Bad behavior

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Bad behavior
16
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 11:52am
I really need some help here. First of all I know its mostly fault. I have two boys youngest is almost 4 oldest is almost 6. They both act awfull in public places. Like Grocery stores for ex.. They wiggle out of there seat straps and run around the store. They dont go far but I just want them to sit still. I have gone so far as to leave the store when they act like this. They dont care they just come home and play like nothing ever happened. I dont know how to correct this. My hubby wont watch them while I go. He says thats "my job" . At home they talk back and wont do what they are told like cleaning thier room. They throw a fit or just tell my no. When I get on to them my hubby says I am being too mean to them or tells the kids no to listen to me. When they do something that bugs him its "do something with your kids" or "why dont these kids listen". What am I supposed to do. Please dont hold back in answering. LOL

I cant take much more! Thanks Jennifer
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Avatar for crackermommaof2
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 1:01pm
It's hard when you feel like you're loosing control, and it doesn't sound like your dh is much help in this area. First of all I think you and your dh need to have a heart to heart. You both need to know what the other feels is appropriate behavior, and what is not. You also need to work together on achieving the behaviors you desire. Hopefully he will be open, but honestly I think alot men feel that raising kids is women's work.

As far as your kids, I think it's best to work on one area at a time. It's hard when you want to fix everything at once, but if you try to do that you will only frustrate yourself and the kids and will probably end up giving up. What is the thing that bothers you the most? Work on that first. And find ways to work around the others in the mean time. Is it possible to go shopping when your oldest ds is in school? Then you would only have to deal with one child which would make it a little easier. Perhaps then you can think of little games or things that your younger ds can do that will have him interested in the shopping and less interested in running around. Play I spy, or ask him to help you find certain items you need. You could also ask him to remind you that you need such and such. Also, I am not against letting my kids get a gumball from the machine if they have behaved well in the store.

As for cleaning their rooms, maybe you need to go in there with them, and help them. You can even make a game of that, and again, a treat aftewards gives a little incentive. It doesn't necesarily need to be food either. It could be watching a video, or playing a board game.

There are areas where you are going to have to put your foot down and let your children know the way things are going to be. Decide ahead of time what punishment will go with what crime. Let your children know, and then stick with it. You know your kids well enough to know what will work best. Once they know that you mean what you say, things should get better, but it's going to take time. Stick with it!!!!

I hope that helps, good luck!

Stephanie

Avatar for limute
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 1:44pm
I agree, first you need to have a serious talk with your DH. He sounds less than helpful and also, he is undermining your authority with the kids! He has to realize he can't second-guess you or overrule you in front of the kids. They will learn not to listen to you if you does that, and will only behave worse. Can you imagine when they are teens and have learned for years not to listen to you?!?! If he complains that 'your' kids won't listen to you, point out how HE teaches him not to!

Next, I would try to either shop when the kids are in school, playdate, or whatever--or make your DH go shopping! If he won't do either, make sure to consistently 'forget' to buy the things your DH likes and needs and say "sorry, but the kids acted up so much that I couldn't get it."

If you do have to take one or both shopping with you, try asking them to find things for you. My 4yo doesn't sit in the cart anymore, he walks along. Sometimes I tell him to find his peanut butter (it's always on a lower shelf--and in a plastic container!) or whatever. Really, maybe they are simply too old and active to sit still in carts anymore. You could also tell them they could pick out a treat if they behave well enough. Try to be quick and efficient--just grab the basics and go. My kids melt down every time we all go shopping together and my DH is in one of his 'perusal moods' which means he spends an eternity mulling over lots of foods and taking forever to shop.

At home, try breaking down the things you want them to do. Instead of 'clean your room' how about 'let's pick up all the legos and put them in the box' or even 'I bet I can pick up stuffed animals faster than you!' At this age, a general clean up is too broad to understand, maybe a bit overwhelming. But being told to put the books on the shelf or collect cars off the floor is easy to understand and do.

Good luck! HTH

Also, make it clear that if they don't (for example) pick up toys from the living room floor that they can't watch tv or do whatever. Of course, you have to make sure your DH doesn't flick on the tv while you're saying that!

