August 13, 2008,
M.C. asks from Bradenton, FL on August 07, 2008
Is the Yelling and Screming All the Time Normal????
All my kids just yell and scream all the time. Telling on eachother every 5 sec. I ask then to do something or not do something and they just scream and yell.. Or it's why do I have to do this or why do i have to do that. Then can NEVER just do it or not do it. And my 11 yr old believe it or not is the worst. It seems like to me I just do matter to them. They are my life... And yet they have no respect for me... I need some advice or alittle direction.
R.W. answers from Tampa on August 08, 2008
I can contest that it IS normal. I have an 8 year old and twin 6 year old boys. And it is ALL of the time. The only quiet time I ever get is when I force them to bed. I try getting up early, but it never fails, someone wakes up and starts something. The twins seem to play together better, but if the third is in the house anywhere, there is a fight. They fight over the tv, toys, the dog, food, where to sit, friends, shoes, video games, you name it. I was saddened at the thought of school starting and the twins going to kindergarten; but with all of the fighting, I can't wait til August 18!!! My mother keeps telling me one day they will be gone and I will miss this. I question her sanity. I'm just threatening military school. I, too, am at my wits end. And I am not a single mom. My husband and I have been married 13 years and still have these wild little boys. They all have very strong personalities and are all ALPHA. They just haven't learned that I am the only ALPHA in this pack! Good luck, "this too shall pass". R.
K.M. answers from Fort Myers on August 08, 2008
No, it is not normal, well not usually. There do seem to be some kids that push the boundaries more than others. I totally understand that you want what is best for them and for them to be happy which is why you have to make a change right now! If they are running over you and "think everything you say is a joke" now, it will just get worse if you don't put a stop to it. Have you ever seen the show Nanny 911? There are a couple of other ones that are on that are similar and have really good advice. Most of the kids on there I think are younger but the lack of respect is the same. That is what is wrong with our society, too many parents don't want to come down on their kids and as a result let them get away with things and then as they get older they want to get away with more and it gives them a distorted view of reality when they get out on their own.
You are their mom, the head of the house and the person that loves them the most in this world. Sit them down, tell them that and then tell them that things are going to change. If it is too hard to do that with them together then do it individually. Keep your cool and tell them that they will respect you, they will obey the house rules and there will be consequences for when they do wrong. The most important thing to do is FOLLOW THROUGH! Do it in love, but when they have broken a rule or dispected you then take away a priviledge (their phone, computer time, tv, going to a friend's house, etc.). If they think you are "just talking" then when they are withheld something they want to do, they will understand you mean business - as long as you follow through -everytime. My daughter had a birthday party and 2 of the guests were sisters. Well, the mom came with one of the girls and said the other one was not allowed to come because she had been dispectful to her and mean to the other sister. She gave her a warning and when she still refused to "straighten up" and continued her bad behavior the mom said as hard as it was, she had to follow through and not let her come to the party. Of course the girl had a total fit and was very upset but if the mom would have given in then there would have been no lesson learned.
As far as the telling on each other...one of my daughter's teachers had a rule in her classroom - if it didn't have to do with blood, a flood or fire - she didn't want to hear about it! Our version at home however was if it isn't Kind, if it isn't Necessary or if it isn't True - don't say it. You can put this on a paper and put it on your refridgerator and just point to it when you get tired of repeating it for the hundreth time! It is really a good way to get their attention actually - just memorize that short rule and repeat it over and over. If they don't listen the first time, say it again, if they still continue with tattling, say it again. If they say "mom, quit saying that!!" say it again. They will get the point and it saves you from having to try to be the referee.
Stay strong and know that giving them boundaries is the best thing you can do for them!
Just remember - you are the adult - you have the authority in the home, not the kids. They need to learn to respect authority for their sake as well as yours! Do it in love and always follow through. It may take awhile but it will work.
D.C. answers from Tampa on August 08, 2008
You Have your hands full. What activities do you have to keep them busy?. Try to get them involved in each others ideas, and let them make decisons on things they like to do. I use alot of positive reenforcement when they get chores done, and home work. But remember you are the parent, not their friend. Set up boundaries and let them know that there are consequnces for their actions. Reward for good behavior.
