Name: Curtis G.
Number of kids: 2
Ages of kids: (Twins) ages 3, boy and girl
Problem: I have a twin boy and girl. I am a weekend father, and I have a lot of trouble with getting my kids to listen to me. I am recently divorced within the last couple of months, but separated for the last 2 years. At times, I have to offer them candy to get them to do what I want them to do. They are very good in listening to their mother, so she tells me. If there is anyone who can give me some good advice, please let me know. Thank you, Curtis.
Solution submitted by "Bahama" from Hawaii: This subject is brought up frequently by parents. One of the most useful things that I found to deal with this is a book named "Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours" by Dr. Kevin Leman It deals with just about every situation that arises. After reading it I put into action some of the suggestions and they actually worked.
Editor's Note: You can read Bahama's informative review of the above suggested book by clicking on it's title above. It can also be ordered from the #!Parentsroom Bookstore through the review page.
Another solution submitted by "Mabear" from Phoenix, AZ: Your problem brought back some funny memories for me and I wish now that Id had others input to help me in that "deafness stage." Do you know, I used to open little rolls of "smarties" and hide each little candy under a toy or on a toy just to make cleanup something that actually got done? Guess what happened? Pretty soon you graduate from smarties candies to mega bucks! The nickels were actually a solution to the dental problem caused by hurricane bedrooms. You mentioned that your ex and you get different levels of attentiveness from your children. That's the way it is in our home too though we've been married forever (:)). I'm the briber and my husband gets listened to with respect. Why? What I've noticed is that he, from the beginning of selective hearing on the kids part, would take them by the hand and they would have to look him in the eye and acknowledge his request or order with the affirmative. Even today (quite often these days actually) he waits for and reminds them of the two words he requires from them after every request and that is "O.K. Dad." I see in his interaction with them that it is HE who has set the value on obedience and response in our home. The problem with ME is, I don't demand that kind of respect and my offspring both know it. One other thing I've noticed about his way of doing things is, he never feels its necessary to raise his voice. He feels like a yelling parent is a parent out of control. Best of luck to you and I sure am thankful that you are available to your little ones the way you are! Parenting is so great!
Another solution submitted by Kelly from Beaver Dam, WI: We also had a problem with our three year old not wanting to listen. Then my husband read about having your child repeat back what you just told them. We find that she listens more and does what she is told since she knows she can't get away with "not hearing" us anymore. We obtained the information from a copy of "Bottom Line Magazine."
Another solution submitted by Susan from Milwaukee, WI : Been there, done that...although not with twins. The age of 3 can be quite tiring both on the parents and the kids. Although, it's an adjustment to you on the weekends, I've found that mine have adapted pretty well to the blended family. One word of advise is that bribing will get you more frustrated quicker. It's a difficult thing, but teaching a 3 year old to listen to you because it's what they have to do and not rewarding them through a bribe will help to stabilize the relationship. After all, your the dad and you are in control.