Ok, I admit it, I need help with my son.....

Discussion in 'Gentle guidance' started by ~Denise~, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. spiritfreedom

    spiritfreedom raunchy title instigator

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    Sorry you are having a rough time of it. I get that way with my almost 7 year old daughter. Hers isn't negativity though, it's constantly arguing.

    Have you read the book "Kids are worth it"? It's excellent. Also Love and Logic books by Cline/Faye are good for their age.

    What about a reward system that could be faded out eventually? Maybe a jar on the table that you'd drop a dime into every time you caught him being more positive, and conversely, remove a dime when you see negativity.

    Feel free to cry on my shouldre any time. I am right there with ya!
  2. ThirtySomething

    ThirtySomething About to burst

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    I've been noticing something about my son. BTW-Caden's mama and I belong to the same list so she may end up hearing me repeat myself! Anyway, what I've been noticing is that when he acts up the most is when he is starting to feel the need to spread his wings a bit. Airon likes to be more self-sufficient than I give him credit for sometimes. If your son has constant difficulties with how you prepare or serve his food, it may be time for him to start preparing his own and serving it to himself. This isn't practical for every meal, but he can certainly do breakfast. Make sure he has a stool so he can reach the dishes. If he is having milk with his cereal, you can put it in something smaller so he can pour it.

    I would tell him during an even time that you are feeling like he is ready to start making his own breakfast. You can go through a *mock* breakfast or he can make his own snack. Tell him that you'll be there to assist, but you feel confident that he can make his own. If the whole process and task gets too difficult for him or creates a power struggle, perhaps he can make some menu choices. Then, for serving, put his dishes out and teach him how to serve himself from what you make. I've had a habit in the past of always plating up my kids food. It was easier when they were little AND it used less dishes. However, after switching to the *pass the food and serve yourself* method, everyone has been much happier.

    Hmmm....this is beginning to mesh with my theory that he is needing a bit more independence. My son forgets how to do things when he feels hovered over. Suddenly, he can't put his pants on. He doesn't know how to tie his shoes, etc... Since your son is your youngest, I think it is natural to want to really savor that and try to cling to some of that babyhood. However, 5-6 yrs is really a turning point of sorts with boys.

    I would suggest telling him things once. Make sure he understands what you are asking. Then, give him the room to make it happen. If it doesn't, try not to make a big deal of it. Assist if necessary.

    We use a timer a lot. This allows time limits BUT Airon gets to totally control how that time goes. It goes something like this:

    Me: Airon, we have 10 minutes before we leave. You need to be dressed with shoes and teeth brushed, and ready to buckle up in your seatbelt when it goes off. I have included in this the two things I think he might forget (shoes and teeth). After he is in agreement, I set the timer and shut up. LOL

    Airon: Ok...

    This is where the faith comes in. You have to let him do what he needs to do to get ready and dressed. He may not make the timer the first few times as he is understanding the concept of time. I will say something like:

    Airon, I see two minutes left on your timer. You are still in your undies. Ahhhhh......run run run!! Beat the clock!

    He usually thinks this is funny and starts running around.

    If he stalls at buckling up, you just buckle up for him with no comment. It is not like he won't start at some point yk?

    HTH!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2004
  3. 3boysnagrl

    3boysnagrl Amity's Focus Member

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    Stacy and Denise... I was thinking about this post this morning before I got out of bed (ok, how sad is that?) and I was thikning the same things as Stacy just said. Spreading wings.

    Fine, if *I* don't do it right, it's time you do it yourself. Just yesterday Austin and Nate (almost 8 and 6.5) made scrambled eggs with minimal help from me. They actually ate them all up. ;-)

    FWIW - Austin has been making everyone breakfast since he was about 4. He makes toast, cereal, and now eggs with supervision. Nathan is now getting into it, too.... and they also make lunch for the kids. THey make sandwiches and soup (again, with minimal supervision).

    All that said... if I make dinner and there is complaining, I will NOT listen to how much they HATE this or that while we are sitting at the dinner table. It's disrepectful and unthankful. So.... they can spend that time in their room alone or they can sit quietly without complaining. I have had to work on DH with this also. He was aweful about it. If I fixed something and he didn't want ot eat it, he would sit and complain about it. Recently we realized the boys were saying the same things he was... and spending most of dinner complaining. ummm... if you are going to complain about my cooking (and I am a **** good cook! dh just doesn't like any veggies!) then I won't cook for you. :-D
  4. mzbees

    mzbees Puddy Mama

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    Stacy, you are SO right on! As usual. :rolleyes: lol

    My ds does all these things as well. If he doesn't like the breakfast, I set down two choices and tell him to choose one and serve it himself in a gentle considerate tone of voice. THEN I WALK AWAY. If he needs help, he asks. If he whines, I tell him, "Try that again, I can't understand you" to which he corrects himself and asks politely.

