Moms of Many Gentle Discipline Support Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 144 Old 08-02-2007, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This thread is support-only and is for mothers with large families. Please keep the Gentle Discipline Guidelines in mind when posting.
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So, now that I have four little ones, eight and under, I'm finding some new struggles on the gentle discipline front. As I wrote in our FYT tribe, when I'm nursing a very fussy baby and Michael is trying to kill Katie Grace upstairs and Nicholas is lobbing egg shakers in my general direction, it's hard to triage whose needs come first. It's hard not to yell. It's hard not to just send everyone to their separate quarters until I can figure out how to deal with them.

Also, I have a low threshold for chaos (which begs the question, why do we have so many children, ) and it's really damaging to my mental health to just let wildness rule. I can't do it.

Anyway, I would love to hear from other mamas of many. How is GD working for you? What are your struggles? What are your successes?

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#2 of 144 Old 08-02-2007, 04:06 PM
 
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I am going through this too. i also have a low threshold for chaos and noise (and yet I am having my fourth child! and often we're with my friend and her two boys as well). I have a hard time not yelling and I usually must send them off to separate areas for some peace to figure things out. Add to it, my eldest is diagnosed Bipolar and that just adds a whole other dimension to GD and handling all the boys at once!!!

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#3 of 144 Old 08-02-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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OK, I'm here!

I rarely come to this forum (since I have limited time and this just has not been a stop for me). Besides, for me, discipline has always been a personal matter best saved for DH and myself.

But I would love to see suggestions that people have for GD with large families. Since the dinamics are so different than with small families with small children. I know GD can work, but there has to be different methods.

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#4 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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I'm here to -- and I am dealing with everything that has already been posted. Chaos, noise, low threshhold, who to deal with first, end up yelling to get them to all be quiet - for at least a moment. But I can't even figure out how to send them to different places in the house - my DS 5 will do it -- but the 2.5 year old triplets - no way - they won't stay in any designated place -- and I turn the struggle away from whatever it was - and now its a struggle to keep them separated. HELPPPP??

I was sooo GD with DS #1 when it was just him. I swear. But most days - I end up defeated and feeling like a menace to GD . ...

OK - and I've had other particular struggles with DS 1 that I posted about in multipes and childhood years - but got very little response to -- I am thinking this is the forum where I'll get some help on that topic too. Please take a look at my next post --- pullleaaaase.

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#5 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:23 AM
 
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I am so hoping someone can help me with this.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=720723

I'd be so relieved to just hear someone say BTDT at this point!

Its probably no mystery 'why' DS is doing this stuff -- as everyone says - "it must be so hard for him to deal with triplet siblings". Agreed. But they aren't going away . .. .. and we give him every available minute of free time for 1-1 that is possible to the absolute exclusion of the triplets 1-1 time, mommy time, daddy time, and mommy and daddy time . . . so I am running short on patience . . . and really wanting some practical, step-by-step, here is how you handle it when DS does X kind of advice.

THANKS!

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#6 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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I am seriously loosing it--some days, especially when it is hot it is like I'm Mrs. Hyde! :

I have three children--is that considered "many?"

My oldest boy is 6. He talks nonstop, and it is about stuff that I have to listen to, and sometimes I just want to think or hear the program on the radio ... and I crack up a bit...

If the baby is crying I can't take the noise at all.... I'll have to continue posting later as I am almost out of battery juice... but I look forward to this thread!

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#7 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:47 AM
 
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I'm still learning how to parent three and often feel like I have more than I can handle. I sometimes start to fantasize about how life would have been if we'd only had one, so I'd never have to deal with sibling conflicts, but I quickly stop myself, feeling so sad imagining my second two not existing!

I'm muddling forward, trying to figure things out, counting on it getting easier as the kids get older. It does, right?

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#8 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:57 AM
 
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I only have three, too. They're just young, and that's the major struggle. Trying to deal with discipline issues and still help them with all their bodily needs. It just gets kind of tedious sometimes. And tiring.

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#9 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 03:00 AM
 
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Here too!

