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#1 of 9 Old 10-17-2012, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am new to this board. Ive just started coming here and reading threads and can see Im nto alone when it comes to needing some guidance! Thank God because sometimes it feels as if Im the only mom out there that is struggling (ridiculous I know, but thats how it feels at times).

 

Ok so here is my struggle. I have a beautiful, kind, loving 4.5 year old DS and a 6 month old baby girl. DS is in preschool 5 mornings a week and at the daycare lady's house in the afternoon and the baby is in daycare all day since i went back to work on 8/6.

 

Prior to DD's birth, we had the usual issues with DS. From about 3.5 on , his behavior has gotten to be more of a challenge. He has alot of energy but is capable of sitting still and watching tv or playing quietly if he chooses. We had te occasioanl tantrums that would happen when he didn't get his way. The worse if the not listening however. I will ask him to do something and he would just ignore me. Or he would do something dangerous like walk towards to road and I would ask him to stay away and he will do the opposite. I know that alot of this is normal limit testing. All of this has gottent o be 100% times worse since the birth of our DD. I know it's about getting attention, I know why it's happening (I think), I just don't know the best way to handle it. Ive tried trying to shape the positibe behavior and reinforce that. Ive tried natural consequences and Ive tried punishment in the forms of losing priveledges (ie no tv, no reading before bed, no you wont be able to do xyz like we planned). I always feel terrible using punishment or bribery for lack of a better term (ie if you do xyz you will earn something you want) but it seems to be the ONLY things that work and even then its always as a last resort because Ive tried other more positive things and have theynot had the desired effect.

 

Here is an example.

 

Often he wants to run ahead of myself or DH when we pick him up from school. We have told him for safety reasons that he must hold our hand in the parking lot. He will just laugh at this and run off. This is not ok. I cannot allow a natural consequence if it's dangerous. Ive tried explaining to him why this is how it has to be. He doesn;t care why - if he doesnt want to do something he won't.  

 

Ill ask him to clean up his toys, take his vitamins, get ready for bed....whatever it is he will just ignore me or DH like he doesn't even hear us (I know he does). When he is well behaved and when he does listen we make it a point to let him know how great it is. This positive reinforcement doesnt seem to have any effect. Most of the time the only thing that works is I will ask him nicely to do something, he won't, Ill ask again nicely, he won't again. I will tell him im going to count to three and if xyz doesn't happen than there will be a certain consequence. I usually get to 2 and he then does it. Sometimes he doesn't and I follow through with the consequence and he has a hissy fit, but it's not like he learns from this and makes a different choice the next time.

 

I feel like I suck at parenting him and DH and I are frustrated. I know its hard for him to have a sister now and not be the center of attention and he gets alone time with both DH and myself.

 

Any suggestions? Ill try ANYTHING!!!!!


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#2 of 9 Old 10-17-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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The other day, my 3.5 yr old son kept hurting his brother. I was repeating over and over to not touch your brother. Then I asked him "do you hear me?" To which he looked me straight in the eye and said "No. I don't hear you" and then just walked away. Ugh. I have a 3.5 yr old going on 15.

 

He is a horrible listener. I have been at my wits end with him. You are not alone. I don't know if its an age thing or a sibling rivalry thing, but it sucks right? I feel like my friends and family see me as a bad mother because I cannot get him to listen. I feel like a bad mother because I see other boys his age being very nice and calm and walking along with their parents and being such good little boys.

 

I have come to the realization that he is not calm. He cannot just sit there peacefully and listen to me. Its just not his personality. So - I have changed my discipline methods to try to reflect his personality. I keep him occupied, engage him more, give him way more chores or little things to do. It keeps him happy and away from his little brother.  He needs to be doing something or he gets bored and acts up.  I don't know if that sounds like your son, but you may need to change your discipline based on his personality, based on how he is in certain situations.

 

His pre-k teacher gave me the best advice when I asked her for some help.  Right now we are giving him a choice, letting him be in control.  For example, I say to him "you have 2 choices, hold my hand in the parking lot and we can walk together to the park, or don't hold my hand and we will go home" OR "you have 2 choices, hit your brother again and you can go inside, or stop hitting your brother and we can play outside for an extra 5 minutes" or something along those lines. And you know what - it works! 9/10 he chooses the better option. But when he doesn't you need to be consistent and do what you said.  In the past month alone he has been doing so well and listening.  

 

I hope that helps. I know I was kind of rambling, sorry.  


