June 23, 2008,
M.P. asks from Springville, UT on June 20, 2008
How Do I Get My Boys to Listen???
I need help on how to get my boys to listen to me and do what I ask. My 3 boys are 7,5,and almost 4. They all share a room until we can sell our house and get a bigger one. Mornings are my main problem. Ever since school ended for the summer I can't get them moving in the morning. I send them to their room to get dressed and they will be in there for an hour or more and still not get dressed. I go in their every now and then to get them going but they seem to ignore me. By the end of it all I am very frustrated and to the point of yelling. I don't know how to get them to listen and do what I ask. I have the listening problem at other times but my main frustration is in the morning. If anyone had any suggestions I would love to hear them.
1 mom found this helpful
D.K. answers from Denver on June 20, 2008
Start setting a timer giving each child ample time to do what they are told. If they do not get it done, time outs, priviledges taken away and be matter of fact. Make them responsible for their choices, plain and simple. If they choose not to listen, then consequences. Once they have no TV, sit in their room and do nothing a few times then I bet they listen!
H.Q. answers from Great Falls on June 20, 2008
The timer is your friend! I use "Tickety" for times when I think my daughter will fight and/or argue over doing something.
So, it goes like this: "You need to clean your room. I'm going to set Tickety for 5 minutes - if I don't see a differenct, I will clean the room and I use trash bags to clean." I will usually give her one "free try" where she didn't make any progress, but I ask if she would like to try again and offer suggestions on how to make a difference.
Kids can't argue with the timer and there is no negotiation with Tickety - time stops for no man! So, sit the boys down and tell them that starting in the morning, they have 5 (or 7) minutes to get dressed. If they don't accomplish this before Tickety rings, they will ...(have to give up a toy; loose a privelege) Or you could tell them that if they aren't done before Tickety rings, you'll pick their clothes for them. Then pick some really strange thing and that is what they have to wear that day.
It will take a little work to get this going. The first few times, they won't believe you - so you've got to be prepared to follow thru on your threat!
I used to also use a "time Out Box". If she didn't get dressed before Tickety rang, I got to pick one toy to but in the Time Out Box and she had to earn it back. I ended up with 2 large boxes full of toys before she got the point! But, eventually she would earn her things back.
Whatever you try, good luck! This is (for me) the hardest part of parenting!
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J.N. answers from Salt Lake City on June 21, 2008
Getting them dressed isn't the only issue here, right? It sounds from that example that they easily distract each other - not unusual in boys these ages. So make it a fun game for them to obey you quickly. For example, when it's time to get dressed (an I disagree with earlier responses of letting them stay in pj's all day - get dressed and get to work) or to pick up toys, or empty the dishwasher, or whatever, make it a race. "Let's see who can be dressed the fastest" or "who can get the most toys put away in five minutes". Don't wait for them to respod, just say "On your mark, get set, Go!" At first, they'll probably just stare at you like you've grown another head. That's when I start "I'm gonna win" and start doing the activity (I get dressed in my own room :) ). You will need to stay in with them to keep them on task, and be a cheerleader with them. When they are all done, give them a big "Yay!!" and congratulate them for a job well done. They get mommy time, you get stuff done without having to yell.
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J.A. answers from Salt Lake City on June 21, 2008
You can make it a game to get ready in the morning. Check out www.childrensmiraclemusic.com . This is a game for morning and night routines. It works on a reward system and you don't have to nag or yell anymore. It has worked well for us.
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A.S. answers from Denver on June 20, 2008
As I'm reading this I'm wondering what the issue is ;-) Your kids are entertained enough by themselves in their room that they can keep themselves entertained for hours on end? If the only thing is you want to get out the door in the morning and thats the only time they're not listening, then I'd vote to let them play. The most important thing you can do to develop their curiosity allow for brain maturation is to allow for uninterrupted playtime. Its summer! Let 'em at it!
If there are more times than not that they aren't listening then they aren't taking you seriously. You need to look at when/how you approach them to get them to listen. 1. State your expectation (we're leaving in 5 mins) 2. Follow through. (if they aren't dressed so be it, put em in the car and go) The punishment is they go as is, if they are naked, in PJs whatever, thats how they roll. Trust me, they'll only do it once!
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K.J. answers from Salt Lake City on June 23, 2008
be a drill sargent. give them an exact time to be dressed by, tell them the consequence (like no playing outside), and let them know when their time is almost up. and don't give in and let them have their way
C.N. answers from Salt Lake City on June 21, 2008
Why is it so important to you that they get dressed in the morning?
When you can get clear on this answer and communicate it to your boys...
You might what to find out why your children like to stay in the PJs. The answer might surprise you.
What you are doing is assuming that your values are theirs.
It is time for some real communication to take place.
With my whole heart,
K.G. answers from Denver on June 21, 2008
Getting them to get dressed is pretty easy-just make a new rule for the three oldest ones. No breakfast for anyone who is not fully dressed. If one of them shows up in the kitchen in pajamas, remind them of the rule and stick to it-tell them you'll be happy to give them something to eat just as soon as they are sitting there dressed. Getting them to listen in other areas will take longer : ). You will have to say what you mean and mean what you say-consistantly. Tell them what you expect them to do and what will happen if they don't and then make sure you follow through with the consequence if they don't do what you asked (after 1 reminder since they are still pretty young).
C.C. answers from Salt Lake City on June 20, 2008
I love tickety!! lol. I never heard of that before but it could work great...I was thinking since it is 3 boys and they are competative I am sure as brothers, use that to their advantage. Just before they go to bed the night before say you and dad were talking and wondering which of the boys could get dressed the fastest in the morning. see what happens the next day.
perhaps the next day have a one on one with your slowest kid and say you know your brothers really admire you. they do what you do...want to try an experiment with me? tomorrow get up and dressed as fast as you can and see what your brothers do.
I used this on my 7th graders when I was substitute teaching...I would pull aside my unruliest kid (usually a boy...lol) and tell him the power he had over the class and ask him to experiment with me. It worked great, and the kids love the recognition afterwards. I love the way you got the kids to work on their assignments, that was awesome--I knew you could do it, but I had no idea you could do it so well!
in the brother situation, I love watching you help your brothers. Thank them for ANYTHING you can think of they did positive in the morning. take the negative back out of it for all of you.
I'm so happy you are awake.
also choices you are okay with whatever they choose.
I liked the clothes one the other mom said...you can get dressed now, or I will come and dress you (and pick some funky clothes)
and follow through on anything you say
another thought on the competition side of things you can have two brothers run the timer for the third brother. so that only one boy is in the room at a time, that might help with the distractions.
I would love to hear what you decide to do, and how it works out for you. We often hear the frustration stuff on here--I like hearing the fun part of finding solutions too...and hang in there, you are a good mom. we all get frustrated--and somehow we all get over it. haha.