Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let me expain to you my typical day and you will see why I need so much help!!!
on any given morning 2 of the kids ages 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 are up at 730. Hubby is up and i sleep until he goes to work. The minute hubby walk out hte door it begins.
DD1 MOM Im hungry Get me something to eat NOW!!!
dd2 I want to watch cartoons.
mom -Im going potty ill be out in a minute.
dd 1 mom get out of hte bathroom i want to eat!!!
dd2 (whinewhine whine)

I feede the kids breakfast and its
Momi need a snack.
Mom- Not yet its too early. you can have more cereal if oyu are hungry.
No i want a snack
if you dont get me a snack I wont be nice to you....... and so on
for hte next hour.

I put in a load of wash and my kids are in the bathroom pouring shampoo all over the floor. then i go to clean it up and htey are in the fridge. the baby 17 months wakes up. I feed her breakfast. the kids are tearing apart myscriptures. fighting over the remote. and someone starts to cry. they are hitting and screaming. the baby gets down form teh high charir nd gets in the mix. usually winds up crying. i take dd2( who hit dd3) and put her on her bed for time out. she SCREAMSSS, hits me and screams more. While i am taking care of her dd 1 gets the fish food on top of hte china hutch pours it all in the fishtank. and takes the turltes out of hte cage and loses them.

variuos messes,. variouos remarks of disrespact such as "mom dont you dare turn off the TV. She goes to time out.
dd1 poops her pants( remember she is 4 1/2) Lies aobut it and choses to hide and sit in poop instead of change her pants and get cleaed up. After looking for her for 20 or so minutes i get her in the bathroom . meanwhile dd2 and dd3 are taking all the coushions off hte couch.

They get in the fridge. break eggs on the carpet. pour maple syrup on hte couch. toothpaste on the coffe table....
then its lunch time

it goes on and on. I can never get my house clean, I cant getmy kids to respect me. I cant get my kids to do what i ask the first second or even 3rd time!! Flat out disobedience. flat out ignoring our household rules. I cant take this. I am the worlds worst mom, and I am losing my mind.

How do you get your kids to listen. respect you and follow the rules of the home??
I know that looks like i am a lazy mom, but really i dont sit down EVER
my 2 older kids have been labeled spirited. which they are. not a bad thing

I need help..
please wise mamas help me get control before i wind up bailing htem out of jail at 12
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,097 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by Got_Cloth
I know that looks like i am a lazy mom, but really i dont sit down EVER

I wonder if this is part of the problem, sounds like you are running yourself ragged
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,119 Posts
I have a much smaller family, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But it seems to me the problem is that there's a huge power struggle going on. If you expect obedience, then you should also expect power struggles to ensue. Parenting is not about controlling our kids. When people turn it into control issues, they have kids with control issues, too. Parenting isn't about being in control, and not controlling your kids doesn't mean they are in control of you (though that's how it worked in my family growing up, but that's because of the emphasis on obedience and control). I've never known kids to behave because their parents expected obedience. The kids who behave are either terrified of the consequences (not advisable, they always rebel or end up in therapy) or have parents who respect them and teach them how to respect other people by modelling appropriate behavior, kindness, and good manners. You can't force children to respect you, you have to earn it. Maybe you should try being a bit more flexible with the rules? Give them ways of breaking those rules instead. Something constructive. Let them make a big mess, but you get to decide where and with what. Put a couple of them naked in the bathtub with fingerpaints, let them get that out of their system. Give your older child a hoe and send him to the garden to take out his energy on the weeds. Instead of saying "no" all day long, find ways of saying "yes" instead. If they want a snack, have some carrot sticks and raw broccoli (or something else that is healthy and not packed with sugar) already cleaned and cut up and ready to go, just sit it in a bowl on the table and let them snack on it if they want to. Make your life easier by letting go of some of your expectations and rules. Let them take all the pillows off the couch. Show them how to build a fort with them! That will occupy my DD for hours, while I can clean up the rest of the house in peace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,306 Posts
wow...i'm not sure what about that makes you sound lazy...i thought the opposite!! i got tired just reading it!!! you poor stressed out mama...

edited because my "suggestions" sounded scary and mean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,493 Posts
I'm with Michele (who I see has since edited her post -- it didn't sound mean!).

