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Old 03-19-2016, 12:41 AM
 
Location: ohio
289 posts, read 133,042 times
Reputation: 209

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Hi, I have a 6yr old son and 8 yr. old daughter. I'm having a extremely difficult time. I have to say first that I am 29 yrs. old and my dad just died in october of leukemia after only knowing of the disease for 2 mos. prior. My dad was very close to my children and me. When my daughter was born I was living with him and he helped me do everything for her, then I moved out met mu fiance and had another child. Since then my dad always made my children a priority to him. The rest of my family and my fiances family, besides his mother barely ever see or talk to my kids. My fiances mom used to babysit mostly my son a good bit when he was a baby but in the last 2 years she barely will keep either child. And if she does I have to pay her now whereas before I didn't. So since october my kids have been with me 24/7 except when at school. They're really smart kids that get good grades, and listen to their dad 100 percent. But anymore they totally disobey or ignore anything I say or want them to do. I'm the one who does everything for and with them. I have let them get away with things a bit but I do everything for them and they know they have it easy. They know all they have to do is ask mommy and get what they want. So it's been really hurting me lately that they will listen to their dad who is way more strict and does the punishing more than me. I'm the one who buys them things and is the easier parent. I will ask them to clean their room and they will say ok but just not do it I will have long talks with them about what I need them to do and it still never changes. They could see a piece of garbage on floor an walk by it 20 times and never pick it up. We just got a new puppy and they said they would help with him but all they'll do is play with him they picked up his poop 2 times and not since. They will see it and just not clean it they know mom will do it like everything. I'm so stressed and my boyfriend says its my fault because I don't discipline but I try. It just has no lasting effects.
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:00 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,864 posts, read 18,910,587 times
Reputation: 25118
First of all, you have to remember that kids feel the loss of someone they love just as strongly as adults do. You lost your dad and they lost their beloved grandfather. It sounds like he was a major part of their lives, so of course they're going to grieve for him, and they may go through phases where they're sad, withdrawn, or defiant.

Second, your kids' relationship with relatives shouldn't be about the relatives babysitting the kids. Hire a sitter if you need some personal time, don't expect the relatives to babysit for free, and maybe they'll be more willing to spend time with your kids. No matter how much they love your kids, nobody likes to feel like they're being used.

Third, kids that age can't usually handle a long talk about their responsibilities and obligations. They need to be told what to do each time you want them to do something. If you want them to be able to clean their rooms, the rooms need to be well-organized, with spaces designated for each thing. A hamper for dirty clothes, a place for each pair of shoes, tubs or shelves for toys, etc. If you end up with a pile of assorted toys and small junk that has no places when you clean their rooms, that is pretty much a guarantee that they won't be able to clean their rooms on their own. If you see them stepping over a piece of trash on the floor, you need to tell them right then to pick it up. By the time they're about 13, they'll be responsible enough to do things around the house without being told every time you want them to do something.

Fourth, the reason your partner has success telling the kids what to do is that he's not telling them things on an ongoing basis. He sees one thing they need to do and tells them to do that one thing right then. They do it and his authority is reinforced. The kids don't follow your commands because they're confusing. Your partner's commands are just involving one thing at the present moment in time, which they can understand. Your commands are about what you want them to do on a regular basis for the rest of their childhood, probably with some reminders of times when they haven't done those things in your recent memory. Kids that age just can't take orders like that, which makes your discipline seem ineffective to your partner. Try the simple, single commands about what they need to do right at that second. The more you tell them what to do and they actually do it, the more they get used to following your orders, and the more effective your parenting becomes.

