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Tips for taming boisterous boys??(14 Posts)
I need some help. I love being a Mum and adore my kids but I am feeling a bit lost as to how to handle my 2 lovely boisterous boys (4 & 7)
TBH I am really stressed out by their behaviour & the way the whole family are now behaving myself and DH included.
They both have to be told to do things a million times and this often ends up with one or both of us loosing our tempers (especially at key moments such as when we need to leave the house for school etc).
I know it's our job as adults to try and keep calm but they really do push all of the buttons.
My 7yr old has always been a very well adjusted and well behaved child has started answering back, being a bit more sneaky, and shouting back at us and his brother.
The 4 year old has always been a ball of energy and a bit cheeky - he is also very stubborn and will loose it when he doesn't get his own way.
Generally they have always got on really well. in fact when the little guy was first born everyone commented on how well they got on and how the big bro was so caring and loving towards him. Well 4 years later and, despite sill enjoying each others company and clearly loving each other vey much the 4 yr old can often annoy his big bro and then 7yr old finds a way to wind him up - cue screaming and crying and shouting - often this happens when i am trying to cook dinner at the end of a very busy day and am just knackered and it just ends up with everyone upset ...
Both boys are great company and funny and clever and affectionate when they are behaving. DH and I just seem to be losing control a bit here and I need to know how to get it back on track.
Both of us have tempers and we both work so are knackered all of the time. It's making me miserable. I hate the way we are parenting our beautiful boys right now and feel like we are failing them.
I have ordered a couple of books this week: Calmer Easier Happier Boys & Raising Boys and have asked DH if he will read them too (although he can be quite skeptical of self help book type things) - fingers crossed.
I just wondered if anyone else is in this situation and could share any strategies that work for them? Or is there anyone with older boys who have come through the other end of this stage (please say its only a stage!) and can help shine some light of the best way forward?
I know it's us that need to change as parents and then we will see the positives - I'm just not sure where to start.
I think you're right - keeping calm and firm is good.
On the other hand I notice with my son that he can get into a power struggle and sometimes a good telling off (ie not raging but firm and no nonsense) and show of authority from my DH works in ways that other things dont.
Its almost as if he can then accept - OK, Dad is in charge, I don't need to try to rule the roost.
It sometimes works like that for us - as in one of us is feeling calmer than the other. But sometimes even if I'm the calm one I feel like DH is not helping the situation as he has already lost his temper and then I have 3 balls of male energy to try to calm.
Also we don't have the biggest home so it's hard to get away from each other when tempers are flaring. I suppose it's often those times when we aren't acting as a team and it feels as though everything's falling apart (does anyone else get that?)
Here are some of the things I have tried to make things a bit calmer:
Doing more exercise (trying to persuade DH to do this too)
Getting more sleep - this is for us grown ups again really - the boys have a good bedtime routine - it's reminding ourselves not to stay up to late as then its harder to deal with the full on early mornings.
Trying to talk to the boys about what it is they will be asked to do before we ask them to do it -preparing them for how we would like things to go.
Limiting screen time / sugar etc...
Not letting things like being rude / hurting each other pass but trying not to sweat the small stuff so we are not constantly criticising them (again DH does find this hard and I sometimes get annoyed with him in front of them when all I can hear is him saying no / criticising - I know it's really bad to show any cracks between us - but sometime its so hard - then he gets really cross with me and everyone is upset.
wonders if we need marriage counselling
Oh its just HARD this being a grown up / parenting malarky!
Watching with interest - no advice but lots of sympathy op. I have 2 boys too - a 4yo and an 18mo and they are already like wild baboons....!
Sorry, not helpful.
Ignore what you can. Choose your battles. Let a Hissy fit run it's course.
Stop losing your tempers. Make sure you have eaten and aren't running on hungry.
Make sure they get out, swim, burn off energy (trampoline in the garden if you have one).
Don't have loads of background noise all the time.
Why do you and DH lose your tempers? What's going on there?
What worked best for my ds was signing him up for a swimming club. The training was fantastic, and, if he ever didn't go, you really noticed the difference.
Another thing is to get a trampoline.
Sign the older one up for Beavers (or on the waiting list for cubs)
If dc are boisterous, you need to tap into that and direct the energy into positives as much as you can.
The time when you pick them up from childcare and are trying to prep the evening meal etc when everyone is tired, is a nightmare time for all working parents I think. I'd suggest investing in a slow cooker, and try to have as many meals that you have prepped the night before, that are ready as you walk in (things like lasagne and cottage pie you can make the night before and either heat through when you get in, or even set the timer on your over - doesn't just have to be slow cooker meals).
When our youngest was about three we had to get some help with behaviour. The first thing that really helps is having a routine, so they know what is supposed to happen when. That eliminates most of the hassle. But getting into the routine (who will do what and when) is the trick. If you want to read in depth about this you want to look for articles about "positive discipline". This will help you use the right language. Instead of "PLEASE GET YOUR SHOES ON WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE". You might say "if you get your shoes on right now then we will have enough time to stop on the way to buy the Beano but if you don't then we will not have the time." Or you might say "if you get your shoes on right now I'll give you a tic tac". When we first had sweets suggested we shuddered as nice middle class parents. Then we realised we could train our 4-year old to get dressed and put his shoes and coat on with tic tacs. Then we could fade out the tic tacs. He is pretty good right now. Once you get the routine and the expectations set in then there is a lot less scope for shouting. This morning DS5 was supposed to be getting dressed upstairs and he dawdled. I told him I was really disappointed and he let me down because I had trusted him to do it. He was more gutted than if I'd yelled at him. You can narrow the emotional range and still be really effective. Best of luck.
Thanks so much for all the tips I will definitely have a think about tweaks to the routine & making it easier for everyone to do what they need to.
I think we had just had a bit of a shouty day when I write the OP.
DH and I have been trying to be more of a team this week and it has really helped.
Fingers crossed we can keep it up.
I made them have separate baths tonight which they don't normally do and it seemed to help with the squabbling that's been occouring lately.
Hmm tic tacs you say... whatever works I guess. But don't they just always expect them then?
I like the positive discipline thing - it seems that semantics are a big thing for kids.
Any more tips for maintaining control over the little darlings always welcome!
get them outside and let them run about!
there was a poster on here with the name boysarelikedogs and they are ;)
@ botbotticelli LOL @ the wild baboons 😆
Yep and totally agree they are like puppies - running them is so important.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend reading Raising Boys but I would recommend 123 Magic. Very effective.
Agree: the Raising Boys book is a bit weird. Full of pseudo science and really American. I found it quite unhelpful!
funny you should say that am much preferring the Calm & Happy Boys one it seems less prescriptive/patronising
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