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parenting fail

(8 Posts)
rocketty Thu 01-Sep-11 22:16:09

I thought I would try a new way of dealing with the recurrent problem of the DSs fighting in the back of the car. They are 4 and 5. I decided that rather than respond to "he hit me", "he kicked me", "he's being nasty to me", "he's going to put his hand next to me", ad infinitum, that I'd just ignore the fighting and leave them to their own devices.

My usual technique is to say "stop fighting, stop telling tales, stop screaming" as that covers most bases, and ocasionally threaten to stop by the side of the road and leave them there.wink

Anyway, today, after 15 minutes of "boys, I'm not going to intervene, you need to work this out yourselves", where apart from saying this a couple of times, I just ignored the shrieks from the back, we got home and I found DS2 had scratches all over his face, DS1 had bitemarks and DS2 had wet himself from rage (also because he hadn't been to the loo since after breakfast and it was tea time).

Parenting fail sad

How the hell do you deal with children terrorising each other in the car? I was shocked at what they'd done - I couldn't see in the mirror (and tbh I was concentrating on the road) and I gave them both a talking to at home, and have banned TV/computer for a week. They're fine - it's all superficial, but I'm shocked at how quickly they reverted to Lord of the Flies style kiddie armegeddon when I didn't intervene.

need wine

NeverendingStoryteller Fri 02-Sep-11 00:23:12

Have a virtual glass of red on me...

What a bleugh journey! I was thinking of suggesting gaffer tape, but I think that might be considered abuse and I don't fancy being flamed by other MNetters at this time of night...

How about, based on who has been best behaved that day (so far), putting one of them in the front with you? It's not illegal to put the kids in the front of the car, and I have found that my two take the responsibility of being 'in the front' very seriously and I haven't had any incidences of them touching anything they're not supposed to - I let them work the radio if they're in the front, so little fingers are kept busy and are not tempted to touch other buttons. I have also said that if they touch anything apart from the radio, they will be banned from being in the front until their next birthday. So far, so good, but mine are 5 and 7, so maybe you don't think yours are old enough yet?

I hope someone else comes along to help, too!

Don't beat yourself up - we all try new things when it all gets too much - sometimes they work, sometimes they don't...

2kidsintow Fri 02-Sep-11 00:44:08

I have one in the front and one in the back too. They take it in turns and swap daily.

bumpybecky Fri 02-Sep-11 00:46:47

have you tried stopping the car whenever they're naughty, refuse to go any further until they behave

will only work if you're taking them somewhere they want to go though!

whizzyrocket Fri 02-Sep-11 16:53:05

I wouldn't have one in the front- I know a family who lost one of their twins to having them in the front seat. Not worth it.

My solution would be rewards for a week of good behaviour in the back of the car. Sticker charts and incentives are a bit super-nanny but great.

OddBoots Fri 02-Sep-11 16:59:08

Do they have anything to amuse themselves in the car? If not could you add a couple of those 'back of seat' storage things and put finger puppets, books, magnetic doodle pad things etc in?

When I was driven mad by this kind of thing when my two were younger I confess that I would play their choice of CD if they were behaving and my choice if they weren't.

inmysparetime Fri 02-Sep-11 18:31:55

I make a spotters list for my two. Make it easy e.g. a red door, a post box. Just enough to keep them occupied.
Failing that, use old shelf board and wedge it between the back seats so they can't see, hit or kick each other, and only remove it after 5 calm journeys. They will soon find the isolation boring and want company, even of the sibling variety!

rocketty Fri 02-Sep-11 20:47:01

I have CDs for them, and had been playing a Dr Seuss CD but DS2 was getting twitchy. I think I will go for the stopping the car thing. I can't separate them as I have a baby on the back seat too and DD can't go in the middle as her seat won't fit.

<sigh>

They have been (almost) angelic today though smile

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