I need help with ideas on ways to discipline my two 4 year old daughters, who are step sisters.

Amber - posted on 02/09/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




My husband and I are having a difficult time trying to get our girls to listen at times. They fighting, arguing, whining and just ignoring things we say it getting out of control. We have tried everything we know as parents. Please any suggestions at all.


Chet - posted on 02/09/2014




Kids behave worse when they are tired, hungry or feeling unsure. You can avoid some poor behaviour just by making sure children eat before the get too hungry, get enough sleep and know exactly what it expected of them.

For whining, I just insist on a better voice. You're entitled to express yourself, but you should do it in a proper voice. In the beginning, this meant me scripting what things should sound like. Now I can just say "better voice" and our kids know to rephrase, improve their tone, or drop the whine (they're 4, 5, 8 and 9).

For the fighting, you need to figure out why they fight. Siblings Without Rivalry is a really good book that addresses the fighting that stems from competition and problematic family dynamics. A lot of kids just fight though because they don't know how to resolve conflict... which requires you to actually work with the kids on negotiating, effective communication, ect.

Not listening sometimes happens because parents nag too much. Don't fall into that trap. It teaches kids to tune you out.

When you want to talk to one of the kids go to where they are, get down on their level and look them in the face. Make sure you have their attention before you start taking them. Also, try not to just give instructions all the time. Give them choices, ask for their input, present problems for them to solve... instead of yelling from another room "go put your boots on" ask them to look outside and tell you what we need to put on to go outside.

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