help - we're outta control - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 12 Old 02-07-2012, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
happy1nluv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 456
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I love my 4 year old, i really truly do...  that said, i can't stand him today.  He doesn't care about anything - he just does what he wants.  I don't want to hit him or spank him, but I'm about there. NOTHING works with him.  How do I get through to him?!?

 

I have a 7 wk old girl, 2, 4, and 6 yr old boys... the boys are all about to hit birthdays so older 2, 4, 6 ... we homeschool so they're all home with me. 

 

4 yr old just WONT listen to anything... he runs away when we're out an about, he takes whatever he wants... an example:  he got into the clothes detergent and emptied an almost full container in the rug.  He went to his room to think about what he did, he helped clean it up, he gave me money for more...  i talked til I was blue in the face about why that was bad... a week later...he did it again!! (ok, sorta dh's bad, since he left it at his reach instead of up where I moved it to, but still!?!?!  REALLY?!?!)

 

I've given the boys new freedom to go outside without me...  I'll find him tearing things up (grass, the grill, etc.) -- EVERY time I tell him not to destroy one thing, he moves on to another (i have a video camera on the fenced backyard so they're only technically alone out there)  When I throw away the toys he destroys, he laughs...  (and i dont replace them)

 

I don't want to kill his spirit -- when he's not making me madder than a hornet, he's a great kid... he can be very loving, etc. ... but the blatant disregard is killing me.  You have to say his name 10 times before he answers...  (i've never had his hearing checked but i can whisper the word chocolate and he comes running -- literally, i've tested it out numerous times)  And, he can tell you exactly what he's supposed to do when someone calls his name...

 

I would love a class on this, because I just don't know where to go or what to do.  I've read so many books, and none of them seem to address the literal ignoring of me.  Even in dangerous situations.  I don't go so many places that I kind of need to (hello, grocery store? i miss you) ... because he doesn't listen... and even our coop drives me crazy going in and out because i dont have enough hands to keep one on him when walking in and out and ive literally been praying as we walk through the parking lot (its only coop moms coming, and they know my worry but still...)

 

ok, i think im calm enough now to talk to him about why we don't put holes in the grass...  esp when he has a HUGE sandbox to dig in about 20 ft away... sigh. 

 

any help would be greatly appreciated!!  (and if anyone knows of any in person parenting classes in the NJ area...even greater appreciated!!  I need help, I just don't know where to get it!!!!  there was a sleep lady who had a book -- you could do phone sessions with her for extra help -- are there any behavior books that give you that offer, cause id love to talk to a real live voice for help -- ill totally pay for it!!)

happy1nluv is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 12 Old 02-07-2012, 03:16 PM
 
NellieKatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My first instinctive thought might be that if there were less talk, instruction, admonition, threat, reasoning, etc. about non-essentials, then the really important (i.e. safety, stay-with-me in stores stuff) would get through to him?

 

I've discovered (and also been told) that too much talk overwhelms them, is meaningless, ignores the fact that what they are doing probably meets some developmental need that they have, etc. I am guilty of too much talk. Just ask anyone who's ever read one of my posts here!!

:-)

 

I'd take a look at some of the "destructive" things he does, and find a way to have him meet that need in a way that doesn't destroy actual stuff that you value. In other words, give him a patch of the yard he can destroy; give him bottles and bottles of things he can spill and experiment with (outdoors), and so on. In our house, my son would spend just hours playing with tiny toy trucks in a roasting pan full of uncooked rice. Or one full of dry flour. Or one full of flour, with a bit of water added. Ooh, what fun squishing THAT! In other words, to meet that need of his in a way that satisfies and occupies him without making you nuts in the process. And if he seems to have trouble with impulse control, then just don't leave the temptations around where he can reach them, until such time as you can teach him otherwise.

 

just a few random thoughts - hope they help

NellieKatz is offline  
#3 of 12 Old 02-07-2012, 06:02 PM
 
habitat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: In Love.
Posts: 257
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi, Mama. Congratubabylations on your new little girl!

 

hug2.gif With four kids under 6, you have a ginormous plateful! Phew! It does sound like there's just so much to overwhelm the both of you right now.

