Anyideas for changing the atmosphere in our house?

(18 Posts)
steppemum Sun 11-May-14 21:34:56

was going to post a funny thread in chat about selling the kids on ebay, but realised I am really fed up.

In our house there is too much shouting (me included) and I am so tired of dd1, constant high drama melt downs, everytime she is asked to do something. eg, she plays in a brass band, performance today, she needed to do practice over the last week. I ask her 20 times to go and do it, she says yes, doesn't do it, and then, when it is TV time I say no, first practice and she has melt down at how unreasonable I am. Really loud screaming stomping off, arsey comments to me, when she stops screaming we still get narky sarcastic comments to rest of family. We have had this 2-3 times per day since Easter and before. She is 9. I am so tired of it. She doesn't get away with it, and we have tried loads of positive approaches etc.

dd2 doesn't understand the word no. At. All. She has no personal possession boundaries and no consequence makes any difference. She takes stuff belonging to dd1 and ds and mine, because she wants to, and gets it that I get cross, but the underlying 'it isn't yours' is like water off a duck's back. If I ask her to do something, she only does it if I am standing over her waiting for her to do it. eg getting dressed for school. I ask and ask and ask and she just laughs and dances off. So, getting cross doesn't work, giving rewards doesn't work, consequences don't work. She is 6.

Both (especially dd1) are well behaved at school, and at other people's house. They can be charming and fun, and it isn't usually this bad, it just seems like a bad patch at the moment.

There is also so much physical stuff between all 3 at the moment, dd2 is annoying, so you hit her. ds teases you, so you kick him and so on, all the time.

Any bright ideas to get them on board, imaginative consequences to lighten the atmosphere,

steppemum Sun 11-May-14 22:13:38

bit quiet here tonight then

Steppe, sad

Firstly, I always say that if the dcs behave for everyone else I'm doing most things right.

So that's one box ticked.

I'm not sure I have solutions. In fact I'm sure I don't. But they clearly have excellent boundaries (since they behave elsewhere), but they need to realise that you matter too.

I know my ds1 behaves for punishment. I know my ds2 behaves when he has had something removed and has the opportunity to win it back. Punishment doesn't work on him at all.

Both respond to me sitting them down and explaining how I feel when I'm not listened to.

You have my full empathy, and my flailing suggestions smile

Whatever you do, it will get better.

spottydolphin Sun 11-May-14 22:37:34

My kids are the same, similar ages too, plus a newborn!

No advice I'm afraid just sympathy and the knowledge that you aren't alone!!

Will watch the thread for advice though

Maybe dd1 is old enough to learn the hard way - ie it's her choice whether to practice or not, if she chooses not then she takes the consequences which include you saying 'told you so'.

steppemum Sun 11-May-14 22:43:46

hello Chris, thanks for coming over.

I know that them behaving for others is a good sign.

just feel very stuck in a rut

wheretoyougonow Sun 11-May-14 22:43:48

We've had the same problem and changed what we were doing. Instead of the children loosing things eg telly, pocket money etc, they now start the day with no treats. They have to earn them throughout the day.
An example of this is bedtime. My youngest starts the day off with an early 7pm bedtime. If his behaviour is good he can get to half seven.

It's worked for us.

RaspberryBeret34 Sun 11-May-14 22:52:11

I agree with FuckYouChrisAndThatHorse that if they are behaving for other people that is a major box ticked. And also with LadyGardenersQuestionTime in terms of making your DD1 take responsibility - if she doesn't practice it is her own fault. Can you take that approach with the others (to some extent) too? For your DD2, turning up at school in her PJs and you handing her uniform to her teacher might just make her realize she needs to do what you ask (although I'm guessing it probably wouldn't get that far).

steppemum Sun 11-May-14 23:18:17

I have tried the 'earn the treats'. They are sad at the end of the day with no tv computer time, but it isn't enough to stop the melt down for dd1.

Once she is cross, nothing works, and I know that the only option is to wait for her to calm down. The difficulty is when you need to go to school or whatever. The other night she had a melt down at bedtime. So I said if you are into bed in 15 minutes I will come and tuck you in, otherwise I'll see you in the morning, after 15 minutes she was still sitting in her room uncompromising. So I said goodnight, see you in the morning, and at 10 o'clock she was still sitting there. She finally went to bed in her clothes at about 11. She was foul the next day of course because she was tired.

I would take dd2 in her pjs, I usually say, you have until I count to 5 otherwise you go as you are. She is then dressed before I say 5. My problem is, that unless I go upstairs and count to 5, she won't get dressed. ds and dd1 did not need me to stand there and say get dressed when they were 6

steppemum Sun 11-May-14 23:47:33

just re-reading that it sounds so heartless. She wouldn't let us in too comfort etc, she just shouted GO AWAY at us.

