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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.


Peachyjustpeachy Wed 17-Jul-13 00:07:50

Follow through. There is no point in offering Disney as a reward or threatening to remove Disney as an incentive to be good,....If you will go regardless of the child's behaviour. Kids aren't stupid and beyond soon get the measure of empty words.

Always follow through even if the punishment is too severe for the z'crime'

BeaWheesht Wed 17-Jul-13 00:07:24

I haven't read the whole thread so I apologise if I'm repeating.

People often comment on how well behaved my kids are especially ds (6) (dd is 2 so...)

However, OMG ds can be a right little so and so at times he's just generally well behaved around other people and has never been prone to violence for example.

I think the only thingI've learnt are that if you do consequences always follow them through, both for good and bad behaviour. I really think that's key along with admitting when you're wrong, giving them attention and admitting their faults.

Ds has a couple of friends who are unbearably naughty and I feel for them tbh because their parents consistently make excuses or flat out deny any wrong doing which doesn't encourage them to behave in a way which is socially acceptable and they aRe losing friends. So, I think it's goo you're trying and tbh I bet you're doing as well as anyone else I really do. Someone told me ds was a very calm boy yesterday, I was shock

newryan Tue 16-Jul-13 23:57:50

Depends silverymoon. At the moment it's holidays so they are getting pocket money which is incrementally removed if necessary! But to be honest they hardly ever reach "3" anymore as they know what will happen. During term-time they get some tv or computer time after homework and dinner but this can be lost too. If they aren't in bed on time they go earlier the next night. I do have moments when I could lose it and shout, of course, but overall it seems to work well. For example, if there is fighting in the car or at the dinner table I can say "that's 1" which stops me nagging and shouting and (in theory) stops the fight escalating.

SilveryMoon Tue 16-Jul-13 19:52:06

Everyone I know tells me how well-behaved and lovely my children are, which is great and they are, whenn we are out of the house or if they are in other people's care. It's home with me that they are little shits! wink
newryan What sort of consequences are there for them not doing what you've told them?

newryan Tue 16-Jul-13 00:11:58

People say mine are pretty well-behaved. I think their behaviour is horrendous at times, but I guess that is normal. Individually they are all delightful. Together, not so much. Some of mine are easy going, but I have one in particular who just wants to swim against the tide all the time. I do think I have "trained" them to behave well. We live overseas so I'm alone with them in UK for all the school holidays, and I just couldn't cope with chaos.

Off the top of my head:

123 Magic - killed whining and pestering virtually overnight.

Having a routine - the clock tells them when it's bedtime, and no tv or playing outside until school work is done.

Telling them exactly what I expect in certain situations (e.g. shopping) and what will happen if they don't do it. And stick to it.

Don't feel you always have to keep them happy - it's ok for them to be angry with you or bored. Negative emotions are part of life too!

Make it clear that you have the authority. Sounds obvious, but I had to explain to my 10yo that I can tell him what to do, whereas his friends, for example, cannot. I read a book by Cathy Glass who has fostered lots of children and she advised to always make your dcs hold the door for you, and move out of a chair if you want to sit there!

Zipitydooda Mon 15-Jul-13 21:04:59

Don't underestimate the influence of the time of year. My 2 eldest (8 & 5) are currently causing massive issues whenever they are together and dh and I spend the weekend shouting at them but I remember this happening before at the end of a school year. A couple of weeks into the school holidays and they became much more lovely and patient with each other.

My children are really tired out and need a break from the school routine so I am trying to go easy on them, a bit and recognise their tiredness and lack of patience.

SilveryMoon Mon 15-Jul-13 12:52:45

Acrylic, that's where I think I need to get to. I am not wishy washy and I want to always look out for their emotional needs but I must really follow through every time and give proper consequences. Sometimes it can be hard coming up with a related consequence though and not doing something for the sake of it you know?

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 14-Jul-13 23:27:34

AllS, in my place time out is very rare and only for something unspeakably evil (ie violence!) so staying in the room is non-negotiable. I have no problem holding the door. It's only for a few minutes, maximum. It is the type of parent I want to be, on those very rare occasions! The type of parent who says "nfw are you going to think that behaviour was ok." It has taken me many years to be comfortable with being quite strict and firm when necessary though. My eldest children are 14 (so time out isn't really a strategy I use with them any more) and I was more wishy washy with them as toddlers but have since learned (at their expense!) that some children really, really, really need firmness and rules. Went to a party of 3&4 year olds today and there were several prominent under supervised, badly behaved (kicking, punching, hitting others with objects) children. On the rare occasions their parents noticed they did lots of endless talking and did not once say with proper firm voice "Stop hitting her right now. Or you will have to sit out/go home/proper consequence." I intervened to prevent a very small girl being lamped on the head (for the second time) with a toy gun by one such child. Confiscated toy gun and told him in firm voice that he must not hit. He looked so surprised. But quite relieved too I think. Some children like, need and want some firmness and boundaries.

jaggythistle Sun 14-Jul-13 21:49:05

Tired and grumpy due to one year old sibling. grin

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.

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

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!

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.

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

Luck. Modelling desirable behaviour.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!!!!

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

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.

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.

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.

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