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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

New and needing help and support

Posted by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:40 PM
  • 7 Replies

Hello all.  First post here.  I am currently a single mom to 5 beautiful girls - ages 7 months, 5, 9, and 2 10 yr olds.  I am a foster parent to some of these girls and an adoptive parent to the rest.  I am really independent and love parenting and being a mom.

This has been a stressful few weeks with one of my kids very busy with her dancing - as it is competition time to spending lots of time at rehearsals and competitions.  Also my sister, whom I am very close to, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  My parents are older and have some health issues as well.

So I need some help and support right now.  About the last month, I have felt more and more like I have totally lost any authority and control of my children.  The baby is fine but the older girls are behaving so badly I keep saying  'I can't believe that you..." or "I have had enough of...".  Prior to this they were generally fairly well behaved and I am not sure what the turning point was or if they are also just reacting to all my stress??  They lie to me continually - about everything - they steal from me (sometimes little things like all of my gum, my chocolates, etc. but also money lately), they do not listen nor do as they are asked most of the time.  I have tried almost everything I can think of - but I struggle as the most effective way is doing things with them but it is just not feasible for me as a single parent to do this with a baby in the house and 4 older kids needing help.  I also struggle as the oldest are 9 and 10 yrs old and really shouldn't need me to help them all the time should they???  I am just so frustrated - bedtime is a nightly battle - with 2 girls in each bedroom - they keep one another awake, play, talk, fool around, fight, etc.  I am busy downstairs putting the baby to bed and cannot always go up and supervise them to get ready for bed, go to bed and fall asleep - that would take hours of my time every night.  I feel like when I ask them something or remind them of the rules - I get lip service - "I know..." or "I didn't..." or "I will..." but no follow through.  I feel horrible as this past week I have resorted to yelling at them, guilting them (not on purpose but I got so upset that I started crying and had to explain that I felt badly as none of them were listening or doing what they are asked to do), and even spanking my own 2 (I HATE that things have gotten this bad).  I have always been a fairly strict parent - with rewards for good behaviour and consequences for not good behaviour.  They are currently grounded - no computer, games, phone, friends - in their rooms after school unless they are in a specific activity that they cannot miss.  I hate being the bad guy and it hurts to always hear how mean I am, how they hate me, etc.

I feel so frustrated - I feel like I am a good mom and these are all good kids - but it has all snowballed into a big mess.  I feel like we need a fresh start but don't know where to even start.  I don't trust any of them to tell the truth, do what i ask them to do, follow our house/family rules or behave appropriately.  I don't know what else to do...help

by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:40 PM
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Replies (1-7):
andyroosmama
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM

 Welcome, and I must say you are brave... I have all boys, and those are the only words I seem to know as of late... I honestly think the older girls are tryiong to find and gain their independence and also testing their boundaries... my boys are the same way.

lillady398
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 1:08 AM

When you told me you where a single mother to 5 kids, I was gonna ask you how do you do it because being a mother to 4 kids is a struggle for me.

hopealways4019
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 8:40 AM
I'm also a single mother of 5, one who is battling cancer, youngest 3 got behavior problems, sometimes I feel like giving up, but I know that's not, the answer. I'm going just keep on trying, to be the best mother I can, no matter how difficult. Also my mother passed two years ago.
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rnmom4lif
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 8:49 AM

well first of all welcome. second i have to give u alot of credit- i have 2 boys and i get alot of support from my husband and i still struggle day to day sometimes so i cant even imagine trying to raise all thoose kids all by myself- uve got to be pretty amazing to just to keep a house like that running! i have to agree with andyroos mom and say it sounds like the older ones may be testing thier boundaries- i have a 9 year old boy and hes just kind of getting into that stage where he has to test everything and see where he can get through the barrier- but be strong momma!!! i know how frusrating it can be trying to get them to sleep when they are in the same bedroom. mine sleep in the same room tooa nd it can be a battle sometimes- my big bribe with them is since they like to have the door open to the bedroom (for alittle light from the hall) i tell them- if u can be quiet and stay in bed ill keep the door open but if u guys are getting to loud or get out of bed then im closing the door (and there have even been nights ive taken the lamp out of thier room) just so that they cant turn it on and start playing again. it sounds like your doing alot of the right stuff with rewards and consequences, grounding and whatnot. just make sure u follow through so they know your serious when u lay down the law. sorry youve struggling so much hon but keep your head up, stay strong and keep us in touch. i know CM has been a great support system for me- hopefully u can find some people to connect with too. GL!

corrinacs
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Hey mama,

Take a deep breath!  I think first of all, you need a breather.  Do you have a baby sitter that can come by for you?  I would do that first, so you can recharge your own batteries.

Secondly, with the older ones, I'd sit down.  Talk to them why they feel they needto act this way.  Talk to them individually if you thnk that is mroe effective.  And don't make it a blame game.  Make it about how you are concerned about htem.  I have had to do with wtih my own son a few times :/.  And it usualyl works every time.

ususally when Caden starts acting up, there's something going on, like he's bored at school...he doesn't spend enough time with me...something.  And we think of ways togetehr to "fix" it.

Good lcuk and I hope that things shape up for you!  You've got a lot going on!

So proud of all I have....My big boy Caden and my little Leo.

anon1986East
by Member on Apr. 30, 2012 at 9:53 PM

I think a long discussion is needed with the older girls to get to the root of why their behavior has changed so much. Perhaps set aside some time to speak to them each individually - is there anyone that can help and watch the other kids while you have these discussions? Another option may be for them to talk to a counselor, sometimes kids open up more when speaking to counselor...is there a school psychiatrist they could speak to while they are at school? Do you have a youth mentoring program or a YMCA in your town? I know some of the YMCA facilities offer free or discounted mentoring for younger kids.

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soymujer
by Mikki on Apr. 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

welcomeThis is a good group and you'll get lots of advice.  Alot of it sounds like an age thing.  I have a 12 year old daughter and she is gotten more lippy with us since she turned 9.  Do you have a routine for bed?  What are the consequences?

family in the van   Mom of four


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