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5 year old behaviour - how to stop low level irritating/dangerous behaviour

(2 Posts)
messybessie Thu 16-Jun-11 10:56:28

DS1 is driving me mad, and I know I need to change my attitude. I just hear myself moaning constantly.

There have been lots of incidents recently, some of which we have some down quite hard on, but others I don't know what to do.

It's not really bad behaviour but just low level stuff. Also he seems to be doing lots of idiotic things that are quite dangerous, but in an absent minded kind of way.

For example. At the weekend he stood by the side of the road and tried to kick water from a puddle at a passing 4x4. DH went ballistic and we had to explain very clearly that this was dangerous to him, the driver and all in all a really bad idea to distract drivers or purposefully get close to cars doing 20 mph.

Last night, I went in to check on him after he had gone to bed and he was standing behind his curtains on his windowsill. I always try to make sure the windows are closed and locked but one day (especially in the summer) it might not be.

And on the school run, he insists on walking next to DS2's pushchair and putting his foot under the wheel so the pushchair runs over it. On every rotation! It's really annoying and a ridiculous thing to do.

And a lot of general not doing what I need etc.

It all sounds very trivial now I've written it down but I'm becoming increasingly ratty with him and I don't want to be.

His sleep is another issue entirely (and is responsible for his fidgety ness) but I can't seem to get through to him (and never have been able to) that he need to lie down and go to sleep at night, instead of climbing the walls.

snailoon Fri 17-Jun-11 09:34:02

All these things sound par for the course to me.

I would try to find ways to get him to do what you want without saying "no" or being ratty, and save the prohibitions for the important stuff. I have noticed (this may not apply to you) that parents who are constantly saying "no" often have kids who have no self control; they think everything prohibited is as trivial as most of it, and they can really get into trouble because they don't recognise the serious stuff.
If you are in a good mood, it can be easy and entertaining to get kids to behave by cleverly distracting them, and generally tricking them, it's hard when you're tired or grumpy yourself.

For road safety, why don't you give him a demonstration of the destructive power of a car which he will remember: run over an object (old toy, half rotten fruit etc) and show him what happens to it, then hit a large object such as an old garbage can a glancing blow and show him how it is thrown aside
by a car. Explain how drivers can be distracted and not see people, so we have to stay well away from cars; show him how rear view and wing mirrors have blind spots--put him in the drivers seat and show him how to look for you in the mirrors as you walk round the car. Then you will have something to refer back to it he behaves dangerously in traffic. You can do something similar for falling out of windows, but save the forceful messages for LIFE threatening situations.

I find that for annoying behaviour while out and about, the best thing is to stop dead in your tracks and not budge or talk about the problem/ get involved in arguments until the kids behave, no matter how inconvenient it is to be late or stand in the rain. It doesn't usually take more that 2 minutes. If he is putting his foot in front of the pushchair, just sit down good-humouredly, tell him ONCE you will go on when he stops, and await results.

When you are getting him to stop some annoying behaviour, it may be really important to let him "save face", if you know what I mean. Don't make him admit he is giving in. Sometimes this is as easy as saying "ok, you win, you can put your foot in front of the pushchair 3 more times before you have to give me a break...(sigh)". You both know that you got your way, but he is not humiliated by giving up his point; this is important to some kids.

Good luck and have fun. I wish my kids still had problems like this rather than things like GCSE's and being dumped by girlfriends and not knowing the meaning of life.

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