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My Kids Are Out Of Control!

I am a happily married mother of four! I have 11 year old twin boys, a 5 year old daughter, and a two year old boy! And I have my hands full! Honestly I am a little overwhelmed, How does one control thier children? I've been working on it for 11 years now! I have a set of house rules posted on the wall and I recite them often but they don't listen, my kids are pretty much out of control and any good advice would be appreciated.

One of the rules posted on the wall is no climbing on the furniture, counters, structure of the house or deck, and the rule is followed by go to the park or climb a hill! But they don't listen not one! No they don't like to use the floor, my twins would rather walk across the couches and now the zippers are all broken on the cousions, then pass through a dividing wall between the living room and kitchen and walk across the kitchen table!!! It's driving me crazy! I do point out and say "Use the floor! Do not walk on the couches, No! don't climb over the dividing wall, and have put them in the corner for walking across the table! A minute for each number according to their ages, 2 minutes for the two year old 5 minutes for the 5 year old and 11 minutes or more for the 11 year olds depending on how severe the offence was or if they were whining in the corner.

We have a trampoline in the back yard but they distroyed the net last fall, and still jump on the beds, there's a spring pointing out on my side of the bed and yes I have flipped the mattress but sheesh!!! I know I must stay on top of them but I am and they refuse to comply and do it when I'm not looking they have no self control! I know that I have to repeat myself until the day they move out! I just want to make sure that I've nurtured them and served them well, so that they will grow up to be well rounded healthy and happy individuals. I really tell them not to walk on the furniture and as I have been writing this I've had to remind one of the twins twice not to walk on the couches! Blaaaah!

I am so afraid to take them out in public, every two weeks my husband and I take our 4 children to the grocery store to do some shopping, and our two year old refuses to sit in the cart. It takes two adults to sit him down! As he makes his body straight as a board one holds his legs and pulls them through the leg opening in the cart while the other one holds him up! During this he'll have a tantrum and wiggle his way out of the seatbelt and stand up again and again, we get so exhausted with him and his fits that we let him out because he certainly isn't going to sit and I really don't want him to fall out of the shopping cart either he could really injure himself. The seatbelts and a belt from home to tie him to the shopping cart doesn't work either, and I think it's illegal to leave them in the van lol!

So my husband will do the grocery shop while I chase the kids around the store!!! I cannot take my eye's off of them for a second because then my little one will run, and I've tried to get the twins to help me, but my little one does not like them and will have a tantrum and bang his head on the hard floor. Plus he thinks that it's a game but it's not I'm worn out! I hate grocery shopping but I have to go and pick up my husband on payday because we only have one vehical! I don't have a baby sitter nor will any family watch them! So they have to come to the grocery store with us. It's very embarassing, the older ones might run off to the toy section and my daughter even though she's not as bad might or might not run off, but she needs to stay by my side too. How do I get them to stay by my side in the grocery store, I have tried getting the two year old with pushing the cart until he's bored, I've even tried to involve them in helping with the grocery shop too but they went over board and we ended up with two full shopping cart,s too much! I do say stay by my side and don't run away, they slip their hands out of mine when I try to hold their hands, it's insane really I've tried everything! We've even left the twins at home and just took the two younger ones, it's less to chase but it's still dificult.

My youngest one is a runner! He has run out of the bank, he'll run out of the grocery store, out of the vet's office, out of any store that we go to he will run! And I'm so scared that he'll run out into the parking lot and get run over!!!! My mom said that there were many times when she took me and left the shopping cart behind and just went home, but we do need those groceries, and If I just took them myself to sit in the van there will be screaming and fighting and the twins will sneak out and run into the store! I don't know how on top of them cause I am I have to be???

So because I'm having such a difficult time with my youngest one I have been taking him for walks outside playing games such as follow the leader and redlight greenlight. It's not working I'm trying these games to train him to listen and to stop on command, I've just started and yes he's running away and won't hold my hand. I'm pooped out but won't give up, that's not an option lol! But does anyone know what I'm going through, did anyone find a solution to what works? I'm tired of all of the dirty looks, and I'm thinking of getting a leash!

