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TopsyTurvy

So sick of the not listening, the mucking around and the need to constantly nag - help!

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TopsyTurvy

Tonight I have just about lost the plot at DS 6

 

I'm so over all the above. His life is fantastic and all I want in return is for him to do the simple things that I require of him without him mucking around, without constantly having to ride his back and remind him every other minute, without the constant nagging. He only ever seems to listen with half an ear and then just goes and does it anyway.

 

Simple tasks like brushing his teeth before bed and getting his pajamas on turn into half hour protracted mucking around sessions unless I stand there and nag him every 2 bloody seconds. Ditto for getting ready before school. He has a chart that clearly spells out his things he has to do. Made together for utmost clarity. Mornings get up and dressed, eat his breakfast and pack his school bag, brush his teeth and wash his face and hands. All up could easily be done in 20 minutes, but no, it takes the child an hour and a half because he is too busy mucking around. Arrrrgggghhhh! Then half the time he forgets half of what is on the damn chart.

 

After school it's gets changed out of his uniform, do his reader and unpack his school bag, then 3 simple chores that he can choose from the list. Again well over an hour to do something requiring 15 mins max!

 

Bedtime is the same. Such simple little things that any child his age (barring disabilities) should be able to easily able to perform and it's a huge muck around.

 

I do not want to spend the next however many years of my life repeatedly nagging him.

 

I've removed privileges such as screen time to no long term effect. I've talked to him until I am blue in the face, we have done chore charts, reward charts, nothing seems to work for more than a day. :cry:

 

What can I do from here? Remove all toy/screen/book privileges?

 

Yell (more :ph34r:)

 

Send him to military school (just kidding... Or not!)

 

Take the same attitude towards him and the things that are important to him (play dates oh mummy forgot, taking him places, muck around forever until it's too late to bother)

 

Or am I doomed? Am I consigned to nagging for the next 12 years when I can wash my hands and say "you are now an adult I give up!"

 

Any brilliant ideas most appreciated!

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Jenflea

If he takes too long to get ready, then he's late for school and he has to go to the front office for a late slip explaining WHY he's late.

 

Or take him at the normal time in whatever he's wearing by then. if it's PJ's, oh well.

 

Give him a timer on the microwave and if he's not ready for bed by then no reading time before bed, or tablet the next day.

 

I think some kids just need to be nagged and nagged more than others. I'm a bit of a procrastinator, and I'm 41.

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AsperHacker

I stopped nagging. I just gave it up. It doesn't work. What works in our house is I will treat you like a member of our household when you act like one. I'll love you always but I'm not your slave or your nag. I just switch off and magically things get done.

 

Playdates - when you're done with the stuff you have to then we'll do the things you want to. If you muck around until it's too late, oh well (assuming you're not letting anyone down, it works better when no one is relying on you to turn up!)

 

Don't be too harsh though. Mornings suck. There's time constraints. But, I've put DS5 in the car more than once in his boxers chucked the clothes in after him and said he's going to school... dressed or not! He's never been to school in boxers and he gets dressed happily on time for at least a few months... I can get another month with reminding him of that time I chucked you in the car in boxers!

 

6 year olds are easily distracted. They don't listen. They take forever to put their shoes on. It's kinda part of the territory of 6 year olds. Choose you battles. Why does it matter if he takes an hour instead of 15 minutes? That's the best way to learn that he's missing out on 45 minutes by stuffing around.

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Jenflea

My 6 yr old takes a while to get ready in the mornings. I don't know what she does...just moves at a snails pace I guess. I just keep reminding her what she needs to do next.

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IkeaAddict

DS is the same OP. So I allow double the time it SHOULD take him to get ready. Or I say we need to be somewhere before we need to so when we get there we are usually on time. And bribery. LOTS of bribery. It helps that he is a very competitive kid so as soon as I say "Quick, time to get ready for school, see if you can get dressed before daddy does"....9 times out of 10 he will. The more I nag the worse he gets and the slower he is. Drives me nuts.