Scan your post looking for stressors: fridge, cabinets, turtles, fish food, tv, snacks, potty training, couch. Sort through them. Which ones can you eliminate (put the tv in the closet, take the turtles back to the store, put a lock on the fridge)? Which ones can you improve on (if you think your dd has a dirty diaper, go with your intuition, asking her may be an invitation to lie, which leads to a whole other argument)? Which ones can you forget about (like the pps said, let them make a fort with the couch)?

Dodo, whose advice should be taken with a grain of salt, because her house would be in shambles if there was a third kid thrown into the mix
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,311 Posts
ok...here is what I would try...may or may not work for you.

Get up 10 minutes before hubby leaves to use bathroom and get yourself ready for the day...it's 10 minutes lost sleep but maybe a meditation or a shower will get you ready for the day so you are not starting out irritated.

no tv...it adds to the noise and confusion and is just something else to argue over...also if you say tv after breakfast then they will rush through breakfast...maybe at the end of the day if things have gone well put on a video or something. TV is a stimulant..get rid of it. eta...we have parental controls on ours with a code...the kids can't turn it on.

No sugar breakfast...no juice, no cold sugary cereal...maybe fruit and multigrain toast, they all eat at once and they all help clean up...someone watch baby maybe, someone help...

everybody get dressed...help who needs help...tidy up if you can

Whenever possible get those kids out of the house...fresh air and exercise is waht they need...if you have a back yard...go for it! serve a snack (fruit, veggies, crackers immediately...that way if they are still hungry from breakfast they can munch away...get the snack ready while they are eating breakfast...my kids eat all day really.

stop the time outs...they really don't work. It creates a power struggle really and they don't learn anything.

Make sure there are lots of creative activities available...I have a rubbermaid tub...it has paints and glue and sparkles and paper and anything else I come accross cheap for crafts. Maybe start every day that way.

As to the respect...don't respond to the disrespect. tell them how it makes you feel but don't give them attention for it. Model the way you want to be treated. It's hard...when they raise their voice, lower yours...this works for me really well...they have to get quiet to hear what I am saying.

If someone hurts someone pay boring minimal attention to the hurter and massive consoling attention to the victim. Much of this is for attention..make sure the right person gets it.

Gosh there is so much going on...I think you need "mental health time" in there somehow.

I find kids wont do things for you but they will do things with you.

Long walks are good for the soul...

Don't sweat the housework...it will still be there tomorrow...hugs and good luck

oh...and no you are not a lazy mom..you are a worn out mom...hugs
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,202 Posts
Poor you! I am thinking about when I had 3 under 5. Yikes, it's hard.

I'd start them with a breakfast full of protein to try and keep them feeling full longer. Too much carb (llke cereal) isn't sustaining. I'd make the cereal the morning snack. So, scrambled eggs, yogurt, nut butters on whole wheat toast, cheese quesidillas etc. Give them some fruit while you prepare breakfast. keep them with you whatever it takes. Put out the playdough or something similar in the kitchen while you cook. Give them covered sports bottles of water (or whatever you drink). Anything to keep them engaged near you.

After breakfast let them yank the cushions off the couch while you sit in the same room and nurse the baby. Understand what is harmless and what isn't.

I would also **stop** asking the 4 yr old about pooping. She's obviously scared. If she does, gently say "Let mama help you get nice dry clothing on".

As for snacks, I agree with Stafl. Don't make it an issue or a point of negotiation. Have simple things out on a little table that they can get to at certain times. Keep the water bottles with a bit of water in them).

And move all dangerous items out of reach. The turtles, the shampoo- everything. You will probably need to shadow them and offer other alternative activites. Crayons at the table, glue sticks and torn bits of paper at the table etc. With you nearby. Are you able to get them outside? Do you have a little area that is safe--where you can set them out with some chalk with you in the kitchen or something? You might need a lock on the fridge if they are forever in there cracking eggs on the carpet. Do you have a double stroller and a backpack to take them on walks? I used to be able to manage a little walk everyday while the older children were in the jogger with snacks and the baby in the backpack. I didn't have to worry about anyone running in the street this way. We'd walk to the park, they'd get out and run around and then I'd put them back in the jogger to go home. Also, headphones and story tapes for each child might engage them for the ride back.