Jesusfoundme Jesusfoundme 31-35, F 24 Responses Feb 19, 2010

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I've read your story and find it very sad. I personally think that child protection laws are causing a lot of children to go astray. It seems that children are now running the household and we either have to beg them, bargain with them or pay them to obey. My parents were "old school". You didn't bargain with a belt or shoe or brush. Most of my friends were brought up the same way and today we always laugh about it. We were obedient and respectful. I brought my children up the same way.

I suggest you explain to the 11 year olds that if they wont obey, they're about to see what a belt feels like. If they get any ideas of calling protective services, they will come and take them away, possibly separate them and they may never get home again, so if they dont want any of those things to happen, you'd suggest they behave. If the threat doesn't work, follow through.
My children are grown now. I've had to have one removed from the home. I had 5 in all. I dont regret it, he is a problem to this day. You can never be happy with children like this, so you may as well save yourself the trouble. Parents can call protective services too.
An old African story told of a situation like this that broke the parents up. The mother didn't like the beatings one son was constantly getting so she left the dad. The same son began to give her great problems until she could take no more and returned to the father. The father told her that "some children are like sheep and some like goats. A sheep will do what its told with little prodding but a goat you have to hit in the head with something to get it to obey".
Now, this is merely advice. Of course you can choose your own way but if all else fails.....

Your post on this is 3 year's old, so before I type too much I'm curious if you're still looking for advice?

I notice this story was written 31/2 years ago ... so how are they all getting on now? Are they all at school yet? It really brought back memories for me of the terrible twos. I never, ever took them shopping. I waited till my husband could be with them at home before I went out shopping. Nowadays they are much older and I am pleased to say, well behaved. I do hope it has all worked out for you.

the leash or Harness is for children who can't be controlled without help and sadly he is either treating it as a game or has no awareness of what self control is tethers as they are also know are available on line when then the common methods of control fail..sorry to hear hope you find success

My dear lady, what your kids need is good old OTK bare buns spanking in front of the other kids, followed by 2 weeks or so of household chores for those above 5 years.<br />
Why hasn't your husband adopted this approach! Perhaps he should recive the spanking & chores punishment. <br />
The hand that rocks the cradle should rule the home and discipline all her subjects (including husband). Get a hairbrush or bathbrush and put it to use. These kids and your husband, obviously need it!

get a grip..if you can't control you children with words ..actions must follow.<br />
your kids are out of control and its your fault. smack his butt, get one of those leash thingies,do something before he gets run down by a car.

you do have a problem with your kids. i`m thinking they think sense their big kids now they can do anything they want to do and nothing their told to do.their way out of control and being this much out of control.there maybe only one way to disciplining them to get them back in control.have you thought about using the full diaper and baby punishment on them yet.trust me it works I used this punishment on my 16 year old daughter who was way out of control.it will make or brake them.but they`ll soon be back in control.if you`d like to talk more about this i`d be glad to talk just gmail me bigbaby5984@gmail.com I like to hear from you.

I would be very interested in hearing from you I think its great that you use diaper punishment on your kids and would love to get some of your stories on how you make things work please let me know if we can exchange emails I am looking forward to hearing from you

if your still want to here more email me at bigbaby@gmail.com i`d be more then glad to tell you more waiting to here from you

