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I would sell my soul to the devil to have children that listened to me.

(47 Posts)
emmatmg Tue 10-May-05 12:16:45

That's it really.

ATM we're trying the star chart method and if I'm honest it's a total waste of time.

DS1, who was 6 last week is such hard work. Having Ds2+3 togther is a doddle compared to DS1 alone. When they are all together the noise, fights, arguments, etc etc etc is ridiculous. What my neighbours must think of me and my attempts to quiet them I dread to think.

I hate to say but Ds1 is the main problem. He just does not listen until I'm screaming his name at him. Then he'll stop whatever it is but 2-3 minutes later he's doing it agian. It's almost like he just can't control himself. Ds2 does this too but not nearly as bad, I hate the thought of all 3 being like this eventually. It seems they(ds1 mainly but ds2 sometimes) have no respect for me and at 6 and almost 4 that horrifies me.

Dinner time is a mine field EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and I've tried ever way to tackle the problem. He'll swings on his chair, plays with his food, he eats painfully slowly (even DS3 finishes before him), Ughhh I could go on and on. I loathe dinner time and feel like I'm constantly wasting my time cooking nice dinners when every night it just ends up with a fight about "can I stop now?" "how much do I have to eat" "I don't like that" "I can't eat " It'd be easier feeding them crap every night.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I've run out of ideas.

elsmommy Tue 10-May-05 12:19:09

3 boys!!! Must be hard

popsycal Tue 10-May-05 12:21:22

ds1 who is almost 3 is driving me loopy...i bought a book which has some interesting stuff in it...not saying it solves things but it is interesting reading and makes you trthink about how you respond to them

will find it on amazon

popsycal Tue 10-May-05 12:22:28

how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk

emmatmg Tue 10-May-05 12:27:42

Thanks popsy, will have to to get that.

I think I need a miracle really though.

popsycal Tue 10-May-05 12:31:08

ds1 has turned rather a handful since ds2 was born...

it is worth a read tho...

SoupDragon Tue 10-May-05 12:31:15

When DSs (6 & 4) won't listen to me, I whisper "would you like a chocolate biscuit" and 9 times out of 10 it gets their attention I then say "Right, now you're listening to me..."

I also shout at them. Usually variations on "put your socks on!" in the morning.

puddle Tue 10-May-05 12:54:23

Emma that book is great but it's not a quick fix. It's about changing your own behaviour and the way you communicate with your children.

Why are the star charts a waste of time? We dio pasta jars with ds (5) for general behaviour - IME the stars work to encourage particular things (ie getting dressed).

I find with ds that I can often only get him to listen when I go over to talk to him and get down to his level. Sometimes his mind is just otherwise engaged, he's not being deliberately naughty.

I think you are right to start with the older one. Dd copies everything ds does so we have started to come down firmly on rudeness and attitude generally. I find that if I start to shout it just raises the general level of bad behaviour - dd gets over excited and ds will shout back.

Not sure if this helps at all - what are the specific things your ds does that annoy you?

emmatmg Tue 10-May-05 13:09:12

puddle, He's jsut so hyper all the time. He can't just play quietly, he has to make alot of noise.

I ask him to stop shouting, screaming, whatever and it's just like he doesn't hear me. I talk to him on his level and he almost flinches away from me and promises to calm down but almost straight away he's doing it or something similar again.

A good example of my house is this. On sunday Ds2+3 and I were in the garden sorting the flower beds, and having a lovely time. Ds1 was in doors watching videos that DH got fro him at the vid shop. We'd cleared the dead flowers and ds2+3 were digging in the mud having great time, I was sitting having a cuppa. I thought to myself how quiet it was.
Ds1 came out once his vid had finished and within minutes, ds3 was crying becuase he's spade had been pinched, Ds1+2 were fighting and shouting at each other over wanting to dig in the same spot and the same spade.

There are about 50 spades, shovels, trowels in the shed.

Now, am I expecting to much of a 6 yr old to go the the shed (which was unlocked and wide open) and get his own spade and dig in the other empty flower bed?

This is a prime example of how things disintergrate when Ds1 get involved.

It drives me bloody mad.

I like you chocolate biscuit thing soupy, I bet that would work a treat here too.

emmatmg Tue 10-May-05 13:11:22

I worded that wrong, I wouldn't expect ds1 to dig in the other flower alone, just to think about his actions first.

Enid Tue 10-May-05 13:11:35

attention seeking? a bit miffed you were clearly having a lovely time with ds2 & 3 d'you think?

Dd1 does this invariably when I am having a nice time with dd2.

Does he do any sport/exercise?

puddle Tue 10-May-05 13:24:06

I could see my ds behaving in the same way emma, in that scenario. With my ds, if I have been doing something alone with dd an dhe comes to join in, I do have to really manage it still so in the situation you descibe it would be along the lines of 'do you want to come and do some digging, ok then why don't you get a spade from the shed, your brother has just done that bit - can you come and do this bit here or I tell you what I have got a special job for you to do why don't you xxxxxx'....that kind of thing. He's looking for a role and to assert his position in what's going on - and yes probably wanting some attention from you.

He sounds like the kind of boy who needs to be out running around a lot! My two go bonkers when they haven't had anough exercise and I always find the noise level not so bad when we're in a big space!

sahara Tue 10-May-05 13:36:22

The dinner thing sounds exactly like my ds1. Bought a recipe and tried to introduce new things but again when it takes 10 minutes to chew one mouthful, eating anything is not going to happen.
My other 2 are alright. Ds1 (6), ds2(3) dd1 (1).
Dd eats anything but now ds2 has started copying his brother at the table as in "I don't like that" "how much do I have to eat".
Right now they are fighting.

