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Old 05-10-2018, 08:08 PM
 
520 posts, read 507,497 times
Reputation: 919

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These kids (and Mom) have a lot of stress in their lives. Parents split, doesn’t sound like Dad’s around, mom is working a lot, money is tight.

I get that you aren’t there a lot, but you are all living in the same house and you are friends with mom. You don’t have to become entwined in their lives, but nor should you just be a ghost who’s there, but not there.

Try coming at things from a different angle. In a calm moment, talk with the son, gently and without judgement. “I see that you feel really, really angry sometimes. That must be a scary feeling for you, and I know it hurts your mom. What do you think you could do that would help you calm down when you feel that angry? (And give him some examples such as remove yourself until you cool down, listen to music, do push ups or jumping jacks, yell into a pillow, etc).

Maybe he’ll also want to talk to you about why he feels angry, but maybe not. Just the act of asking and listening shows him that you care and aren’t just another adult that’s mad at him. Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys.

I guarantee that it is no fun for him at all to feel that out of control. He probably scares himself with the depth of his anger, and he may well be scared that mom will leave too. You are in a unique position to be a sounding board for him - you know him, but there’s nowhere near as much at stake emotionally as there is with Mom or Dad.

For the daughter, sometimes simple games can work pretty well. ”I bet I can get dressed faster than you”, then let her win, or “I bet you I can brush my teeth before you get dressed”. Or an incentive like “I’ll take you for an ice cream/we can make popcorn/play a game of cards at the end of the week if you can get ready for school each day on time without a fuss.”

I really don’t understand why a kindergartner has to have homework...

And one last tip, catch them being good and make a big deal about it. Kids that age still really want to please the adults in their lives, and over the top (but sincere) praise helps to feed the desire to behave in the way you want.

I agree with the other comments about not spanking. You should talk to mom as well, but that’s a tricky one that needs to be handled with care. Parents face judgement from all angles, it’s very easy to get defensive. Make sure she knows you can be a collaborator, not a critic.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:15 PM
 
3,141 posts, read 2,721,690 times
Reputation: 9057
You don't need to discipline them. You do need to set ground rules for how they are allowed to act around you. I think you could do this by being the fun 'uncle'. The kids behave because they like you and want to impress you and spend time with you. Sometimes diversion works better than actual discipline. You just find away to director change the situation. You might start with something inexpensive, but fun like going to the park or going to get an ice cream cone. Assign everyone a chore like doing homework or sweeping or something. When that is done, you go do the fun thing. Basically, you intercept the problem before the bad behavior shows up.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:55 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
6,574 posts, read 1,989,744 times
Reputation: 8617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudwalker View Post

And one last tip, catch them being good and make a big deal about it. Kids that age still really want to please the adults in their lives, and over the top (but sincere) praise helps to feed the desire to behave in the way you want.

I agree with the other comments about not spanking. You should talk to mom as well, but thatís a tricky one that needs to be handled with care. Parents face judgement from all angles, itís very easy to get defensive. Make sure she knows you can be a collaborator, not a critic.
Good advice in the whole post. Maybe the OP can figure out a way to take some positive action to have a good effect on the kids. Lead them to want to please her and possibly they might extend an improved attitude to their mother. Maybe she could offer to help them with their homework and just letting them know she cared, would improve their behavior. She might read some interesting things to them and if they are learning to read at school, encourage them to read some things to her. If they can't read yet, she could teach them to recognize some letters and words and give them a headstart on that. Any activity around the house that would involve them, might help socialize them better.
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Watervliet, NY
3,318 posts, read 1,047,503 times
Reputation: 5951
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto.matt View Post

I believe in spanking children responsibly. It should be sudden and sturdy. But i feel like I'm out of line when I want to discipline them. And I wouldn't even know where to start.
Whoa... these are not your kids. You have absolutely no say in their discipline, nor do you have the right to put your oar in. You are right - you are out of line. Completely.

You should have thought about this before moving in with their mother.
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
6,595 posts, read 4,885,580 times
Reputation: 8860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto.matt View Post
So, my best friend n I got a house together. She has two kids whom I love like my own neice n nephew. I've been around alot since they were born. They are both so intelligent, and they are, for the most part, good kids.

She split with their dad, and she works a low paying job to support them. I work alot and consequently am not home often.

