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falling on death ears! kids dont listen to a word.

(42 Posts)
mouses Tue 18-Mar-14 20:30:39

wasn't quite sure what name to give this thread?

ds's are 9 and 12 and never, never listen first time when asked to do something. probably describing most kids here wink but its grinding me down and I get worried if I get frustrated as I have bad anxiety and depression and a simple debate can cause rage in me! <not good>

I know I lack persistence and tone in my voice and more but I try my best.

few examples of everyday repetition:

.time to get up, still in bed 10mins later - time for bed...still up an hour later whispering to each other.
.put items away after use - milk, juice, bread, cereal. often left open to go stale!
.flush the chain as I often walk into a used toilet/bathroom.
.pick up your clothes, put away your clothes - washing left sprawled over the floor and 2 days of asking its still there?!
.shut doors after opening, turn lights off!
.lower your voices, get an ok, then 5mins later have to ask again.
.brush teeth / hair for school, get shoes on...get shoes on...GET SHOES ON WE'RE LATE!!

I can ask them to do something and its like talking to the wall, the amount of times I repeat myself, it should be drummed in by now surely? get up, get washed, brush teeth... shouldn't need reminding daily?
it would really help if they co-operated, the house would be a better less shouty place! Im just trying to get them to learn basic hygiene and life skills but they're making it rather hard and stressful.

I was going to start pocket money, but after lurking on a recent thread about pocket money - that most dont agree it should be given it return for chores, im lost for ideas?

what advice can you offer please. sorry its long.

acsec Tue 18-Mar-14 20:50:46

My 9 yr old DSS is exactly the same - he got home from Cubs and I told him to get in the shower - I turned it on and got it to the correct temperature (dodgy mixer taps) then I had to tell him 4 more times to get in it and the same amount to get out again as it's passed his bedtime.

I have the exact same issues, but DH and I have just had to keep on telling him and if he doesn't do it then he has to be accountable. For example, I will tell him his P.E. kit is washed and hanging at the end of his bed, then if he does not take it to school he misses P.E. and gets told off. When he kept leaving his glasses at school, he had no computer in the evening.

They will learn through repetition and also, hopefully, through consequences of their actions.

If they leave the cereal out and it goes stale, then they eat stale cereal. If they don't put their clothes away, they don't have the correct items of clothing for school.

I read 'Raising Boys' by Steve Biddulph - excellent book!

mouses Tue 18-Mar-14 21:54:13

ughh showers, ds2 (9yrs) is soap dodger and will run shower but stand next to it!!! I ask them to take clothes off before going in the bathroom and wrap a towel. NO, instead I go to have a bath after putting dd to bed and have to hop, skip and jump over 2 sets of clothing covering the floor!
so I enter the bedroom and remind them that they were suppose to put their clothes in the wash and I get blank faces. angry they strop out of bed to do what I ask - yet the same thing happens next shower day! head>>>wall!!!

they don't seem to be learning through repetition. it must be a male thing? when I was there age and dsis being 2yrs older than me, we both got up, dressed, breakfast and teeth/hair done without being asked or reminded. (angels emoticon)

hmm, I might get 2 cereals (as we all share) one for them to eat stale and one for me wink I gave up buying various cereals as they'd open all of them and id end up with 4 boxes of stale cereal.

as for not putting clothes away, they have no problem living out of their floordrobe! I wash, dry and place on the beds to be put away. they end up on the floor and stay there for days until it drives me mad - and put them away. often they are put back in the wash bin, being mistaken for clean clothes.
ds2 would happily keep yesterdays last weeks underwear on and put muddy uniform on confused I don't know why, they certainly don't learn this from me.

mouses Tue 18-Mar-14 21:59:38


blush THE SHAME.... blush

acsec Tue 18-Mar-14 22:09:20

DSS is exactly the same with regards to washing. We are having 'Science Sunday' this weekend, the topic being "You are a minger, DSS, you need to clean your teeth!" I have bought disclosing tablets from the dentist so he can see how crap he is at teeth cleaning!

We have separate cereal - 1 for DH and I, 1 for DSS for precisely this reason.

