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Question
Posted by: me | 2008/10/07

single parent

I have 2 adorable children the problem is i work all day then go home to cook and clean, i dont have a domestic worker and the least i ask is for them to tidy their room - they dont i end up shouting and screaming, they do not listen to me when i tell them to do things like brush their teeth etc and i end up always looking bad because of them - i dont know what to do - how can i get them to listen? they need to start being responsible

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You don't mention their ages, but if they are old enough to understand and to be capable of both avoiding the making of messes and to be able to tidy up after themselves, you're making entirely reasonable demands on them. Sit down calml;y wioth them ( between crises !) and draw up a list of rules and expectations, and apply these firmly and consistently. Failure to keep to the rules ( focus only omn important things, without being picky ) should have consequences like losing a privilege for a set period of time ; and keeping the rules and keeping things tidy ( as well as unexpected extra help !) should lead to maybe stars on a chart such that after X number of stars have been earned, they can have a treat they value.
Maria makes the typically wise point that part of this may be their desire to attract your attention. This can work with the system I described above --- one of the rewards easily earnable by tidyness, can be some special one-on-one time with you and your special attention for 30 minutes or so ; and make it clear that breaking the rules will lead to a withddrawal of your attention. As Anonymous points out, rewards are more powerful than sanctions, and praise for doing even part of what you want encourages them to do more of that, and is more effective than any amount of nagging.

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Our users say:
Posted by: me | 2008/10/07

Thanks for your advice will try it.

Reply to me
Posted by: Anonymous | 2008/10/07

Taking stuff away from my child made him spitefull so I swithed it around if he cooperate I allow him the things. He even water the garden and pick up the dogs poe now.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Maria | 2008/10/07

Fight the big fights, not the small ones. You have very limited time to spend with your kids, and they might be acting up because they are crying out for your attention. I' m not judging you in any way, your situation is very difficult. But consider that perhaps spending 20 minutes just playing and hanging out with them might end up with better longterm returns than nagging them for 20 minutes to clean up a room? Also having a fairly fixed routine makes it easier.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Sg | 2008/10/07

Trying to keep children tidy is almost impossible.However,they must learn to do so but it really is best to try remain as calm as possible about it.
I would sit down with them and explain the rules of the home.If they do not abide by the rules tv,playstation etc etc is taken away,no discussion.

Reply to Sg
Posted by: EL | 2008/10/07

The best way to make a child to do something is with patience and to talk to them in a calm way. I know how you feel, I also make that mistaking sometimes by screaming in the end. Sit with them and ask them nicely and explain to them why. If they don' t listen after that then take something away from them that they really like, maybe no tv, only after they cleaned their room and brushed their teeth etc. Don' t hit them, just take something away and don' t give in to them.

Reply to EL

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