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AnotherFeral

Sorry OP, I'm in a similar boat with all 3 of mine. I've mostly given up.

One thing that helped was DD's yr 2 teacher giving her a verbal dressing down after too many instances of lateness, tantrums in the morning, forgetting homework books, etc. (I was very frank in the explanation part of the late notes!). She was better in the mornings after that.

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AsperHacker

Oh yes, and competition... who can do the most cleaning up (I have 3 kids but I join in) in 15 minutes on the timer? Who can be first in the car in the morning?

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Freddie'sMum

Stand over them like you are a mafia hit man until they do task X. That's all I've got. We have an 11 year old who can get distracted by a piece of string. I have charts / notes they both need to do. I nag, shout, scream and carry on like a fishwife.

 

Nothing works as well as actually stand over tactics.

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TopsyTurvy

Thanks for the ideas so far. I've noted them and will put them on the list of things to try.

 

Except for the late to school thing. I disagree with that as its disruptive to class time and our school are very much students coming in late. Plus I have a huge punctuality issue that it would kill me to let him be late.

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Mumtotwo13

I have found I need to remind DD of the next things that need to be done, no more than 2-3 things at a time. She is 5, and can't yet handle the complexities of a long list, what order to do things etc. She also knows the consequence of being late means a trip to the office to explain herself.

 

And praise. She gets a lot of praise for 'beautiful listening' and 'good job' for getting things done. Or I act all surprised, amazed and pleased when she shows the tiniest bit of initiative. Which is exhausting, but very effective. I've tripled the praise in the last few weeks, and our mornings are now very calm. It's even working on the toddler. I just feel like a bit of a d*ck with that much positivity, I'm usually a creature of sarcasm. :)

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AsperHacker

Thanks for the ideas so far. I've noted them and will put them on the list of things to try.

 

Except for the late to school thing. I disagree with that as its disruptive to class time and our school are very much students coming in late. Plus I have a huge punctuality issue that it would kill me to let him be late.

 

DS would never be late! My eldest is in year 5 and I've never had a child late to school (shush, I take perfectionism where I can!) But DS may be on time and half naked... I'd be willing to bet if you offered get dressed within the next 5 mins or go in pj's that your DS would find his motivation to be on time! No late to school mummy anxiety necessary ☺

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Pooks_

I've taken to dressing DS in the bathroom when we are in a hurry, where there's nothing interesting to do. I don't let him out til he's dressed. I thought I was going to have some kind of health episode the other day as I repeated "it's undies time! It's undies time!" Into the abyss as DS wandered through the house starkers muttering in agreement and doing nothing...

 

One thing I'm wondering about the charts, is could you break the tasks into steps? We had a routine chart for mornings and evenings but then also broke some of the tasks into steps on their own charts. Could he be getting muddled thinking about what comes next?

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Sugarplum Poobah

Tonight I have just about lost the plot at DS 6

 

I'm so over all the above. His life is fantastic and all I want in return is for him to do the simple things that I require of him without him mucking around, without constantly having to ride his back and remind him every other minute, without the constant nagging. He only ever seems to listen with half an ear and then just goes and does it anyway.

 

Simple tasks like brushing his teeth before bed and getting his pajamas on turn into half hour protracted mucking around sessions unless I stand there and nag him every 2 bloody seconds. Ditto for getting ready before school. He has a chart that clearly spells out his things he has to do. Made together for utmost clarity. Mornings get up and dressed, eat his breakfast and pack his school bag, brush his teeth and wash his face and hands. All up could easily be done in 20 minutes, but no, it takes the child an hour and a half because he is too busy mucking around. Arrrrgggghhhh! Then half the time he forgets half of what is on the damn chart.

 

After school it's gets changed out of his uniform, do his reader and unpack his school bag, then 3 simple chores that he can choose from the list. Again well over an hour to do something requiring 15 mins max!