I never got any housework done when my kids were awake. None zip and zilch. . My day was playdough, a barney video here and there, water play (next time they pour shampoo, put them all in a bath to play while you clean up. If they make a mess in the kitchen, set them at the sink with plastic cups, or something simple like playdough. In the kitchen, while you clean up. If they get some water on the floor, wipe it up with a big towel --that area at least will be clean!. Keep them with you! If they start throwing water or playdough, the activity is over. Don't make things more complicated lol!) walks in the stroller, helping with snacks etc etc.

As for the nasty talk, I would ignore it right now as you work on keeping them in your sight. For now, don't take the bait and discuss it with them. You decide when and what is going to happen. If you want them to watch TV fine, but don't let them badger you into it. Do take their needs and yours into account (when do you and they most benefit from some downtime with the TV, for instance). But don't get into arguing with them about 'talking nice' at this point or whether they can watch TV now or not etc. (I know that sounds harsh, but I think you need to gain a little control for *you*--not to control them. Just calmly do what you need to do and don't argue or engage. Don't yell. Don't cajole. Don't whine). It sounds like they have your number.

Think about the day you want them to have and proactively set about to do it. Breakfast, video, walk/outside play, snack, reading books, a little art activity, rest (which could mean just putting blanket on the living room floor and listening to music or stories on tape), snack, outside time, tub, video, small snack of veggies or a bit of cheese with crackers or something while they wait for dinner. Or whatever is going to work for you.

Sometimes planning the day (with a relaxed attitude) is very helpful. Decide how much TV, when, what activites they might enjoy etc. Kids also need a couple of snacks a day, depending on what they eat at meals. But def food every two hours or so. And they aren't ready to be left anywhere unsupervised-- as hard as that is going to be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
My 2 cents:

Either give them something to get involved in (a craft, a game, helping make breakfast, maybe even a special video or book) that they can look forward to every morning, or give them some space (outside works great for us!) to just run and play.

My kids (4 and 1 1/2) get out of control when they don't have something constructive to do or room to run and play. Even getting out of the house ("Everyone in the car!") to run an errand helps on crazy, rainy, days.

Breakfast sounds like it could use a revamp. Will the kids drink smoothies? They are fast to make and nutritious. We keep a big bag of frozen strawberries in and a bunch of bananas. I have a handblender ($10 at WalMart). I put a handful+ of strawberries in a big measuring cup, break up a banana and splash some flax oil in. Then I fill to cover the fruit with water and mix. You can experiment with different fruits, etc. A smoothie with a peice or two of whole grain toast is a quick, easy breakfast and keeps blood sugars from going crazy. Plain oatmeal with mashed banana in the morning is also a hit.

Try keeping some snacks that the kids can get on their own around. Fresh fruit cleaned in a bowl, nuts and seeds, string cheese, pretzels in baggies, dried fruits, peeled hard-boiled eggs, carrots, yogurt, rolled turkey, graham crackers, etc. Then they can get them without bothering you and they can feel "big".

I agree with time-outs. They don't work for us, either. A deep breath (VERY deep!), a brief lecture (it is important to use our good manners with each other all of the time, that means with mommy, too), and a change of whatever we were doing at the time works better.

* I forgot to add that I totally 2nd the playdoe idea. My 4-yo DD loves to get involved with playdoe in the mornings and gives her baby brother a small ball of doe to play with. I let them play on the kitchen table or floor, where it is easy to clean up. Little changes help in the long run. Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
My ds is very into thinking up inventions and I've offered him 75% of the profits if he can make me a remote for kids with a pause and a volume button. You can have the second one - I get the first


Just kidding! There is alot of good advice here. I totally agree about planning your day loosely. When I started staying home with my first ds - then 13mo, my goal for the day was to get dressed before his dad came home, at 5pm. That was it, and it was a stretch making it somedays. Now, I have three kids, I watch two more, I homeschool, run a chess club, work one day a week sometimes and go to school myself. And, although my house is never ready for a visit from Martha Stewart, it's livable.

Being proactive helps ALOT. I know it's hard to just catch up to your kids, let alone get in front of them. Getting up a few minutes early so that you're ready to go when dh leaves will probably help you alot. Also, getting prebreakfast snacks ready the night before (or even breakfast) is good. Let them know that every morning when they wake there will be some fruits or veggies or nuts on the table (or in the fridge) for them. Give them a special place in the fridge that they can take anything from any time and fill it with good snacks that you wouldn't mind them "ruining" their appetite with (I can't complain when my kids are too full for dinner cause they ate so many vegetables
). One way that you can give them choices and still have some predictability as far as food is concerned is to make up a weekly menu with them. Let them have as much say as possible, then stick to it. If they know that every Monday you're going to make them eggs for breakfast and that after breakfast it's their job to find the snacks (let them help shop for them), they'll be much more in control, and you'll be more relaxed.

