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I am utterly sick of repeating myself

(61 Posts)
VoluptuaGoodshag Mon 08-Sep-08 09:40:08

Does anyone elses kids do anything at the first time of asking? I constantly have to say everything at least 3 times with the final time being a shout. It's with everything from getting dressed, to getting shoes on, to stopping doing something - absolutely everything. I'm exhausted by it. How do you get them to do something? They know that in the end they have to do it anyway. Arrrrghhhhh one instruction has to be repeated for each kid so with the two of them that's six instructions. I'm turning into some sort of shouting neurotic

NappiesGalore Mon 08-Sep-08 09:46:09

know the feeling

have a hunch that maybe its us who need to slightly adjust the way we see the exchanges... alter expectations... look at it froma different pov.
i dont mean, give up, lower expectations... im prob going to explain this badly as its only a half formed idea [too lazy to fully form it lol]... but its like when one of them does something they know they oughtnt to... i find if i see it as direct disobedience my reaction is anger, i feel angry and cant help expressing that, often to no visible advantage to anyone. but if i see it as boundary testing, i have more reserves of patience. now what i mean?
maybe with the repeating thing, partly what we need to do is just know theyre going to need telling 3 times, so kind of see the first two as warm-ups, then give a warning of consequences if they dont listen next time... and if you know in advance youre going to need to do that, you might not lose your temper/feel so worn down by it.

NappiesGalore Mon 08-Sep-08 09:47:38

i had a another thought to add to that, but was interrupted and now its gone. ho hum.

TsarChasm Mon 08-Sep-08 09:47:59

Hmmmm? Sorry, could you just repeat that..?wink

No, it's the same here. They only seem to take the mildest bit of notice at the point I'm screaming.

I have found that saying something in a general way to them all has far less impact than saying specific dc's name, followed by are you listening?, followed by what you want them to know/do, followed by did you understand? And get a reply from dc.

It's all so exhausting though I know hmm

NappiesGalore Mon 08-Sep-08 09:52:14

its one thing i relly want to try to learn, the ability to communicate with my children without shouting/anger... no doubt i'll concentrate so much on that, i'll be found wanting in every other respect as a parent <snort> but its one thing i take from my own childhood; love my mum as i do, she was angry/shouting SO much and it really isnt a nice atmosphere to grow up in. nor for me to live in now... i still hate confrontation, dont like the idea that i'll just have to live with it.

chapstickchick Mon 08-Sep-08 09:52:19

i have learnt (the hard way) to say 'im talking to you, look at me i want you to do xxxxxxx,are u listening?'this approach usually works as i say it in my 'school voice' grin.


ds1 who is 15 seems to have permanent deaf ear he has his fone on such a vibrate he looks lie his leg is having a spasm,he watches tv with the subtitles and has his ipod on v loud .....apparently this is selective deafness so the said sufferer cannot hear you say 'is your bed made?' but can hear a whisper of 'indian takeaway/sale on at jjb' hmm grin

VoluptuaGoodshag Mon 08-Sep-08 16:47:45

I understand 'Nappies' I too see it as a direct disobedience though most of the time it is just selective hearing or they don't do things quickly enough for me which is more a failing in me than them. The ten minutes just before leaving the house in the morning seem to be the worst 10 minutes of the entire day. You think they'd know the script by now.

NappiesGalore Mon 08-Sep-08 17:35:03

yeah VG, i have exactly the same frustration. pondering the whys and wherefores in theory dont actually make me much better at handling it in reality tbh, but hey, im told that the fact we care enough to post about this stuff is a Good Sign, so thats some comfort at least eh smile

maidamess Mon 08-Sep-08 17:41:42

Don't say so many words. All they hear is 'Blah blah blah' ..

Ask them once properly and clearly. Then , instead of repeating "XXXX, will you please pick up your shoes. If you leave them here they will trip someone up, you know where they belong, now get on with it before or I will turn the telly off blah blah blah...." You just say LOUDLY "XXXXX! SHOES!"

And they will automatically put them away.

I promise.

(Nicked from 'How to talk so kids will listen' And it works.)

VoluptuaGoodshag Mon 08-Sep-08 18:54:02

Shall try this tomorrow morning - will report back.

DelGirl Mon 08-Sep-08 19:07:45

I have just spent the weekend with my sis and she has 4 children, 2 teenagers and 2 20 somethings and I really value her experience.

I have the same trouble with dd and it drives me to distraction, it really does.

My sis said that us parents now are under a lot of pressure to be nice (not that we don't want to be nice bykwim) and think we should be seen to be giving choices to our children when really, thats not what they need.

She advised me not to ask dd would you like to do this or, can you do this, as her response is always likely to be no, given a choice. So she's told me to just to give her the instruction and not an option to say no.

