consequence for slamming doors and banging on things? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 06-01-2011, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ds has been testing me lately. He knows I can't stand loud noise, and when he wants something he slams doors, pounds on walls and screams. He's 6 y/o. He is generally very well behaved, very social, active, intelligent kid. Just when he wants something, he knows how to push my buttons until I either give him what he wants or I snap at him. Today I hit him for the very first time, I'm not proud of that. He was yelling and banging things, I locked myself in the bathroom to calm down, he followed me and started pounding on the bathroom door. I just couldn't take it anymore. Please, I need your advice. How to make him understand he needs to stop challenging me?


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#2 of 12 Old 06-01-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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Why did you leave and go in the bathroom?  It's your house, too.

 

Behavior like that would have gotten my child marched to their room and plopped on their bed with a "you can come talk to me when you will speak nicely."  I probably wouldn't have been very nice about it.  And, I would return them to their room over  and over again until it happened, only repeating the same thing and no more or arguing with them.

 

Granted, I do that with my two and three year olds.  I can't imagine fighting a 6yo to force them into their room.  I don't think I'd like that at all. 

 

I think I'd probably start by having a conversation with him.  In our house we talk nicely to each other.  There will be no screaming and pounding on the walls.  If that happens, we will have to (insert logical consequence here).  And then, MAKE IT HAPPEN every.single.time. 

 

I would approach it from the standpoint of a.)you have a bad habit that I'm going to help you stop (screaming,etc) and b.)that's not how people talk to each other (so, you are going to learn HOW they OUGHT to talk to each other.  I'm pretty big on making my kids repeat a scenerio until they have done it respectfully.  I'll stand in the hallway for an hour if I have to to make it happen nicely. 

 

At 6, my kid doesn't get anything until it's asked for nicely.  She can read at a fifth grade level and quotes parts she's chosen to memorize to me.  She can remember to say please and not kick and scream.  I'm betting yours can, too.

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#3 of 12 Old 06-01-2011, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

Just when he wants something, he knows how to push my buttons until I either give him what he wants or I snap at him.


It sounds like you have given in just to make him quieter. If that's the case, giving in because of unpleasant behavior reinforces that behavior. Following you and banging on the door sounds like an attack. I have told my 5.5 year old that it's alright to be angry but it's not ok to be mean or rude to people. In your DS's case I'd find a time when he's calm and talk to him about how banging on stuff when he knows the noise hurts your ears is being mean, then talk about why being mean is wrong and how would he feel if you or his friends were mean to him. I'd also let him know that you will never change a no into a yes because he's being mean ever again. That you don't let people make you do stuff because they are mean to you. It sounds like he's experimenting with the behavior. He might not have thought "hey, I'm being mean", he may be just trying out new behaviors. I've also told my DD that I don't let people hurt me or be rude to me, that I don't associate with people who choose to act like that. We've also talked about how people who think that kind of thing is ok are often mean or rude themselves. It would be different if your DS was always kind of loud, that would be a temperament issue. 

 

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#4 of 12 Old 06-02-2011, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for taking the time to reply.

 

Just to answer some of your questions: I went to the bathroom because I needed to give dd a bath. This actually escalated the temper tantrum because HE wanted to take a bath with his sis too and demanded it. Also, I knew I was about to hit him, and I just needed a moment to calm down. It didn't work though.

 

We already had numerous talks about being respectful and appreciative and talking nicely. He will imediately apologize, then ask: Now can I have what I asked for PLEASE? If I say no again, he throws a fit, as if nothing happened. His argument: Well, I said "please", didn't I?

 

I have given in a lot of times, just because when he insists on something, saying no doesn't seem that important anymore. If he wants one more cookie I tell myself, well, one more doesn't make any difference anyway.

 

He knows he's being mean to me. He does it specifically to annoy me. I asked him to go outside and scream as much as he wants if he's angry. I told him to hit a pillow, not to bang on walls. He absolutely wants to be in the same room as me when throwing a fit.

 

Yesterday I just went to my room after our altercation and put dd to bed. He brushed his teeth, put his PJs on and went to bed by himself. He is a balanced and capable kid, he's not out of control, something that I'm doing must be wrong. 

 

Thanks again for your input, it's helping me to see what other people are doing in this kind of situations.

 

And I would really appreciate if anyone else can share / commiserate :)


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#5 of 12 Old 06-02-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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Instead of thinking about it as him pushing your buttons/annoying you/etc., think of it as he may need some connecting with you.  He could also be overtired.  Or if you have given in before he's trying to get the same result.  Was there a particular reason he couldn't bathe with his sister?  When situations arise that you say no to and he reacts empathize with his feelings.  You don't have to change your mind but let him know that you understand his disappointment.  Pick your battles, decide what is really important on focus on those things, be flexible and let him have input on others.