 

Remember, four is still very young. He is exploring his world in a way that is very developmentally appropriate, albeit potentially quite frustrating when you're exhausted and juggling as much as you are!

 

Nellie Katz's post hit the nail on the head, especially where she points out that perhaps all of your expressed anger over the less-than-crucial shenanigans is softening his ear to the absolutely critical stuff. It's easy to want to micro-manage, but loosening the reigns will not only help establish an environment of mutual respect, but it will also help him to gain the ability to perceive what true, immediate danger you may be communicating to him.

 

I love the ideas that Nellie Katz gave for meeting his tactile needs, too!

 

It sounds like he has a lot of energy, and it's getting him into loads of trouble! At four, his energy-level is not his fault and cannot be contained, only expended. Do you feel like he has enough outlets to burn this energy in a healthy way so that he can center himself? What does he spend his days doing (school, childcare, home, etc)? My thought is that he may simply be too stagnant throughout the day for his needs. Some kids need hours of concentrated exercise before they run out of that excess fuel and come back into themselves. Otherwise, the energy boils over and wreaks havoc. Are there ways that he can spend more time running around throughout the day?

 

Though it can be counter-intuitive, I find that reprimanding children is the least effective (and most stressful/problematic for everybody) form of discipline. Exhibiting that I'm dedicated to a nurturing, positive conversation, even when they're going bonkers, has been pretty key for me in diffusing tough situations. My first concern is immediate safety, so I reserve that scary danger voice for life-threatening things (like a child running towards the street) to keep it effective and alarming. Otherwise, if I catch myself starting to feel upset, I try to remember that I am responsible for my own emotions, and to model good coping techniques, like taking deep breaths and meeting my own needs as best I can. I try take the responsibility of establishing a safe-as-possible environment, within reason, so that I have less to worry about.

 

When things get hairy, and the shitake hits the fan, the child and I really try to work it out together without judgement. It really does no good to lose my cool. Instead, I might say, "Hmmm... I see you spilled that detergent on the rug. Detergent and rugs are both expensive, and it makes a super-duper humungous gooey mess, so it's really important to me that the detergent to stay in the container. Really, I'm a little frustrated that it ended up on the floor. But it also just makes me curious as to why you did that, and how we can refocus that energy onto something more fun and less frustrating. Do you need something else to pour?" And after we've talked about it and agreed upon a solution, I might ask how the child wants to help me manage the mess/cost. The key to this working is not to shame them, so that they don't feel a need to challenge me. And so that the process of cleaning and/or compensating is not shame-based.

 

Shame is not our friend. Shame is not a natural or logical consequence for anything. Sometimes parents who have been shamed a lot as children remember it as the core of the way they were disciplined and unconsciously look for shame as a side-effect of a "consequence". Of course, I'm not directing this at you in particular, it's really just something that I think is critical to the gentle discipline conversation. Shame is only destructive. On top of it being emotionally damaging, if I sense that a child feels ashamed, I know that it's detracting from their ability to empathize, cooperate and problem solve. It takes a lot of self-obsessed energy to feel ashamed.

 

Mostly, Mama, I think it's important to meet your own needs the best you can so that you have the energy you need to process the chaos without piling it on. When you're uber tired and you've got all these crazy littles around you, it can be so hard!

 

Good Luck!

 

 


Forest For The Trees  stillheart.gif  Radical Family Support Consulting for Growing Families (ask me!)
10+ Years in Professional Holistic Childcare and Support / Alternative Education / Unschooling my Friend, Z (4)

Future Community-Dwelling, Stay-at-Home, Sole-Parent by Choice!

habitat is offline  
#4 of 12 Old 02-07-2012, 06:18 PM
 
NellieKatz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 649
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

You mentioned you'd like a "real live voice" and a little lightbulb went off in my  head....you might like the webinars offered here by Dr. Becky Bailey. There are some upcoming, and some are archived:

 

http://consciousdiscipline.com/workshops/webinars.asp

NellieKatz is offline  
#5 of 12 Old 02-08-2012, 09:46 PM
 
lvingmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by happy1nluv View Post

I love my 4 year old, i really truly do...  that said, i can't stand him today.  He doesn't care about anything - he just does what he wants.  I don't want to hit him or spank him, but I'm about there. NOTHING works with him.  How do I get through to him?!?

