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Ideas for managing a household of multiple children, ages 9, 6, 4, 3..

I have 4 kids. My daughter is 9 and my three boys are 6, almost 4 and almost 3. In general, they are wonderful, helpful and polite children, but here lately I am seeing a lot more untoward behavior such as:

My daughter ignores me when I tell her to do something. She says "okay" but will continue with whatever she is doing and I end up yelling at her to do it...NOT good. I hate to yell.
My 6 year old son whines about EVERYTHING. If I say it's time to come inside, he will pretty much collapse into a "pile of emotion"...literally, on the floor, and ask me 60 different versions of "Why?" If he wants something and I won't get it or do it. he does the same thing. (Btw, I try time out and it is a struggle just to get him to walk to his room. He is constantly asking and begging and pleading for whatever it is he wanted AND to not go to his room.)
The youngest two fight a lot and scream at each other all day long. Suggestions?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:59 AM on Apr. 24, 2009 in General Parenting

Answers (10)
  • the only thing i could suggest is what you may hear a lot...IGNORE THEM... when your daughter doesn't do what she is told, what ever she is doing after she says okay, take it away, turn it off what ever. show her you mean business. if she still doesnt comply or backtalks take away her tv privileges or something like that. and as for the temper tantrums you need to stop that now. you get down to his level make him look at you in the eyes and tell him you will not take him yelling at your or throwing those fits. he is old enough to control his anger. He is also old enough to realize that he is a big boy and he too needs to do what he is told. Privileges taken away as punishment. and when they throw fits and want to throw themselves on the floor tell them one time to calm down and sit on the couch, or chair then ignore them in a few minutes they will be quiet. just show them who is in control. right now they believe they are.

    Answer by 2wndrfl_btrflys at 9:18 AM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • oh yeah and good luck

    Answer by 2wndrfl_btrflys at 9:19 AM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • Thanks 2wndrfl btrflys. I know I should just ignore the whining and crying but it grates on my I will try though. Maybe I should find some kind of technique to help me breathe through the situation while pretending to pleasantly ignore them..Any ideas on how to do that?lol

    Answer by leeannedge at 9:38 AM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • yeah plenty, sing a song in your head. go do dishes or something think of what you and hubby wants to do that night, anything. now i my nerves are shot most of the time too. but i let my kids know that i am the mom they don't tell me what to do. they don't act up when we are in town or we leave and come back home no matter what i had planned or what i told them i would take them. you need to be consistent and follow through with every threat. and the reason your 3 and 4 year old fight is because they are really really close in age. get used to that. i don't think it will stop for a while. lol good luck... you should take a yoga class. you can put your 3 and 4 year old in preschool. some only go from 8-11 in the mornings for like 3 days a week. get your kids away from you and each other for a little while. they need a break and so do you. while you kids are in school you relax or go shopping. have fun.

    Answer by 2wndrfl_btrflys at 9:45 AM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • I have 6 kids, ages 10, 8, 7, 5, 2 and 1 month. My kids go to their room when they insist on crying/whining. I explained to them that I don't like the way it makes me feel and I can't talk to them when they whine. My 5 and 7 year olds do it often. They come down when they are done crying or whining and speak to me normally. My kids always do what I say because if they don't the next time they ask me for something or to do something, I don't. My son asks if he can go outside. I tell him, I'm sorry you can't, you didn't clean your mess when I asked you. I praise them ALL the time. My 5 year old loves to listen, it's kind of cute. I have gotten why from him before but only once or twice. I have physically carried kids to their rooms in the past but if I do this they pay the price of having to have the door closed and light out. They learned quickly to walk themsleves.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 9:52 AM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • My 7 and 8 year olds like to fight and I once had a stategy that worked really well but I forgot what it was(sad, I know!). That is the one thing I really hate and strategy goes out the window. I have just been sending them to their room lately because I've been so busy. I've also started to yell about it. Yelling never helps, it just makes the kids get louder. Whispering works because they must quiet down to hear you and what you tell them is private between the two of you. For some reason my kids prefer that anyway. The book Parenting with Love and Logic helped me improve my ways of dealing. I did much of what was there anyway but they seem to have thought it through more than I have.

    Answer by Pauline3283 at 9:56 AM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • The house has corners for a reason....for children to stand in.

    You tell your daughter to do something and she doesn't do it..."go stand in the corner until you're ready to do as you were told"

    Your son starts his stuff, send him to the corner until he can behave properly and do as he was told.

    Your younger two are fighting and carrying on, they can stand in corners as well until they are ready to behave and tell each other they are sorry.

    I say stand because my boys tend to get tired more quickly when standing and become more agreeable quicker.

    No "minute per year". Stand there until you're ready to behave. Then it becomes THEIR choice and there is no immediate reward of "release" when the time is up. They are "punished" and they do as they are told.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 11:00 AM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • I know what it's like to feel exhausted and just emotionally and physically drained with a large household. children are smart by nature, and quickly learn how to manipulate you to give in.

    You NEED to put your foot down. It may feel like you are getting nowhere at first but stick to your guns and remove any privilege that is taking away their attention from what you have asked them to do. My kids use to run this household...just the younger ones alone, would drain me. I have twins and they were the "worst" out of all my kids. They have gotten better, but it took alot of my own time and energy especially to get them to listen to me. They totally disrespect their father, and he's always saying "i'm gonna tell mommy!" or yell "mommy!" when the kids wouldn't listen. I got tired of having to be the bad guy, but I'll tell you what being the "bad guy" is so much easier, than just ignoring them or giving in. Good luck! :)

    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 1:03 PM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • Also, i want to add that sometimes it's boredom or attention seeking. Find projects or play games with them to get them to settle down. Offer games as rewards for doing work that you ask them to do or for getting up instead of laying like a heap on the ground. IT works, i promise you. :) Also, the "heap of child" on the ground should be picked up and placed on a time out so they know that you mean business when you tell them to come inside. The key is consistency here. You HAVE to be consistent. Eventually they will see that you mean business and that rules are rules.

    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 1:07 PM on Apr. 24, 2009

  • Welcome to MY world!!! I have four kids also and birth order plays out in my home too. My oldest can be helpful, but would rather be in her own place doing her own thing and I have to ask 4 times for her to do something. She claims she forgets. I think its because the ipod in the ears is TOO loud....LOL...My second daughter is allergic to the word No. She also collapses onto the floor or stomps a foot and begs like a dog. She bargains, negotiates and promises and thinks that I am going to change my mind. Actually shes quite persuasive...LOL....Child no 3....well, hes the sit over in the corner and be quiet, stay off moms radar and maybe I can do what I want. Then he mistakenly takes something from the little one and all hell breaks loose. Then the baby....well, hes 3 and he runs the show around here. He talks loud, screams when he wants his way and basically just wants all the attention.....I feel ya! I love it.

    Answer by momofsaee at 2:18 PM on Apr. 24, 2009

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