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#6 of 12 Old 06-02-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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If my kids slam a door I put a thick towel or blanket over the top of the door (out of their reach)... good luck trying to slam it then.  As far as throwing things and making noise, I give one warning for that sort of thing and if it's not heeded they lose TV and computer privileges for a certain period of time.  If they are being violent or out of control enough to cause harm we do time outs-- but only if there is risk of physical injury.  A six year old is old enough to understand the loss of privileges for bad behavior.  Stay calm, don't yell, don't hit, and don't ever cave to "I'm sorry" or "please."  Once the privilege is lost it's lost for X amount of time.  Also try not to see it as him as "being mean to you."  You'll drive yourself crazy if you take bad behavior from little kids personally. It's just how they are sometimes, almost like a negative energy that needs to get out of their system.  That does not mean, though, that he shouldn't have consequences for bad behavior.  Kids need to learn to make choices between acting out and staying calm.

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#7 of 12 Old 06-02-2011, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again, I'll try the towel over the door idea.

 

We just came back from swimming lessons, he wanted to stop at the park. When I said no (it's close to his bedtime) he told me: when we get home, I'll slam doors and throw things.

 

I'll have to think of some privileges that are important for him. He doesn't care too much about computer or TV. He goes outside a lot and rides his bike, but I wouldn't take that away from him. It would drive ME crazy to have him inside all day after school.

 

I haven't thought about him being tired. I recently pushed his bedtime a half an hour later, so he can go to bed at the same time as his sister, but he might still need that half an hour of sleep. Dh tells me he has a hard time waking ds up in the morning. I'll try it this evening.

 

Thanks


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#8 of 12 Old 06-02-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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I think you need to try to ignore the noise and pounding as much as possible.  It isn't easy to do, but I find that if I can make myself ignore something that bothers me and not give my dd the reaction she is looking for it really helps cut out most of the negative behavior that she does because she is seeking a reaction.  At the same time I make sure to increase the amount of time we spend talking, cuddling, and reading so we make our connection stronger.  I really like visualization for this because I can plan for my reaction and work through the tough emotions. 

 

I don't think your son is being mean to you at all, mean is a deliberate act that takes a lot of thought and malicious intent.  He is a young child who is trying to get his way and he knows that if he continues to annoy you for long enough you will wear down, maybe scold a bit, then give him what he wants.  If you don't give him a reaction or give him a reaction he really doesn't want without ever giving him the one he wants he may escalate his behavior for a while but he will stop what doesn't work, especially if you also focus some on letting him see that he can be successful by seeking what he wants in positive ways.   

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#9 of 12 Old 06-03-2011, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post

 

I have given in a lot of times, just because when he insists on something, saying no doesn't seem that important anymore. If he wants one more cookie I tell myself, well, one more doesn't make any difference anyway.

 

He knows he's being mean to me. He does it specifically to annoy me. I asked him to go outside and scream as much as he wants if he's angry. I told him to hit a pillow, not to bang on walls. He absolutely wants to be in the same room as me when throwing a fit.

 

Yesterday I just went to my room after our altercation and put dd to bed. He brushed his teeth, put his PJs on and went to bed by himself. He is a balanced and capable kid, he's not out of control, something that I'm doing must be wrong. 

 

 

 

And I would really appreciate if anyone else can share / commiserate :)


If it's something you might change your mind about, don't say no. The only thing you're doing wrong is giving in. Giving in rewards the bad behavior. You may have to demand he not be mean to you. Get down on his level, look him in the eye, put your hands on his arms gently and quietly but seriously say "You may not be mean to me, I don't let people treat me this way. I don't let people be mean to you either. Being mean to people is a bad idea. People don't like or want to be around some one who is acting mean. ". You need to call him on it every time and don't give in. Saying no only when there is a good reason can help though.  It doesn't sound like he's out of control, just that he's found bullying behavior works on mom to get his way. My DD sometimes tries being rude to her daddy. I think it's because he's always been her special fun person, so there aren't the same rules for being polite. I call her on it everytime. As for commiserating, our main issue with my 5.5 year old is a temperament thing, incessant talking. And I mean actually incessant, about 80% of her waking hours, talking all the time. When she's playing her toys are talking to each other. She has invisible friends she talks to and about. She tells stories about her paintings and art projects while she's doing art stuff. I know it's sounds like a non issue, but it's part of who she is right now, she can't help it and it's probably not going away.

 

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#10 of 12 Old 06-03-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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I would start by taking his door off the hinges and storing it in the garage or storgae space.  DS slammed (on purpose with vengeance) his door ONCE and I took it off the hinges and stored it under my bed.  Can't be trusted to close a door softly?  Guess you're not ready to have a door...we'll try again when you are a little older.  A week later we returned the door and he has not slammed it since...we are expecting around 10 or 11 we will have to repeat the process.  You can also get those foam rubber Us that fit over the top of the door so that it cannot slam shut (they sell them with the babyproofing stuff), and just put all bangable items up too high for him.

 

Can't be trusted not to slam books and pots and pans...guess those go away too until you can learn to express yourself more productively.  Not punitive, just an "oops, I thought you were ready to be trusted with those, but I guess I misjudged...sorry!"

