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honestly don't know if I can teach this child at home (long, but I'd love any help)


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My ds5 is doing kindergarten this year. I've posted about him before, if anyone follows that closely, but I have so many struggles with him I just don't know if it is worth it to teach him at home. Though, it seems that he has to work through his "issues" somewhere, so in that case, home might be the best environment, but I just don't know how to raise myself to the task.

 

I'm hoping someone knows books or resources that might better help me work with him. I'll try and describe the scenarios I encounter with him in hopes that will help.

 

He very much wants to be in control. If I give him choices, he will try and push the limit on the choice and turn it more so he has had more of the final say. A non-school example: Just now I asked him if he would like to choose the drink for lunch. He said, "I think....smoothie." So I give him two flavor choices, chocolate banana or orange julius. He then says he wants to pick the flavors that go in, so I kind of let him go with that for a minute, thinking he would pick flavors of one of the two smoothie options I mentioned. He gets the cocoa out, and I said that I prefer to use the chocolate milk mix because it has the right amount of sugar already, and he flips out, starts crying and getting all upset then says "Fine! We can just have water!"

 

Prior to this incident, we were doing an Explode the Code lesson and I asked him to spell some words with the letter tiles and then say the word. I would say something like, "This animal is like a mouse," and he was supposed to spell "r-a-t" and say "rat". Twice he freaked out because he didn't want to say the word. The first time, I calmly picked up something else to work on and said when he was ready, he could tell me. I could hear him muttering something barely audible over and over, but I couldn't tell what it was. It turned out he was saying the answer, "hat" over and over. When I reminded him that he needs to speak as loud as I am, he shouts out "HAT!' It was even worse with the next word. He went on and on about how I am torturing him, and why does he have to say the word. I said, "Part of the lesson is building and saying the words." He tantrumed for a good five minutes at least (though it felt like an eternity), so I left the table and told him, "When you are ready, you can say, "Mom, I am ready to continue."" Then he started freaking out, "Why do I have to say the word 'continue'? I don't want to say the word 'continue'! Why do I have to say what you want me to say!?" Finally he did shout it, but since I hadn't specified what voice he needed to use, I ignored it. We finished the lesson (it was the very last word) and he went on to do his page without much more difficulty.

 

My husband has said that I need to use scripts with him and spell out my expectations very exactly. I have come up with a script for the reading activities he gets to choose every day, and it worked today and yesterday. I am willing to do this for other things, too, though it is really hard for me to spell out my expectations this way.

 

Anyways, I apologize for going on so long, but I am totally at a loss with this boy. I don't know if there is a word that describes him that will help me find more information on how to interact effectively with him, (besides a number of unhelpful "choice phrases" that I can come up with:tongue_smilie:), or what. I know he is a perfectionist in that he doesn't like to do things he can't do well, but I don't know what else is going on.

 

Thanks for reading.

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Your husband is right.

 

Re. the drink. Give him two specific choices and only two. Tell him that if he doesn't choose on of them, then you will choose for him (or alternately you could then have him have nothing). He needs to choose within a certain frame of time. You might have to put a timer on. If he doesn't choose within the five minutes (time chosen randomly here) then you calmly choose for him.

 

Re. the phonics - you need to spell out that he needs to answer all questions with a normal inside voice.

 

The keys to all of this is: consistency, calmness (which I see you mentioned yourself), giving him specific choices, giving him specific consequences, follow through (did I mention consistency?)

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I have no idea, but I think your boy is a clone of my 6 year old daughter. She needs to be very much in control of things.

 

She's the type that doesn't want me to tell her anything. I'll pull out our math work and start to explain it and she'll start saying "No, don't tell me, I know already! Don't look! You can look when I'm all done."

 

Yesterday I was doing something in the kitchen and asked her to go get something for me out of the back bedroom. I told her what I needed and I was just about to tell her where she could find it when she started saying "No, don't tell me, I know!" And she ran off. I knew for a fact that she had no idea where it was at because I had recently moved the box it was in. But if I had stopped her and told her, she would have had a meltdown fit. A few minutes later she dawdled back into the kitchen and asked me where it was at. I used that opportunity to inform her that she does not know everything and sometimes things need to be explained to her.

