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Old 05-23-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
lukenick1
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Parenting advice needed??? Help!

Hi all,

I am at my witts end with my kids. Two boys ages 12 & 10. The 12 year old is very mouthy, talks back constantly, disrespects me and treats his brother like an enemy. My 10 year old will not take no for an answer and will harp and harp and harp until we snap and make a scene in public. The 10 year old also very immature and acts up in public for attention. I just cannot get a grip on this. There are days I want to pack my bags and give up. How do I handle the 10 yr old not taking no for an answer? Here is an example.....
He wanted to use his ipod during his brothers band concert. I told him it was not allowed. Instead of accepting that, he kept begging and begging and begging for the ipod while were in line to go in. After hearing him beg enough and telling him to stop 1,000 times my husband grabbed his ear and twisted it in front of a group of people. I was mortified!!!! This is what he does to us, pushes and pushes us til we have reached a boiling point. What message would I have sent if I gave in?

My 12 year old is very negative and nasty to his brother. He never says anything nice to him or about him, always picks fights with him, and is also physical with him. I have taken his electronics away for his abuse, talking back and disrespect. Again, my husband blew up the other day and started screaming at him until he was in tears and the very next day he was right back to the same nasty negative attitude. Please give us some advice how to deal with these issues. I know they are minor to some people but we are not experts and try to do the right thing. No flaming please....we are reaching out for advice. Not looking to be attacked for doing it wrong.
Thanks so much!
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by lukenick1
Hi all,

I am at my witts end with my kids. Two boys ages 12 & 10. The 12 year old is very mouthy, talks back constantly, disrespects me and treats his brother like an enemy. My 10 year old will not take no for an answer and will harp and harp and harp until we snap and make a scene in public. The 10 year old also very immature and acts up in public for attention. I just cannot get a grip on this. There are days I want to pack my bags and give up. How do I handle the 10 yr old not taking no for an answer? Here is an example.....
He wanted to use his ipod during his brothers band concert. I told him it was not allowed. Instead of accepting that, he kept begging and begging and begging for the ipod while were in line to go in. After hearing him beg enough and telling him to stop 1,000 times my husband grabbed his ear and twisted it in front of a group of people. I was mortified!!!! This is what he does to us, pushes and pushes us til we have reached a boiling point. What message would I have sent if I gave in?

My 12 year old is very negative and nasty to his brother. He never says anything nice to him or about him, always picks fights with him, and is also physical with him. I have taken his electronics away for his abuse, talking back and disrespect. Again, my husband blew up the other day and started screaming at him until he was in tears and the very next day he was right back to the same nasty negative attitude. Please give us some advice how to deal with these issues. I know they are minor to some people but we are not experts and try to do the right thing. No flaming please....we are reaching out for advice. Not looking to be attacked for doing it wrong.
Thanks so much!
First it's not easy to be a parent. Kudos for wanting better solutions.

What I see from what you have posted is that you and dh should change your reactions to ds outbursts. Don't engage when he escalates his responses. Just matter of factly state the consequence. If he continues to whine state that's it and ignore him. I love John Rosemonds column in our local paper. For the ultimate consequence he says remove everything from their room except the bed. After behavior changes over time, he can gradually earn back items one at a time.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:09 PM   #3
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Family counseling. Really. Its ok to feel overwhelmed and to ask for help. the issues can be identified and find ways to modify or deal with the behaviors. Parenting is tough!
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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The 12 year old is very mouthy, talks back constantly, disrespects me and treats his brother like an enemy. My 10 year old will not take no for an answer and will harp and harp and harp until we snap and make a scene in public.
Never give up. Never surrender. And realize that your 10 year old probably figures he "wins" on some level if you snap and make a scene. The best tactic is to not engage on their terms - change the rules so you can win.

"No, you can't use your ipod." "Please Mom!" "No. And if you ask again, I'm going to take the ipod and put it in my pocket and you won't see it again for a week. If you wait patiently in line, and sit quietly through the performance, you can listen to your ipod after the show, while we wait for your brother to be ready to go home." Then follow through. Alternately - "I've told you no once, I'm not going to say it again." Followed by completely ignoring all begging and pleading. The policy in our house is that reasoned arguments may be effective, but begging and whining are not.

