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Old 07-09-2013, 12:33 PM   #1
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WHAT DO I DO!? so frustrating!

i have four kids - all boys - 11, 6, 5, and 2 mos.

the kids are all home for the summer, obviously.

the 6 and 5 year old fight NON-STOP. and when i say non-stop, i mean i probably yell at one of them 60 times a day, no exaggeration. atleast 4 times an hour, all day long.

the 5 year old screams and cries at everything. "nathanael freaked me out." because he made a weird noise. if nathanael (6) does ANYTHING that isaac (5) doesn't like, he screams. when he first started doing this, nathanael would get in trouble. so now he's taking complete advantage of it, and has started doing it CONSTANTLY trying to get nate in trouble. i've recently backed off of nate so that isaac will stop, but he hasn't.

nathanael picks on isaac CONSTANTLY. isaac is playing by himself, nathanael takes a toy. isaac says something to nate, so nate makes fun of him. takes a toy. argues with him. makes weird noises to scare him (like a zombie or something). it goes on and on and on. right now what i am hearing is nathanael going "bombombombombomb" and isaac screaming because it's annoying him. so nathanael is laughing because isaac is mad because he's annoyed. this is ALL DAY.

they share a room. their toys and beds are in there. the baby is sleeping in the livingroom (where i am) so having one of them come in here is not an option because they will wake the baby up.

now isaac is crying because someone hurt him. after getting the story, my oldest scratched him accidentally while they were playing. there's no mark, and 2 minutes later he is back to playing. it's like he LIVES to get people in trouble. and getting onto HIM doesn't seem to be working anymore.

going places is not an option, it is way too hot outside, and we don't have a lot of extra money this summer due to me taking off work to have the baby.

i was spanking (don't need to hear anything about that, please), but obviously that is not working, so i have to try something else, i just don't know what else to try. timeout doesn't work for my kids, they are right back to doing the same thing 5 minutes later. i was making them hold their arms in the air, but again, only works temporarily.

please please please x a million tell me what to do. i'm on the verge of tears because i am so freaking frustrated with these kids.
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Old 07-09-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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Re: WHAT DO I DO!? so frustrating!

what is your day like with your kids? i have four of similar ages (5, almost 4, 2 and 7 months) and the big deal for the summer is to keep a routine and keep the kids engaged. this doesnt mean entertaining them constantly but it does mean providing opportunities to get their minds and bodies active. also promoting the older two to work on projects and activities together. Instead of punishing for bad behaviors, backtrack and get some preventative measures going so they are not even in the scenarios that contribute to the bad behaviors. Definitely outside time is a big one for kids that age, especially boys. I am talking 2 to 3 hours a day. We have amazing parks in our area, spray parks, swimming, lakes with beach areas to play in, hiking trails.....we do it all! then I have a list of resources to indoor activities....library, play places, friends that welcome us, family, etc. we also do a bit of summer homeschooling, cooking, crafting. other free or cheap summer activities especially for the oldest like VBS, camps, sports, club and then mixing in some age appropriate computer games and tv time. a huge part of my day is doing things with the kids and with a group of four, that is just the way it is going to be. my main question being, what is it your kids are doing all day?

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:59 PM   #3
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Re: WHAT DO I DO!? so frustrating!

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what is your day like with your kids? i have four of similar ages (5, almost 4, 2 and 7 months) and the big deal for the summer is to keep a routine and keep the kids engaged. this doesnt mean entertaining them constantly but it does mean providing opportunities to get their minds and bodies active. also promoting the older two to work on projects and activities together. Instead of punishing for bad behaviors, backtrack and get some preventative measures going so they are not even in the scenarios that contribute to the bad behaviors. Definitely outside time is a big one for kids that age, especially boys. I am talking 2 to 3 hours a day. We have amazing parks in our area, spray parks, swimming, lakes with beach areas to play in, hiking trails.....we do it all! then I have a list of resources to indoor activities....library, play places, friends that welcome us, family, etc. we also do a bit of summer homeschooling, cooking, crafting. other free or cheap summer activities especially for the oldest like VBS, camps, sports, club and then mixing in some age appropriate computer games and tv time. a huge part of my day is doing things with the kids and with a group of four, that is just the way it is going to be. my main question being, what is it your kids are doing all day?
they have toys (an entire closet full), they have an art center here in the house (a desk, drawing boards, etc.), movies/tv...

