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Old 09-15-2014, 11:48 AM
 
18 posts, read 13,364 times
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I am a 21 year old single mom of a 4 year old son. The father left 2 months after birth( limited communication. I didn't want the awkwardness of living with my parents so we live in an apartment with my sister. It's a very weird scenario. I did eventually graduate high school. My parenting skills are awful. He runs roughshod over my sister and I. He decides pretty much what he's doing it and when he does it. I've tried being stern with him but then he cries and I feel bad so I end up apologizing. My sister's not much help because she's always egging him on to do bad things even when he's calm. My mom's summed us up as " two playmates of his tall enough to reach the cookie jar." I really want to get him a little more disciplined. Thanks

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Old 09-15-2014, 12:09 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,864 posts, read 18,917,965 times
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Most kids that age will do as much as they can get away with. I doubt that your parenting skills are that bad, I think you are insecure about them. You're raising your son, putting a roof over his head, and you managed to graduate, so you're doing better than a lot of people.

Probably the most challenging thing to do with a four year old is to be calm and firm when he's acting up. Don't lose your temper, don't yell at him, don't threaten him with things you can't follow through with. Just explain why he has to do what you say. If he cries about it, send him to his room for five minutes.

Give him things to do to help around the house, nothing major but little things he can do to help him feel like part of the team.

I remember a talk I had with my oldest when she was around four. I can't remember what led up to it, but I told her, "I have to take care of you because that's my job as a mom, and I have to love you, but right now I don't like you at all because you keep making me sad." The idea that I actually had feelings was new to her, and the idea that I could not like her because of what she was doing. It's a useful concept for them.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:19 PM
 
894 posts, read 799,004 times
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I think the biggest thing is consistency and whatever you do, don't threaten to enforce consequences or take away privileges if you're not going to follow through every single time. If your son isn't used to being disciplined he's going to fight you every step of the way, but he'll fall in line once he knows Mom means business. It also helps to praise and reward good behavior. Maybe give him age-appropriate tasks to do and once he completes them he gets a sticker; when he accumulates ten stickers he gets a small reward. Best of luck
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:38 PM
 
18 posts, read 13,364 times
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one activity he likes doing is being put to bed, only to come out 15 minutes later and eat Oreos while my sister and I just stare at him. Happens almost daily. I've told him " no cookies after bedtime" but he does it anyway.
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Waxhaw, NC
1,076 posts, read 1,927,250 times
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A routine is important in setting boundaries with your son's age group too. So try to do things like eat dinner, study numbers or sound, bath time and bed time at the same time during the week. Once he knows what is expected of him and when, you'll be much happier, and so will he.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:09 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
4,294 posts, read 2,884,418 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CranberryLightfan View Post
I am a 21 year old single mom of a 4 year old son. The father left 2 months after birth( limited communication. I didn't want the awkwardness of living with my parents so we live in an apartment with my sister. It's a very weird scenario. I did eventually graduate high school. My parenting skills are awful. He runs roughshod over my sister and I. He decides pretty much what he's doing it and when he does it. I've tried being stern with him but then he cries and I feel bad so I end up apologizing. My sister's not much help because she's always egging him on to do bad things even when he's calm. My mom's summed us up as " two playmates of his tall enough to reach the cookie jar." I really want to get him a little more disciplined. Thanks

At the age of 17 you become a mother? Honestly I am proud that you take care of your son and also you got graduated.
Kids are always trying things out with their parents. I went through exactly the same when my daughter was little. I felt so sad when she was crying but I had to control my emotions and put her on routine. At the beginning it is hard to get your child because he was not used to. As an example you can make boundaries like eating time, snack time and bed time.
Yes he will cry but he need to know that crying wont help. And he cannot win with crying so for that you have let him cry and learn him self that. Also you can read him a book about rules, like we don't eat after brushing our teeth, we don't eat all the time that we do in the break fast,lunch and dinner, in between we have snack time, like that I did for my daughter that helped me. I know we can say it easy, but I think it is better you go to a toddler group sessions or something. Then you able to get the tips from other parents or guide or adviser. I am sure you might have something like that in your area. Here we do. And I have gone there when my daughter was little.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:26 PM
 
15,300 posts, read 16,854,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CranberryLightfan View Post
one activity he likes doing is being put to bed, only to come out 15 minutes later and eat Oreos while my sister and I just stare at him. Happens almost daily. I've told him " no cookies after bedtime" but he does it anyway.
Well, why have the oreos where he can get at them? I assume you buy them - you can just stop buying them or put them away in the pantry up high where he cannot reach them. Get rid of all the junk food in the house. You don't need it. After he learns you can buy it and control his access.

When he comes out, don't talk to him, just take him back to bed. He will cry and he may come out again, but you put him back to bed without talking every single time. Eventually he will figure out that he can no longer get away with this behavior.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:29 PM
 
12,922 posts, read 19,809,103 times
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OP, you do seem to realize that you aren't doing your little boy any favors. Find your backbone, read a book on positive parenting, tell your sister to butt out on situations that involve your son, and always, remain calm, but consistent. Your son is old enough to understand he can not always get his way.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:41 PM
 
18 posts, read 13,364 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Well, why have the oreos where he can get at them? I assume you buy them - you can just stop buying them or put them away in the pantry up high where he cannot reach them. Get rid of all the junk food in the house. You don't need it. After he learns you can buy it and control his access.

When he comes out, don't talk to him, just take him back to bed. He will cry and he may come out again, but you put him back to bed without talking every single time. Eventually he will figure out that he can no longer get away with this behavior.
I do buy them, I suppose I keep them low so I can get them with ease so I don't have to open a cupboard every time I want a cookie.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:53 PM
 
875 posts, read 644,655 times
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You're trading short-term ease (he'll whine if he doesn't get a cookie! I don't want to open a cupboard every time I want a cookie!) for a long-term respectful kid. Raising a good kid takes some effort and investment, and the kids may not enjoy every step of the way, while they are little. But, you'll both be happier in the end, when he doesn't have cavities in his teeth, when he isn't obese as an adult because he learned better habits as a child, when he respects that he doesn't get everything he wants, when he wants.

If you're looking for some fairly low-pain parenting classes, watch "Nanny 911" on Netflix. It's actually pretty good in teaching effective discipline strategies, IMO.
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