I hate dinner times, bed times, play times. anytime when I have all 3 of them.

And just like you when ds1 is not involved I found motherhood a breeze, but bring in ds1 and I almost wish I could vanish.
No help from me, I know, but I hope you get it sorted because I know what it feels like. nothing works.

Easy Tue 10-May-05 13:44:00

wonder if some of it is an attention seeking thing, since your younger ones obviously NEED more time and attention, do you think ds1 feels (subconciously) that he needs to shout and create?

Do you ever set aside time just for him and you, together?

WideWebWitch Tue 10-May-05 13:48:00

Emmatmg, no tinme but may come back. Just wanted to say that my ds has to be told 3 or 4 or 5 times too and it drives me MAD too. Don't feed crap, try to stay calm re food, I know easier said than done. Agree it may be attention seeking, my son is also VERY LOUD AND IT DOES MY HEAD IN TOO.

emmatmg Tue 10-May-05 13:51:51

Puddle, I'm honestly not exaggerating now but even when we go to the park Ds1 is still the noisiest, and over excited child there so open spaces don't make much difference.

We walk to shcool everyday, it's not far so I walk there and back the long way

We go to the park quite often, Dh takes ds1+2 swimming eveyweek. Until recently Ds1 was going to karate lessons (we stops as the teacher was rubbish) and next week he's starting at Beavers (you know the younger kids version of Cubs) so I think he gets quite abit of exercise. TBH he's not a sporty child and he'd much rather be making something, inventing stuff, drawing, writing etc etc he's very academic. Ds2 on the other hand loves sports and is only happy with a racket in his hand or with a ball flying off his foot or with a couple of wheels to ride on.

Sahara, you don't know how good it feels to read your post, sorry to say that as I know it's a nightmare.

emmatmg Tue 10-May-05 13:56:16

Ok, confession time.

I'm a terrible mother becuase the thought of spending time alone with him fills me with utter dread.

I know I should be stronger than I am but I just can't see beyond the annoying,loud, rude boy.

I'm not an affectionate person and just can't give what I have'nt got.

God, that's bloody awful.

flashingnose Tue 10-May-05 14:02:54

Short on time but here are a few thoughts:

- he knows you prefer spending time with the others

- you have to stop shouting first

- you have to rekindle your one to one relationship with him (YKWIM!)

Three is a very tricky number and especially three of the same sex, I think. I'll come back to this when I've got a bit more time but you are most definitely not alone .

puddle Tue 10-May-05 14:11:32

Emma it sounds as though your ds likes plenty of things you could do alone with him without him being loud and shouty - reading and writing and making things aren't by their nature high volume activities? It seems as though you've lost sight of the lovely bits of your boy - you can't see past the behaviour. I find that having some time just with my ds makes all the difference - I appreciate it's much harder with three to make that space.

If I were you I think I'd try and tackle the top things that are getting to me, combine it with some one to one time for ds and some zero tolerance on fighting and rudeness for them all/. So maybe mealtimes. Some form of bribery for them all for good behaviour and eating up at mealtimes - star charts, pasta, whatever works. Do it for all of them.
For fighting/ rudeness one warning and then appropriate sanction - you know what they will not like to lose.
And agree with your oldest to spend some time together and what might be nice to do. Plan it together, grit your teeth and do it. You will probably be surprised at how much you enjoy it.

clary Tue 10-May-05 14:13:45

Oh emma, I have 3 too, ds1, dd, ds2, and agree that you need to deal with the oldest. Am constantly telling DS1 that he has to do what I ask as ds2 especially just copies him.
Just a thought, I know it sounds daft but is his hearing OK? I mean I sometimes wonder if ds1 CAN hear me, and in fact a hearing test showed some significant hearing loss (tho a later one at the hospital showed he was fine but anyway....)
Has he always been like this? How is he at school?
DS1 was always lovely but seems to have become more difficult of late. We have our schedule arranged so he often has time with me or DH alone, eg after school (tonight I pick him up, we have tea, do some reading etc, then go to swim lesson while DH fetches the other 2 from the c/minders) and this seems to help.
I love my 3 soooo much, they make my life complete, but sometimes don’t you just wish they didn’t try to tear each other apart? At least you know you are not alone.

puddle Tue 10-May-05 14:15:49

Emma - to clarify re: mealtimes don't suggest you reward for clean plates only!! But the behaviour you want, sitting nicely, trying new things, not being rude about what they have been given etc.

emmatmg Tue 10-May-05 14:24:57

I know you're all right and I'm very wrong in my approach to this and my relationship with him.

It's just ingrained in me. My mum wasn't a "cuddly, spend time with me" mum so I don't really know how to do it and be happy doing it. Will have to learn or I will have 3 like it.

Clary, as school he is a star. His teacher in reception said if all children were like him she would have the perfect class and perfect job. His teacher now (yr1) has nothing but praise for him, he's on the top table for all the subject and loves school. He loves helping the teacher and class. There was anew boy join the class recently and it was Ds1's and his friends job to escort him around the school and look after him until he settled in, he was chuffed about that.

There just seems to be a metamophethis (sp) on the way homw from the dream school boy to the one we have at home.

TheDevil Tue 10-May-05 14:26:38

How much are you prepared to pay?

almostanangel Tue 10-May-05 14:27:12

leave her alone devil!!!or i willl flap my wings at you

puddle Tue 10-May-05 14:27:19

Emma he sounds like a lovely boy to me. So you must be doing a lot right. Let us know how you get on.

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