~ Limute

Three by the Sea

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 1:52pm
Hi Jennifer, welcome to the board. You said not to hold back so here it goes. First thing I would do is sit DH down and have a long talk. You can't expect your boys to give you the respect you deserve when your dh is setting a lousy example for them. By telling the boys they do not have to listen to you he is making it impossible for you to ever get them under control.

Make up a list of the rule of the house, make sure the boys know what the rules are and what the punishment will be when the rule is broken and be sure to enforce the punishment.

My almost six year old has a responsibility chart. It is just a list of things that she needs to do daily or weekly to receive all of her allowance. It is basic things that a six year old should be doing anyway, keeping her room clean, put her dishes in the sink, feed her fish, etc.

I hope to "see" you here more often. Good luck and let us know how things go.

Amy

Amy, Mom to Shelby (5/97) & Emily (4/01)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 4:28pm
Thank you for the advice. I have tried to talk to my dh about it he just tunes me out the tv is more important or he doesnt want to be bothered with anything. I know he tunes me out because he says um-hm and after Im done speaking I ask "were you listening to me" and he says yah. Then I say "well then what did I just say" . He has no clue. He tells me "handle it". I have tried to make cleaning his room fun. He just says "na you can go ahead and clean it". Of course dh says they are too little to clean thier room. Or feed the animals. Even though I do help them. I have tried taking tv away or fav. toys, offered allowance. I feel like a single parent in a two parent sorry one parent one very large child adult looking parent. :) had to let off some steam :) I will try to make public places fun I never thought of that. I try to go shopping twice a month. You have helped. Now tell me how to make dh grow up! LOL

THANK YOU ALL Jennifer
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 3:03pm
Oh, wow, do you have some stressful stuff going on! It is very hard to get children to cooperate with family members if the adults are having a tough time doing it. I would start by figuring out how and when to talk to DH about things. Obviously while he is watching TV is not the best time. Ask him, "Would you please make some time to talk to me? I have some things I need to talk about." When you both have made the time to talk, discuss your issues then. Have them written down so you don't forget anything. Just be certain not to "interogate" him or he'll shut you out. TRUST ME! LOL!! *wink* I start out "my" discussions by saying things like, "I think respect is a very important part of a family. Would you agree?" Based ont eh response, I take it from there....."I have been having a hard time with the boys showing respect for other people. When they are asked to do something, they ignore the request. It is really bothering me because I can see problems in school ahead of us. What can we do to get them to better listen to us?" If he says, "'I' don't have a problem with them listening to me," ask him what he does that works? Give him the opportunity to share with you so it's not a one sided conversation. I would aslo be certain to mention the fact that you feel neglected. "When you "uh huh" me after I've shared somthing with you, I feel like you don't care about me." I'm sure he isn't "meaning" to be as rude as he is. Try to tell him how you feel and see if that works. Try to come up with house rules and share them with the children.

As far as the boys goes....the law is the law, mom. I would talk to the boys about the rules you have in the house. "Ours" are 1. We speak kindly and respectfully to one another. 2. We use inside voices and walking feet inside. 3. We pick up what we are done using. 4. If we mess it up, we fix it or clean it up as well. Tre knows these rules, and hubby thinks they are simple and easy to adhere to. It's a win win situation right now. WHEW! I went through a really tough time. DH would leave his stuff all over and Tre started to too. DH got mad, but I had to help him see that it was HIS modeling that did that. LOL!!



