Let's face it - there are no consequences, there is no discipline and I'm living in anarchy! - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-05-2012, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*Disclaimer - this is written out of frustration and a sense of hopelessness. I am reaching the end point after nearly five years of motherhood, where something has to change deep down, completely, veer left! for me to feel that the continued journey is worth it, will have happiness and won't just be drudgery and anarchy until the kids are adults and in therapy.

 

What passes for discipline in this house is a lot of talking, some yelling, lots of time spent alone and no true consequences. I have come to realize that there really aren't consequences to the kids' actions, so how can I enforce something that doesn't exist? If you hit your brother and don't care if it hurts him, what is the consequence? If you repeatedly fight with your sister, the consequence will be little to no adult relationship with her; well, that doesn't happen for a decade or more, so where is the incentive to stop fighting with your sister? If you speak rudely or hurtfully to mama, and you don't care about her feelings, what is the consequence? Playing on the stair rails - no consequence until the 500th time you do it and you fall and end up in the hospital or dead. No real consequence there - because you won't understand that you are paralyzed because of the one time you messed up playing on the stairs.

 

Neither of my children care about anyone else - not their feelings, not their physical well-being, not their comfort, etc. I've seen kids who are naturally caring - mine are not. Even when they are not angry and have cooled down, don't care. I talk and talk and talk to them but listening and understanding is not happening. This has been going on for all the discipline years - oldest is 4.5.

 

I don't want to hit (seems illogical if you are trying to teach not hitting).

I don't want to yell to be heard - though that is happening more and more.

I don't want children that constantly (and I mean 10 of the 12 hours they are awake) are fighting/hitting/struggling with each other.

I don't want to control or coerce or force or any other word for it.

 

Sometimes I think they should just be sent to military school (do they take toddlers/preschoolers?) and I can move on with my life. I feel useless, incompetent, disempowered. I am embarrassed when we are out and everyone can see the 'crazy woman' with the kids that do whatever they want/she has no control over them.

 

How are parents supposed to discipline (and yes, I mean teach) kids when there aren't any real or substantial consequences to use as a discipline tool?

 

I didn't realize being a parent would tear me completely apart because honestly, I wouldn't have become one if I knew this beforehand. Doesn't matter how much I love them.


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Old 04-05-2012, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, after a few minutes of thought I realize my post is harsh, if accurate. Most of my frustration lies with my oldest and I have actually started us on the slow path to getting an evaluation by a child psychologist. My 3 yr old is learning lots of bad habits/choices/attitudes from her brother but when she is alone, she does great - very caring, considerate and helpful, naturally so. But I can't live with them separately.


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Old 04-05-2012, 06:10 PM
 
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I like what Barbara Coloroso says: let them suffer the consequences of their actions, as long as the actions are not immoral, unhealthy or life threatening. Then the parent should intervene.

 

I'm not letting my toddler run in the street and wait for natural consequences. I'm not letting the kids be unkind and hurtful to one another or to me, for me this falls under "immoral". If ds decides it's fun to be mean, I can create logical consequences (But this is something I do very, very rarely, ds is allowed to say no or to disagree with me as long as he is respectful.)

 

Good luck and hug2.gif. It sounds like you had a tough day.

 


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Old 04-05-2012, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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But what is a logical consequence to being unkind/hurtful?

 

Yes, I don't try to 'control' or change every behavior. But it is constant fighting, violent fighting, absolutely not listening to anyone or caring about another's feelings. He will sit on top of his sister while she screams for him to get off, laughing the whole time. I can't think of any logical consequence to that - sure, I send him to his room to calm down, then talk about her feelings and how unkind he was being, how he needs to listen to other people/respect their boundaries, etc. It lasts all of five minutes before he's at it again. But there isn't really a consequence other than a bad relationship with his sister, which won't really effect either of them until they are older anyway.


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Old 04-05-2012, 11:36 PM
 
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I have 2 kids, and they do squabble. Horribly at times. Natural consequences, in my opinion, include other people's opinions of you and how much they're willing to do things with you and for you. I think the natural consequence for being unpleasant to Mama is that you don't get to do as much stuff because I don't want to get you there or to do it with you. 

