I just had my fifth child and my oldest son who is 5 and the other boy who is 4 keep giving me trouble. They never listen. I try that 1-2-3 magic and they just laugh at me and throw stuff at me and just the other day my 5 year old threw a shoe at my head and laughed at me. They never listenand i cant figure out what to do. My 5 year old is even teaching my girls bad habits too. My youngest is still in the hospital and not even my own mother wants to babysit them because they tear up her house, go through her purse and dont listen to her. They tear up my house throw stuff at me and Im supposed to be on bed rest but with these kids its impossible. They know I have to rest but they dont care. I cant physically punish them. I've tried 1-2-3 magic, taking toys away, shutting off the t.v., not letting them go outside and nothing works. I was even at tears a few times and they laughed at me. and my 5 year old also tells my 1 year old daughter not to listen to me when I put her in time-out. So HELP!!!!
I am sorry you are having these problems. But they are all trying to compete for your attention. From the sound of it you are a really busy mommy and they don't seem to get one on one attention---so they are just probably trying to get any kind of attention. I know it is hard when you have more children at home--but is there some way that dad could take the boys out to play, to the park or somewhere for a few hours to give you a small break--and grandma take the girls.
Do the boys listen to dad? I know my boys are night and day different when they are with us one on one or if we are both there. I have two boys that are 20 months apart--and they do need to be disciplined differently. I also do beleive in spanking for time outs do not work for my one son--if they are totally out of control and afwul--a spanking on the butt may do the trick for you. Or to the extreme take away every single favorite toy they love and tell them you will earn these back as your behavior improves--but the key is to be very consistent.
Where is Dad in all this? You don't mention him at all...are you raising five kids, pregnant with #6, completely on your own? I hope not--that's WAY too much for any one person to handle!
If he's around, it sounds like he needs to step up to the plate and help you more. You shouldn't have to be pushed to the point of crying and taking abuse from your own children in your condition. If you're supposed to be on bedrest, you're being forced to jeopardize yours and your baby's health and/or life. If he's not around, then your mom needs to help you out more. I don't care how badly your kids behave, your situation sounds desperate, and if no one is willing to help you, I'm sincerely worried about you.
I'll try to offer suggestions for you, and I really hope they might help. But I don't know how much you'll be able to accomplish on bedrest. In this case, I really hope your husband or your mom can help you out a little more.
-Make a list of rules, mainly ones to target bad behavior--No hitting, no back-talk, no throwing things at others, no destroying property, and most of all, listen to and obey mommy (or whoever the authority figure is at the time).
-Each rule gets ONE CHANCE. Toss the 1-2-3 magic thing...that tells kids they can disobey until the third chance, or worse, they ignore it as your kids do. Obedience should get one chance only, because it shows respect for authority and that the authority demands respect. When you lose respect and obedience, boundaries are lost, and children need very strict boundaries, especially when there are larger numbers of them together, influencing each other in every way, good and bad.
-For each rule that's broken, firmly explain what the consequences will be, kneeling down to their level. They get ONE warning, then face the consequence. Do not let ANYTHING slide. For example, if you ask kid #1 to pick up his toys, and he back-talks you, tell him, "This is your warning. Pick up your toys and do not back-talk me, or you will (threaten the consequence)." He does it again, don't repeat yourself, follow through with what you said the first time.
- I'm an advocate for spanking, used as a *deterrant* for behavior; meaning don't spank when the child is well into bad behavior. Spanking at the first sign of bad behavior usually puts an abrupt halt to the behavior, because it's somewhat shocking to a kid that they didn't get away with much of anything before you stepped in in the most authoritative way possible--by inflicting pain. Do not spank in front of the other kids. It should be a personal correction between you and that child. Also, I believe spankings should *only* be on the butt, *never* on bare skin, and *never* used as humiliation (i.e. in front of people/friends/family or in public). As I said, it's a personal correction between you and the child.
- Sometimes group punishmet works best in some situations, i.e., if one kid does something wrong, everyone suffers consequences. I think this works best when one kid is a ring leader, and other kids are enticed to follow. Stop that right as it starts by taking privileges away from the whole group.
You said everything you attempt has not worked. I'm thinking this is because there are so many kids that it's hard for you to stay on top of what everyone does, and what the punishments are, so they probably get away with a lot more than you think. This is why you've got to stop any hint of bad behavior with ONE chance only, no matter how minor it may be (like going through a purse, or one kid telling another kid not to listen to you). The fact is that everything minor leads to something major eventually, then you've lost control, the kids have no boundaries, and it's difficult to re-establish the boundaries.
I also agree with jd1419 that they are all competing for attention. She had a very good suggestion that your husband or your mom take a couple kids at a time to lighten your load, if not all of them for even just a 1/2 hour to give you a break. Just something like that--you really sound like you need a break, and your kids sound like they need better boundaries and more individual attention.
I hope this helps you some. Best of luck to you...
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