HE WONT LISTEN!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!

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Registered: 12-14-2006
HE WONT LISTEN!!!! HELP!!!!!!!!
4
Sat, 05-19-2007 - 9:58am

I am at the end of my rope... My 4 year old DS does not listen to me, ever! He will listen to my DH, but hey... DH is military, and is gone from 5am and gets home around 6 pm, has dinner, gives the kids their baths, put them in bed, and is gone again to the gym to work out. Ok great... I get to fight with our 4 year old to make him stay in bed. And in the mornings, I get to deal with DS again, "dont go in your sisters room, she is sleeping" "Do not pick upthe babies, you might drop them and hurt them" "stay out of Momma and daddy's room... you have your own room " "Dont pour your own drinks... ask momma... I will get it for you" And this is constant from the time i wake up until the time I go to bed...... I'm not even going to get into the whole backtalk/sassing deal that he does. or him telling me he has to go potty to get out of his room to avoid or hold off punishment...
Now for a bit of history... DH and I were separated for military reasons for close to a year, DH was home for maybe 3 weeks the entire time, and When we were able to join him 2 weeks later, DH got deployed for a year... Now with me working, I needed a baby sitter... The sitters that I was able to afford didn;t make DS behave... gave him what he wanted... I have no idea, After basically screaming at my 4 year old today for over an hour to just stay in his room so I could calm down, i am at my wits end. Spanking, time out, no cookies nothing works... The only thing that has worked was basically making him do pushups and squats works some, but seems plain out mean considering the person I am smoking is only 4 years old. Not only that but I cant do that when we are out and about... like at the PX, DS goes off whining and crying and running around because he wants a drink... Which obviously he isnlt getting, but with a 22 month old and a set of 1 month old twins, I cant just drag him out of the store, and to the car without a scene... It goes something like.... C'mon Gwennie, come with mommy... hold on to the stroller... William get back here right now, momma said! Gwennie dont cry your fine, Bubba is in trouble not you... William do not poke the babies they are sleeping! Do it again I dare you and see how quick I smack your hand!... (this is the point I run into a cluster of people standing in the middle of the aisle)Excuse me, I need to get through please (they move maybe an inch or so, DS starts pushing them out of the way) WILLIAM MOMMY SAID GET BACK HERE DO NOT PUSH PEOPLE THAT IS RUDE AND INCONSIDERATE!!!! Yeah... fun times..

I am begging help! Any advice or ideas would be great...

Sarah
Army mommy of James, Elijah, William, Gwendylen and Abigail and Marcus 10April2007

My Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2004
Sun, 05-20-2007 - 2:28pm

Oh you poor thing! You sound so stressed out and I don't blame you one bit. I felt that way and I only had two small children. And a puppy. I think the puppy sent me over the edge, actually. Anyway, I can't imagine having a four year old, a nearly two year old and twins infants. AND my husband gone most of the time. You have my sympathy and respect, girl!

Okay, here are a couple of things that helped me when my two were little and my husband was working 17 hour days.

1. Take those skills you had before children came in to your life and put them to use. I had been a paralegal - a career which requires extreme levels of organization. So I tried to start thinking like a paralegal again. How could I streamline my daily routine to make it do-able? The first thing I tackled was dinner. Dinner was the worst time of day because we were all tired, my husband was never home and I turned in to Mean Mommy right at five o'clock every night. I figured out one week's worth of very simple, reasonably healthy meals that my kids would eat, created a shopping list of every single ingredient I needed to prepare those foods, plus what we eat for breakfast and lunch, and saved it on my computer. Then, every Monday I printed out that list and quickly crossed out the items I DIDN'T need. Then we went shopping. I found a grocery store that provided day care for kids aged two and up while I shopped. So they took my two year old and I kept the baby with me. This made it way easier. Then I quickly shopped for the entire week and knew that dinner was taken care of. Yes, we ate the same seven dinners every week, but who cares? It worked.

Next I turned my organizational skills toward making the house easier for me to relax in. Decor went out the window because at that point I didn't care. I completely baby-proofed the part of the house that is our kitchen and our family room. I put a baby gate up so the two year old couldn't escape. I put locks on every single damn cabinet. I put plugs in every single outlet. You name it, I did it. I set up a diaper changing station ON MY KITCHEN COUNTER!!! with all the supplies I needed and we basically lived in those rooms. I had a playpen for the baby for when I needed to run and go throw a load of laundry in. But my main goal was to be able to sit down, nurse my baby and not have the two year old off in some other part of the house, falling down the stairs or drinking Benedryl. I made it so that he could do no wrong in those rooms. And yes, we had a VHS and lots of videos so that when I needed him to be still, I could pop an emergency video in.

2. I really focused on adding consistency to my parenting. I was distressed to realize that I wasn't having any fun being a mom. I was saying 'no!' all the time, I was yelling and yes I was even spanking my son. When I took a hard look at things, I realized that this wasn't the kind of parent I wanted to be for my children. I also was having chest pain every night and felt like I couldn't breathe - not good! A friend recommended the book, 'Love and Logic Magic - Birth Through Age Six.' This book was a total lifesaver for me. It was a quick, easy read with practical solutions for behavioral problems that are normal for preschoolers and toddlers. More importantly the book is funny. It made me laugh and it made me look forward to being a parent again. It made me a happier mommy and that is always a good thing. I kept that book in the bathroom and every time I went in to do my business, I would pick it up and thumb through it a little more. It kept me on track and parenting the way I wanted to parent. Note - if you do decide to get this book, make sure you get the one I mentioned above. The authors have several books out, but the one I mentioned is the best.