As far as requests goes, make sure when they don't have an option, you don't phrase it in question form. "I need you to...." or "Let's please....." are better ways to get your point across than, "Can you...." If you want them to clean up, TELL them to. "I need 'you' to put your legos and trucks away, and I need 'you' to put the books and blocks away." If they say no, tell them, "I am going to count to three and then I am going to help you put them away....1...2...3..." They may not move if this is new to them. Sooooo it is my guess you will have to show them. Take their hands in yours and put the things away with htem. They absolutely hate being assisted....being so grown and all, LOL! They will probably know you mean business and start doing it on their own in about three weeks. (It takes three weeks to form a habit.)If they STILL protest, create a natural consequence...and be clever. Exaggreate and create things like no bodies business, mommy. For example, "I see that you are having a hard time cleaning up your toys. I will take some out of this room so that you have less to clean." Get a bag and put them in it and outside the door....when they see you are physically involved as well, they're going to wonder just how far you will go. When they want to play more later on, advise them that they each may have one toy, and supervise that. "Oh mom, I can't play with just one toy!!!" Your repsonse can be something like, "Well I see that too many toys out is overwhelming for you so I am helping you feel better about cleaning up. When you show me you are ready to pick more up at a time, we can change the rule." They just need to know you will ALWAYS have the last word. It's not for power, but for safety. When they show they are ready, they can have more input in house rules.

The most important thing is to call them on their behavior as you see it, and I mean the good stuff, too! "WOW! You picked that up right away! Thank you!" or "I knew you could do it!" or "Look at you! You're reading quietly on the couch!" Those are all ways they will "hear" you and their ears are more trained to listen. It is true, you get more with sugar than vinegar, but it's also true that people just like to be appreciated and hear nice things. Children are no exception to that...they like it even more so because right now their goal is to impress you.

So, did I wear your eyes out with my book? I'm sorry. I can just see how frustrating your situation is. I hope some of our advice is helpful to you. Please let us know how it goes!

Janet =)

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Avatar for three_rugrats
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 7:27am
Wow Janet, I may not have originally posted the problem but I sure learned a lot from your solution techniques. I have 3 girls and sometimes it can get very crazy around here.

Andrea

Andrea aka: Brit
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 3:09pm
Janet,

Thank you for the advice. I have talked to DH till I'm blue in the face. He's a Leo and I'm a scorpio if that helps you understand things any better. We are both right no matter what. I do tell him we need to talk about our current problem but it is an interogation. He just says five words " thats your job handle it". He is not very helpful and I don't think he ever will be. You would have a feild day with my boys with your rules. The talking respectfully thing is not here they say " no you do it" or "I'm not doing anything" My DH laughs. C(5) favorate fhrase "I'm not doing anything ever again just throw it in the trash". When I tell him I will he does'nt belive me untill I start picking them up to do what I said I would do. He imediately picks it up. When I get on to him he says "do'nt ever speak to me again. My 3 yr old is pretty tame he just does whatever his brother does. You know monkey see monkey do. I will try the things you said though. Now heres my book. : ) Jennifer

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Avatar for snowbabies97_98
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 5:04pm
First, let me say welcome to the board. In spite of the difficulties with the new board format (call me whiney but it's why I've been away for awhile), there are a great bunch of people here.

Now, on to your post. You said don't hold back, so I'm going to be brutally honest here. The way I see it, your DH shoulders the majority of the blame for the way your kids are acting. And if he doesn't change his attitude FAST, you have every possibility of ending up with a couple of hell-raising teenagers that you have absolutely no control over.

First thing I'd suggest is you get tough with those kids. If your one child says he doesn't care and you should throw it away, do it. Don't let him come running at the last minute to save his things. You can start off choosing the lesser-value items to toss, but be firm. Show them you mean business.

Second thing -- Since you told Janet you've tried talking calmly with your DH with no results, get firm with him too. Tell him that his disrespecting you, ESPECIALLY in front of the kids, is completely unacceptable. (And the next time he asks "why don't these kids listen?" tell him "Because YOU told them NOT to!") Not only is he encouraging their bad behavior by showing them that you're not worthy of their respect, he's also setting them up for some bad relationships in the future, because they'll never learn that women deserve their respect. You said don't hold back, so my advice is to take your own advice on that. Don't hold back with him. Tell him if he can't show you more respect in front of the kids, he needs to just not say anything at all.

As for him not *watching* the kids so you can go to the store -- do you trust them in his care? If you weren't there, would he be forced to watch them, or would he just ignore them and continue watching TV? If you think he can be trusted, you could always try to make a quick run to the store and don't give him the option of insisting you take the kids with you. Grab your keys and purse, tell him, as you're walking out the door, that you'll be right back, and go. If you can't do the grocery shopping when they're at school, try going with just one child and leave the other one at home with your DH. And like someone else already suggested, if he doesn't like it, then HE can go shopping.

