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Can't deal with stress of two young children
I have a good husband and two young children, 7 and almost 5. I also work 4 days a week in a demanding job where there are no low periods, it's constantly demanding.
My daughter who is 7 is also very emotional, and drains me a lot. By themselves they are good kids but together they are a force to reckon with and require an iron will to stay calm. Both my husband and I are having a lot of trouble with them. They are very noisy and often it's very hard to get them to do anything. By themselves, fine, together, awful.
Dinner times are stressful, bed time is stressful and by the time they go to bed its 9:30 and we are exhausted.
We often struggle the most when trying to leave the house on time and it's stressful trying to get dressed, while she is upset that she is going to be left alone at dance practice, even though I told her, I will sit there and wait for her to finish. Then my son comes in and does something annoying and I start yelling and crying and cannot control my outburst. I got into a crying fit, which only got under control when my husband took her away to dance practice and agreed to sit and wait for her.
So I feel at the end of my tether mainly because being a logical person, cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. These kids have sucked out of me what ever patience and self control I have. I work very hard to be patient, but I feel like they are ruinning our lives.
We have no problems except for them and they are making our lives a living hell, for basically no purpose.
I don't know what to do. I do sometimes send them to my parents etc, but only for short periods as they also can't deal with how naughty they are.
So basically my battery has run flat. I am trying to be positive but I need them to change. How long can I keep going and how long until I breakdown completely? When I have my crying attacks, I can pull myself together after my husband takes them out of the house etc.
So I don't know what help is available to us. It's not like you can send kids to a training facility where they improve in a few days. They don't have self awareness as much as we do. Is this a parenting normal? I am generally a calm and collected person, so me coming to this point took years But where do I go from here? Do I check myself into a hotel each weekend and let my husband deal with them? That's not a solution.
If I started having crying outbursts where it's loud crying where I can't stop, is that something to stop and take notice of? Thanks
It's tough being a parent and I can sense that you are at the end of your rope. I can remember feeling the same at times when my children were young.
I would recommend both a carrot and stick approach. Here's a couple of ideas for you to consider ...
I think you and your husband need to sit down and identify the key behavioural issues your children are displaying. Then prioritise the issues.
You can't change everything at once, so start at the top of the list and agree on a plan of attack that you will both stick to. Let's say for arguements sake that leaving the house on time is your top priority.
Then you and hubby decide and impose a consequence for behaviours that make you late. Could be loss of a favourite tv show or computer for the day or requirement to go to bed early.
Then stick to your guns and impose the consequence. Remind the kids that they will get their pleasure back tomorrow.
You can also institute a reward system for good behaviour. List the behaviours you want to see (e.g. ready on time for school, manners, etc) create a chart and award a sticker every time you see the right behaviour in your children.
Make it a fun competition where 10 stickers equals a special treat. Motivate the kids to behave because it's in their best interests.
What do you think? Does this make sense to you?
You can do this. And you are not alone. These types of issues exist in virtually all homes.
Kind thoughts to you
Thanks Summer Rose,
Our kids respond well to reward charts, the punishment thing just creates more stress and noise. Will try that.
I just had a thought about something else I used to do with my kids: turn chores and obligations into games.
We played the "pack up game" everyday. Everyone had a job to do packing up the toys etc and we made it challenging (had to do it hopping or with one hand behind your pack) and the first one finished won. This usually meant they got to choose the movie or the treat on a Sat night.
I also had a "Quiet Game", which I would ask them to play when I was on the phone. Obviously whoever was "quiet as a mouse" got a reward. Got to admit, this one didn't work too well. For whatever reason, my kids usually ended up in a fight whenever I was on the phone. Maybe you'll have better luck!
All the best
You are very creative, great tips.
Husband and I discussed it. We are going to start the day with 10 uncooked pasta pieces per child, like penne. Each time one of them screams, hits eachother or throws something, they will loose a pasta. By the end of the day we will count them and based on how many they have each, we are going to put 5cents per pasta or something like that in a different jar. They can use that for canteen, or to buy a lollipop or save and buy toys.
I feel more positive now as they do enjoy this type of thing and the excitement rules over their naughtiness.
Your nite really helped!
I LOVE it! What an awesome idea. I wish you the best of luck. It can and will get better.
Kind thoughts to you