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What do we do??? We can't get them to behave!!!

Hubby and I are adopting. The kids constantly fight and argue with each other. They break our daughters' toys when she is gone and when we get on them, ask, tell them to stop behaving like this. They just say okay mommy or okay daddy and for about 3 minutes they act fine, then it starts up again. The oldest one is a smart alec and I remember that if I'd ever treated my mother the way this little heathen is treating me I'd have been slapped across the face for the smart mouth. The other 2 act just as bad but aren't so mouthy with us. But when time outs don't work, taking away priviledges doesn't work and yelling doesn't work...where do we go from here?!?!?!? I am at my whits end! I am ready to snap and give them a good whack on the rear end and see if THAT works! They weren't physically abused children, neglected (food and clothing) but never hurt physically by abuse.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:34 AM on Dec. 7, 2008 in Adoption

Answers (22)
  • How did you and your DH decide to adopt the children? How was it brought to your attention that they needed a home?

    Answer by Southerncharmes at 10:38 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • We decided at the beginning of this year that we wanted to adopt a child(ren) and we contacted a local organization that is involved in the whole thing. We had our home study done and everything was approved in June of this year, when our social worker came to us to let us know that the home study was approved she brought us the child summary's on the 3 girls that are now in our home. We read through it, talked it over to make sure we were all 3 of us (hubby, myself and our other daughter) to make sure we were all "ok" with 3 new girls coming into our home. We went throught the interview and all of that, they moved in a few weeks ago and I know this is still the "honeymoon period" and honestly that plain scares the daylights out of me if this is GOOD for them! Their bio family is no where near them, they aren't allowed near. Bio mom just got out of jail and all that fun stuff. Any other info you need?

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:45 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • How old are they?

    Answer by haleykarson at 10:45 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • I saw something on 20/20 Friday. Maybe do a search from that show and get some advice.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:46 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • 4, 7 & 9 are the ages of the girls we're adopting and our bio daughter is 6.

    I'll check out 20/20 thanks for that info too...

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:49 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • Okay, thank you for adding that info. It sounds like they are testing the waters at your house. Since it has only been 3 weeks they are still in the adjustment phase. Have you guys sat down and talked to them about the "rules' of the house? I would take a poster board and write down the house rules and post it where they can see it. I would go over each morning as a reminder. I would also let them know of the consequences if they break the house rules. It takes consistency on everything. The punishment should fit the crime so to speak.


    Answer by Southerncharmes at 10:59 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • Bringing in one child into your home is hard enough but you have three extra. They probably "feed" off each other and what the other is doing. I bet if you could get the oldest to behave and act more responsible then the other two would follow as well. I would use "praise" A LOT. If they do something that is helpful let them know about it. Also, in the mix of everything don't forget about your daughter who I am sure is having a very hard time also. Best wishes.

    Answer by Southerncharmes at 10:59 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • I am sorry to say, but it sounds like you are just getting the brunt of upset girls. I was the same way when my dad remarried and I only got worse as I got older because I was upset about the new family and the divorce and such. You are going to have to stick it out, talk to them, ignore the attitude the best you can and earn their trust. Enforce rules yes, but at least when I mouthed off it was only to get attention and show that i was not happy. Good luck.

    Answer by vbongard at 11:02 AM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • First, congratulations on your girls! Second, welcome to the world of adoption, lol! Seriously, though. Your girls are definitely testing you. They will push you to the limit to be sure you aren't going to get rid of them. That you're always going to be there for them and not give up on them. I would set them down and go over all of the house rules and post them like someone else said. I would also put up a good point chart. They can earn good points for doing little things. For example, bringing in the newspaper, putting up their clean clothes, setting the table, feeding the dog etc. You get the idea. But they also get bad points for talking back, leaving clothes laying around etc. If they end the week with good points they get a reward.

    Answer by Littlebit722 at 12:18 PM on Dec. 7, 2008

  • CONT'D....
    Here's what we did. End the week with good points, you get popcorn and soda in front of the tv on Friday and Saturday night. (We normally don't allow eating/drinking in the family room). Get five or more good points, you get money too. Get ten or more good points, you get to pull out of a grab bag too. In the grab bag are things like helping mom with dinner, drive with dad around the yard (they get to steer), a dinner of their choice etc. Be sure you give consequences for bad behavior. Interrupting the bad behavior is good. If they do something bad, send them to their room for a set amount of time. If they take up a lot of your time misbehaving, put them to bed early.

    Answer by Littlebit722 at 12:18 PM on Dec. 7, 2008

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