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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm trying to get a handle on how to rationally deal with my 6yo ds... i feel like i'm constantly either yelling or doing the whole "oooonnnnne... twoooooooo... threeeeeee...."<br>
thing.<br>
he is a bit of a daydreamer already, and it only gets worse if he's distracted by something. trying to get him to follow directions is a nightmare 90% of the time.<br>
i just feel like we're going about the whole thing the wrong way. dh threatens to revoke priveleges, take away favorite toys, etc. as a last-ditch effort, but that isn't effective, and it doesn't feel right to me when it's as random as that - i want to be able to come up with logical consequences for things that don't really have <i>natural</i> consequences on their own.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br>
does anyone have a strategy for day-to-day discipline, and getting kids to cooperate that has worked well for you?<br>
i'm in need of some suggestions. i get so frustrated so much of the time, that i'm becoming just a grumpy, loud, impatient jerk - and i <b>hate</b> it.<br>
it's complicated by the fact that at the same time, i'm trying to wrangle an inquisitive (and very stealthy) 2 1/2 yo, and a teething 8 mo crawler...<br>
help me??!!<br>
somewhere i have dr. sears discipline book, but we just moved, and it's lost in a box...... aggh!<br>
 

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Can you give an example? Do you mean, he has trouble listening to directions in the first place? Or do you mean that he gets half way through a task and then forgets and wanders off? I'm not sure I understand the specifics of the problem.<br><br>
I can tell you that with our 7 yo -- we've noticed for the past year that we can't expect a response from him unless we first attract his complete attention. What we do before we speak to him is say, "May I have your attention?" Then I don't even try to talk to him until he stops what he is doing and focuses on what I am saying. It took a while to make this a practise -- but now it is second nature for me to say, "Excuse me but may I have your attention?" And he has learned to respond well to this phrase. We've explained to him that when we say that, it means, "Stop what you are doing, look, and listen."
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<b>Do you mean, he has trouble listening to directions in the first place? Or do you mean that he gets half way through a task and then forgets and wanders off?</b><br><br>
um.. both.<br>
actually, it's a rare occasion when he even <i>gets</i> halfway through a task. example: if i ask him to pick up his room, i have to chase him <i>in</i> the room to begin with, and then when i come to check on him 10 minutes later, if the mess isn't the same, it's generally worse, because he's gotten out more toys and is playing. it's not a defiance issue, he just is very easily distracted, and i can't stand over him and make sure he's doing what he's been asked, because i'm usually chasing after my other 2 little ones. the problem being, nothing ends up getting done, i get grouchy and end up yelling, or my dh gets home, assesses the situation, and starts handing out ultimatums, and/or consequences.<br>
it's the same situation when he is sent to his room for some quiet time alone - five minutes later, i find him wandering around as if he were never told to stay in his own space.<br>
i realize he's very social, and wants to be where we are, but when it's a disciplinary action to send him to his room, and he just wanders right back out again, it creates a new discipline problem, kwim?<br>
i just hate this feeling of being the control monster, but i just don't feel like he's getting it, and i don't know what to do differently.<br>
it could be as simple as telling him "keegan, we have to go - please put your shoes on." , and it becomes a battle.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Okay, so, am is it correct to say that he is not intending to misbehave? This isn't defiance, or anything like that? He's just "forgetting" all the time?<br><br>
If thats the case, I'd say that instead of focusing on consequences, it might behelpful to focus on proactive strategies that will facilitate the sort of behavior you are looking for. If you think of it as an area that your son has trouble with, and then try to think of ways you can compensate for that trouble. Kind of like using glasses to help you see better, what can you do to help your ds focus on tasks better?<br><br>
For example, maybe he needs a sign on the inside of the door that says, "STOP: Has the timer gone off yet? Your time out is not over until it has!" (Just an example. I don't know if it would work for you ds.)<br><br>
I think instructions have to be really clearly spelled out at this age. "Go clean up your room," is probably still too vast and vague for a 6 yo. It might be more helpful to say, "Pick up all the clothes in your room, put them in the hamper, and then check back with me for your next assignment." An actual checklist of things to do, and then places to mark off finished tasks might be helpful to him. I know it is much more helpful to my son if I hand him a list with 4 things written on it, then it is for me to stand over him yelling at him all afternoon, and he takes it seriously when it is written down.<br><br>
I know we usually think of giving choices as more appropriate for toddlers, but I still find it helpful for my 7 yo. "Do you want to put on your sneakers or your sandals?"<br><br>
Also, I know its hard, but it helps to make things fun. "I want you to go pick up your clothes and put them in the hamper. I'm going to time you with this stop watch and see how quickly you can get it done. Then I'll record your "score" in this notebook. Next time, we'll see if you can beat your record." Or, "You put on your shoes, and I'll put on my shoes, and we'll see who's ready to go first!"
 

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You could also try making "routine posters" (an idea I got from Positive Discipline). Sit down with your son and ask him what has to be done in order to clean your room?? Make alist, then find pictures in magazines to illustrate (or have him draw pictures)... i.e. pick up your clothes and put them in the hamper (a pic of a t-shirt and shorts and a hamper), pick up toys and put them in their places (pic of toys and shelves), etc... (you could even take polaroids or digital pics of HIS stuff so he knows what you are talking about) you get the picture (no pun intended). Then, when he gets distracted, remind him of the poster and ask him to refer to it to figure out what he should be doing.<br><br>
This way, the "poster" or "routine" is the boss, and you aren't nagging him to do this or that, just asking him what comes next? You cna do this with any activity such as getting ready for bed, getting ready to go out, etc.<br><br>
I hope that helps <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Lo
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the helpful suggestions - i've been using the "may i have your attention", which is making me feel a lot better than yelling his name over and over... and he's actually <i>paying</i> attention.<br>
the other thing i'm finding helpful, interestingly enough, is that after i get him on the bus in the morning, i've been taking a 5 mile walk/rollerblade down the paved trail that's around the corner from our house.<br>
getting regular excercise has really been helping me de-stress; so i'm not already on edge, and i can deal with him much more calmly & reasonably.<br>
tiring myself out - who knew??! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br><span style="font-size:xx-small;">edited to fix my speed-typos</span>
 
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