N.C. answers from Tampa on August 08, 2008
I don't know how old your kids are but 11 is way to old to be acting that way. I don't know if they're boys or girls but my old next door neighbor from when I lived with my parents had 3 kids and she was a single mother. Her boys would never listen to her and she would always call my dad to come and tell them they were doing wrong. It always worked they always listened and then she always had that threat of "ok, your not going to do what I'm saying I'm going next door to get brian" and they'd staightened right up. I don't know if you have a neighbor, friend, or family member who maybe that would work with. Good Luck!!! =)
K.H. answers from Lakeland on August 08, 2008
Normal? I guess it depends on who you are talking to. Yelling and screaming is not a nice or appropriate way to speak to anyone even if you are upset. When we have unacceptable behavior in our house that is continuing, one of the first things we do is talk about it. I know you said that you've tried this...but perhaps at dinner w/o the tv on or in the car w/o video games going, you could get the audience you need. I always start letting my kids know that I've made a mistake in allowing their behavior to continue in a negative way. And since I am the parent, it is my responsiblity to take action to change the atmosphere of the home. Explain that yelling and screaming is not appropriate and will have consequences from this point on.
I am sure being a single mom is difficult, and I think highly of you for reaching out for help. You are probably tired as the screaming and yelling starts, but stand your ground and be the mean mama that puts her foot down and says "no more." Most importantly with this particular problem--do it without screaming and yelling.
T.E. answers from Fort Myers on August 09, 2008
I'm not sure if the yelling and screaming all the time is normal, however, it's quite common at that age. You may have to maybe lay down some ground rules for them to follow and if they continue to disobey by yelling and screaming then you may have to find alternatives and put your foot down. I know my children over step their bounds at times and I'm pretty strict with them, but I want the best for them and they know it. I take things away from them as far as material things and now that they are getting older they are respectful. Good luck..
R.W. answers from Tampa on August 08, 2008
I don't consider this normal. I was a single Mom from the time my girls were 3 & 5 until they were in middle school and high school. They have always respected me. They both attend USF now and we get along great. You have to make them respect you. If they don't respect you it's your own fault. If you let them get away with things they shouldn't even one time it's sending them the wrong signal. It's not to late. If someone tattles don't just punish the one doing wrong punish the one tattling too unless it's a life and death situation.
Make a chart and give them chores to do and reward them for doing them properly and when they are supposed to. Your children could be acting up to get more attention from you. I know it's hard to hold a job and give them the attention they deserve. But if you don't do something quick they will be so out of control you won't be able to do anything. If you are dating make sure the guy includes your children from time to time. If not then dump him. A good man will invite the kids to go to eat or a movie. He will also take time to get to know each of them. Good Luck.
T.S. answers from Tampa on August 13, 2008
No it's not normal. Well, it's normal for some of the time when they're playing or if they get in a fight but the majority of the time it is not okay to be screaming. You have to nip it before it gets completely out of control. My five year old does it just to do it sometimes, moreso for attention I think, but I tell him that there is no reason to be yelling in the house, that I know he thinks it's cute and funny but that it's not, that in fact it's quite annoying and rude and to stop. I might have to tell him a couple to a few tmes but if he doesn't stop, I do punish him and than he does stop. I'll punish him by sending him to his room with no tv and no playing. He doesn't like that so snaps out of it. I told him it's okay to do that if we're outside at a park but inside the house he cannot do that. It takes persistence but if you stay on top of it, you'll get control again. As far as the questioning why I have to do this or that, just the simple truth, because you are the parent and what you say goes. Be their friend as long as they earn your respect. If not, just be the strict parent with rules that they have to abide to whether they like it or not. If your older one still complains, whenever he does just keep telling him that old adage that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all. If you say it repeatedly, it does sink in their heads eventually. (-: What you're doing is preparing your kids for adulthood so it's really important to teach them self-control now and also how to respect others because it will be a problem when they get older in how they approach and deal with life and it's pressures. I have two older ones, 22 and 21, and two younger ones 5 and a 5 mo. old. I've been through it with my older ones so I've learned a few lessons on the way and have seen the results both good and bad.
S.D. answers from Lakeland on August 08, 2008
It is normal but is something you need to control. Especially in homes where there is not a Father figure this happens ans especially with boys. They are vying for power and they are testing you or they may feel that they have win.
I would suggest discipline and reward programs. Only you will know what works w/ your kids in the discipline dept. Some people use time out ir there is grounding or removal of things and freedoms. Somehow I am not feeling that spanking would be good in your situation.
~ maybe in extreme cases w/ the younger ones.
An example of reward ~ When I took my girls w/ me grocery shopping or even other types of shopping before we went into the store or maybe left home I would tell them "if you make this a peaceful shopping w/o begging, yelling(whatever they do) then before we leave the store or come home you can choose 1 thing (giving a value limit is good) & I will get it for you. If you do these things 1 time then the reward is off the table.
