Attitudes and my older kids - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been yelling and threatening to punish a lot more than I want to lately. The ones I'm having a hard time with are my 6yo dd and 9yo ds. I have an easier time being patient with my 4yo and my 2yo.

It's really frustrating for me when I ask them to do something and they have a negative, grumpy attitude about it. There are six people in our family, and I am not willing to clean up after everyone. I need it to be a group effort.

Also, we homeschool. Dd has a really great attitude about doing schoolwork, any subject that we're studying. Ds loves to read, which I'm happy about, but grumbles about doing anything that involves writing on his part.

How can I get them to understand that there are some things we just have to do and that being negative about it doesn't make for a nicer atmosphere?

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#2 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 01:43 AM
 
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I am interested to hear your answers, I have a 9, almost 10yo DD who is going threw this "stage" right now. She thinks emptying the dishwasher is terrible "treatment" and will sometimes bawl the entire time she is doing it.

Other times she is happy as a clam to help out, I think hers is hormonal as she is having changes going on with her body, but I too am finding myself more patient with my toddlers that her, I feel bad, but I feel at her age she should understand to do as she is told the first time I ask.

So no advise but I totally understand!

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#3 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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Sounds a lot like my 7 and 9 yo's as well...

I know a lot of people say it gets easier as they get older, but right now my younger two kids tend to be more pleasant to be around (and compliant!).

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#4 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 01:56 AM
 
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Perfect! I can't wait to hear the answers. My 7 year old DS, we have had problems with him doing his homework that we never have before. Every night it is such an ordeal. It took him 4 1/2 hours to do 2 pages of work and he is in 1st grade. It is really frusterating and when we get on him about it, he starts to bawl uncontrollably. He says school is boring and like the OP said I just want him to understand that there is just some things we have to do.

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#5 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 09:15 AM
 
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I know a lot of people say it gets easier as they get older, but right now my younger two kids tend to be more pleasant to be around (and compliant!).
I totally agree to this statement, looks like it is a normal/common problem which makes me feel a little better, maybe I didn't do something to make her act the way she does.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#6 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But how do you help them be more positive?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#7 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mom23kidsinutah View Post
Perfect! I can't wait to hear the answers. My 7 year old DS, we have had problems with him doing his homework that we never have before. Every night it is such an ordeal. It took him 4 1/2 hours to do 2 pages of work and he is in 1st grade. It is really frusterating and when we get on him about it, he starts to bawl uncontrollably. He says school is boring and like the OP said I just want him to understand that there is just some things we have to do.
Have you sat with him and tried to help? He could be having trouble with his work. Also home work doesn't improve learning for this age group. Except for reading it really isn't useful until junior high.
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#8 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 08:22 PM
 
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I am interested to hear your answers, I have a 9, almost 10yo DD who is going threw this "stage" right now. She thinks emptying the dishwasher is terrible "treatment" and will sometimes bawl the entire time she is doing it.
I also find it helps to give choices:

Clean anything for 15 minutes
you need to clean by supper time, etc

I particularly find the latter one effective. Usually at lunch time they are very agreeable to clean by 4:00. They often forget to clean, but then when I remind them there is less complaints as they agreed to it earlier.

I also tend to leave the room when my middle child (age 11 ) cleans - otherwise her fussing and arguing bother me, I start to argue with her, and nothing gets done.

I have also found a lot of stress when we switch activities. The more people involved in the activity switching the worse it gets. Giving everyone lots of notice seems to help.
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#9 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 08:23 PM
 
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What kind of schedule or routine do you have? I find that for our chores, when we get out of routine, both kids (ds who's nearly 9 and dd who's nearly 6) get much more reluctant to help and much more snippy about it. When it's part of the routine, it's easier to do and we encounter less resistance. Neither dh nor I are "put things away right when you're done" kind of people, so we have chore time right after dinner. It's everything from cleaning up toys to mopping the floors.