 

Same for playing with one another. Mean to sibling, sibling doesn't want to play with you, so when she asks to do Moon-Dough, and you want to join in, I'm going to say no, you can't play with someone you were cruel to. As her mother, I won't let her play with you. People who aren't kind to others aren't welcome. That is how things work in the real world.

 

DD rolled her eyes at me tonight when requested to set the table. Then she knocked over a glass of water while supposedly clearing the table, but while actually being loopy crazy, and was huffy and bratty about cleaning it up. So, I didn't want to spend time with her then. I was mad at her. That meant DS got to read a story with me, but DD did not after dinner. 

 

And I don't think those are unnatural consequences. 


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Old 04-06-2012, 05:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LitMom View Post

I have 2 kids, and they do squabble. Horribly at times. Natural consequences, in my opinion, include other people's opinions of you and how much they're willing to do things with you and for you. I think the natural consequence for being unpleasant to Mama is that you don't get to do as much stuff because I don't want to get you there or to do it with you. 

 

Same for playing with one another. Mean to sibling, sibling doesn't want to play with you, so when she asks to do Moon-Dough, and you want to join in, I'm going to say no, you can't play with someone you were cruel to. As her mother, I won't let her play with you. People who aren't kind to others aren't welcome. That is how things work in the real world.

 

DD rolled her eyes at me tonight when requested to set the table. Then she knocked over a glass of water while supposedly clearing the table, but while actually being loopy crazy, and was huffy and bratty about cleaning it up. So, I didn't want to spend time with her then. I was mad at her. That meant DS got to read a story with me, but DD did not after dinner. 

 

And I don't think those are unnatural consequences. 




Yes, ITA!

 

Ds and dd don't fight, there is a pretty large age gap between them and ds understands when dd is acting like a toddler; also dd adores her brother. But when ds is (very rarely) unkind to me, I don't want to spend time with him, or do things for him. He reads his bedtime story by himself and / or takes a bath by himself, I refuse to help him with anything. But it never escalates too much, he gets the message and apologizes.

 

Maybe if your ds hurts his sister again and again, you could send him to his room while you do something fun with your dd, like asking her to help you get dinner ready. I would purposefully exclude ds while having fun with dd. Then after dinner, you could have a talk with ds and ask him how it felt when nobody wanted to spend time with him because he hurt them. I would end the discussion with a group hug. Next time he hit his sister I would do the same.

 

Also, how is their routine? When my dk are too bored they act up. When ds gets back from school I have to send them out for an hour, or take them to the park, even though I'm exhausted by that time of the day, otherwise they bounce off the walls.

 

I also spend time pointing to ds how caring / cute etc. his sister is and how much we love her. I do the same with dd, I tell her for example we need to play nicely with her brother's toys, or we clap together when ds practices his guitar.

 

I believe these are all discipline tools. I really didn't have to use punishment at all.

HTH


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Old 04-06-2012, 06:20 AM
 
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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I have found this woman's book (Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline) and webinars (archived) to be very, very helpful.

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

 

It really helps how we LOOK at things, in order to be able to solve them. She provides a helpful way of doing so. Best of luck.

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Old 04-22-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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The Naughty Chair is your friend, my dear.

 

Tell child what not to do. (Child does it anyway.)

Count to 3; he has 3 seconds to stop the behavior. If he stops, he escapes the naughty chair.

If he keeps on with the behavior or does it again anytime that afternoon, naughty chair. (Don't count a second time for the same offense)

 

Hitting, biting, screaming-- all naughty chair.

Stick them on it for 1 minute for each year of their age. If they get up, double the time. If they get up again, triple it.

They can scream all they want but they have to sit there. No one talks to them; no toys, no TV, nothing until their time is up.

 

When time is up, have the kid tell what he did wrong and what to do differently next time.  Then hug him and let the matter drop.

 

The first night will be dreadful, but once they get the picture that bad behavior is naughty chair, you will have this wonderful thing called POWER in your house.

 

Good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Old 04-23-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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My mother told me that, as a day care provider, the best trick she ever learned for dealing with kids fighting with one another (and she regrets not knowing about it when her own kids were young) was this:

 

She would break up the fight and sit the 2 (or more) kids face-to-face and tell them that they were not allowed up/out of their seats until they each agreed to let the other one up. In order to do this, they had to reach an agreement about how to treat one another. I guess that would be things like, "You can get up if you promise not to hurt me anymore" or whatever other solution the kids would come up with themselves.