Disrespectful behavior also has to be dealt with promptly and effectively. Every time. Even when it makes you miserable to do. Likewise, respectful behavior should be noted, appreciated and rewarded.

I was just talking to my daughter's martial arts teacher about this today. She said "The one rule I have for dealing with kids is that if I say there will be a consequence (good or bad), there is. Every time."

My kid isn't perfect, but the more consistent adults in her life are - the better her behavior is.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by lukenick1 View Post
Hi all,

I am at my witts end with my kids. Two boys ages 12 & 10. The 12 year old is very mouthy, talks back constantly, disrespects me and treats his brother like an enemy. My 10 year old will not take no for an answer and will harp and harp and harp until we snap and make a scene in public. The 10 year old also very immature and acts up in public for attention. I just cannot get a grip on this. There are days I want to pack my bags and give up. How do I handle the 10 yr old not taking no for an answer? Here is an example.....
He wanted to use his ipod during his brothers band concert. I told him it was not allowed. Instead of accepting that, he kept begging and begging and begging for the ipod while were in line to go in. After hearing him beg enough and telling him to stop 1,000 times my husband grabbed his ear and twisted it in front of a group of people. I was mortified!!!! This is what he does to us, pushes and pushes us til we have reached a boiling point. What message would I have sent if I gave in?

My 12 year old is very negative and nasty to his brother. He never says anything nice to him or about him, always picks fights with him, and is also physical with him. I have taken his electronics away for his abuse, talking back and disrespect. Again, my husband blew up the other day and started screaming at him until he was in tears and the very next day he was right back to the same nasty negative attitude. Please give us some advice how to deal with these issues. I know they are minor to some people but we are not experts and try to do the right thing. No flaming please....we are reaching out for advice. Not looking to be attacked for doing it wrong.
Thanks so much!
So sorry you are having trouble with your kiddos! My kids have their good days together and their bad days together. Are they involved in any extra curricular activities? My kids started taekwondo last August, and I have seen a remarkable difference in their attitude and discipline when it comes to their relationship and daily life in general. Perhaps you can give the boys a project to work on together. Maybe building something that requires two sets of hands. A team building exercise can really help.

As for the iPod situation, I would have left it at home or taken it back to the car. Sometimes "out if sight out of mind" does the trick. I find it very hard to say no to my youngest, but I am getting a little bit better at it. He says the phrase "can I buy this app" about 10 times a week. Now he has to do housework to earn them. So far so good as of late. Best of luck to you!

Last edited by smitch425; 05-23-2013 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:14 PM   #6
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Sorry you are going through this.

One thing that stood out to me was the ipod story. If you knew your son couldn't have his ipod during the concert, why wasn't it left at home? It sounds like you had it with you so your son kept bugging you for it. Don't allow him to bring things he isn't going to be able to use.

I would start from scratch. I would sit them both down and tell them that you don't like their behavior and you also don't like your own behavior and the way you are reacting to them. I would tell them you are starting over and everyone has a clean slate. You have all made mistakes and it is now time to move forward.

I would present them with a list of very clear rules with very clear consequences. Pick the top things they are doing that bother you and pick appropriate consequences. And, of course, this is the important part: when they break the rules, do not lecture or yell. Simply say you broke rule number 4 and the consequence is such and such. Stick to your guns and walk away. Don't argue with them or let them draw you into a debate. Rule broken, consequence, done. .

Good luck!
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:14 PM   #7
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I feel your pain, I was having some issues w/ DS11 last year. Almost the same stuff- talking back, nagging when he didn't get his way, aggressive w/ his brother, & extreme jealousy....what worked for us was "family" counseling. We all went, but it was really just for him(haha). We went for about 6 months, and things got so much better! I will say her discussions and strategies weren't really too different from what DH & I had tried, but DS actually listened to her opinion, and we all worked together. Many of the strategies for different problem areas were his idea. I was surprised at how smart and compassionate his thoughts were, he just needed encouragement and a bit more self-esteem. and it was hard to argue with a punishment or reward when he was the one who came up w/it!

I first called the school to see if he could get counseling there, but since there weren't any school issues, they referred me to a family counselor (thankfully our insurance covered it)

Something we still do now is one-on-one time (electronic free) each week......

