E.L. asks from Louisville, KY on March 02, 2011
"School Routine Hassle"
My 7 yr. old son gets up in the morning for school and lays on the couch. I try asking him what he would like for breakfast and he usually mumbles or just grunts or won't answer at all, so I make him something. Usually he just will continue to lay there. He refuses to eat what I made saying it wasn't what he wanted and that he told me what he wanted when all he did was mumble and I told him that mommy doesn't understand him when he does that. Then after he has wasted all this time and it is time to go to the bus and he has finally gotten dressed, brushed his teeth etc.,he wants to eat breakfast. What can I do to teach him that this behavior is unacceptable and teach him the concept of doing things on schedule. Also he has this habit and I have no idea why or where he learned it. He will say "Kid is hungry", "Kid wants to ______. " Fid doesn't want to do _____." Fidzy is too tired." He says these words in place of "I" and I have tried telling him I do not understand him when he talks like this that he needs to talk like a big boy. I have tried ignoring him until he speaks right. What can I do to stop this. He does it everywhere not just at home. But I think not so much at school. What else can I do?
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
This is in response to Momofmany and a question she asked. Where is my husband in all of this. Well for starters my husband works a lot and when he is home he really just shuns our son. He doesn't really listen to him or act like he wants to play with him. It is always "We have all day, we will do it later" I so often remind him that his son needs his dad to pay attention to him and teach him things. He always is shushing him too. Our son is a very gifted child. He excells in school. He has read since he was 21/2 years old. He is a talker and loves to tell stories and write them. he is very boisterous and I believe that it irritates my husband and all he ever does it seems is nag him and yell at him to do stuff instead of offering to help or asking. My husband was treated badly by his dad when he was young. They have a relationship now, but the more time passes I am seeing my husband turn into his father. i am worried of how that is affecting my son. All he wants is attention and love and I feel he is acting out because he is not getting what he needs. I mean, I can only give him so much. He is missing the dad and me time that little boys need. Every time we try to go and do something together, it is always an ordeal. My husband is always upset with something my son has done. I fear his spirit is getting burned out and I try to keep cool and talk to my husband abiout this and explain what this is doing to our son. I have even read him the responses of the other mothers and watched similar situations on Supernanny and told him that it is how he is and I am at my wits end. I tell him he can't use the way he was raised as an excuse. He loses his temper over silly things like fixing the car and it not going like it should. That behavior is so not me. I have always been the reasonable patient type. That is up until lately...my patience is out. I see myself losing my temper when I shouldn't. I try to build and repair the situation and when my husband comes home it is like he and i are not on the same page and all the things I talked about to him are forgotten. I have even said I was going to leave at times but really have nowhere to go. I really do not want to do that it would be a last resort but nothing I havetried has worked so far..so if you can offer me any advice on how I can improve the relationship I would greatly appreciate it. Thank You for listening.
E.R. answers from Appleton on March 02, 2011
I don't mean to sound mean, but my children do not get a choice. If I am taking the time to make breakfast, they need to be respectful and eat what I provide. It's not like I'm making horrible food that they can't stand - I'm making what I know they like. I love this motto "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit"
I also agree with some of the other Mom's - he is old enough to make breakfast on this own if he doesn't like what you make.
Good Luck and I wish you all the best!
2 moms found this helpful
J.R. answers from Toledo on March 03, 2011
I would have him decide-ahead of time!- when he wants breakfast-before or after getting dressed- and give it to him then. I am a morning person, but some people (incluing kids) are not ready to eat right away. Assuming he's getting enough sleep and not eating right before bed...
K.C. answers from Philadelphia on March 02, 2011
The night before, hand him a "menu" of items with little boxes beside each one. Tell him, "We're going to do things differently tomorrow. Please check the box next to the breakfast you'd like to have tomorrow morning. It will be served at x o'clock and you will need to be sitting at the table fully dressed at that time. If you are not, there will be a consequence (no tv tonight, earlier bedtime, no playing with friends after homework is done, whatever, make it one he actually cares about and is during that same day). I will wake you at x o'clock and you will have 15 minutes to be dressed at the table." Lay out his clothes the night before so they're ready to go right when he gets up. Then when he doesn't do this, FOLLOW THROUGH with the consequence and tell him "Let's try this again tomorrow morning and maybe I WON'T have to take away TV tomorrow night. This is TOTALLY up to you, it's YOUR choice to do the morning routine or not, just be prepared to lose a privilege if you choose not to do it." Then when he comes around and starts complying, tell him how happy you are and how nice the mornings have become and THANK HIM for being such a great get-ready-in-the-morning-er. Good luck!