Tripmom, I was thinking about your situation on the way over here, and the way I see it you've got two issues.
1) In the tripping incident, before you could even start talking you had to find a way of getting the noise level down enough that you could be heard. Would moving to a different room with the two participants be a possibility?
2) You then had to comfort the trippee quickly enough that you could deal with the tripper
3) You then had to remind the tripper that his brother/sister was really hurt and scared by the thing that he had done, and it's really NOT cool to trip your brother over, even if his nose does do that cool thing when it spurts blood when he fell on the floor. Aim for a degree of recognition for what he's done.
4) THEN find time to reconnect with the tripper later on and give him a reward (aka some special mummy time) for doing the right thing and staying out of trouble so you're available to talk to him and vice versa.

That's what works in our house, anyhow, but at the moment we're just at three and growing. Stage 1 (can't hear myself think) is the biggie, though- if you can figure out that one it's standard GD tactics.

How does everyone else feel about the noise levels in their home? At the moment I think we've got it about right but dd is loud, loud, loud Screaming, shrieking, shouting- she's not a girl for moderation.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#10 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 03:56 AM
 
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I am so hoping someone can help me with this.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=720723

I'd be so relieved to just hear someone say BTDT at this point!

THANKS!
HI trip mom, I have a lot of the same kinds of stuff go on with my oldest boy. He doesn't deal well with not having 'space.' usually he is really good with his little brother (3) but some days he just needs to be alone--

We're making him a kind of 'alone' thoughtful spot, so he can get away... and not send his little brother out of their room in various 'creatively' destructive ways. When ds was five learning something that could challenge him physically (yoga, tai chi , capoera, challenging monkey bars at an elementary school) made him a little less likely to explore his new-found strength in his mighty little body on his little brother.

Sometimes he is just really, really intense -- and I am answering all these geographic/scientific/philosophical/engineering questions while feeding/diapering play with a 7month-old and reading, chasing, cleaning syrup off of a 3 year old.

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#11 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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I'm nak as usual, just subbing. I have 4 DDs ages 11, 6, 3, and 6mos.

My biggest GD issue is currently my 3yo. She's in a phase where she doesn't make eye contact and runs away when I say please come here. : Not sure what to do with her, but I definitely can't take her anywhere. So hard to deal with when I'm always holding the baby,...

Keri, wife to Tony, mom to five DDs: M ('96), S('01), E('04), A('07) and J('10);
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#12 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wonder how much discipline issues and family management issues overlap? For me, it seems like they intercept all the time. When I'm in a good routine and we have a daily rhythm and I have charts (there's my OCD again, LOL!) and labels and loose schedules, things go great. When we try to wing it, it all goes to hell in a handbasket. Like today.

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#13 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:01 PM
 
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TripMom,

I have to second the suggestion to put your child in martial arts - whole heartedly! When we did that with my seven year old son, there was a huge change.

It was something for him, but also, his Tae Kwon Do teacher was very good at speaking to the kids about their responsibilities. They were not allowed to be in fights or bully. They were not to use their skills for anything other than the classes and tournaments.

They learned PRIDE in themselves and respect for themselves. That was HUGE. There was nothing we were doing that equalled that! Respect for others came with it all.

We noticed my son was less apt to physically take it out on his siblings.

ALSO, consistency with discipline is a must, parents MUST be on the same level, SLEEP schedules and feeding schedules are also a must have.

I wish you tons of luck! This is a hard age and martial arts isn't always cheap, but it was SO WORTH IT, I cannot imagine life without us putting him in TKD years ago.

We really need to do so again, but now I have three old enough for activities, so it's hard to pay for whereas just one was easier.

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#14 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:13 PM
 
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I'm here. I have consider whether or not I have some real sensory issues because the noise is driving me crazy!!

I feel like I can handle the load when things go moderately well but once it begins to deviate I had started yelling. To avoid that I have been separating them or completely disengaging myself which isn't doing any long term good. They all talk and sing all the time. They have learned not to play the piano at nap time.

I can't think. I can't sleep. I can't take the noise. I can't make a coherent post so I'll stop now. Somebody tell me that adding a 5th child will make the toddler grow up a bit and suddenly.

You don’t owe them an explanation, just a response.
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#15 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 01:32 PM
 
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Oh my goodness! I love you for starting this thread. I'll be subbing and reading through when all my littles are in bed. BTW, I have 6 between 1 and 11.

Orthodox Mama
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#16 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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My latest GD issue:

My kids are 6, 3, 1 1/2 and 12 days and bedtime is making me crazy. My second youngest still wants me to lay down with/nurse him at bedtime but #4 seems to be cluster feeding in the evenings and doesn't want to detach. The oldest two have trouble settling down and them making noise doesn't help ds2 fall asleep.

