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Struggling with three boys!

(96 Posts)
thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 16:38:53

I usually cope quite well with our boys 6,4 and 23 months, but in the last few days seem to have stumbled into a black mood that is affecting the whole family.

The behaviour of the older two has been awful over the last week, generally rude, disobedient and cheeky with constant fighting and bickering.

DS1 refuses to do any of the homework set by his teacher for next term and seems to have forgotten everything he has been taught in the last year - I have tried to stay calm, but have now told him that he's getting no more help and can explain to his teacher why it isn't done

Yes I know he's only six, but I feel so inexplicably angry and can't rationalise why, I had such lovely plans for the holidays for when I'm not at work, but can't even stand to leave the house with them at the moment - so far today I have hidden the scalextrix and thrown away a scooter for bad behaviour - I've told them that oneida foot out of place today and the bears get it.

Do any of you have any good coping strategies as I am really making a hash of things?

Collision Wed 03-Aug-11 16:42:45

Just let them run!

Boys are like dogs and need plenty of exercise. Separate them when you can and praise when they are behaving.

Take away all the screens and consoles inc TV and tell your eldest he can have them back when he has done his homework. Set a timer and do 20mins a day of homework and then do something fun.

Tell him it has to be done or he will not get <insert fave activity>

Threaten them with holiday club at school which is what I did this morning and they have been sweetness and light ever since!!

tigerlillyd02 Wed 03-Aug-11 16:49:18

Are they bored? This was my initial reaction but obviously don't see the situation on the whole.

Have you tried doing some organised activities rather than letting them get on with their own thing?

If staying in, perhaps have an hour which is for painting, an hour in the garden, and hour doing something else.... with you actively involved also?

During these activities, any bad behaviour can then be dealt with on a one-on-one basis quickly.

Then if you have a day out planned - go, but make sure you're aware of the consequences if they don't behave and more importantly, stick to them.

I usually find with children that when they're left to their own devices over what to play with etc all hell seems to break lose so it's then up to the adult to control the situation a bit more in terms of planning activities for them.

thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 16:53:02

Thank you, I need some perspective and seem to be dealing with it by stooping to their level.

The only difference is I am threatening not to let them go to holiday club as they love it so much!

Trying to decide if I should let them go to the splash session at the pool this evening - my gut feeling is they have been too awful, but I know they will burn off lots of excess energy and have a great time!

grumpypants Wed 03-Aug-11 16:53:24

oh thank god i found your op! just got back from meeting friends; popped into m and s to get cereal (not a big shop, about five items - i'm not silly!) and the two smallest ones just bickered, wiggled, and ended up fighting over a chair at the till. I am that mother marching back through town going on about being humilated/ everybody was looking at you etc....
i have three boys, close together and it is hard!
otoh, it can also be fantastic.

Collision Wed 03-Aug-11 16:54:34

I think you should say that if your ds does 20mins of homework then he can go to the splash session.

Make it fun for him though and put the timer on and say 'quick! Let's get it done then we can get our swim stuff together.'

thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 17:00:06

Tigerlily - I think you may be right to some extent, but I'm trying to organise plenty of sessions in clubs for them, multi-sports, get active, splash, tennis lessons and holiday clubs - they get to do something most days, but funds are limited.

I also have to work between 36 and 45 hours a week of which about half is from home - I get a lot done in the evenings, but I do need an hour or so during the day to get some things done. I just wish they could play together for a few minutes without hurtin each other!

FootprintsOnTheMoon Wed 03-Aug-11 17:06:59

I'm pregnant at the moment, and praying for a girl grin . Three boys shudder .

With two boys I advise:
- out the house every morning. Lots of excercise, so that when the TV goes on they arre properly zonked (and maybe even asleep!)
- age appropriate responsibility for each one. E.g. Bag carrying, asking people for directions, button pressing, ticket buying, bag packing etc etc. I find it brings out the best in them to 'respect' them by trusting them, and it is more manageable for me if they pull their weight.
- paid for clubs (e.g. Swimming lessons). Not least because they get a break from each other, but also because my lot see it as 'grown up' and a treat to trot off to learn something.

FootprintsOnTheMoon Wed 03-Aug-11 17:08:07

have you tried bubbles in the garden ( dressed just in pants)? That always get a laugh here.

tigerlillyd02 Wed 03-Aug-11 17:13:44

I think you are doing a fabulous job and obviously trying to entertain as much as possible.

When you need to do some work for an hour at home, could you set up a calmer activity beforehand (a craft session for example) so they're all sitting. You can then get on with your work. But, if one starts misbehaving, simply removing that one from the situation for a while. They'll then (hopefully) learn that they miss out on the fun should they start misbehaving. It might take a while for them to get the message, so you may be up and down dealing with it to start with but they should get it eventually. Just a suggestion!