Last, kids that age are too irresponsible to take care of a puppy. They can help with teaching him a few tricks, and he should learn to obey their commands just like he'll learn to obey you, but they aren't old enough to be responsible for feeding him or cleaning up after him. You need a crate for the puppy. When you're busy and can't focus on puppy, put him in the crate. When he's not in the crate, put him on a leash and attach the leash to yourself (tie it to your belt or something like that). Training him will be tedious but you'll have many happy years with him as long as the training is done right to begin with. While he's tied to you, you'll be able to watch him. If he starts sniffing a lot or starts to lift a leg or squat, grab him and run him outside. Wait until you see him going potty, then say "Go potty!" or whatever you want the command to be. When he's done, tell him he's a good puppy and give him a treat. Pretty soon, he'll realize that going potty outside is a good thing, and you won't have to give him the treats forever.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:12 AM
 
6,455 posts, read 9,522,623 times
Reputation: 10765
Your boyfriend's right. Listen to him.

And the kids are 6 and 8. Do you REALLY expect them to act all that responsible? Especially about a puppy? When I adopt out a dog, I stress to the parents that even though the kids "agree" to take care of the dog, it'll be them, and most likely, MOM who'll be doing the brunt of the work.

They're 6 and 8. They're normal. You need to stay on them. Quit trying to be the "easier" parent. Be an effective one.
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,495 posts, read 15,940,606 times
Reputation: 38850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
First of all, you have to remember that kids feel the loss of someone they love just as strongly as adults do. You lost your dad and they lost their beloved grandfather. It sounds like he was a major part of their lives, so of course they're going to grieve for him, and they may go through phases where they're sad, withdrawn, or defiant.

Second, your kids' relationship with relatives shouldn't be about the relatives babysitting the kids. Hire a sitter if you need some personal time, don't expect the relatives to babysit for free, and maybe they'll be more willing to spend time with your kids. No matter how much they love your kids, nobody likes to feel like they're being used.

Third, kids that age can't usually handle a long talk about their responsibilities and obligations. They need to be told what to do each time you want them to do something. If you want them to be able to clean their rooms, the rooms need to be well-organized, with spaces designated for each thing. A hamper for dirty clothes, a place for each pair of shoes, tubs or shelves for toys, etc. If you end up with a pile of assorted toys and small junk that has no places when you clean their rooms, that is pretty much a guarantee that they won't be able to clean their rooms on their own. If you see them stepping over a piece of trash on the floor, you need to tell them right then to pick it up. By the time they're about 13, they'll be responsible enough to do things around the house without being told every time you want them to do something.

Fourth, the reason your partner has success telling the kids what to do is that he's not telling them things on an ongoing basis. He sees one thing they need to do and tells them to do that one thing right then. They do it and his authority is reinforced. The kids don't follow your commands because they're confusing. Your partner's commands are just involving one thing at the present moment in time, which they can understand. Your commands are about what you want them to do on a regular basis for the rest of their childhood, probably with some reminders of times when they haven't done those things in your recent memory. Kids that age just can't take orders like that, which makes your discipline seem ineffective to your partner. Try the simple, single commands about what they need to do right at that second. The more you tell them what to do and they actually do it, the more they get used to following your orders, and the more effective your parenting becomes.

Last, kids that age are too irresponsible to take care of a puppy. They can help with teaching him a few tricks, and he should learn to obey their commands just like he'll learn to obey you, but they aren't old enough to be responsible for feeding him or cleaning up after him. You need a crate for the puppy. When you're busy and can't focus on puppy, put him in the crate. When he's not in the crate, put him on a leash and attach the leash to yourself (tie it to your belt or something like that). Training him will be tedious but you'll have many happy years with him as long as the training is done right to begin with. While he's tied to you, you'll be able to watch him. If he starts sniffing a lot or starts to lift a leg or squat, grab him and run him outside. Wait until you see him going potty, then say "Go potty!" or whatever you want the command to be. When he's done, tell him he's a good puppy and give him a treat. Pretty soon, he'll realize that going potty outside is a good thing, and you won't have to give him the treats forever.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelstress View Post
Your boyfriend's right. Listen to him.

And the kids are 6 and 8. Do you REALLY expect them to act all that responsible? Especially about a puppy? When I adopt out a dog, I stress to the parents that even though the kids "agree" to take care of the dog, it'll be them, and most likely, MOM who'll be doing the brunt of the work.