6 moms found this helpful
A.W. answers from Kalamazoo on March 02, 2011
First off - I don't ever ASK my kids what they would like for breakfast. We have kinda a normal rotation of eggs and toast, breakfast burritos, pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches etc depending on what supplies I have in the kitchen. IF you want to continue with allowing him to choose what is for breakfast, you need to do it the night before. Maybe while he is brushing his teeth before bed, you tell him to think of what he wants the next morning. If he hasn't told you before bed time, then forget it - you choose.
You have to MAKE him be on a schedule. My kids are 6 and 8 and of course if I let them, they would want to just lay on the couch. 10 mins before breakfast time, they must go get dressed, then they have 25 min to eat breakfast while watching cartoons. If they are not eating or eating too slow, then the tv goes off, but usually they do fine with it. After the 25 min is up, they go brush there teeth (with me supervising) then pack up back packs and get on shoes etc.
5 moms found this helpful
J.M. answers from Boston on March 02, 2011
Just something to consider - he just might not be hungry when he wakes up, so he really doesn't know what he wants for breakfast. Try switching around the routine - get dressed, etc _then_ breakfast. Instead of doing things in "order" let him know that things have to be done by a certain time on the clock. i.e. he can only have a hot breakfast if he's sitting at the table by 8.15, if he's not at the table by 8.25, he has to take something on the bus. If he's not dressed by 8.10, you're not asking him anymore and if he doesn't do it himself he's going to school in his pjs.
We've also had good luck with a "get ready chart." My daughter's has "get dressed" "brush hair" "brush teeth" "put on shoes and socks." If she checks each one off each day, she gets $1 at the end of the week. She likes not being nagged, and I like not nagging. That might help too.
5 moms found this helpful
M.L. answers from Colorado Springs on March 02, 2011
Sorry for being long-winded here, but I'm writing off the top of my head.
Seriously, the behavior you're describing sounds like something straight from a Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book. Have you read those? You should! There are four of them. You'll laugh, and then you'll think. Your son is seven years old and he's doing what you'd expect of a three-year-old. The reason he's succeeding is simply because you're letting him win the game. Perhaps the thing every child does BEST is testing his/her parents!
In order to end his game, you have to have a game of your own. Quit worrying and start to be in charge. I'm NOT saying to be mean - I'm saying to go back to being Mama! And, for a while, Mama will have to be impressive.
If he were my son, I'd talk to his teacher first, and see how he behaves at school. If he doesn't behave that way, then you've just learned something important. Let the teacher know what is going on at home and get her on your side, because one day when your boy can't get his act together in the morning, he may just have to stay home!
Then I would make an doctor's appointment for my son and take him to it. (I'd let the doctor and the office know what's going on when I call. This won't be a first for them.) I wouldn't discuss it with my boy first; I'd just do it. You want to sound friendly and firm - just like a mama in charge. "Yes, you need this. You aren't able to listen, you aren't able to obey, you aren't able to talk like a seven-year-old, and you aren't able to get your act together in the mornings, so I guess you must be sick!" If he changes his act abruptly, don't be surprised, but stick to your guns. Don't let him argue or fuss with you. You're not being mean, but it's your job to take care of him. If the doctor says he's physically healthy, you can cross that off your worry list, and the cost of the office visit can be worth it.
When your ask your boy to do something and he says, "Kidzy is too tired," you can say, "Oh, poor Kidzy. Kidzy must need a nap. Into bed with you." Turn off the TV or stop whatever else he's doing, take him to his room, pull up the covers, turn out the light, and tell him he must stay there until you get him up, because that's what mamas have to do with toddlers. No books, no toys. It needs to be B-O-R-I-N-G. Give him five minutes or so, and then go in and ask, "Is (your son's name) able to be himself now?"
Tomorrow for breakfast, serve him the proverbial two choices: take it or leave it. Don't ask him what he wants. You are not his waitress. If he won't eat or come to the table, take the food away. Breakfast is over. (Snack time is for kids who miss their breakfasts. He won't starve. And you're not being a tyrant. You're getting him out of his game-playing, don't forget.)
