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Help! My kids have been driving me BATTY! They are 6, 4, and 2.5. I was the epitome of the AP to them up to about age 2. I read almost the entire Dr. Sears library. I have read a few discipline books over the past few years, but the only way they would help is if the authors would actually come to my house and live with us for a while. I do not have "bad" kids but they really push the limits. I am not an authoritarian mom, but I do believe that I am the parent and they do need to listen to me. But they don't listen! For the most part their behavior is good, and often better than most kids. But at home, they go crazy. I am totally babbling, but I don't even know where to begin. Fortunately, today was a PERFECT day, behavior wise, but the insanity isn't fresh in my mind.<br><br>
What I am getting at is how do you AP older kids? The books don't tell you that! When your baby is crying, you pick him up. What he wants is also the same as what he needs. But what about when your 4 y.o. wants ice cream and kicks you when you do not get it for her because she doesn't NEED it. Or when your 6 y.o. son gets pouty and aggressive and treats you like a child because you won't let him play video games for hours on end at Target?<br><br>
I do not want to be one of those moms who turns a blind eye to her children's misbehaving and acts as though they can do no wrong and lets them get away with everything. I also do not want to be a mean, nasty, yelling and spanking mom. But I grew up with yelling and spanking and being mean and angry, so that is what is second nature to me. I have made progress remaining calm. I don't even think spanking works. I think it is just plain BAD to spank! Yet I still resort to it now and then. I am having trouble being consistent with my kids. Like either I yell REALLY LOUDLY at them or I just have a "pansy pushover mom" talk with them. Sometimes I just throw my hands up in the air and walk away because I just do not know what to do. I figure it is better to let them get away with something than for me to yell too much or spank.<br><br>
How do you continue to show your kids endless love and yet teach them how to be good people and set limits? I know how to handle a 2 year old's tantrums; they are so easy in comparison to those of a 6 year old! My kids are good people. They just do some not so good things quite often, especially fighting with each other. How can I get them to listen so I can teach them how to make their own decisions wisely? Without spanking or ignoring?<br><br>
A massive thank you to anyone who can tell me something that I haven't already heard, that is easy to get started with, and that WORKS!
 

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I know there are lots of choices, and I'm sure others will post some, but the book that helped me when I was at your stage was "Parenting with Love and Logic". It's not totally AP; it does talk about spanking as an option; but it's basic premise helped flip a light switch in my brain. It gave me an idea of how it could all work---- how to teach kids to become responsible and promote a more reasonable family interaction than we were having at the time. And it does fucus on empathizing with your kids no matter what good or bad behavior choice they are making at the time, which I thought was pretty AP.
 

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Such a HUGE question -- and so hard to respond to. I don't know really where to start!<br><br>
There are a LOT of books, and it sounds like you are a reader.<br><br>
"Kid Cooperation"<br>
"Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles"<br>
"Liberated Parents, Liberated Children"<br>
"Sibling Rivalry"<br>
"Kids are Worth It"<br><br>
I'm sure others can suggest more.<br><br>
You Have your hands FULL with 3 kids under 6.... no matter what you do, things are going to be a bit hectic for awhile!<br><br>
You said that you know how to handle a 2 yo temper tantrum ... but I bet when your first child was 2 you didn't feel that confident about 2 yo temper tantrums. In the same way, the stages your younger children go through will be easier for you to handle because you will have experience with them. So, it will get easier. (Sometimes I feel sorry for my oldest. Poor kid -- I never have any idea what I'm doing with him!)<br><br>
I wish I had answers about the kids fighting. "Sibling Rivalry" was the best book I've read -- in fact the only book I've read that addresses the issue head on. Even still -- it is my single biggest button-pusher. Sometimes I feel like I can sail through so many hard issues brilliantly, and then loose my temper and fly off the handle when my boys start fighting. It is *so* incredibly hard!
 
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