AIBU to ask for help about my two children....(11 Posts)
HELP! I am at my wits end. I have two lovely children (4 and 5 years old), well they were lovely but now they are driving me mad. For the past week my DD has bee playing up at school, silly things like screaming in the toilets or hallway (annoying but mainly just silly things) and then acting out at me at home, talking back, stamping feet etc which is not like her at all. My DS has been doing similar but only at home. This morning they both came downstairs at 3:30 am fully dressed for school and I told them to go back to sleep (my bedroom is downstairs) I think, but I woke up this morning to find they had emptied the contents of their wardrobe onto the floor and poured ALL of my shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and face creams all over their clothes and all over the bathroom. They then when into the kitchen and eat all of the YoYo Bears that I bought in bulk from Amazon; I bought 30 three days ago! I am so so upset. I don't understand why they are acting like this and how on earth do I stop them from doing these things? When they come home from school I will make them clean everything up, DD is missing her playtime at school and they will both be barred from electronics this week. What else can I do? I am going out of my mind Please don't judge me too much I really am trying my best! Any advise would be very greatly received
Has anything major changed in your home environment? Or anything at school? Children often act out when they are feeling insecure.
Has anything changed in their lives recently if this is new?
They are testing boundaries. My advice is let school deal with the school stuff as it seems relatively minor. If they have to miss play then they have to miss play.
The home stuff. Keep the consequences relative to the misbehaviour. Thy get up at 3 am then you tell them they need to go back to bed otherwise they will need to go to bed straight after they've had their tea after school so that they get enough sleep. Wasting stuff then they replace it with their pocket money if they get it or they don't get magazines or some other treat they usually get as the money needs to be used to replace what they've wasted. I also wouldn't allow them to play upstairs unsupervised (or wherever your bathroom is) util you feel they can be trusted to behave sensibly.
Completely normal that they are testing the water with you. Keep calm and show them that their negative behaviour effects them negatively And praise/reward where you can. The phase will soon pass.
I would have gone nuclear actually. Assuming there's nothing wrong what's your normal strategy for punishment? Are you consistent? Do you ever tell them off or are you like my friend who never seems to and always ends up either laughing with her DD( 4) or pleading with her to stop. I think you can withdraw treats/ activities etc if you choose but you have to follow through with it. Is there a DH in this scenario or are you on your own with this? ( PS the playtime punishment is presumably for school behaviour and has nothing to do with their behaviour at home so you can't count that )
I'd actually be quite concerned as you say this is markedly different behaviour to normal. I'd say something has clearly happened and this is a cry for help in a way typical of a 4 or 5 year old. While I echo making them clear it up (consequences are always worth demonstrating), please do so in a matter-of-fact 'this is a mess we have to clean up' way rather than telling them off. Please do not tell them off until you have absolutely ensured that there isn't an underlying reason for this.
Check with the school about anything that's happened - however seemingly trivial (there may be more to it). Do they attend any clubs? Check there. Where's their father in this? Can he shed any light? Have they seen something inappropriate either in real life or on TV/Internet? Have you had any friends around who have made a careless comment they've picked up on and really blown out of proportion?
Good luck with getting to the bottom of it.
Thank you so much for your replies. Nothing has changed in their life at all which is what has concerned me, I am working with their school closely and nothing has happened at school that they are aware of. SpiritedLondon I am very consistent, I didn't use to be when they were very young and my dad pointed that out and ever since I have gone through with everything I say no matter how trivial. PoundingTheStreets Their father left us when my DS was 10 months old and they haven't seen him since; there is no bloke on the scene at all.I have talked to them and their teacher has also and there doesn't seem to be a problem with anything. DD has told me she was trying to make a cake with the clothes so I guess maybe they are just pushing the boundaries
Obviously one woke the other up at 3:30am. This is not okay. I would find out who woke up first and either sleep in their room or put them in yours on a mattress on the floor. Perhaps the acting out is a result of disturbed sleep.
Then - consequences for silly bugger behaviour. 1) No more treats for 30 days. (As that's how many yo bears they ate.) 2) They do the laundry. (Supervised) Until all the clothes are clean, dry and put away. I know it's weird behaviour and they're only little, but there are age-appropriate consequences for bad behaviour. It is vital to also reward their good behaviour and even jump in with praise to point them in the right direction. I imagine that being a single mum must be totally exhausting - having to be "on" all the time for them and having no one to step in. Perhaps they're looking for your attention and this bad behaviour is working for them.
Are they well adjusted to not having their father about? I wonder if being at school for your older child has raised some thoughts/ worries/ fears regarding their father. It could be something as simple as children talking about what they have done with their dad at the weekend and your child then not knowing how to deal with their feelings about this?
Just remember one day you will look back and laugh about the making a cake with your clothes incident - not now but in a few years!
justilou Thank you very much, since they came home from school they have been as good as gold, DD was very good at school and made me a card to tell me how sorry she was, they both cleanew up all of the mess and did the landury and did complain about no electronics. I think they understand that they pushed it too far this time! So hopefully they will be angels from now on...haha. thank you everyone for your posts
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