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to expect my 2 small DS's to respond to my parenting!?

(56 Posts)
Jamhandprints Mon 29-May-17 21:12:52

Please help! I am at my wits end! DS5 and DS3 are happy, lively boys but they are naughty ALL the time! DS3 takes delight in breaking things, flushing things down the toilet, stepping onto the road, running away from me...anything he knows he's not allowed to do. He often hits other children but only if i'm there, never at nursery. And DS5 used to be like this but has calmed down a lot but still wont be quiet at bedtime, helps himself to snacks I've said no to, shouts out words he thinks are bad, hits me if I say he can't have something and won't sit and listen to his teacher at school. So I feel like I'm constantly battling them and I hate it. Our discipline methods are "sitting on the stairs" or if that doesn't work/ they refuse it's a toy "on the shelf" for the rest of the day. And if they still carry on, I do shout. Which I hate. But nothing stops them anyway. The HV said Time Out and Toy on the Shelf shouldn't be used, we should use a sticker chart instead. But OH thinks we should be stricter as they're running wild. I feel like a terrible parent and failing them badly. What am I supposed to do? I just want to love and guide them to socially acceptable behaviour but they just don't respond to me. I have honestly considered adoption would be better for mg 3 year old. :-(

Stressedoutmumofone Mon 29-May-17 21:37:20

My ds is only 2 so no experience of these ages but can I just say the one thing that stuck out to me in your post - "happy, lively boys"! Happy children would 100% not be better off being adopted!

My ds loves doing things he knows he shouldn't, and he always looks at me while he does it, and just laughs if I say no or try to stop him. He frustrates me soooo much sometimes but I honestly think toddlers just love to push boundaries as much as they can! And they know that we will always love and forgive them for whatever, so they aren't worried that we will stop loving them or leave them because they are naughty. That's what I think anyway.
The 5 year old I can't really help
You with unfortunately!

Jamhandprints Mon 29-May-17 21:41:04

Thankyou, Stressed. That's nice. They are happy. It's just two against one! :-(

TeenAndTween Mon 29-May-17 21:41:48

How much positive attention do you give compared with the 'stop doing that'?
Praise anything you can with stickers or marbles in a jar, with mini rewards.

(And adoption definitely wouldn't be better, but I'm sure you weren't serious!)

Loopytiles Mon 29-May-17 21:43:47

What is your "OH"'s parenting like?

Moanyoldcow Mon 29-May-17 21:44:10

Strict isn't helpful in my experience (DS4). I use a site called Hand in Hand parenting. It focuses on building connections with your child and as the bond strengthens your authority does automatically.

Try the 'time in' suggestions - made a rapid difference for us.

Booshbeesh Mon 29-May-17 21:44:38

Be more strict... It won't have no long term.impact and they will still love you. I have 4. Aged between 8 and 1. They have rules. They break them then there is a consequence! You need to stop it. Put the snacks away higher. They stand on the basket right thats it go and sit on the stairs/chair/bed. No screaming and shouting just firm right mummy has had enough now...!!!! Take there fav toy away. No tv. No sweets. Etc

Twerking9to5 Mon 29-May-17 21:46:01

I feel your pain!! Have had same issues myself. Ages ago I read a book I actually found v useful-"no bad kids" by Janet Lansbury. Youve reminded me I need to go back and re-read some bits as I've started losing the plot grin

I think it is v normal indeed. So much boundary pushing going on. It's bloody exhausting flowers

pandarific Mon 29-May-17 21:49:30

It does sound like attention seeking, if that helps at all - "look at me, I'm being naughty, look at me look at me" etc.
Could you divide and conquer do you think, coupled with love-bombing? I.e. One child gets your undivided attention, just the two of you having fun and being together, doing whatever the child wants to do, while the other is elsewhere?

I think maybe the hv is on to something with the praising/fussing for good behaviour rather than essentially giving them attention for bad, but I get why it's been happening!

Believeitornot Mon 29-May-17 21:50:36

The constant of stream of saying no and restricting really doesn't work in the long term, in my view.

Your 3 year old is just doing a lot of what 3 year olds do. What exactly are you expecting? For them to be quiet and meek etc?

As for the 5 year old - some of it looks like attention seeking. Shouting bad words - ignore them. If he wants a snack - what's wrong with it?

Some of the behaviour - not listening at school - what has the teacher said?

FairlyConstantNameChanger Mon 29-May-17 21:54:50

I feel your pain OP and posted a similar thread very recently about my 6 and 4 year olds as to whether parenting classes help.

So difficult to know whether to be stricter or less strict and all the guidance is different. Sticker charts don't work for mine - they just don't care. Limited success here with saving marbles in a jar.

Also sympathise with the feeling of them running wild flowers.

Jamhandprints Mon 29-May-17 21:56:35

Moany, I use that site too and make sure I spend quality time with DS3 every afternoon after nursery doing what he wants to do. .and that hour is nice but then he doesn't want to go to school to get his brother and the craziness starts again.
Loopy, OH is more shouty and sometimes gives them stupid ultimatums like "I'll put ALL your toys on the shelf if you don't sit at the table"...but I can't get him to stop. He just says my way isn't working so he'll try his. So I can't change him but I just want to do the best I can do for them.

Jamhandprints Mon 29-May-17 22:00:42

Believeit, no,I just want DS3 to be safe and listen to me when I say "get out of the road/ don't hit that baby with a wooden train track etc". And DS5 eats costantly and would eat a whole cake, even if hidden or a whole packet of biscuits. That's not ok. I hate the constant stream of "no" but what can I do if they are in danger or hurting each other?

