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So how many times a day would you say you argued with your children?

(17 Posts)
googlenut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:14:35

Just wondering what is normal. Have a girl (11), boy (9) and boy with autism (7). Usually end up with an argument most nights around bedtime and getting to bed. I don't like it- per children I never raised my voice and never argued with Dh. I'm not an arguer by nature. But bedtime drives me mad - maybe I'm being too confrontational as a parent - get to bed or else.. Kind of thing. So it kind of sets up an argument.
What's normal though - maybe this is just life with kids.

googlenut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:15:16

Should be pre children I never raised my voice

googlenut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:16:03

Also should add that Dh works away from home during the week so need to do everything on my own.

PacificDogwood Wed 17-Oct-12 21:20:41


4 boys here, between 9 and 2, no Special Needs.
I argue rarely with DS1, at least 2-3x/day with DS2 (he does not read social signals readily <sigh>), with DS3 every frigging day when it is time to leave the house in the morning, and DS4 2.6 is a Totally Insane Toddler aka TIT - thank goodness that I can still pick him up and wrestle him in a pram/car seat when I have to.

It is wearing. And hard work.

Do yours go to bed at the same kind of time??
We do bath/shower time all togehter (2 bathrooms - yes, I know lucky) and then the 2 older one can stay up a bit longer than the 2 little ones, but there is no need for further bathroom action other than pees before bed.
Can your DH help? Or consider earlier bedtime? Earlier start to bedtime?

I don't have The Answer, sorry; wish I did.
Have wine.

googlenut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:23:04

Thanks for the reply. I suppose I just want to know if it's normal as I really don't feel comfortable being in battle like this.

Eglantyne Wed 17-Oct-12 21:24:15

Let me see, that would be...getting dressed for school, getting them off the park after school, they usually argue with each other while I'm making tea, then we have the "brush your teeth", "get back into bed" rows. Oh yes, and feed the rabbits and do your homework arguments. A bit of solidarity with you, before all the saintly "I never raise my voice" mums arrive!

girliefriend Wed 17-Oct-12 21:26:20

I try not to get into arguments but quite often bedtime ends with dd crying and whinging and me loosing my rag!!!

There are some useful tips in 'how to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk' although I have to be in the right frame of mind to implement them blush

googlenut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:27:14

The 'brush your teeth' mantra is my downfall. Drives me mad having to say that over and over again.

PacificDogwood Wed 17-Oct-12 21:30:08

I hate shouting as it usually simply means that I have lost control, rather than that I am asserting control IYKWIM.

I try very hard NOT to shout, I'd rather get quieter as I get more exasperated.
I give a 'warning' ie 'Bathtime in 5 minutes', then say 'bath is ready' - if they come, fine. If not, I go and get them (the younger ones). If they do not let me undress them and put them in the bath, I don't chase them, but leave them in the bath room and leave. Well, I stand outside the door. Usually that works: remove the audience (me), the wailing stops. I then ask whether they are ready to get stipped and put in the bath and usually they are then cooperative.
With the older 2 I find offering incentives work: if you are ready for bed, by the time I've put the littlies to be, I'll read with you/look at your latest computer creation <yawn>/check ebay with you for your latest must-have Lego Hero Factory figure and we can see if you have saved enough to get one. You get the idea.

Of course, how well all the above works depends so much on my nervous energy.
I found some of the techniques in 'How to talk to children so they'll listen, and how to listen to children so they'll talk' really enlightening. I find it awkward to do at times, but it helps calm me down when I can feel the bile rising.

Jakadaal Wed 17-Oct-12 21:31:16

DD (10) with SEN and DS (9) sadly lots of arguing and shouting and getting increasingly worse as DD struggles with year 6 and hormones. DH tends to do bedtimes as I really don't like doing them - far too confrontational.

So .... for us it is normal sad the only thing that really works for us is lots of countdowns and turning the tv off a good 10 minutes before we need to start trying to get upstairs.

and yes wine does help!

RedGreenWhiteViolet Wed 17-Oct-12 21:35:24

I never raise my voice. Not because I'm saintly but because I have some anger issues and if I did, I would run the risk of becoming overly angry and losing control.

I argue with dd2 at least three times a day - mostly about bedtime. Dd1 is only difficult as she is incredibly patient and likes to take her time and do things perfectly, especially when we are in a rush. I try to stay cheery as long as possible and then my voice gets quieter as I become more annoyed.

Absolutely no tips as I have no idea how to do anything myself.

googlenut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:36:34

I think getting quieter does help and I try and remember that, but it just gets so incredibly dull and repetitive when I end up saying the same things over and over again .

ginmakesitallok Wed 17-Oct-12 21:38:59

Just the once.... but it lasts from morning to bed-time.

Scarynuff Wed 17-Oct-12 21:51:09

Try this, make a 'timetable' for your bedtime routine, including 10 minutes playtime followed by tidy up time, bath/shower/wash and pjs on, clean teeth and into bed, story, lights out. Better still, get the dcs to make their own timetables and decorate them.

Then, each evening, at the pre-agreed time, the dcs do each step of their timetable and get to put a sticker on their chart next to the relevant activity. You will put the last two (story & lights out) because they can't get out of bed again after than. At the end of the week, everyone who managed to stick the routine gets a reward.

Those who didn't stick to it get praise for the times they did and motivation to try harder next time (or you could give a daily reward to start with, just something little to get them into it).

Works well for morning routine too.

googlenut Wed 17-Oct-12 21:51:42

Sounds like I'm not alone then.

NoMoreMarbles Wed 17-Oct-12 21:54:40

It would be a shorter list to say when I don't argue with DD.

I can honestly say she is the most melodramatic/ wilful/ stubborn child I have ever met! Everything is a drama mountain whether it is getting dressed for school (cue huffing and puffing and foot stamping from DD "it's not fair" "I hate school" etc) or picking up her own things (yells of "I'm not your SLAVE" and I might as well be your servant!" Are not uncommon) I have to grit my teeth ALOT but it does descend to yells of "you haven't done X so you don't get Y" from me. I never thought I would be a shouty mum... I am though so bully for me! smile

PacificDogwood Wed 17-Oct-12 22:06:09

I hate repeating everything ad nauseam too: "Time to put your shoes on. Have you put your shoes on? PUT your shoes on, now! Oh, for goodness sake, now put your other shoe on." etc etc.

So I've stopped.

I say things once; I remind once. If it is still not done, they have to live with the consequences. Taking 20 minutes to put a pair of school shoes (with velcro closure, for pete's sake!) and then late for school - their problem to explain why they are late. Teeth not brushed after reminder: removal of privilege.

We have recently introduced 'performance related pocket money' grin: they get £1/wk unconditionally and can 'earn' up to another £2 for brushing teeth without reminder/putting dirty clothing into laundry without reminder/putting their plates into kitchen without reminder/picking up wet towels and haning them up WITHOUT REMINDER - do you see the pattern here wink?
So far they have not achieve a perfect £3 yet, put competitive DS1 is clearly trying...

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