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05-06-2011, 06:29 PM
This has been an issue on and off for us this year: whining, complaining, refusing to do schoolwork, screaming at the slightest frustration, everything is tooooo haaaaaard, etc. etc.

It just dawned on me that my younger two will likely follow the footsteps of their older brother with this, as they do with so many things and I'd like to prevent that, if possible.

Do you tie privileges in with attitude towards school? What else works for you? Please share any tricks and tips you have. I've tried a number of things but this issue keeps rearing it's unpleasant head and I really need to get some creative solutions.

Just to clarify with our situation, this happens even when we take frequent breaks, even when we are doing a very light week of "bookwork" type stuff, lots of choices are given, lots of fun things, very laid back schedule, so this is why I am at a loss.

Thanks.

Batgirl
05-06-2011, 08:01 PM
Julie, I feel your pain. I have had that problem too, over and over again. I am currently reading a book for ADHD kids that seems to have some good ideas for this kind of behaviour. It's called Parenting Kids with ADHD. The author is Victor Monastra. I haven't actually tried much yet, but the initial results have been encouraging. The technique he recommends is called Time Stands Still. If your child gives you a hard time about and/or refuses to do a task, nothing else happens until it is done, not even planned activities. They can sit around and read, but that's it. Once they decide to complete the task, they also have to apologize to you and do something else to make amends, like completing a chore, making a card, giving a hug, etc. If you are out in public, the moment you go home, they do their "making amends" task. Obviously the book is a little more involved than this explanation. But the idea is to put the focus on the child and their own actions, including "attitude".

leezmom
05-06-2011, 08:01 PM
Julie, I can't recall the ages of your children off hand but I'll give some things that have worked for us with our now 14 year old.

When he was younger I just basically ignored it. To explain, if he got an attitude there was a warning. If that didn't work then we would put him in his room to have his attitude alone. He could come join the rest of us and have a life when he was done. Some days were a constant back and forth into his room though! And let me be clear, this was not go in your room and play. This was go in your room and sit in your bed in silence until you are "over it".

Now that his is older, we give a warning and remind him of the expectations and what will occur if he doesn't calm down and be respectful. If he continues, we simply take the action. Most times it is a limiting of "fun things" like 15 minutes less of computer game time for each "offense". Some days he loses 15 minutes and some days he loses his entire day's time and some of the next day's LOL

Topsy
05-06-2011, 09:48 PM
Oh boy do I ever remember those days. My older son actually enjoyed schoolish things, but my younger son....oh my!! It was complain, complain, complain from the beginning of the school day to the end. The biggest thing I figured out over time was that the projects and assignments I gave that were "busy work" were the things that got the most rise out of him. I finally discovered when he was in about the fourth grade that he was a visual learner, and when I started gearing things toward his learning style, the whining and moaning was tremendously lessened. We started doing a LOT of educational videos which he really loved and switched over to a multimedia online curriculum which was terrific too. It's hard to complain too much about field trips, so we did LOTS of those, and hands-on activities - - especially those that weren't of the busy-work variety - - were always a hit. Once he hit middle school I began assigning less and less and allowing him to move in a more unschoolish direction and that was even more helpful. Yes, he has learned far more about vampires and the mafia and spiders than I think is necessary for any human being, but he is LEARNING instead of whining, and that is okay in my book. Now that he is in high school he actually unschools completely and spends hours of his own time studying everything from surgical techniques to gravitational pull...of his own accord!!!! :) It DOES get better, I promise. The greatest part of homeschooling is the ability to customize an education for each child, so you will find the best mix for each kiddo as they come along...I'm sure of it!

lakshmi
05-06-2011, 10:22 PM
Ouch.... batgirl!! lol, seriously I've tried that method and it doesn't work. Well, it works for a little while, and definitely still has some impact if not drawn out. Typically, I say, "I do NOT accept you treating me X way." BUT, then using a little of Raising Our Children Raising Ourselves, checking in with the kid emotionally seems to help better than anything. Giving them a chance to be heard with no restricitions.

BUT, even though it works, nothing works forever, and this issue comes up again and again and each time must deal with it the same way, thus building trust that they as a child can be heard, and that emotions and problems will dealt with in a consistent manner.

Times like those I wish for a nanny.

Yesterday, I read that you can change your children if you change your vibe, like if you're getting whining, check inside yourself to see if there is any whining vibe going on. (Sometimes, I whine inside, like right now, Oh just go to sleep so I can chat and post! Soon they're gonna whine if I don't go. Quick Reply and then nitey nite.)

MrsLOLcat
05-06-2011, 10:36 PM
Do you tie privileges in with attitude towards school? What else works for you? Please share any tricks and tips you have. I've tried a number of things but this issue keeps rearing it's unpleasant head and I really need to get some creative solutions.