 

Most days I wonder how on earth I'm supposed to do this for 13 years.

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Thanks, ladies, for the thoughts. I realize I just need to commit to spelling my expectations out clearly, which requires me to be thinking clearly. Which is a good thing, just not a strong point of mine since I've had kids. :tongue_smilie:

A little addendum to yesterday, though:

So, in the midst of yesterday afternoon's school rage, I asked him (calmly) if he would prefer to go to school and have a different teacher. He said, "If she were nicer than you and didn't torture me!" I said there was no guarantee she'd be nicer, but she wouldn't be me. We repeated the dialogue a couple more times in various words. Last night I was helping him with his nighttime prayer and I said, "Thank you for homeschool," and he changed it to "Thank you for homeschool and for my wonderful teacher." I couldn't help but peek at him and he smiled and pointed to me. It was really sweet. :001_smile:

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It might just be me, but you are having conversations with him I don't have with my kiddos :001_smile:.

 

For example, as Jean said..."do you want A or B?" he responds, "I want too pick!!!!" me "okay! water it is!!!" all calm and all with a smile.

 

My 5 year old would not even be able to think how to spell "rat" yet. My questions today were..."what sound does A make? how about B? and C?"

 

The homeschool question would never have been presented.

 

One ds got mad and asked to go back to ps...I said, "so you can charm them into not makeing you work?" he just grinned, to which I said, "NOT HAPPENING!!!!" End of that discussion.

 

Just thought it might help to see inside someone else's house ;). Take care!

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You might look into the book The Explosive Child. It deals with kids with low frustration thresholds and low frustration tolerances. My ds fits that - he's 11 now, but we had tons of issues when he was younger with school and anything that would put him over the edge of his frustration level (which was very very low). We were using a token based economy up until this summer (based on Transforming the Difficult Child, which has many good ideas), but I was still hitting a wall with him in school. Last school year, I found The Explosive Child book and that seemed to be the key issue with him that I had missed. I wish I would have found the book much earlier, but we've already made progress with helping him through his frustration issues.

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Your husband is right.

 

Re. the drink. Give him two specific choices and only two. Tell him that if he doesn't choose on of them, then you will choose for him (or alternately you could then have him have nothing). He needs to choose within a certain frame of time. You might have to put a timer on. If he doesn't choose within the five minutes (time chosen randomly here) then you calmly choose for him.

 

Re. the phonics - you need to spell out that he needs to answer all questions with a normal inside voice.

 

The keys to all of this is: consistency, calmness (which I see you mentioned yourself), giving him specific choices, giving him specific consequences, follow through (did I mention consistency?)

 

:iagree: My son was born to negotiate everything!! We've always worked to give him a choice, but it was either A or B, not C, at least not at age 5.

 

Calmness will go a long way. Also helping this child to realize there is a happy medium. My dh has accused me of being a drama queen and if I can't get A... I swing the pendulum way over on the other side to Z. Working on that in myself has been helping in teaching my ds how to compromise.

 

These are some of the things you can role play when you're not in school.

 

Also we have a schedule for school. Not because I want one, I love being spontaneous, but ds operates better with a schedule. We're starting our 7th year of homeschooling and he still does better knowing what order things are going to happen. It's part of setting the expectation, some kids just do better when it is all spelled out before hand.

 

Hang in there. :grouphug:

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I see this more as a discipline issue. My dc do these types of thing too and I discipline them with my normal disciplinary methods.

 

If my dc refuses to answer the question I ask, in a regular voice, after being asked to speak in a regular voice (and my 5 yo boy does this a lot), I immediately discipline him.

 

When my 6yo dd says she already know how to do it and won't listen, I discipline immediately. I am VERY strict when it comes to my dc's attitude in school. I demand that they have a good, happy attitude. Sometimes I tickle them to get them smiling. If that doesn't work and they are still copping an attitude I get mean.:eek:

I really, really HATE acting so mean, but I know I have to and I will get better results in the long run.

 

Because I have 3 young ones, I refuse to give choices when it comes to food and drink. If they don't like what I serve, I say great and walk away. If they whine and cry, they whine and cry. I don't give in.

