Boy covered in mud

My Intuition Isn’t Quite Enough: A Seven Year Old Boy Is Too Tricky!

So Far …

Brother and sister
We Love Each Other Really!

 

For the last 7yrs since Curly Headed Boy arrived, I’ve been pretty much surviving on my intuition and dipping into the odd book for help every now and again for an adaptable tip.

I had tended towards the trying to be as respectful and fair as possible, but when Little Dimples came along 3yrs ago, my ability to have the time to explain why I wanted things done every time diminished, and things got trickier from then on.

Plus, just as I thought, having 2 kids is definitely harder in some ways than one; whilst I would never change it.

We’ve used ‘time out’, not the full length of time, but purely to actually give CHB some time away to cool down, rather than as a punishment, and only once he was old enough to understand it.

I’ve also been a fan of understanding consequences and that ‘treats’ like watching the TV, chocolate biscuits for snack and playing on the computer are things to be earn’t, not expected.  So if push came to shove we would start to remove ‘treats’.  Although this always fails when a child is in a huge trantrum as they don’t have the ability to stop it going into a complete disaster crash zone!

 

7yo Boy …

Boy covered in mud
I fell in!

 

But this 7yo boy malarkey is much more difficult.  So in the last couple of months I’ve been starting to read a pile of books that I’m going to review and test out here for you to see.

Our problems are many, without heading into the direction of anything seriously behavioural.

There’s been a lot of anger, rudeness, grumpiness, over reaction, disrespect and plain old refusal to do as we ask.

It was made worse by my Fibromyalgia diagnosis and me sitting down with the kids explaining that I need them to be a little more responsible for themselves; Nothing major, just that I really can’t be asking for things FIVE times over.

Then the Hairy Northern One’s contract was terminated early and it became even more obvious that we had a problem, as the two of them were constantly at each other.  Plus I felt that it seemed like I was constantly nagging CHB, in fact Little Dimples had started too.

Now some people have told me that this is a normal state of affairs; But I’m not so sure.

 

Previous Books …

 

Great books for mums dealing with depression
Books, books, books …

The books I’m mainly relied upon before were:

Dr William Sears: Attachment Parenting.  What I liked about this book was that there were several blocks, and you could ‘mix and match’ them.  For instance I ended up co-sleeping, but never got the hang of baby wearing; it was more like baby carrying most of the time.

Dr Elizabeth Pantley: No Cry Sleep Solution.  The downside to this book is that it doesn’t have an immediate answer.  The good side is that it had SO MANY ideas, that I could again mix and match.

I would have loved to be as scheduled as Gina Ford, and was expecting to be before Curly Headed Boy appeared.  But it just didn’t suit me, and I find it difficult to take anything seriously which is from someone without kids and based upon the feeding schedules of calves.  No disrespect meant to those for whom it worked, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, didn’t suit my kids and there wasn’t the added pressure to make it work, as I only work part-time.

I just didn’t get on with the Baby Whisperer either, again it didn’t seem to be flexible enough for me, although I know it’s well loved.  I did hear too that she left her kids with their grand parents in order to progress her career abroad.  Now being a working Mum is difficult, but considering the subject matter of her books, it seems odd behaviour.

I’ve watched Super Nanny and she seems to do a wonderful job turning families around, especially with explaining things like consistency.  However, there have been a few things that she has done which have been incredibly harsh, and again felt like they were only possible for someone who hadn’t actually had children.

 

All in all, I came away not liking Parenting Techniques as they just didn’t seem to take into account differences in Mums, children, circumstances etc etc etc.  I also felt that they created HUGE amounts of guilt and fear in Mums which just exasperates the situation by reducing their ability to listen to their own intuition.  Hence I wrote my own book centered on the Mum, based on the theory that when she is contented, the kids are as well.

Please note: Just because a book didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean that I’m judging the fact that you liked it!  I’ve just mentioned these books so that you get an idea of where I’m coming from.

So What Happens Now …

 

Is it possible to have romance and kids?I still believe that if the Mum is happy that the kids will settle around her, especially before teenage.  In fact Curly Headed Boy said something similar yesterday when he said that since I’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I’ve looked much healthier and happier.  When I dug a little deeper it’s because I’m up and dressed and showered before Breakfast, so I’m ready to hit the day running as far as he is concerned.  In fact the truth of the matter is that I have so much pain in the morning, I literally can’t function without a shower; so I figure I might as well get dressed.  But he is right, as I am learning to put myself first EVEN MORE than I thought was necessary beforehand.

