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<p>A thread in the Parenting section got me to thinking and wondering how other AP parents to it without becoming human doormats for their children.    And how to break out of the pattern if it has happened or it about to.  So how do you guys keep control of your household/family unit?</p>
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<p>A bit of background...the last year has been stressful (bankruptcy, foreclosure, my father passing,moving job loss and new job  new baby and so on) We'll not soon be forgetting 2010. LOL Things are looking up now though.  Anyhow as a result we all having a bit of a hard time transitioning back to "normal'.  This last year we became a bit lazy and allowed things and behavors that weren't prevously allowed (lots of convenince foods, tv, displine fell by the wayside a bit).  Now I'm at a loss as to how to get us all back on track and make it so that the kids aren't in control (ie being catered to all the time and getting what they want by screaming and manipulation, really hate to use that word :(, )Things are just to choatic the way they have been and we can't seem to break out of it.  The kids are calling each other names, hitting even though they know it's not acceptable, we're all yelling at one another (something we didn't do before) ect.  I know they are regular concerns for most people but I miss my KIND AND RESPECTFUL kids.  I want that back</p>
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<p>Thanks in advance and for listening.</p>
 

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I would sit down and write a list of the changes you want to see happen in your family. Perhaps split them up into short-term, medium-term, and long-term changes. Make it specific, so you can come up with a few changes to make. If I was going to make this list right now it would be: 1. Hurtful language is not okay. You can use your words to say how angry or upset you are, but you cannot call names or say "I hate you, you are stupid". 2. No movies except on weekends. 3. If you whine or scream, I cannot understand you. Talk in a normal voice.<br>
And then, just take the plunge and start implementing it. If your kids will get the concept of a family meeting, you could try doing one of those to announce that from now on, things are going to be like this. But, start small and make sure you have enough support (breaks, backup from other parent, personal time, etc) that you are mentally strong enough to handle the inevitable backlash. In the end, I think kids thrive when they have some limits--total chaos is confusing for a child. That makes discipline much easier for me, because I can see the difference in my son when there are limits or when there are no limits. As long as I'm not going overboard on a power trip, that is <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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<p>You might check out Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.  The principles of NVC could help shift the family dynamic to one that is more respectful of all members, and more peaceful.</p>
<p>Good luck.</p>
 

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<p>I try to remember that my children are perfect little mirrors. So self love and self respect are the parental mantras in our choatic paradise.</p>
 

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<p>I think you just enforce boundaries respectfully.</p>
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<p>I think when you've come to a point where you are, where their screaming has been effective for a while (and I'm assuming we're talking about older children and not babies), you might have to reframe it in your mind as them having an older child tantrum for not getting what they want, and treat it respectfully but how you would treat a younger child having a tantrum.  Empathize, describe their feelings, and let them go through their emotions.  They have to re-learn that people don't always get what they want, no matter how much they want it, no matter how angry they get, and even no matter how much we as their parents want it.  If you think of it as them learning that important part of maturity, instead of thinking of them being bad, it might help you feel more patient as they come back to a healthier and happier place.</p>
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<p>I like the non-violent communication suggestion too, and would also suggest How To Talk To Children by Faber (can't remember her first name.)  That book has amazing suggestions for how to respectfully get your point across to older children, and how to respond when they do something inappropriate.</p>
 

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<p>We had a similar situation when ds was 3.  When we came through the otherside we had one very unbearable child to deal with. </p>
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<p>It took DH and I making a concerted effort to be consistent, to stop wallowing in our pain and ignoring our child or feeding into his whim now and then to get some peace and quie, to be the people we wanted HIM to be.  It was hard...scratch that, it IS hard.  But it is worth it.</p>
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<p>It took about a year and a half to get where we wanted to be and to undo 8 months of chaos...It's still hard to remember to be the person you want your kid to be and not fall into bad habit of self-loathing, indulgence, and vice.  NVC has helped us a LOT and also just remembering our goals at parents. </p>
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<p>Sounds like you had a tough year, so give yourself a break, too.  Life will revert back to normal eventually.  <span><img alt="hug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="width:22px;height:15px;"></span></p>
 

