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Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

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newlywedT
LIF Adolescent

Member since 9/11

685 total posts

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Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Kids are 6 and 4 and I realize I'm always telling them 'negative' things.

For example at dinner, its a constant stream of:
"Stop playing with your food"
"stop kicking the table"
"Keep eating" (sometimes it takes them over an hour because they're not eating, they're just playing)
"Don't climb onto the table"
"say thank you when someone gives you something"
"drink your milk stop blowing bubbles"
"Chew with your mouth closed"
"You dropped your food because you were playing around - you have to pay attention when you do things"
"Dont stand on your chair"
"You ATE your corn, eatED is not a word"
"stop touching your clothes" (when their hands are oily)
"Stop playing with toys"
"Eat over the plate"
"dont rub the table with the fork"

*after they finally finish*
"dont run/jump right after you eat"
"stop distracting your brother" (DD finished first and DS was still trying to eat)

I don't want to always say negative things to them, but I think everything I said is important to learn (good habits) but it seems like its 90% of what comes out of my mouth.

Is it just "kids being kids" and I should just let it be?
But if I don't teach them proper etiquette who will?

Do you all say those things during dinner or you just let it be? (or your kids dont do that)

Message edited 2/6/2021 11:45:01 PM.

Posted 2/6/21 11:34 PM
 
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klingklang77
kraftwerk!

Member since 7/06

10328 total posts

Name:
Völlig losgelöst

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Posted by newlywedT

Kids are 6 and 4 [...]
"You ATE your corn, eatED is not a word"




I’d leave them alone about this one, TBH. It’s perfectly normal for children under 5 or so to do this. It has to do with the Universal Grammar theory (somewhat debated, but widely respected).

I have no comment on the other stuff. Just wanted to throw in some useless knowledge.

Posted 2/7/21 12:43 PM
 

Mrs213
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Member since 2/09

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Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Sure, let them run amok like banshees Chat Icon

Posted 2/7/21 12:53 PM
 

Mrs213
Biden 2020

Member since 2/09

18485 total posts

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Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

All kidding aside, children do this. 4 and 6 is a bit young and it's tough for them to not be distracted by these things. Set clear expectations for dinner time behavior and let them know there will be consequences if you have yo repeatedly ask them to stop doing the same thing. Also make sure to praise good behavior as well, bit this is all very normal

Posted 2/7/21 12:56 PM
 

newlywedT
LIF Adolescent

Member since 9/11

685 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Posted by Mrs213

All kidding aside, children do this. 4 and 6 is a bit young and it's tough for them to not be distracted by these things. Set clear expectations for dinner time behavior and let them know there will be consequences if you have yo repeatedly ask them to stop doing the same thing. Also make sure to praise good behavior as well, bit this is all very normal




the behavior is normal but is it normal to be saying that stuff ALL the time?

I thought that the majority of stuff that comes out of our mouths should be praise, positive etc...but the majority that comes out of my mouth seems to be criticizing/correcting/telling them not to do something.

Chat Icon

Posted 2/7/21 1:44 AM
 

newlywedT
LIF Adolescent

Member since 9/11

685 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Posted by klingklang77

Posted by newlywedT

Kids are 6 and 4 [...]
"You ATE your corn, eatED is not a word"




I’d leave them alone about this one, TBH. It’s perfectly normal for children under 5 or so to do this. It has to do with the Universal Grammar theory (somewhat debated, but widely respected).

I have no comment on the other stuff. Just wanted to throw in some useless knowledge.



Really? ok, never knew this.

Thanks

Posted 2/7/21 1:44 AM
 

MK2010x2
LIF Infant

Member since 8/17

105 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

I might pick one or two per week/month to work on. After you get to the third thing....it's the law of diminishing returns. All they will hear is blah blah blah blah blah. Not just kids, grown ups too. Chat Icon

Message edited 2/7/2021 2:06:35 AM.

Posted 2/7/21 2:06 AM
 

Dolphinsbaby
My 3 little guys!

Member since 12/10

2887 total posts

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Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

We have 3 kids, DH and I both work FT, so it’s literally a crap show around here. We pick our battles. Safety first. I have 3 boys who are forever jumping, trying a new dare, you name it. So that I won’t tolerate. I always say I don’t feel like making an ER visit tonight!!!!

The rest I would honestly just choose. I also noticed my kids tend to tune us out so if I go on and on they just stop listening. I have given up on cleanliness, my kids rarely eat over their plates (I have just attributed that to DH at this point!).

I don’t think it’s necessary to correct everything at every meal. A lot of this is age and maturity. If we all have survived a meal alive and the house isn’t a complete disaster i call it success. Chat Icon

Posted 2/7/21 2:08 AM
 

klingklang77
kraftwerk!

Member since 7/06

10328 total posts

Name:
Völlig losgelöst

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Posted by newlywedT

Posted by klingklang77

Posted by newlywedT

Kids are 6 and 4 [...]
"You ATE your corn, eatED is not a word"




I’d leave them alone about this one, TBH. It’s perfectly normal for children under 5 or so to do this. It has to do with the Universal Grammar theory (somewhat debated, but widely respected).

I have no comment on the other stuff. Just wanted to throw in some useless knowledge.



Really? ok, never knew this.

Thanks



YW.

It’s a good sign that their language is developing as expected. It shows they understand the basic grammar rule of -ed for regular verbs in the past tense. Linguists use this to suggest that humans are born with an innate set of grammar rules. It sorts itself out. Eat is an irregular verb, so your kids will sort it out soon.

ETA: If you feel you want to “correct” it, the best thing you can do is recast it, or to repeat it correctly. For example, child says “I eated my corn!” And you say “Oh wow, yes you did! You ate your corn.” They will probably say ‘yes’ or something like that or maybe repeat their mistake. Let it go. The bottom line is they understand it is in the past.

Message edited 2/7/2021 3:23:48 AM.

Posted 2/7/21 3:06 AM
 

busymomonli
Resident Insomniac

Member since 4/13

1822 total posts

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Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Why would you stop telling them what to do? They are 6 and 4, how else will they learn? Even at 21 and 17, I still tell my kids what to do at times. Only now, they are not required to listen.

Posted 2/7/21 11:38 AM
 

StaceyWill
It's a girl!!!

Member since 6/10

21118 total posts

Name:
Stacey

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

It's funny you posted this because just the other day I was thinking to myself that all I do is tell DD what to do and how to do it. LOL.
But, it is our job. I guess we should just watch HOW we say it. Make it not seem like we are putting them down, etc.

Posted 2/7/21 12:48 PM
 

GoldenRod
10 years on LIF!

Member since 11/06

26203 total posts

Name:
Shawn

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Maybe if you rephrase it slightly.
Focus on "why".

Why are you playing with your food?
Why are you kicking the table?

They will probably say "I don't know", but they may tell you something worth hearing.

"I don't like carrots. I like corn better."
"I get bored after a while..."

If you know why they are doing things, you can get a better handle on how to change their habits.

Posted 2/7/21 1:21 PM
 

KarenK122
The Journey is the Destination

Member since 5/05

3843 total posts

Name:
Karen

Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

You need to turn around what you are saying and turn them into teaching moments or rephrase in a positive manner. If you are constantly saying negative things or correction them, that is what they are going to remember. My husband does this and it is honestly our biggest and most constant fight. I can't stand the negativity and it puts our kids on alert whenever he walks in a room. Everything you are staying is correct in teaching in them, it's just how you phrase it.

Posted 2/7/21 2:07 PM
 

Momma2015
Mommax2

Member since 12/12

6478 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Meal time is tough. My DD was and is easy- she'll sit and eat and be done... DS is the opposite. He wants to run around, tells me no, says it's yucky, wants to play. It's never a peaceful mealtime.

For other stuff though... pick your battles. Is it THAT big of a deal if they run around after they eat? At least at home. Especially if they sat and ate relatively well. Maybe they'll get themselves sick, but probably not.

You can also try and spin it... "Let's sit down and finish our food so we can go play." so it's not so negative. I know this is easier said than done, especially after a few times when you just start to lose your patience.

But eh, I think this is just being a parent- you have to boss your kids around a bit to make them grow into people who are not complete a-holes. Chat Icon

When you're a grandparent, that's when you can chuck it all out the window and let them be wild. Or so my mother says.

Posted 2/7/21 2:07 PM
 

ali120206
2 Boys

Member since 7/06

16380 total posts

Name:

Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

I would remove all toys from where they are eating so they don't play with them.

Also - if it's taking them that long, maybe they aren't quite hungry? Maybe push back the mealtime? Or not have them snack as much before?

But like PPs said - I would focus on some of the items at a time as it does start to sound like blah blah blah.

Posted 2/7/21 2:19 PM
 

BFNY516
LIF Adolescent

Member since 7/20

648 total posts

Name:

Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

I think you’re overthinking it all. You sound like any other parent. Truthfully, it never ends. From toddler to child to adolescent to teen and young adult - you’re always going to find yourself saying certain things over and over.

Posted 2/7/21 5:10 PM
 

TwinMommyToBoys
LIF Adult

Member since 12/16

2277 total posts

Name:

Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

I’m a behavior analyst by profession and my house is chaos. Jail is more controlled

Posted 2/7/21 7:16 PM
 

BaysideForever
LIF Adult

Member since 1/11

9948 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Posted by newlywedT

Kids are 6 and 4 and I realize I'm always telling them 'negative' things.

For example at dinner, its a constant stream of:
"Stop playing with your food"
"stop kicking the table"
"Keep eating" (sometimes it takes them over an hour because they're not eating, they're just playing)
"Don't climb onto the table"
"say thank you when someone gives you something"
"drink your milk stop blowing bubbles"
"Chew with your mouth closed"
"You dropped your food because you were playing around - you have to pay attention when you do things"
"Dont stand on your chair"
"You ATE your corn, eatED is not a word"
"stop touching your clothes" (when their hands are oily)
"Stop playing with toys"
"Eat over the plate"
"dont rub the table with the fork"

*after they finally finish*
"dont run/jump right after you eat"
"stop distracting your brother" (DD finished first and DS was still trying to eat)

I don't want to always say negative things to them, but I think everything I said is important to learn (good habits) but it seems like its 90% of what comes out of my mouth.

Is it just "kids being kids" and I should just let it be?
But if I don't teach them proper etiquette who will?

Do you all say those things during dinner or you just let it be? (or your kids dont do that)




I do the same. It seems to bother my DD. She hates hearing all the negative all the time. but I can't help it.... sometimes there is no way to spin it positive. Plus when I say things like "use a tissue" instead of "stop picking your nose", or "pretend you're sitting like a princess" over "stop moving all around your chair like a crazy person!!" she still hears negative anyway.

Posted 2/8/21 3:54 PM
 

PitterPatter11
Baby Boy is Here!

Member since 5/11

7032 total posts

Name:
Momma <3

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

My DH can be nitpicky like this as well. I like to explain why we need to do things a certain way, but my DH will just say stop sitting on the couch like that. Meanwhile, I will say, we don't sit on the couch like that because..... My DS seems to respond better to my requests.

Posted 2/8/21 4:11 PM
 

newlywedT
LIF Adolescent

Member since 9/11

685 total posts

Name:

Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Thanks for the replies.

I never thought about the "tuning me out after awhile" - thats a good point.


>>
If you are constantly saying negative things or correction them, that is what they are going to remember. My husband does this and it is honestly our biggest and most constant fight. I can't stand the negativity and it puts our kids on alert whenever he walks in a room
>>


Yeah, thats my biggest concern. I believe everything I tell them is correct and how a person should act (my opinion) - but I don't want them to only think that I only correct them and I don't want them to get a complex.


>>
I think you’re overthinking it all. You sound like any other parent. Truthfully, it never ends. From toddler to child to adolescent to teen and young adult - you’re always going to find yourself saying certain things over and over.
>>


I know I have issues due to how strict my dad was...

see above "it puts our kids on alert whenever he walks in a room"

I know I was like that with my dad, I dont want the kids like that.

Message edited 2/9/2021 4:10:01 PM.

Posted 2/9/21 4:07 PM
 

LInMI
LIF Adult

Member since 7/10

1762 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

My kids are around the same age and it sounds like my house. I don't think these are negative things per se. I think the delivery is more important than anything. I try not to come off demanding, annoyed, or anything like that... IMO teach them now while they are still young, but keep your composure.

Posted 2/10/21 7:40 PM
 

MC09
arrrghhh!!!!

Member since 2/09

5525 total posts

Name:
Me speaks pirate!

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

As far as correcting their language, they're still young. When they make grammar mistakes just model the correct way to say it back to them in the form of a response.

Posted 2/10/21 9:31 PM
 

MissJones
I need a nap!

Member since 5/05

21645 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Posted by MC09

As far as correcting their language, they're still young. When they make grammar mistakes just model the correct way to say it back to them in the form of a response.



THIS!

"I eated it all."
"Great job! You ATE it all up!"



I also agree with rephrasing. Spin it into a positive or make a joke. For example, Walk or ouch, you're hurting the table, or here's a napkin.

Praise when they do it right.

And know you are NOT alone! They totally don't hear you after a while.

Posted 2/11/21 2:21 PM
 

3girls1dog
LIF Adolescent

Member since 10/09

781 total posts

Name:

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Kids are constantly testing their boundaries. I feel its parents jobs to give them boundaries. Establish boundaries now, so much easier when they are older.

Posted 2/13/21 12:39 PM
 

Adri
Joy!

Member since 5/05

2964 total posts

Name:
A

Re: Should I stop telling the kids what to do?

Posted by ali120206

I would remove all toys from where they are eating so they don't play with them.

Also - if it's taking them that long, maybe they aren't quite hungry? Maybe push back the mealtime? Or not have them snack as much before?

But like PPs said - I would focus on some of the items at a time as it does start to sound like blah blah blah.



I agree with this. Also maybe set a time for dinner... more than 30 mts is too long for a kid that young and probably they are not hungry anymore. If they are still hungry, then they will learn dinner time is to eat and not to play. Remove all the toys and:distractions and here and there make positive comments when they do something good.

ETA: Sometimes it is also about redirecting, as a PP mentioned. After dinner redirect to an activity where they have to sit down. Even it is TV, but whatever helps your own sanity lol. It is easier said than done. DS is 15 and I still tell him what to do on many circumstances and my patience is not always at it best, specially lately. But if I could back the time, I'd choose my battles better. I remember once he was doing Kumon (yes, I was the Kumon mom lol) and he was taking forever and I was insisting on him to do it. If I could go back the time I'd just let him be over with HW at the moment.

I know it is important to teach manners, but I also believe sometimes they will learn that out there, not only by what we keep repeating to them. GL

Message edited 2/14/2021 12:06:32 AM.

Posted 2/13/21 9:42 PM
 
 

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