3. I finally broke down and went to see a counselor. My son had some health problems that made life extremely difficult for a while. Thank God they are all but gone - whew! But I knew I had a problem when I realized that I was blowing up at every little thing. Seeing a counselor helped me to realize that my feeling so out of control with regard to my son's health was causing me to clamp down and try to control every OTHER aspect of his little life. This was a breakthrough for me. I only went to counseling maybe four or five times, but it really helped me to see things clearly. I only say this to let you know that it helped me. It may or may not be something you want to consider for yourself.

4. I realized that I needed a break EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. My husband wasn't coming home until 10 or 11 p.m. every night and I just really needed some quiet time to sit down and read or watch t.v. I decided that bedtime was going to be 7:00 and that was just the way it was going to be. So I worked backwards from that time. Okay... if bedtime is 7:00, then the kids need to be in the bathtub at 6:20. I need 30 minutes to do the dishes after dinner (because I am for sure not doing it during my quiet time!). The kids need twenty minutes to eat. That means dinner needs to be on the table no later then 5:30. That means I need to start dinner at 5:00. We need to have the toys picked up before dinner or I will go nuts. That means that toy pick-up starts at 4:30. We make a game out of toy pick up time, so that it is fun and not too stressful. Once toys are picked up only the books and one other toy is 'open.' The kids get to choose what that one toy is, but the rest is 'closed' for the night. So I knew that my evening routine started at 4:30 every afternoon. If I started at 4:30 every afternoon, then my kids could be fed, bathed and in bed by 7:00. Then I'm golden! Of course your schedule will be different because you have the twins. Because you have the twins, I would say that it is super important that your four year old and your two year be in bed on time every single night. Then once they are in bed, nothing happens. If they get out of bed you simply walk them back to bed - don't say a word - and put them back. You may have to do this fifty times the first few nights, but if you are absolutely consistant, it will work eventually. Then you just have to figure out the evening schedule for the twins. But if the older two are in bed, sleeping peacefully, your life will be so much better that you won't even believe it! :)

Hang in there. You are at the very hardest part right now I think. When your twins are two years old, your son will be six. Six is a lovely age - so enjoyable, especially if you get the behavior under control now, while he is still four. Please check out that book. I could give you example after example of ways that it helped me, but really... just get the book.

Take care,

Susan

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Registered: 12-14-2006
Sun, 05-20-2007 - 3:13pm

I will most defintly order the book, I could use a good laugh and some solutions. My copy of If Life is abowl of cherries why am I in the pits by Erma Bombeck has disappeared and that was basically a diary of a busy mommy and always good for a laugh...
We pretty much have a schedule in place, We are up every day by 8 am, eat breakfast, go out for a nice walk... a LONG Walk, then we do lunch, it could be fast food or we just come home, it depends on how I feel and how well my 4 year old is behaving, then nap time... Wills is required to lay down, but he doesn;t have to sleep, he can look at a book or play quiet;y with his matchbox cars, as long as he lays down, Gwennie and the twins do lay down to nap, then we pick up the older two children at school, come home, the older ones do homework which is done by 5 pm and I make dinner while the 4 year old and 22 month old play in their room... Dinner is on the table when DH comes home at 6, then 6:30 DH starts bathtime with the twins while the middle kids put toys away, the 4 younger kids are in bed by 8 pm, the older children are in bed by 8:30-9 pm... and then DH takes off for the gym and gets home at 11 pm..... this is our schedule every day with the exceptions of saturday and sunday when we go to church and spend time as a family... we still go out walking and in the evenings we play games or watch a movie after dinner... The 4 year old will listen to DH on the weekends so he doesn;t really have an idea of how the 4 year old acts when DH is working... I am going to look into counseling for DS as I feel that he does have a problem with something, and counseling for me, I need to have ways to calm myself down before I start becoming anbusive like my mom was to me.... but that is a whole nother story...

Sarah
Army Mommy of James, Elijah, William, Gwendylen, and Abigail and Marcus 10April2007

My Siggy
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 05-20-2007 - 6:06pm
I just popped in to read the meessages real quick and I found your post. I don't want to give you a quick response so

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Registered: 08-31-2004
Sun, 05-20-2007 - 7:36pm

Okay Sarah... you have six kids? And an awesome schedule, I must say, so clearly I misread your first post. :) Sorry about that! You actually sound like you have it all under control and with six children you are certainly no rookie! You should probably be giving ME advice.

I would say that if your gut is telling you that something is going on with your four year old, then follow up on that just like you mentioned. If you have two older children and your four year old is behaving significantly different from them, then I think you have very good reason to be concerned and to seek some professional advice. I am thinking that if your son is responding well to your husband, but not to you, then probably he is just fine. It could be simply that you and your son are too much alike or else very different in temperment and he is simply more of a challenge for you then your first two children were.

Either way, it sounds to me like you are doing a wonderful (nearly impossible) job and my hat is way off to you. Janet is right... military wives are amazing. My mother was one and I often wonder, now that I am a mother, how I could have lived her life. I just shake my head. It has got to be so hard sometimes.

I still think that the Love & Logic book may offer some assistance for you and knowing Janet, she will come back with terrific advice and lots of hugs.

Hang in there,

Susan

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