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Please help me and tell me the sanctions you use with your children.

(35 Posts)
Fabster Tue 03-Nov-09 10:17:14

What has prompted this is discovering an awful bruise on my 4 year olds face after my 8 year old hit him yesterday. Over Duplo fgs.

DS1 lost his laptop yesterday for teasing his sister but only realised this morning. He said it was a new day. hmm

I could cry with despair.

No pocket money to stop, no electrical toys to take away, I just do not know what to do.

I have had to go into school this morning and explain DS2's bruise so the school don't think it is me. sad

Please help a rubbish mum.

Fabster Tue 03-Nov-09 12:27:23

Hopeful bump.

AbricotsSecs Tue 03-Nov-09 12:29:30

Message withdrawn

SofaQueen Tue 03-Nov-09 12:32:13

You are not a rubbish mum! I'm just waiting for the defiance to really rev up in my DS, so I'll be reading this with interest.

What about excluding him from a fun family outing?

How long has this been going on?

ruddynorah Tue 03-Nov-09 12:33:31

i don't do sanctions hmm i do alfie kohn. yet another book i'm afraid. not a quick win.

Fennel Tue 03-Nov-09 12:38:00

I don't think it's always the parents' fault if siblings fight, I think there's something in siblings that inclines them to fight and bicker whatever you do. My dds can be far far meaner to their sisters than they ever would be to anyone else, and they can be violent to each other, again I've never known any of them attack another child, apart from their own sisters.

Siblings without rivalry is by the same authors as the book Hoochiemomma suggests and has some useful ideas (I had a copy but all my friends with siblings borrowed it so compulsively that I've lost it these days). Things like not always blaming the older sibling, small siblings can be extremely frustrating.

Sanctions we use which works:
Removal of TV for a week (we use that particularly when they nag for more TV but it's a useful general sanction for mine).
Removal of favourite games/toys for a week.
Cancelling a planned outing, it has to be something they want to do and prefarably one which doesn't put anyone else out.
Earlier bedtime.
Or you can start giving pocket money just so you can start docking it for misbehaviour grin.

But if it's mainly in being mean to his little sister I would cut him some slack, Siblings without Rivalry is keen on getting siblings to sort out their own arguments where possible rather than both coming to you to judge and apportion blame.

Astrophe Tue 03-Nov-09 12:43:20

'How to talk' that hoochie linked to is a great book...not sure it has an easy answer (are there any, in parenting?), but its a great book none the less, and helpful for the longer term.

I am struggling in a similar way fabster. My DD1 is 5.5 and is getting out of hand - hurting DS (3.5), answering back, rude and unpleasant, and I don't know what to do. Have tried a marble jar where she had to have 3 at end of the day (could win or lose them during the day) in order to watch TV...but pretty limited sucess. We follow all the 'rules' - don't give her attention when she is mean to DS, ignore bad behaviour as much as possible, talk to her about what she has done, taht it hurts DS, role play better ways of dealing with situations, encourage her to talk to him and use words instead, give her permission to be angry with DS, but not to hurt him...and on...and on... and on...but she is still unkind and objectionable with a "you can't make me..." attitude.

Ok, sorry that has been such a rant. I don't know what we have done/are doing wrong, and I too could cry with despair. Sympathies Fabster...I hope someone can help us both

Astrophe Tue 03-Nov-09 12:44:16

oh, meant to say I have just got "Siblings without rivaly", by the same women who wrote 'How to talk...", so hoping for some advice there...

Fabster Tue 03-Nov-09 12:53:05

Hoochie - I have that book, I bought it last week and have been reading it and making notes but so far I haven't had chance to really get stuck into it. DH tried a couple of suggestions but it felt strange and with DD I don't know that she got it.

Thanks for the hmm norah. How does that help?

I also have the Siblings book but haven't had change for ages to look at it.

I accept that some teasing will go on but teasing her for wetting the bed ffs. He was 18 months older than she is now before he was dry, and roping in his 4 year old brother was just mean.

Astrophe - I am sorry you are struggling too. sad

I was too scared to be naughty so like that my kids feel secure but just which it wasn't so full on.

AbricotsSecs Tue 03-Nov-09 14:34:39

Message withdrawn

eyetunes Tue 03-Nov-09 14:38:00

You say you have taken the laptop away, Can you keep it for a couple of days? Until he understands not to hit his brother?

Not a rubbish mum. All kids fight, well i have not yet met the perfect child.

Fennel Tue 03-Nov-09 14:48:45

some more ideas (can you tell this is a subject I have to deal with quite often?):

Can/do you make sure that the older child has a space (bedroom or other space) where they can play with their own toys uninterrupted, an 8yo plays with lego etc in a totally different way to a 4yo and it IS frustrating doing things at 4yo level.