our best friends just moved, and we don't really have anyone that i care to visit on a regular basis. leaving to go anywhere really is an issue because of gas money anyway.

again, outdoors is kind of a problem. it gets over 100* most days, and that's too hot for them to be out there for 2-3 hours a day. playing in the water is not really an option because our yard hardly has grass, and it would be nothing but a giant slippery mud pit (our yard is slanted, and has rock). not safe at all in my opinion, for water play.

there are parks, but again... it's hot. i can't really help but feel iffy about getting a 2 month old baby out in the heat like that. he's just too little for it.

so basically, they have a lot that they can do in here, at home. i try to come up with various ideas but it's not always that great, because i'm not very creative.

vbs, camps, and all of that is not an option. we don't have the money right now. we are literally living paycheck to paycheck and barely scraping by due to me not really working at the moment, so all of the "extras" really aren't an option.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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Re: WHAT DO I DO!? so frustrating!

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they have toys (an entire closet full), they have an art center here in the house (a desk, drawing boards, etc.), movies/tv...

our best friends just moved, and we don't really have anyone that i care to visit on a regular basis. leaving to go anywhere really is an issue because of gas money anyway.

again, outdoors is kind of a problem. it gets over 100* most days, and that's too hot for them to be out there for 2-3 hours a day. playing in the water is not really an option because our yard hardly has grass, and it would be nothing but a giant slippery mud pit (our yard is slanted, and has rock). not safe at all in my opinion, for water play.

there are parks, but again... it's hot. i can't really help but feel iffy about getting a 2 month old baby out in the heat like that. he's just too little for it.

so basically, they have a lot that they can do in here, at home. i try to come up with various ideas but it's not always that great, because i'm not very creative.

vbs, camps, and all of that is not an option. we don't have the money right now. we are literally living paycheck to paycheck and barely scraping by due to me not really working at the moment, so all of the "extras" really aren't an option.
I understand living on a budget....I really do. right now my husband and I work a combined total of 110 or more hours a week. Things are tight tight tight and we are very busy but really, I think getting outdoors will be a big change for you. Even 30 minute intervals or as much as the baby can tolerate. Indoors all day, no matter how many toys your kids have, is going to drive anyone batty, especially your school ager. You need to check into free items in your area....like how I talked about VBS. All the local ones in my town are free. Plus many of the sports and such have family assistance programs. You all have to get out of the house and be challenged socially and mentally. Toys can never replace fresh air and people and activity.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:36 PM   #5
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VBS are free most of the time.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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Re: WHAT DO I DO!? so frustrating!

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VBS are free most of the time.
the only one that i know of here is not free. it's $35 per kid for the week.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #7
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VBS are free most of the time.
All of the ones around us aren't . But they aren't very expensive. $15 per family. I'm sure that if you talked with the pastor they'd let you come for free.

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Old 07-09-2013, 01:49 PM   #8
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Re: WHAT DO I DO!? so frustrating!

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All of the ones around us aren't . But they aren't very expensive. $15 per family. I'm sure that if you talked with the pastor they'd let you come for free.

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i don't want my kids to be there for free. they charge money because it costs money. i won't be the parent that goes up there and begs for my kids to get special treatment. :/ if other people do it, that's fine... no judgement. but i can't personally justify doing that. not just to give my kids something to do.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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Re: WHAT DO I DO!? so frustrating!

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i don't want my kids to be there for free. they charge money because it costs money. i won't be the parent that goes up there and begs for my kids to get special treatment. :/ if other people do it, that's fine... no judgement. but i can't personally justify doing that. not just to give my kids something to do.
why not offer to barter for the entrance fee? Perhaps they need more workers, someone to clean up at the end of the program, clean bathrooms or someone that would be willing to allow you to do some odd jobs as payment for the entrance fee. I know its hard to reach out to people but it can really make a big difference for your family. My mom cleaned at the school and did school lunch and cleaned bathrooms for years in exchange for tuition assistance when I was in private school. Our family was dirt poor but she found a way.
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Old 07-09-2013, 01:48 PM   #10
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Can you get them outside first thing in the morning before it gets too hot? That way they can burn off some energy and aggression? If we have to stay in all day my kids are unbearable. They make me want to pull my hair out! Also, could you kinda schedule your day with different activities for them in the house? Like after lunch is painting time, then train tracks, then a movie/snack, then playdough......it's more work for you upfront, but in the long run maybe it would help? Good luck either way, I can't stand the constant bickering either
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