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:grouphug:

 

The choices thing can start to drive you crazy.

 

One thing I found that helped over time was to add in "or nothing."

 

(For example, Cheerios, Wheaties, or nothing.). My daughter complained, "Mom, how come you always say 'or nothing?'"

 

I replied, "Because it is a choice." (And, the more they whine and complain, the choice they are likeliest to get.)

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I usually stay away from these kind of threads :tongue_smilie: but I agree that this is a discipline issue. And I wouldn't be asking him about his opinion on school. He's 5... he shouldn't have a vote. :)

 

His job right now is learning that he isn't the one in charge, regardless of where he is schooled.

 

For learning to give choices, I like the book, "Parenting with Love and Logic".

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Well if it is any consolation, I turned out alright and I was the sort of kid who sat at the table for nearly the entire play time at preK one day because I didn't want to say "May I please leave the table," because I thought "May I?" sounded stupid and I should be allowed to say "Can I." If I'd been clever, I wouldn't have picked the day Mum was there helping out to dig my heels in. :D And I was the sort of kid to refuse to put lemon in her marmalade because she didn't like lemons, and went happily home with her orange marmalade. (And told Mum how silly it was to try and make me put lemon in my marmalade when I didn't like it, when it wasn't really required, my nice orange marmalade being proof...)

 

It could be that your boy needs better reasons for what you want him to do. The answer you gave him about the point of the lesson wasn't a very good one. If you can't give him a good reason, you might need to stop and think if there is a good reason. If there isn't, why fight about it? There might be a more appealing way of teaching the same concept. And if that works, good. Heck, sometimes if we explain our reasons properly to these kids, so they understand, they can come up with another way to do it. Sometimes we need to stop and think about whether our priority is obedience, or if our priority is the subject at hand. When my mother asked my advice on my little brother leaving wet towels on the carpet, I asked if her issue was about him picking up the towels, or not picking them up, as the case was, or if her real issue was her concern that the carpet would go mildew. She said she didn't really care if he had towels on his floor, but was worried about the mildew. I think she ended up putting tarps down on his bedroom floor...

 

We don't need to create situations for them to do as they are told because there are plenty of those situations in life anyway. For example, my dad was trying to tell me I needed a fire screen for our heater and I said I didn't want one because the kids would only view it as a challenge and climb over it. He said then I definitely needed one because the kids need to learn not to climb over fire screens if I tell them not to. Uh, is that really necessary when they already know not to touch the heater because it is hot? Making a rule for the sake of having a rule to follow is very frustrating. Think how frustrated we are over dealing with government departments and red tape!

 

Your boy probably got frustrated over the drink episode because he felt like you lied to him. You said he could have what he wanted, then changed your mind. You are The Mum so you can change your mind if you want to, but it would probably help to be upfront about it.

 

Of course, when it comes down to it, "because I'm in a ferocious mood and want you to do as you are told" sometimes has to be a good enough reason, lol.

 

 

Rosie- was a charming 4 year old (not,) and is really enjoying her charming 3 yo (kind of ;) )

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I see this more as a discipline issue. My dc do these types of thing too and I discipline them with my normal disciplinary methods.

 

If my dc refuses to answer the question I ask, in a regular voice, after being asked to speak in a regular voice (and my 5 yo boy does this a lot), I immediately discipline him.

 

When my 6yo dd says she already know how to do it and won't listen, I discipline immediately. I am VERY strict when it comes to my dc's attitude in school. I demand that they have a good, happy attitude. Sometimes I tickle them to get them smiling. If that doesn't work and they are still copping an attitude I get mean.:eek:

I really, really HATE acting so mean, but I know I have to and I will get better results in the long run.

 

Snap. This is our way to a T. Particularly that I dislike having to do it, but it does work in all areas of life (with 4 very different personalities).