You bet I do! I think of it this way: If my son went to school with DD and pulled that kind of crap, imagine what kind of trouble he'd be in... both at school and at home! He would definitely have privileges yanked at home if he sassed his teacher at school. I am his teacher. This is his school. So he doesn't get to sass me. I have assigned sentences (yes, busy work and pointless, but it's an effective consequence), designated extra chores, or had him run laps around the back yard. When things are too haaaaaard (loved that), I just kind of stare at him and ask him to explain, step by step, how he thinks the work should be done and what he's going to do to get there... and then make him park his carcass in a chair till he can tell me. Thinking the process through is usually enough to get him going.

There are still days where I just throw up my hands and we change the schedule around, but for the most part, my son is young enough that he doesn't get to dictate the process yet. Maybe yours still needs a bit more of a schedule to know what to expect and what is expected? I truly hope that as mine gets older, he'll add more autonomy to the system. Fingers crossed. Good luck with yours. That doesn't sound fun.

CatInTheSun
05-06-2011, 10:43 PM
We're a "natural consequences" family. For us takes a lot of the stress out of it. Our routine/schedule is a list of A->B->C->D without set times (except start times, which will "push" if preceding activity isn't done). Kids get a glass of milk when they get up, then a 20-30min block of learning, THEN breakfast THEN play outside. If they want to eat, they'll do that first (easy) block without a hassle. Back in at a set time (so if you futz around, less playtime). Two learning blocks in a row sep by lunch -- how much of a break they get is based on how well they work (not just speed but attitude). There is ZERO talk of tv/Wii/ swimming pool/afternoon playing outside -- until the work is done. If they want to take until 3pm to do an hour of work, fine, but then NO tv/wii/ipod that day.

They're still young (oldest is almost 8), but I do think it helps that they know what they need to do (even if SOME days it's annoying to be greeted with "What do we need to do today to play Wii?" :p ) I agree you set the tone for the day. And I don't expect the kids to be excited every day to do their lessons, but I don't tolerate whining or bad attitudes either. Kids don't whine if the price of poker is too high, and I make it really high. :) I've very relaxed on most things and they have a ton of input on their day, but how they treat each other and how they treat us are non-negotiables.

KristinK
05-06-2011, 11:03 PM
I'm enjoying reading everyone's methods. I'm having a lot of trouble with my 7yr old right now. She is really really hard to motivate, and will frequently just say "no" and walk away from me, while I stand there with my mouth open thinking "how the heck did I lose all authority this fast?" *sigh* She HAS to do her work in order to get computer time, but sometimes she leaves it till 7pm then is scurrying to get it done in order to play games for 30min. If I say "your work needs done now", she says "why?" To which I reply "we can't do anything fun today until you do your work"...so she'll say "okay" and grab a book and park her butt in the rocking chair for the next couple of hours...

modified workboxes have made things a bit easier, as she sees exactly what's laid out for her each day, but it's just a battle to get her started...

KristinK
05-06-2011, 11:03 PM
(sorry, that was totally unhelpful to the OP!!! Just commisserating I guess!)

Batgirl
05-06-2011, 11:39 PM
Uh, oh, why ouch??? :-) I just read about it, so I'm excited to try it! I hope I didn't inadvertently imply anything.....My oldest son has HFA and possibly ADHD He has a younger brother who is neurotypical, but often imitates his brother. He has real trouble controlling his temper, impulses, transitions, you name it and was hitting, pinching and biting, often. Additionally, I can warn, I can have routines, I can have fun field trips, I can post schedules.....and he still argues, fights and tries to boss everyone around an awful lot. And I do listen to his emotions and respect his wishes as far as I can. The problem is, if I give an inch, he takes a mile. So far, this is the most reasonable method I've seen for tackling this stuff. (And I did oversimplify what I read, mind you.) My son is not easy to live with; if I related my internal emotional state to my son's neurodevelopmental problems, I'd drive myself crazy.

lakshmi
05-07-2011, 12:00 AM
Gadzooks.

Holy Time Standing Still method, Batgirl...

Seriously haven't read the book, so shouldn't say anything. Just like Ouch, wow that is tough.

I do a sort of modified version of this. It works with one and not the other. I'm just now reading Parenting Ourselves and it is where the emotion thing came in and that is what I am trying now. I am guessing HFA is high functioning autism? Not sure about these autism issues, because I don't have to deal with it in a child. I said ouch cuz it is a hardcore method. But it seems like basic parenting follow thru. The listening to emotions thing is something new to me and she says that the bad behavior will dissipate if the kids feel "heard."

I suppose we could all just go back to beating them, but did that really work in the long run either. My kids get on my nerves, because I am onlychildintrovert and having three other people around me all the time is a lot of stimulus.

I don't really tie privileges into attitude anymore. I felt like I was creating an ODD nightmare. Basically, I've decided that the only way that I can deal with them is to treat them like somebody else's children that I am babysitting. LOL... Seriously, this is my worst area. We've made some changes around here and it feels sort of rocky right now.