Positive reinforcement...<br />
Positive and negative reinforcement<br />
As Skinner discussed, positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior. He maintained that punishment was not simply the opposite of positive reinforcement; positive reinforcement results in lasting behavioral modification, whereas punishment changes behavior only temporarily and presents many detrimental side effects.[2]<br />
The accepted model of reinforcement began shifting in 1966 when Azrin and Holz contributed a chapter[3] to Honig's volume on operant conditioning. Skinner defined reinforcement as creating situations that a person likes or removing a situation he doesn't like, and punishment as removing a situation a person likes or setting up one he doesn't like.[2] Thus the distinction was ba<x>sed on the appetitive or aversive nature of the stimulus. Azrin and Holz defined punishment "as 'a reduction of the future probability of a specific response as a result of the immediate delivery of a stimulus for that response'."[4] This new definition of punishment encroached on Skinner's definition of reinforcement, but most textbooks now only present examples of the 1966 model summarized below:<br />
Helpful definitions:<br />
Appetitive stimulus: a pleasant outcome<br />
Aversive stimulus: an unpleasant outcome<br />
A positive reinforcer is a consequence that increases the frequency of a behavior or maintains the frequency. What is reinforcing is defined by what happens to the frequency of the behavior. It has nothing to do with whether the organism finds the reinforcer 'pleasant' or not. For example, if a child gets slapped whenever he/she says a 'naughty' word but the frequency of naughty words increases, the slap is a positive reinforcer.<br />
A 'pleasant' consequence is not necessarily a positive reinforcer. Getting a birthday gift is not a positive reinforcer. There is no behavior that will increase (or be maintained) in frequency. When deciding whether or not something is a reinforcer or not, the basic criteria is whether there is a behavior that is increasing or being maintained in the frequency of its occurrence.<br />
Consequences are not universally reinforcing. For example, happy face stickers may be effective reinforcers for some children. Other children may find them silly.[citation needed]<br />
A negative reinforcer increases the frequency of a behavior or maintains the frequency. It is not punishment. These terms are often confused. A negative reinforcer increases or maintains the frequency of the behavior that terminates the negative reinforcer. In this case the negative reinforcer is present before the behavior. The organism performs a behavior that terminates the negative reinforcer. The behavior that terminates the negative reinforcer is likely to increase or be maintained in frequency. Suppose someone has a headache (negative reinforcer). The person takes two aspirin but nothing happens. Then the person takes two Tylenol tablets and the headache goes away. The next time the person has a headache it is likely the person will take Tylenol. That is the behavior that has been reinforced.<br />
Forms of operant conditioning:<br />
Positive reinforcement: the adding of an appetitive stimulus to increase a certain behavior or response.<br />
Example: Father gives candy to his daughter when she picks up her toys. If the frequency of picking up the toys increases or stays the same, the candy is a positive reinforcer.<br />
Positive punishment: the adding of an aversive stimulus to decrease a certain behavior or response.<br />
Example: Mother yells at a child when running into the street. If the child stops running into the street the yelling is positive punishment.<br />
Negative reinforcement: the taking away of an aversive stimulus to increase certain behavior or response.<br />
Example: Turning off distracting music when trying to work. If the work increases when the music is turned off, turning off the music is a negative reinforcer.<br />
Negative punishment (omission training): the taking away of an appetitive stimulus to decrease a certain behavior.<br />
Example: A teenager comes home an hour after curfew and the parents take away the teen's cell phone for two days. If the frequency of coming home after curfew decreases, the removal of the phone is negative punishment.

Hope it helps! And good luck!

I do not have much experience with hyper active kids. But I think that "supernanny" show can give you some answers: http://abc.go.com/shows/supernanny. I was watching this show sometime ago, and she just makes magic with the kids. :) Good Luck!

