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What's your style for controlling unruly boys?(12 Posts)
DS (11) had a couple of friends over this morning, and then another came round too, as he heard the others in the garden.
I like DSs friends mostly. They're usually well-mannered kids, and there aren't usually any issues when they're over on a 1-to-1 basis.
But today, with four of them, it was a nightmare. They seemed wild and over-excited, and I felt that I didn't have any control over them.
They were charging in and out of the house, chasing around the garden, and then leaving all the doors (3 separate french window doors) open which meant that doors were slamming as the front door was open for DH, who was working in the front garden.
I asked them to stop, and just use one door, but they ignored this.
We have fairly new borders in the back garden, with lots of newish plants from about April. I asked them to keep off the borders to protect the plants. When I looked out later, a whole load of plants had been broken/ trampled .
Everyone takes shoes off in our house, especially if you go upstairs (where there are carpets). But today they didn't and I ended up cleaning up mud and leaves from the stairs, landing and boys' bedrooms.
When I told them it was time to leave (I was dropping two of them home) they just ignored me, and it took me several minutes, quite some shouting, and me physically collecting their stuff from around the house and thrusting it into their hands and herding them into the car ( I needed to get back by a certain time and couldn't wait any longer).
I felt quite anxious that they seemed to be beyond my control , wouldn't listen to my requests, and basically ignored me until I began to lose it with them .
I haven't had this with DSs friends before, and given that they're now getting to the point where they're almost the same height as me, I actually felt a bit scared/ uncertain about the situation.
I'm normally a fairly assertive person, so I was taken aback by the fact that what's worked in the past DIDN'T on this occasion
What would you have done? How do you handle this kind of slightly out of control behaviour?
I'd sit down DS and talk to him about the wildness. When one of the boys returns, I'd talk to both boys. Probably you should have stopped it right then and there. I think DS should help you clean up--I'd be really upset about the damage.
I'd be very about the damage..
I would have separated them I think, easier to calm down one or two than a whole herd
I'd also be speaking to their parents about the damage (not expecting reimbursement for plants or anything, but more to emphasise that it's not on)
We tend to have more unruly girls than boys in our household (dd is more sociable than ds). On the couple of occasions where things looked they were getting out of hand we sent all the guests home. Harsh but effective. Once they had all stopped crying they were very apologetic.
I love my garden and if I had found plants squashed I would have blown my top and thrown out the guests/taken them home there and then. I think that it is worth being fierce every now and then because children need to know what the rules are and respect them. I would let your ds know that you were very disappointed with how he and his friends behaved and limit the number of guests at least for a while.
agree with nooka - you need to be Scary Mum.
Thanks for these responses - this is the sort of thing I was wondering - whether you would all feel the same, or whether I was being a bit precious about my garden and expecting too much.
To be honest I was also a bit with DH. He was in the garden when they were out there, but didn't say anything at the time, but then complained to ME about the damage afterwards .
We have a nice home and garden, and have spent a lot of time making it so, and I guess I was disappointed to find that DS's friends didn't respect that.
Totally agree with everything said here. Also, boys tend not to notice the difference between a nice home and a scummy one when they're herding around. Clean carpets and dirt-free surfaces are not on their register, so they probably weren't being deliberately disrespectful, just over excited.
I have 3 of them and have given up all hope of having a clean, presentable home until the last one is 18. I just keep dirt at bay and make them shovel their toys into boxes at the end of the day. Otherwise I would spend every waking moment shouting at them.
I had a similar situation as you a few weeks ago but with 5 x 5 yr olds.
I only lost control for 5 mins or so at the end. But, was pretty stressed out.
I threatened to call parents immediately and send them home, maybe wouldn't work for 11 yr olds? No advice sorry.
They are old enough to take care in other people's homes. I don't think you're being precious about it at all.
I am very strict when DS has friends round - and to be honest I try and limit them to one at a time - my DS gets very embarrassed if I shout at him in front of his friends so I usually read him the riot act in private and then he tells the friends.
You are certainly not being precious about your home and garden and I would be mortified if my DS acted like this in someone else's house.
I also think your DH should have done or said something immediately - hate to say this but often boys will react better to a 'male' voice.
I wouldn't blame the boys individually OP. I suspect they just all got a bit wild and silly.
I'd be mad at my dh though! Mine is an ex teacher and 6'5" - he can be very good at the scary bark, but actually I suspect that my children would be more scared at me loosing my temper than him, and at this age (I have a 12 and 10 year old) I don't think it is the yelling but the consequences that hit home.
I would have started yelling well before you did and would have said if they didn't stop it they were going home immediately.
We seem to be kid central and I don't mind at all, but they are to be in either the yard or the playroom (yes I know I am lucky to have a playroom), no fucking around in bedrooms or in my lounge.
Yup, Scary Mum. When I used to work with older kids and things were getting a bit nuts I corral them one at a time, lead them to a part of the room and say don't you move from this spot . <glare as necessary>
Then when they're all there explain the rules and what will happen if they don't follow along. Get them to repeat if back if you think that's needed.
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