If DSS doesn't put his clothes in the laundry basket when they need to be washed, then I do and either don't wash them or, if I do wash them they don't get put back in his room for a week or so. Therefore, when he wants to wear a particular item of clothing, it is not there because he has not put it in the correct place.

I sound like a wicked step-mother, but it is working, slowly yes, but it is!

Longdistance Tue 18-Mar-14 22:13:09

When my two don't listen I insert the word 'chocolate', funny his they here that word. They'll be arguing over the beanbag in our living room, which they can both sit on as it's huge, and they'll fight over it. I'll say, dd1 move over for dd2, she won't listen. I'll repeat, and then say 'move chocolate for dd2' and weirdly she hears the word chocolate, so she was listening hmm

mouses Tue 18-Mar-14 22:36:18

acsec - I tried those tablets from the dentist after ds1 had a filling.
they managed to get purple all over the tiles, grout stained angry dripping down the sink, tooth brushes covered, taps purple, new school shirts stained....
no you dont sound wicked, wish I had your spirit - im too soft and give in or up and they continue with their antics. as I say I would leave the washing but their happy to wear dirty clothes?!

longdistance - I could say chocolate, who wants sweets, money, new game... they may listen yet 10sec later forget what id asked.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 19-Mar-14 16:52:26

I take it there are no developmental issues, just laziness on their part, good old Mum will do x and y.

It takes at least two to argue. You as the adult have to decide you will not argue, so say what needs doing and then leave it. Repeat after 5 minutes then stop. And breathe. They only zone out if you keep chanting what to do next.

When you repeat yourself until hoarse, there's something not right. The older boy certainly doesn't need Mum to keep telling him what to do. Now he's at secondary school, play Consequences as suggested. If he's late, what happens? If he hasn't clean clothes because he left them on his floor or didn't look for fresh stuff, what happens? His peers will soon tell him if he has stinky breath or BO so after one reminder, leave him to it. There's only so much boy-smell a can of Lynx or whatever can disguise. Next time you're all at the supermarket invite him to pick out some stuff for himself.

Pocket money to incorporate chores is no bad thing. A 12 year old can load a washing machine and set it off. Or a dishwasher.

For the 9 year old, try a behavioural chart to prove he is not naughty all week, give him x number of stickers for good behaviour every day. Try visual routines for getting ready for school, tell him to get dressed and brush his teeth but don't stand over him. Leave him to it so you can leave the house at a specific time.

Another visual routine for bedtime, then 1:1 time for you and him, discussion about what his day was like, no screens or devices at lights out, bed.

I promise they won't be doing these things at 18.

(Btw press report on your own post ask kind MNHQ to change that title if you want).

mouses Wed 19-Mar-14 17:34:32

I don't argue as such, its the repeating that's wearing me down. they don't mouth back, they bicker amongst themselves who's fault it was. sometimes youngest ds will not like being told to do something so will do it stroppy, throwing weight whilst picking up clothes etc.. eldest ds will just stare with blank face!

this morning for instance. ds2 (9yr old) asked him to have breakfast, get dressed, teeth cleaned, hair done, bed made before sitting down to play his tablet. went off to sort out 3.5yr dd.
ds hadn't done all asked and sat palying tablet! so I ask (a little louder) for him to do as his asked, tablet get slammed down, feet et stamped on way to the bathroom with tears! REALLY?! is it that hard I asked. hmm

ds2 has been a problem since birth, head butting walls at 9mths, spiteful behaviour got us kicked out of asked to leave toddler group!
despite asking HV and gp for help/advice I just got sent to 5 parenting classes an an assertiveness course!
I tried reward charts whilst attending the parent classes - he ripped them up!
when I asked him to brush his teeth he would turn it on (electric cos he was too lazy to move it hmm ) I assumed he was using it to find he was just turning it on to sound like he was, so now I put my head round the door to make sure.

I ban computers as a consequence, though this obviously doesn't make a difference as it goes on ever day.
when I try to have a 1:1 conversation with ds1 he just say don't know to everything or nods - can tell he's not listening. as for ds2 every conversation starts with ''do you think this is unfair?'' or ''if I behave..'' or ''can I have?..'' which I reply ... when you show some respect and manners you can have x,y,z...