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#3 of 9 Old 10-18-2012, 05:54 AM
 
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We've been having similar issues with our 3.5 YO DS since our second son was born too.  I feel like I am constantly repeating things to him-don't lick the baby, we don't hit, kicking hurts people etc.  He ignores my requests completely until I feel like I have to yell to be heard (and because I am so frustrated that my head is about to explode!).  Of course when I do raise my voice, he becomes upset and then I feel awful....uggh.  I have found that getting right down to his level and speaking right to him helps...although he sometimes then gets angry because he's being spoken to so directly...but I think it's because he knows that he can't say he didn't hear me! The behaviour usually gets better....if only for an hour or so!

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#4 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks....

 

It helps just knowing Im not alone!

 

Greenla - I do do the choice thing and it seems that sometimes it works and helps and other times it doesn't. Lots of times he simply ignores me  But I will try to be as consistent as I can. I think that I do need to tailor my my methods to fit his personaility but what is very frustrating to me is that I find myself limited in my options because of my circumstances. (ie a fulltime working mom)

 

I think he would be much better if he got more physical activity outside on a regular basis. For a variety of reasons this is not possible - it's not about making it happen, it just isn't possible. So what can I do?

 

Can I ask you what types of things you do to engage him? what kids of chores do you give him?

 

Bouncymummy - I havebeen doing the get down on his level recently and it also seems to help, but only sometimes??


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#5 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 07:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

Thanks....

 

It helps just knowing Im not alone!

 

Greenla - I do do the choice thing and it seems that sometimes it works and helps and other times it doesn't. Lots of times he simply ignores me  But I will try to be as consistent as I can. I think that I do need to tailor my my methods to fit his personaility but what is very frustrating to me is that I find myself limited in my options because of my circumstances. (ie a fulltime working mom)

 

I think he would be much better if he got more physical activity outside on a regular basis. For a variety of reasons this is not possible - it's not about making it happen, it just isn't possible. So what can I do?

 

Can I ask you what types of things you do to engage him? what kids of chores do you give him?

 

 

I work full time outside the home too.  Usually my DH takes the kids outside after picking them up from the sitter, while I cook dinner. Or he just rough houses with them IN the house. I make obstacle courses and other physical games for him to play to get out his energy if we can't go outside.

 

The only chore he really has everyday is to feed the cat. But if I need to clean the house, I'll give him a rag and a spray bottle of water and have him "clean" too. It keeps him busy for quite sometime. He helps me switch the laundry, load the dishwasher, bake, dust.  If I'm tending to his little brother I'll have him get me the diaper or change of clothes, or even sing to his brother to keep him from crying.

 

Also what worked for us was a sticker chart. He would get a sticker for listening and doing other things - like eating all his dinner, sharing with his brother, getting dressed by himself.  When he filled up the week with stickers he would get a prize. That works for us too, because that is what his pre-K teacher does with the kids. So it brings consistency that way.


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#6 of 9 Old 10-19-2012, 07:30 AM
 
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My son and I were talking just yesterday about when he was little. He's sixteen now, and I wanted to know why he did certain things when he was young. He told me that when there was so little he could control, it was very important for him to control certain things. For example, at our local bookstore, there are double doors. One he would use for going in, the other for going out. If the going out door was locked early, he didn't want to leave. It didn't make sense to me, because I didn't care which door we went out, but it mattered to him. I did all I could to respect that, even though I didn't understand it. He, then, held hands in the parking lot. Maybe if you find something he can control, as soon as he gets out of school (where very little is in his control), he'll be more cooperative.

And the control issue went away with my son, especially now that he is choosing his future goals without pressure from me. Sometimes the cause of the problem is difficult to spot.
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#7 of 9 Old 10-21-2012, 05:29 PM
 
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Bouncymummy - I havebeen doing the get down on his level recently and it also seems to help, but only sometimes??

I hear ya...it's hit or miss with my little guy as well!!!  I have been finding recently that both his listening and coping skills are considerably worse when he is hungry, so I've been trying to feed him smaller meals/snacks more often, which seems to help with his behaviour-again, not all of the time!! Maybe this is something you could keep an eye out for...just a thought!

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#8 of 9 Old 10-22-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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Also, is this his first yr in preschool? Cuz my son is also going 5 days a week, in the afternoons for pre-k and is exhausted by time he comes home. Him being tired makes him act up a ton more, but he refuses to take a nap.


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#9 of 9 Old 10-25-2012, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, is this his first yr in preschool? Cuz my son is also going 5 days a week, in the afternoons for pre-k and is exhausted by time he comes home. Him being tired makes him act up a ton more, but he refuses to take a nap.

No its not his first year, but he did go last year only 3 days a week and this year hes going 5 mornings/week and he doesnt nap anymore either. Im sure he is tired and I know that he behaves much worse when he is more tired. He's been much better the last few days. He is trying to earn stars to get a transformer :) I just hate always using rewards as a reason to get him to behave, but its working for the moment!


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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