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<p>Im in the same place, we have had one hell of a year too and my parenting- UGH. I hate it right now. We are about to move interstate and once we get there I will be doing nothing but focusing my full attention on my son (and daughter) but my son is the one who is needing some really intensive time with me. So lots of playing, outings, fun activities together as a family. All the stresses of the last year will be left behind us so I know slowly we will all get back to where we were before. This is definitely what we all need and I know it is what will fix the problems for us. So maybe lots of fun playing and being really present for them would help for you guys too. I cant wait til we are there and we can all start healing from the past year! Hope your family heals fast too <img alt="treehugger.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/treehugger.gif"></p>
 

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<p>Haven't BTDT but nobody's mentioned routine yet.  Maybe the older two could help you plan your days?  When DD was out of control we did a lot of structured days which really cut down on the whining and TV time.</p>
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<p>I think the more general answer to your question is: use an approach where you ask for cooperation and incorporate their ideas rather than "laying down the law."  Now, to actually remember this *in the moment* when I get impatient with DD....</p>
 

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<p>More outside time, less Tv. Make your home more of a haven with nice music and fun games to play.</p>
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<p>And though it is not always popular on MDC.. I found that sending away badly behaved children to their room worked wonders. Especially, if they then missed out on something fun.</p>
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<p>Also, the person who said to be a good role model was spot on. Even if it feels hokey. Practice manners with your spouse and kids. They really do learn that way.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>philomom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280093/how-do-you-not-be-a-doormat-for-your-kids-and-still-be-ap#post_16207078"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>More outside time, less Tv. Make your home more of a haven with nice music and fun games to play.</p>
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<p>And though it is not always popular on MDC.. I found that sending away badly behaved children to their room worked wonders. Especially, if they then missed out on something fun.</p>
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<p>Also, the person who said to be a good role model was spot on. Even if it feels hokey. Practice manners with your spouse and kids. They really do learn that way.</p>
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I agree with this.  When I needed to get out of a very negative cycle with dd I started a rule about where yelling, whining, and screaming could take place (in the bedroom) and I started reinforcing this rule by sending dd out of the rooms we share as a family when she wanted to engage in these types of behaviors.  She gets a safe and fun place to do these things without anyone around to engage her and deepen the negative mood.  I also found that when I became serious about spending quality time together in a positive way as well as not allowing the negative cycle to continue my dd sensed it and she changed her behavior a lot. </p>
 

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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Ughh sounds like a long year. I can so relate! Glad to hear it's getting better for you.</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">I second the NVC recommendation a previous poster gave. Also, it's deceptively simple, but start by treating the kids (talking to, with your expectations, boundaries etc) the way you'd want someone to treat you. </span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">A couple of things off the top of my head:</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">* Figure out what the little things that really don't matter are and then promptly forget about them.</span></p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">* Figure out what really matters (safety, kindness, honesty, etc) and focus your energies on how to do those</span></p>
 

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<p> </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>UnschoolnMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1280093/how-do-you-not-be-a-doormat-for-your-kids-and-still-be-ap#post_16210134"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">Ughh sounds like a long year. I can so relate! Glad to hear it's getting better for you.</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">I second the NVC recommendation a previous poster gave. Also, it's deceptively simple, but start by treating the kids (talking to, with your expectations, boundaries etc) the way you'd want someone to treat you. </span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">A couple of things off the top of my head:</span></p>
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<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">* Figure out what the little things that really don't matter are and then promptly forget about them.</span></p>
<p><span style="color:rgb(178,34,34);">* Figure out what really matters (safety, kindness, honesty, etc) and focus your energies on how to do those</span></p>
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<p><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif"></span></p>
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<p>I'd add to this: Pick ONE thing that you want to work on (the one thing that is driving you most bonkers) and focus your energy on that. Explain to your kids what you're doing and why. Very often, if you work on one or two things, you figure out what the big things are, and the little things fall into place.<br>
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