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advice needed on unruly, disrespectful kids
December 8, 2012 at 10:05 AM

My best friend of 2 years is also my roommate. We are two single moms helping each other out and doing what we can to survive. I have a 9 year old boy. She has 3 boys and 2 girls. 1 girl is 9, the other 6. Her boys are 2, 1 and 2 months. Her 9 year old daughter is running around thinking she is grown and argues and disrespects her and I and questions us like we are the children and she is the adult. When we tell her to do something like a chore around the house for example she goes ugh and slams her arms at her side and gets an attitude about it every single time and then usually proceeds to whine about how she supposedly does everything around here. I work 35 hours a week. My roommate stays home and takes care of the house and the kids. We both work very hard for these kids and do alot around this house. We don't feel it is unfair to have our kids do chores to help us out around the house. We have tried to talk with all of them about how we should all be working together as a family and that they should not be disrespecting us becaus eif it wasn't for us they would not have a roof over their head and a clean house and all the toys and clothes that they have but it seems liek they don't care. her 1 and 2 year old boys are always crying, whining and throwing temper tantrums no matter if they have been fed and diapers changed and are taken care of. The nine year old daughter continues to be the biggest problem because no matter if we ground her, take stuff from her or try and talk to her she continues to argue with us and do she wants and question us but when our friends come around she acts like a little angel and shows them more respect and we feel it should be the other way around.


  • dee1603
    by dee1603
    December 8, 2012 at 10:07 AM
    Take everything away
  • lost1inwifromca
    December 8, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    We have tried that. 

  • illinoismommy83
    December 8, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Go in your room with your son and close the door. Your roommate can deal with her own kids. Problem solved.

    In all seriousness, you are the mom of your son. If other kids are acting up you are not their parent.

  • justme91755
    December 8, 2012 at 10:28 AM

     your friend is a stay at home mom with 5 children under 10 and then your child on top of it.  I am guessing she has given her oldest a lot of responsibity of taking care of things for her at one time or another and so this little girl has put herself in an adult role as an equal.  ( that and she may have hit her tweens a little early)  Maybe you need a family meeting about house rules and expectations and have set chores or a chore chart to avoid the huffiness about asking her to do something.  My oldest had that "Cinderella" complex about "I do everything around here and nobody does anything for me"  A set of rules and expectations plus setting a few weekly and daily chores help curb the confrontations.We picked several chores that needed to be done and let her choose from them and then no nagging.  Just a reminder to check the chore chart. If she askes to do anything extra or special she has to have the chores completed or it is "Sorry this needs to be done before you  ask to do ..."  good luck All I can say is everyone lived through it.

  • lost1inwifromca
    December 8, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Yes, she has had alot of responsibility put on her shoulders.

  • trebelcleff
    December 8, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    First of all, be happy she acts like an angel around others... if she didn't, it would be super embarrassing.

    Second, when mine started giving me attitude about doing chores I imitated him.  For example, his latest thing is telling me "I don't want to" when I ask him to do something.  So whenever he asked me to do something for him I responded with "I don't want to" and continued to do whatever it was I was doing.  Like he'd say "can we go out and play?" and I'd say "I don't want to".  He was flabbergasted.  It was also the ONLY thing that worked.  He figured out REALLY fast that if he wanted me to do things for him he had to be respectful and do his part for the family too.

    Third, try not only punishing for behaving poorly but also rewarding and thanking for good behavior and doing things appropriately.  If she has a lot of responsibility helping out (which is fine), make her feel more appreciated for doing it and she will be less likely to give you attitude.  Everyone likes to feel appreciated for doing their part!  You can also set aside some time each week to do something special with her one-on-one, even if it's just playing a board game without the interruption of the other kids.  This can also be applied to your 9 yr old since they are the same age and should both be helping out in equal amounts.

    Last, the one and two year old are just one and two.  Temper tantrums are normal (though highly annoying).  Mine threw them for two years straight even though I never caved in to them... sometimes it's not about the parenting, it's just about the child's personality and capacity for understanding situations.  If there is space, remove the two year old from the room when they start throwing a tantrum.  It will give him some space to calm down and give everyone else a chance to not get upset over the interruption.  The one yr old is probably imitating the behavior.

    I hope that helps a bit... I do not envy your living situation at all!

  • CoeyG
    by CoeyG
    December 8, 2012 at 2:23 PM

    Ever hear of puberty?  When my daughgtdr  behaved like that I simply ignored her.  Come dinnertime when there wasn't a plate set for her she got the hint.  Also learn to praise her whe she does behave.  If she behaves for guests when they leave praise her on her behavior and offer her something special just for her, maybe take her out for ice cream or a quick trip to the mall, a visit to Claires maybe. 

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