But basically it seems that whatever worked once won't work forever. Kind of like how heroin would feel great the first time, but then after a while it would sort of be like maintenance.

dbmamaz
05-07-2011, 12:09 AM
Lakshmi, I still feel you're being kinda harsh on Batgirl. Saying you cant do anything else until you comply with this (reasonable and warned about) request is NOTHING like beating. And the touchy-feely parenting methods DONT work for autistic kids. Ok, mine is mildly autistic and bipolar (stable on meds) and tourettes - but yes, he needs to have his feelings heard and yes, he sometimes calms down after I mirror his feelings back to him . . . but no, if I dont continue EVERY SINGLE DAY with "no, you cant get back on the video games until you finish your school work" and even, on bad days, the occasional "you KNOW you cant play video games until school is over and if you ask again, you wont be able to play them the rest of the day" - then he will not get anything done. He is absolutely obsessive about his interests, and NOTHING matters . . unlessI MAKE it matter.

I did not parent his sister this way because she was very cooperative and self-directed. I sometimes have to parent his brother this way, because he is so stubborn he probably WOULD bite off his nose to spite his face - but he's also really self-directed once something gets his attention.

As for attitude - i give a lot of leeway (after all, bipolar MEANs you cant control your emotions). But i dont pretend they are someone else's kids. I try to understand and respect their feelings, and remember how much I feel like whining like that when I dont want to do something - or at least did, when i was teenager. Keeping my composure is very very tiring, and it usually means that as soon as school is 'over', the kids run to their video games and . . . so do I . . . for some cool-down time.

Yeah, its funny tho - our classroom management skills are VERY different, huh. I think partially because many of us ARE dealing w special needs kids, but also because . . . we are their parents. We cant send them home to someone else to fix the emotional damage we inflict - we have to both get them to do what they need to do AND make them feel loved and supported. Supermoms . . .

lakshmi
05-07-2011, 12:49 AM
dude not being harsh on batgirl... if i was being harsh on batgirl i would of said something mean like.. That is redonkulous. Thanks for sticking up for her though. i trust that you'll do the same for me sometime if need be.

And I thought I mentioned that I have no experience with autism... I thought I did. Personally I'll take cancer over autism. Definitely not something I'd be prepared to deal with on a regular basis, and those that do have my respect. ( and could throw bipolar in there too, not that I have any personal experience just through a friend.)

I meant pretend they are someone elses so I can be nice to them. HA. Like not freaking out on them and jumping up and down and saying.. I told you to clean your room or some other crazy thing. As a comedian in a club once said, "It's a joke lady."

Yes, love that can't send them home part... true.

Accidental Homeschooler
05-07-2011, 01:14 AM
I read this post earlier and have been thinking about it since. I have a 5yo who screams and it drives the rest of us crazy. Anyway, I have been thinking about the difference between our good days and our bad days. The only thing I have been able to come up with is that I am different on the good days (aside from obvious things like she got to bed late the night before). I wake up in a good mood, everyone is in a good mood. I wake up in a good mood, I don't get upset when we hit a bump and the whining or screaming or refusing to cooperate happens. I just stay with her until we get through it and move on. I am not saying this is what is happening with your situation, but it was helpful for me to think about the really good days and what is the variable that is different on those days. If I am cranky and try to get through our educational goals for the day, it tends to fall apart pretty fast. I figured out a couple weeks ago that by Friday I am exhausted and not very effective and so we are going to limit "school" to four days a week (minus holidays/trips) and go year round. We had been planning to do three weeks and then a week off. I am new to hsing and still figuring out what is going to work for us but we are getting there. I read somewhere that one way to deal with whining is to ignore the tone and respond to the content. That works pretty well for my 13yo, who would never scream but can whine with the best of them. Good luck and of course you will figure it out!

MarkInMD
05-07-2011, 01:17 AM
All I know is whoever can figure out the foolproof answer to this will make billions.

And I'll be lining up to plunk down my $29.95 with a money-back-if-you're-not-satisfied guarantee.

lakshmi
05-07-2011, 01:21 AM
Accidental Homeschooler. That is true for me too and comes back to that vibe article I read. So it's me creating all this negativity.

And Mark, you are so very very correct.

CatInTheSun
05-07-2011, 01:26 AM
I'd add I believe you can "hear" your child and still hold them accountable for their actions. You can be strict AND touchie-feelie! :D

As a kid I recall my (ever-patient) mom saying that she wasn't raising kids, she was raising adults. Like her, I encourage autonomy and as much independence as they can handle. I only ASK them to do something when it is a real choice, and then I use my manners (please and thank you) sincerely. But when I TELL them to do something, I expect them to do it. I am definitely a "your feelings are valid" parent, but I also tell them that whatever their feelings, they ARE responsible for their actions/behavior/how they act on those feelings. To me whining isn't a feeling, it is a passive-agressive disrespectful behavior.