You could try sending him to bed fifteen minutes earlier tonight, because toddlers have earlier bedtimes. After all, if he can't get up on time, he won't be dressed on time. If he doesn't dress and clean himself up, he won't be on time for breakfast. If he misses the bus, it must be that he's... sick. Back to bed, son!
What if he acts up like this when you all are out and about? "Oh, poor boy! I guess we'll head home right away so I can put you in bed until you feel better. No treat today!" Then do it right away. Make it an action, not a threat. (You can actually say something better than this. Just make it short and sweet.) Let him realize you're not playing his game any more.
The idea is that YOUR game has to be a little more impressive than his. (Once you stop worrying and start taking charge, you're going to find some of this very funny. But don't let him know that yet.)
A major problem with this kind of childish misbehavior is that it disrupts other lives. You don't say whether you have other children or whether you have other time-sensitive commitments. So I hope you'll be able to end his game really soon, because dealing with it can be quite an inconvenience. If all goes well, it could be just a day or two before he concedes. That doesn't mean he won't try it again at a future date!
When he starts being back on a seven-year-old track, stay in charge by laying out a plan with him. You could make a chart for him if he likes putting stickers on charts. He will see everything he has to do, in the order of doing it. He can make things easier for himself by laying out his clothes and his school things the night before.
Once HE starts playing YOUR game, you can go back to choices-for-breakfast if you want. But let him have the security of knowing that Mama, who loves him, will do what's best for him no matter what. Be very sure to tell him how absolutely DELIGHTED your are to see your real son again, and how you hope that awful, whiny Kidzy person never comes back.
4 moms found this helpful
L.B. answers from Biloxi on March 02, 2011
My 14 year old is not a morning person. He needs to be out waiting for the bus at 6:50 am - so his alarm is set for 5 am. I set mine for 5:30 and ensure he is up. But, he has to get dressed, get breakfast, feed the dogs, fix his hair and brush his teeth. He has had the same morning routine for over 7 years and some days it is like the first time all over again. ARRRGHH.
Years ago when I realized that mornings were not his best time, I started waking him up earlier and earlier - he seems to the need the extra time in mornings to stare at his feet and turn on his brain. So I adjusted our schedule to allow that - helped me to not feel so stressed and helped him get off to a better start in the morning. If I find that if he is really lagging for a couple days in a row I make him go to bed earlier and "re-set" his inner clock.
He has been fixing his own breakfast since he was about 7 - he could choose cereal and milk, instant oatmeal, a PB&J sandwich, leftover pizza, whatever. I stopped fixing breakfast when I ran into the same "I don't want it" routine that yours is giving you. If he doesn't eat at home then he is welcome to grab breakfast in the school's cafeteria. Give your son some easy to fix options and let him prepare his own breakfast. With mine, it just took a couple of mornings having to eat the school food and he made sure to have enough time to eat at home after that.
Help your son make a morning schedule - work backwards from the time he needs to leave the house to fix a wake up time. Buy him an alarm clock if he doesn't already have one - don't show him the snooze button! Allow a certain amount time for hair and teeth, getting dressed, etc.
Post the agreed upon morning schedule on his bathroom mirror and on the fridge. Give him a week - help him get through the schedule and get used to it. Then let him try it on his own - with you there to prompt him along. He will get the hang of it - mine did - it takes patience though.
As for the talking about himself in third person - just roll with it. I jokingly refer to mine as "the Boy child" and will ask him "what does the boy child want for dinner", etc. When your son says "Kid wants ____" just answer in kind. Refer to him in third person as Kid - he'll get tired of it. Its just a phase.
