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  1. #1
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    Default How do I relate to my children more?

    Ok I am putting this out there but please don't body slam me!!

    I have had a few people tell me in the past few weeks that I need to remember that my son is only 5. It stemmed from me getting upset that he didn't understand something which I thought he would. He is a smart'ish boy, great conversationalist and has a good grasp of language and context (he's not gifted or anything, he falls down in other areas but is good at talking A LOT).

    He won't play on his own - always needs me or DH to play with him, would often rather the TV on than play outside and often complains of being tired (he goes to bed at 7.30 and is up generally around 7am). I find this not playing on his own extremely tiring and wearing. My DD also won't play on her own (2yo) and they don't really play together so it's all a bit much for me some days.

    Sorry, off track a bit. I think I expect too much of my son, my DH and my Mum think I forget that he is just 5 and though he has the words he doesn't necessarily understand the concept and that I need to lighten up. I think maybe I talk to him like he is older than he is but I don't seem to know how to relate to him on his level. I don't know if it's a phase but he is just defiant on everything, full of attitude and generally just being a bit difficult.

    How do I relate to him more and hopefully get back to feeling better about our relationship rather than that nagging b!tch that I feel like I'm becoming. He is generally a good kid, mainly well mannered and polite but DH thinks I'm too tough on him.

    Hope this makes some sense.
    Last edited by ICanDream; 17-01-2012 at 20:20.

  2. #2
    loop is offline Two kiddos keeping me on my toes :-)
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    My DS is a bit younger (almost 3) and is getting better at playing by himself. He is allowed some TV, but there are certain rules, like finishing breakfast or lunch, packing away his books or some toys being left lying around. I also play with him for some time, then wonder off and leave him. I have had to ignore him, give him promises of soon soon, so that he would get fed up of asking me.
    Regarding playing together I find I enjoy board games and role play, or maybe building blocks and tend to stear him that way. Do you enjoy any particular games more than others?
    About the attitude and being defiant, although my son is younger I use the 123 magic counting for things like that (count 1,2,3 when they are not doing something you want or misbehaving, talking back, wining... at 3 quick time out in their room). It really works and keeps me calm, so that after the time out we can play again, or most often he will start singing in his room and play happily by himself. Also, its a way of being the parent, the "boss" so to speak without having to get too impatient or tough. The nagging you talk about gets so frustrating, I hate hearing myselft like that. So I try to have clear rules about things, and before I say no to something, I try to think about the consequences of that no. Sometimes its easier to let them bounce on the couch for 5min and then distracting them and explaining why not to afterwards IYKWIM...

    Yes, you have to remember they are kids and let them be young and silly. Going out and exploring things together makes me realise how new the world is to him - seeing his amazement at every day things is wonderful and reminds me of being a kid myself. Do you go out together much?
    But you also have to remember you are the parent to guide them. Especially the mum seems to lay down more rules than dads, in this house das is so much more fun than mum!

    Sorry, a bit long and winded, and dont know if I actually answered your question... I hope some of it helps!

  3. #3
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    Why don't you put some time aside one day for just 'you and him' time. Then ask him what he wants to do/what would make him happy and just do it (without worrying about mess, expectations etc). It can be 'his' special time with mum to do anything he wants.

    If that means playing a game, eating ice-cream, making mud pies, kicking a ball, riding a bike, dressing up - doesn't matter what - then just do it. If you feel that you are expecting too much from him, just try to get down to his level/interests for a little while maybe? Find out what simple things make him happy, you may be surprised.

    Perhaps if you think you're asking too much from him, its because he's a bright and intelligent boy who you are used to having 'older' conversations with. Very easy trap to fall in to, so don't beat yourself up, I'm sure you're an excellent mum just wanting the best for your child

  4. #4
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    This parenting thing is so hard.
    I found that I was always complaining about my children so much that a school friend who lives far away, so we only talked on the phone, said something about how negative I was.
    It really gutted me but it was the truth.
    I'm sorry if I'm not helping you but I found that at first it was hard to talk positively about my children but it has slowly gotten easier. I also had to come to turns with the reality if my children's personalities. They are so different to me and I was finding this so difficult, why weren't they like me??.

    Also taking time out for myself, even a quick coffee at the shops is my savior.

  5. #5
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    Hi there...
    Ahhh, everyone tell you aboput the terrible twos, the traumatic three's and the f*ing fours, but no-one seem to mention the fives do they!
    My son (now 6) went through a TERRIBLE phase when he was about 5.5. He was demanding, defiant, strong-willed and cranky a lot of the time..he just seemed to be generally unhappy unless he was the centre of attention.
    We tried all sorts to bring back our usually lovely little boy. In the end we decided that maybe we were being to hard on him and expecting too much, so we tried a gentler approach and started with getting him to make a reward chart and choose the reward (my son choose to bake a cake with me), we focussed on positive behaviour and heaped the praise, rewarding with a tick on the chart. It worked really well and surprisingly quick. He soon worked out that he got more attention being good than playing up.

    You may have already tried this method, but if not, give it a go and stick with it for a while. Bite your tongue sometimes and find the positives. I find it is all too easy to slip into a negative frame with the kids (esp when they are just driving you crazy) and everything gets your goat! This just makes everyone miserable and the situation worse.

    Good Luck! (and remember it is probably just a phase)

  6. #6
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    This might not apply to you, but I tend to find I have more patience and capacity to play if I'm getting enough "me time". Would it be possible to schedule more time to do some things just for you and to check in with yourself. Maybe your DH and mum can give you some time off if they're concerned about your interactions with your DS rather than just telling you how you could improve. I also find it a lot easier to enjoy children when I'm doing it with someone else. Do you have many playdates or catch up with friends with your kids? We were never meant to do it all alone. I'd also really recommend the book "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen. I LOVE that book.


 

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