They're 6 and 8. They're normal. You need to stay on them. Quit trying to be the "easier" parent. Be an effective one.
Excellent points.


While a 6 year old and an 8 year old should be able to follow directions regarding the puppy (such as do not let him out of his crate) or help with walks or help with feeding they are too young to have the major responsibility for a living being.

Look at it this way, would you let a 6 year old or an 8 year be responsible for babysitting a newborn baby? Of course not. They can follow the rules and help under adult supervision but they can't be expected to be totally (or even mostly) responsible for a new human or a new puppy.

Last edited by germaine2626; 03-19-2016 at 11:46 AM..
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:35 AM
 
13,496 posts, read 13,983,590 times
Reputation: 11120
one thing I regret looking back at how I raised my daughter was not being strict enough to make her pick up her room. we had a tendency to give her just about anything she wanted and her room was always a huge mess with tons of toys all over the floor. I was the type of parent that threatened but never really followed through with punishments. the end result of not getting it under control at the age of the children in the op was a teen ager that had a pig sty of a room and a young adult who also lived in a very messy house. they don't have to be neat freaks but should be able to pick up after themselves.

I would see if you know of anyone who would take the puppy for a few days, if the kids miss it and wonder say it's too much work with everything else you have to do and unless they will walk the dog and help take care of it, you just can't keep it. I would also take away a great deal of their toys and put them away. when they can take care, put away what they have give them more.

you could also make a colorful chart, find some great stickers with chores and expectations on it. when they do something put the star on the spot at the end of the week if all is done, take them out to ice cream or some other small reward.

you don't have to be hard on them just consistent in your follow through of what you expect and the punishment if they don't do what is expected. you wouldn't let them get away from doing their school work they should also have to learn how to be a good family member.

I am sorry about your dad that must be very difficult it all happening so fast.
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Old 03-19-2016, 12:24 PM
 
6,805 posts, read 3,280,786 times
Reputation: 8481
Your boyfriend sets limits, holds them accountable, and issues consequences. You do not.

Of course they listen to him and not to you. Why should they do what you say or be accountable when you tell them something? They have no reason to do anything other than what they want when you are around.

If you are setting no limits on them they will be out of control, which is probably why his mother doesn't want to watch them anymore.
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Old 03-19-2016, 03:42 PM
 
6,455 posts, read 9,522,623 times
Reputation: 10765
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just A Guy View Post
If you are setting no limits on them they will be out of control, which is probably why his mother doesn't want to watch them anymore.
Yup, most likely, this is what's going on.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:32 PM
 
17,167 posts, read 22,195,062 times
Reputation: 31298
sometimes its not WHAT you say its how (tone of voice) and how many times you say it,,

and then having said it (setting a boundary) it doesn't mean anything

the best gift you can give kids is your time...

the worst thing you can do is bark orders from sitting in front of a computer (not saying you are)

spend a whole one on one fun hour every night,,,take them to the park,,, get them off electronics
kids need to expend energy if they don't have an outlet,,,its bottled up inside and they are wound up
run around with them,,,play outside games with them......they will value your time,,,better than anything you can buy..
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Old 03-19-2016, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
8,196 posts, read 7,476,834 times
Reputation: 17144
Stop spoiling your kids.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:22 PM
 
67 posts, read 52,168 times
Reputation: 98
I'm so sorry for your loss.

I'd suggest trying not to see discipline as being mean. Kids don't actually want to be in charge, despite what they may say. What they really want is to feel they have competent leaders that will guide them. Imagine you're driving a car on a bridge with no guardrails. It's scary and you're nervous about driving off the edge. If there are guardrails, however, you can drive across with confidence knowing there are limits keeping you safe. So give your kids limits while showing empathy. Try to remain unruffled.

You might want to check out the book How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, and/or the writings/podcast of Janet Lansbury.
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