I have to say, I have done this today.....yes i've been doing it for a long time grin but it does seem to work.

So, 'dd come and put your shoes on now', rather than, 'dd, please can you come here and put your shoes on now'. I know, the 2nd one is nicer, but the 1st just might get the job done quicker.

It remains to be seen whether I will remember to do it.

NappiesGalore Mon 08-Sep-08 19:25:54

i really have to hoik that how to talk book out of the car whwere its been lurking since i nicked it off flame weeks ago and read it... (leant my copy out, cant remember who to, didnt read much of it before i lent it either... doh. feel like i should write a hundred lines; buying books and looking at the covers without reading them will not impress the wisdom within on me by osmosis.)

NappiesGalore Mon 08-Sep-08 19:28:17

yeah, i do that one delgirl. when i remember.
and, in the firecely independent toddler stage the offering of two options which amount to same thing; ie do you want the blue socks or the stripey ones? rather than fancy putting some socks on anytime this century? wink

Califrau Mon 08-Sep-08 19:30:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Takver Mon 08-Sep-08 19:48:39

pmsl about the postit note - I should try that one.

Agree that How to talk . .. is good, though could also do with sister title 'how to get kids to shut up'

Sometimes I find with dd that actually going over and touching her gently gets her attention - when she is genuinely absorbed rather than being selectively deaf. If she's reading or playing with lego she often just doesn't hear (verified experimentally by going, sitting next to her, and saying quite loudly 'do you want chocolate ice cream for pudding tonight?')

Janni Mon 08-Sep-08 19:56:25

You have my full sympathy - I often feel the same as you and I have three so that means some things have to be said at least six times grin

The boys (12 and 8 - perticularly the 8 year old) are worse than my 3 year old DD.

I have found that keeping the instructions very clear and simple helps. One instruction at a time and make them repeat it back to me. Praise when they do it, sanctions when they don't (eg loss of treats if they've ignored me, say three times)

It's exhausting, though, and it's one of the worst aspects of motherhood.

MmeLindt Mon 08-Sep-08 19:56:40

I think that I tend to talk too much and they just tune me out. I have tried the "DD SHOES!" and it does work. Why don't I do it more often?

DD's biggest problem is that I send her to do something (today, brush her hair before school) and she will go upstairs, find DH shaving in the bathroom, ask him a question about honey and bees, then wander downstairs singing away and be shocked out of her skin when I yell, "FGS DD, I told you to brush your hair!"

She is such a dreamer.

VoluptuaGoodshag Mon 08-Sep-08 20:05:28

Ah the dreaming thing - mine too are so easily distracted. I never give them choices, just instructions. I feel like my life is a constant stream of instructions. It is totally exhausting.
They are 3.7 and 5. The other annoyance is when they talk at once, interupting each other, getting increasingly irked by each other and I can't hear a darn thing either of them said. Result is me shouting louder than both of them to shut up and take turns to speak else we'll never get anywhere.

pushchair Mon 08-Sep-08 20:08:11

This drives me mad and I end up bellowing every question and command. Sometimes feel as if I am surrounded by deaf morons [in my blackest moments]. Also would appreciate an answer to questions: "did you have a nice day at school?", "are you warm enough?" etc I am the invisible woman.

bluewolf Mon 08-Sep-08 20:08:59

is it just me or is that calm controlled reasoning thing a bit creepy? Our house is very shouty but generally fun.

VoluptuaGoodshag Mon 08-Sep-08 20:11:53

I'm driven more mad by the fact that I have to repeat myself for DH too coz he has man hearing. And for my parents who are elderly/deaf.

Wearing Klingon cloaking device methinks or perhaps I should just start singing Pink Floyd songs ........

"Hello, is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anybody home?"

And then jump around the living room with DS's toy guitar doing a Dave Gilmour guitar solo

tigermoth Mon 08-Sep-08 20:13:05

just read the op - I have the non listening problem with my sons. My solution (if all reason fails) is to annoyingly sing my instructions to them - they hate my singing voice so much, they will do anything to shut me up!

VoluptuaGoodshag Mon 08-Sep-08 20:14:11

Oooh maybe if I do the Wonderpets instead of Pink Floyd I might get the desired reaction then

MmeLindt Mon 08-Sep-08 20:15:20

I think that we share DCs. Mine are 4yo and 6yo and spend most of the time recently shouting at each other. I was always so smug that they got on really well together and now they just yell all the time.

Sometimes at bedtimes I tell them to go into their rooms and not come out until they have their jammies on as I am so fed up telling them to get changed.

Reminds me of this mom here

Amaris Mon 08-Sep-08 20:15:20

Ask once nicely. Ask once more firmly and then have some consequences - whatever they are in your house (usually no telly in ours!). If they know that you'll keep asking, they'll keep ignoring!

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