As a rule of thumb, I try to treat my kids with the same respect as a co-worker. I mean, I might WANT to tell a coworker they really flubbed up, but I wouldn't be rude or cruel. When I'm upset, I imagine I'm talking to a really incompetent boss. :lol: I ask the kids to strive for that same type of respectful behavior, to me and each other. Of course I want more compassion and empathy at home, but respect and kindness are important and often lacking in even loving families. If they are dawdling instead of starting a lesson, I tell them they are wasting my time and that is disrespectful of me and our home. It says that what I need to do and their siblings that need my attention aren't as important as their snitfit.

Although I may sound "strict", we discuss our scheduling and I really listen to their suggestions. I treat them with respect, I ENJOY them, they have tons of free time and an eager audience when they want to put on a show (daily) EVEN if that means I stop working or cleaning. We play, have fun, and they have choices all day. In return when they don't WANT to do something, they USUALLY decide to just do it. I think it's important that they have some areas to feel in control.

If you can keep the harmony in 85% of the stuff, they don't want to break that harmony over the 15%. The %ages run true for my kids. We figured that out when our first was 15mo -- she'd tow the line in conflict was only over a few )important to us) things. :) Since I think learning to pick your battles is an important skill, I'm happy if my kids are learning it! :)

lakshmi
05-07-2011, 01:28 AM
Yeah, What Cat said!


just found this link.. sort of goes along with what we're talking about.

http://kelly.hogaboom.org/?p=9481

Greenmother
05-07-2011, 06:57 AM
My oldest gets started but has trouble finishing, and sometimes just takes forever to get assignments done. So I am always willing to switch subjects if that looks like it will help. When the kids get really stressed out, I try to distract them from the bad thing and get them to focus on something more positive. And remind them to take some deep breaths, because I notice that they {and people in general} seem to hold their breath a lot when stressed or angry or frustrated. It helps diffuse most situations, but its not a magic bullet.

Pefa
05-07-2011, 10:12 AM
To me, it's clear that problems with attitude/motivation/direction are universal but solutions are individual. After all, if there was only one right way to raise kids we'd all be doing it right?

For us, routines help, working w/a kid's style, ignoring what I can, rewarding the good, making expectations clear, nothing really exciting or magical. I think the most important thing I've learned is that what you do might not matter (with the obvious exception of physical or emotional abuse) but whatever you do you need to stick to it for at least three months before going in a new direction. You can tweak an approach but if it makes sense to you go for it and stick to it.

Good scotch every now and again helps too.

Kylie
05-07-2011, 07:30 PM
Good thread. Nothing to add at this minute but will think about it today as I have one of those kids too ;-)

Batgirl
05-07-2011, 07:42 PM
Oh, gotcha. I hear you. Yeah, validating emotions & working to really hear your child are wonderful things to do. But if the child has neurodevelopmental problems, it isn't enough, unfortunately. It hit a button for me because I worked my butt off at those things for years & still got blamed by lots of people for my son's problems. I still work on it!--but need some other techniques in my toolbox. I am very introverted and laid back myself, and my oldest, in addition to his problems, is a raging extrovert.

Greenmother
05-07-2011, 08:50 PM
Pefa wrote: Good scotch every now and again helps too.

I am coming over to your house Pefa!

Pefa
05-08-2011, 05:07 PM
I am coming over to your house Pefa!

I'd be happy for the company as long as you agree to ignore the dust buffaloes (for his english class last fall, B1 described our decorating "style" as functional clutter).

Accidental Homeschooler
05-08-2011, 11:17 PM
lakshmi, I know someone else who imagines she is the babysitter when her kids are really getting on her nerves. She goes further and pretends their parents will be back in an hour. I am not sure what happens after that, maybe an hour gets her past the rough spot. I have pretended that I am in front of an audience of all the parents I ever worked with when I was a social worker, plus my mother, plus my mother-in-law. It is amazing the perfect parenting I am able to pull out of my hat with that particular audience.

Stella M
05-08-2011, 11:29 PM
I am always a better parent with an audience :)

MarkInMD
05-08-2011, 11:49 PM
I am always a better parent with an audience :)

Yes. And oddly enough, my kids are always better behaved with an audience, too. :)

dbmamaz
05-09-2011, 12:09 AM
huh. I think i'm usually a worse parent with an audience. i get so self-concious. Esp w challenging kids - at home, if they act out, I know we can work past it . . . or i chose not to fight that fight right now. In public I feel like everyone is watching and judging, expecting me to 'get that kid under control.' Or knowing that my kids are really sensitive about some things and seeing people say things I KNOW will set them off, and trying to get out of there ASAP.