 

I don't know if your children are old enough for this technique or not and I only have one 2-year-old, so I haven't used the technique myself, but my mother said that the technique never failed when she used it with school-aged children. Good luck!


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Old 04-25-2012, 11:15 AM
 
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First, I have to say that YOU ARE NOT ALONE mama! I have 3 boys, oldest is 8, then 7 and youngest is 2. I have to tell you to "nip it in the butt" NOW!!! My 8 year old is EXTREMELY disrespectful in my eyes but dad thinks hes just a boy with an attitude. Well screaming at me in my face while I'm talking that he doesn't know what to do is NOT ACCEPTABLE as well as flat out telling me "no" when I tell him to get up to the table & finish his dinner (got sent to his room for acting crazy at the table & not eating). If it were my second boy (7) I would just send him to bed if he wants to act out & not eat, my oldest has health complications that prevent me from using this as a "tool" to get him to eat. 

 

I am like you, I have NO IDEA how to remedy this so please if you find something that works let me know. The time out chair and all that stuff doesn't work for my kids. They would happily go sit in a time out chair or wherever as a "trade" to continue their behavior. The are constantly arguing with each other, I mean constantly. It's always something..... eat your breakfast, you're taking forever to get ready for school & going to miss the bus, do your homework we have to go to practice, listen to your coach, eat your dinner, yes you have to take a bath...... I feel like a drill sargent that never gets to let up, let loose & have fun with them. Dad is always the one that gets to do the fun stuff, take them shopping, etc. while I stay home with the baby. I see my relationship with my 2 older boys dwindling away & becoming very "required vs wanted" and I don't want that. I want to have fun with them & see them smile not have an attitude with every word that comes from their mouth. 

 

I haven't even got into the influence they have on their 2 year old brother..... I am terrified my little baby is going to be a terror in less than 2 years.... 

 

I try to just take it day by day & continue to communicate with my husband even though he has a VERY different outlook being he is the oldest of 5 boys and I am the youngest in my family & only have 1 brother. The only consequences to their actions is taking video games away or TV & truthfully that just makes things worse.... catch 22???


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Old 04-25-2012, 12:26 PM
 
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I found at age 4 onward I had to take away unrelated priveledges sometimes, like computer time, for misbehavior. DS was old enough to understand the link even if they weren't "logical" consequences. Run out of the room he's supposed to stay in, be loud when we need him quiet, back talk and have a bad attitude, hit someone, I don't care what it all gets corrected with a sharp "that's not ok, do this instead" and explanation of what the consequence will be if it continues. I spank sometimes but generally it's useless with this one. Time outs are for when he needs quiet to settle down before actually addressing what's going on. After 5.5 it got easier with my boy, not that I don't have to correct him every day but that he responds with less repetition to each particular lesson.

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Old 04-25-2012, 04:45 PM
 
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I agree with the previous poster who suggested the importance of getting the kids outside to burn off energy (particularly boys), and coming up with any other strategies to direct their attention to something engaging and interesting to them. I have a 3 year old daughter who gets into trouble when she is tired, bored or restless, i've learned. She needs to move her body a lot (which is often problematic stuck in the house), she needs her sleep (or her behavior really takes a dramatic turn for the worse) and she needs to be engaged in an activity of some kind. She also acts out when she's not getting enough uninterrupted attention. One last thing to look at is diet. Sugar and even foods that turn rapidly to sugar (refined grains) can have a negative impact on behavior. 

 

Sorry you're having a tough time. I hope some of this helps!

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Old 04-25-2012, 06:13 PM
 
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I'm all for natural consequences in theory. But, in practice I have to say that I do spend a lot of time telling DD to "stop" or "do this instead." Sometimes she asks why. This has developed into me saying "There are only two reasons why I tell you things like "stop." One is to keep you safe. The other is to raise you right." When I first started this I explained that those were my jobs as a mom. Sometimes when she gets upset about being corrected I'll ask HER why I tell her things and she'll repeat "To keep me safe and raise me right." Then I'll ask her if she thinks her behavior is safe, and then if she thinks her behavior is right. She'll usually say "No" and then move on to doing something else.