Just wondering, are you a stay at home mom? Is that why he *thinks* this is all your job? He needs to get into the 21st century if he does. I'd strongly suggest family counseling for the two of you, so a third, unbiased party can maybe knock some sense into his head.

Good luck, I hope you're able to get somewhere with him.

Rebecca, mom to Jordan (6) and Michaela (4)

Rebecca

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 3:12pm
I totally agree with you. I wish he would go to counseling with me. I really dont want my kids to treat there woman the way he does. I am a SAHM thats why he says those things. But I do need a break every now and then. Even if it is goining to the store. I also have a daugter 22 mo. So I have to take all 3 to the store. I have thrown toys away and they dont seem to miss them. There has been a breakthrough the boys cleaned thier room today without almost no fuss. I threatend to take tv time away. Also my 5 yr old helped me put the dishes in the dish washer. Now to get the boys to stop fighting like cats and dogs??????? Thank you for the advice. :)

Jennifer
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: cimmom
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 7:14pm
After reading all of these posts, I have to admit that I don't remember the ages of your kids. Besides all the great advice you've gotten so far, I have a couple of more ideas that you might want to look in to.

First of all, make it your MISSION IN LIFE to find a "Mother's Day Out" program or a MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers)program in your community. Talking to other women is such therapy! This board is wonderful, and face to face now and then 'ain't too bad, niether!!' I also suggest you speak to your kids' teachers. It's helpful for a teacher to know that you do care about how your kids behave at school, and see if they have any advice for at home. If they don't have advice, they will be able to guide you to someone who does. In our community, we have a F.A.C.E.S. program - it's Families and Childrens Educational(I think) Services. I've gotten alot of child-rearing/behavior modification advice. Please don't think your kids are a lost cause or they will be doomed from here on. Their behavior can be modified, your DH is another story altogether. If you don't know where or how to find one of these organizations, maybe start with your pediatrician, or the public library. If the library doesn't have the information, try and get there when there's story time for little kids and ask a mom - we love to share advice, you know.

Which brings me to the next point. Frankly, if your DH thinks the kids are your responsibility, I would go about your business and disregard him at every possible opportunity. That sounds harsh, but we're talking about your kids' future here. Don't bad mouth him in front of your kids, but do not ask for his help or even his opinion. Make it clear to your kids that YOU are the boss and that YOU are the final word and that daddy said it was YOUR job - NOT his. I believe that they will stop going to him with little issues, and big issues.

As far as something specific to help you, geez! I don't know where to start. Like someone said, don't try and fix everything all at once. Also, as far as throwing the toys away that don't get picked up - DEFINITELY put them in the can! You don't have to really throw them away, but put them out of sight until you can safely sell them at a yardsale or something. Or if you really want to get your point across, load up a box with toys that you don't mind giving away and make the kids take them to a Good Will or some church and give their own toys away. That makes a point, for sure.

For behavior modification, start with one small changable thing - maybe a rule like "treat/talk to others as you would like them to treat/talk to you." It seems useless to have such a vague rule, but kids 'get' that one. They can relate to it. Then, of course, you need to be the enforcer. What will happen if they break the rule? For us, time out works. If you're interested in using TO, let me know (mamabeat@hotmail.com) and I will give you a quick overview of how to do it correctly. If you don't do it 'right,' it just won't work. The only other thing I've had to do is take away TV time or bedtime stories (so far!!), so that's all I can advise you on.

Honestly, I think your kids will be able to be 'saved,' but your DH sounds absolutely incorrigible! Is that how his own father behaves? If he isn't willing to work with you, work without him and don't give him an opportunity to work against you. I don't know your personality, but if you had a personality like mine, DH would be in trouble. I was a HS biology & english teacher, and I tend to be anal retentive - just to give you a little bit of insight about me.

Good luck & hang in there!

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