My son doesn't listen to me

by Bridget

Hi Sara, I'm a recently single mother of a 7 yr old boy who won't listen to me. He thinks it's funny when I get in to him I tell him to stop doing something and he deliberately does it again while he is looking at me like he is trying me.

I don't like to whip him and the corner doesn't work because he cries loud and louder and screams and taking his things away doesn't help either that's when he does things he knows he isn't supposed to. I don't know what to do I feel like I'm failing him please help...

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Ruling the Roost at 7
by: Sara

Hey Bridget!

The good news have a very smart boy there!

The bad news have a very smart boy there!

Your son's behavior is perfectly normal. Kids go through stages where they want to push the envelope and test the waters. After all...seeing you get really excited and upset is probably pretty entertaining.

It's extra common when the dynamics in a recent divorce. Your son is going to push you pretty hard to see what he can get away with in this new arena, and to make sure he can't push you away.

So...first rule is...Stick to your guns!

My quickest and easiest advice is to let him yell in the corner, or sitting on a chair, or whatever you do for time out. Get a timer and set it. He is 7 years old, so 7 minutes.

If he leaves the area, the timer starts again. Don't tell him to be quiet, or engage in any way other than to return him to his spot if he leaves. No eye contact, no interaction. Set the ground rules up front, and follow them. Every time. No exceptions.

It will be harder on you than him, I promise. A few times and he'll know you mean business and change accordingly.

There are other elements to understand such as structure, environment, antecedents, etc., but for now the above will fix your immediate problem. Hop over to Facebook/Single.Moms.Ask.Sara as I will soon be posting a free training on Creating Cooperative Kids. You won't want to miss it. :)

Good luck!

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