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All you parents with well behaved children, how do you do it?

(59 Posts)
SilveryMoon Sat 13-Jul-13 18:37:21

I know it's really hot and that doesn't help, yes we are all having a bad day here today, but in general how to you get your dc's to listen and do what they've been asked to?
My ds's are 4yrs and (nearly) 6yrs and they are so bloody defiant! The older one especially.
Everytime I ask them to do something, I'm met with verses of "no" along with foot stamping and crying. I'm talking basic things like "get dressed" or "get in the bath" "stop running in the shop" etc (obviously worded as a request, not an order like how I've typed it)

What kind of discipline do you use? What kind of praise?
My 2 have star charts, where if they earn 5 stars they can choose a small reward. They get stars for doing what they've been asked to the first time, for being kind for a block period in the day, for helping tidy up etc etc.
They get strikes for less desirable behaviour and if they get 3 strikes they get a time out to think about behaviour.
I really hate shouting but I am finding that I am getting to that point quicker and quicker.


SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Sat 13-Jul-13 18:46:11

What happens if you word it as an order rather than request?

If I make something seem like a choice to my 4yo she definitely takes the chance to disagree more than if I state what is required.

It doesn't always work but helps remove idea of choice for some things that aren't negotiable.

SkinnyDecaffGiraffe Sat 13-Jul-13 18:46:41

Ps. Dd isn't perfect or well behaved. It was just an idea from your op!

Hassled Sat 13-Jul-13 18:53:39

Sometimes talking really really quietly (but you need to add in some menace) works better than shouting.

Be polite and explain why you want what you want - so "can you get dressed please because otherwise we'll be late and I don't want to upset Mrs Bloggs". "Can you stop running in the shop please because if you break X we'll have to pay and then we won't have enough money for Y". Fight the urge to bark instructions.

And discipline - rather than star charts etc I made it more immediately tangible - so I gave them say £1 a week pocket money in change, and then took 10p or whatever away per "offence". Your 4 year old is probably too young for this to have any meaning, though, and it obviously only works with a child who cares about money/understands what that £1 could equate to in terms of new toys etc.

And yes, make a huge song and dance about the times they do get it right.

chickensaladagain Sat 13-Jul-13 18:58:29

sheer good luck I think

sorry not very helpful

plantsitter Sat 13-Jul-13 19:00:57

My kids (2 and 4) are not partic well behaved but I have recently noticed that saying a short command rather than a longer request works better at getting them to listen and respond. You can still say 'please' to take the edge off grin

Turniphead1 Sat 13-Jul-13 19:01:13

123 Magic by Dr Phelan as recommended on MN has completely transformed my 3 kids behaviour & reduced my screaming 200%. Can't recommend it enough! Although annoyingly written it works though!

SilveryMoon Sat 13-Jul-13 19:01:34

Thank you.
They often choose 50p as their reward so are interested in money. That's a great idea about the 10p stuff Hassled

I've tried really hard to be a parent who tries to understand where they're coming form, what their feelings are, what their triggers are and really try hard to meet their emotional needs and so on.
They still act like little shits. I have literally screamed for the past 2 hours, despite having quite a nice day. They just seem to want to push and push their bounderies and I don't know what to do about it. I yelled really loud at them in the supermarket today sad

whiteandyellowiris Sat 13-Jul-13 19:02:52

my dd is generally well behaved
I honestly think its mainly down to her easy going nature
but I agree heap on the praise when they behave they way you want, notice and comment when they do good things
try to be calm and don't shout, if you want them to talk to you with kindness too
and try to give a few choices, as it may help ease there desire to be defiant if they think they are getting there way
say whaich outfit x or y[but really you have picked both]

pr do you want to leave this fun place in 5 mins or ten mins

Arisbottle Sat 13-Jul-13 19:06:23

I think a lot of it is luck. We have five children, Dd2 is a real boundary pusher . DSS1 is impeccably behaved . DS1 is well behaved although there were school issues linked with his SEN. DD2 seems to cause some kind of commotion most days, DS2 is very well behaved.

OddBoots Sat 13-Jul-13 19:06:40

For the bath (as an example) I'd not ask them to get in the bath, I'd give them a choice between two bath toys then when they've chosen I'd say "right, in you go" and just expect them to get in - the toy wouldn't go in until they are and if they mucked me about I'd warn them (and follow through) that there'd be no toy at all if they didn't get right in.

If they wanted both toys I'd pause and agree if they had been good that day "okay, you can today because when I asked you to stop shouting in the garden you did it" or not if they hadn't "Not this time, just one toy because you didn't stop shouting in the garden, maybe if you listen to me tomorrow you can have both tomorrow, now get in or there won't be any toys at al tonight."

There are probably many faults with doing things that way but it's worked with my two in terms of instant rewards/punishments and making sure that they know that things like toys in the bath are treats not standard so they appreciate them more.

(p.s. my children aren't always well behaved, no children are)

lljkk Sat 13-Jul-13 19:07:05

I have some who are well behaved & one who is a complete PITA. No idea why other than innate factors in them. I take no credit & little blame.

BreasticlesNTesticles Sat 13-Jul-13 19:10:26

A second vote for 123 Magic - worked for us.

However my life is a series of bribes, negotiations and threats. Now I just don't shout when I'm doing it.

ouryve Sat 13-Jul-13 19:11:25

FWIW, mine behave far worse when I'm tired or not feeling well and easily rattled. At times like that, rather than screaming or yelling until I'm red in the face, which just gets us all upset and angry, I say as little as possible. If you give the impression that you can be argued with, you will be argued with.

