Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The CafeMom Newcomers Club The CafeMom Newcomers Club

I dont know what to do anymore...

Posted by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM
  • 12 Replies

I feel like Im at my wits end with my kids. I cant get them to mind for anything. They're 3 and 5, and I know theyre pushing me, but Im about to be pushed over the edge. I ask them to clean their rooms, and you'd think I asked them to move a mountain. The sit in there and play for hours. Ive taken toys away as much as I can. I really have no place to put them once I take them away, other than closets, and I cant lock the closets, or keep them out of there. My husband is leaving for Korea in Feb, for a year, and Im not sure how Im going to get this under control before he leaves. I just dont know what to do anymore. Like today, I asked DD to clean her room so she can go shopping with me, for her friend's birthday present...that was 2 hours ago, and nothing has been done. I just dont know what to do...

by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Noni2319
by Bronze Member on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Give them smaller tasks at time. Instead of saying clean your room, say pick up the dolls ( or whatever). Clean your room is a BIG task, my boys do much better when i give them a smaller task. Also if they aren't already in the habit of doing this help them for. Say you pick up the dolls and ill pick up (whatever). Sing a cleaning song while you do it.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
notjstasocermom
by Samantha on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:21 PM

have you taught them how to clen their room, do they know what you mean? i mean step by step what to do.

CassSpade
by Silver Member on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM
1 mom liked this

sounds like she doesn't get to go to the birthday party. They need stucture and for you to go through with your punishments. Too bad if she's devastated that she can't go, she won't be the first person to miss out on a party because of misbehaving. Stick to your guns.

missamanda86
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Oh yeah! They have just recently started this crap. Before I could say go clean your room before dinner, and it would be done. Now Im not sure what's going on in their heads. My 3 year old's new thing is 'its too hard'. The only thing thats been different in their lives, is that they have a new couple of friends they hang out with, and their mom kind of lets them do whatever 

Quoting notjstasocermom:

have you taught them how to clen their room, do they know what you mean? i mean step by step what to do.


jhslove
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Okay. The good news is, February is almost four months away, which is plenty of time to get this under control if you're very, very consistent.

It sounds like your kids don't listen or follow directions because they know there won't be any consequences. I would sit down with your kids and make a "house rules" chart. Pick the three to five non-negotiables--things that are so important to you that you're willing to be absolutely, dead-on consistent with consequences every time. Usually they have to do with safety and respect--for example, I might have:

No hitting; Respectful words; Follow directions right away; Clean up after yourself

Then, for each item on the list, choose BOTH a consequence for not following it AND a reward for following it. Hang the chart prominently in the house where they'll see it and be reminded of the expectations frequently. Pictures are good for kids who don't read yet.

The consequence needs to be something that you're comfortable with following through on every time. Don't tell the kids you'll take away all their toys unless you're willing to actually do it. For a 3 and 5 year old, time-outs are appropriate and very effective if done the right way. One minute for each year of age, the TO spot needs to be someplace where you can see the kid but there are no toys, TV, etc. If he leaves the TO spot, put him back and start the timer again. If he uses disrespectful language, start the timer again. Yelling, crying, etc. are fine--ignore them--but disrespectful language is grounds for starting the timer again. Be unemotional and absolutely consistent. DO NOT get into long discussions or a power struggle. If the kid says, "WHY do I have to go into time out?" Just say, "You're going into TO because you did XYZ." You can (and should) talk about it and how to make better choices next time, but AFTER the time-out is done. After it's over, make sure the child apologizes to you, give him a kiss and a hug, and talk about what would be a better choice next time.

Good rewards are things like having a "marble jar"--the kid gets a marbe in the jar for every rule that he follows for a whole day. When the jar is full, he gets a special outing with Mom. Personally, I'm not a fan of bribing with toys, etc., but some people are fine with that, so it's up to you. But make sure the reward is something that you're actually going to be willing to do. Don't tell him he can have a trip to Disneyland and then not follow through, because that will cause him to have no faith or trust in you.

Good luck! You really can turn this around.

missamanda86
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Thats what Ive been doing. The last 2 nights, they have had pb&j sandwiches for dinner, since they havent picked up. And its not like its a huge mess either. 

Quoting CassSpade:

sounds like she doesn't get to go to the birthday party. They need stucture and for you to go through with your punishments. Too bad if she's devastated that she can't go, she won't be the first person to miss out on a party because of misbehaving. Stick to your guns.


jhslove
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:28 PM

What is the connection between not picking up their toys and having PB&J for dinner? Remember, you always want consequences to be logical and connected to the action. She didn't pick up her toys so that you could get a birthday present for her friend, therefore she doesn't get to go to the party. That's a logical consequence. Or, saying "Birthday parties are a privilege and you can only go AFTER you've done your chores. If you haven't picked up your room, you'll have to do that instead of going to the party."

But I'm not getting the connection between picking up toys and having PB&J for dinner. Also, do they LIKE PB&J? If so, that may not be a real negative for them.   :)

Quoting missamanda86:

Thats what Ive been doing. The last 2 nights, they have had pb&j sandwiches for dinner, since they havent picked up. And its not like its a huge mess either. 

Quoting CassSpade:

sounds like she doesn't get to go to the birthday party. They need stucture and for you to go through with your punishments. Too bad if she's devastated that she can't go, she won't be the first person to miss out on a party because of misbehaving. Stick to your guns.



missamanda86
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:29 PM

I like this idea. Ive tried to explain to Dh (hes a sgt in the Army and of course he's used to explaining every little thing to his soldiers and the kids arent his soldiers) that we cant spend 10 minutes explaining why they cant do this or that. It cracks me up because when he tries thatm, my 3 year old goes off in left field haha! I think I need to get a white board so we can make a chore chart/list thing. 