 

I'm just wondering. How important is it you that your 5yo ds is able to do this level of phonics work? Quite honestly, my 5yo ds is nowhere near this and I'm quite happy about that. We do bits here and there, all very relaxed. We're having a stab at Saxon Math 1 (he's a mathy kid), but very slowly and gently. He plays a lot outdoors, regardless of the weather (bundled up if cold, I hasten to add!) which does him a world of good. In fact he plays a lot, period. And learns a lot from it - I'm often surprised at the comments he makes and conclusions he comes to. We don't have anything amazing in our house when it comes to toys - bikes and the grub of the garden outside, legos, wooden train track and craft supplies within. I'm not saying you're wrong in teaching him to read, because if he's ready for it, that's great. It's just that we (and I know plenty of others) don't do it until a little later, and I don't believe our dc will be the worse for it.

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Fewer choices work better for children like that. Expectations must be crystal clear, but I would limit the choice-making to fewer things. It's just too much for a kid who has a lot of trouble giving things up. Having to choose amounts to losing out on one option in that kind of kid's mind. I would also avoid at all costs giving him control over what you make for lunch, what school things he does etc. You are borrowing trouble by allowing a child who is so volatile control over your day. If he tantrums, let him rage away, but be firm.

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Stop giving him choices. We don't do that around here...especially not with 5 year olds. You are letting him control you. In my house, I make one lunch for all the children. It's always something that they like and that is healthy. Their job is to eat it cheerfully and without complaint. If they whine, the food is taken away and they can stand with their nose touching the wall in the corner.

 

Obviously, now that mine are older, they can make their own lunch....and mine. :lol:

 

Stick to your guns. This will only get worse if you don't....in the words of Barney Fife....."nip it!"

 

Diane W.

married for 22 years

homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years

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How to Listen So Kids Will Talk and How to Talk So Kids Will Listen. http://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Kids-Will-Listen/dp/0380811960/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284680083&sr=8-1

 

 

Most of my parenting style comes from this book. I do tend to lean toward the no choices\because I said so camp for the under 8 group though, unless they exhibit the maturity to deal with choices. In my house choices are a privilege you earn.

 

Your son has proven that he can't handle choices so you need to create an environment where he isn't stressed with having to make them. And not to beat a dead horse but don't ask him if he wants to go to ps unless you are serious about sending him. Little dc know empty threats when they hear them.

 

You can look at the library for the book but its only 8.00 on amazon including shipping. It gives you tools to use immediately. It teaches you how to validate his feelings while enforcing your rules...un-emotionally. The ability to deal with discipline without emotion is key with these types of dc. Part of the pattern for them is getting a reaction out of you. They like the feeling of power\control it gives them. Ask me how I know.:D

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Your boy probably got frustrated over the drink episode because he felt like you lied to him. You said he could have what he wanted, then changed your mind. You are The Mum so you can change your mind if you want to, but it would probably help to be upfront about it.

 

 

I didn't get that at all from her post. She gave him the choice of drink and choice of flavors. I certainly don't see how saying that she makes chocolate smoothies from the mix, not from cocoa, translates into lying about him not being able to have the drink he wanted, and I don't see how it's changing her mind, either.

 

And your mum was smart to insist on "May I?" because of course any able-bodied child CAN leave the table ;)

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I didn't get that at all from her post. She gave him the choice of drink and choice of flavors. I certainly don't see how saying that she makes chocolate smoothies from the mix, not from cocoa, translates into lying about him not being able to have the drink he wanted, and I don't see how it's changing her mind, either.

 

 

Before I type a long and probably boring post to explain, are you telling me I'm wrong or asking me to explain the mindset?

 

Rosie

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I don't give my children the input, especially at five years of age, as to whether they would like to go to school or not. I do think your child's behavior is typical for a five year old.

 

Regarding the lessons, when I see that my kid is getting a bit of attitude I just tell him to go sit on his bed until he is ready to do his work nicely. That's it. I don't beg him to do the work and I don't work with a grumpy child. There is no point. If he is mumbling I ask him one time to speak up. Just once. Then it's off to the room. If he comes out in two minutes and he's still being a sourpuss then back to the room he goes. Why get my blood pressure up over a lesson, you know? The day is too short for all of that.

 

Regarding the drink at lunch, I would not have played the smoothie game. I mean, I would make the smoothie, but it would have been choice A or choice B, none of this making it this way and that, etc. If I say chocolate or orange, then pick one and let's go. I'll even let you push the button, but I am not going to stand there and debate smoothie recipes with a rude child. I just will not do it.