Tho i do remember one time, in the drug store, Raven kept running away from me. I was really not very aware of the surroundings, fairly focussed on him. I said sweetly, in a conspiratorial (sp?) voice "Raven, would you like to have a time out when we get home?" "No . . . " "Then you'd better come get in the car!" (still sweetly, almost sounding excited). Some man I hadnt noticed chuckled out loud . . . .

lakshmi
05-09-2011, 12:21 AM
That is a good one, Accidental Homeschooler! In front of MIL I tend to get all ODD and start acting out. BUT, an audience is good. But recently it seems that even in the grocery store I've been more on edge. I am going to blame it on the increase in iPhones since Verizon started selling them too.

Let's face it all these radio waves pounding into our heads can't make us feel any better! I've even been thinking about getting rid of my cell altogether just to stop playing into the bombardment. But I don't have an iPhone.

Lou
05-09-2011, 01:37 AM
Yes. And oddly enough, my kids are always better behaved with an audience, too. :)

My children act up more with an audience...I'm guessing I'm fairly the same either way, but they do get very excited when someone new shows up and their best behavior is blown out the window. :eek:

One thing I do is when 'whinning' kicks in (the beginning when it first starts) I mentally find a good (but quick) stopping point in our lesson and point out that when you get to this place (finish this page, finish problem #9, etc) then you can have recess, computer game, a sweet, etc...(whatever seems to be the thing that is most likely going to get their motivation going)

If I had planned to do 3 pages in a book and the whinning starts on the first page, I will finish out that first page and that will be all for the day, unless a good opportunity comes up later to extend the lesson a bit more (greatest part of homeschooling=flexiblity)

If I don't catch the whine before it's a full blown whine then I remind my son of the above warning...finish this and then you can have that...(so not taking a reward away, but rather rewarding the completion of something and without them knowing making the success rate higher by shortening my original plan) if that doesn't work, then it's too their room to sit on their bed until they are ready to come out and complete the work.

I don't like taking things away because my son is very similar to my sister in personality and my sister once told me that she never had any drive to succeed in life because she was never allowed to keep anything...everything she thought was hers was always taken away by mom & dad. I prefer to sweeten the pot and shorten the dreadful task instead.

Handwriting is our torture subject...so before we even begin that lesson, as I'm taking it out...I remind the kids as soon as they are done with this lesson we are done for the day...or we can have a break with a popcycle or you guys can have 30 minutes of your favorite TV shows...or some other 'benefit' that will be their focus during the lesson. That way the whine doesn't really get started...if it does a gentle reminder of how soon that dangling carrot will be theirs gets them back on track.

I also find during dreaded lessons, my son does better when I put up a partition and he can't see what his sister or I am doing...his world is a bit blocked out and that helps him.

ANOTHER thing that just came to mind is that as laid back and flexible as I am...my son (and our family) seem to work better on a routine...not a strict schedule run by the clock, but a flowing routine with the same things in fairly the same order. Get up, get dressed, have breakfast, brush teeth, etc...not robotic, but easy going...

When our routine is changed drastically my kids seem to have emotional days, ups & downs are bigger then normal. So if the routine is off, I throw in the towel...kick the kids outside to our playground while I sit out there, reading a book with a cup of tea.

I will admit our most 'off days' happen to link up with my PMS...but I'm not 100% sure yet if there's a connection...ha, ha...Seriously I do think the kids pick up our vibes before we do. :o

Another thing to consider is tossing in the towel at that moment and coming back to it later in the day...but I'm sure you have done that...

Whinning sucks...and I'm not so tolerant of it...if they whine (like "I don't wanna do it") They get the reminder warning of the greatness they can have when they complete this task. If the statement "ahh I don't wanna" or "I can't" comes out of their mouths, then to their room they go. (I have monitors in the room and so the kids can't jack around without me hearing it...also have glass doors with curtains, I can peek without them seeing me. hee, hee...)

WOW that's a long post for saying I sweeten the pot, shorten the lesson & send them to their bedroom. LOL :cool:

Kylie
05-09-2011, 06:01 AM
oh gosh what fabulous advice I am definitely trying those things out....having an audience etc!!

I actually have no problem in letting my DS know that he could potentially sit there all day if HE chooses to. He is going on 10 and absolutely understands the consequences of that so it's not like he doesn't get the whole concept of how long it really is to sit at a table all day. So of course he is not going to choose that option and will get in and finish his task at hand.

On the other hand, I couldn't do that with my 6 year old, she is not at the same level of understanding I don't think.

lilypoo
05-09-2011, 06:52 AM
The thing that works for me with my older son (now 12) is that we have a rule--finish schoolwork for the day by 4pm or no recreation that evening. No TV, no Wii, no movies, no DS, etc. Seems to be pretty effective. We don't have cable but we have Netflix streaming and he loves to watch that. He recently got back into martial arts and I'm tempted to say no TKD if not finished with schoolwork by 4pm but he really needs the exercise and discipline so I'm not doing that.

chatpatka
05-09-2011, 11:28 AM
My strategy is to add more of what's being whined about. If they whine cause they don't want to clean their room, then they have to clean my room too. If they whine because they don't want to do math, I add more problems. If they whine because they don't want to eat their greens, they get more greens. It's not done as a punishment. I always explain that since this is something that bothers them, the way to deal with it is have more of that, so they can get used to it and it stops being a pain. The principle here is the less you whine, the better the general quality of your life, so the sooner you learn to roll with the things you don't like, the better. For my kids (10, 8 and 6) knowing that whining gets them more of the bad stuff is a great (de)motivator. I hope this helps someone. It sure works for us :)

albeto
05-09-2011, 09:08 PM
This has been an issue on and off for us this year: whining, complaining, refusing to do schoolwork, screaming at the slightest frustration, everything is tooooo haaaaaard, etc. etc.

