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Just don't know how to handle DS 3.5 years old.

(15 Posts)
lilacclaire Mon 25-Aug-08 01:40:29

He is so cheeky and will not do ANYTHING that I tell him to.

It doesn't matter what I do, talking, shouting, i've even reverted to a smack sad.

I do not want to shout or smack, it makes me feel a total failure and it doesn't work anyway.

If I tell him to go to his room, he laughs all the way up the stairs and plays in his room no bother.

He won't walk anywhere, he's always got to be running, he won't talk, he shouts instead.

I don't think there is anything medically wrong with him as he behaves for other people.

Its obviously my handling of him and I just don't know what to change or what to do.

DP isn't any help on suggestions as his ds (now 14) is a totally different nature (quiet).

Flame me for the smack if you must, but please give me some suggestions!

AvenaLife Mon 25-Aug-08 01:51:42

I'd make him sit on the stairs where there's no toys. His rooms fun, that's why he doesn't mind. Let him laugh away, he's having fun which will stop if you put him somewhere where there's nothing for him to do.

Running's normal for boys. Have you tried the 'slow running race?' It's alot like walking wink. Boys like games and challenges. Step on a crack is a good distraction aswell, eye spy, my granny went to the nuclear arms dump (a bit more fun than granny went to market).
If there's nothing wrong with his ears then try whispering to him. If he shouts then just say that you can't hear him. He'll stop eventually. Some children are naturally loud and over enthusiastic. Welcome to the club.

Try not to loose it with him. It makes him feel insecure and his behaviour will only get worse. Think calm and patient.

PootyApplewater Mon 25-Aug-08 01:53:26

I'm not going to flame you for smacking, but imo it's not an effective long-term parenting strategy.

Is your DS motivated by the prospect of winning things? If so, you could try a sticker chart with him.

It's really hard, but try and ignore the naughty behaviour (as long as he and others around him are safe), and MASSIVELY big up anything positive that he does.

I know from experience that it is easy to slip into thinking that a child is naughty or hard work, and this affects the way we treat them - and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Start tomorrow, and praise him for anything and everything good that he does, no matter how small.

Tell him how proud you are of him; how much you love him; offer to kiss and cuddle him lots and lots.

Smother him in positivity. It's amazing what a difference it makes.

And remember that little boys are supposed to take life at 90 miles an hour.

Try and separate out what is naughty behaviour, and what is just boisterous little boy-ness.

Give him LOTS of opportunities to burn off steam, preferably outside in a park or in the garden.

Do you have a strict bedroom routine?

My DS2 was a ... ahem .... lively little chap, and it really helped to have a bedroom routine that we could all get involved with.

We had tea at 5.00 - 5:30pm
Play from 5.30 - 6.15pm
Bath, clean teeth, get in pyjamas 6.15 - 6.45pm
Bedtime story and cuddles 6.45 - 7.15pm

Lights out 7.15pm.

DS2 liked to know what was going to happen when, and he liked and needed firm boundaries. His bedtime routine made him feel secure.

HTH smile

lilacclaire Mon 25-Aug-08 02:07:42

Thanks for replies.

I do praise him whenever he does anything good and smother him with kisses, this just seems to make him more 'lively'.

Have good dinner/bedtime routine.

The majority of the time, I am calm and patient (on the outside), sometimes I just can't cope with it though and thats when I revert to the fishwife routine.

Have sat him on the bottom stair, he just sings and keeps himself amused, generally does not bother him (may try again though) although that makes me feel bad as well.

His energy seems limitless, I encourage him to play outside as much as possible, swimming, softplay etc.

He isn't very naughty, but just very demanding and attention seeking (just like mummy).

Will try more challenges and the sticker chart also, thanks for suggestions, guess I need to get used to life with a very boyish boy!!

AvenaLife Mon 25-Aug-08 02:10:57

Ahh, you have to be cruel to be kind. If he sits and sings then that's fine. The punishment is no attention. He may be singing and appear happy but he's probably not. Do this after a warning though or he won't know what he's done.

Sticker chart is a fab idea.

twentypence Mon 25-Aug-08 02:19:09

Sitting and singing and keeping himself amused is fine for time out. He doesn't have to look broken and hurt he's only 3.5. The point is that you both get away from a situation that otherwise would end in a fishwife routine from you and cheekiness from him.

For the running instead of walking thing I walk holding hands and singing a made up marching song. He needs to understand the rhythmic and slower speed required for walking. His brain sounds like it goes a mile a minute and so listening to the song will take up some of his attention and allow him to walk rather than run.

I ask children to repeat shouted requests in a speaking voice, and sit very still and make no effort to do whatever it was until I have been asked properly. Sometimes I get very sore thighs!

thejoyofpie Mon 25-Aug-08 04:32:10

Try using a positive statement instead of a negative one when you can. My DS1, also 3.5, whinges a fair bit, so I try to say "use a happy voice to ask for what you want" rather than "stop whinging, it's driving me crazy". This gives him an idea of how to change what he's doing.

Instead of "don't run on the road" I say "you must always hold my hand when we're crossing the road." I hope to give him an image of the good behaviour in his mind, rather than an image of the naughty behaviour.

