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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.


ProphetOfDoom Sat 13-Jul-13 20:26:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thisisaeuphemism Sat 13-Jul-13 20:28:06

It's genes- I'm quite well behaved aka dull therefore my children are. (Sometimes)

tahbeejs Sat 13-Jul-13 20:36:59

Consider your own motives and ask whether they are helpful or make sense to the children.

I fail at this a lot, but I do think there's something to be said for the idea that sometimes we just want kids to do stuff because it's easier for us, and not necessarily good for them.

Look long-term. Obedience, in the long-term, is not such a good thing. (Especially if it's unquestioning, or coming from fear or habit.)

Although it is good for children to learn how to behave in a socially acceptable way (unless that involves ridiculous compromise, which it often does, even for adults, and that's not really a good thing). Some socially acceptable things need to be challenged. And some of them aren't particularly great for children, who are people, too.

Also, I really think that children learn best by what they see, rather than what they're told. If you shout (I sometimes do, especially recently, where, due to various stress I have turned into the horrible shouty mum I swore I would never be) then they will too. Model behaviour, rather than dictate or explain it. (Easier said than done, I know.)

But again, I would look long-term.

Dilidali Sat 13-Jul-13 20:39:41

I didn't know there was a book on 123! I've done it for years. I just look and sound really menacing, I mean business. I only got to 3 once, I had no idea what was meant to happen at 3, so I just said :Right, you're getting out of the pool NOW!
I have a very laid back, chilled child. However, when she wants something, she'll just grind you down. Tantrums don't work, tears don't work, but where I loose the battle every time is argumenting. She'll explain and argument and bargain and she simply won't back down no matter what. She'll just turn around and say : I'll give you a cooling period, give you a chance to think about it and we talk about it later. And then she'll start again.
However, I don't move the goal posts too often and there are things I will simply not tolerate and there is no discussion about it. Like answering back in a rude manner, unkindness, what's for dinner 5 mins before I am about to serve, homework etc.

Dilidali Sat 13-Jul-13 20:41:20

What's a well behaved child, anyway?

SilveryMoon Sat 13-Jul-13 20:49:41

Thanks for your input everyone. Very helpful.
I too swore I'd never be that shouty parent sad
I work with children blush and have quite a high tolerance for behaviours really, but when at home...........................gone.
I might try giving myself a time out in my bedroom to cool down, count to 10, breath etc to fight off the shouting. It worked before, sure it'll work again. I used to blush hen ds1 was in the most horrid terrible 2's lock myself in bathroom and tell myself i was having a wee and couldn't do anything blush I even ent through the motions of acting it out (trousers down, sit down etc) to calm myself.

tahbeejs Sat 13-Jul-13 20:57:38

Don't beat yourself up about it, or else you will harm yourself and (therefore) your children. You have enough insight and love to be concerned and wondering about how your children are feeling, and to want to do something about it.

That's great!

Focus on that and move on.

You're already there.

Skimty Sat 13-Jul-13 21:08:46

Okay - what really matters to you? I would take one thing at a time. For example, at the moment it really bothers me that DS1 (6) eats with his mouth open (and really open!) so we're working on that. DD (4) whinges every morning about having her hair brushed, runs away etc. and DS2 (2) needs to poo on the toilet so this week we have been trying really hard to focus on these things. I think I used to just wish that they would all get better and easier but not focus on breaking down what good behaviour means to me. Having said that I have still had a shouty week. I think the heat and the end of term thing is making us all a bit grumpy!

turkeyboots Sat 13-Jul-13 21:13:06

I think explaining things, age approriately helps mine. As do choices - blue or red pyjamas. But so does instant reaction to bad behavior. I've walked out of supermarkets rather than put up with whining. I take away anything causing a fight. I've turned the car round and gone home after squabbling gone on too much.

We all feel the pain, but I rarely have to do it as DC know I am serious when I say something must happen.

fishoutofchlorinatedwater Sat 13-Jul-13 21:29:15

I turned into a complete dragon about a month ago. I was so sick of almost 5 year old DS talking back, ignoring requests, winding up his brother, becoming completely hyper and acting like a total loon, tantruming, acting like it was feeding time at the zoo at mealtimes... I knew that I couldn't stand a whole summer of it.

So I explained to him what was going to happen: one warning for bad behaviour, then time out in his room until he was calm and ready to apologise. We had 4 or 5 bad days where he got a lot of time outs (and this was with me picking my battles - I saved them for extreme rudeness / tantrums / aggression), some lasting half an hour. And then something just seemed to click. He has (touch wood) been really brilliantly behaved for the last month or so, very sweet and polite and obliging, and we are all having a far nicer time. On the odd occasion where he pushes the boundaries a bit, the mere threat of a timeout is enough to sort him out.

I don't especially like this style of parenting, and have never gone down the "parenting technique" route before, but it really has worked and he seems happier for knowing what the boundaries are.

sittinginthesun Sat 13-Jul-13 21:40:20

It's all consistent and clear ground rules in our house, so no one tends to stress (apart from DH who is the only one who does get wound up).

The children just know that the only way they will get anything is by negotiation, rather than by moaning or tantrums, that they don't bother.