It just dawned on me that my younger two will likely follow the footsteps of their older brother with this, as they do with so many things and I'd like to prevent that, if possible.

Do you tie privileges in with attitude towards school? What else works for you? Please share any tricks and tips you have. I've tried a number of things but this issue keeps rearing it's unpleasant head and I really need to get some creative solutions.

Just to clarify with our situation, this happens even when we take frequent breaks, even when we are doing a very light week of "bookwork" type stuff, lots of choices are given, lots of fun things, very laid back schedule, so this is why I am at a loss.

Thanks.

Hi Julie.

One thing I've learned in my years with ABA therapy (a behavior modification system specifically tuned for the autistic child) is that every behavior has a function. That is, every behavior is an active solution to a problem. Your job is to find what that problem is because the solution is not only socially inappropriate, it's not always effective. That's why it's so bothersome.

The behaviors you explain sound like general frustration to me. If it were one or two subjects I'd think those concepts are difficult and perhaps developmentally they're not ready for that level. Since it's all the time and even with breaks, it sounds to me like your kids recognize you have control over their time and resources and they resent that.

Homeschooling wasn't always a curriculum at home with rewards and privileges for good (read, convenient) behavior and waiting patiently for spring or summer break. People kept their children home so they could learn what they needed to learn to be an independent, self-sufficient, interesting, contributing member of society. One doesn't need a text book for that and if your curriculum is snuffing the curiosity and joy out of the life of your kids, the reward system you'll have to use will get more and more expensive (which is why parents employ punishment).

You might consider what your day looks like and how you recognize learning, and see if you can modify it from the ground up.

albeto
05-09-2011, 09:13 PM
My strategy is to add more of what's being whined about. If they whine cause they don't want to clean their room, then they have to clean my room too. If they whine because they don't want to do math, I add more problems. If they whine because they don't want to eat their greens, they get more greens. It's not done as a punishment. I always explain that since this is something that bothers them, the way to deal with it is have more of that, so they can get used to it and it stops being a pain. The principle here is the less you whine, the better the general quality of your life, so the sooner you learn to roll with the things you don't like, the better. For my kids (10, 8 and 6) knowing that whining gets them more of the bad stuff is a great (de)motivator. I hope this helps someone. It sure works for us :)


This used to work for us. We called it the Power of Five. As in, five times more of what you should have done the first time. Eventually my kids realized this is just a power struggle and my oldest called my bluff. What will I do if he simply refuses? What will I do if every last privilege is taken away? Will I stop him physically? Will I fight him? Will I charge him money he can't hope to earn until he's 37 years old? What will I do when he breaks something priceless to me because I "stole" something of his (regardless of how I explained it, that's how he interpreted it, which meant he stopped trusting me to be truthful and trustworthy)?

Needless to say, we don't do this anymore.

Lou
05-10-2011, 12:52 AM
This used to work for us. We called it the Power of Five. As in, five times more of what you should have done the first time. Eventually my kids realized this is just a power struggle and my oldest called my bluff. What will I do if he simply refuses? What will I do if every last privilege is taken away? Will I stop him physically? Will I fight him? Will I charge him money he can't hope to earn until he's 37 years old? What will I do when he breaks something priceless to me because I "stole" something of his (regardless of how I explained it, that's how he interpreted it, which meant he stopped trusting me to be truthful and trustworthy)?

Needless to say, we don't do this anymore.

I learned VERY EARLY ON that my son can last longer then I can in a power struggle. So I avoid them as much as I can.

Example of his abilities when it comes to a power struggle ~ (and I'll be admitting some BAD parenting moves on my part...rest assured I have learned better ways!) :)

Age 2.5 my son refused to eat his scrambled eggs. He loves scrambled eggs. I'm PMSy. His sassy refusal struck a cord in me...I told him he could not get up from the table until he took a bit of his eggs. He refused...LONG TIME later, the power struggle got ugly. I literally forced him to eat a bite of egg (yes I put it in his mouth!...LOWEST point in my parenting career!) he proceeded to puke all over me. I sent him to his room. I took a shower and cried and felt horrible! After my shower I apologised to him and I told him I would not ever make him eat an egg again if he didn't want to. The day was fine from that point on.....

.....He never ate another egg! BUT he was sure to tell everyone that scrambled eggs were his favorite breakfast food!