Lowdoorinthewal1 Mon 29-May-17 22:03:20

Can you access the 'Incredible Years' parenting course? It is a really good one- maybe ask your HV about it.

I think you probably need both things- more positive consequences for the good things the do and more withdrawal of attention for the things you don't want repeated. I'm not for a single second suggesting your boys have any SN, but 'Motivation and Reinforcement' by Robert Schramm is a really interesting read. It's aimed at children with autism, but many of the strategies would be useful for any young child using negative behaviours to gain control/ avoid parental requests.

cestlavielife Mon 29-May-17 22:05:22

What do they get when they behave well play nicely etc?
Verbal praise is good
Stickers reward jar s can work.
Try and find good things to say to them
Stop shouting unless he is running into the right ad,
For danger you need to to act sharply.
But if you shouting over minor trangresssions and being a typical child then you have nothing left for danger.

cestlavielife Mon 29-May-17 22:08:36

Maybe ds is growing and hungry.
Offer more frequent healthy carb snacks.
If you shout at them for not sitting at the table then what can you do if they run into the road or hit someone?
Look at the behaviour and what it is about.

Praise for nice sitting,
Let them see benefit to sitting nicely rather than a negative for not doing so...

Try a course of some kind to get some ideas .

Jamhandprints Mon 29-May-17 22:20:28

They get verbal praise from me and OH everytime they do things they should. "Isn't 5 sitting nicely today,and 3 is using his fork so well!" They get gold stars for random good behaviour and usually have a sticker chart on the go for going to bed sensibly or using the potty which earns them a toy or day out when it's done. I often tell them things I love about them and tell them things I'm proud of every day.

I will read some of these books you have recommended.

FairlyConstantNameChanger Mon 29-May-17 22:22:28

It is so hard isn't it? Sitting at the table is something we have really struggled with despite the constant praise as you describe. We did try ignoring the bad behaviour at the table but it just carried on and is so embarrassing.

AcrossthePond55 Mon 29-May-17 22:25:48

Regardless of the method, the key is absolute consistency. 100% consistency 100% of the time. And being realistic about your son's mental maturity to understand what's being asked. So all I'd suggest is that you review your discipline 'policy' and be sure that your son's have the ability to understand what you are asking of them and whether or not you are being consistent. It's very easy to throw hands up in the air after a terrible day and say "I give up", or 'threaten' "Wait until we get home!", but if you don't carry through 100% that simply reinforces to them that they can 'wait you out'.

I raised two rather strong willed boys (now 33 and 28) and at times I was at my wit's end as they were real 'boundary testers'. But in the end, once they understood that I meant what I said AND that I'd carry through on any 'threats' they settled down.

slkk Mon 29-May-17 22:26:05

Yes, adoption is really not a better option, I'm sure you know that really. When my son's behaviour gets really bad we cut right back on trips out and when we build up again, we start with small local trips with expectations really clear beforehand just to be successful.
Do they have any special big boy jobs or responsibilities? Could your ds3 have a special job like having a timer to help you get ready to pick ds5 up from school?
Also with ds5 and his eating, I know lots of people have found success with a snack box. Fill with his snacks for a week or day depending on his maturity and then let him decide when to eat. It might help develop some self control.

Believeitornot Mon 29-May-17 22:30:02

Believeit, no,I just want DS3 to be safe and listen to me when I say "get out of the road/ don't hit that baby with a wooden train track etc". And DS5 eats costantly and would eat a whole cake, even if hidden or a whole packet of biscuits. That's not ok. I hate the constant stream of "no" but what can I do if they are in danger or hurting each other?

I would be holding my 3 year olds hand near the road, I would intervene earlier when it came to things like hitting babies with track. Ie you watch and know what the dangers are and distract etc etc.

It sounds like everything your children do is reward/punishment. So a reward for being good, punishment for being bad. I find "natural consequences" work a bit better - such that they are good because it's the right thing to do, not to earn a gold star.

Earning toys or days out seems inappropriate for the ages of your children to be honest.

Cantusethatname Mon 29-May-17 22:33:28

I've raised 4 boys, 2 years between each.
What does stand out to me is the positive parenting, which I know is good and I know is right, and 90% of the time I hope we did it. I know we tried.
But we did also shout, we did take things away, we did smack and we did give a stern "don't you dare mess with me" look.
I don't know the right way. I just know that sometimes it felt right to come down very hard on bad behaviour.

FairlyConstantNameChanger Mon 29-May-17 22:34:02

See this is why it is so confusing. The parenting lady who came to see me (I have DC age 4 and 6) said to use a reward/ punishment system and to save for days out. Maybe that one year older each makes a difference? I was expecting them to want to behave because it is the right thing to do but they didn't seem to care. Absolutely not trying to argue believe as am keen for any advice as I'm sure the OP is (sorry if derailing).

It is so hard to know what to do!

Jupitar Mon 29-May-17 22:39:24

I was at my wits end when my 2 were that age, then someone on a forum (might even if been this one) recommended a book called 1,2,3 magic, I ordered it, read it, implemented it, and it was an absolute life saver. It explains why kids misbehave and explains how to react to each situation.

I've just googled it and it looks like there's several in the series now but just get the one for 2-12 year olds it's fab

caffeinequick Mon 29-May-17 22:45:03

Sound similar to my ds3 so I'm reading with interest for tips! I've put snacks on top of the cupboards. He gets naughty step but most of the time he laughs at me while on it. I've started a kindness jar where he gets a bit of dried pasta to put in if he does something kind and when full he can have a bit of chocolate. It seems to help because it focuses him onto what being kind is. Good luck xx

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