if they think one or the other will "win" and they want to see what will happen and who will "win".

 

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#21 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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I haven't read all the replies but IMO, your 7 y/o sounds bored. When my 7's and 8 y/o start teasing, bickering, fighting and picking at the younger kids and each other I've learned (after a LONG haul) that the key is age appropriate structure. 7 is a funny age, they're not really little kids anymore, but they're not quite big kids either. With mine, privacy, personal space, and alone time is quite important, they will spend time in their rooms reading, building, drawing, or listening to music. They'll also spend time running around outdoors (we have no neighborhood kids around though) swimming together, biking, and so on. It's the in between times that really stink though, like around suppertime, they're done playing, they're kind of hungry, the daycare kids are ready to go home, I'm frazzled, and they just get at each other, teasing, fighting, screaming, until I'm ready to throw them all outside. ( and this is where TV becomes my saviour : )

 

Does your 7 y/o have a homeschool schedule? And a place he can go learn on his own without the 4 y/o anywhere near?

Could you dictate some of the interactions between them - ie, not so much 'free' play? Like ask 7 y/o to play a game with 4 y/o, or help him on his bike, or teach him to build neat things out of lego, etc. Cap it at so many minutes then have them do some things on their own for a while?

Are there any adult (safe) jobs he could do around your house and earn money for? Like raking or sweeping the porch/driveway?

 

I hope I didn't sound harsh, sorry if I did : )

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#22 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

I've never encountered little kids walking around with clubs looking to harm someone, so I definitely don't think that's just typical school-kid behavior. I'd be having a very alarmed talk with their parents if I saw that in my neighborhood. But if they're the same parents letting them play WWE unsupervised on the trampoline I guess you might not have much luck -- that's a tough situation!

Yeah, that was kind of scary. I did call my one neighbor and told him he may want to check on what his son was doing b/c of what I saw and heard. But, yeah, they are the ones who don't supervise their child at all when he's on the trampoline with his friends so...And we had a bit of an issue a few weeks ago when I told my 7yo he couldn't play with the boy anymore b/c I was tired of that boy's behavior and my ds always coming home upset and crying. He told the boy I said he couldn't play with him and the boy told his mother and she called me. When I told her that her son and another kid were being mean to mine she would not accept that her son was involved.
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Originally Posted by funkymamajoy View Post

It really sounds like they need some one on one time with mommy and away from each other.

 


I agree that one-on-one time with me would help but that's really hard to come by right now. I'm doing my best but there's no way to really have any time with either boy without the baby, at least. I did get some time with my 4yo today while my 7yo was at his first chorus class. That was nice.
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Originally Posted by Tjej View Post

How do you encourage them to work it out with one another?  Do you point out the negative behaviors and offer positive alternatives?


I do point out the negative and suggest/express positive alternatives. I do that when they speak to me, too. Like if one of them says, "Get me a drink." I'll say, "Will you get me a drink, pleas?" They almost always repeat what I've said right away without any problem and then I do what they've asked. I do the same thing when they are speaking to each other.

That's why I'm at my wit's end. I've been doing that for quite a while now and it doesn't seem anything has changed.
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Originally Posted by childsplay View Post

Does your 7 y/o have a homeschool schedule? And a place he can go learn on his own without the 4 y/o anywhere near?

Could you dictate some of the interactions between them - ie, not so much 'free' play? Like ask 7 y/o to play a game with 4 y/o, or help him on his bike, or teach him to build neat things out of lego, etc. Cap it at so many minutes then have them do some things on their own for a while?

Are there any adult (safe) jobs he could do around your house and earn money for? Like raking or sweeping the porch/driveway?

 

I hope I didn't sound harsh, sorry if I did : )


We don't have a schedule but we have a routine so both boys know what to expect throughout the day. I always tell them a day before whenever we have something different to do the next day. I think I do need to give them more to do rather than letting them choose so much. I can at least try that and see if it helps as long as it doesn't turn into a fight with me trying to force them to do something. KWIM?

We also have a list of jobs that he can do to earn money that we made up together. Both the boys like to help around the house and I try to give them jobs every day.

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#23 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

I think I do need to give them more to do rather than letting them choose so much. I can at least try that and see if it helps as long as it doesn't turn into a fight with me trying to force them to do something. KWIM?

I think you are right about giving them things to do. It sounds as if your boys are badly in need of structured activities, and I imagine that must be difficult to provide with a baby to care for. What exactly do you want your 7yo to be learning? If he is demanding that you "give him a test," he might be thrilled with handwriting practice workbooks or something of that nature that he can work on independently.

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#24 of 26 Old 09-07-2011, 04:38 PM
 
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I suggest Five In a Row. Both your 7 year old and your 4 year old could enjoy it and learn together.


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#25 of 26 Old 09-08-2011, 07:25 AM
 
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I know you aren't interested in sending your oldest to school, but have you thought of other options?  My youngest son is almost 8 years old and he is easily bored.  When he is bored, he is  miserable and spends his time "experimenting" (taking apart the washing machine, painting his sister's room with her art supplies, fighting with his brothers, catching the free range chickens and putting them in dog crates, black holes with the vacuum cleaner and plastic bags).  He always feels terrible after the incident and is filled with remorse, guilt, and self recrimination.  Honestly, his behavior got much worse after my youngest was born last December. 

 

He simply requires much more stimulation and interaction than my other children.  We have him enrolled in a daily physical activity every day, except Sunday (home school swim, home school gymnastics, martial arts, and soccer).  During the school year; he attends an after school program at his martial art school.  My husband drops him off at 2:15 on his way to work and either I pick him up at 5:30 or one of his friend's moms drop him off at 5:45. He attends summer camp there several days a week. It does require extra work and expense on our part, but he is much happier and so are the rest of us.  All five of my kids require different levels of social activities and structure, it's hard to accommodate at time. 


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#26 of 26 Old 09-08-2011, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know you aren't interested in sending your oldest to school, but have you thought of other options?


Yes. That is why I've very recently become more active in a local homeschool group. They do things during the day so my boys aren't just sitting around all day waiting for the other kids to get home from school and finish their homework. I've also enrolled 7yo ds in a homeschool chorus class. It's only once a week but it's something. Yesterday was his first day and he liked it. Yesterday was also a much better day, probably partly because we got out and did something and partly because I was able to spend some one-on-one time with my 4yo while my 7yo was in his class. I had the baby with us but he was sleeping so I was able to focus completely on my 4yo for almost an hour. thumb.gif

I talked about how the day went with my 7yo that night so that he would take conscious note that the day was better and why. Things have been better so far today, too.

I had been sick with mastitis for about 3 days right before I started this thread. It hit me really hard and really fast. One minute I felt fine and the next I was laying on the couch completely incapacitated while I shivered uncontrollably under two blankets. It was horrible. So, things may have been especially bad then if my boys were reacting to me being sick or I may have been more overwhelmed about it than usual because I was sick. At any rate, I hope that the last two days are a sign that things are getting better.

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