Otherwise, it sounds like you're doing very well to ensure that they have a lot of physical activities to help them burn their energy which is brilliant!

thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 17:14:21

Grumpypants- I too am that mother (oh the shame of the pitying looks!) I often say to my DH "why is it always our children?" to which he responds " I said not to have three" - thanks for those words of wisdom DH! We seem to have become a crowd and not a family!

But, they can be gorgeous, cute and funny too!

thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 18:43:18

Well they have made it to splash and I am relaxing with DS3 and a latte - planning a trip to the park in the morning and then I will be working from 2-10 - peace!

Footprintsoverthemoon- three boys is fantastic most of the time!

SomekindofSpanish Wed 03-Aug-11 18:51:22

Nowt to do with boys (my 3 are 9,6 and 4), possibly to do with ages grin.

Footprintsoverthemoon, 3 sons are not shudderworthy, really hmm.

FootprintsOnTheMoon Wed 03-Aug-11 18:59:45

Well done - for getting them to club, and getting yourself a treat too.

I have a girl, then 2 boys. Expecting number 4. DH says:
"if dc4 is a girl, hmmm, maybe 5 kids would be nice. If dc4 is a boy we STOP. I just couldn't do that to Dd"

grin

They are just so damn LOUD.

And the amount of male full frontal nudity I'm exposed to is really unreasonable (can't I call my union?). Willy this; willy that; willywilly willy. sigh

5inthebed Wed 03-Aug-11 19:05:15

Ah, three boys, I know that very well. Mine are 8, 6 and 2 and very stressful at times.

Lots of fighting and bickering goes on if they are holed up too much, they need to be out and free.

exoticfruits Wed 03-Aug-11 19:06:39

Exercise, exercise, exercise. Leave the homework until later.

4madboys Wed 03-Aug-11 19:20:11

4 boys here!

11, 9 ,6 and 3 AND a 7mth old baby girl!

its ok but maddening at times, i second the exercise, we have a trampoline in the garden, a climbing frame, bikes, scooters, a swingball etc and i try and take them out everyday!!

if i need quiet time i will put on a dvd or let them have a bit of time on the ds/wii etc.

its fun, but yes hard work!

Tuppenyrice Wed 03-Aug-11 19:25:02

My name is Tuppenyrice and I wish my 3rd child had been a girl.
<runs for the trees>

FootprintsOnTheMoon Wed 03-Aug-11 20:00:56

I feel a support group brewing!

strandednomore Wed 03-Aug-11 20:09:31

I am a lone girl with 3 brothers and it was a very rough and tumble up bringing but I think I am the better for it. We had so many adventures growing up and I got to hang out with their friends when I was older!
I now have two girls and although it's different (I think it's true that they don't need to run around so much), the summer holidays are difficult whatever their gender/ages. I think two weeks is about enough to have to think of something different to do with them every day.
Oh and fwiw I think you're being hard on yourself - trying to work from home with three dc's the age yours are must be tough tough tough.

oooggs Wed 03-Aug-11 20:12:57

3 boys 7, 4 & 2 brilliant (girl also aged 4 = bloody hard work) wink

thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 20:22:23

Or maybe a survivors group?

I agree about the noise - Why does everything have to be loud enough for whole road to hear?

Anyway after all my moaning, we have had a fairly sucessful evening, no shouuting and no blood - Splash was enjoyed by the older two and DS3 had fun pottering around the play area.

I think my problem is planning ahead; I like to try and get my stuff out of the way so I can enjoy the rest of the day - This clearly isn't working, I will look at exhuasting them first in future.

Such lovely replies from you all has quite cheered me up, I must post more!

thatsenough Wed 03-Aug-11 20:27:00

4madboys - we have a trampoline, but unfortunately our climbing frame and swing were taken out by a tree landing on them during a storm earlier in the year - I will ask DH to look at replacing them quickly!

We are also unfortunately in just about the wettest place in England, so it's often pretty miserable - Maybe putting them outside in waterproofs and wellies will be my saviour?

4madboys Wed 03-Aug-11 20:30:43

thatsenough, the other day ds4 was driving me NUTS running up and down the lounge, it was PISSING with rain, i stuck his raincoat on and wellies and sent him out in the garden! he had a FAB time running around and splashing, didnt give a dam about the rain and it stopped me from throttling him!

so YES send them out in the rain, i do!!

4madboys Wed 03-Aug-11 20:31:33

we could set up a fb group, surving the summer hols with a bunch of boys!! grin

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