A.G. answers from Punta Gorda on August 09, 2008
I did not read all of your responses, but I wanted to say I was a SAHM for most of my childrens lives. They are 10 & 12 now and I work full time. I went through something very similar this year. In my situation what happened was my 12 year old, being a very typical pre teen started to test her boundaries. Being exhausted and feeling exhausted from not being around her I let a lot slide. Then I started to feel taken advantage of and not appreciated. I began to yell at them because I was hurt and angry. This only allowed for more yelling, because my 10 year old thought this was now normal tolerable behavior. I sat both of my children down one day and appologize for allowing them to think yelling was OK. I appologized for yelling at them. I explained to them that although I am there mother and they should respect me, I understand that I should also treat them the way that I want to be treated. I then asked tham if they had anything they wanted to appologize for. My ten year old appologized for disrespected me and yelling at me, however her sister gave me nothing. We then discussed that they were going to do things the first time that they were asked. I was not going to yell. I have walked away and come back more than once because I needed to count to ten and remind myself of my promise not to yell. Now there are things that I expect of them that they do without asking, and there are things that I still have to bribe them to get done, like Saturday morning I know you want to go shopping for school clothes, you know I want your room clean. I am going to do some chores and take a shower, if you room is clean when I am ready to go we will hit the mall first, then grocery shopping. If your room is not clean just grocery shopping. Good Luck and be patient. Also something that helped me was to find a friend, not your boyfriend who is always going to take your side, and may become angry with the kids, who can let you get things off your chest once or twice a week. It helps to destress.
K.P. answers from Fort Myers on August 08, 2008
"Children live what they learn", not what they are told neccesarily...a great quote that I am trying to raise my children with also..If you discipline them by welling they will yell.. and when you say something to them if they don't listen there should be consiquence. You need to be consistent. If you say they are going to be grounded you need to stick to your guns..don't let them get away with no punishment...but you also need to pick and choose your battles.Best of luck to you.
A.G. answers from Tampa on August 08, 2008
It seems like a case for family therapy to help your family establish some more appropriate roles. This situation probably exists due to history of a lack of clear, consistent structure and expectations. Maybe they don't respect you because they've learned you don't really mean what you say. They may think what you say is a joke because of your own pattern of a lack of follow-through.
Why are you "asking" them to do or not do things? They need to be told to do a task, to do it NOW, or else, the consequence is "X". That consequence must then be enforced if the task is not done in the amount of time expected. Consequences don't work if only threatened, or not enforced consistently. It doesn't matter how tired you are, do it anyway or you pay dearly for it later. It won't make them stop loving you if you enforce rules, it will make them love you more (as long as the consequences are appropriate of course). A family therapist can help you if you aren't sure what appropriate consequences are.
Children have a natural need to know who's in charge, and what their role is. If those roles are not made clear to them, they will attempt to establish their own order. They're obviously doing that right now.
You have already shown them that they can frustrate you and wear you down. They'll try to break you no matter how hard they have to work at it, because you've already shown them your vulnerabilty.
Show them who the parent is and who the children are. Not only will it help you be more in control, it will actually help your children feel safer and more trusting of you, because they will know that you mean what you say.
J.C. answers from Fort Myers on August 08, 2008
I did not read all your responses so this might be repetitive but from the day I found out I was pregnant I started to read books and magazines galore because I was frightened I would not know how to react to a situation. My daughter is only 11.5 mos old and she is my only kid, but so far is pretty well behaved.
From what I read consistency is key. For ex: If bed time is 9:30 then 9:30 is when they go to bed no matter what- after a few weeks of you not giving in they will get the hang of it.
Use direct questions verses open ended questions. Ex: "Would you like me to read mickey mouse or whinnie the pooh to you before bed" verses "which book do you want to read"
Avoid the word "No"- no sets children off to rebel Instead, when the child asks for a cookie dont say no, say "Yes, you may -- right after you've eaten all your green beans at dinner"
As far as the "why"- redirect the question to them and makes them think about it. Ex: "mommy why can't i stay up an extra half hour?" you say "why do YOU think I am asking you to go to bed now" in hopes they will use logic and realize they need sleep now to not be cranky tomorrow. If your response is instead is "beacause you are a mean mommy" - again redirect- "why do you think enforcing your bed time makes me a mean mommy?"
When my daughter screams loudly, i look her in the eye and calmly say "mommy does not like to play with you when you scream like that" I place her on the floor and walk away.
Children have simple minds, like little cavemen who need molding and direction. Show that you understand their feeling s and respect their feelings but that you expect them to respect yours as well.
S.V. answers from Tampa on August 08, 2008
I know how you feel. I had some similar problems - till I found an incredible system called "Grooming The Next Generation For Success" by Dani Johnson. Please, please go get it - it will make a world of difference for you - but it will really make a difference for them and their future.