I think I have a hard time with the toys being taken away because I really have no place to put them, and I hate to throw them away because then that means buying more lol. I mean we wouldnt HAVE to buy more. I had also thought of going through each of their toyboxes and have them pick out stuff they dont play with, and give it to kids who need toys, just so there isnt so much to get out

Quoting jhslove:

Okay. The good news is, February is almost four months away, which is plenty of time to get this under control if you're very, very consistent.

It sounds like your kids don't listen or follow directions because they know there won't be any consequences. I would sit down with your kids and make a "house rules" chart. Pick the three to five non-negotiables--things that are so important to you that you're willing to be absolutely, dead-on consistent with consequences every time. Usually they have to do with safety and respect--for example, I might have:

No hitting; Respectful words; Follow directions right away; Clean up after yourself

Then, for each item on the list, choose BOTH a consequence for not following it AND a reward for following it. Hang the chart prominently in the house where they'll see it and be reminded of the expectations frequently. Pictures are good for kids who don't read yet.

The consequence needs to be something that you're comfortable with following through on every time. Don't tell the kids you'll take away all their toys unless you're willing to actually do it. For a 3 and 5 year old, time-outs are appropriate and very effective if done the right way. One minute for each year of age, the TO spot needs to be someplace where you can see the kid but there are no toys, TV, etc. If he leaves the TO spot, put him back and start the timer again. If he uses disrespectful language, start the timer again. Yelling, crying, etc. are fine--ignore them--but disrespectful language is grounds for starting the timer again. Be unemotional and absolutely consistent. DO NOT get into long discussions or a power struggle. If the kid says, "WHY do I have to go into time out?" Just say, "You're going into TO because you did XYZ." You can (and should) talk about it and how to make better choices next time, but AFTER the time-out is done. After it's over, make sure the child apologizes to you, give him a kiss and a hug, and talk about what would be a better choice next time.

Good rewards are things like having a "marble jar"--the kid gets a marbe in the jar for every rule that he follows for a whole day. When the jar is full, he gets a special outing with Mom. Personally, I'm not a fan of bribing with toys, etc., but some people are fine with that, so it's up to you. But make sure the reward is something that you're actually going to be willing to do. Don't tell him he can have a trip to Disneyland and then not follow through, because that will cause him to have no faith or trust in you.

Good luck! You really can turn this around.


CassSpade
by Silver Member on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Why give them pb&j? You shouldn't use food as incentive, that will create bigger problems down the road. Give them until a certain time to have it clean, after that, it goes in the trash. Have them watch you put it in the trash can. Maybe they have too many toys. Your kids are young, so they still play a lot, make cleaning really simple. Have 3 bins where toys go. That's easy enough to clean up. If you have more than 3 bins full of toys, then you should probably get rid of some anyways. You should go through all of their toys and make sure you only keep the really quality ones. I just got rid of a ton of stuff in my DD's room (she's 6) because she had issues keeping it clean. Now, it's really easy to clean and she hasn't gotten in trouble for a mess. I also CONSTANTLY remind them to pick things up as they go and I never do it for them. For instance, DS leaves his jacket on the couch, and he's now playing outside. Instead of picking it up, I tell him to come inside and do it. They don't like having to be torn from their play all the time, so they are pretty good about not leaving their stuff everywhere. 

Quoting missamanda86:

Thats what Ive been doing. The last 2 nights, they have had pb&j sandwiches for dinner, since they havent picked up. And its not like its a huge mess either. 

Quoting CassSpade:

sounds like she doesn't get to go to the birthday party. They need stucture and for you to go through with your punishments. Too bad if she's devastated that she can't go, she won't be the first person to miss out on a party because of misbehaving. Stick to your guns.



missamanda86
by on Nov. 16, 2012 at 12:32 PM

There's always been a rule, clean up your room before dinner. When it has been 4 hours, and dinner is gone, and put away, and its 30 minutes until bedtime and their rooms are still not clean, Im not going to pull everything out. Mainly because they will sit at the table and play in it for an hour, if its not something they can eat quickly and get into bed. Im not one to take away food, my mom did that with us, and I refuse to do that. And yes they do like pb&j, theres nothing they dont like. But thats another thing my mom did to us, was making food we didnt like, and in a way when we didnt eat it, that was just another reason for her to punish us. I come from an abusive background, therefore Im trying to avoid doing what my mom did, avoid becoming her :(

Quoting jhslove:

What is the connection between not picking up their toys and having PB&J for dinner? Remember, you always want consequences to be logical and connected to the action. She didn't pick up her toys so that you could get a birthday present for her friend, therefore she doesn't get to go to the party. That's a logical consequence. Or, saying "Birthday parties are a privilege and you can only go AFTER you've done your chores. If you haven't picked up your room, you'll have to do that instead of going to the party."

But I'm not getting the connection between picking up toys and having PB&J for dinner. Also, do they LIKE PB&J? If so, that may not be a real negative for them.   :)

Quoting missamanda86:

Thats what Ive been doing. The last 2 nights, they have had pb&j sandwiches for dinner, since they havent picked up. And its not like its a huge mess either. 

Quoting CassSpade:

sounds like she doesn't get to go to the birthday party. They need stucture and for you to go through with your punishments. Too bad if she's devastated that she can't go, she won't be the first person to miss out on a party because of misbehaving. Stick to your guns.




Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN