8yr old driving me daft!!!

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    Is it just me or do all kids get really cheeky around 8ish?

    My little man has gotten really naughty lately. He refuses to do anything that he is asked and regularly tells me to shut up.

    I have been really busy with work since January. All the additional hours are when he is not around though. I have been exhausted and I suppose let him away with more than I would normally. His sister is now getting in on the act. Neither will stay in bed at night and they are wrecking their bedrooms and messing about and think it is funny.

    Both are now grounded for the rest of the week. I am operating zero tolerances until they realise that Mammy is not to be messed with.

    I did google last night and besides the mad people that advocate beating respect into children, it appears to be quite common at this age.

    What do you do to maintain discipline?

    CA Coaching

    Your situation sounds very frustrating! As you said, being busier, things have slipped a bit. You are right to try and nip it in the bud now, before your child gets any older, as the older they get the more difficult it can become to put boundaries in place.

    Our job as parents is to provide boundaries for our children for a number of reasons. We need to teach our children how to act in society but also as their brains are not fully developed, they need someone who will show them where "the do not cross" line is. This shows them that there is someone who will stop them from hurting themselves and reduce the chance of them feeling out of control.

    There are a number of factors to look at here. Bedtime can be very difficult for parents and there a few simple things you can do. Are they gettingenough exercise coming close to bedtime to make them tired enough? If not, go for a long walk/cycle/run after dinner. Also look at what kind of tv programmes they are watching before bed. Programmes that have fast paced and lots of movement and colour can stimulate your child’s brain, thus telling the brain that it is time to wake up. Also what are they having as supper or snack before bedtime? Hi energy foods like white bread can cause a spike and thus energise your child. I would also exhaust every reason for them to come out of their bedroom (toilet, snuffly nose etc). If all this fails to have an impact, move onto the consequences.

    I know that you are tired and working hard, but trust me, putting in this extra bit of hard work now will save you in the long run.

    A great way to deal with consequences at this age is the consequence jar! Write down a variety of consequences that you know will have an impact on your children. If they step out of line, they have to go to the consequence jar and pick out their own consequence! Have one blank consequence in the jar also, this is the "mercy" consequence which shows that mum can have mercy and they escape a consequence (this is all assuming that the broken boundary is not a very serious one like violence etc).

    The other thing to remember is that violence in any form is never okay. Just like it is not okay for you to hit your child, it is most certainly not okay for your child to hit you. Deal with this very severely.

    There is a good chance you might find that after a while, when you calm down, you want to let them away with the consequence but you need to stick with it. You need to follow through no matter how hard it is or how much they cry!

    Hope this is of some help. If you want more just drop me an email at allen@cacoaching.ie.



    Thanks Allen. I like the sound of the consequence jar – especially the little bit of mercy.

    Thankfully, we seem to have calmed down a bit. The grounding seemed to have told them that mammy is not messing. We have 1st Confessions tonight – which I think are causing a bit of worry. So, maybe once this is over, we will be back to normal.

    CA Coaching

    That’s great to hear! It might also be a great time to introduce things like the consequence jar when things are calm. It means the consequences are fair and not a reaction to something happening and your kids will be more open to it as it’s not coming on the back of a situation.

    Just an idea! It’s better to introduce these techniques when everyone is in a positive frame of mind.



    Allen, what are good pre-bedtime snacks? Our children are always asking for cereal but I don’t like to give them that at night because its sugary – even the ones that do not appear sugary (rice krispies) are.

    all ideas welcome!!

    CA Coaching

    Yes you are right to make sure there is as little sugar as possible and this can be difficult given that there is so much sugar (and salt!!) in the food that we eat.

    Really, if they haven’t had a lot of sugar through the day, a small bowl of rice crispies won’t be as bad, but cereals with high sugar really should be avoided. The other issue with sugary foods at bedtime is the spike it gives your child and it is not long lasting. (If we’re going to really get into healthy foods, things like seeds are good but I can see nearly every child in the country rolling their eyes at that one!).

    Things like toast, crackers, wraps are all good at topping up a good dinner not long before bed, just avoid spreading things like Nutella all over them!



    my two have always had a biscuit and a glass of milk – as have my sisters two. about a half hour before bed once they are in their pj’s.
    Occasionally they’ll ask for toast which we happily give.

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