Good Luck and God Bless
3 moms found this helpful
T.C. answers from Colorado Springs on March 02, 2011
Hi Lucinda, I think part of the issue is that your son is a singleton, and it has been so much easier for you to cater to his every whim. I can't do that with 6 children! Imagine what that would be like! Nightmare to be sure. You are reaping what you have trained into him, or rather have not trained into him. It's good that you see at 7 that he has some character issues that need addressing. It is my experience that 7 year old boys are the greatest things that God has created. They are such delicious beings! I so miss 7 in my boys! Other ages are fun, but 7! So, what to do now? Tell him that there is a new sheriff town. :) The new sheriff has new rules. You can either make his breakfast, or have him do it himself. I don't have a problem giving children options: do you want A or B? But, stick to those. At first, in the retraining, you may just need to give him A with no options until he learns to be thankful for A. As others have said, no lounging on the sofa in the morning. I would advise him that if he is so tired, that he can go to bed an hour earlier tonight so that he won't be so tired tomorrow. If he hops up and has a good attitude, then he won't have to go to bed early. If not, then stick to it. Be consistent on this. Also, if he has so much free time in the morning that he can lounge around, does he need to get up so early? Is his wake up time set to allow for lounging? If you need him up at that time in order to be out the door when necessary, then he shouldn't be lounging, but using that time wisely. You could give him work to do in the morning to get his blood pumping a bit (make bed, pick up toys, feed animals, sweep front porch, etc.).I see from your profile that you are a SAHM. Have you considered homeschooling him? You could use that time to have a more flexible schedule that is not so stressful, work on character issues, all the while providing an excellent education for him. Believe me, it is way less stressful to follow your own schedule than someone else's. It's a idea.
About talking about himself in 3rd person, I don't personally have a problem with that. However, if you do, and he knows you do, then he needs to respect and honor your wishes in this. Again, it is character. And, I must ask: what does your husband say about all of this? Ideally, he should be the primary person instructing your son on how to become a respectful, hardworking, honorable man. Boys follow Daddy's lead so much better in these areas. If he can get on board with this, it will impact your son in an amazing way.
3 moms found this helpful
A.D. answers from Minneapolis on March 02, 2011
A 7 year old is capable of fixing himself a simple breakfast such as cereal, fruit, yogurt, toast, microwave oatmeal, peeling a hard boiled egg, etc. The day I noticed my girls behavior around me fixing their breakfast was demanding and rude was the day I stopped doing it for them. They have to fix their own breakfast now every day. We started this rule when they were 10 and 8, and honestly, I wish I would have made them do it sooner. My older daughter has to eat breakfast before she can retreat to the basement family room to play or watch TV. My younger daughter can only have the kitchen/dining room TV on if she is making or eating breakfast. I give a reminder when it is 8:00, and another when it is 8:30, beyond that I've really cut back on the nagging and hurrying them along from one chore to the next. I've also been through the getting dressed battles. Now I do not ever, ever help them "find" clothes, they need to do that themselves. It all has to get done or they miss the bus, and then my younger has to walk, and my older would have to ge a ride and consequences for a tardy at school. I would keep ignoring the 3rd person remarks and the "don't want to" and the "too tired" remarks. Chock that up to normal kid grogginess.
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on March 02, 2011
Rude kiddo huh?
I would, not feed him breakfast if he is like that.
Let him go to school, hungry.
He KNOWS... that even if he acts like that... he can get away with it.
AND if he does not get ready, he goes to school, as is.
If it makes him late to school. Too bad and so be it. He can get a Tardy slip. And explain to his Teacher. And suffer the consequences.
Does he do his homework?
If not, send him to school without it done.
Attach a note to the Teacher, explaining.
He must be in 1st grade or 2nd grade, right?
You need to not put up with him.
He knows he gets away with it.
Thus at school, he does not do it so much.
If he refuses to eat what you make: then he does not eat. OR, you sit down and eat and enjoy yourself. OR, tell him he can make his own, dinner/breakfast etc. BUT, only with what you tell him he can eat.
Put it on the counter (food), and tell him "Pick one. That's what you eat." If he does not pick one, he does not eat.
Either now or when it gets harder... as he gets older, it will get worse.
Unless he suddenly realizes he is no "royalty."
And does not have an attitude of entitlement.
If my kids did that to me... I would.not.put.up.with.it
There is a book called "Have A New Kid By Friday." by Leman.
Good tips, teaches respect, not derogatory, easy to read.
Next: Have a REAL heart to heart talk with your Son. Develop... a closeness with him. Talk to him, as a grown boy. He is not a 'baby.'
Since his Dad is so emotionally unavailable and mean... he needs you.
But treat him as a 7 year old. TALK WITH him. Make it a routine. Let him talk to you and just chat. A boy NEEDS that. In time, he may just change his attitude toward you.
He may treat you like that because MAYBE your Husband treats you that way???
all the best,
2 moms found this helpful