Sunday, January 29, 2012

shouting over the noise.

Truth is, my kids have been beating each other up.

Truth is, I have no idea how to make them stop.

I feel like I can't always be supervising every communication in the household, but it seems like that's what they need. Like they need a mediator to work out any toy exchanges or ideas and execution of games.

Lawlessness. Only not, because they have all sorts of ideas about the way things should be run. "Sharing" has been forced with swift kicks to the head. "Not listening" leads to throwing toys and mad dashes through the house.

They have their own horrible world of malicious punishment for arbitrary crimes. And I hate it.

Sometimes their meanness brings a horrible spirit to our home. (Does that make any sense?) And since I can't beat it, sometimes I join it. I punish over the punishments, like yelling louder to be heard over a shouting brawl.

Obviously that doesn't work.

The other day I yelled and yelled. We fought a pointless battle of wills for hours. I got so upset when I found my oldest digging through our pen and marker drawer, without his having asked, that I sent him to his room.

Then I found this on the table...

I know that many have weathered this storm before my time.



Angela Brown said...

Unfortunately it's not going to happen over night. Believe me this is the kettle giving the pot advice here... But instead of yelling to be heard over the yelling (I do it too- A lot!) figure out another way to get them to pay attention to you. Blow a whistle maybe (0= When you have their attention sit them down and talk to them about the issue have them tell both sides. You may have to act like the mediator for every fight until they learn to communicate better. Maybe a FHE lesson on solving problems nicely and making an effort to let the kids see you guys solve problems in a calm way. Even dramatizing something you are disagreeing about just so they see you handle it. I don't know, it's 1 a.m. and these are just thoughts coming to my head- I think I may write it down and see if I can use it too! (0= Good luck. Being a mom is hard and we can't do everything perfectly, luckily kids are VERY forgiving.

you can call me aunt choody said...

Sounds VERY familiar.

Theresa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theresa said...

Not that this provides immediate relief to the problem, but I've learned that with our daughter focusing on the positive radically changes behavior over time. (only one, I know, but the battle of wills sounds very familiar)
I know you're a positive person, so this might be redundant, but loudly praise the good they do. That one time that Liam gives up a toy freely, praise him loudly in front of the rest. Depending on the situation you might even offer an incentive (an extra half-scoop of ice cream with dessert just as a reminder of how awesome he is and how proud you are that he made such a great choice.)Once they begin to see that their "mature" attitudes get a lot more results than their fighting did it might help over time. . .

Theresa said...

Okay, so I tried to post once, and I'm not sure if it went through, forgive me if this duplicates.
My idea was simple, and probably redundant but here goes: Praise the positive - I have found that loudly praising the positive and repeating the praise throughout the day makes a huge difference. I only have one, but I would suggest doing it in front of the others too.
Ex: Liam gives up a toy of his own free will and choice, praise him to the skies and then later remind him (maybe as you scoop out an extra half-scoop of ice cream with dessert, or something else) "I am so proud of you for making such a big choice. I know how hard that was but it was the right thing to do. You're so strong!"

Another thought is that you're in a time of transition, and this could be their way of dealing with the change. Alisabeth gets downright honery whenever we shift up our normal routine (like moving, or starting a new semester). They might cool down in a few weeks.

lomas family said...

I make them sit down together and not get up until they have come to a peaceful solution....
as of late I have also been known to make them scrub the grout, clean the toilet, etc
they still fight and its tiring to mediate every argument....I m linking the whistle and Samantha idea hope you get a lot of responses so I can glean more ideas....just know you aren't alone.

Trapper and Suzy said...

That is super sweet. But doesn't it also make you feel guilty when they do stuff like that? It's one of the many way God has intended to humble us a little bit. haha Children certainly does that. The other day, my husband told me the kids were pretending to be mommy and that involved them pretending to be on the computer and then saying, "Okay, I'll be there in a minute" over and over. Swift blow to the gut...and the heart. I just try to remember to take it one day at a time, and don't be hard on yourself. : ) About the fighting thing. That's a toughy. When my kids are fighting or arguing, I try to direct their attention to something else or I tell them that they should know by now how to work it out together. Seriously, they should know. We do it every day and I teach them to share and to say sorry, etc, etc. So, when they come to me looking for a referee, for the 50th time in one day, I just say, work it out on your own. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. : ) Good luck!

Natalie said...

Don't you love when your kids write a love note and make you feel like crap?

No advice here. I'm pretty sure all my kids learned bad behavior from me. My philosophy is that all kids act like monsters at home. If they have terrible behavior at church/school etc, then there's a problem.

I guess I had advice after all. Follow @ your own peril.