I Cant do this anymore!(3 Posts)
Ive three boys (7,7 (not twins, eldest is 8 tomorrow and 2). I have posted on here so many times over the last 8 years. The eldest has always been a handful. WEll not always, he was a beautiful placid little baby who never cried, slept well, had a lovely little personality. But once ds2 was up and running at about 1yr, ds1 has been a handful. He was always mischievous, always up for a laugh but very impulsive. He has always had problems listening to us. To get him to stop anything we need to use a threat and even then its pot luck if he will listen. He hasnt much interest in indoor toys so all we use for discipline is send him to his room. He loves playing outdoors on his bike, rollerblades etc. gets plently of exercise.
Every day lately is just a struggle. From the minute they wake up they are go go go. They are wrestling, running jumping, shouting, fighting...im always telling one of them off for one thing or another. We cant play group games because it ends in fights or just messing. One to one they are all perfect of course but i seldom have them one to one.
The evening are the same. Them running, shouting, wrestling around while i try get everything done and try to get them to sit and watch tv.
They cycle 20 mins to and from school most days, Play out with friends in the afternoon or else go to PG. They eat a healthy enough diet too.
im just at the end of my tether with it. I cant bring them anywhere (Other than soft play where boisterousness is acceptable!). If we go shopping, i cant get them to walk nicely etc. Everything is frantic and hyper with them.
Ive just had enough. I need new techniques. I got so upset tonight. This time 8 years ago i was in labour, completely naive to how hard parenting would be...i remember kissing my little gorgeous baby thinking im going to be the best mother ever and i just feel like i have failed them. I lose my temper too easily and end up shouting. I just feel pushed to the limit every day.
Every other child i know seems so well behaved in comparison to my animals!! i just thought by the time they reached this age, we would be able to enjoy them more and have nice conversations. All we do is shout now (all of us) and im just worn out.
Also just to add the chaos seems to be just when i have the two older boys together. If one is out, the house is lovely and calm and outings are easy. They just seem to rub eachother up. i think maybe it is competition.
I think sometimes you can just get into a negative cycle where they're constantly behaving badly and whinging and you're always shouting/nagging/punishing them. I've been caught in that cycle before and some things that I found effective:
- Take a deep breath start afresh. Have a family meeting and speak to them like proper people. Tell them that this ongoing behaviour is unacceptable and it stops today. Tell them how it makes you feel. Ask for their thoughts. Lay out new rules and tell them what the consequence of breaking those rules will be. Explain that behaving well is to their benefit because you can do nice things and go to fun places, they will have privileges (screen time or whatever they like), you will be more fun and less shouty. Make yourselves into a team, all striving to improve relations in the house.
- Divide and conquer. When they're hyper in the evenings or when you need them to be calm, bring one in with you. So, for example they can take it turns to help you with getting the tea ready. DC1 in the kitchen with you (getting some one on one time), DC2 should then be much more likely to do something reasonably calm. Then DC2 can help you clear the table and wash-up, while the other one goes off to entertain himself for a while. Switch it round the next day. Do they have their own bedrooms? If so, split them up whenever they get too rowdy.
- Always praise at least twice as much as you tell them off, even if it's really hard to find something positive. It can be things like 'that's great waiting DC2' if he's sitting at the table for a minute. 'That's really helpful, thank you DC1' if he does anything even remotely helpful. 'You guys are playing so nicely' if they can keep calm for a minute. 'I'm so pleased you've been playing outside and getting fresh air DC1' etc. etc.
You can also use this positive language to talk about future events, like 'I'm so glad that you'll be helping me with the tea tonight DC1' or 'DC1 you're such a good boy, could you help DC3 to be calm and quiet when we're in the library this afternoon please'.
- Talk through the rules and consequences of breaking them before you go anywhere. Keep them simple and achievable.
-Pick your battles. Let a certain amount of wrestling/fighting/chasing etc. go, that's just a normal part of childhood I think.
-Try a reward chart/system. We had a system where we had 5 targets for each day and at the end of the day they got a star for each target they met. They could then trade their starts in for a small treat/screen time/a sweet etc. It's best to have at least one they can easily achieve then 2-3 which are doable and one which will be a struggle. It can be things like;
1. Have breakfast, get dressed and ready for school quickly and calmly
2. No fighting
3. Sit nicely at the table
4. Do your homework without arguing
5. Get your PJ's on, brush your teeth and be in bed on time.
Pick things that are specific and that are flashpoints in your house. Avoid things like 'listen to me' because that's quite vague and they could sometimes listen and sometimes not and then do you give the star or not?! Pick things where you all know clearly whether it was achieved or not.
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