My heart goes out to you and I wish for you to try something if you have not already.<br />
You as mother and a Christian, I would pray for your children and get as many as you can to do the same, everyday.EVERYDAY. ( not with them in the room)<br />
I can't imagine how run down you are physically ,mentally and spitirtually.<br />
This is damage done by the advisary, after all you know that he is trying his best to humiliate and hurt you and your children.<br />
God loves you and will help you with this if you ask and believe, don't sway and stick to it.<br />
The running thing with your toddler is not good and you must cure that very quickly.<br />
If he is not behaving in the home and is mentally OK, then use corporal punishment.<br />
I don't mean beat the kid but a swat on the bottom is tough love and will prevent physical damage to himself. ( don't forget to explain to him why you did this and then hugs for love)<br />
Your twins should not make a move by this age and just run off and leave you, next time anyone of them do this ground them and seperate them.<br />
I don't mean keep them apart but give them the responsibilty for each of them to help with their younger siblings, you are their mother and use your authoriy in this.<br />
They don't want to do this, easy solution no TV no phone or internet or pocket money and last is no friends.( accept for school)<br />
Of course that by now you must only ground them or take away these things for a time you yourself can handle, otherwise it's void of getting the point across.<br />
The toddler get a leash and secure it to you make him understand you mean bussiness.<br />
Sit your twins down seperatly and privatley and ask your if they love their mother.<br />
If possible don't let them sleep in the same room and move them apart until they understand.<br />
Your 5 year old is at a stage that is to pick up the 11 year olds poor behavoir quickly.<br />
The jumping on the furniture is altogether not right. Its normal for this to happen now and then but not daily or even weekly. <br />
If your husbands medical covers this take them to a phycologist, (pray and then annoint).<br />
<br />
This is not for toddlers and not for your 5 year old.<br />
My intuition is the twins were spoiled, my spouse and I have done this with both our children to an extent, and was hard to correct it after.<br />
No book is wriiten on any one childs personality and you have four children.<br />
They sure can influence one another with their bad habits that are not corrected.<br />
If the twins are going to school and are not getting into trouble for their behavior then they are not doing it there, as you did not mention that.<br />
Then it stems from you and the father.<br />
The father is the care provider and also made these children with you and is his responsibilty also.<br />
In many cases if the father is not home much does not want to be the bad guy and will let their kids get away with things when he is home and ends up the good guy.<br />
And that to me is adding to the problem by many times.<br />
Are the twins going to Sunday school if not get them there as in the church at thirteen they would be taught by a pastor and not any be taught as a child but as a youth. ( mature enough to baby sit by thirteen for nieghborhood families)<br />
<br />
It's time they did some accountable sports, music or some group club activities.<br />
If you can't afford to do this on your own, I will give you a series of outlets and orginizasions and people to get a hold of that will provide for this.<br />
I know you love your children, but letting them get away with things now will ruin their lifes in the future.<br />
The over activity is a trait of all children but what you are telling us is not normal.<br />
If the kids are not abused and have been checked for mental illness and are diagnosed as healthy, then you know what the problem is already. (all four of your babies must be checked)<br />
Your 2 year old, banging his head against the floor and running away, if it was some stubborn features now and then is OK but the way you explain this it sounds like it happens weekly then do your child a favour and get proper help in this.<br />
Hugs take care...

I know what you're going through....and if I ever find something that works, I'll let you know! lol My 7 year old has always been a difficult child. Always. I also find it hard to balance the discipline and being consistent while still being nurturing and loving. It is very frustrating! And now my song who's 16 months is also demonstrating bad behavior...and while I'd like to chalk it up to the age, I fear he'll turn out just like his big sissy!

Bargaining, timeouts, rewarding/removing, etc all work at times. When my kids told me they get afraid when I am angry I smiled inside. The full comment was "it is so rare that we have no idea what Dad is gonna do".

The best thing I thought of for my toddler is not to make rules but to divert her attention. If I tell her no, she takes it personally and tries her best to do it anyway. :)

Wow. A couple of things...<br />
<br />
1) Rule are made to be broken. Kids love stretching rules. That is part of learning in general as they are evolving a sense of fairplay (when it is to their advantage), but in general practice lying, are typically selfish and very immature. Consistency works but it takes a long time. Having them written down is a bonus.<br />
<br />
2) With 4 kids you must play a zone defense as opposed to man-to-man.Advantages : It is less tiring and allows you to funnel pla<x>yers (er kids) into your area of strength. Disadvantages: Zones are weak on the perimeter and can be confusing if the their is a lot of quick activity amongst all pla<x>yers (er kids)

Thank you abstraction you were very insightful.

Thank you abstraction you were very insightful.

I have a lot to say, but don't want to write an essay. We brought up four balanced kids, but there were times we were puzzling for the next 'key' to each one's behaviour. They are amazing adults, the youngest now 17. <br />
You need to get the fundamentals right, and at the moment it's clear you aren't in control. You can be. It sounds like they're lively kids, and strong-minded. But not beyond control. If you don't sort this out your life will continue to be hell and may get worse. <br />
<br />
YOUNG CHILDREN: If you have the fundamentals right, 90% of behaviour problems are a craving for attention. ie, they'd get rattier and rattier until we fixed it. The fix: one on one time. Take them to the park. We also learnt that for some kids, time with all of them didn't work. They needed one on one. So mum or dad just take them out on a 'date' to go somewhere. Not 'obedience training' but quality affirming affectionate fun time. Younger - simple - to the park is usually fine. <br />
Fundamentals - <br />
1. Affection, physical, reassuring unconditional love. Eye contact. Touch. Never berate them - only address their behaviour. A child with a full emotional tank is very responsive. <br />
2. Clear rules - which you have - is good. <br />
3. Calm authority - When you ask them to do something, do you mean it? Or do you take your eye off the ball and they just wait until you get to the angry tone and come after them before they respond. They will wait until you mean it. So mean it the first time, or they just hear threats from you all day long and the tone of the home is horrid. Pack up your toys, now, Jared. Don't take your eyes off them and follow up immediately. Teach them you mean it in the calm voice. <br />
4. Consistency - You have to always follow through. Always. No time out. No 'I give up'. Every time you do that you lose lots of ground. You are in charge, and you know you are in charge. Have consequences that they don't like, and follow through. Don't weaken. <br />
Look, I can just keep going and going... but i won't unless it's helpful.