 

Right now it's just her, so I'm hoping this will still work when I'm dealing with siblings.


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Old 04-25-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:10 PM
 
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I really like your mantra MamaintheDesert, I think I'll start using that tomorrow


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Old 04-25-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abiyhayil View Post

I really like your mantra MamaintheDesert, I think I'll start using that tomorrow

 


Aww. Thanks. I hope it helps!


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Old 04-26-2012, 05:24 AM
 
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I haven't been on MDC in forEVER. I actually came here tonight in search of the same answers you are seeking, and found your post. On one hand, I find a tiny bit of comfort in that I'm not the only one. On the other hand, I still feel at a loss. I could have written your post word for word, except I have two boys, 4.5 and 6.5. 

 

My boys get TONS of time outside. Healthy food (for the most part). Good sleep. Lots of hugs and kisses and "in" time. 

 

And they still fight constantly, say extremely disrespectful things to each other and to me and their dad, and my 4.5 year old is now saying bad words multiple times a day, every day. No amount of talking, ignoring, time-out-ing, humor, or taking away of things has worked so far. I've basically reached my braking point, and I've "shunned" them in some ways. I don't want to be around them. 

 

I broke down in tears this evening, feeling like a failure, like I can't take my kids anywhere, god forbid people hear the things coming out of their mouths, can't have friends over because they end up bullying their kids in some way (even though they can be really sweet and fun too sometimes). 

 

I've also wondered if there is a boarding school for young kids. Or a boarding house for hopeless-in-despair mamas. 

 

I feel really hurt because I really do try EVERY. single. day. to set things up so that everyone's needs are met, and seriously, this is the return? Do I really have to wait for "someday" when they are in their 20s or 30s??? I don't know how my own mom survived, as I remember being quite stubborn and sassy...but I was NOT saying/doing the things my kids are to this extent!

 

Hugs from one mama at a loss to another. Maybe we can chat, and support each other through this extremely trying time. I feel like I just don't have the energy to keep up in a mature way. I just want to scream at them most days. :(

 

 


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Old 04-27-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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One thing that has made a difference here lately, and that I hadn't even realized I had lapsed on, is consistency. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I had gotten in to the habit of saying "If you don't do x, you can't stay up and do dessert with us"... and then I would feel bad about it, and let them do dessert anyway. Doesn't take many times of that for them to realize you don't mean business, unfortunately. Fortunately, it doesn't take many times of it for them to realize that you do mean business, either, when you make it a point to be consistent. I try to point out to the kids too, some of the things that are stressing me out, and them out (like packing for moving). I remind them of the fun things we want to do and will be able to do if they are cooperative family members. 

 

Shell, sometimes I have to separate my two, and tell them that they can't play together because they aren't playing nicely together. Then they generally want to show that they can play together nicely. Can you make sure you get enough time for you, out with friends without your kids? If they're tormenting others, don't have other kids over, and make sure they know why. 


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Old 05-20-2012, 12:16 AM
 
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I'm on here looking for answers too, so I don't have the solution but I am wondering if logical/natural consequences have worked for anyone on listening and respect issues. I know that respect has to come from a good relationship with the child but it's not easy to build a good relationship with someone who openly disrespects you. I am talking with my DD a lot about losing my patience and how that will affect her day.
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Old 05-20-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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I don't know if this will be a popular opinion, but I've felt convicted about losing my patience lately and how that is a bad example of self control for my kids. If I mean for them to keep their own emotions and wants from controlling themselves in whatever circumstance I should be working on the same in myself. And I want to blame the circumstance they are causing it but I know I should be able to use patience.

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Old 05-20-2012, 12:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

I don't know if this will be a popular opinion, but I've felt convicted about losing my patience lately and how that is a bad example of self control for my kids. If I mean for them to keep their own emotions and wants from controlling themselves in whatever circumstance I should be working on the same in myself. And I want to blame the circumstance they are causing it but I know I should be able to use patience.
Just to clarify I fell the same way about modeling self control. Still even if I can control my actions I am not an automaton and being disrespected makes me want to spend less time with the person and not make extra effort - i.e. Not reading bedtime books when DD doesn't cooperate with bedtime routine. I know some people would regard this as punitive but I feel like I get walked on if I don't do something to save my sanity.
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Old 05-20-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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OP, I was reading through your post and was really, really surprised when I got to the end and read that your oldest was 4.5. 