Try to draw them into an activity. Tomorrow morning leave the cushions all over the living room and all the other messes where they are and take your kids out running! I had to do this with my ds last summer and it worked wonderfully. Every morning after breakfast we went out to a field right near our house and played tag and had races and he just ran for 30-60 minutes. He had a little less energy then.

Take them into the dining room and get out a craft - the messier the better from the sounds of it. Give them some feathers and sequins and glue stick and let them go at it decorating a piece of paper. It'll be alot easier to clean up that mess than the ones they'd make on their own. At first you'll have to play an active roll, but eventually they will learn to do craft stuff on their own and you can oversee it while doing the dishes in the next room.

Another thing that might work is giving them responsibilities. Have the rule that before you make breakfast all the beds need to be made and everyone needs to be dressed. You can do it all on your own, but it's so much faster if they help out. Don't worry that their idea of making a bed is piling the blankets into a huge mountain in the middle and decorating it with stuffed animals - it looks good to them.

My kids can also be drawn into folding laundry (although it wasn't until recently that it was more folded than balled up), washing walls, cleaning the white board, picking up trash outside and vacuuming to name a few. And my kids will do anything when I make a game out of it. I have them try to beat the timer when picking up the toys and books from the living room. When you have them help, not only are you keeping them busy and getting stuff done, but you're also teaching them valuable lessons about keeping a clean environment.

I have been expirimenting with creative consequences for my kids lately because timeouts aren't working. When the noise level gets too loud, we set a timer for 5 minutes and everyone has to whisper until it goes off. Whoever remembers for the full 5 minutes wins. When they're running crazily through the house I (playfully) take the privilage of walking away from them and everyone has to crawl for 5 minutes. They think it's great and it's helping them calm down alot.

Sometimes when they're feeling really energetic and noisy we pop in a cd and everyone stays in the living room and dances until it's over.

And then sometimes, I just run through the house and grab all three of them, pull them into my room on my bed and we all cuddle and read. Once we get started they calm right down and snuggle right in. It gives them a rest and me a chance to take a breather.

Good luck with your kids


Diana
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Yikes that was long.

But here's one more thing that I forgot. We've instituted a new rule. When someone hurts someone else, that's how we say in our new secret language "I want to be your slave and wait on you hand and foot until you release me". So, if ds gets mad and pushes dd, he has to appologize and hug and kiss her. Then I have him ask if there is anything he can get her and a what she wants him to do. He has to do whatever she wants until she says it feels better.

It's been working great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,246 Posts
You might try turning off the tv for a while. My daughter doesn't watch a lot of tv, but when the weather is bad and she's watching too much, I sometimes find she gets more wild than usual, bouncing off the walls so to speak, and starts demanding that I turn the tv to a show for her, etc. If the tv is off, within a day or so she seems to calm down. I don't know what it is about the tv specifically but it does seem to get kids wired.

Also, at 3-1/2 and 4-1/2, the kids can probably help you clean up any messes (shampoo, food, etc.). Keep the TV off while they're cleaning for sure or they'll just sit and watch instead of cleaning. If they're spending all their time cleaning up after their messes, they'll figure out not to make too many messes. I wouldn't personally force them to help clean or you'll set up a power struggle, but I would certainly encourage them to help. If the TV is off they won't have at least that to distract them.

I hope you find a solution! It sounds like you're having a hard time.

I wondered if it might be the tv because it sounds like a couple of the fights are specifically about tv.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
All you mama's have some really good suggestions. We only have one DD right now, but #2 is due in August. I logged on today to find some help with my 2 year old doing things repeated to be bad. I mean...she does it and then will IMMEDIATELY do it again even though she knows I just said no.

Not to hijack this thread...just wanted to say that I think keeping busy and change of environment when she does it is probably needed. Our other problem is she is hard to get down for a nap these days, but she still needs it really bad, so that is another issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
The others have given you great suggestions already. I only have one child but he is a handful and full of energy, which your kids sound similar. :)

The thing I do to save sanity is first thing in the morning have a very active activity. Like we go to the park 4 days out of every 5, arriving there at about 8 a.m. and letting him run, jump, climb and play for at least an hour. We also take shovel and bucket, balls, bat, etc. He burns off some of his energy and we then have a good day most of the time. If I don't, he uses his energy to get into all kinds of trouble in the house. Can you take the crew to a neighborhood park where they can run wild a bit and burn off some enthusiasm? Or else do you have a yard? It might help.