Age 5 my son and I take the dog to the vet, he INSISTED that the vet check out his imaginary dinosaur because it stopped eating fish and he was concerned about it. The vet checks out the invisible dinosaur and gives him a bottle of green sugar water with a prescription label that states give one dose before meals as needed....

...we go outside and my son says...Hmmm mom do you think this medicine would help me eat eggs again? I casually say, I don't know, why not give it a try and I'll make eggs for dinner so you can test it out....

...I make eggs for dinner he eats 4!

...we go to a resturant in the morning...he orders eggs...eats every bit of them...

....the medicine cured him too...whoo hoo...

a few days later my friend comes over and he is telling her all about how this medicine cured his dinosaur...I say why not tell Nicole about how it worked with you and eggs? He says, Welllllllll I have to whisper it to her.....

....he goes up to her ear (now anyone who knows a 5 year old whisper, it's a bit loud and I can hear him whispering in Nicole's ear) and he says....(drum roll please)..."well Nana Nicole, it wasn't really the medicine, my mom and I had a big fight a long time ago about eggs and I think I've punished her enough"

NICE HUH! a 2.5 year power struggle I didn't even know I was in......clever little bugger...glad he's eating eggs again, but lesson to mom, power struggles are NOT a good idea with this kid. :)

dbmamaz
05-10-2011, 12:56 AM
LOL wow, that totally beats my daughter. I only remember things like "if you do X again, i'll send you to your room" "fine" and fun to her room. She was 4 i think.

Lou
05-10-2011, 01:08 AM
LOL wow, that totally beats my daughter. I only remember things like "if you do X again, i'll send you to your room" "fine" and fun to her room. She was 4 i think.

My daughter is about to turn 4 and she has hit a 'sassy' stage...such joy :)

Last week, she hit her brother and he came crying to me about it...I walked him back to his sister and told him to tell her that he didn't like it and it hurt him. He couldn't even get the words out before she put her fingers in her ears and said "I'm not listening and I can't hear you" then threw her face into the sofa pillow. I told her to listen to her brother's words...she looked up at me and said I can't hear you...I FIRMLY told her to listen or go to her room...she looked up and said I'm not listening and I can't hear you. I told her to go to her room! she said can't hear you, not listening...I pulled her finger out and told her to GO TO HER ROOM! and she ran off screaming (probably P.O.ed that she 'had to hear me' lol) I told her to stay on her bed until I came to get her....

...I went into my husband's office to tell him of her antics (laughing with him about it, but not sharing that giggle with her!) Then she comes out of her room with her hands on her hips and says "I'm ready to get up now!" I tell her to go back to her bed until I come to talk with her. She (hands still on hips) stomps her foot and says "I'm ready NOW!" I point to her room and tell her in my dragon mama voice "GO TO YOUR ROOM" and she screams all the way there...as soon as she calmed down her screaming I went in and we went to talk with her brother and all was well...but H E L L O teen years! Sassy little stinker!

Gotta love'm (I'm fairly convinced they know us better then we know them! and they use it to their advantage when they can) ;)

chatpatka
05-13-2011, 06:39 AM
This used to work for us. We called it the Power of Five. As in, five times more of what you should have done the first time. Eventually my kids realized this is just a power struggle and my oldest called my bluff. What will I do if he simply refuses? What will I do if every last privilege is taken away? Will I stop him physically? Will I fight him? Will I charge him money he can't hope to earn until he's 37 years old? What will I do when he breaks something priceless to me because I "stole" something of his (regardless of how I explained it, that's how he interpreted it, which meant he stopped trusting me to be truthful and trustworthy)?

Needless to say, we don't do this anymore.

Hi, albeto :)
It's not a power struggle. It's learning to live better, with the kids being involved in their life lessons with their own efforts. I'm not the sergeant who commands them to do what I say or else... I'm a more experienced close friend who advises, explains and is willing to help with anything I know how. From an early age my kids were taught to understand the word "no", first as a command and later (when old enough) to understand the reasoning behind it, so that they can be active participants in their maturation. I don't know how this will work with rebellious or less compliant kids. I gave it as an example, because it's my experience that kids usually like to feel grown-up and having "existential talks" with an adult they respect is something that makes them feel that way, so they're willing to be more involved.
I was the kind of kid you describe and threats never worked for me :)

Lou
05-13-2011, 01:56 PM
I gave it as an example, because it's my experience that kids usually like to feel grown-up and having "existential talks" with an adult they respect is something that makes them feel that way, so they're willing to be more involved.
I was the kind of kid you describe and threats never worked for me :)

I was also the type of child that didn't respond to threats...I was never 'affraid' of my parents...I respected them and thought they were pretty cool parents really. However, my dad would give the 'talks' and we (my sister & I) would of gladly rather been spanked and it all over quickly...those 'talks' were amazingly boring for us...we dreaded anything that came out as an explanation on a mature level...ugh...dread...torture for us. And I'm not sure a smidgen of it sunk in at all...??? I do recall my dad would reply to a question of ours with "I trust you will do the right thing" and that worked...we knew what the right thing was and respected his trust by doing the right thing.