Good Luck
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Old 05-24-2013, 12:25 AM   #8
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Sorry you are going through this.

One thing that stood out to me was the ipod story. If you knew your son couldn't have his ipod during the concert, why wasn't it left at home? It sounds like you had it with you so your son kept bugging you for it. Don't allow him to bring things he isn't going to be able to use.

I would start from scratch. I would sit them both down and tell them that you don't like their behavior and you also don't like your own behavior and the way you are reacting to them. I would tell them you are starting over and everyone has a clean slate. You have all made mistakes and it is now time to move forward.

I would present them with a list of very clear rules with very clear consequences. Pick the top things they are doing that bother you and pick appropriate consequences. And, of course, this is the important part: when they break the rules, do not lecture or yell. Simply say you broke rule number 4 and the consequence is such and such. Stick to your guns and walk away. Don't argue with them or let them draw you into a debate. Rule broken, consequence, done. .

Good luck!



We haven't hit the preteens yet with DS, but the rules will be the same as the way they were with the girls.

If you can't use it where we're going, don't take it.

If I tell you to put it up, it will be put up or it will become mine.

If you "sass" off to me, you can march your behind right to your room, and come out when you think you can talk to me like a reasonable human being.

If you are being rude or vicious to someone, you can march your behind right to your room and stay there until I decide you can act like a civilized human being. Longest one was grounded to the bedroom (except for bathroom or meals) was 3 weeks--in summer. Didn't have much of a problem with her after that. Of course, the only thing in that room left after the first week was her bed, dresser and clothes. TV/Stereo/etc ended up in the garage after the first day of her screaming and stomping and throwing shoes. I did leave her slippers, but the shoes went to the garage.

In this house, we all work to contribute. Dad works and brings in the money, mom does the housework/bill pay/cooking/laundry, and kids go to school and learn how to do all mom's stuff, so when they go out on their own, they can do things like open a can of beans. It's expected and required, and no, they don't get paid for it.

They do, however, get an allowance. Have to learn to budget somehow. Want the latest video game? Save up. Want a new Beyblade? save up. Want a new Dooney and Burke? Grab the credit card out of DH's wallet....
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:48 AM   #9
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BIG fan of John Rosemomd who writes every tues in paper. Common sense parenting. You simply strip each room of everything except the bed and take the door off. Like another OP said you and your husband come together and set the ground rules and expectations. If these are not followed each kid goes to their room and can sit on their bed and look at the ceiling for x amount of hours. This will get real boring and they will realize that you the parent are in control. You set the time limit. I have heard parents do this for hours at time. After the incident that child comes to you for a family meeting to talk things over. Repeat this for as long as possible until you see the desired bEhavior. This would also be for going out with friends or things you do as a family. You might have to cancel many things,but in time things should improve. You as the parent have to stay strong and follow through every single time no exceptions. I would also not let the 2 stay home by themselves. You are inviting lots of trouble. Would love to hear back to see how things are going.
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Old 05-24-2013, 06:19 AM   #10
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I agree with counseling. Sometimes, just one session is enough. Having someone, other then MOM talk to my son, and having someone other than my son YELLING at me helped us both. It taught us how to communicate. He wanted more trust, I wanted more respect. We just didn't know how to say that to each other without yelling or fighting. The counselor helped us bring the both together.

3 years later...now dealing with my daughter, 14.

My DD14 will absolutely go nuts, screaming and yelling if we take her phone or ipad away. She will hide it. My husband finds it. She's jumped at him, screamed, cried. She once slammed her door so hard, he took her door off. She locked herself in the bathroom, he took the entire door knob off. It was sort of funny the next morning when you walked by it and she had a wash cloth stuffed in that hole. Taking the door off drives them crazy! They figure out who is in control pretty darn fast.

She apologized and begged the next day. My husband waited one more day. Even though I had learned from counseling, there was no way to calm her down. Finally, she did, she wanted her stuff back. We now communicate much better. More respectfully. I'm more respectful to her as she is to me. For instance, simple things, knock before entering. She does it to me, I do the same to her. Close the door behind you, she does it to me, I do it to her.

