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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1492
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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my husband and i are frustrated parents of 2 boys 6 & 9. They

Customer Question

my husband and i are frustrated parents of 2 boys 6 & 9. They are disrepectful when talking to us, totally rambunctous inside and out of the home with us. In school they are angels. Teachers speak so highly of them and could probably never imagine this behavior from them when they get home to us. They cannot keep their hands off of each other, play fighting, wrestling, and just aggravating each other. We have taken justabout everything away but don't know what to do now. Am i asking too much? I feel like a failure. I know it's not too late but don't know where to start.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 years ago.
Well, for starters, don't beat yourself up too much because something you did must have worked since they are great at school. I need to know more about the home life though. Who does most of the discipline? Is there consistency? Are there ground rules? Is there stress in the family between the parents? Are they bored at home? Is there any time that they do listen? Do they listen to other family members?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My husband and I both discipline but he tends to be more strict and I tend to let them off more (maybe unconciously for the strictness he gives) My husband has been out of work for over a year and we had to live 7 months all in 1 room with my in laws. We are back renting a house but A LOT different from before. It has been a real change for all of us, the boys are 9 and 6 and are totally aware of the lack of money that we have and are not able to do the same things that we used to. Maybe thats another reason I tend to let them slide on some issues because I feel bad for them. The one good thing that has come from all of this is that my husband and I are the closest we have ever been. Not to say that we never argue or disagree of course. The few times that they have spent the night off with friends, I always get raving reviews of their manners and how well they acted. So I know it's us. But i am so frustrated and have started a chore jar for everytime they are disobedient or disrespectful. Also started a 5 minute bedtime penalty too. Not to be used together of course. The boys seem to be totall y different when they are apart from each other. Like 2 totally different people. Calm, helpful, very engaged in conversations with us and most of all OBEDIENT. My 9 year old tells me that he is bored but he has books to read and age appropriate workbooks. We have taken away the DS and Wii as a penalty. They are both seriously involved in baseball but are at the verge of getting that taken away. My husband is the coach and my son is so disrespectful in front of other kids and parents when out of the field that my husband is ready to give it up. The sad part is my 9 year old is REALLY good too.


Please help,


Expert:  Dr. G. replied 4 years ago.
A couple of things come to mind. Everyone is adjusting and that may alone make their behavior better as they adjust to the new living environment. Kids get stressed too and those living conditions would make everyone stressed out. Keep in mind that kids will be kids and expecting total obedience is ridiculous. So lowering expectations a little might be in order. Finally, bored kids equals bad kids. Workbooks and reading may not be the best or funnest things for kids. Have other activities readily available for them if they get bored. You might want to implement a system in which both kids get privileges revoked if they engage in bad behavior. No more playing detective and finding out who started what. They both need to figure out a way to get along or they both get punished. Timeouts are for kids younger than yours. Restricting fun activities and earning fun activities are the best motivators to get good behavior. Lastly, don't make chores a penalty. They should be part of an everyday routine. My 4 year old has been feeding the dog and putting bottled water in the fridge since he was two. Your kids should have chores. I hope this helps and good luck.