 

I have at times restricted DS's privileges for a bed (couldn't resist jumping on it and it's not our bed as the apartment came furnished and he'd already broken the frame once before so we put the mattress on the floor),  the living room couch (he has a beanbag he can bounce all over), nice books, TV access (because he was struggling with sharing, so we moved it to our bedroom) etc.  It is not done in a punitive way, just a "you're clearly not quite ready for that level of responsibility." way.

 

If he continues to bang things that do not belong to him, I would stand in front of him in a waiting for the bus sort of manner, and block him repeating "What do you need?" until he stopped and spoke to me.  

 

I do not think what you are doing is wrong.  I do not even think giving in now and then is wrong, but at times, it's worth it to just smile and say no.  The one thing that being a parent has taught me (well among many things, but one skill I never had before) is the block out white noise, even if that white noise is my son RAGING...I look at him, I smile, I offer a hug...I sit with him and I say "I'm sorry, but the answer is no." and move on with my life, maybe offer the odd distraction.


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#11 of 12 Old 06-03-2011, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If it's something you might change your mind about, don't say no. The only thing you're doing wrong is giving in. Giving in rewards the bad behavior. You may have to demand he not be mean to you. Get down on his level, look him in the eye, put your hands on his arms gently and quietly but seriously say "You may not be mean to me, I don't let people treat me this way. I don't let people be mean to you either. Being mean to people is a bad idea. People don't like or want to be around some one who is acting mean. ". You need to call him on it every time and don't give in. Saying no only when there is a good reason can help though.  It doesn't sound like he's out of control, just that he's found bullying behavior works on mom to get his way. My DD sometimes tries being rude to her daddy. I think it's because he's always been her special fun person, so there aren't the same rules for being polite. I call her on it everytime. As for commiserating, our main issue with my 5.5 year old is a temperament thing, incessant talking. And I mean actually incessant, about 80% of her waking hours, talking all the time. When she's playing her toys are talking to each other. She has invisible friends she talks to and about. She tells stories about her paintings and art projects while she's doing art stuff. I know it's sounds like a non issue, but it's part of who she is right now, she can't help it and it's probably not going away.

 


This is very helpful. Your dd's temperament sounds like ds's. He also needs constant interaction and he talks non-stop.

I started telling him I want him to be respectful and he seems very responsive to my request. He apologized several times and asked me if I still was upset.

 

Now that I think of it, it's the first time I calmly insisted he behaves courteously. I hesitated to do it before because when I was a kid my mom would blame all her feelings on us (it was because of us kids that she was unhappy, suffering, stressed etc. she even got cancer because of us. Oh, and my dad has diabetes because of us). I really don't want ds to behave in a certain way just to make me happy. But I guess I need to establish some boundaries.



Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

I think you need to try to ignore the noise and pounding as much as possible.  It isn't easy to do, but I find that if I can make myself ignore something that bothers me and not give my dd the reaction she is looking for it really helps cut out most of the negative behavior that she does because she is seeking a reaction.  At the same time I make sure to increase the amount of time we spend talking, cuddling, and reading so we make our connection stronger.  I really like visualization for this because I can plan for my reaction and work through the tough emotions. 

 

I don't think your son is being mean to you at all, mean is a deliberate act that takes a lot of thought and malicious intent.  He is a young child who is trying to get his way and he knows that if he continues to annoy you for long enough you will wear down, maybe scold a bit, then give him what he wants.  If you don't give him a reaction or give him a reaction he really doesn't want without ever giving him the one he wants he may escalate his behavior for a while but he will stop what doesn't work, especially if you also focus some on letting him see that he can be successful by seeking what he wants in positive ways.   


Ignoring it sounds like a great idea, but ds is a very stubborn strong minded kid. I'll try harder though.

 

Today is a good day. Ds tried a fit (said he wasn't my friend any more because I accidentally wrote on a paper that belonged to him), I asked him to speak nicely and I told him I felt hurt because of his behaviour towards me. He apologized and we're best friends again.


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#12 of 12 Old 06-03-2011, 10:43 PM
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This is very helpful. Your dd's temperament sounds like ds's. He also needs constant interaction and he talks non-stop.

I started telling him I want him to be respectful and he seems very responsive to my request. He apologized several times and asked me if I still was upset.

 

Now that I think of it, it's the first time I calmly insisted he behaves courteously. I hesitated to do it before because when I was a kid my mom would blame all her feelings on us (it was because of us kids that she was unhappy, suffering, stressed etc. she even got cancer because of us. Oh, and my dad has diabetes because of us). I really don't want ds to behave in a certain way just to make me happy. But I guess I need to establish some boundaries.



 

I'm glad it was helpful. You want your DS to treat people respectfully, including you, because it will make his life easier and him happier. The other people your DS will have in his life will have boundaries and he needs to learn how to be successful socially. So don't feel bad about helping him learn to be civil, you're doing him a favor especially if you are calm and consistent about it. I think kids with intense temperaments need more guidance while learning to respect peoples boundaries. 

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