Kids acting like toddlers...need some advice.

Karen - posted on 06/16/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a 7, 6 and 4 yr. old and they are driving me crazy! They will not stay out of our things. They have lots of age appropriate toys, they have every art utensile you can imagine, I do things with them every couple of hours. today for example, we made rice krispie treats, we played board games, card games (raining outside), we colored, we drew, we watched a movie. Yesterday we spent all day working on their fort, took a walk, cleaned some weeds out of the yard together, played with the dogs, watched a movie, looked at old pictures, pulled some cats around in a wagon, made a tape road for their cars, ect. ect. Still everytime I sit down for just a few minutes to myself, or turn my back to do some dishes or something I turn around to find that they got into all our stuff. I've set them up with something to do like a movie before hand, and return to the room being turned inside out like a robber was looking for jewlery or something. Everytime something turns up missing or broken. Everytime, they get punished for it. They have to find or help fix such item, and they get sent to their rooms. If they do something really bad they loose the computer (their only favorite thing that they hate being taken away). When I'm on the phone, they scream and chase each other so I have to put them in their room until my phone conversation is over. They are still extremely loud, they get into their clothes and play with them of couse getting them dirty. I'm at my wits end. I really wish there was a Nanny Mcphee. I've even tried having discussions with them explaining that I should be able to trust them to stay out of our things. That our things are not toys, and that they serve a very important purpose to us. Like daddy needs his flashlight for work. It's very important that he can see the parts well, so that he can make the machines safe for the people who use them. People could get hurt if he doesn't have that flashlight in working condition. They even respond with concern. They had lost a piece to our wii and while we looked for it together, i explained that when you have something like a wii, the pieces need to stay together and only be used for that specific reason. it can't be used for anything else or we will be in this situation, looking for a part we might never find. We found the part, I explained it needed to stay with the wii along with the controlers and everything. We played it and had a great time. We put everything away and went on to something else. 30 min. later they were playing with that part again, in another room, batteries were lost and everything. They had no interest in playing the wii, they needed a sword. they do have a sword, but it was lost at the moment. I don't know what else to do. It's like the terrible 2's never ended. There was never a time where I could trust them all 3 together, to stay out of stuff.

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Kristen - posted on 06/16/2011

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That seems like quite a handful they give you! You seem very structured with your activities. I worked at a daycare with varying age groups.I think the activities you do are awesome. The only thing that I can honestly think of that might be the problem is that your children do not know how to play without your structure and your control of the situation. I wish I had a magical nanny solution for you. It is hard to get the point across that there are boundaries. I think that if your current punishments are not working maybe you should try a new approach. If they are not able to be trusted together maybe try separating them. Have A play with legos, B play with their dolls, and C color. They seem to need a lot of stimulation. When they disrespect one of your items maybe have them (with your help) write out why it is not ok to do what they did. The verbal explanation is not enough. Another approach could be have a reward board. Every time they do something right i.e. clean up their toys or share, give them a sticker to place on the board. Once they fill up the board they get a reward like a small toy or a trip to get ice cream. The board poses a constant visual reminder of what they can get if they make the right choices.

Katherine - posted on 06/17/2011

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Wow!!! You do a lot with them! I agree with Kristen, she has an awesome idea. They cannot function without your structure.
Reward charts are very effective. I use them with my 5yo. Not much more to say, I think Kristen hit it dead on.

Kristen - posted on 06/16/2011

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No child is a monster! Some need more structure than others. With 3 so close in age I can only imagine how much they can feed off each other. Just keep trying new tactics one is bound to work ;)

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Karen - posted on 06/16/2011

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Thank you thank you thank you! I never thought of having them write a statement. Wow. Yes they are quite a handful. There are times where they do play nice but they are rare! Your ideas are great. I will try the reward thing also if it lasts on my fridge lol. They have destroyed the other one's I've made. Your probably thinking what monsters lol. They do get a quarter for every chore they do. i have to keep the little chart in my purse or they will try adding more checks to their names lol. But i truly think your ideas will help a lot. Thank you again! Plus it's an aded bonus that they will get practice with their writing skills.

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