LOL...the funny thing is my children are NOT ok with the talks (and yet I talk...thanks dad!)...you can see the 'dread' 'torture' & 'ugh' in their eyes as they sit and chat with us about the actions, future, why this or that, etc...

Once I asked my son if he would prefer to be spanked like his friend is or talk with me calmly about the situation...he said he would rather be spanked 3 times then talk about it. LOL I think each child is sooooo amazingly different, that it's a guessing game for a while as a parent...and the best part is, when we get a system down, it appears to stop working. :)

chatpatka
05-13-2011, 02:15 PM
...and the best part is, when we get a system down, it appears to stop working. :)
LOL :)
I guess I just lucked out on compliant kids :D

Laina
05-13-2011, 02:20 PM
I learned VERY EARLY ON that my son can last longer then I can in a power struggle. So I avoid them as much as I can.

Example of his abilities when it comes to a power struggle ~ (and I'll be admitting some BAD parenting moves on my part...rest assured I have learned better ways!) :)

Age 2.5 my son refused to eat his scrambled eggs. He loves scrambled eggs. I'm PMSy. His sassy refusal struck a cord in me...I told him he could not get up from the table until he took a bit of his eggs. He refused...LONG TIME later, the power struggle got ugly. I literally forced him to eat a bite of egg (yes I put it in his mouth!...LOWEST point in my parenting career!) he proceeded to puke all over me. I sent him to his room. I took a shower and cried and felt horrible! After my shower I apologised to him and I told him I would not ever make him eat an egg again if he didn't want to. The day was fine from that point on.....

.....He never ate another egg! BUT he was sure to tell everyone that scrambled eggs were his favorite breakfast food!

Age 5 my son and I take the dog to the vet, he INSISTED that the vet check out his imaginary dinosaur because it stopped eating fish and he was concerned about it. The vet checks out the invisible dinosaur and gives him a bottle of green sugar water with a prescription label that states give one dose before meals as needed....

...we go outside and my son says...Hmmm mom do you think this medicine would help me eat eggs again? I casually say, I don't know, why not give it a try and I'll make eggs for dinner so you can test it out....

...I make eggs for dinner he eats 4!

...we go to a resturant in the morning...he orders eggs...eats every bit of them...

....the medicine cured him too...whoo hoo...

a few days later my friend comes over and he is telling her all about how this medicine cured his dinosaur...I say why not tell Nicole about how it worked with you and eggs? He says, Welllllllll I have to whisper it to her.....

....he goes up to her ear (now anyone who knows a 5 year old whisper, it's a bit loud and I can hear him whispering in Nicole's ear) and he says....(drum roll please)..."well Nana Nicole, it wasn't really the medicine, my mom and I had a big fight a long time ago about eggs and I think I've punished her enough"

NICE HUH! a 2.5 year power struggle I didn't even know I was in......clever little bugger...glad he's eating eggs again, but lesson to mom, power struggles are NOT a good idea with this kid. :)

OMG! That is such a great story. I love that kid! I wouldn't get in a power struggle with him either!

Lou
05-13-2011, 10:41 PM
LOL :)
I guess I just lucked out on compliant kids :D

My daughter MIGHT fit the compliant kid frame one of these days...hard to totally tell yet, but my son had the for sure dread look in his eye...he still gets the talks...but I know it's gone on long enough when he asks me if we can be done now...ha, ha...

PS My daughter just came up and said "oooo pretty picture (your avatar) it is a beautiful princess!" :)

Lou
05-13-2011, 10:45 PM
OMG! That is such a great story. I love that kid! I wouldn't get in a power struggle with him either!

He's amazing...on occasion challenging, but always an interesting adventure! LOL (Brings a whole new light to being a MOM for me)

MarkInMD
05-13-2011, 10:52 PM
In trying to figure out a way to deal with our kids, we think we've got something that works, and then, like Rowdy Roddy Piper once opined, "Just when they think they have the answers, I change the questions." :)

With maturity is coming a bit less of the attitude, or at least more understanding of what will happen if the attitude rears its ugly head, so then he thinks better of it. That hasn't sunk in with the rhino-headed 5-year-old yet, though.

chatpatka
05-16-2011, 04:15 AM
PS My daughter just came up and said "oooo pretty picture (your avatar) it is a beautiful princess!" :)
Thanks! The girl has good taste :) This is a painting by Goodbrush and my second favorite in his "Finished sketches". His nudes are somewhat mediocre, but his warriors and princesses give me a distinct romantic feeling :) I would have given you a link to his gallery, but it's not suitable for little kids. (sorry for the offtopic)

lakshmi
05-20-2011, 04:13 PM
No OT problems here, was thinking the same thing of the avatar!