 

I’m going to review AND TEST:

 

How to Talk so your kids will Listen and Listen to kids will talk’ by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

‘Love Bombing’ Oliver James

Christine Northrup ‘Mother Daughter Wisdom’

 ‘Raising Boys’ and ‘Raising Girls’ by Steven Biddulph (the problem with this is that Raising boys isn’t on kindle).

and maybe a few more on the way.

 

If you fancy testing them out at the same time and swapping ideas/experiences, I would love to hear from you or have you add your blog posts in the comments.

Got any you would recommend?  Feel free to add them to the list!

 

Here are my reviews of the other chapters for How To Talk So Kids Listen:

Ch1: The importance of not disagreeing with their feelings

Ch2: Tips on getting kids to do what we want

Ch3: What to do when punishment or more discipline isn’t working 

Ch4: Encouraging independence in our children

 

How to show your kids you love them

Do our kids really know that we love them?

How to show your kids you love them

We love out kids right?

Even when they are being little sh*ts!

But we do get frustrated and angry sometimes.  We do let ‘life’ get in the way.

And with horror we sometimes realise that our kids don’t know how much we love them.

It can even get to the awful stage that they get hurt and angry and tell us that they hate us.

 

I remember with horror the night I tucked Curly Headed Boy into bed 6 months after Little Dimples was born and said ‘You do know I love you as much as her don’t you?’ and this sad little boy just shook his head.

HOW COULD HE NOT KNOW I LOVED HIM WITH ALL MY HEART?  I was always telling him and hugging him.  But life is difficult with a new baby in the house.

 

So, if you are having problems with your kids and they are attention seeking (i.e. being sh*tty), saying they hate you or feeling distant from you, here are my three top tips for turning it all around with a little routine at the end of bed time every night.

 

1) Three Best Things

This is a good calming exercise for the end of the day and helps them learn to see that life is never all bad.

Everyone says what the ‘3 Best things’ were that happened today.  It’s basically counting your blessings.

You do it too, so that they get an idea of what is going on in your life (how many times do I realise that the kids are blissfully unaware of what Mummy does all day!).

There are ALWAYS three things if not more, so keep helping them to look even if it’s just for a sunny day or cup of hot chocolate (coffee in your case).

 

2) I Love You …

I want my kids to know that I love ALL of them.  Every little last bit of them.  I don’t love them despite the bad bits, I love them totally.

So every night I say …

I LOVE YOU

From the top of your head, to the bottom of your toes <point to top of head and toes>,

From your squiggly insides to your outsides <tickle tummy>,

From your naughty side to your good side <point to one cheek and the next>,

From here to infinity <point to the nose and up into the sky>

 

3) Special Together Time 

Oliver James has written a whole book on this called ‘Love Bombing’ which is currently on my ‘to read’ list.  The theory is that you spend a day with one  of your kids and from the beginning to the end it’s all their decision about what you guys do.

Now this doesn’t work for me with Little Dimples being so young, and it would be really difficult for a single parent to do regularly.

But the concept is good; make sure that in a month you get to spend some time alone with each child doing something that brings you closer and reconnects you.  If you make it a habit, then they will know that they will get this time, so they don’t have to kick off to get your attention.  If you can only get 15 mins, then make the most of what time you have.  An hour would be fab; whatever you can manage.

Then maybe once a year try to get half a day with each child on their own for a special treat.

 

 

Is it possible to have romance and kids?

I’d Love To Hear Your Stories

It happens in so many relationships that people don’t feel loved, despite us thinking it is obvious.

And I think it’s easy to fall into the trap of saying hurtful things to each other when we are tired and upset about things.

Just remember that if your kids are angry with you, it’s probably just covering up some hurt, so all they need is for you to understand their emotional immaturity and help them feel better.

All children love their parents, it’s just that things like guilt, fear, anger, hurt etc can get in the way of our relationships with them.

 

The key is to make it a habit to show them you love them and build daily confidence in your kids.

Do you have little fun things you do with your kids to reconnect?  I’d love to know.
If you try out these tips, let me know how they go!