Moms with older kids, I need help!
I've lost all control in my house and I don't know how to get it back. I don't ask for a lot from my kids around the house, but I do ask for some simple tasks to be done such as putting away their own laundry, picking up their own garbage/mess, setting the table, putting away dishes and most recently we've tried to get DD1 to start helping wash some dishes, just the cutlery, plates and cups.
Recently when I ask my kids to go do something they "tell" me what they are going to do instead. When I try to make them do what I asked them to do they whine, cry, throw a tantrum, stomp their feet and slam doors. I can't put up with that behaviour during the day because DH works nights and is sleeping, their fits wake him up.
It doesn't even have to be chores that they do this with, I told them they had been in front of the computer too long today and asked them to go outside and play, it's beautiful out there. My oldest said, I'm not going outside, I'll have a nap instead and proceeded to stomp up the stairs and slam the door.
I'm seriously hoping I'm not the only one who has ever lost control of her kids because I keep getting from people in my parent's generation "oh my kids never behaved like that, when I told them to do something they did it" and all my irl friends have kids closer to DS's age and haven't gone through this.
Re: Older kids
It's always hard to speak to something like this, because every child and situation is so different. My friends are foster parents, and when they were doing their classes for it they were so enthusiastic about the parenting class they took they brought the people down for us to hear what they had to say. Most of these things I picked up from them.
One thing that works well in our house is that if you give me a no then I'll take it and give it back to you. Like if a child tells me no to cleaning up the dishes, then guess what you're going to get from me if you ask me to have a friend over. Don't like getting a no? Then don't give me one to use.
With the computer thing, give them a time limit, and then if they choose they can't obey it then they also choose to have no computer time. Take the keyboard off if you have to.
I find with the chores at that age the jobs often seem very big to them, so it works better to ask something specific and to do something along with them. With my younger ones I'll ask them to pick up the toys in their room and put them away while I deal with the clothes, that kind of thing. I myself will often tell the kids if they work then I'll work along with them, and if they slack at a job then they have to do it themselves. (their choice).
As far as the temper tantrums, apologize to your dh, but tell him that you cannot give in to your kids just because you want them to stop making noise. The good news is that it will only take a few days. I would word it like this to your kids though "if you decide to throw a temper tantrum that wakes up your dad you also decided to spend a half hour in your room". Phrasing it like this really helps around here.
Be consistant, and it will pay off. Every now and again things start slipping around here and I have to be pretty firm in reminding them that we're the ones in charge. And very most important, start looking for things your kids are doing right, and complement them and if they help, tell them you really appreciate them.
Good Luck! And don't be too hard on yourself!
Re: Older kids
Don't beat yourself up! I bet they're also going a bit crazy without the routine of school, I know that always happened to me towards the end of the summer.
I looooove Linda's ideas. I know we spent a lot of time in our rooms when we went through phases like this, but it was hard as we all shared rooms. The nintendo (yes I'm dating myself :p) was taken away, the computer later on, not allowed to watch tv....books taken away, bikes put up high...I really learned to love to read lol. But I agree, consistency is key, otherwise you won't be taken seriously. And hopefully your DH will be onboard as well.
We were also essentially bribed, but I think it is effective if used correctly. Eg. we would get Tim Hortons donuts if we behaved in church. This wasn't a weekly bribe, but maybe every 6 weeks? So it really was a treat. So maybe something similar can be slipped in as well.
These are the types of things I dread when Cam gets older. I hope things improve!
Re: Older kids
You saying that about using no back at them, reminds me of my mom doing it to me. Maybe it's time for me to try it too.
Sending them to their rooms doesn't work, that's where DD1 would rather be. Even with no TV or electronics up there, she loves her room and that's where she always goes, I'd rather she go outside sometimes and get some fresh air instead of locking herself in her room.
I try to do the chores with them, today I was cleaning the kitchen while I asked DD1 to do some dishes. I was working on getting the recycling ready to put out for garbage day when I asked DD2 to take a garbage bag and pick up anything she saw laying around.
Bribes/rewards still work for DD2 for the most part, but DD1 doesn't care, about anything it seems. It doesn't matter what I take away, computer, tv, bike, whatever she just storms to her room and still won't do as she's asked. That girl tests every limit and my sanity I tell you.
And yes, I was talking to DH about the tantrums today. His comment was to just let them throw one and he'll deal with it, then when they were done with their fit they could do their chore. His way to deal, and maybe I need to be more like him because they don't question him as much, is to add a new chore every time they throw a fit about the one they were asked to do.
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