Getting ready for school she would try on clothes then leave them on the floor. I repeatedly told her not to do that. I iron her stuff and then I see it on the floor. Or she would take her clothes off and leave them on the floor. I asked her not to do that. So, I washed her clothes and threw them on her bed. She pretended it didn't bother her. It got bigger and bigger. I knew it bothered her, she likes her clothes ironed. She was being stubborn. There was a heap of sweats, undies, bras, jeans, socks, and her FAVORITE shirts all on her bed. Finally she says "why are you doing that!" I said, "you don't care so I don't care". A day later she apologized. Then she wanted me to clean it up. NOPE. Then we compromised and did it together and she doesn't do that anymore.

With all my kids, I hated when they would tell me "mom, get out of here!" or "mom LEAVE" or "oh my god mom, go away" when they were with their friends. It was rude! I was usually feeding those kids and asking questions, just bugging them I'm sure (we have a game room in our garage they all hang out in). So we came up with a code. The minute they said "mom, I love you" no matter what - mid sentence - right then- I would turn on my heels and leave immediately! That was our deal. And I did it ~ I left the second they said that. They would say this in front of all their friends "mom, I love you" and I left. To this day....they are in their 20s and they still do it.

If it helps, it gets so much better as they get older, they love their moms!! They come back to you....they do. We just have to teach them respect. That counseling session really did help me.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:05 AM   #11
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Sorry you are going through this.

One thing that stood out to me was the ipod story. If you knew your son couldn't have his ipod during the concert, why wasn't it left at home? It sounds like you had it with you so your son kept bugging you for it. Don't allow him to bring things he isn't going to be able to use.

I would start from scratch. I would sit them both down and tell them that you don't like their behavior and you also don't like your own behavior and the way you are reacting to them. I would tell them you are starting over and everyone has a clean slate. You have all made mistakes and it is now time to move forward.

I would present them with a list of very clear rules with very clear consequences. Pick the top things they are doing that bother you and pick appropriate consequences. And, of course, this is the important part: when they break the rules, do not lecture or yell. Simply say you broke rule number 4 and the consequence is such and such. Stick to your guns and walk away. Don't argue with them or let them draw you into a debate. Rule broken, consequence, done. .

Good luck!
This exactly what I would suggest. When m kids were younger, they knew that there were consequences. Honestly, the consequence was often a huge inconvenience for me, but I always followed through. My oldest is 37, and he still talks about how he knew that even if it meant that I had to stay home with him if he was punished, that is what happened.

I did lecture though My DD told me that they all wished I was one of those Moms, who would haul off and smack em and get it over with, but Nooooooooooooooooooo they got a Mom who would talk to them. And talk and talk and talk ................. guess that was one of those consequences they wanted to avoid
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:15 AM   #12
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I will agree with everyone who is saying consequences and boundaries. Your ds's are old enough to understand the concept. I have 7 of my own children and married someone with 4 more. There is no perfection but there are basics.

1. Electronics are for home. If you are on a long car ride that is one thing but to school functions, family functions...the answer is no. They don't even leave the house.

2. If I say no, I really mean no. Its not up for discussion and getting into the discussion is not happening. At 10, your ds can understand it. He is goading and baiting you and your dh to interact on whatever issue HE wants to interact on, hoping to sway your mind. At some point, say no and if he asks again, send him to the car. Once. Don't interact and get the fire started. That is the hardest part.

3. At 12, the mouthiness and bossiness is normal. I haven't had a middle schooler yet who hasn't tested the waters in that area. Usually that mouthiness and bad attitude comes from realizing they are not a kid but not an adult. Allowing them to voice an opinion in a non aggressive and cooperative way helps. Validating some of the problems he may be having with the younger ds. Your younger ds is getting on your nerves, imagine not having the maturity to handle it. We all had sisters and brothers that we would have given away at some point.

4. No violence. Whatsoever. Learning to discuss calmly and rationally. And consequences. Consequences that count. If it hurts him to remove the IPOD for an extended length of time do it. Never make a threat you won't follow through with.

I hope it gets better for you! Its not always about the kids changing, but parents learning to change to. I know how difficult it is. Preteens should definitely come with a manual!

