Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Parenting Problems

I hesitate to post this because it is allowing me to vent, or feel sorry for my self, or just plain old proof at the not so great job I am doing at raising my children. Not sure which but maybe I can get some good ideas from feed back....
My 9 year old and I have battles much of the time. I have tried rewarding good behavior to try to stamp out the bad behavior, I have tried punishing the bad behavior to stamp out the bad behavior.... It always ends with him yelling that he hates me, or that he thinks I hate him, or that I am the meanest mom.... ON and on. So Larry and I told him that if he was going to sass talk, be rude, or disrespectful we were going to put soap in his mouth. (He could careless about time out, we have already taken away all the toys, computer time and tv...) So today I ended up having to do the soap treatment. Which was followed by the "I hate you" stomp up the stairs and pretty soon he comes down with our suit case packed. I asked him where he was going and he just says anywhere. It is pouring down rain and he thinks he is running away! I told him he couldn't leave unless he told me where he was going. I can't have him just wandering the streets you know. So he is now wondering our yard....
I just don't know what to do anymore to get my child be the loving little boy he once was. He use to love to help me, tell me he loved me, and want to be good. I am not saying he doesn't show glimpses of that kid every now and again. But they truly are glimpses and very short lived! This crazy kid has taken over and I am at a loss as to what to do next!!!! I don't know how to discipline a kid who doesn't listen, taking everything he has doesn't phase him enough to change anything. He doesn't act this way for other people so I know that he knows what appropriate behavior is he is choosing not to at home! Now what?! Any ideas please help!


Rory Baxter said...

If nothing else - please know that you are not alone!
I have the same thing here at home with my kiddo the same age. It seems we are constantly in battle mode - and it just doesnt seem to click with him - good rewards or bad punishments - he just doesnt care.
You are doing everything you can and you are an AWESOME mom! Just continue to be consistent. He is pushing to see where you are going to let him go, to see if you really will keep committed to the rules (though most days it feels like you should be committed to an asylum! Believe me, I know!)
You are also going through lots of challenges and changes with another little person coming to your family. That always seemed to bend my kiddos noses out of shape - you should have seen how bad Caiden was about Kels!
With you not in tip top shape, the kids also seem to push harder - they know they can wear you down - because you already are worn out - sounds like your mister is pushing harder than usual, which is really tough.
I know how much I battle my mister - and he is still small - it scares me to think we may still be in battle mode when he is the girls' age....
Just keep doing the best you can every day, be as positive as you can, keep being the consistent, wonderful mom you are. There will be small break throughs over time and by showing him you plan to stick to the family rules/routines he will start to fall back into those too.
Good luck with everything. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers too!

The Gatherums said...

Yikes. Someone should have told me that kids would disobey before I had children. I probably would not have listen anyway.

Wow, what to do. It seems as soon as I figure out one of my parenting struggles, I get a new one or two.

I don't know if this will help, but Utah State University has an on-line free class on Positive parenting, including sound clips.

Lesson 19 refusing to do what is told, sounds like it may fall into some of the problems you are facing.

I wish I had a great answer for you, I am still learning to parent and they keep getting older and changing the scenarios on me.

Pass on any great advice you get.

The Gatherums said...

You are a wonderful Mom. I posted before I could write that. The fact you care so much shows that. The Lord does not expect us to be perfect moms, just love them and do the best we can. You are terrific.

So Many M's said...

I really don't know what I could say to make things easier or better. With every kids comes new challenges I guess.

He's probably acting like this (sassing, backtalking, saying he hates you, trying to run away) cuz he is getting attention that way. Even if it's negative attention, it's still attention. Sometimes ignoring it and not letting it get under your skin will show him that this is not the way to get what you need.

Randy also doesn't let the kids disrespect me. If he catches them saying something like that, he really comes down hard and says something like, do not treat your mother that way. Dr. Phil had this issue with one of their kids and he said to them "Do not treat my wife that way" putting it in another persons perspective, not just hurting your mom but my wife as well.

Just know you are not alone in this, we haven't hit this yet but I know we will with our 2nd. She's very emotional, and impulsive. Good luck, and remember he does really love you, he just can't always express himself.

The Hawaiian Gards said...

Ohhh sorry Amanda. I really can't offer any advice that you haven't heard already or don't already know. All I've learned from parenting Eli is phases pass. Last year I was really struggling with Eli and right now he has really grown up lately and I'm sure he will go back into a phase again. You're not a bad mother you're doing your best. The best thing you can do is pray for him and love him. Who says wondering in the yard in the rain isn't a good lesson for him? Let him think about where he would really go. It wont take long before he knows the one place he is loved the most. GOod luck. We are all there at one point or another. Love you lots! Big hugs from Wyoming.

The Ditto clan said...

My oldest does/says the exact same things. It's so frustrating. Brent says I need to pick my battles, but at the same time I don't want her to think it's okay to be disrespectful. The one thing that has been working for us lately. Is we give the kids 3 pts a day. (.15 per pt, .25 per bonus pt) They can lose these points by being naughty. They can earn bonus points by being helpful. Every FHE we give the kids the money they've earned for the week. After they pay tithing they can do whatever they want with it. This has helped Malia think about her actions a little more. GL!

Alli said...

Well I can't help you - my kids are perfect angels :)

Yeah right! Just make sure he NEVER wins anything - even negative attention can be a payoff for a child who wants any kind of attention. I would do what you're doing for consequences, making sure he his aware of them from the outset, but carry them out without looking at him or talking to him, or letting him know he has affected your mood in the least bit.

The thing is, the others will be watching, and even if they don't seem inclined towards that type of behavior now, they might later if it has a payoff (like you said, Ethan once had a different attitude towards you).

The problem I have is that I always know what to do in theory, but in practice the scenarios are always trickier and I have to find the balance between being firm and fair and loving and everything else...Denise is right, we're not expected to be perfect, just to sincerely try our best. So hang in there!

Annette said...

Our stake president said that your children were sent to your home for a reason. They have the best chance of returning to Heavenly Father by being in your home. You are a GREAT MOM!!!
Prayer and temple attendance (I know this is hard with young kids...) are my best ideas. Nothing softens the heart like the spirit. It will inspire you to help Ethan with more wisdom than I can share.

Julia Shinkle said...

Amanda this was a great post and you are a GREAT Mom! When I came over to your house to take pictures my heart swelled with the spirit that I felt there! I'm not kidding. Even though Ethan had a little bit of a melt down, he had a big day. I remember saying that I "hated" my mom (not to her face, but in my mind, but I didn't mean it).

I love what Allison said...but I don't do it very often...the more worked up we get the worse it is. I took a Love and Logic class once and they suggested that a three step response to a child who makes a bad choice.
1. Tell them that you love them, you understand that they are frustrated, sad or scared what ever applies.
2. Tell them that you are sorry that they chose to "xyz", what a bummer, or oops. This is all in a very matter of fact voice without emotion.
3. State the consequence and follow through. These consequences will have been outlined (like Amanda said) before hand so they know.

Also, a good follow up phrase is something like "maybe next time you will chose the right thing to do so mommy doesn't have to "insert consequence".

The hardest part for me is to pick a natural consequence.

I hope that all made sense. When ever Rowdy really winds up I try to take into consideration the kind of day he has been having and see it from his point of view. Hang in there...just like Rory said you are not alone!