Catsmamma Wed 19-Mar-14 17:51:06

well there's your first improvement. No tablet until they are school ready.

Get them up earlier and earlier if they arse about.....make it quite clear how long it should take them, so if out of bed is 7.30, and they are not out till 7.45 then they WILL be out of bed at 7.15 next day....once they are ready then they can sit with their bags and ponder how nice it would have been to have time in bed if only they had got up at the proper time in the first place. This is also a bit of a pita for you, but if you can be super cheerful and very Mary Poppins pious about it, you'll really get this cracked in under a week. well just think you could have all been in bed, but it takes you all soooooooooooo long to accomplish anything and no one likes being asked twice, or mummy having to shout

You also need to go bit ballistic on the attitude....I couldn't care less for opinions of sulky teens and will only listen to polite well spoken without attitude comments.

LastingLight Wed 19-Mar-14 17:55:44

Hey mouses. <waves>

Dd11 has a list for morning and a list for evening which has stuff on it like put breakfast dishes in the sink, brush teeth, shower, practice music, put out school clothes for tomorrow... Stuff they should remember but don't. It doesn't completely stop me from having to repeat stuff all the time but I try to just refer her back to the list if something wasn't done and she must figure it out. And no electronics in the mornings before school, we just don't have time.

mouses Wed 19-Mar-14 18:08:32

i did attempt to let them play the tablet after they had got dressed - but then this was another issue as they didn't want to have to save their game, tried giving 5min warning in advance but still got stoppy child attitude.

i got ds's up earlier for time to play before school and that's the result. ^

your last sentence catsmamma what do you mean (sorry bit dim lol )
ballistic as in go mad ? lol

i know i need to put my foot down but i just don't know how to tackle the stroppy behaviour and disrespect as a whole? just want a peaceful, well balanced family home?

they must think im devil mum - they don't know how easy they have it!

mouses Wed 19-Mar-14 18:18:06

hi lasting grin <waves back>

as from now i think games before school is no more.

mouses Wed 19-Mar-14 18:19:30

i could paint the list on the wall - they just don't pay attention.

LastingLight Wed 19-Mar-14 18:24:44

You probably don't want to hear this, but my relationship with dd and her behaviour improved when I got my mental health issues sorted out. They are like mirrors... if you're state of mind is not good then theirs are not going to be good. (Of course your state of mind being good is no guarantee that theirs will be too!)

Try to find anything they do right for which you can give them positive comments: Wow ds1, all that studying paid off, see how well you did in your test / thank you for putting the milk away without complaining ds2 / you look nice this morning ds1, I like what you did with your hair.

Try to create situations where you can do something together in harmony - bake and let them go wild with decoration etc.

Ito pocket money - you don't pay them for chores but if you have to do their chores (like putting away clean clothes) then you subtract a fee from their pocket money.

LastingLight Wed 19-Mar-14 18:27:03

I struggle with this, but when dd asks me to listen to a poem / come and see this cool website she found / read to her / play Lego with her I try to remind myself that soon she will want nothing to do with me and whatever I'm busy doing is probably less important than building this relationship. 15 Minutes of undivided attention can go a long way towards getting cooperation.

WillSingForCake Wed 19-Mar-14 18:29:09

I bet they'd pay attention once the tablet/computer is banned! Give it a week & then sit down with them to talk about if their behaviour/listening-skills have improved.

stargirl1701 Wed 19-Mar-14 18:32:19

What do you do when you give an instruction?

As a teacher, I find children don't hear a general instruction. I need to get their attention first.

As a parent, you could try touching on the shoulder, looking into the eyes and saying a name before giving the instruction.

LastingLight Wed 19-Mar-14 18:34:58

Is it possible to just leave them one morning to get on with things at their own pace (only say things once), get them to school very late and let them get into trouble for that? You can prompt the school beforehand so that the trouble is something they will take note of.