Can you ds use a keyboard for things that involve writing? Our ds in 3rd grade is learning keyboarding and while he's not fast, it might be easier than writing. They also have set writing class 4 days a week, and his willingness to do things that are written is definitely increasing with practice. I haven't a clue as to how to do this with homeschooling (I'd make a lousy homeschooling parent because I have so little patience), but it sounds to me like your ds finds writing hard and so is avoiding it. (Have you seen "Handwriting Without Tears"? It's a great curriculum for handwriting, and specifically recommended for kids who find it hard.)

The other things to think about are:

How much large motor time do they get? As kids get older, it gets harder for them to get large motor time inside. Your 2 year old gets a work out just climbing on the couch, but your 9 year old no longer does. There's nothing like some nice intense exercise to make my kids more cheerful. When it rains, ds rollerblades around the house at frightening speeds. Obviously that won't work with your 4 kids, but what can they do to get more movement?

How much time away from you do they want? Do they do homeschooling classes? Sometimes an afternoon away doing 'big kid' things might help.

Can you ignore the mouth and the attitude as long as the work gets done? I ask my kids to rephrase a lot. "That sounded rude. Try again." From the neighborhood kids I've heard, 'attitude' seems to be an issue for the 7-9 crowd. The older kids have learned to control themselves a bit better.

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#10 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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I agree with Lynn, I tend to ignore the attitude as long as they're doing it anyway, my 8 y/o does not enjoy cleaning and gets quite upset about it. However my 11 y/o is much more cooperative generally. With the older kids I present the problem to them and we work together to find a solution(I got this right from How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk). Sometimes breaking up the time spent cleaning works, loud music they like while cleaning, even switching up the chores(child does something you generally do, you do a chore of theirs).

Cathy mom to 13 y/o DD, 10 y/o DD, 7 y/o DS

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#11 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 09:15 PM
 
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Sometimes when I am utterly perplexed, it helps me to turn my thinking on its head. For example, take this quote from Marshall Rosenberg (Non-Violent Communication):

This objective of getting what we want from other people, or getting them to do what we want them to do, threatens the autonomy of people, their right to choose what they want to do. And whenever people feel that they’re not free to choose what they want to do, they are likely to resist, even if they see the purpose in what we are asking and would ordinarily want to do it.

Here is the link to the whole article...
http://www.cnvc.org/en/what-nvc/arti...nation-systems
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#12 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you ds use a keyboard for things that involve writing?
I wish he could. We don't have a working computer in the house. I use dh's laptop when he's off work.

Quote:
How much large motor time do they get?
Luckily, a lot. They play outside every day, ride bikes. They play basketball and raquetball at the Y. They take gymnastics and taekwondo.

Quote:
I ask my kids to rephrase a lot. "That sounded rude. Try again."
I'll try that.

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#13 of 20 Old 04-10-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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I will tell my DD that she needs to empty the dishwasher before supper so that gives her a couple hours to choose when to get it done.

I have noticed (as has my mom) that she always seems sad. I know growing up is hard, but she will say that she wishes it was just me and her again. A little back story- Her dad and i split up when she was born and for the first 5 yrs of her life it was just me and her. Then her dad and I got back together and had 2 more children. I know I don't have ALL of my time to give to her anymore but I really do try and we do cuddle time after I get the younger ones to bed.

I want my happy care free little girl back. I hope after the hormone rush she is getting it gets better.

She isn't always sad/non compliant just 50% of the time.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#14 of 20 Old 04-11-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
It's really frustrating for me when I ask them to do something and they have a negative, grumpy attitude about it. There are six people in our family, and I am not willing to clean up after everyone. I need it to be a group effort.

Also, we homeschool. Dd has a really great attitude about doing schoolwork, any subject that we're studying. Ds loves to read, which I'm happy about, but grumbles about doing anything that involves writing on his part.

How can I get them to understand that there are some things we just have to do and that being negative about it doesn't make for a nicer atmosphere?
Something I have found is that generally when my kids are doing something that's driving me nuts, they are copying me, and if I improve my own behavior, theirs gets better too. This may not be what's going on in your home, but if it were me, as a first step, I would try to find a little quiet time and consider if I were being grumpy and negative.

