Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kids not listening

So I told Quigs that I wasn't going to blog this but I decided that I had to put it out there. Any suggestions anyone has would be great!

Today, we were at our playgroup garden (which The Boy begged to be part of but actually wants nothing to do with) and some of the mom's invited us to join them for dinner afterward. We got to Sonic (which, despite haivng two in town, I've never been to) and the kids were running around. I told them twice to stay inside the tables (it was threatening rain so we were the only people there) so they wouldn't accidently get too close to the road. Two seconds later, The Boy darts outside the tables, Ms. Thang follows and he turns to "tag" her and shoves her to the ground, nearly in the drive-through. I made them both come and sit and while they sat there, TB tried to push the red button to order food (seriously, the dumbest idea ever because it seems to cause nothing but problems) and I told him to quit. He tried it again and I moved him away from it. He GOT UP and walked around the table to do it again. At that point, I was done and we left because I wasn't going to keep repeating myself.

This is 1 big example the other issue being at Looseyfur's house on Monday with the elliptical. There are a dozen other minor examples everyday of the same kind of thing.

So my questions are, first am I being too harsh in my expectations of his ability to listen? And second, how can I get him to listen better in any case? Seriously, MT who just turned 3 listens better and more consistantly (she mouths off about being told what to do, but at least she doesn't just ignore me or outright defy me) than he does.


Quigs78 said...

Obviously I'm not there yet with my kids, so I don't have any helpful hints, but I'm sending you virtual hugs...and we missed you at dinner! If it makes you feel better, Bubba was a mess there, too, and kept running into the bushes (close to the drive-thru) and he would only listen to Looseyfur, not me.

Looseyfur said...

It's true we did miss you at dinner. (I was hoping with all the attention Lizzie was giving me I might become her second favorite outside the family adult -- cause all know who number 1 is. :-)

I've been watching your frustration lately and feeling like a big pain in the ass for not knowing what to do to help you out.

The only thing I can think of is that when we usually all got together as a group over the winter we were at FCC where they could run and run and run. And at the garden or even at dinner they see the people they equate with gross motor and start playing.

And I agree about the red buttons. Things I don't remember when I last ate outside there X-man was 14 months old. Other than that we drive through... Maybe it would be better to drive through and then take it to the park? Where kids can eat and run? Doesn't solve the not listening part. But maybe we're (I blame Quigs and myself) the bad influence in all of this, with all of our crazy button pushing break the rules toddlers?

The Fearless Freak said...

See, I see him as being better able to control himself (or he should be, in theory) and thus should be setting a good example for the crazy button pushing toddlers.

He shouldn't be willfully breaking the rules because he knows better.

Hopefully, I'll come up with something soon. Somethings besides hogtieing him and locking him in the bathroom.

Quigs78 said...

I'm reaching here - but would it help if you took him (and maybe one of his school friends) to do something outside of the meetups? The poor kid is always the oldest in our group, and maybe he knows, on some level, that he's supposed to be the "good" one because he's the example, and that just makes him want to rebel? Leave MT with me, and take TB out to do something that only 6 year olds can do, you know? No toddlers allowed.

Looseyfur said...

It's true. I can take X-man over. He'll pet PG and watch in fascination as she drinks from a sippy cup (like he did at dinner tonight).

Meanwhile, MT than completely redo mine and Kelly's hair and Bubba can hold her purse. :-)

What does Christopher say when you talk to him about it? I'm just curious, since you have a child who can hold conversations with you if he had an angle.

Gnightgirl said...

My son is grown now, but when he was little, I was lucky when subtle punishment cleared this stuff up: If he acted up, he was excluded from the next trip out.

For instance, library time. A huge scene everytime we left the library. I finally told him BEFORE we went in that if he screamed when it was time to leave, next time he had to stay home.

Screaming, of course, ensued. A week later, I ran an errand, and (bluffingly) informed him that I was going to the library, by myself. He had to sit this one out, for his unacceptable behavior last go 'round. He was devastated, and knocked that stuff off almost immediately.

It wasn't that easy when he was 17 though. :-D

Lavender Lemonade said...

Hmmm...that sucks. But I feel your pain, I thought it would change as Matthew got older, but I think that its basic kid instinct to do what they want to do. Even if Mom just said "don't push that button" they see it and they want to push it. Its something about their impulse control/brain not being developed, I think. TB is a big kid but still a curious, inquisitive kid. So pick your battles...the street/drive thru "not listening" episode probably warrants a stronger mom reaction than the "hmm..what's this button do" episode. Even though its like the straw that broke the camels back (which I know very well.)
And I like Quigs suggestion about taking TB out for some 6 yr stuff...even if its stuff that MT would like or could do, just having the Mom time might be good. Hang in there!