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Fewer choices work better for children like that. Expectations must be crystal clear, but I would limit the choice-making to fewer things. It's just too much for a kid who has a lot of trouble giving things up. Having to choose amounts to losing out on one option in that kind of kid's mind. I would also avoid at all costs giving him control over what you make for lunch, what school things he does etc. You are borrowing trouble by allowing a child who is so volatile control over your day. If he tantrums, let him rage away, but be firm.

 

:iagree: I know all the parenting books say to give kids a choice between two acceptable things, so they feel they have some control. But for some kids, having to choose all the time is just too much.

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Without getting into the parenting/discipline discussion...*ahem*

 

How is he sleeping? How is he eating? Is this an all-the-time behavior or does it come and go?

 

It might do some good to keep track of sleeping patterns and meals. See if you can tie this behavior in to anything, such a certain type of food or a lack of sleep.

 

Does he behave this way with dad too? What about other adults he interacts with? Try to step back and brainstorm his behavior and see if you notice any patterns you can explore. Could even be seasonal allergies. Or he's too cold or hot. Things many of us wouldn't even think about! The more you start really paying attention to triggers, maybe you'll notice something different about the times when he behaves well versus the times he rants and rages.

 

Good luck!!

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Thanks for the comments. To reply to some of the main themes:

 

I really am not pushing him in reading at all. He actually does want to do "school." It probably takes maybe 45 minutes/day to do the stuff we do. Since his older sister is busy with her 3rd grade work, if he didn't do ANY school all day, he would feel really aimless and bored. I know because I saw it last year when he was doing some preschool stuff.

 

I do know that it is in part a discipline issue. I have read the Parenting With Love and Logic book and I do feel like the choices I offer are appropriate for his age and mental ability. I do think adding "or nothing" is something that might help, though, to elucidate that there truly are no other options. Obviously, I quickly realized I made a mistake with the smoothie thing.

 

And truthfully, I would let him go to public school if he felt he really would be happier there, so it wasn't an empty "threat".

 

Rosie, thanks for your comments. I feel certain he'll turn out okay in the long run, it's the short run that I'm concerned about. A few months back I was having a discussion with him and said, "You know, you don't have to argue about everything." He replied, without missing a beat, "But Mom, you can argue about everything." I'm afraid in that way, he is quite like his dad, who loves to have heated, engaged discussions about everything. I don't. When he found out that you can have a job arguing things (being a lawyer), his eyes actually lit up. He is very much like one of my brothers, from the off-the-charts size to the brain like a steel trap. This brother had loads of trouble in school, because of his size teachers expected him to act older, and other kids wanted to prove their toughness against the big kid. (He was 6 feet tall at age 12. He's 6'9" now.) He constantly battled with my parents, especially my dad. He's definitely the smartest of all 6 of us kids, but he didn't do well in school. But, I digress. I do think you are right that I need to have better "reasons" for what I ask him to do, especially if he didn't know what we were going to do before we started. It was me wanting to stand my ground that led to the explosion, but I felt like I couldn't back down because he needs to learn that I have the final say. Obviously, in retrospect, there are better ways to have dealt with it. I should have sent him up to his bed when it started.

 

Give_me_a_latte, his dad started working 2 weeks at a time in California back in July (2 weeks here/2 weeks gone), so I am sure that this is causing a good deal of stress for him. It is for me, too. But it's going to be our life for the next year, so I am trying to get us all to a new "normal".

 

Anyways, enough rambling from me. I do appreciate the food for thought. Oh, Amie, I have that book on my shelf. I am going to pull it down and read it again this weekend. Obviously I could use a refresher.

 

Thanks all. And thanks especially for the :grouphug:. Those are most appreciated. It's really easy to jump to conclusions about the discipline methods (or lack thereof), but I appreciate those of you who refrained from jumping too far. I know he sounded like a monster, but he usually isn't which is why I was worked up enough over the situation to bother posting anyways.

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:iagree: I know all the parenting books say to give kids a choice between two acceptable things, so they feel they have some control. But for some kids, having to choose all the time is just too much.

I agree. A choice here and there IF it is pleasant seems fine. But when it is clearly resulting in emotional drama with the child it's time to cut way back on giving them choices.