This is obvious, but being disobedient is sometimes a good way to get attention. I shout and carry on a bit when I'm tired and cranky, and it always makes me feel like a bit of a failure when I vent.

I have two boys close in age, and they seem to be easiest to care for when we get lots of energy out in the mornings, and then have relatively quiet and settled afternoons. Having said that they chasing each other around pretending to be monsters at the moment, it's loud and a bit exhausting.

lilacclaire Mon 25-Aug-08 08:44:45

I always give warning and always explain why he is being punished, then kiss and make up after alloted time.

twentypence, I think I did expect him to look at least sorry during time out, but I guess I have unrealistic expectations (first time mum, haven't a clue).

I guess it does give me (us) time to get out of a situation.

Will definetly think of things to keep him amused when walking/running.

He is very good in that he will not go near a road (have managed to instill the fear of god there), but will only hold my hand to cross the road and otherwise runs around not looking where going.

Will definetly think of things to keep him amused when walking/running. Will try out in about half an hour smile

LadyPenelope Mon 25-Aug-08 09:40:42

I've also got a 3.5 yo DS and he is a real boy too. I've read this with interest and got some new ideas too.

Like your DS, my DS goes happily into time out and sits waiting, which is fine with me. He can only come out of time out if he's ready to say sorry (even if he doesn't know exactly what it means!) Think it was supernanny advice. I put him in for 3 mins (approx) and then go back to get him. If he's not ready, he gets another few mins until he's ready to come out. Seems to work for him and gives us both cool down time. Sometimes it takes a long time though - and we just carry on with whatever we are doing.

Our big challenge has been tidying up toys - he simply refuses and when time out simply has not worked, I've taken the toys away and put them out of his reach, said he cannot play with them for a few days.

lilacclaire Mon 25-Aug-08 10:54:53

LadyPenelope, tidying up the toys is something ds also refuses to do. Will try time out for that also.
Think 3 mins is about right, is it 1 min for every year? Also watched supernanny for tips grin

Othersideofthechannel Mon 25-Aug-08 12:26:52

Tidying up is best if you make it into a game at this age.
Eg Ask him to put away 10 things or whatever he can count to. DD usually focuses on the counting and I end up prompting her as far as 30 something by which time all the toys are away. At the same age, DS used to like tidying up the soft toys into a basket - by throwing them in.

Rachael17 Mon 25-Aug-08 13:45:13

i used to have huge problems with tidying up time. when ds was 3 (and madly energetic) i was told to get a few bright coloured boxes and some stickers, (went to ikea-cheap!) and tell him it is a race, we each had a box and had to fill it with all the toys on the floor and who ever filled their box first won and got a sticker for their box. worked a treat and now at 4 an 1/2 ds still loves to play tidy up! his box is also now covered in stickers!
as for the energy he's calmed down a lot now, so maybe its just a phase little boys go through.
also the more worked up you get the more playful and noisy he may get. aways was my problem, id shout or get frustrated ds would get more noisy.
hope this helps

LadyPenelope Tue 26-Aug-08 15:23:40

Tidying up as a game against used to work for my DD, but for DS, he just doesn't think it's that interesting! He just wanders off leaving the rest of us playing the game, while he does something else!
Sometimes he just randomly throws stuff around (eg, walks into bathroom to brush his teeth and throws the bath toys on the floor, or walks into DD's bedroom and starts picking books off her bookcase and throwing on floor.) That kind of stuff calls for "pick up or you go in time out." and it can take several goes of 3 mins each before he caves. In case of bath toys he won't give in ... so toys were packed up and he can't play with them. For DD's books, after about 20 mins, I threatened to take away his Thomas trains and that got him to come and put them back on shelf.
It's exhausting staying a step ahead!
And I agree with Rachael17 that if we are loud and shouty, it makes the kids like that too!

HonoriaGlossop Tue 26-Aug-08 16:14:29

I think you are falling into the trap that alot of people do of thinking that any punishment or consequence should have an immediate effect on him/will make him feel and show remorse etc. You just are not likely to get that at all. If you send him to his room and he goes happily - GREAT. Consequence imposed, he is removed from the situation, job done.

tidying up IMO for this age group is something not worth fighting over - and expecting him to do it alone is very unrealistic IMO. Do it together/make it a game or a challenge etc.

Running everywhere; being loud = being a child, not a punishable offence in my book.

IMHO it's best to move away from a punishment culture and look towards giving him consequences - related to the issue and immediate but not punitive IYSWIM, eg he is throwing bath water out of the bath, he is taken out and dried off and loses bath time.

Near-constant supervision and lots of diversion, too.

I know they are nut driving, they are not yet rational creatures but the more positive you stay the nicer it will be for YOU basically!

VictorianSqualor Tue 26-Aug-08 16:24:31

I wouldn't punish him.
Punishment makes children thnk 'Mummy is horrible' and teaches them not to do certain things because Mummy will be horrible, so they then learn how not to get caught!

I use the how to talk book which I find is working wonders on my 3.7 yr old. I have typed up a summary of it which my ante-natal thread ladies have copied and I use to make DP read it if you want I can post it here for you?

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