We have a marble reward system. Dd gets a marble for getting up when I call her and another one for being ready to go at the same time as I am or before me. 15 Marbles buys 30 minutes of tv / youtube during the week. (We don't do tv during the week and computer may only be used for educational things.) The marble thing actually started when she went through a phase where we couldn't wake her up in the morning. One morning we tickled her, wiped her face with a wet cloth, removed the duvet, shouted in her ear... and she was genuinely still asleep. We then carried her to the kitchen and dripped water on her face which woke her up! Amazingly, once there was a reward for getting up she managed to wake up when called.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 19-Mar-14 18:44:25

mouses none of us can always parent perfectly. Children are resilient, they can be astoundingly oblivious. I heard myself utter naggy things my mum used to say that I swore I'd never go on about if I had DCs. So don't worry if you think they tire of hearing complaints. Stick with it, be consistent. Even if sometimes you throw in a "Hey 3 guesses what I'm about to tell you!" whether it's turn-that-light-off or please-flush-the-toilet x 300.

When I said about arguing, I had some idea they might answer back, or be cheeky, so it's a good sign they're not outwardly defying you or being deliberately awkward. The tears from DS (9) could be worse. What is he like at school, is he easily distracted, does he have difficulties staying focussed?

It's hard work but try to and defuse strops or sulks with laughter. Bribery isn't always a lasting solution but suggesting "Let's do chore X then we can do reward Y" sometimes gets co-operation. The night before, prepare everything you possibly can in advance for the morning.

If you have DD(3) as well no wonder you are fed up babying the bigger DCs.

I recognise the monosyllabic bit with DS1, you do wonder whether they're on the same planet sometimes. Stop treating him like a toddler, he is still a child and needs your direction so encourage him to grow into a mature teen. Give him attention, talk to him even if he doesn't want to talk to you.

Explain that the less responsible he is, the fewer things you are going to let him do. If he wants more responsibility, he can start by getting himself ready on time, do more around the house, set DS2 a good example. Showering daily and keeping himself clean is ultimately for his benefit!

A book which used to be recommended a lot on MN was "How to talk so your kids will listen and how to listen so your kids will talk". A lot of people seemed to think it really helped.

mouses Wed 19-Mar-14 18:57:37

lasting im really trying to get the people needed to help me with my mh but they too seem to be deaf grin

experience of baking.. if ds1 has rolled a better dough or mixed better ds2 will throw (yes throw!) the bowl or push it away and stomp upstairs in protest. i left him to it and carried on doing the baking with behaved ds with hope he might see how much fun it is and join in. but no luck.
same as board games, if he is losing the board would go up in the air!

willsingforcake i get no response from them when i ban computer/tablet, just tears and stroppy faces. actually i get that either way hmm

stargirl i always say the name so whoever knows it directed towards them. will try the eye contact advice (having mh issue has always made it hard for me to make eye contact with anyone)

mouses Wed 19-Mar-14 19:10:39

sorry donkeys missed your post whilst typing.

yes ds2 is very easily distracted and hard to stay focused. he couldn't sit and watch a full film for example. and i can see his mind get up an walk when im explaining something to him.

ds1 can act very immature which sometimes makes ds2 look more sensible!
to b honest ds1 is ok with getting himself up and dressed on time - its just the hygiene. he would walk out the door without washing, brushing teeth or hair?!

will have a look for that book.

LastingLight Wed 19-Mar-14 19:13:28

Oh dear. Baking with both is not on then. Can you find the time to do things with them individually? It doesn't have to take long, just focus on that one child and let him dictate what you do for however long you can spare.

JohnnyUtah Wed 19-Mar-14 19:19:26

Try to ask less and let them take the consequences more. There is kids' laundry on my bathroom floor right now. It will stay there until they pick it up. They will do it in the end. And they are learning that it is their responsibility not mine.

Also routine is your friend. One good routine is no screen time until they have done what they need to do. We never had tv in the mornings except at weekends when they were little. Still don't.

mouses Wed 19-Mar-14 19:23:53

i did try 1:1 lego whilst d1 was playing computer, but ds2 just gives up! we'd be creating lego then he would just smash it because it not gone how he wanted?! then says he's usual ''i cant do nothing'' strop/ speech. sad as some one who suffers with depression i find it hard to cope with this behaviour and dont really know what to say or how to deal with it?

when giving ds1 a telling off - he would cry? id say why are you crying about it? he would reply ''i don't know'' which worries me that my problem has rubbed off on them??

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