I don't know if everyone gets one, but we've got a live one here...
Our second son is 5, and he is really putting life (and me) to the
test already. Of any of the children, he is the biggest repeat offender. He just can't seem to get the victory in the first lesson.
He is always into something, up to something, disobeying any directive given. He is the one who, no matter the consequence, no matter the warning, will end up doing the deed. Its not that the others don't do these things, it is that he will do them over and over and over and over and over... and over... ?
He's the one who had the hardest time with bedtimes and naptimes at 2 or 3, maybe that was a sign of things to come? He was the one who just kept coming down the hall, and went back up it fussing and crying all the way, time after time.
He is like a raccoon, into everything, and thinking to do things that none of his siblings have devised. He gets into food, Dave's dresser drawers (flashlights, tools, money, mints, etc.), the workshop tools, the vitamin cabinet, the freezer, ... the latest thing was matches- he ate several books of them?!! I found kitchen matches outside, burnt, and after confering with my husband I realize that it was our son...
Of the children, he is the only one who has stolen things more than once from stores- all the rest seem to have learned on the first lesson... he is on lesson 3...
At chore/clean-up time, he is the one who will hide stuff and lie
about having done it. We have to double-check everything he does, we have to check in on him repeatedly to ensure he is actually doing it. Sometimes he will just goof off, playing, or even just sitting there, over and over. There are days that I practically have to stand there on guard detail at the doorway, and even then he will move in slow motion?!!
The kitchen has become a battleground. He will sneak anything, it
always seems to be the items that are limited dispersal items- ice-
cream, snack items, children's vitamins, cake, eggnog, soda, anything designated specifically mine or Dave's, popscicles, etc.
The hard part is that he will do it over and over again. We have
tried most any punishment, and yet he will do it again and again.
He will wake up at 4am and get into the vitamin cabinet... 7am and sneak olives out of the fridge...
I can't run a 24 hour patrol. It has begun to feel like I need to
restrain him so that I can sleep! But worst of all, I worry that if
we don't find a way to get the victory now, this cycle will continue
into something much worse at 13 or 15...
In ways he has improved, learned to work with his emotions and tantrums. Sometimes he will shock us and do a really awesome job of picking up, or following through. We do really praise these moments in hope that he will continue... but...
I have to really work to catch him doing something good. He responds well to positive feedback, but finding opportunities to give it is a challenge.
Funny thing is, he does all of his homeschool work without any hassles. He becomes positively animated when it is time for his homeschool. He loves it. The trouble comes when he is told that he can't do certain activities that his older brother does. Then I will find that he has gotten into the science kits, or math manipulatives, etc. and done whatever... parts lost or jumbled up... etc.
It feels like a control issue at this point, but I am so frustrated that perhaps I can't see the forest for the trees? At any rate, I'm out of ideas...
I'm looking for suggestions on consistent methods of following
through with a strong-willed child. Some way to guide and motivate him to grow better character. If anyone on this board has had any experience and success with this, please share.
The Lord bless you,