 

Bedtime is the same. Such simple little things that any child his age (barring disabilities) should be able to easily able to perform and it's a huge muck around.

 

I do not want to spend the next however many years of my life repeatedly nagging him.

 

I've removed privileges such as screen time to no long term effect. I've talked to him until I am blue in the face, we have done chore charts, reward charts, nothing seems to work for more than a day. :cry:

 

What can I do from here? Remove all toy/screen/book privileges?

 

Yell (more :ph34r:)

 

Send him to military school

 

OK, I don't have kids of my own, but there are 6 year olds in my life and I was one once.

 

You say his life is fantastic. From your perspective it is, probably not so much from his.

 

That morning routine looks like a recipe for indigestion and exhaustion before he's even out the door. I think 20 minutes is a bit unrealistic TBH.

 

Likewise, how about changing the afternoon routine so he gets some time to let off steam before doing chores?

 

I dunno, from the outside it looks like an overwhelmed kid who can't do anything right.

 

I second the PP who talked about praise. I think you might need a bit more carrot and a bit less stick.

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thorneth

I feel like it's a common thing for kids this age. We have a chart (with the clothes etc. in steps and pictures), we try rewards for being ready early (he can have some computer game time with as much time as is left before we have to go), making it a race, excessive praise when he does a step without being reminded, timer on the phone or on the clock (be ready/complete this step by the time the big hand is on the 10). Nothing is particularly effective.

 

I think he genuinely doesn't have enough of an understanding of how time works. The bus leaves at 830 so we need to be at the bus stop before then but he doesn't really understand that things won't wait for him. I think there's also an element of not wanting to be independent but be babied and looked after by us like we do for his little sister.

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oliboli

My DS6 is exactly the same - it used to drive me insane!! 45 mins to eat a bowl of cereal etc ended up in major nagging and stress every single morning! It was so exhausting! We used to get to school just as the bell was ringing at the earliest, no time to unpack bag, no time for pre-school activities or socialising with friends. DS is quite conscientious so in the end I had a word with his teacher (without DS knowing) and asked her if she could explain to DS the importance of being prompt for school. Since then we haven't had any major issues in the mining and life is a lot nicer in this household!

Afternoons I give a bit of slack, if he wants to do homework as soon as he gets home from school he can, or he can do it after having a play - as long as it gets done I'm not too fussed about it.

I also acknowledge when he has done a good job, or has got ready early and continually praise.

 

 

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Riotproof

Thanks for the ideas so far. I've noted them and will put them on the list of things to try.

 

Except for the late to school thing. I disagree with that as its disruptive to class time and our school are very much students coming in late. Plus I have a huge punctuality issue that it would kill me to let him be late.

 

This is me too.

 

DS is very into instructions for Lego and the like, so I created lists for each school morning with clip arts and text.

Ear breakfast, wash face, brush teeth, brush hair, put uniform on etc. pack bag with..

 

And it does seem to help. But there is still dawdling and distracting along the way.

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Riotproof

I think the three simple chores are overkill. Unpack his bag, get changed. That should be it really. Do the reader at bedtime or after dinner. They are so lacking in freetime when they go to school. Playtime is still so important.

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~Bob~

I made a game for my twins. I printed on a card pictures of each thing they needed to do and laminated it. Then I printed the same pictures and laminated them separately. I then put Velcro on them. So we started with all of them off and then when they did each task, they'd put them on the card. They used to have races to win. That worked for that age group and it was a good visual reminder of what's next without me nagging!

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CallMeFeral

Do you use 1-2-3 magic or anything? My 6 and 7yo space cadets still respond to that if it's something that needs to be done immediately. Although I get a bit over having to count, it does at least ensure an immediate result.

The latest thing for getting ready for school here is that DS gets screen time until we have to leave. It used to be a red frog/canteen money, and that mostly worked, but the screen time has been a massive motivator for him and he practically bounds out of bed and gets sorted in 10 minutes and spends the rest on the screen. Yet for DD I guess it's not her currency as she still mucks around. I almost took her to school without shoes last week - I think I'll do it one day to see if THAT'S her currency.