    My ds has a "I am King, you are all my peasants" attitude lately, so we are doing a LOT of correcting in the sense of, "I don't like how you are talking to me. Try it again." I don't need to tell him it's disrespectful, BECAUSE HE KNOWS! lol That's why he's choosing to do it! I don't need to micro-manage his words or his feelings.

    He's been raised in a household where it's ok to have your feelings. You can't be abusive about them though (no hitting, screaming, picking on, etc....).
  5. spiritfreedom

    spiritfreedom raunchy title instigator

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    I am going to use this, thanks!
  6. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Put your big girl panties on and get over it!
    ME TOO! :( I am having a lot of issues with my 5 yo dd. It seems like everytime I ask her to do anything she either ignores me (like she doe not hear me or I do not exist), she says "no", or she throws herself on the floor in a fit. I have to admit that I have lost it a couple of times. I have thrown her on the bed in a time out and I have thought about spanking more than once.
    I have sat down and talk to her about how her behavior makes me feel and that usually helps for a few days. Right now, things are going well because we had the talk day before yesterday. Anyway, I have to go. I told her that she could look at ds's new game but not to put the stickers on. She totally ignored me and put them on in the wrong places. Now, ds does not have pretty stickers for his game. I made her feel guilty and she is in her room crying. Got to run...more later...
    Okay, back to add more...of course there is more to the situation...Reader's Digest version...
    Examples would be that I asked her to let the dogs out to go potty. She was 4 feet from the door. She said something but did not move. I said, "What?" and she said, "I'm not!"
    I asked her to pick up the couch pillows and she started screaming and crying like I just asked her to jump into a pool of alligators! I try to pick her up and she dead weights herself and starts to freak out.
    I ask her if what she wants for lunch and she acts like she does not hear me. This will happen several times even if I have her look at me. She is soooooo bright and smart, I know that she is only playing games and trying to push my buttons!
    My problem is that I freak out too! I totally bring myself down to her level 5 times out of 10. I feel like we have a very tense relationship and the new baby has only made it worse.
    My relationship with my ds is PERFECT! It is wonderful! Sure, he is a normal kid and he has his moments but he is a pleasure.
    I thought that all these issues with dd was a a mother/daughter thing.
    Does anyone else have issues with your girls? Tension in the relationship?
    BTW, Thanks for the links, I am going to check them out! I think that they will help!
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2004
  7. ThirtySomething

    ThirtySomething About to burst

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    I wanted to say that I think you are right on here! I wanted to give you credit for this because I think it is fabulous. After all, she really does need to take responsibility for pushing her grape into her sandwich not you. :)

    The only reason why I disagree with this is because our children aren't responsible for how *we* feel. They are only responsible for their own feelings. It is a lot of pressure to feel like you have to be reasonable so others will be too. It reminds me of that guy from Fantasy Island: "Smiles everyone...smiles." :D I do think pointing out the positives are a good thing.

    I just love your posts. :)
  8. Momof6

    Momof6 Amity's Focus Member

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    :big hug: Denise,

    I have a nearly five year old son. We have also been through this age with five others and I remember it well. *lol*

    I can only offer a early ed/childhood development theory that I totally believe in. It may sound like kooky-hooky to some, but I have seen it and believe in this. It was developed by Louise Bates Aames (which means nothing to you probably)....anyway, the theory is that children go through stages of "equilibrium" and "dis-equilibrium" and when you are in a "dis" stage, it is the tough and rough time. (much like you explained)

    Equilibirum stages are usually seen when the child is near a whole year. Disequlibrium is usually seen when the child is at the half-way point between one year and the next.

    What does this do to help you? Maybe nothing, especially if you think I'm nuts. :juggle:

    Other than realizing that he is in one of those "dis" phases right now......maybe that will help you with realizing the "why" behind his behaviors. (if you buy this theory, that is *lol*)

    Our children have proven to match this and when we are in those "dis" half-way year periods, I just try to be extra patient and tell myself this is totally developmental in nature and not lack or parenting etc....

