How can I effectively discipline a 3 1/2 year old boy? and 2 year old girl?

Elyssa - posted on 01/11/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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We live with my parents because my husband recently lost his job, and have very little living space of our own. My mother wants to be the "doting Grandma" and will give them anything they want. I have talked with her repeatedly about talking with me first before giving the kids juice, candy, cookies, snacks, stickers, toys, pretty much everything! She says "when they come upstairs saying they are hungry/thirsty, I can't tell them no!" Generally, there is a reason for that. If they don't eat their food, they aren't allowed to get snacks until they finish their food. Same goes for their drinks. I use stickers and eventually toys as a rewards system for being good, and with her just giving them stickers (or toys) "just because" it makes it very difficult to correct them when they are wrong then reward them for doing right. Even potty training my 2 year old is becoming a nightmare, because what WAS working, isn't working anymore. How is something a reward if they are constantly getting it "just because"? My son's attitude over the past couple of months has just become a nightmare! He is becoming defiant, rude, distructive, and is throwing temper tantrums left and right! I know there was a point of adjusting, but it's been several months and he has progressively gotten worse! And now my daughter is beginning to follow in his footsteps. How can I effictively discipline my children if my mother won't stop giving them whatever they want? I have talked with her, begged her, pleaded with her but to no avail. She wants to be the loving doting grandma, and there's nothing I can do about it! Whenever I discipline it makes me look and feel like the "bad guy" They go running back to Grandma whenever something is wrong, and it hurts me! I've tried "time outs" "calm down jars" taking things away, taking priveleges away (like going to the library or store with mommy) even a little swat on their bottoms if they are being distructive towards people or objects. Moving out isn't an option, our situation just won't allow it. How can I keep my happy loving children when everything just seems to make it worse?

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Kay - posted on 01/12/2012

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This is a tough one. Sorry you husband lost his job. Hopefully, he will find another one soon . In the meantime, it doesn't look like you are going to be able to change Grandma. She should realize that you are the Mom and that she should take an assistant role following your lead. You all have had to adjust a new situation and is especially difficult for the 2 year old. Some have really bad terrible 2's inspite of the best situation . The 3 year old can understand more but it is hard when she has two moms. They won't be turned into spoiled brats by this temporary living arrangement. I know you will move as soon as you can. For now, see if you can lower the level of tension by going with the flow somewhat. Your Mom believes that she is nurturing your children and she is enjoying being a doting granny. She doesn't realize what it is doing to your blood pressure even after you told her. The positive is that she loves your kids . Does she babysit so that you can get our of the house for some fun?Best wishes

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