 

I think your expectations of your children are pretty high consdering their ages.  The kind of empathy and thoughtfulness you seem to want them to have just aren't typical of three- and four-year-olds. 

 

I had three children in 3.5 years.  They (especially the oldest two, who are 17 months apart) have always squabbled a lot and even fought a lot physically.  The 3-6 ish range was the worst.  Things got significantly better when oldest DS turned seven.  Seven is sometimes called "the age of reason," you know. :)

 

My best answer to physical fighting is to separte them so they can't hurt each other, and address the underlying needs that led to the fighting.  We learned along the way that "consequences," "time outs," and "punishments" didn't work at all.  I don't care what Supernanny says, and I personally find the idea of a "naughty chair/corner" appalling.

 

I would put all your energy into modeling the kind of behavior you want them to imitate.  You can speak firmly without yelling, express disapproval for an action without labeling your child.  If this is done consistently, they will GRADUALLY increase in their ability to sympathize and empathize with other people.  We don't do forced apologies, either; these just encourage pretending to be sorry when one isn't.

 

Have you read How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk? 

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Old 05-21-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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Lol forget about feelings! I think kids are 4.5 can't be reasoned with but they can develop a sense of what is appropriate or not by establishing boundaries through discipline being consistently enforced.

I'm not a mother btw but I have a 4.5 year old brother and a 2 year old brother.

The 4.5 year old has been kicked out of kindergarden over hitting.

 

When the 4.5 year old was hitting his sister. I told him not to once. He looked straight at me, smiled and laughed and did it again. So calmly I walked up to him and said,

'I said DONT hit your sister.' As expected he laughed in my face.

I picked him up kicking and screaming and took him to his room and asked him.

'What did I tell NOT to do?'

He didn't want to look me in the eye at this point and his smile was quickly disappearing and he was whining, squirming and getting upset but I was firm with him, he was stuck in the room on the chair until he told me, every time he moved I put him back on the chair... 30 minutes later, he finally gave up and said

'not to hit her'

'This is your first warning. Hitting is not appropriate. You are not allowed to hit ANYONE. If you continue to hit others you will lose the privilege to watch TV and be confined to your room. Do you understand?' Nods

'You aren't leaving this room until you can guarantee you aren't going to hit again and until you apologize to her for hitting.' So then asked him if he could guarantee he wasn't going to hurt anyone, he said yes, looking downcast and then I prepped him how to apologize.

Called her into the room he apologized.

What do you do if he wont tell you what he did wrong or doesn't apologize?

If he wont tell you what he did wrong go back to what he was doing and explain what he did wrong, i.e You hit your sister. I said not to and then you did it again. We don't hit. hitting is wrong, do you understand? you need to apologize to her.'
If he isn't paying attention you say you will 'continue this conversation when you are ready to listen to what I have to say and lock him in his room. Remove potentially harmful and fun toys. Like no chairs, no books, locked window. etc.

Come back when the screaming has stopped and start again.

 

If he won't apologize, you tell him, you are sad he has made that choice because you cannot let him out, because he cannot guarantee he wont hit others. Take out anything fun/dangerous check up on him periodically. In about 15 minutes ask him again again. He'll get the point fairly quickly

 

Later in the day he did it again, but this time, I added,

'now that you have broken your word about not hitting I think a natural consequence of this means you will no longer be allowed to watch TV cartoons for the rest of the day.'

Got fairly upset about this one but calmed down enough to apologize and still whined when he wasn't allowed to watch them but I was firm and repeated why not every time to really hammer it into him and the third time, I said he would have to

'spend the rest of the day in your room.'

 

I checked up on him and sat meals/toliet with him.

No kidding this was pretty boring and annoying but he got the point fairly quickly.

Anyway my point is YOU need to make immediate consequences for his behaviour. Even if they are artificial you are establishing boundaries - it becomes a learnt habit. It sounds like a lot of work but it get easier over time once they get how it works.

k x s is offline  
 

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