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Anyone any suggestions? My 7 year old boy is a bright, outgoing child with lots of friends. When he is at home with me he just dosn't listen, am stressed out trying to discipline him, maybe am too soft but when i discipline him i feel terrible. He dosn't seem to listen to anything i say, i still have to lie down beside him going to sleep at night and he still comes into my room in the middle of the night. Anytime i say no to him he starts to cry, when i tell him its bedtime he starts to cry, when i tell him to turn the tv off he starts to cry. It makes me feel bad as if am being horrible to him the whole time. He goes out of his way to annoy his two year old sister, its like he finds it funny annoying her, or that he is annoying me by annoying her, because when he annoys her she comes running crying to me. Dinner time and night time are just a nightmare with him, actually anytime i say no to him or dont let him get his own way is just a nightmare. I always say your not doing this or your not doing that if you don't be good but i always end up giving in. my question here today is How do i discipline my 7 year old and let him know i love him and am not just ganging up on him the whole time?”

3 replies so far...

  • First off, Try watching Super Nanny to get some tips on different things. I watch her constantly just to see what she does to take some pointers for later.

    Consistency is the key. If you say no now, keep saying no. He'll continue to test you to see if you'll break. If he cries when you tell him time for bed, or turn off the TV. Give him a timer. Tell him "okay five more minutes and we're going to turn off the TV and go to bed" Then maybe at 2 1/2 minutes, tell him again that he has 2 1/2 minutes. Then be true to your word. At five minutes turn it off. Or even have him turn it off.

    Letting him cry isn't going to kill him. Think of it this way and hopefully it will help you. By telling him no to thinks you know he should not have it's helping him both now and in the future. It teaches self control. Later on when he's older he'll know he doesn't have to have something just because he wants it. (If that makes sense.) He'll be able to decipher better the difference between want and need. He wont feel he needs everything.

    It's also important to get down to his level when you talk to him. Talk calmly but stern. (My old boss said, when you yell, that is when you have lost all the control)

    Also give him freedom but boundaries. This way he knows you trust him and he feels he has the choice to do things, but then those boundaries keep him under your control still.

    I hope I didn't ramble. =) I hope I did a good job answering your question
    Try looking at - he also has a book about discipline which might have suggestions for things like that

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Michele on 28th March 2009

  • I think Lylah is right on the money here. One trick that I have found useful (that she didn't mention in so many words) is something my mom calls giving a "nonchoice." In other words, you give a choice, but one of them is not appealing.

    Example: "You may put away your blocks OR, if you would like to pitch a fit, you may sit in time out and THEN put away your blocks." (Note: time out is not a "get out of jail free" card. It just delays the inevitable.)

    Also, know that "being good" is an abstract concept, even for an adult, so telling him to "be good" may not be specific enough for him. Tell him the behavior you expect, and then follow through with praise if he completes the task or an appropriate consequence if he doesn't.

    And remember this: it is much, much easier for you to be consistent with rules and boundaries starting NOW than it will be in 5 years or even 5 months. It just makes sense to bite the bullet now. Don't let him play you.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Steel Magnolia on 10th March 2009

  • He knows you love him. And you're not ganging up on him... with all due respect, you seem to be letting him gang up on you.

    You're not being horrible, you're being a parent. You're setting limits and he doesn't like them, but he's learned that the quickest way to get what he wants is to let you make yourself feel bad. As for annoying his little sister -- an easy way to feel powerful and in control is to bully someone weaker than you are... if he's going out of his way to hurt a 2-year-old, even without hitting, that's bullying.

    My kids do the crying thing, too. I kindly but firmly tell them that I'm sorry they're upset about XYZ, but crying will not get them what they want. Then I tell them what will: Finish your dinner properly and you can watch a little TV / turn off the TV and I'll have time to read you an extra story after your bath / if you wake up, turn on your bedside light and read instead of waking other people up.

    Won't finish his dinner? Fine, off to bed -- a kid won't starve if he doesn't eat all of his dinner for one night. Pitches a fit at bedtime? Sorry, but Mama can't lie in bed with someone who isn't listening to her. Let him know that there are consequences to his actions and then follow through -- even if it makes things hellish for you at first. If you don't follow through, he has no reason to listen to you -- and then he's the one in charge, not you.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 10th March 2009