Please help, this situation sometimes drives me crazy!

(45 Posts)
bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 09:43:13

I have an eight year old son and a five year old daughter. I take them to school three times a week. My son is always very impatient to go to school and he is ready to get out of the the door way before his school gate opens and the school is not far away at all. My daughter on the other hand is very slow and takes her time - basically she is not that keen on being on time and obviously her comprehension is different at this stage. Almost every time we get into a situation where my son puts his shoes on before we are ready and he starts huffing and puffing that his sister is going to making him late. It all kicks off from there. She starts shouting and screaming at him, he starts shouting as well and they physically fight sometimes as well. There have been times when I lost it and shouted very loudly as well. It's just getting very tedious sometimes especially if I have had not enough sleep myself or when I am ill. I do not advocate the classical parenting approach the way in which I have been raised therefore I really do not think banning things or threats to restrict the things they enjoy doing helps in the long run. Generally I try to use descriptive phrase etc. but regarding this issue I feel like I am stuck and every time it kicks off in the same way I feel a bit helpless as it has turned mornings into a nightmare. We have a neighbour across the road with three kids of similar ages to mine who go to school at the same time and I have not heard them arguing a single time! I do not know great deal about them a part from the fact that they are Christians and we have no religion but I do not know whether it plays any part in it. I would really appreciate any suggestions you think I should try in this situation.
Thanks and good luck with yours!

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Tue 20-Nov-12 09:49:00

Why on earth would religion play any part of it at all?

What punishment do they have for hitting each other?

bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 09:54:15

I do not know, as I said I do not know great deal about them and there is three of them and I have not seen them arguing with each other a single time -I just cannot comprehend how angelical they can be! We do not punish but tell them that they must not do it and I intervene if I see that it's going to get nasty - I do not think you can totally eliminate sibling rivalry! How punishing them is going to help and what would you do?

so theres no punishment for this behaviour, is that correct?

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Tue 20-Nov-12 10:09:36

So you tell them they "must not" hit each other but when they do, you don't do anything about it except tell them again that they "must not" do it.

So do you think perhaps while they know they must not do it, they also know that it doesn't matter if they do because nothing will happen anyway?

The other family most probably have sanctions in place for bad behaviour.

bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 10:18:56

Yes, there is no punishment and as I said I intervene when it looks like it is going to get out of control! As I said you cannot really stop it by punishing! Can you please tell me what your punishment would be and does it really work in your case? I do not think punishing in the long run would necessarily help with their development! It would be nice if someone with a different approach could contribute otherwise I have not really come here to listen to some bull...it about how I should punish my children! This was my first time in eight years. Maybe it was a mistake!

so why did you post then?

you seem to have decided punishment wont work even though you havent tried, so what do you want?

pictish Tue 20-Nov-12 10:25:17

Good luck - you're going to need it!

bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 10:25:30

Forget about it! If I knew all I would get is people advising me to punish my children I would not have done it anyway! You didn't even tell me how it helps you, how are you going to convince me? Are you even in a similar situation at all or do you just like advising people to punish their kids!

pictish Tue 20-Nov-12 10:26:30

What do you want us to advise you?

You won't step up to the plate and deal with bad behaviour effectively, so what do you expect is going to happen?

You sound a bit woolly to me!

pictish Tue 20-Nov-12 10:27:13

I'm not in a similar situation because I discipline my kids.

bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 10:29:02

Okay, just tell me what I should do in your opinion then!

pictish Tue 20-Nov-12 10:30:27

Err....discipline them?
Show them that their bad behaviour has consequences...you know...the usual stuff.

Personally I use time out.

bitsofmeworkjustfine Tue 20-Nov-12 10:30:34

I think you are getting caught up on the word punishment... there has to be consequences for thier actions.

Its up to you what those consequences are... but you have said that no consequences arent working.

So the consequences of having no 'punishment' is that your kids fight and argue all day.

Personally, i'd take the power away from the kids. tell DS that he cant get ready until DD has, and he has to help. Tell DD that she must get ready in tim (make it 10 mins before you have to leave)

Now once consequence could be that DS gets a reward if DD is tardy... but that would set up all kinds of sibling rivalry.

you need to get them working together as a team.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Tue 20-Nov-12 10:31:07

Sibling rivalry is often inevitable but letting them hit each other is unacceptable.

Would you react the same way if they hit a child in school?

Sanctions that I would use;
Removing favourite toys/tv for a certain amount of time, on the condition that they behave for that amound of time.
Chores
Loss of privileges e.g. days out, play dates.

bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 10:38:54

Thanks bitsofmeworkjustfine, that was more constructive so far!
They have never hit another child in their lives - they are like angels at school and outside but it changes at home!
I do not know if you had siblings but it really is impossible to stop them hitting each other completely as you cannot control every second of what they are doing. I am not totally against sanctions and other things if they help but we have been parents for a while now and we have tried so many things and in my opinion sanctions on their own do not work in the long run!
Thanks for your contribution though!

sparkle12mar08 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:40:24

If you are associating punishment with physical violence, it doesn't have to be that way you know. Using the withdrawal of treats and privileges is a perfectly normal and effective way of disciplining children. You can't say that it doesn't work because you haven't tried it with your children. They are growing up thinking that thjere are no consequences to their actions and you are failing in one of your key parental responsibilites.