I do think when Mom said he could have whatever he wanted to drink - if that is how it was worded to the child - he may have taken that to mean "whatever" he could think of, not just the two flavors of smoothies she followed up with. Children do tend to get all bent out of shape if they get it in their head that they can have something and then it turns out they really cannot.

Sometimes they just need to be told what to do, not asked what they want.

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Guest CarolineUK
Originally Posted by Remudamom viewpost.gif

I'm sure you all know what I'm going to say.

 

I'd spank his butt and not put up with the tantrums. Yeah, I know, none of you spank, yadda yadda.

 

 

My sentiments exactly!

 

I went through a rough time with my eldest when he was small, and from that experience I think that, as difficult as it may be, don't let your negative feelings towards him get in the way of recognising that he is still a very small boy who needs love, cuddles and lots of praise.

 

I don't know how much you get out and about and see other little boys his age, it can be difficult when you're homeschooling, I know, but I also found with my eldest that his behaviour improved dramatically when we'd been out socialising. He's still the only one in our family who really craves a very active social life - he adores school for that very reason and would be totally miserable if I insisted on homeschooling him, while his three younger brothers thrive on just home and family.

 

Just a couple of thoughts, although I'm sure they won't be popular with everyone.

 

Best of luck.

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Wow, thank you. I am ordering that book tonight.

 

Good, because I was going to second the recommendation. Changed the way I looked at/dealt with my middle child at about the same age as yours at the time, especially when the discipline methods so recommended in this thread went nowhere with him.

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IMO this is a respect issue. Your son has decided that he runs the house, and until he understands that he cannot do so, he will continue to challenge.

 

My son's challenge came in a different form, but I determined that if I were to homeschool, I would have to win the battle. Finding a consequence to his disobedience that shows him that a) he is not in charge and b) that you love him, is hard. It will take a serious commitment to work through this.

 

I have a friend who taught her children to say, "O.K., mommy!" whenever she asked something of them. One day she was in the checkout line when one of her children asked for gum. She said, "No, not this time," and the little girl responded with a cheerful, "O.K., Mommy!" The clerk twisted her body around the cash register and craned her neck to see who that child was who had said that and exclaimed, "What did she say? I've NEVER heard that one before!!"

 

I suggest you take an approach something like this (you have to make it fit your home, but...): He is required to answer, "O.K., Mommy!" and if he has a request, he can add, "May I make a request?" You can say yes or no--your law reigns. If you say yes, he can make his petition.

 

I know some moms who make one day per week a no-talk-back day. Everything thing you ask of him requires an "O.K., Mommy!" response. He will discover how many times he talks back!

 

Getting him from where he is today to where he can say, "Yes, Mommy!" is the big part of this. It will take an effort on your part to decide how to deal with the tantrums. If walking away works, good. If sending him to time out or to his room until he can say it, good, too. Whatever works. He needs to learn to be in control of his stubborn streak. He needs to learn to choose to do the right thing rather than obey his impulses. This is not easy. This is going to be just as hard on you as on him...maybe harder. And it may take weeks or months to work through it. You've been handed the challenge whether you like it or not--and you need to find the response to his challenge that helps him change his behavior. (Painful, exhausting, irritating, maddening.)

 

I often told my children that their response was not acceptable, and then I told them what to say.

 

"Let's try this again. I'm going to say, ' Do you want abc or xyz?' and you are going to respond with one or the other."

 

"It is time to pick up toys and get ready for bed." (Loud whine.) "Let's try this again, and I want to hear you respond with, "O.K., Mommy!"

 

Or daddy comes and takes him by the hand saying, "Mom asked you to do something. If you will not obey her, then you will go directly to bed," and he takes him into his room, gets him in PJs and tucks him into bed--no bed time story, no Bible time, no whatever normal bedtime routine happens each night, no matter how much kicking and screaming results.

 

There were days we stayed home from story hour and homeschool play activities because the "Yes, mommy!" couldn't be found anywhere. Yes, it was hard on me and the rest of the family. But my hardest child is a 20 yo who is diligently studying Engineering, commuting from home and is my most delightful, best humored, greatest sense of humored kid. The time it takes now at this age to teach him what he needs to know is PAINFUL, but worth EVERY SECOND of agony. You want to win this struggle at age 5 and not have to deal with it at age 16. Believe me.

