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Old 08-23-2008, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Pinellas Park, FL
648 posts, read 1,464,697 times
Reputation: 246

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I need help! I don't have time for myself, I don't have time for my children and I don't have time not to have time.
The baby is easy he eats, sleeps, and plays.. only really cries when he is sick or need something.

The 2 older ones well they are a handful. 7 and 5 and they don't listen to me what so ever. So I spend most of my time yelling at them and to be honest I don't know them at all.. I can't tell you what they like or even what there favorite color is. I pretty much just guess on everything unless they talk about it all the time.

I need to know what all you single parents out there do to slow down and just take a deep breath every once in a while.. What do you that works with your children? How do you get them to listen? I do not see them having that male figure in there lives anytime soon so I need something good that is going to work!!! I am turning into a very unhappy person who doesn't laugh or smile that much anymore and all I want to do is cry or shoot myself in the face..

So please any advise you can give would wonderful!!
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:27 PM
 
13,779 posts, read 23,211,008 times
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I read the BEST book about parenting boys called Good Families Don't Just Happen...super book.

I have 6 children, 5 of which are boys and my heart goes out to you!
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Old 08-23-2008, 07:25 PM
 
6,585 posts, read 22,384,279 times
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Spend lots of time with them. LOTS. Sit on the floor and talk to them. Spend time with them even when you don't want to spend time with them. Spend time with them even when you have a million other things to do, like laundry and paying bills. Just chat with them. Ask them about their day. It feels like you will be falling into a black hole never to come out since kids can suck the life out of you, but in reality spending lots of time with them now, will give you free time later.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:34 PM
 
788 posts, read 1,887,918 times
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I feel your frustration. I was a single mother of two for a long time. I now have four children and a wonderful husband but I was alone for a long time. No one can really tell you what to do. I can only offer you my story and what worked for me. My older two - a boy and a girl - had to listen the first time - not the 2nd or 3rd. I worked 60+ hours a week just to make ends meet and give them a home in a good school dist. I used/use the 123 method long before the book came out. Yes - they got punished when they didn't listen = but they also got praised when I "caught" them being wonderful. I used to wake them up when it would snow in the middle of the night and I would plan "sick" days and surprise them. I would check out the YMCA for cheap stuff for kids. I made sure that they knew I was there for them no matter what. It was hard and it sucked. To be honest - the only time I had for myself was 5 am or 10pm on the front porch. I started reading a lot and got the kids to do that too - almost as self defense. But it really helped them in school. I used to get the books on tape at the library and only let them listen to it in bed. THAT was a life saver - they actually looked forward to bed.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:49 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,486 posts, read 13,344,036 times
Reputation: 19909
Default Take a deep breath, you can do this

You sound really stressed out.
Can you do a mothers day out program to give yourself a break ocassionally?
Or you could try my SIL idea. She used to hire a teenage girl from her church to come to her house a couple days a week to help out with whatever. Usually the girl just spent a few hours keeping the kids entertained so mom could pay bills or do chores, but sometimes she would help out around the house, like helping the little ones clean their rooms and such. If you don't have SO or family to help you out then you really need to look into ways like this to give you a much needed helping hand from time to time. It's tough to be a single parent, trying to do everything by yourself all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmbogdan81 View Post
The 2 older ones well they are a handful. 7 and 5 and they don't listen to me what so ever. So I spend most of my time yelling at them ...
This situation sounds like it's possible that you are giving your kids a lot of empty threats and no real follow through with discipline. I'm just guessing of course, but if that is the case you might want to sit down and try to establish some new house rules. Be specific about the behavior expected from your boys, and what the consequences will be for misbehaving. Then make sure you follow through with the punishment, firmly, every time they break a rule.
There are probably a ton of threads here about what types of discipline works best, and I'm sure it's probably different for each family. But once you come up with a plan of action make sure you are consistent with it. Consistency is what makes it work.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:59 PM
 
3,191 posts, read 8,036,824 times
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You could get your older son in scouting....IMO good soild role models and traditons. Also, are you involved in a church? Often single groups may offer progrmas with babysitting, available Good chance to relax, meet others and learn. Plus most churches have excellent programs during the week and weekends for kids, that your boys might enjoy and benefit from. Are their no famliy members of yours , or their fathers that could provide you some respite time?
I honestly have no I idea what you are going through, but I do wish you peace and luck.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
16,227 posts, read 21,985,147 times
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It sounds like you NEED to take the time, somehow, to get to know your kids. I mean, if you don`t know the simplest things like what their favorite color is, then to me, you need to make personal contact with them.
I know life is tough nowdays, raising kids single mom and all, but you still need to stay on the same wave length as your kids, or at least halfway here...
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Old 08-24-2008, 02:31 AM
 
193 posts, read 697,819 times
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I've been a single mom to two girls (6 & 7) for 6 years, I can relate to what you're going through. I haven't come close to perfecting the art but I'll share some things that work for me (and as was mentioned, with most things you have to be creative and do what works for you and your children).