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Old 05-24-2013, 07:24 AM   #13
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Never give up. Never surrender. And realize that your 10 year old probably figures he "wins" on some level if you snap and make a scene. The best tactic is to not engage on their terms - change the rules so you can win.

"No, you can't use your ipod." "Please Mom!" "No. And if you ask again, I'm going to take the ipod and put it in my pocket and you won't see it again for a week. If you wait patiently in line, and sit quietly through the performance, you can listen to your ipod after the show, while we wait for your brother to be ready to go home." Then follow through. Alternately - "I've told you no once, I'm not going to say it again." Followed by completely ignoring all begging and pleading. The policy in our house is that reasoned arguments may be effective, but begging and whining are not.

Disrespectful behavior also has to be dealt with promptly and effectively. Every time. Even when it makes you miserable to do. Likewise, respectful behavior should be noted, appreciated and rewarded.

I was just talking to my daughter's martial arts teacher about this today. She said "The one rule I have for dealing with kids is that if I say there will be a consequence (good or bad), there is. Every time."

My kid isn't perfect, but the more consistent adults in her life are - the better her behavior is.
I completely agree with above, and the boldest was also our biggest guideline in raising our kids. I never once said "if you don't get over here right now I'm going to leave you here". Mean what you say and clearly set out boundaries and expectations. Don't make a threat or a promise that you're not going to follow through on.
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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You have been given some great advice.

You have to find the boys' "currency." We as adults get paid to work and not talk back to our bosses, etc.....kids always have something they want, or their payment/currency. I have learned I have to speak into that.

For my oldest it is electronics/gaming time. If he begs and begs in line after I have said no, I simply say calmly, "I have said no and if you ask me again you will not have the iPod/DS/whatever for the remainder of today."

The other thing DH and I have learned, particularly with our oldest, is to talk in the car about what behavior will be expected BEFORE we get there. Going to a concert? "Johnny, we are going to be in a place where people will be playing instruments that they have spent a lot of time playing. We will be listening and clapping and giving our encouragement to them out of respect for the time they have put into practicing and learning their songs? Ok? Could you please repeat what I have said so that I know you have heard me?"

If he then pouted or gave me attitude, I would ignore if it isn't too big of a problem and address it at home with my DH and a sit down conversation with him telling him that his behavior was unacceptable and we are disappointed, AND we would be sure to explain what behavior is acceptable. Sometimes we assume kids know how to act/respond when they really need it clearly explained even though it makes perfect sense to us.

The other thing DH and I have been trying very hard to do is to "catch them doing something right!" We can often point out to them what they are doing wrong, chastise them, get upset, etc....but we often forget to tell them what a good job they are doing when they DO behave or do the right thing. I know that goes further than pointing out their flaws and what they do wrong, but I often forget or don't realize I need to compliment them too!

I know I mentioned my oldest here, but he has Asperger's and so it has been a whole different ballgame in explaining social behaviors to him and I believe the younger two have benefitted from what we have learned in parenting him.

My .02 and I hope it gets better.

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Old 05-24-2013, 07:28 AM   #15
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Thanks all....

Unfortunately sending them to their room is no easy task either. They will beg and beg and beg and come out of their rooms 1,000 times until i lose it again. I really feel like I have NO CONTROL over them at all. It's really pathetic. I am mostly in charge because my husband works a lot of hours. When he is home he sees all the drama and wants to go right back to work. If I followed through with a punishment for everything thing they do wrong they would never have a life. As far as the ipod incident. He was told your not playing that during the concert. He asked to have it at least for the car ride but was to leave it in the car once we got there. He snuck it into the building in his pants. Once I noticed he had it in the building i confiscated it and thats when the begging began. It was so embarrassing when my husband lost his cool. There are times I pull my DS12's hair to get his attention when he is in a rage or just being out of control nasty. How will I explain that to a therapist? DS12 will tell the therapist I pull his hair and next thing you know DSS will be at my door. We are not abusive parents but sometimes you need to react to get them to listen, even then it doesn't work! Good ole fashioned spankings did the trick for us. When I would talk back to my Mother I would get a back hand right across the mouth. Worked for my mouth, but society doesn't allow for that today. Parenting is so difficult and the hardest job around!
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