I found one thing. Leave the shopping cart take the kids to the car and spank them. Then go back inside and finish shopping. If they all run off get a leash for all of them. They older ones will stop when they get embarased by someone they know in school.

As for the head banging on the floor if hes not mentally ill let him je'll stop when it hurts.

the most worrying thing i read is the head banging, although it can be normal behavior it can also be a sign something is wrong, please have him tested for Autism Spectrum Disorders.

I find that bribery generally works. Children are motivated by reward. Getting some sweets for sitting in the trolley and being quiet is worth considering. But only for sitting in the trolley and being quiet. Take your 5 year old to one side and ask her whether she knows that Father Christmas is watching her today? 'If I were you, I'd hold onto the trolley, be good and walk nicely. If you do that then I'll buy you some sweets when we're done - and father Christmas will known that you've been good'. I wouldn't try this in front of the twins though as they'll be keen to impart their knowledge of the non-existence of fictional characters. But I expect they'd be equally keen on your taking them bowling or to the cinema. Tell them you'll make the reservation when you get home if they've been good and helped out. 'I'm talking film, soda, popcorn and burger stop on the way home' sort of deal.<br />
<br />
Climbing the furniture is more difficult. Try turning the TV off for an hour if they don't stop. If the twins complain they're being punished for their siblings' mis-behaviour, then persuade them that it's in their interest to help you keep the young ones from climbing on the chairs - as they're missing TV too.<br />
<br />
When the TV goes back on, advise them to police the little ones to avoid it being turned off again. It'll give them a feeling of elder responsibility over the young ones - they'll like that as much as the young ones will like the feeling that the older boys are keeping an eye on them!<br />
<br />
And I'm sure if your twins think they're going to get a regular weekend treat for helping with their siblings then they may take an interest in keeping them a little better in line. They're certainly old enough to be able to help out.<br />
<br />
But rest assured, your family is normal. Watch 'The Middle' if you don't think so!

I do take their games away, I have taken all of the toys that were laying around and put them in a garbage bag just to put away, not to throw away and the Xbox was included just last week and they like you said acted like they were dying, on the floor having fake seizures! I ignore their pleas and do get worn out, I've been on top of them and all of these diciplen tactics that everyone from my parents to friends to social workers to total strangers and they just continue in their careless behavior, I cannot get through to them, like they just don't care and are not capable to develop any form of self control, I even tell them to calm down and try to practice self control. It's not working it really is the toughest situation that I've ever had to face. I know that I was kindof like them when I was young too and so I understand that they just aren't getting it, I fear that they just might have to hit rock bottom not by my own diciplen but by something much worse prehaps even a mental illness to open their eyes! It's more than just furniture that I'm talking about, it's everything. Sighs sink or swim! Tough love, win them over with love and respect, and example, I've done it all.

start taking all of their favorite things away. my 10 year old wouldn't listen to me, so now, if I take her Nintendo DS, her favorite toy, away, you'd think I've killed her. It is a much worse punishment than time out. The only thing I can truly say to you is that whatever rules and discipline you decide on, worn out or not, you will have to enforce those rules, otherwise your children will continue to walk all over you. They know how much they can get away with. If you tell them to get down off the furniture or, say, they can't go play, then make sure they can't go play if they don't get down. You are the mother. Don't let them rule you. It will be tough for awhile, and you will be more exhausted, but you have to stay consistant and let them know you mean what you say. Good luck!

I hear yeah, it's like we put in blood sweat and tears and people still give strange looks!

I thought I was doing a good job with disciplining my boy until I had a teenager living with me for a short while a few months ago (Long story).<br />
<br />
Anyway,it got back to me that she called my son a brat. I thought he was just being a regular 3 year old, but now I am not sure...