What do you do at bedtime with a bunch of kids?

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
13yo ds   10yo dd  8yo ds and 6yo ds and 1yo ds  
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#17 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 06:36 PM
 
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My latest GD issue:

My kids are 6, 3, 1 1/2 and 12 days and bedtime is making me crazy. My second youngest still wants me to lay down with/nurse him at bedtime but #4 seems to be cluster feeding in the evenings and doesn't want to detach. The oldest two have trouble settling down and them making noise doesn't help ds2 fall asleep.

What do you do at bedtime with a bunch of kids?
Pour yourself a stiff drink?

Hide out in the bathroom?

Clearly, I have no advice, but I feel ya!

Mommy to kids

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#18 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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I wonder how much discipline issues and family management issues overlap? For me, it seems like they intercept all the time. When I'm in a good routine and we have a daily rhythm and I have charts (there's my OCD again, LOL!) and labels and loose schedules, things go great. When we try to wing it, it all goes to hell in a handbasket. Like today.
What kind of charts do you have? I'm trying to institute a loose schedule, and it has been going pretty well. I'd like to have some organization in the housecleaning area, though, where they can see what we chores we have for the day. I'd love some creative ideas!

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#19 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What kind of charts do you have? I'm trying to institute a loose schedule, and it has been going pretty well. I'd like to have some organization in the housecleaning area, though, where they can see what we chores we have for the day. I'd love some creative ideas!
Right now, I have three.

First, I have a chore chart for me. It lists a room to work on each day (it works out perfectly. We really need a bigger house though ) as well as what laundry I do that day (dipes, darks, whites, etc)

Second, I have a kitchen helper chart for the kids. I have three kids who are old enough to help, and each day I have a junior chef (helps cook, brings me stuff from the fridge or pantry, takes bowls of food to the table), a host/hostess (sets the table, calls everyone, prays if Daddy isn't there or doesn't want to), and clean-up crew (clears serving dishes--everyone clears their own plates--and takes out the recycling, and the older ones help dry and put things away as well. It's purely voluntary, but they really like doing it, for the most part.

Finally, I made a menu chart that's very general. So for breakfast, Monday is eggs, Tuesday muffins, Wednesday granola, etc. Dinners might be meat Sunday, soup or stew Monday, meatless on Tuesday. I have lunches and 2 snacks for each day too. Then I just plug in meals and snacks when I do the menu.

Not discipline exactly, but it helps maintain order on my part, which seems to help everything run smoothly.

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#20 of 144 Old 08-03-2007, 11:28 PM
 
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: definately could use some camaraderie

mom of 3 , homeschooling the oldest with google and the internet
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#21 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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Not discipline exactly, but it helps maintain order on my part, which seems to help everything run smoothly.
Well sure it is! It's the best kind, planning ahead to keep the troubles from cropping up.

I love your kitchen chart, I'm going to adopt that. I do meal plans every other week, and those weeks everything is easier. I need to be more consistent about them.

I also love your house cleaning chart. I've been meaning to do one of those for a long time, too. I read once about a method where you put a chore you need to do every month on an index card, and then pick one every day and do it. My house could stand to have that method of cleaning!

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#22 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Pour yourself a stiff drink?

Hide out in the bathroom?

Clearly, I have no advice, but I feel ya!
Hands down the most difficult part of the day when my triplets were newborns and DS was 2.5 . . .. . . everything collided at dinner/bath/bedtime . . . and it was soo hard! And I totally could NOT do it by myself, either . . . DH had to be home . . . or someone had to help me. .. .

No tips, sorry! Just the glimmer of hope that it does get better when the youngest are older?

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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#23 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 01:17 AM
 
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Here too!

Tripmom, I was thinking about your situation on the way over here, and the way I see it you've got two issues.
1) In the tripping incident, before you could even start talking you had to find a way of getting the noise level down enough that you could be heard. Would moving to a different room with the two participants be a possibility?
2) You then had to comfort the trippee quickly enough that you could deal with the tripper
3) You then had to remind the tripper that his brother/sister was really hurt and scared by the thing that he had done, and it's really NOT cool to trip your brother over, even if his nose does do that cool thing when it spurts blood when he fell on the floor. Aim for a degree of recognition for what he's done.
4) THEN find time to reconnect with the tripper later on and give him a reward (aka some special mummy time) for doing the right thing and staying out of trouble so you're available to talk to him and vice versa.

