Teaching Manners

Emily - posted on 12/29/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son loves his uncle (my brother) so much so that when we get together at family gatherings, he drives him crazy. He wants all his attention all the time, and is unrelenting until he gets it. He won't let him have a conversation with anyone else, constantly interrupting him, hanging on him, whining, etc. Threats of time outs, us talking to him, has not worked. I know my brother loves him, but I also know that it's getting annoying. Any suggestions for how I should deal with this situation?

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Well, I have that same son and that same brother! :) My son absolutely adores my brother, if we are all sitting in the living room, it's hard for me to get a word in edgewise because he doing double duty as a jungle gym. Hey, I can't blame him, I love my brother too, he's pretty fantastic!

It's going to have to come from your brother, I'm afraid. My son is 12 now and my bro has become an old hand at this. Here's how it plays out...he walks in and no one exists but my son. He picks him up, tosses him in the air, follows him around the house excitedly chatting about recent 'important' events, etc. After 10-15 min. my brother kneels down to his level and just tells him, "Alright Buddy, I have to say hi to everyone else too, give me 30 minutes (or whatever) and I will come and find you and we can hang out." And he proceeds to stagger his time just like that. It took awhile for my son to adapt to the new plan of action, but he expects it now and even plans what they can do together in his 'blocks' of time.

Now, since my son is older and can intelligently converse with the grown-ups he's more likely to join the conversation and is less intrusive, but they still keep their time together separate, so that my son can get plenty of Uncle time.

Pamela - posted on 12/30/2011

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Why are you 'threatening' time outs and not following through. No behavior will undermine your authority more than that very action.

WALK YOUR TALK!!! Impose a time out and tell him to think about the fact that he is starting to bother Uncle (?) and to come up with an answer about what to do about it.

Children are far smarter than most adults give them credit for and can help to solve their own predicaments when properly taught!

Kelly - posted on 01/01/2012

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1. How old is your son? ie.. if he's not old enough to understand that he's being rude, than all you have is the time out (action vs. consequence) or other disciplinary action.
2. Is his uncle his only male role model? If his father is not present than this is his only chance for one and in that case he's showing a need for one.
Blessings to you and your son,

Kellz

User - posted on 01/01/2012

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"threats of time outs" is one problem - threats should always be carried out or the child will learn the threats have no consequence, I dont care if that is we are going home, etc

Bridget - posted on 12/31/2011

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Talk to him about respect and personal time - of which I'm sure you do. Before the uncle comes over remind your son of the rules, make him repeat them. (We don't scream, we don't yell, we do not interrupt, WE do play when invited, we do stop when told to and we show respect to others, etc.) Tell him that If he chooses not to respect any of the above....he will go to his room until he has calmed down and ready to be respectful. Talk ahead of time to the uncle and let him know what you are doing, so if he wants to play with your son, he will be the one to initiate it. When he is done playing with him, he's to tell your son he had fun but it's his personal time now and he needs to go play with his toys. IT'S A ONE TIME THING. Don't tell him more than once. If he chooses to have the same behavior, quietly but immediately take him to his room and have him tell you what behavior is expected. Have him repeat what he did wrong and what he will do next time. When he knows you and the uncle mean business, HE WILL STOP - no kid wants to stay in his room while everyone is in the other having a good time. My grandson is 5 and has ADHD but he gets it. After a few times, the message sticks. His fun now is based on his choice of behavior. There's now no crying or screaming because he knows what ONE TIME means. My grandson also has a lovable uncle. It works. An incredible fast read book on positive parenting is "Recipes for Parenting" - one page answers. You can only order it through Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel's website www.parentingSOS.com. I heard her speak at my kid's school. I no longer react out of anger but empower kids to make choices that give them the consequences they want. The choices and the consequences are theirs. YAHOO

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Rachel - posted on 01/01/2012

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should also add that this is very common. Males in particular seem to incite this kind of commotion, and its fine to a point, but clearly they need to be taught boundaries, as some kids don't feel them instinctively (I have one of my own that comes to mind). I wish I had been firmer with her when she was young, as she is being taught boundaries the hard way now from the kids at school who find her overbearing.

Rachel - posted on 01/01/2012

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don't just threaten a time out. Give him a time out. In fact, don't threaten it at all. Explain beforehand, then take him to one immediately if he behaves in one of the offensive manners you discussed.

Kathy - posted on 12/31/2011

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STOP the child in the middle of his sentence and tell him it is being rude to interupt and when you finish your conversation he can speak then follow up and do exactly that. It will take a few times but once he see you are serious and persistent he will soon learn not to interrupt adults it will work I did all mine and my grand kids the same way

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2011

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I would set ground rules on the drive to family event.
Tell him how you expect him to behave with your brother and other adults and let him know the consequences if he can't abide by your rules. Maybe get your brother to tell him these rules too and let your son know that Uncle will play with him and does love him but that he needs to respect his space

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