We talked in the morning obviously, and she is cuddley and sorry.

she is well developed and tall and I'm sure hormones have a lot to do with it.

sigh.

steppemum Sun 11-May-14 23:48:30

thanks for all your suggestion, keep them coming. I am off to bed, will catch up tomorrow

Notmyidea Mon 12-May-14 05:58:05

What would dd1 do if you said, "If you don't practice I'm not paying for music lessons." would you be willing to see it through?
I suspect dd2 is just making sure she's still the baby. Treat her like one. If she still needs your help in the morning to get dressed, fine, she gets it...but she can't possibly be grown up enough to do something else, a sports club that involves changing independently perhaps? Or you don't have time to do something else for her, elaborate hair-do? Pancakes for breakfast?
Hormonal early developers are hard. I've had two and really not liked them at times, but they need you so much to feel secure. Have you done lots of cosy time with mum, book on puberty, making sure she can talk to you without the other two about? If it's any comfort mine are becoming nicer teenagers having already been through it all. Is dd1 the aggressive one? My dd found kickboxing fitness training really helpful in working out her frustrations with the world.

For the aggression I think you need an overall "words no fists" campaign at home. They need to listen and respect you and each other. You don't mention how old as is, but dd1 isn't far off the age of criminal responsibility. That's quite a powerful chat to have with them.
Good luck

Notmyidea Mon 12-May-14 05:58:06

What would dd1 do if you said, "If you don't practice I'm not paying for music lessons." would you be willing to see it through?
I suspect dd2 is just making sure she's still the baby. Treat her like one. If she still needs your help in the morning to get dressed, fine, she gets it...but she can't possibly be grown up enough to do something else, a sports club that involves changing independently perhaps? Or you don't have time to do something else for her, elaborate hair-do? Pancakes for breakfast?
Hormonal early developers are hard. I've had two and really not liked them at times, but they need you so much to feel secure. Have you done lots of cosy time with mum, book on puberty, making sure she can talk to you without the other two about? If it's any comfort mine are becoming nicer teenagers having already been through it all. Is dd1 the aggressive one? My dd found kickboxing fitness training really helpful in working out her frustrations with the world.

For the aggression I think you need an overall "words no fists" campaign at home. They need to listen and respect you and each other. You don't mention how old as is, but dd1 isn't far off the age of criminal responsibility. That's quite a powerful chat to have with them.
Good luck

I like the idea of kick boxing or something like that. It would be a vent for aggression as well as teaching very strict discipline when it comes to actual fighting.

Is there anything going on at school that might account for dd1 wanting more control at home?

My dd1 is younger, but my god she has a stubborn streak that the older two don't have. She has such focus on what she wants.

Maybe sitting down with her and saying, "right, this isn't working, is it? You're unhappy being nagged to practise, I'm unhappy worrying you're wasting your chance. What can we do?" Give the extreme options of, no more lessons or you punishing her with taking away everything she owns, and then suggest that you come up with a timetable when she will practise, and agree sanctions for if she doesn't do it?

It would give the control back to dd, and if she's the one to come up with the structure then she may be a lot more willing to do it. Be willing to compromise a bit on times, but make sure dd has suggested how long she needs to learn a piece of music etc in a week, and that that is accounted for.

If it's currently every day, could it be longer periods every other day? Or if it's longer periods every other day, then maybe short bursts would be easier. And lots of hugs and praise for being so grown up and organising her own life.

And dd2 sounds like my ds2, completely different to ds1, and often needed standing over to get things done. He did grow out of it.

steppemum Mon 12-May-14 21:58:36

Thanks for all your ideas. Today has been better.

last night we decided to have a prizes week. Anyone who got to the end of the day with no violence or screaming was eligible for a prize. ds got there, dd1 and 2 lost it by having a scrap in the back of the car, but it stopped really quickly when ds reminded them of the prize.
All much calmer today, dd2 got out of the door without being shouted at this morning. Dd1 hasn't been over emotional at all. I think it is the chop and change with her that makes me think it is hormonal.

The music. dd1 plays trumpet and piano. She took up the piano recently, paid for by granny. The deal was that if she wanted the piano lessons, she had to practice. She and I sat down and made a deal, she would do her practice before the TV goes on at 5. If she hasn't done it then she can't go and watch TV. I don't usually nag, part of the deal was that she had to take charge of it. She often madly dashes off at 4:50 and does 5 minutes of each instrument. There are days that doesn't work eg because of brownies, so it is about 4 days per week.
Because of the performance, she knew she had to go through all the pieces on friday or saturday. We talked about it at the beginning of the week. I reminded her through fri and sat because I knew if it was 5 pm on sat she would not want to go through all the pieces, which was why she kicked off.
I should have reminded her once and then not nagged. She does do better when she takes charge of the situation herself.

And while I am aware that she is hormonal, I haven't really sat down with her and talked about it. That is definitely something we need to do.

I did have a long talk over the weekend about her and dd2, about choosing when to react and choosing to walk away, and not letting dd2 get under her skin, and she seemed to respond.

steppemum Mon 12-May-14 22:01:29

and dd1 is on her 4th teacher this year (don't ask) so yes, that is probably affecting her, and of course, she was nervous about the performance (it was her first with the band)

That all sounds really positive smile

It looks like you've pinned down the causes, that's so much more than half the battle. I hope things keep getting better.

I know it's easy to say from out here in the ether, but it sounds like you're doing everything right and this is just one of those blips caused by external pressures.

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