Heres the thing. What you are doing right now is not working is it?

Theres no point asking for advice if you are dead set against trying anyrhing.

sparkle12mar08 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:48:41

Cross posts.

It is perfectly possible to stop siblings hitting each other - you disciplne then every time it does happen and eventually it stops. Mine rarely ever hit each other even if provoked, and certainly don't just attack each other in anger ever.

Your problem sounds like inconsistency, if you've tried lots of things and 'nothing works'. Sanctions do work with most children, if they are applied consistently. This may mean a few very rough weeks where they need to get used to the new way of doing things, but it will work. The key is to find the right lever - what do they really, really value. And it can be positive as well - they can get (extra) rewards for good behaviour as well as restrictions for poor behaviour.

Actual things we do in this house include restricting ds1's favourite after school club - it is dependant on good behaviour in the week before. With ds2 it is bedtime stories - he loses one for poor behaviour. To incentivise good behaviour we also have extra pocket money over and above their £1 a week - so 5p extra for each of 5 tasks a day.

MissWooWoo Tue 20-Nov-12 10:54:54

unacceptable behaviour = consequences. This is a life lesson that you need to teach them. They are 8 and 5 so the consequences need to be age appropriate , you don't need to be cruel but firm and fair. Decide on what the consequences are going to be if there is physical fighting, sit them down one night, tell them why their behaviour is unacceptable and what will happen if they fight. If/when it happens follow through. Talk to your son - on his own - about the importance of showing patience to his sister and reassure him that you won't allow the them to be late. Let him also voice his concerns and worries. Talk to your daughter - on her own - about the importance of being on time for things, explain why her brother gets upset with her, help her with a getting ready schedule (perhaps get her school things laid out in the evening in one place), maybe give her an egg timer and make a game of it. Talk to them together about having love and respect for each other.

You can sort this out

bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 10:57:23

sparkle12mar08ö if you read my previous posts above, you can see that I have explained before that we have tried many things before and sanctions are the most common method we used to be honest. This is the reason why I have come here to seek an alternative view but it seems like I have come at the wrong time or everyone else thinks the same! I do not associate it with violence, no but when everyone just says that just punish them, punish them I do not find it constructive and do not feel like it offers me any alternatives but I must say that I found bitsofmeworkjustfine's approach most constructive and similar to things that I have tried before and partially worked but I need to be more consistent. In this case it's my son who drives me crazy the most. It feels like he has set himself a task of winding me up about being late to school which is literally three minutes away, everyday as soon as it hits 8.30. He just cannot see that every time he starts going on about stuff it delays him even more. He says sorry every time but it all starts again like nothing happened before hence the feeling of helplessness!

lljkk Tue 20-Nov-12 11:00:52

Can you do something to keep the 8yo busy after his shoes are on, give him a set of jobs to do for a few pennies, maybe?

Send the 8yo out to the garden or he gets in car to wait until you are done with the 5yo (I have done this with my lot). Keep a book or some comics in the car while he waits. Let him hold the car keys (give him a job to feel responsible about).

Else try to get the girl ready, sooner.

What happens the other 2 days/week, who takes them then, why no problem then?

Sympathies, I have a bit of this with getting 3 out the door. DD is pathologically uptight about being "late". Luckily she is 11 & we are walking distance from school so she goes on her own. Sometimes I let the 8yo go on his own but I usually shadow him with 4yo at my side.

ps: ask on an Unconditional Parenting thread or website about non-punishment solutions.

MissWooWoo Tue 20-Nov-12 11:01:31

Is your son missing out on playground time with his friends in the morning? Can you not get there a little bit earlier so he can have a kick around with his friends , your daughter can play with her friends and you can chat to some of the other mums or just collect your thoughts for the day. I live 2 minutes away from the school and so me and my dd leave it to the last minute to get there. Other families who have come from further afield usually arrive much earlier just so they're not late iyswim. Maybe he just feels he's missing out - they do get much less play as they get older.

ImNotCute Tue 20-Nov-12 11:03:46

At a calm moment can you sit down together with both kids and talk about how mornings are not working for anyone. Encourage them to suggest ways things could be improved, they might actually have some good suggestions. And they could also help agree what rewards or sanctions are used if anyone doesn't stick to what they need to do.

Things might be better if they're involved in resolving the issues?

bosphorus Tue 20-Nov-12 11:05:24

Thanks for all of your contributions! I agree about your views about minimising or trying to eliminate the physical fights but in my opinion I need to work on the behaviours that causes this situation to occur every day. I get my daughter's school clothes ready the first things and we have a tooth brush and paste downstairs for her as it would be another struggle to get her upstairs in to the bathroom to brush her teeth and so forth...I really need to find a way to stop my son going on about being late though because that's what kicks it all off! I will try and use all of your opinions to construct a plan of action!

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