Give reasonable choices. ^You can have 15 more minutes in the pool, but if you choose to throw water around, then I'm afraid you're choosing to go inside now.

Do your best to make it clear that a command is not the end of the world and a sign that you want to spoil all their fun and make them miserable. ^Yes, you will have to stop building the taj mahal out of Lego so you can have your dinner, but you will be able to go back to building it when you've eaten.

And pick your battles.

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 13-Jul-13 19:12:23

I have one well behaved child. she's just got a chilled, people pleasing personality. I also have a feral one, who is immensely stubborn and doesn't give a monkey's if I'm cross with her.

dd1 responds to amiable requests. dd2 occasionally responds to orders, firmly barked, with menaces. agree with breasticles that I've go so used to her defiance that it doesn't make me quite so cross anymore.

Arisbottle Sat 13-Jul-13 19:16:16

What is 123 magic??

lljkk Sat 13-Jul-13 19:34:36

It's a ridiculous book that takes a one paragraph idea and extends it for about 100 pgs. And pretends that it can solve every problem.
Read the reviews on Amazon you'll know what you need.

SilveryMoon Sat 13-Jul-13 19:43:16

I count down from 5. A usual thing will go a bit like this:
Me "boys in 5 minutes it will be time to tidy up"
D1(defiant one) "I don't want to tidy up"
Me "you've got 5 minutes to caryy on playing, then you have to tidy up so we have time to read stories after the bath"
D1 "I don't want to read stories"
Me ignores
<tick tick tick>
Me "Ok boys, 5 minutes is up, let's tidy up"
D1 "No"
Me "It's tidy up time"
D1 " No. I don't want to"
Me "I've asked you twice, if I have to say it again, I will put toys in the bin. I'm counting down, 5........4..........3" at hich point they usually start tidying up, but more often these days they yell b"DON'T COUNT" but then tidy up and start crying/screaming.
Then we'll do the above for getting undressed, and the same again for getting in the bath, then for getting out of the bath.
Driving me bonkers.

OddBoots Sat 13-Jul-13 19:53:11

What happens when they scream? In this house that would mean me telling them that if they were going to make that much fuss they will need to pack away and head towards bed 15 minutes earlier the next night as they are clearly too tired to be reasonable.

AcrylicPlexiglass Sat 13-Jul-13 19:54:22

personality a big factor, I agree. And keeping them fed regularly and making sure they are getting enough sleep. But a big peril of articulate caring educated parents is too much explaining and talking and empathising and understanding on stuff that is non-negotiable, imo. Firmly voiced, clear, short instructions are often the way to go. "I know you are so full of energy and a real adventurer and want to discover everything in this shop but you are being so very loud and giving mummy a headache and disturbing the other customers and you are running too fast and might knock something over and hurt yourself and that would be awful and I really want you to come over here if you could because I know you are very clever and understand what I'm saying...." needs to be replaced with "Stop running. Come here. Now."

SquidgyMummy Sat 13-Jul-13 19:56:45

ds 2.8 is hard work, but i find he is less so, when i have spent some time playing properly with him. distilling this from several sources, but apparently if each child gets 20 mins of your uninterrupted attention each day, they are more likely to be co-operative.

Taffeta Sat 13-Jul-13 20:00:14

A lot of the time it's nothing to do with parenting and all to do with personality. I have one that was born screaming at the world and still is, 9 years on.

The other one came out goo goo ing and at peace with the world, and still is, 6 years on.

My wise old mum who has worked with children for over 60 years once told me that challenging children make interesting adults.

LowLevelWhinging Sat 13-Jul-13 20:00:42

this book: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk

Also known on MN as How to Talk or HTTSKWL. If you do a search, there are loads of threads talking about how to apply it in RL.

For me consistency and following through is important. Empty threats teach kids that it doesn't matter what you say. And like the poster above says, creative wording can pre-empt flash points. Instead of having a fight about eg, getting into the car, wording it as, do you want to sit in the front or back? (like the bath scenario up thread) removes that flash point. It's not perfect, but it;s a useful strategy.

AnythingNotEverything Sat 13-Jul-13 20:13:26

I have one 13 DS and expect he is well behaved partly through luck and partly through my input.

What works for us is:

No negotiation - simple choices, never go back on your word, never give in to nagging.

Honesty, fairness and consistency.

Making sure they know what behaviour you expect from them. Before we got out of the car, I would explain what we were doing (ie we're going into the shoppig centre- we need to buy school trousers, new shoes in clarks, the mummy needs to look in Topshop, and then we might stop for a coffee/biscuit/ride on the machine).

I'm concerned dc2 may be one of the feral ones. We'll know soon enough!

louisianablue2000 Sat 13-Jul-13 20:25:37

It's luck. DD1 (age 5) really wants to please and if she does something we don't like and she gets told off she cries and says 'it's all my fault Mummy, I'm so sorry'. I've just written that knowing it's true and yet it's still unbelievable and makes me feel slightly guilty that she feels so bad when she does something slightly naughty. Funnily enough she is incredibly well behaved and mature for her age, but it's because she likes to do things right and cares about what other people think. DD2 (age 4) on the other hand just looks at you if she gets told off and says 'I don't want to do that'. If she cries it's because she is mad and wants you to know it. The only thing that works as discipline is sending her up to her bedroom and telling her she has to stay there until she stops crying. She hates being ignored. I would say they have been parented more or less identically, it's completely personality. The good thing is she is very good for other people (e.g. at nursery) so at least it is sinking in at some level.

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