That's what works in our house, anyhow, but at the moment we're just at three and growing. Stage 1 (can't hear myself think) is the biggie, though- if you can figure out that one it's standard GD tactics.

How does everyone else feel about the noise levels in their home? At the moment I think we've got it about right but dd is loud, loud, loud Screaming, shrieking, shouting- she's not a girl for moderation.
You know - I'm really freaked out about how mean DS1 will be to the triplets unprovoked. Am I making too much out of it? The stuff I see him do really upsets me . . . . maybe its more normal than I think? Dunno . . . it just seems like I should be doing something more when he is so mean to the kids?

TripMom . . . . . loving mom : to DS (7) and BBG (4.5)
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#24 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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Hope to be back later...I feel like my house is the loudest in the neighborhood.

joy.gifme, herding 5 critters a cat and a dog. DS 11/01, DS 10/04, DD 2/06, DS 5/07 and DD 9/10

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#25 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 02:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
My latest GD issue:

My kids are 6, 3, 1 1/2 and 12 days and bedtime is making me crazy. My second youngest still wants me to lay down with/nurse him at bedtime but #4 seems to be cluster feeding in the evenings and doesn't want to detach. The oldest two have trouble settling down and them making noise doesn't help ds2 fall asleep.

What do you do at bedtime with a bunch of kids?

TOUGH age but I remember at that point we kept a really strict night time schedule that started with dinner time. Dinner, baths, brushing teeth, reading, bed time, etc...

Do you have a partner that's good at helping out and is home every night? That makes a big difference. Also, I wasn't breastfeeding more than one at a time ever, so I know life must be that much more chaotic to you. But if you keep up the consistency and get help, it should turn things around.

Almost a b-ball team: : Taylor -14, Alex -11, Jack -8, Lachlan born at home 11/15/07
"Well behaved women rarely make history"
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#26 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 02:05 AM
 
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Lack of family management does tend to help flare up the discipline probs for us too. I get going with my charts and schedules and the kids actually love it, but then I FAIL MISERABLY every time!

Almost a b-ball team: : Taylor -14, Alex -11, Jack -8, Lachlan born at home 11/15/07
"Well behaved women rarely make history"
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#27 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 06:17 PM
 
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Lack of family management does tend to help flare up the discipline probs for us too. I get going with my charts and schedules and the kids actually love it, but then I FAIL MISERABLY every time!
:

I'm soo disorganized these days, I'm just doing damage control most of the time and I know that affects how our days go.

Keri, wife to Tony, mom to five DDs: M ('96), S('01), E('04), A('07) and J('10);
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#28 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 06:30 PM
 
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I'm joining.... 3 boys, and some days it feels like they all have 2 heads and 8 sticky arms...
back later,
Jessica
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#29 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 06:37 PM
 
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Lack of organization leads to chaos. So me having to move TWO households (one being ours) in a period of three weeks is driving me NUTS! :

We just finished moving my mom's house yesterday. Now we are back to packing our house and then moving next weekend for us! UUUUHHHHGGGG!

Talk about chaos! GD is SO difficult when you are totally stressed out yourself!

Boy do I wish I could be in next month already!

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they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#30 of 144 Old 08-04-2007, 06:49 PM
 
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I fit nicely here...

I have four - 11, 4, 3 and 1. The issue in my big house is that everyone wants to be heard all the time. If someone needs anothers attention, and the 'another' happens to be on the third floor, the yelling starts. If the 3yo gets her feelings hurt and starts to cry...loudly...the instigator needs to make his point...even more loudly...which leads to me trying to talk over them both to get some calm. :

I try really hard to keep peace around here - the different ages/toys/ideas/committments, etc. have me overwhelmed. I'm HSing my 6th grader this fall, considering sending the youngers to preschool for a few hrs. a day a couple of days a week. How will I ever keep it together well enough to guide my oldest through 6th grade? :

When I first saw the mention of a chart, I thought it was brilliant, but I thought it was to chart the victories, the meltdowns, the quirks to find some kind of pattern in the bumpy road to chaos. Don't get me wrong - my life is a blast, and I'm considering a 5th babe, but I have to get a handle on this somehow! I'll let you know what comes of my charting...
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