Make sure the older one has privileges and treats which the younger one doesn't have so that they know there's a benefit to being 8 not 4 (and then you can take these back if 8 year old behaves like a 4 year old).

Acknowledge that it's OK to be irritated by or not like your little sibling, but it's NOT OK to hit them or be systematically mean to them. The feeling is OK, the action isn't.

I have never forgotten the look on a visiting boy's face, an only child, after one of my darling little dds had stamped on another's face, drawing blood. He was supposed to be staying for a sleepover and wanted to go home at once. Unsurprisingly. But it IS very normal sibling behaviour, and I'm not sure you can eradiate sibling irritation however hard you try. I'm still trying, but am accepting that my dds seem to have an urge to push each other's buttons.

And then, just when I start thinking that my 9yo and 8yo really do hate each other (not my 5yo who is quite charming and is everyone's favourite sister), they act as though they are best friends, apparently at school they choose to sit together and play together. It's very bizarre.

Fabster Tue 03-Nov-09 16:19:13

All the children have their own rooms and can go to them whenever they want. The older 2 do stay up later than the younger one but I told DS1 he was going to bed at 6 tonight as he obviously needed more sleep. This was on the way to school and he asked if he should remind me tonight. hmm

When they are lovely I tell them how pleased I am and then within seconds/minutes they start again.

Othersideofthechannel Tue 03-Nov-09 20:43:25

No way you can make life harmonious at all times, you need to help them learn to sort out their differences without violence.

Another vote for 'Sibling Rivalry'. Our two are getting good at sorting out their own problems nowadays.

Despite this DCs still come to blows usually when one or the other is overtired or overwrought. It really makes my blood boil when they hurt each other and we haven't had any bruises or blood drawn yet!

Bonsoir Tue 03-Nov-09 20:44:53

Siblings often spend far too much time together. Separate them as much as possible if they tend to fight - they'll still see more than enough of one another!

Fabster Wed 04-Nov-09 07:34:58

We do that, Bonsoir, we send them all to their rooms and then they want to be together again. Kids!!

Othersideofthechannel Wed 04-Nov-09 08:46:07

Having reread your OP, I think that 'losing a laptop' for teasing is a bit OTT. Perhaps you are running out of sanctions because you use them too easily?

Teasing can be dealth with with a 'words can hurt' chat to one and 'don't let them show you it bothers you and they'll soon get bored' to the other. It won't stop the teasing straight away, but then nor will a punishment.

Although to put this in perspective, I don't do sanctions either. Although I know I would be very tempted if bruises started appearing.

Othersideofthechannel Wed 04-Nov-09 08:46:58

It's great that they want to be together again, they obviously really enjoy each others company despite the inevitable fights.

Othersideofthechannel Wed 04-Nov-09 08:48:15

Sorry, that should have read 'don't let them see it bothers you and they'll soon get bored'

StephHaydock Wed 04-Nov-09 08:49:55

We have constant treats/rewards on the go that get withdrawn.

Treats could be a real treat like a day out or a toy, or (more often than not) are smaller things like watching a favourite TV programme, getting to play a computer game or getting to play with neighbour's kids etc.

I use withdrawal of these treats as a threat wink. They get a second chance to behave / do as I ask etc and if they then don't comply the treat gets withdrawn.

Works about 75% of the time.

The other 25% of the time, DS ;laughs in my face or tells me he doesnt care if he loses the treat...but hey, peace three quarters of the time is better than nothing, yeh? grin

Fabster Wed 04-Nov-09 11:04:00

I definitely am not running out of sanctions because I use them too often.

What he said to her was down right mean so no, actually, I don't think losing his lap top was OTT.

Every single time I post for help I get lots of ideas but also people telling me what I have done wrong. Why can't people be supportive and make suggestions without criticisms.

I am trying my best and it is bloody hard with no reference point.

CJCregg Wed 04-Nov-09 11:14:52

Fabster, can't help much but just to let you know I feel exactly the same. I wish someone would come and help me out, tell me what I'm doing right and wrong, so I could stop criticising myself! I am in despair over DD who is 4. Sanctions sometimes work but I also get the 'I don't care' reaction and am at my wits end.

I find the How to Talk book is good but seems to apply to older children. Maybe I should give it another go.

Anyway, you have my sympathy and support.

Fabster Wed 04-Nov-09 11:18:48

Thank you.

I seem to have lost all instincts as I have been so desperate to do everything right and to give the kids a great childhood that I have gone too far and been too scared to be in charge.

(My childhood was worse than crap, my defenceblush)

CJCregg Wed 04-Nov-09 11:21:31

Fab, that's me exactly. I separated from XDH a year ago and I just don't seem to have any belief in my own authority. I want to be loving mummy and firm disciplinarian, but can't find the middle way ...

Fabster Wed 04-Nov-09 11:25:04

Snap again. sad

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