Ideas needed for teaching responsibility - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 08-17-2002, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All!

I could use a few ideas for my two older boys. We've been dealing with them disappearing for over a week now. We've been trying and trying to get them to tell someone when they want to go somewhere and where they are going. Grandma lives in the same yard, but being on a farm, they sometimes go other places and we are always left searching for them. It is a very scary feeling!

My oldest son is over 6 now, and the younger one is 5 at the end of this month. I really expect more responsibilty from both of them than what they give. They are very confident (esp. the older one, he wants driving lessons!! ) and I think that is a great thing, but I need to find a way to make them realize that they have a responsibility to respect the rules and others feelings here as well. Just a few days ago, they just took off from Grandma when she had taken them with her to the field. It was over 2 miles from home and bordering a very heavily bush area. It scared us both to death, searching for them. I found them just a quarter of a mile from home. I was so relieved and upset and angry that I started crying, and they thought it was FUNNY! They just can't seem to realize that just because they knew where they were, we didn't!

So, if anyone has any ideas of ways to help get this through to them, I'm all ears! (Or is that eyes? )
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#2 of 3 Old 08-17-2002, 02:40 PM
 
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well my ds is only 3 and a half so i dont know much about dealing with older kids like that, but what ive done from the start, and acually lived by before i had him is my little motto - with privlage come responsibiity-

not in a , if you misbehave ill take something away way, but more like a , if you want to do this thing(privalage) then you must do it safely,and thoughtfully(responsibiity)

it sounds like they really want to explore and i think thats a great thing, im so happy that they are haveing that wonderful experiance on a farm (my dream ) but maybe you need to set down some ground rules, post them up on the board or something/ like they can only go exploring for such and such time in such and such area and only if they ask an adult first.

perhaps get them a special watch with an alarm that you can set so when it goes off they have to head back, or get them walkie talkies with a good range so you can always communiate, or set up special times when someone can acually go with them to do there exploring so they dont get pent up with there "wonder lust"

i think its important to not limit them too much as if they are they will probably just do it more. perhaps sit down with them and give real credit to there feelings of wanting to explore (not saying you dont, just thinking outload here) and talk about the good points of it and the bad points.

if there not old enough to understand the dangers and the worried feelings it causes you then they should not do that thing.

take it one step at a time, first the must be prepared for an explore, then they must respect your feelings if they expect you to respect there feelings, then they must get the ok to go.

get on an even groung with them, show them how you take responsibity for the privalges in your life.

if they cant follow these rules or guiedlines then instead of punishment i just wouldnt allow them to do such a thing, as in "im sorry you cant do that thing for i cannot trust you, we can try again tommorrow if youd like"
i realize that might not help if there just disapearing like that, so if thats the case i would really put the proverbial foot down and reing in the privalages for a while. i dont know how you could do this and its a difficult and fine line to walk between givieng your child freedom to have fun and teaching them good and safe values. i wish good luck to you and hope you can come up with something. you might have to reange your daily life temporaroly to keep these boys safe and you from stressing out.
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#3 of 3 Old 08-23-2002, 06:50 PM
 
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If I were in your situation, I think I would say that if they did not tell me where they would be, they could not go outside unsupervised. i would be so afraid of them being kidnapped or hurt.
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