My 9 y.o. has just gotten comfortable with writing over the last few months, and it's all come together beautifully. If you can stand the thought of it, I'd drop requiring that he write till Fall-- let him dictate, or give oral reports, or whatever instead.

Another thing that helps when I am trying to motivate my kids to help clean is to announce the goal and all work together on it. Then I can keep them on task, and if they complain about having to help, I offer to let them do the job alone (not an MDC-approved method, I imagine, but it's effective!)

HTH!

ZM
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#15 of 20 Old 04-11-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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I remember preferring to have a list of jobs and then being left alone to get them done when I was ready but within a time frame. I always hated being asked to do something immediately. The "drop what you are doing and do what I want now" attitude of parents towards children always rubbed me the wrong way.

My ds (8 1/2) hates doing things by himself. But he likes to work together so that's the tack I take with him. He'll put away the flatware while someone else unloads the rest of the dishwasher, for instance.

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#16 of 20 Old 04-11-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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There is something about 9 year olds. Lots of attitude and drama. (Around here its tears and foot stamping over the request to take a shower, etc.) It does help a lot to have set routines. Do the same things the same way everyday. At the same time, it helps to give the kids a say in the routine. When we wrote our routine we asked our 9 yo. what time he would practise his instrument everyday. He said "7:40." So it went onto the routine at 7:40, no questions asked, and he has gotten a lot better about doinging daily.
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#17 of 20 Old 04-11-2010, 09:39 PM
 
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A couple more thoughts:

What about a positive journal for your older child(ren)? This is something where you write at least one positive thing that you did every day. So, for your son, it could be "I wrote two sentences without complaining". Never mind the task was to write a paragraph.

I'm thinking of doing this for myself, as my weight loss progress has been stalled to nothing. I keep thinking of all the things that I do wrong, rather than things I'm doing right. So, on Thursday last week, although I ate far more than I needed to, and not nearly enough fruits and veggies, my positive journal would have read "I went to water aerobics even though I didn't feel like it". We'll leave the sordid incident with the bag of jelly beans behind.

With our kids, we also say one thing that we're thankful for every night before we go to bed. It's part of our bedtime routine -- read books, say prayers, say what we're thankful for. It's a nice way to end the day on a positive note.

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#18 of 20 Old 04-12-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
I've been yelling and threatening to punish a lot more than I want to lately. The ones I'm having a hard time with are my 6yo dd and 9yo ds. I have an easier time being patient with my 4yo and my 2yo.

It's really frustrating for me when I ask them to do something and they have a negative, grumpy attitude about it. There are six people in our family, and I am not willing to clean up after everyone. I need it to be a group effort.

Also, we homeschool. Dd has a really great attitude about doing schoolwork, any subject that we're studying. Ds loves to read, which I'm happy about, but grumbles about doing anything that involves writing on his part.

How can I get them to understand that there are some things we just have to do and that being negative about it doesn't make for a nicer atmosphere?
How are you talking with them about feeling overwhelmed about cleaning up?

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#19 of 20 Old 04-12-2010, 05:27 PM
 
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Something I'm wondering... Writing has always seemed to be an issue with P. WHY is him writing so imperative to you and Tym right now? Does Tym still dose out punishments that way? Surely there are other ways for him to record his responses to questions. A cheapo tape recorder? A special keyboard with memory? Something may cost money or time, but you could likely make it work. Why is writing so terrible for HIM? Motor issue? can't sit still? trouble taking things out of his head onto the paper?

Secondly, remember that our children mirror our attitudes. Try to keep yourself upbeat and positive. Especially while you are cleaning up. I know you used to do flylady, so maybe start using her timers again. Could you post your routine and expectations for P and D? And the other two if you have any. Maybe we can give more ideas.

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#20 of 20 Old 04-13-2010, 12:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Does Tym still dose out punishments that way?
Thankfully, he doesn't do that anymore. Marriage counseling was actually what fixed it.

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