Rough life of a single mom, what can I do to stop the battle ground?

JazzyGirl - posted on 05/26/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone I am the single mom of a four year old son and as he grows ever so quickly. We are facing challenges of highs and lows every day. We have always been close, but lately I feel like it's been less about fun and more about discipline where everyday is a power struggle to get him to do simple stuff from using the bathroom, to brushing his teeth, and not using the furniture as a bouncy house or throwing fits when he doesn't get his way. I want to be stern but not so much to the point where I push him away or make him feel like everything he's doing is wrong. I feel like there should be a balance between fun and discipline. I don't want to always fuss at him for bad behavior and I feel like we are drifting apart. I want that connection again that we had before he was so rebellious. He's not a bad child just simply pushing the limits.

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Raye - posted on 05/27/2015

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Make sure you are praising him for things he does right or when he's being good. When he's bad, there are different ways to approach the situation. If he's throwing a fit, ignore it as much as possible. Tell him that he's not going to change your mind by acting out. Tell him you won't listen to him unless he can be calm, and either walk away, or have him go to his room. If he won't brush his teeth, then don't give him any foods (sugars, carbs, fruits) that turn to sugar on his teeth, he must only eat vegi's and protein until he starts brushing his teeth. If he doesn't do to the bathroom, you need to reinforce his potty training. You do have to be stern, and you're not going to push him away.

Children need structure and limits to ensure their physical and emotional safety and security. They need to learn you will love them even when they do something wrong. A predictable routine allows children to feel safe, and to develop a sense of mastery in handling their lives. Structure and routines teach kids how to constructively control themselves and their environments. They need chores and things that help them feel that they have some control, and also earn them praise. There's no reason structure has to be oppressive. Think of it as offering the little routines and traditions that make life both easier and cozier.

Make sure all his needs are met (food, shelter, clothing, etc.). If his needs aren't met, he will simply resort to drama to try to meet them. If needs are met, and there is still drama, then don't play into it. You tell him how it is, and that's that. Routines eliminate some power struggles because this activity (brushing teeth, napping, turning off the TV to come to dinner) is just what we do at this time of day. The parent stops being the bad guy, and the child learns the activity is not a punishment, but just part of everyday life.

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JazzyGirl - posted on 05/28/2015

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Thanks so much, your input helped a lot. we are already doing many of those things but it helps to know that i'm doing what's right by enforcing the rules and giving him structure. Yes there have been times when i turn off the TV to get his attention when he's not doing something he's supposed to, I have recently enforced the tough love policy of if you don't do it then it's time out and it works. I like the idea of if he's not brushing his teeth then completely no sweets. I'll threaten that he's banned from snacks if he doesn't brush his teeth or eat his food, but then a few days later i'll fade back into the same pattern, and I know that's not good. I need to be more assertive as a Mom so that he will continue to know that there are boundaries and that he is rewarded for good behavior. It helps to hear input from other Moms, thank you.

JazzyGirl - posted on 05/28/2015

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3

Thanks so much, your input helped a lot. we are already doing many of those things but it helps to know that i'm doing what's right by enforcing the rules and giving him structure. Yes there have been times when i turn off the TV to get his attention when he's not doing something he's supposed to, I have recently enforced the tough love policy of if you don't do it then it's time out and it works. I like the idea of if he's not brushing his teeth then completely no sweets. I'll threaten that he's banned from snacks if he doesn't brush his teeth or eat his food, but then a few days later i'll fade back into the same pattern, and I know that's not good. I need to be more assertive as a Mom so that he will continue to know that there are boundaries and that he is rewarded for good behavior. It helps to hear input from other Moms, thank you.

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