 

I have a 7 wk old girl, 2, 4, and 6 yr old boys... the boys are all about to hit birthdays so older 2, 4, 6 ... we homeschool so they're all home with me. 

 

4 yr old just WONT listen to anything... he runs away when we're out an about, he takes whatever he wants... an example:  he got into the clothes detergent and emptied an almost full container in the rug.  He went to his room to think about what he did, he helped clean it up, he gave me money for more...  i talked til I was blue in the face about why that was bad... a week later...he did it again!! (ok, sorta dh's bad, since he left it at his reach instead of up where I moved it to, but still!?!?!  REALLY?!?!)

 

I've given the boys new freedom to go outside without me...  I'll find him tearing things up (grass, the grill, etc.) -- EVERY time I tell him not to destroy one thing, he moves on to another (i have a video camera on the fenced backyard so they're only technically alone out there)  When I throw away the toys he destroys, he laughs...  (and i dont replace them)

 

I don't want to kill his spirit -- when he's not making me madder than a hornet, he's a great kid... he can be very loving, etc. ... but the blatant disregard is killing me.  You have to say his name 10 times before he answers...  (i've never had his hearing checked but i can whisper the word chocolate and he comes running -- literally, i've tested it out numerous times)  And, he can tell you exactly what he's supposed to do when someone calls his name...

 

I would love a class on this, because I just don't know where to go or what to do.  I've read so many books, and none of them seem to address the literal ignoring of me.  Even in dangerous situations.  I don't go so many places that I kind of need to (hello, grocery store? i miss you) ... because he doesn't listen... and even our coop drives me crazy going in and out because i dont have enough hands to keep one on him when walking in and out and ive literally been praying as we walk through the parking lot (its only coop moms coming, and they know my worry but still...)

 

ok, i think im calm enough now to talk to him about why we don't put holes in the grass...  esp when he has a HUGE sandbox to dig in about 20 ft away... sigh. 

 

any help would be greatly appreciated!!  (and if anyone knows of any in person parenting classes in the NJ area...even greater appreciated!!  I need help, I just don't know where to get it!!!!  there was a sleep lady who had a book -- you could do phone sessions with her for extra help -- are there any behavior books that give you that offer, cause id love to talk to a real live voice for help -- ill totally pay for it!!)



I live in the NJ area and know of a group that gets together every other Tuesday mornings.

 

 

lvingmommy is offline  
#6 of 12 Old 02-10-2012, 05:05 PM
 
hiagain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Naomi Aldort author of 'Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves', who unschooled her 3 children, offers phone consultations.  That could be an option?

hiagain is offline  
#7 of 12 Old 02-10-2012, 10:16 PM
 
savithny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I wouldn't pay someone $250 for her to be condescending to me for 30 minutes.   Especially someone who faked having a PhD in order to sell books and get consulting jobs.

 

 


savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

savithny is offline  
#8 of 12 Old 02-11-2012, 02:59 PM
 
hiagain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

According to her website it's $80 for 25 minutes, or $155 for 50 minutes

hiagain is offline  
#9 of 12 Old 02-11-2012, 10:20 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

OP: You sound overwhelmed, and I don't blame you.

 

Is it possible for you to get a mother's helper? Is there some nice 12-13 year old in your homeschool group who might like to come and play with your older boys and keep them occupied to give you a break? To babysit the 6 year old and the 2 year old so you can get some one-on-one time with your 4 year old? He sounds like he may need more structure, fewer things and maybe more attention. With a newborn and 2 other kids who are fairly young, it's pretty hard to give him that all the time. Your 4 year old is in the unfortunate position of being not a baby or toddler anymore, but of still needing a fair amount of attention. Add to that that he's 4. He's also #2, so may be feeling lost in the shuffle. Add to that the fact that 4 year olds are sometimes just plain difficult. That's why I think maybe some outside help would be good.

 

To address a couple of your questions:

When he doesn't listen to you: You have to go over, touch him and lead him to where he's supposed to be. Yes, it's a pain the butt. Right now, however, he's learned that he doesn't have to respond until the 10th time and your voice hits a certain "I've completely had it" pitch. 4 year olds are still very physical learners. I know he looks huge when compared to your newborn and 2  year old ,but he's not all that mature. If you can't go to him after you call his name, then you  have to determine whether it's worth saying it in the first place. As others have noted, you may have to let some things go.

 

Which brings me to my second suggestion: He gets ONE chance before you intervene. If you intervene after the first time he's ignored you, you still have a modicum of patience left and can enforce the rule calmly. If you wait until you've told him 4 times and your blood pressure has skyrocketed, it's not going to be a pretty scene. He also sounds like a child who needs an immediate response to what he's doing or he's not going to care.

 

Going out. He either holds onto the cart, or he wears a backpack with a leash that you can hold onto. If you can't trust him to be safe, you can't give him the freedom to run. That's something he'll have to earn. Again, he gets ONE chance. He breaks it, on goes the leash (or you can tie a sling around his arm and around your arm), or you can put him in the cart.

 

One of the best tips I've learned is to phrase things positively instead of negatively. Tell him what he should do, not what he shouldn't do. "Don't dig in the yard" is likely to be ignored because they can't think of anything else to do. "Go dig in the sandpit" or "we only dig in the sandpit" can get his mind off the yard. Again, if he can't follow the rules, then he gets to come inside and sit next to you for 2-3 minutes before trying again.

 

I really like NellieKatz's ideas about finding him ways to meet his needs to dig, smash and do whatever. If you can redirect him, it might be a lot easier than stopping him.

 

Finally, I'd suggest moving heaven and earth to find some time for you to recharge. When does dad come home? When does he take the older 3 so you can rest? Maybe he can run interference at home while you go grocery shopping. Maybe he can take the three musketeers shopping while you nap with the baby. But if momma is at the breaking point, nobody's going to be happy.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hiagain View Post

Naomi Aldort author of 'Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves', who unschooled her 3 children, offers phone consultations.  That could be an option?


There are other, equally GD parenting coaches, that I would trust more.

 

Larry Cohen: http://www.playfulparenting.com/therapy.htm

 

You might also look up to see if there are any Positive Parenting classes in your area.

 

 

 


Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#10 of 12 Old 02-12-2012, 09:53 PM
 
nina_yyc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 2,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DD used to ignore a lot too. It started to get better when I problem solved with her. I told her how much it was hurting my feelings and gave her choices for things she could say instead ("OK mom as soon as I'm done playing.) Then I made sure to call her on it each and every time so it was clear to her that she is expected to respond. I don't repeat myself but I do often say "Libby did you hear me?" Usually that gets through.
nina_yyc is offline  
#11 of 12 Old 02-23-2012, 06:04 AM
 
P.J.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post

I wouldn't pay someone $250 for her to be condescending to me for 30 minutes.   Especially someone who faked having a PhD in order to sell books and get consulting jobs.

 

 



I had a 15 min session with her and I think it cost $55. Maybe she's raised her prices....but I can say that her advice (which I didn't find condescending at all) helped me so much and helped a situation in which my son was really suffering come to an end....so it was worth every penny. I agree her prices are over the top and to be honest I probably wouldn't go back to her as I've found a couple other, similarly-minded, more affordable parenting coaches (Scott Noelle and Todd Sarner). But that one 15 minute session was totally worth what I paid....


Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
P.J. is offline  
#12 of 12 Old 02-23-2012, 12:34 PM
 
i_like_ike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Olympic Peninsula
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I can so relate and I only have one. This is just a thought: have you looked into sensory processing issues? It may not just be a matter of discipline, but a physical issue that can be helped with occupational therapy. Since we have addressed the sensory seeking behavior of our 5 year old, things have become much more manageable mostly because I understand more what is triggering the behavior and what he needs. Standard tomes are : The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz and Raising a Sensory Smart Child by Nancy K. Pesk.


mama to Isaac, born Jan '07; DS to Josh.
:
i_like_ike is offline  
Reply

Tags
Gentle Discipline

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off