Babouche Sat 13-Jul-13 21:41:14

I'm a bit like turkeyboots . Most of the time it works but I still struggle sometimes with my feisty 3 year old.Personality has a lot to do with it though as I have hardly ever had to tell off my middle child and they have been parented in exactly the same way.Middle DC is simply less naughty and more eager to please.
My sister has 4 yr old twins and they are very well behaved.She has always been much stricter than me though.I think it is hard to carry things through especially when the consequence for bad behaviour is something that the child doesn't like but I have seen the results it brings and often think that I should be a bit tougher.

VegPatchLurker Sat 13-Jul-13 21:45:32

My DTs can be AMAZINGLY brilliantly behaved when out in public - we often get compliments on their nice manners and good behaviour.

BUT on occasion, and often at home they can be complete shits quite challenging. I think sometimes children are much better behaved in 'public' so you get a better impression of them than the reality, iyswim.

We also use 123 Magic to great effect (when we remember) blush

RandomMess Sat 13-Jul-13 21:48:32

After having 3 mostly compliant dcs I had #4.

It is hard work, she resists doing anything she asked to!!!!

SilveryMoon Sun 14-Jul-13 07:55:35

Thanks everyone. Not sure where I'm going wrong then! Think it must be personality. I am quite driven and stubborn, and my boys are very strong willed and defiant.
At least I'm not alone. Thanks for your help.

whiteandyellowiris Sun 14-Jul-13 08:13:28

I agree that with a pretty compliant well behaved child
You worry how it will effect them in life, in terms of not wanting them to be too submissive in relationships or at work or just in general.

I think us parents worry regardless of the situation we are in
But I agree its personality.

AllSWornOut Sun 14-Jul-13 08:41:52

Can I ask those of you who do time-outs in the bedroom how you get the child to stay in there. DC (2.7) occasionally gets one for really bad stuff (throwing his plastic aeroplane at my face yesterday, got him sent to his room for the first time in months and we only started doing it at the beginning of the year) but he just opens the door and comes back out again. That's generally when I get shouty but you can see from his face that he knows he's won even if I do stick him back in a couple of times.

Do you explain beforehand when the child is calm? Because ours goes from angel to devil in seconds and for this sort of behaviour I don't really believe in warnings because a) it was generally a one-off and b) it's potentially dangerous so I don't want to give him multiple chances to get it right.

AllSWornOut Sun 14-Jul-13 08:50:36

And yy to the compliant child thing.

I am "good" (conscientious was the usual school report description) and I don't think it's done me any benefit in the work environment. I still go into student-teacher mode when talking to management and my colleagues who are more relaxed in their presence are getting promotions and recognition much faster than me. I'm the group "expert" (conscientious again) and am recognised for that but am overlooked in terms of how far up the greasy pole I'm expected to climb.

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 14-Jul-13 09:50:43

Hold the door shut for the duration of the time out if necessary, AllS.

MousyMouse Sun 14-Jul-13 09:54:08

pure luck
and a tiny dose of stricktness
and a big dose of cuddles and some 1 to 1 time

nethunsreject Sun 14-Jul-13 10:04:17

Luck. Modelling desirable behaviour.

fishoutofchlorinatedwater Sun 14-Jul-13 11:39:22

AllS I didn't even attempt time outs before DC1 was 4. He now stays in his room until he is calm and ready to apologise and behave, so just as long as that takes. Usually only a matter of minutes, but he has been know to hold out for over half an hour.

I have some issues with time out as a 'punishment' before they are really able to control their emotions and work through a problem on their own.

A 2.7 I'm not sure that they can really grasp the concept of a time out to reflect on their behaviour, but I did, at that age, remove him from the situation (staying with him) and ask him to apologise. I think positive discipline (pasta jar / stickers etc) worked better for mine though when they were just little.

AllSWornOut Sun 14-Jul-13 15:21:05

Acrylic - I have been known to do that when he's done something really horrible but I'm not sure it's really the type of parent i want to be sad

Fish - I do agree, it's mostly a way to give us a bit of breathing space and mutually calm down. I normally ask him to give a kiss or hug to whoever he's hurt when he pops back out within milliseconds and then we try to do something positive with him, but I just wondered if I should be persevering more. Sounds like I shouldn't expect much more of him at this age.

He's not really motivated by things. He loves stickers and putting coins in our coin sorter, but he doesn't modify his behaviour if I say for instance, "If you play quietly now you can have a sticker later." Perhaps it's just a lack of time perception still.

He's generally very well behaved which I would love to put down to superior parenting skills but suspect is simply his nature (and with DC2's imminent arrival I guess I will get confirmation of that sooner or later!)

Great thread OP!

SilveryMoon Sun 14-Jul-13 20:17:40

Just thought I'd let you know we had a much better day today.
This evening at bath time, instead of telling them it's time to get in the bath, I said "The bath's ready, who can get undressed the quickest?"
I have never seen them so eager!
Thanks for all your tips

jaggythistle Sun 14-Jul-13 21:48:30

I'm currently trying the book 'calmer, easier, happier parenting' with my nearly 4 year old.

I like the techniques and ideas and have seen a difference sometimes, but mostly I'm too tired and grumpy to remember. blush

You can download a short version for free on the Kindle if anyone is interested, that's what I tried first.

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