Following a bad evening during which DS destroyed (indirectly) both DHs mobile phones...(one of which had just been replaced, following the last time he broke it)...I have just had one of those moments of realisation, where it all slips into place. DS is something of a nightmare behaviour-wise and DH and I are rather stressed in general and I suspect much (?all?) of it is due to our frequently sloppy parenting and general lack of structure.
What are your rules/boundaries/techniques for managing family life? Please, tell me about your structure and <<whispers>> routine, so I can be inspired, because this does not come naturally to me [sloth emoticon]
(if it helps, DS is 3 nearly 4, I work FT and so does DH - except his hours are not 9-5 m-f)
My son is the same age and I feel your pain. I notice that the more shouty and stressed I am, the worse his behaviour becomes (funny that).
I think structure is important but more than that, just being consistent and firm. Not in terms of discipline but in terms of what is going to happen. For example, if you want him to get dressed because you are going to the shops, then make him do just that. Don't try asking him for 10 minutes, make a token effort to find some shorts and then give up and let him watch tv whilst you decide to go to the shops later .
If you tell him to stop doing something or there will be a consequence, make sure that consequence is enforced (loss of toy, no sweets etc)
and try to avoid stand offs. Races to get things done seem to work (who can be first to the dinner table etc) as well as distraction.
Not that I manage to achieve this on a daily basis but I think this is how we are supposed to behave
"...if you want him to get dressed because you are going to the shops, then make him do just that. Don't try asking him for 10 minutes, make a token effort to find some shorts and then give up and let him watch tv whilst you decide to go to the shops later..."
<<makes mental not to check behind sofa to see if that is where fruitstick has hidden secret camera>>
shall I map out the day into 10 minutes intervals with strict guidelines on activities for each section OR shall I just pop DS infront of the TV in his PJs eating crisps from the time he gets up until he falls asleep on the sofa at night?
Think maybe combination of the two. I have evening routine for my 2 and that happens whether it is after work or not. Basically between 6-6.30 it is tidy up time (sort of ... need to get for firm about this one), warm milk (for 3yo dd and hot choc for 6 yo dd ... apparently warm milk is not de rigeur when you are 6), TV (squabble about what to watch), then up for bath or wash depending on how lazy I'm feeling, stories then aim for bed by 7.30. That generally happens every day of the week.
When I'm not working, we generally have meals at same time every day (lunch at 12-1ish, tea around 5ish) and let them know what we're going to be doing so they understand and will also intersperse dull adult stuff with fun kid stuff (e.g. shopping followed by park). And generally they ALWAYS have to be dressed before going downstairs in the morning. If not, I find it takes 10x as long. I get crossed, they get stroppy. Not good start to the day.