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Advice needed please

(11 Posts)
whatsername Fri 05-Aug-05 10:36:50

For anyone who doesn't recognise me, I used to be a regular poster but have been trying to get my life together outside of Mnet, so haven't posted for a while. Quick background - single mum, 2 kids, ds (7 next month) has suspected AS, also have a dd of 4, I home educate. I have been battling with fairly severe depression since about Christmas.

Ok, so I am now having problems. Hence yet another return here for advice.

Basically my kids have no respect for me. They just won't do as they're asked/told. I have always been a fairly laid-back Mum and don't like coming over all disciplinarian. But they just don't listen, and as dd has got older it has been getting worse - it's like the two of them against me, and that's not how I want it.

I tell them to get ready to go out, and they carry on playing, or shout 'in a minute' and are still playing ten minutes later. Or they go off to do something but get distracted and start playing again. It seems that the only way to get them to do anyhting is to yell at them, and then I'm angry and there's all this bad feeling. They also keep missing out on bedtime stories as they don't get ready in time.

I don't know how to get my kids to listen to me, where am I going wrong?

sistermoon Fri 05-Aug-05 10:39:35

try speaking calmly to them . Also ask them to get ready earlier so you have time to calmly get them ready. Also try to plan teh day with them so know what is happenning and when. Easier said then done perhaps you a reward system for your eldest and get her on your side by giving her small tasks and ten a reward on completion

coppertop Fri 05-Aug-05 10:44:00

Welcome back, Whatsername.

With my ds1 (ASD) I find it helps to use a timer if I want him to do something within a certain amount of time. If he's deliberately dawdling or being stubborn then I usually say "If you don't do X then Y will happen" - and stick to it. As soon as it sinks in that I am deadly serious he will actually rush to get dressed/put his shoes on/put his coat on etc.

coppertop Fri 05-Aug-05 10:48:35

Just had another thought. If ds is doing this a lot then Social Stories might help him. (Google for Carol Gray and Social Stories). These can be useful if you want him to learn how to do something in a particular way, eg bedtime routine, getting dressed in the mornings etc. It used to take 1.5hrs to get ds1 to bed at night. It's now down to around 15mins.

whatsername Fri 05-Aug-05 11:00:26

Thanks for these. We used to have a timer, it got broken - we're going into town and I will get another one today. It did used to work as they liked to try and beat the timer, although I hate making everything into a threat. Note to self: must turn it round into a reward for good behaviour rather than a threat for bad.

I spent ages writing (and illustrating) a betime routine for them as ds asked for one, so he could concentrate on what he needed to do. As soon as I'd finished, something about it upset him and he ripped it all up. I didn't bother trying again, but I will do that now.

As far as the routine goes, we don't have one. I hate knowing rigidly what's going to happen and don't usually manage to stick to them. On the other hand I can see that they would probably benefit the kids, and ds in particular. I just have to get myself more organised.

I like the idea of giving tasks and rewards. They both respond to that. I will make a point of doing that some more.

My Mum says I expect too much of them for their ages. She is all for doing everything for them. I am a great believer in encouraging them to do as much for themselves as possible. I feel that my mum (although doing what she thought best) didn't help me to cope with being independent, she thinks I'm too harsh with my children. Am I expecting too much?

coppertop Fri 05-Aug-05 11:05:14

I don't think you're being harsh at all tbh. I don't mind doing things for ds1 and ds2 when it's something I know that they can't do but otherwise I encourage them to do things for themselves. They both actually seem quite proud of themselves when they learn how to do something without my help and it increases their confidence IMHO.

whatsername Fri 05-Aug-05 11:13:33

Wel, that's what I think Coppertop.

I was so laking in confidence as a child, and I'm not much better now. I am so desperate for my children to be confident because I know from experience that it holds you back if you are not. I feel that being self-sufficient and having confidence in your abilities is vital. And I also think doing things for them that they can do for themselves undermines that. Of course I am perfectly happy to help them with things they can't do, or if they ask for help, but I don't intend to jump in just to make my life easier, or quicker or whatever.

Iamalsohairyhercules Fri 05-Aug-05 11:20:20

Sounds like normal behaviour from kids so dont stress about that. I think that you are quite right in encouraging them to be independant although as you say yourself perhaps they need more of a routine.

AS for getting them to listen to you - I bet if you found a way you could make a fortune selling it1

coppertop Fri 05-Aug-05 12:26:43

I could have written your last post, Whatsername! You sound a lot like me.

Chandra Fri 05-Aug-05 12:35:54

I would say that routine plays a good role in helping children's confidence. They are better when they know what comes next. I have noticed that when DS goes out of it his behaviour goes down the drain immediatly. You don't have to be very strict or go by the clock, a very simple structure for the day may help loads.

And as somebody mentioned, sticking to what you said is a very powerful tool, it would be particularly difficult during the first days (even more difficult than allowing them to carry on doing what they want) but after some days the effort should pay off.

Best of luck and welcome back

whatsername Fri 05-Aug-05 21:46:11

Thanks for the welcomes

Classic one this evening. I decided to stop being quite so hung up on bedtimes and to experiment with putting them to bed later. I took then down to the swings shortly before they would usually be going to bed. It was really nice, we had a nice walk, a run round at the swings, and walking back I talked to them about how they needed to have a drink and then get ready for bed as soon as we got in, and then we could have a couple of stories before bed. Ds came in and I sent him off to get his pj's but he said he had to have a drink first (as I'd said it in that order and he's a stickler for doing things in the right order...). I gave them both drinks and dd raced off and got ready really quickly, and ds went and 'walked around.' I went to do the washing up as I really thought they were both getting ready.

Not sure what to do with him. Just can't seem to get through.

I do always stick to what I've said - again, something my mum didn't do, although she claims she did, and so I'm very careful about it.

Hercules, you're right, of course, the elusive answer to getting kids to do what they're meant to...

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