These kids run over her. The youngest, in kindergarten, won't do her schoolwork. Andi (the mother) was dragging the youngest across the room trying to get her dressed for school. The oldest throws tantrums sometimes so bad he leaves marks on his mom.

I believe in spanking children responsibly.
There are a lot of people here that would disagree with you, but that's neither here nor there. Personally in the Mom's situation it might be the most expedient thing for her to do just that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto.matt View Post
It should be sudden and sturdy. But i feel like I'm out of line when I want to discipline them. And I wouldn't even know where to start.
You feel correctly.

Their mom is overworked and stretched financially, personally, emotionally, etc...And Kids can be vicious and manipulative and they certainly don't see what they're doing.

While you shouldn't discipline her kids, you certainly can offer to help. Ask her if you can help her with the kids schoolwork, or making breakfast, or getting one of them out the door with their shoes and coat. No, its not your responsibility, but as my grandmother would say, "Its the Christian thing to do" which was the 1950's way to say, "everyone needs help sometimes". And since they aren't your kids, you might have an easier time whipping them into line, because they can't wear you down in the same way. Something like, "Ansleigh, Motomatt's going to be helping you with your homework now, so mommy can help Taylor with his homework (cook dinner, shower, whatever.)"

Last edited by JONOV; 05-11-2018 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:00 AM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,852 posts, read 7,021,451 times
Reputation: 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgehog_Mom View Post
You can't spank someone else's children, even if they're your roommates.

Your roommate needs to ask her son's pediatrician what to do about the tantrums.
I can, and have disciplined my step children, and it was encouraged by their mother.
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Canada
4,925 posts, read 3,472,085 times
Reputation: 12932
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
A lot of people here have managed to raise respectful kids without spanking them. It's not necessary.
I disagree. It ALL depends on the kids and the personalities that they are born with.

Some are born happy and easy to raise. Some aren't. The ones who aren't need a firmer hand than just talking to them. A pat on the butt straightens them out. (not beating them and ONLY on occasion)

I had two boys with totally different personalities (with the same father BTW) My first one needed a spank now and then. He was born with a temper, threw his toys against the wall in anger before he could even talk, and went against authority. I will have a scar on my face my whole life from him raking his fingernails down my face when I picked him up to put him to bed for his nap when he didn't want to go.

My second son was very easy going and talking to him was discipline enough, not to say he didn't do "boy" things as he got older, but he was just much easier to raise.

I love them both to the moon and back.

They are now grown men. The oldest still has a fiery temper and the younger one is still easy going. They both hug me and tell me they love me when we say goodbye.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:01 AM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
3,717 posts, read 1,616,711 times
Reputation: 12661
Quote:
Originally Posted by RomulusXXV View Post
Oh my gosh ...how did parents ever manage to raise children into becoming responsible adults before seeking out a counselor to assist became the norm ...?
Exactly. Good grief. When all those "experts" have logged as many hours as I have:

Up all night walking the floor with sick, screaming infants (yes; plural), navigating stores, events, parties, grandparents, hotels, movie theatres, restaurants with overtired, overstimulated toddlers (plural) ...

Schools, playgrounds, 18 parent-teacher conferences in 2 days, homework, injuries, allergies (including anaphylactic), divorces, deaths, movings & losings, sibling fights, sibling rivalry, sibling jealousy, sibling united fronts ...

The teenage years, weird friends, weird parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, "But everybody else my age gets to ...", AP classes, flunking classes, losing a best friend to suicide, Aspergers, Autism, gifted & talented, rolling eyes, stomping, slamming doors, "why are you wearing my shoes!", "Is that my nail polish?" When it's them getting clobbered by an Autistic, 6 foot tall, 210lb 14 year old (because somebody started whistling in a grocery store) & they still get up the next day to feed him, dress him, bathe him, give him hugs & kisses & keep him safe?

THEN ... they can tell me what they think I should do. Oh; they should also do all the above, with no lunch breaks, coffee breaks, evenings, weekends & holidays off & definitely no "professional development" conferences.

Until then, all they have are a bunch of Great Ideas. And some drugs.

Which is likely why the OP came here ... to a parenting forum ... to ask advice. If (after) the PC advice doesn't work: Calmly walk up, get in the kid's space, use your man's voice & say "This. Will. Not. Happen. Here & When. I. Am. Here."

If she doesn't like it; one of you has to go. She can be disrespected anywhere if that's what she wants; you don't have to condone it.
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