Family Life & Relationships <
02/10/2012 at 16:15
I have 2 children aged 3& 5 .I cry from being so exhausted and not knowing what to do. No matter what I do, say or take away from them they won’t behave.They make me feel as if I don’t want children anymore; I mean sometimes I feel as if I want to give them away. I go to bed cleaning up and wake up having to clean. dinner time is horrible. It’s as if I have two infants. They have food all over their faces, table and floor, up running around or playing in their seats. im so tired from all the yelling I have to do and the cleaning that by the middle of the day I am burned out stepdad tries his best to help but he just end up having to yell at them too which gives me a headache and I feel bad for him having to come home from work to this mess and wake up for work to this mess.They go to their dads every weekend and i think he spoils them as they always say they wanna go and live with daddy, i try to explain to them if they behaved i wouldnt have to yell at them all the time. Most kids would go out of their way to make their parents happy surely, ive even tried smacking their bums and they dont even care about that, people say hit them harder but i really dont think thats the way, time out dosnt bother them they just scream and shout and kick the door in! I need some advice. Is there anyone just tired of being a mum? What can I do to make this better for us?
02/10/2012 at 16:37
I'm not a mum so can't really help in terms of that but I am a primary school teacher and I have found that with my more tricky kids (especially those who don't respond to negative punishments like removal of playtime or things they like) they really respond to positive rewards. I use a lot of sticker charts with targets at the top and for a certain number of stickers collected they get a prize. Visual bribery works really well. You could have 3 targets for your youngest i.e. I can sit nicely at the table while I eat my dinner, I can put my toys away when I am asked and another one and then you could have 5 targets for your older child (sometimes it helps to agree the targets with them because then they take responsibility for them and are more likely to try and achieve them). Don't make it impossible to achieve their prize either, so for instance I tend to give them chances to fail as well as chances to achieve so if they get 10 stickers out of 15 they will get their prize and then I gradually build up the number of stickers they need to collect each week. As they are so young it might be worth starting with winning a prize every few days at first and then gradually build it up to 1 prize a week and then 1 every 2 weeks etc. They don't have to be anything amazing it might be something as simple as if you get all your stickers we can go swimming or if you get all your stickers we can have pizza for tea (something that will appeal to them but won't cost you the earth).
Lastly (as I'm sure I have waffled loads ha ha so sorry about that) are you on good terms with their dad? could you speak to him about their behaviour and ask him to help you out by having a word with them / following the reward scheme etc?
Good luck and don't despair I'm sure it will get better.
02/10/2012 at 18:13
02/10/2012 at 18:32
MrsEwantstobamummy..this is great advice! I have two children, 12 and 9. i grew up with five older brothers and my parents fostered children. I learnt a lot of things from my mum and how children respond especially if they push you! The best thing you can do is not show them that they are wearing you down but try to think more positive. Start by picking up on the good things they they do do sometimes, and make sure you give them cuddles and tell them you love them every day, even though you may not feel like it. Positive targets and rewards do seem to work. Gradually they could learn to tidy some of their own mess for a sticker. Its sounds too easy to work but honestly it does but you need to be consistent and determined to stick to the rules of the sticker chart. My children went through a stage when all they did was wind eachother up. Everytime they thought i was not looking they would pinch or slap one another just to get a reaction.If this happens try to pick up on something good that one of them has done, even the smallest thing like pick up a toy or wash their hands, make sure you praise them in front of the other child, sometimes what then happens is they try to compete against eachother for points on the chart. One thing i did was make a game, it was called fishing for chores. I printed off different coloured fish and on the back i wrote a chore such as tidy up toys or wipe table. I made little sticks out of straws and it had a paper clip on the end and the fishes had little magnets in the back. Each fish had points on it, the points went on the chart when they did their job and then at the end of the week i would add up the points. Each point was worth money so i guess you would have to decide what the value is. At the end of the week we made a special effort to go out and spend the points. My kids remember this game even today and they loved it. It took time for it to really work so just be patient. hope this helps a bit. I have lots of ideas so if you need some more, let know!
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