 

Here is my story:

http://shadesofwhite.typepad.com/shades_of_white/2008/03/tomato-staking.html

 

Be encouraged. You can do it. It just takes determination and creativity.

 

Blessings on the journey,

Jean

Edited by Jean in Wisc
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IMO this is a respect issue.

 

:iagree: My initial thought when reading the OP was that your 5yo isn't talking to you with respect or with manners. Regardless if he is told which voice to use, he should know what an appropriate tone is.

 

We also have the choice of "A, B, or nothing" or "A or B or mom's pick."

 

If they throw attitude during appropriate leveled schoolwork, they sit while I go find something productive to do. We resume when we are both ready. This way I don't get frustrated with their attitudes or with having my time wasted.

 

As an aside, my kids did much better when their lessons were timed. My 6yo knows that he gets 15 min for his phonics lesson. When the timer goes off, he is done. Having seemingly open-ended lessons or do xxx pages just created frustration.

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Here is my story:

http://shadesofwhite.typepad.com/shades_of_white/2008/03/tomato-staking.html

 

Be encouraged. You can do it. It just takes determination and creativity.

I haven't read all the replies- just Jean's. I posted a link to this in a tomato staking thread earlier this week. It is a wonderful, touching story and one of my all time favorite tomato staking stories.

I guess that I am divided into several opinions on the examples that you have given.

1. Part of me says kids that negotiate drive me crazy, but if that is part of who they are imagine how you can guide that trait and all the adult jobs that it can be applied to.

2. Part of me says that if you don't want him to make a decision/ have a choice then don't give him one. If I want my son to have water or whatever for lunch, I just hand it to him. If I want him to decide what to drink at lunch, I let him decide. I don't give a choice when I don't want him to make one. IOW, I thought that the chocolate milk mix was a clever solution and I might have laughed had my ds been that creative.

3. Part of me says that if he is generally defiant, disobedient, and disrespectful, nip it in the bud. Calmly and with love, but nip it now.

It is so difficult to get a feel for these things over the internet, so please take what applies and disregard the rest. If you decide to homeschool your ds, it will certainly be more challenging than if you had a quiet, compliant child, but read Jean's story and imagine the beautiful outcome. Once you can imagine it, you can set out to make it happen.

Mandy

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And truthfully, I would let him go to public school if he felt he really would be happier there, so it wasn't an empty "threat".

 

.

 

I hope I didn't give you the impression you were "threatening" him with ps. I was just trying to make the point that I wouldn't have that conversation with a 5 yr old. Mine would go to ps as well, if it was best for them, not if it would make them "happier. Truthfully, I don't think thats what you meant though :D.

 

It's obvious your a good mom!! Hang in there.

 

Oh ya, if the above comment had nothing to do with my response...just ignore me :D.

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I wouldn't give that child a choice under the sun until he became a little more willing to go along....

 

As with all things, you accomplish nothing without practice. He must get the opportunity to "practice" a little compliance. After I saw a little more willingness to get along on his part (like two months worth of willingness) he might get a few choices back, like which socks to wear.

 

And you're right. He is much better off at home... Because to nip this in the bud at five is one thing. To put up with it (and worse) for the next 15 years is a whole other deal.

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IMO this is a respect issue. Your son has decided that he runs the house, and until he understands that he cannot do so, he will continue to challenge.

...............

The time it takes now at this age to teach him what he needs to know is PAINFUL, but worth EVERY SECOND of agony. You want to win this struggle at age 5 and not have to deal with it at age 16. Believe me.

 

Here is my story:

http://shadesofwhite.typepad.com/shades_of_white/2008/03/tomato-staking.html

 

Be encouraged. You can do it. It just takes determination and creativity.

 

Blessings on the journey,

Jean

 

Jean, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and the link. Though of course now I can't see because of tears. ;) I also appreciate the examples of dialogue you shared, and the "Yes Mommy" approach. Something like that might work well with both ds5 and dd8.

