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Hardest age for boys

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My boys are 4 and almost 6. So far this age group has been the worst! I loved the newborn to 2 years old. 3 was okay, but 4-6 has been stressful. Please tell y'all's experience. What age does it get at least a little less stressful?
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by on Dec. 7, 2012 at 4:17 PM
Replies (11-20):
ariesmom20
by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 10:59 AM
I agree with you. I don't know if its because Aries is autistic but age 4 was down right terrible and he's 6 now so he's in the don't tell me what to do part

Quoting ANR1390:

My boys are 4 and almost 6. So far this age group has been the worst! I loved the newborn to 2 years old. 3 was okay, but 4-6 has been stressful. Please tell y'all's experience. What age does it get at least a little less stressful?
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WonderWomanSV
by on Dec. 9, 2012 at 12:17 PM

 Ds will be 6 in Jan. and I have loved the last 2 years. 1-3 were hard on me.

SlapItHigh
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 10:01 AM

I have 3 boys and the hardest age was different for each.

Jers.
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 1:22 PM
1 mom liked this

It was around 10 - 12 years old - I don't remember exactly as I've blocked it out.

DarlaHood
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I agree that it depends upon many factors, but I think teens are the hardest.  What are you finding particulary hard at this stage?  Maybe there are some strategies all the moms could share to help you smooth things out a bit.

mich.el.le
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Idk. My oldest is only 4 1/2.  So far, 3 was the worst for him.  For my youngest, the worst was 0 months through 17 months. lol

The woman in the avi pic is not me, she is my inspiration.  I am a wife, a mother, and an aspiring trainer and nutritionist. I love seeing people get fit and healthy to lead the lives they are meant to live.

ANR1390
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM
Attitude and defiance.


Quoting DarlaHood:

I agree that it depends upon many factors, but I think teens are the hardest.  What are you finding particulary hard at this stage?  Maybe there are some strategies all the moms could share to help you smooth things out a bit.


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NiCo86
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM
my 11 year old is a good kid, but difficult. i prefer the toddler/preschool years MUCH more than this attitude phase!!
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DarlaHood
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I aplogize for the length of this post, but I want to give you some strategies that worked for me, and I don't know what you've tried or how you've tried it. I definitely sympathize.  I've been there!  It is something you want to get under control now though, because those issues do worsen as they get to be pre-teens and teens if not nipped in the bud.  I had a very strong-willed daughter.  It's challenging! 

If I can first encourage you, I will share something a wise mom once told me.  Someday all those traits that aggravate you will serve your sons well.  Because perseverence, confidence, assertiveness, determination, critical thinking, and the ability to go against the norm can be huge assets in life IF they are directed toward the right things.  There were many, many times I thought, I hope that she knew what she was talking about!!  But my dd is 27 now, and it did turn out to be true!!

I found the most important things in minimizing attitude and defiance were consistency, incentive, and avoidance of power struggles.

Avoiding power struggles is HUGE.  Try really hard to pick your battles according to what is truly important and to give choices whenever possible.  So they need to take a bath, you might ask them, "Do you want to take your bath right after dinner or do you want to play for a half an hour and then take your bath?"  If they choose to play (which they probably will), then set a timer for 30 minutes and tell them, "When this timer goes off, it will be the time you chose to take your bath. Remember no arguments.  We are going to have a happy bath time." 

When the timer goes off, tell them. "O.K. time to take your bath, choose a bath toy.  Do you want to undress in your room or the bathroom?"

I know it seems simple, but giving choices causes them to focus on the options you give them and exercising their own decision making power.  Whereas, if you give commands, they have no power and have nothing to focus on but your command compared to what they are in the middle of.  You can do this with anything.  You can carry a timer in your purse and use it at the playground.  You can give choices about what to wear, etc...

The 2nd strategy is using positive reinforcement instead of punishments as much as possible.  So instead of saying, you were fighting with your brother all through dinner and you were not speaking nice to mommy, so you are going straight to bed.  Switch it around and say, if you speak nicely to everyone and don't fight with your brother during dinner, mommy or daddy will play a game with you tonight (or you can have an extra half hour to play, watch tv, etc..).  With little kids, it works best if the behavior is expected for a short/defined period of time (while we're in the store, at the park, eating dinner) and the reward is as immediate as possible.  Also the reward has to be something they value.  Along with this goes ignoring negative behaviors as much as possible and catching them doing something right and praising as much as possible.  "Wow Brandon, you are treating your brother so nicely and you have used your indoor voice and stayed with mommy since we've been in the store.  Great job!"

Honestly, kids do really want to please you, and it feels really good when you are proud of them and they are proud of themselves.  It is extremely motivating.

The trick to positive reinforcement is consistency!  You must follow through every single time.  If you say, "if you pick up your toys before this timer goes off, we can read an extra story before bed."  Then you cannot read the story if they don't follow through.  Don't yell, argue, or even really acknowledge.  And don't give warnings that the timer is going to go off in 10 minutes or whatever.  Put the timer where they can see it.  If it goes off, and the toys aren't picked up, just let them know.  Darn, we don't get to do a story before bed tonight.  Maybe tomorrow.  If you use a valued reward, they will do it after 1 or 2 times of losing out.  If they whine, argue, complain, tell them Oh, sorry, it's too late to talk about it.  And ignore it.  That could go on for a bit the first few times, but if you don't react, it will stop.

You can also talk with your boys about what the house rules should be.  If the rule is, talk to me nicely, then that means everyone in the house gets that same courtesy.  Since they may not be reading, they can draw pictures as their version of the house rules to remind them. It makes the rules concrete and gives you a chance to review often.  

Lastly, I am a believer in explanations for decisions.  If Johnny wants to play outside, and you don't have time to supervise.  It is good to explain and give a choice.  "It won't work for you to play outside right now because I have to finish this task, and it would not be safe for you to be out there by yourself.  Would you like to color or play with your dinosaurs while I finish this job?"  or "would you like to play outside after lunch or before dinner?  I will have time to go out with you then.:  If he says, "I will be safe, i can do it by myself", and argues.  You just say, 'Remember the house rules say we have to help each other.'  Right now, I need your help, and so I can't talk about this anymore."  Then ignore whatever else is said.  Even if the arguing and whining goes on for a bit, after a few times of getting no further response from you about that, they will learn there is no payoff and no point.

Some people think explanations open the door for argument.  Personally, I think explanations teach your kids that you do think about ways to allow them to do as much as possible, and have solid reasons for your decisions.  When you share your reasoning, you are teaching them to think critically and make good decisions, which will be what you want them to do later.  Even young kids are capable of understanding why. 

Quoting ANR1390:

Attitude and defiance.


Quoting DarlaHood:

I agree that it depends upon many factors, but I think teens are the hardest.  What are you finding particulary hard at this stage?  Maybe there are some strategies all the moms could share to help you smooth things out a bit.



DarlaHood
by on Dec. 10, 2012 at 2:54 PM

That made me LOL!

Quoting Jers.:

It was around 10 - 12 years old - I don't remember exactly as I've blocked it out.


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