 

Not much idea about the chores though, still working on that!

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kpingitquiet

Unless my 5.5yo is also an unusually painful child, I would say it's just the age. This is the first time in their lives (FYOS, SYOS) that they are, unfailingly, expected to get up, get uniformed, get fed, get to school, listen, learn, obey schedules, do homework, do chores, get to bed, etc every day for the rest (as they see it) of their lives. And just when they get in the groove, bastards throw a two week holiday at them and screw it all up. I think they just shut off as a way of simplifying and not being overwhelmed.

 

Now I say all this as a zen-breathing earth-mother but the truth is I scream and threaten and throw temper tantrums of my own nearly every morning. I'm trying to teach myself to just accept that this is how it is for now and that, with patience and a lot of booze, it will become bearable and eventually improve.

 

One thing that helps is getting her up super early. Like 7am wakeup for 850am school start. She gets 5 mins wakeup time then must get dressed and eat breakfast right away. After that she can kind of mellow out until it's time to go. Doesn't always work but usually. Though this is somewhat painful it its own way as it means the kids wake up before 7 EVERY day and it means I I have to get up before the sun to get a quiet cup of coffee before the madness begins.

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SeaPrincess

I have 3 children and it can be much the same here x3. The lists are in order of how they need to be done, so they don't need to think about what else, just what next. I sometimes send them separately to get dressed or brush teeth because they wind each other up. I remind, but I try not to nag or yell because they don't work and I'm the only one who gets stressed about it. I'm not always successful in the not nagging or yelling either. Mine don't like being late, so I absolutely would take them in pjs if I had to, but they usually manage it all at the last minute. We have no electronics/tv before school and I have recently banned iPads during the week.

 

ETA getting them up earlier doesn't work - it just takes longer. It actually goes better when they sleep in and have less time.

 

That morning routine looks like a recipe for indigestion and exhaustion before he's even out the door. I think 20 minutes is a bit unrealistic TBH.

Mine can do it when they want to. They're up, dressed, clean and ready to go for sports on Saturday or for special things at school. THAT is why the everyday mornings are so frustrating.

 

Likewise, how about changing the afternoon routine so he gets some time to let off steam before doing chores?

In our house, this just reschedules the battle to a bit later when they are more tired and even less co-operative.

Edited by SeaPrincess

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José

I think you need to consider whether or not your expectations are realistic. Id suggest maybe not since so many others have come in saying they have similar problems.

I dont really understand the comment about how great his life is..? So, he's supposed to be extemely grateful to you and demonstrate that gratitude by getting ready for school quickly each morning?

I think a parenting course might help you get a few other ideas.

I'd be interested to know more about your charts, do they have photos or some other visual? How basic are they?

Perhaps reframe nagging to reminding or prompting?

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Riotproof

My charts are just googled clip arts in a list. If I could be bothered, one like this would be good I think. Though I wouldn't call it a chore chart.

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=chore+chart+fold+up&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-gb&client=safari#imgrc=pkwmz01ei9pHBM%3A

 

The good life stuff bothered me, but I coudnt explain why. Don't we want our children to have a good life? A good childhood? Where they gain responsibilities gradually, but don't have adult ones until they actually are adults. I feel like you are expecting gratitude for your conditional love. And that is just wrong.

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marple

What 3 chores does a 6 year old do every afternoon?

 

Also if he wants to take ages to get ready every morning then let him. Just get him up earlier. He can then decide if he prefers to sleep in or eat breakfast slowly.

Can you help him with anything? He is only 6. They aren't little for long - before you know it he will be grown.

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HolleyShiftwell

In terms of his life I read it as he has things pretty easy and not much is expected of him - NOT about being grateful

 

My kids take ages to do things - and ask for the TV every morning, despite me ALWAYS saying no but bloody grandma said yes only once! 40 mins to eat a piece of toast!!

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