 

Thanks, again, everyone. It has been really helpful to hear others thoughts/experiences/suggestions. It has been hard this week to not have DH around to talk to as much as I'd like since he is in CA this week and next. I'm grateful to have some :bigear::bigear: here.

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I just want to say that I am going through much of the same thing with my 2nd-grade-son. He is a great kid so much of the day but homeschool time s*cks with him. I have been so frustrated and down about it - it seems some days I have tried everything but he still is so negative and resistant during our school time.

 

Reading this thread has given me renewed energy and helped me to realize where I need to improve and new things I can try.

 

I am also going to get that book The Explosive Child (and re-read How to Talk....)

 

:grouphug:

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Reading this thread has given me renewed energy and helped me to realize where I need to improve and new things I can try.

 

I am also going to get that book The Explosive Child (and re-read How to Talk....)

 

:grouphug:

 

I'm so glad that this is helping you, too. Sometimes it just helps to know that we aren't the only one struggling. I never could have homeschooled (and stayed sane) before the internet! :grouphug:

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I haven't had time to read the whole thread, but I just wanted to chime in to say that you're not alone. My DD5 sounds just like your guy. Yesterday she refused to get out of the car at the grocery store because she was mad that I didn't buy her a snack at Office Depot. She climbed around the van to avoid me, and finally screamed at me that she didn't want a mother, and especially "NOT A MOTHER LIKE YOU!!!!!" :rolleyes:

 

I have some serious doubts about my ability to teach her, and I also know that teaching her is NOT going to be like teaching my compliant 8-year-old. It's going to have to be much more free-form. I'll be winging it a lot more, and winging it is not my specialty, unfortunately *sigh* It's going to be a long and bumpy road.

 

You might also take a look at the book Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child. I knew I needed to set limits, and lots of people here gave me great advice, but for some reason, how to implement stronger limits just didn't click for me until I read that book. It really helped me a lot with the practical application.

 

Keep fighting the good fight :grouphug:

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Another book recommendation Raising Your Spirited Child.

 

Hands down this book is my favorite parenting book where it concerns my 6 yr old.

 

It sound like you are better able to remain calm than I am. That's my weakness....controlling my temper.

 

Just the other day my 6 yr old and I were yelling at each other back and forth saying,

 

DS: "The more you yell the madder I get."

 

Me: "Well, the more you whine and yell the angrier *I* get, so stop!"

 

DS: "I can't stop because you won't stop!"

 

Me: "I can't stop because *you* won't stop! Stop!"

 

DS: "Stop yelling at me!"

 

Me: "Stop whining!"

 

Yeah, not my proudest moment. :glare:

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Another book recommendation Raising Your Spirited Child.

 

Hands down this book is my favorite parenting book where it concerns my 6 yr old.

 

It sound like you are better able to remain calm than I am. That's my weakness....controlling my temper.

 

Just the other day my 6 yr old and I were yelling at each other back and forth saying,

 

DS: "The more you yell the madder I get."

 

Me: "Well, the more you whine and yell the angrier *I* get, so stop!"

 

DS: "I can't stop because you won't stop!"

 

Me: "I can't stop because *you* won't stop! Stop!"

 

DS: "Stop yelling at me!"

 

Me: "Stop whining!"

 

Yeah, not my proudest moment. :glare:

 

:lol::lol::lol: I'm sorry, it sounds so much like a conversation that would happen here, I can't help but laugh! After we left the grocery store yesterday, DD5 was in the car, doing her usual thing to regain control. I turned on the radio and she said we can only listen to the radio if we listen to what SHE chooses, so I snapped it back off. Then she went on, talking to herself, listing out all the ways she was mad at me, all the restrictions on my behavior and the conditions that had to be met in order to do anything, on and on, but very quietly. I was trying to hang on to the last of my patience and ignore her, but finally, I just said, "Juliana, stop talking. Just stop. I'm trying to hold onto my temper, and with every word you say, I'm coming closer and closer to losing it. And if I lose my temper, you are going to be in very, very, VERY big trouble when we get home. So do not say another word. Just STOP TALKING!!!!" She put her thumb in her mouth and didn't say another word until we were almost home, and then she began conversing normally :banghead:

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