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lejunna
lejunna asks:
Q:

how do I get my children to behave, and do as they are told, without the backtalk?

I am 44yrs. old. I have two young kids, a 6yr. old daughter and a 5yr. old son. My daughter is the queen of drama, the fashionist, and thinks that I should wait on her hand and foot. My son was a sweetheart, he would help me with anything, UNTIL the last year or so he has gotten to be just like his sister. They don't know there father, but call my first husband daddy, because he has my older 15yr. old son. and he has been a daddy to them for the last 4 1/2 years.We don't live close so they ask for daddy alot. They have never had a daddy that lived in the house. I have thought of getting back together with my first husband, even if it was just for the kids. all 3 of them.
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jul 14, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like you're experiencing a power struggle in your home right now and the kids are winning!  It can be very frustrating when you feel like your kids are disrespecting and taking advantage of you.  It's easy to get overwhelmed and look for the easiest and quickest solution.  However, we all know that quickest isn't always best.  It's great that your kids have a father figure in their life.  You questioned whether you should get back together with your husband for the sole purpose of getting the kids to behave.  Ideally, a child is raised in a two parent home, but remember that your first husband can still be a positive male influence in their life without being present 24/7.  There are many behavioral techniques you can try before you resort to living in a situation that you are not happy with.  

Start by setting very clear rules in your home.  Sit down with the kids explain each rule and regulation such as cleaning up after themselves, bedtimes, accepting decisions, etc.  Then explain what the consequences will be when they don't follow the rules.  The key is to actually follow through with the consequences when you say you will.  Additionally, remember to give lots of positive praise when they do follow the rules.  Try implementing a system in which they can earn stickers or small prizes for following the rules for an entire day or week.  
This will give you a good start.  Remember that it will take time to change their behavior, so be patient.  

If you would like to talk to a parenting crisis counselor more about your situation please call the Boys Town National Hotline. We're here 24/7 and would be happy to discuss your situation with you.  

Take Care
Boys Town National Htotline
1-800-448-3000

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Additional Answers (1)

ginaa
ginaa , Teacher writes:
Hi Lejunna,

It sounds like you have your hands full and I can sympathize with how stressful it must be for you. First off, kudos to you for being a single parent and taking care of three wonderful and unique kids.

Discipline is always such a touchy issue - we want to draw a clear line in the sand but we don't want to be tyrants. My main advice is to make it clear to your kids that bad behavior has consequences, whether it's a time out or taking away of privileges, and to be consistent in enforcing the rules. Having said that, I also think you need to reward good behavior regularly, to encourage kids to do things that they know will make you happy.

Most of all, be patient. Children testing limits is a an experience that all parents deal with so you are not alone. Stay cool and frame your responses to the behavior not the child. In time, things will get better.

Here are a few articles from this site with some practical strategies to maintain positive discipline and keep the peace around the house. I hope they help.

http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Parenting_Elementary/
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Disciplining_Child_3/
http://www.education.com/topic/discipline/?q=Search+within+this+topic
> 60 days ago

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