Sick of being on a constant war footing

(33 Posts)
UrbanDad Mon 04-Jun-12 16:04:17

DW works and I have to drop off and pick up the kids (5 and 7) from school each day (I am self-employed so I can work around the times). I am sick and fecking tired of having to chivvy them every morning to get themselves ready in the morning and dealing with them fighting with each other and shouting at me in the evening when I tell them it's bedtime etc. I have never ever hit them so I cannot understand why they hit each other (and me), but sometimes I feel my blood rising and shout at them so hard it makes my head rattle. Then they have to spend time on the naughty step and I have to keep taking them back there when they cheek me and come back. This isn't normal - and it happens every blasted day. I never used to be like this when I was a kid. What am I doing so wrong?

AuntySib Tue 14-Aug-12 01:21:15

My kids are much older than yours, but with 3 boys there was an awful lot of arguing etc. What worked to some extent (and still does with youngest, now 11) was telling them their bad behaviour must be due to tiredness so therefore they would have to go bed early. And then put them to bed early. Funnily enough, they wouild often go to bed with much less fuss than I was expecting, so maybe tiredness really did lead to naughtiness!
And if you need time in the evenings to work/organize yourself, then they are old enough to understand that. They could go to bed a good hour earlier than they currently do, and have a quiet time in their room, reading or listening to a tape, no disturbing daddy!
Sounds like you have too much on your plate, and your priority is keeping your sanity and a roof over your heads!

UrbanDad Mon 03-Sep-12 19:26:30

Cupcake78 - wise words indeed (tips cap).

Monty - you are a genius and thanks so much for the input (Pranamasana smiley). That is clearly hard-won experience and it works like a charm. I'm still knackered morning and night (cannot change much there) but now have a little sheet at adult height next to their bedroom door reminding me: (a) of the approx. timings for bathtime/bed etc. and (b) of the things I can do to keep them on the straight and narrow.

The threat of telling their teachers is especially effective - like letting the finger hover over the nuclear button. In terms of escalation of punishments it's:
1. take away fun things at weekend (which they can earn back),
2. confiscate/bin minor toy (which they can earn back),
3. make them write a letter to the teacher explaining what they've done wrong (never had to use it so far...)

This site is like having your own guru with a detailed and wise knowledge of all things child-related (with the occasional mad ranty person just to balance things out - happily not on this thread, though!)

SilkySilky Tue 01-Jan-13 22:15:28

I agree with AuntySib - tiredness can lead to naughtiness.

I alter bedtimes when the moods and arguing increase.

Original Poster - are kids getting a proper breakfast? My 8 year old is unmanageable EVERY morning until he has been fed. Routine now.

Xenia Tue 01-Jan-13 22:30:51

Your epiphany was really what I was about to post. (I am in year 28 of being parent, 5 children, work fulltime). What I have increasingly learned is that children mirror your mood. Mine are very peaceful clam and I'm very lucky (and they're teenagers). We have no trouble ever with the school run. Why is that? it may just be their personalities. We have the same routine and always have - they are twins so have always been like a little army really with set routines.

We allow enough time. We always get everything ready for school the next day the night before, never on the morning. They eat breakfast. They get enough sleep. I never get cross these days. I get lots of sleep. May be you need to look after yourself better. If children reflect your mood, the answer might be that you try to get to bed by or before 10pm every night and sleep. I have never done naughty steps, punishments or anything like that in my life actually. I don't think you need it. Just have fun with them but stick to the routines. So if bed time is TV off at X, always switch it off then. Then story time in bed after baths is usually something children like to they are fairly keen for that at the age of yours.

Say very little. Don't shout. Be calm, Be firm. Have fun, smile, say 5 positive things to them for every negative,. Works for us anyway. Also look at diet, drink only water, only eat whole foods, avoid sugar and E numbers etc.
Cut the clubs we do 100% no clubs ever and it's wonderful, just hours every night of doing whatever you like. Relax. Be slow. Smile.

SilkySilky Tue 01-Jan-13 22:35:32

great advice there Xenie:
"Be calm, Be firm. Have fun, smile, say 5 positive things to them for every negative."

GiveMeSomeSpace Wed 02-Jan-13 19:37:34

Calling UrbanDad how are you getting on with this? I really struggle on this front. 4 children - 8 down to 4. I do all the mornings and some bedtimes and find myself in exacly the same situation virtually every day.

All the replies above are great by the way. I'll be following up on the advice......

UrbanDad Thu 31-Jan-13 14:08:46

Loads better these days. My "bored policeman" act works v. well along with enthusiastic administration of rewards and calm and consistent administration of forfeits (albeit more seldom that rewards) and ultimately the threat of telling their teacher (the threat of humiliation before a respected authority is very much the last saloon). All of the above seems to have had a Deepwater Horizon effect on the troubled waters of the household flashpoints.

I owe you all a debt of gratitude - your collective wisdom continues to delight and surprise me.

glyders Sun 17-Feb-13 22:23:52

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