Hang in there, and you definitely aren't lazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,753 Posts
Anyway dh could get some breakfast on the table in the morning? I've noticed with my ds (4) that the more controlling the parent (dh) tries to be, the more out of control ds gets. Also, the way we talk to ds is the way he talks to us. The more time we spend outdoors or working on projects (not mundane household chores and nothing too slow paced) the happier we are, although the house is still a mess. I can't imagine how I'd deal with ds if I had 2 more!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks sooomuch mamas. I am going to buy new breakfast foods on payday. I just bought a bunch of cereal and we are broke for 10 more days LOL so that is it. But I love the smnoothie idea, and My dd3 gets a strawberry wilkshake everyday since she was ftt, and it was the only thing that helped her gain wt. my girls LOVE soothies and starting breakfast with a couple servings of fruits is great. We are doing some fresh veggies as well now. but I love the leaving it our idea. I struggle big time iwht the eating issue and I dont want to make an issue ofthem ALWAYS wanting to eat. I struggled with an eating disorder as a teen and I pormsed i would never emphasize on eating.

I want the TV GONE!!!!! cant put a 55 inch in the closet, but I am ready to throw it away. HUbby bought it before kids, and now I want nothing more than the 13 inch with a built in VCR for appropriate movies. SO I think Next week, I am going ot unplug the big tv during hte day, and let them watch a movie for quiet time( AKA mommy time, laundry time) while the baby naps.

We cant really go out much. main reason is it is already about 110 here, and i had heat stroke as a child and i get physically ill if I over heat.. Hubby says we are buying an above ground poolon payday, so we can swim everyday. The girls love it and if we clean the house in the morning before we swin. the house will likely be clean at the end of the day.

Today I started being consistantI know that doenst sound right for 1 day, but its a start. when dd2 wanted ice cream for a snack and i said no you can have popcorn. I didnt give in. It was about 3 minute battle then i said OK well your not that hungry if you wont eat what i offer( not much snack food in the house and i dont give the kids ice cream 2 hours before dinner) as soon as I put the popcorn popper away, she said ok ill eat popcorn. WOW it worked.

Today was better. Im o excited about my new life.

thanks so much ladies. I really appreciate you taking hte time to help another mama out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,999 Posts
Lots of great advice here, and I just wanted to stress what a couple of people mentioned, that they can take some of the responsibility for their actions. Not that you have to make it a "punishment" but if they make a mess they can certainly help you clean it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
You already have some great advice, and I don't know that this will help much, but for DS, he NEEDS purposeful work. He does not want to set the table, he wants to cut up food, because that seems more important. So, you might really look at tasks that have to be done daily and see which ones a child could help with and would want to help with. Can the 4.5 yo cut up the carrots for the morning snack? Can one of the older girls serve the baby her food? Can they get dressed before breakfast? Maybe if the oldest is occupied, the younger one will fall in at her own level. The idea of finding ways to say yes can vastly improve your mood and kids' attitudes, like yes you may play with soap bubbles in the sink, as you move them away from the toilet, or whatever. It helps reframe the adult's thinking into nonpunitive fixes, and it often avoids the power struggle, at least in our house.

Also, would it be easier for you if meals were eaten with everyone at the same time? That's what we do with snacks interspersed throughout the day, and it helps me feel like I can get out of the kitchen.

Some activity ideas- BIG bowl of water, little bit of soap, and a whisk. Big bucket of beans or rice to play with, but only at certain times, like when lunch is being made.

And, here's a bit of sympathy. Shampoo and all sorts of other things are out of impulse reach in our house. DS can techinically reach anything in the house now, but when things are harder to get to, they don't think of them as often. We have a gate on the kitchen door that we close when our kids needed more supervision in the kitchen. Now at 5.5 and 3.5, they both show a pretty clear grasp of what they may help themselves to in the kitchen and what they need mama or daddy to help them with. The boundaries just had to be very firm and very clear for awhile. They have both been able to open the gate for awhile, but it served as a visual reminder that kids need parents in the kitchen, at least sometimes.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top