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How do I stop fighting with my child?

Everyday my day starts out bad because even before breakfast is on the table I am fighting about something with my child. Stupid example but... like for breakfast he wants to eat cereal from the box instead of from a bowl with milk. I dont allow it, never have, and every single morning he has a total fit about it. About EVERYTHING! It takes him 45 minutes to get through breakfast when we are all done in 10 - 15.. he plays around, gets out of his seat, talks talks talks. Then when I ask him to get dressed, I find him 10 minutes later playing with toys, still in his jammies. It is the SAME ROUTINE we have had even before school. Then he fights about brushing teeth... etc etc. What can I do? Am I expecting too much? He just seems so smart, that I cant believe I have to act like a damn drill sargeant every morning. I displine, I tell him what I do and dont like, etc. He does GREAT in school BTW. Not worried about ADHD.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:53 AM on Oct. 27, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (13)
  • Then just don't fight with him. Let him make his choices. Just make sure there are consequences for them. Take away toys, TV, things he really cares about, and stick to your guns. It doesn't phase kids when we argue with them. They are used to that.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 10:59 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • You need to start picking your battles and do not sweat the small stuff! this is a child with his own mind, they get distracted easily.


    Answer by older at 11:00 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Give him something to work toward - make him motivated to get through his morning tasks. You know, "If you get all ready for school in 20 minutes, you'll get XX minutes with XX". Or maybe break it down into smaller tasks: if you are dressed in 5 minutes, you can put a sticker on the chart and once you have XX stickers, I'll take you to the library.

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 11:01 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • I can understand since I have a similar issue. I wouldnt care so much but we have a time limit ya know. We have to be to school on time everyday, and I can't just let my child play around all morning either. Its frustraing. I wish I knew how to help.


    Answer by VelvetCat at 11:02 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • Here's what one teacher told me she does with her kids, and I now do it with mine. Give him a certain amount of time to get ready, set a timer and let him get ready on his own. When the timer goes off, and if he is all ready at that point, then he gets some sort of reward before going off to school. The teacher I talked to happens to let her kids watch a little TV before they leave because that is what distracted them most, and what they really wanted to do in the morning. The TV doesn't get turned on until they are ready. If they are not ready, they don't get the reward. It could be playing with toys, TV, anything, but he cannot do anything UNTIL he is ready.

    I agree with older though, you have to pick your battles, otherwise you'll just be exhausted all the time from constant fighting.

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 11:14 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • One thing that I have found helps a lot in the morning to keep them focused is to have a checklist. Instead of fighting the same old battles everyday, assign consequences for not doing what he is supposed to or arguing about it. On the cereal issue, tell him you will talk about it one last time and explain why you don't let him eat it out of the box, and let him know that you aren't going to put up with him arguing with you about it anymore and if he brings it up again, he will have a consequence. Either take away a privilege or assing a penalty. I don't fight with my kids about stuff, they either do what they are supposed to or they get a consequence.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:24 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • I meant *assign* a penalty, not assing LOL

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:26 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • My question for a lot of you ladies is.. shouldnt the punishment fit the crime? I never see how it works to take TV away or toys, etc.. when the crime has nothng to do with the object? My dad did this all the time, and it never helped anything. I got smoking in jr. high and he took all my music away. Um, why? My music didnt make me smoke.


    Answer by VelvetCat at 11:27 AM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • How old is your child ? did I over look it?

    Answer by Mom2Emily10 at 6:49 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • So, if he doesn't get dressed for school, make him go in his jammies. I bet he'll get dressed when he's supposed to next time. Is there a reason why he can't have a bowl of dry cereal in the morning? When he gets out of his seat while eating, take his bowl away. Missing part of a meal won't kill him, and if you do it each time, he'll figure it out. Don't fight with him. Let him make his own mind up. Let him have natural consequences.

    Answer by misselphaba at 2:13 AM on Oct. 30, 2010

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