    I hope this made some kind of sense. Basically, hang in there and realize it is developmental in nature. (at least that is my belief) Stay the course and don't drastically change your parenting style becuase this will just add to the havoc experienced in a "dis" phase.

    Parenting is great but it can really suck at times!!!!

    Michelle
  9. Mamax4

    Mamax4 Amity's Focus Member

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    I have a little grump as well. The best thing I *ever* did was to read 'The Highly Sensitive Chid' and then read "The Highly Sensitive Adult'. These books gave me more insight in a few hours than any other research I had ever done since my grump was a toddler. These books are full of *so* much insight. I came away from them loving the fact that my child was sensitive.

    For my child, I notice the grumpiness only escalates with my commmentary or pleas for change. If I stay totally calm, and keep repeating "This is what I have for breakfast" (or whatever) without getting into. "Why are you a grump, this food is good. You know you like this food etc" I add more fuel to the fire.

    Setting the ground rules and even walking away, with the child sometimes cranking still, puts an end to it rather quickly. If it doesn't the child is gently guided back to the bedroom "Lets start this day over again. Come out when you are calm. It's not fair for us to get yelled at.". I let the child rant and rave if need be, but I say nothing more. I put no time limit on the stay, it'sup to the child. If they calm in two minutes fine, if it takes longer, fine.

    The less I try to make things better, or if I get angry, the more this child crumbles. Children like this often cannot even help themselves, but do fear a parent getting angry or loosing control. They need to see the parent calm and ready to get the day back on track. Once the child comes out of the room, the day goes on. I do not comment on the behavior again. (Unless they really are not calm. Then back they go). Not as punishment, but to get it together. Sometimes they need a giant hug, sometimes they might fight a giant hug. You got to see what they need.

    Anyway- some kids are like this. Since I have taken this apporach, my child has had *so* many fewer epsisodes. Stay in control, stay calm, stay kind, repeat whatever you need to over, calmly. "These are the breakfast choices (or whatever)" and do*not* react or try to defend the food (or whatever) when he says "There's nothing good to eat here, You never buy anything good. Everything is disgusting". Telling him how you work for your food, or whatever is only going to keep the child cranking. He already knows inside that's true. You want to move on with the day. That's your goal. Later, when all is calm you can say "That french toast wasn't so bad" with a smile. You could add, "It probably sacres you a little when you feel all cranky and upset inside. That's happens sometimes when you're little. Nobody likes to get yelled at, not even moms". You want him to feel confident that his emotions or yours won't overwhelm him, and if they do, you'll be there. As he gets older his coping mechanisms will also mature.

    Good luck!

    Laurie
  10. TeresaLock

    TeresaLock Active Member

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    We are having issues w/ our 5.5 yr old ds as well. He was such an easy going child until about age 3, when our dd was born. It's so bad right now that i'm frustrated and don't know what to do. He can click his tongue, very loudly, and he's been told he can't do it loudly in the house/car but as much as he wants outside. He constantly does it in the house/car and when i tell him no he says "i know, i'm not suppose to" but will continue. He's always trying to "fight" his sister and now he's started telling people he's going to "whip their buts". Ugh, i'm so frustrated. I told him the other day that we do not tell people we are going to whip their butts and he just thinks it's funny. I think my problem is that i'm not consistant and i need to have some concrete things to do and be consistant. I hate to say it's nice to hear others have trouble. We've run into several homeschoolers and their children are so nicely believe and then my ds is acting up so i feel that i don't want to attend things b/c of the behavior issues. I don't know.... It's so hard...
  11. Mamax4

    Mamax4 Amity's Focus Member

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    Keep hanging out with hsers, Theresa. Some of the most rambuctious children I know are hsers. Some people start off hsing, but some people come to hsing because their child was having trouble being the perfect student. Hsers come in all flavours, yk? lol

    Laurie
  12. .:Becca:.

    .:Becca:. Tina! Come get some ham!

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    :big hug: Denise:big hug:

    I'm so sorry :( I know what you are going through. My 10yo ds is going through the same stuff.

    I'm going to get that book, "Raising Cain". I've heard tons of great things about it.
  13. mimmy

    mimmy New Member

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    I didn't read all of the replies, so this may be redundant, but I recommend the book "Parenting the Strong-Willed Child". Helped me and my youngest ds greatly.

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