I find that my children are much more disobedient, wild, and disrespectful when I'm not spending enough time with them, when there is not even a basic routine to the day, and when I'm stressed out. Usually all three of these things happen at the same time & are interrelated . We are still off of our routine right now, hopefully we'll get back on track when school starts again.

So, spending time with them and easing personal stress. My girls enjoy it when we all work together to do some household chore, to them, this counts as spending time together as we usually have fun while working. Usually one of us says something funny and we giggle. We also share some hobbies, both of them are very fond of one of my biggest hobbies & it is a huge treat to them when I let them make stuff with me (and I get to relax doing something I love, rather than just playing Barbies!).

I've also found that if I spend a little bit of time with them (say 10 minutes or so) at the beginning of an activity, I can go off and have me time, or do some chores while they continue doing that activity.

Now, my girls can be a real pain when they are fighting with each other or whining at me, and I don't know if your boys will react the same, but I see a huge decrease in poor behavior when I make an effort with the above mentioned areas.

As for your stress items, some parents may disagree, but I believe that it is ok to share some of your concerns/stresses with your children, in a way that does not frighten them or cause them anxiety of course. When I am especially worried or stressed about something, I tell my children that I apologize if I seem grouchy, that I'm not upset with them, that I'm just feeling a little "whatever" about "whatever".

I know that feeling of "not knowing" your children, I started to feel that way a year ago when my life was at an all time high in regards to difficulties. I made a choice to find a way to have less stress in my life, if only for a short time, so that I could spend more time with my children. One of the things I do when I feel especially overwhelmed or disconnected, is to remember them as they were as babies and toddlers, hold them & hug them, marvel at how much they've grown and how the time has flown. You can make efforts in daily activities that you already do with your kids too, like asking them questions, talking about something interesting you read/heard, etc, while eating a meal together, while they're bathing, at bedtime.

Depending on where you live and what social circles you travel in, there may or may not be support systems for single parents. I know for me I have had a minuscule amount of support over the years, but there are resources out there, that may or may not work for you, it doesn't hurt to do some research to see what's available in your area, or if you have any single parent friends, ask them if they know of any.

My number one piece of advice is to be creative and think outside the box. I really believe that if a person is unhappy with the current state of their life, they can find a way to change it. It might take years, but for me at least, having that goal in mind really helps when times are tough. Really think about your situation and your relationship with your children, find ways to make things better, you have your own little team, you guys are on an adventure together, keep that in mind.
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Old 08-24-2008, 06:43 AM
 
13,180 posts, read 12,691,617 times
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You have my sympathies. My mom raised myself and my sister by herself and it was tough. She had developed acromegaly and it ruined her looks (not in my eyes) and my father was a mean alcoholic. So we were on our own. She never dated again, and was really a sad person. Fortunately, for all of us she was a good role model and my Grandmother provided financial suppport. I remember thinking as a kid how terrible it is for a women homemakers who lose their looks to just be dumped. Society doesn't even value them.

I'd offer this advice. Try and find a father for the kids. Just a nice guy who's trustworthy and kind. You may need to take your ego out of it. Put aside looks and money, there's too much at stake. As the kids get older with just one of you, especially if you are having to work, they are going to get in trouble.

The only thing that saved me was the fact that she didn't have to work, so there was some stablity there, (although we were poor) and I bonded with some good kids my own age. My sister didn't, she ran with the wrong crowd, and is now recovering from being strung out on drugs/homelessness for the last ten years.

Last edited by padcrasher; 08-24-2008 at 06:54 AM..
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
603 posts, read 2,070,833 times
Reputation: 498
Quote:
Originally Posted by padcrasher View Post
You have my sympathies. My mom raised myself and my sister by herself and it was tough. She had developed acromegaly and it ruined her looks (not in my eyes) and my father was a mean alcoholic. So we were on our own. She never dated again, and was really a sad person. Fortunately, for all of us she was a good role model and my Grandmother provided financial suppport. I remember thinking as a kid how terrible it is for a women homemakers who lose their looks to just be dumped. Society doesn't even value them.

I'd offer this advice. Try and find a father for the kids. Just a nice guy who's trustworthy and kind. You may need to take your ego out of it. Put aside looks and money, there's too much at stake. As the kids get older with just one of you, especially if you are having to work, they are going to get in trouble.

The only thing that saved me was the fact that she didn't have to work, so there was some stablity there, (although we were poor) and I bonded with some good kids my own age. My sister didn't, she ran with the wrong crowd, and is now recovering from being strung out on drugs/homelessness for the last ten years.
My mom raised us single-handedly, worked hard for our family, and never remarried. We used to hear our neighbors say, "Those poor children--they'll never amount to anything now that their parents are divorced". As a child, that remark hurt. As an adult, it makes me angry. If a single parent provides a safe, stable environment, the children will grow up to be successful, law-abiding citizens. My mom took us to church every Sunday, spent time with us when she could, and taught us values. My siblings and I all grew up to be college graduates who never drank or did drugs. By the way, the married parent who said that later had a child who was arrested for fraudulent checks. The OP doesn't need to find a husband to save her and her children. In fact, if she picked the wrong one, she could find herself in a worse situation.
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