Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lose the 'tude, Dude!

I need an "Ignore" button.


I wish I could set my brain to simply ignore - as in, not hear, not respond to, not let my blood boil about - certain things my family say or do.

Like this:

Matthew: Mummmmyyyyyyy? Can I have some candy? (Insert whiny, petulant tone pitched so high the dog moans and runs upstairs)

Me:  Not now, Bug. It's too early. After lunch.

Matthew: It's not too early.

Me: Yes, it is.

Matthew: Mummmmmmmy, it's not FAIR!!! (Insert scowling face, thrust out lip and crossed arms here)

On a related note:

Does anyone else out there have a child who whines while adding an emphatic "UH" to the last syllable? 

Like this:

Matthew: LuuuuukkkkkkUH! Stop doooooooooooinnnng thaattUH! Mummy! He's looking at me all weeeeeeeeeeeeerrriiidUH."

Or this:

Matthew: (Insert snotty, Lord help us, SUPER snotty tone here): I'm not gonna play with you anymore, Luke. I don't want to because because you're only  fourUH..."

Me: (Not ignoring, the way I likely should, but damn it, Luke worships Matthew. It's fine if Matthew doesn't play with him all the time, but there's no need to be mean about it): Matthew, if I spoke to you that way, how would you feel?

Matthew: I don't careUH!  (and then, turning to me, sticks out his tongue!)

*Brief pause for my brain to explode *

Me: (Furiously pointing to the stairs): Time Out. NOW!

Matthew: WhhhhaatttUH? I didn't do annnyyyythingUH!

Me: Do that again and I will smack that sass right off your face! 

(Yes, I am the same mother who sends the Reds to Time Out for hitting each other. I recognize the hypocrisy here, just don't know what to DO about it.)

Matthew: (Stomping toward stairs, his voice rising, filling with tears): It's not faaairrrUH!

I got nothin', people. This petulant "uh"ing is new for Matthew and for us. It grates on my every nerve and I'm pretty sure my ears are bleeding. Is this normal? Do ALL children do this, or just mine?

If so, the question is not whether the children will survive childhood. The question is, will I?

 *Bangs own head against deskUH*

And you? How do handle it when your kids ooze sass and attitude?


  1. I'll probably catch flak from somebody for this, but I believe that sometimes you need to associate painful consequences with unacceptable behavior in order to make a point. Certain ages and attitudes just don't respond to reason alone. If administered in love rather than simply as an outlet for parental anger and frustration, and with appropriate frequency, a spanking will do wonders. It seemed to work out ok in my upbringing, and I'm also very pleased with how our four kids have turned out.

  2. You could always try what I was told. make the consequences match the crime. if the mouth runs, take away something the child likes involving the mouth, like phone privileges. If he does not want to play with his brother, because the bro is to young, then tell him he will have to play alone for a week or what ever you decide. do not let him go out to play and do not play with him, after all, YOU are older and why would yo want to play with a little boy. it sometimes really works well, when they get treated the way they are treating, as for the UH at the end of ever word, start doing it back and dont give up., even if it means doing it for a week, and to his friends as well. he will eventually learn that what he is doing is not appropriate. The other trial is only talk to him when absolutely necessary. if you argue, he has already won. simple commands, its time to eat, wash dishes, bed time, etc. and nothing else. these were suggestions to my from my children's Councillor and for the most part, they worked.

  3. Leanne (aka Dolphin)November 12, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    This is normal, your reaction is normal and while the whining eventually goes away, it is generally replaced with some other behaviour that makes you want to stab your eyes out with a fork.
    You could, however, have it worse. Much, much worse. Four words for you, my friend - Ten. Year. Old. Girl. (Somewhere, right now, my mother is rubbing her hands with vengeful glee).

  4. I sat here reading this breathing a sigh of relief because it means that Luke must be normal and that the bodysnatchers didn't come and replace him with an evil clone...because he's been doing all this too, and I'm DONE with it. Done.

  5. I agree with matching the consequences to the action.

    Also remember, it's attention-seeking behavior. If they don't get what they want out of it, they'll stop doing it. For instance, if one of them starts whining, tell him you will give him your attention when he talks to you respectfully. Then ignore him until he does.
    Good luck honey. : ) It's not fun, but they'll get the hang of it pretty quickly.

  6. Thank you ALL for your honest and thoughtful replies. I think that I need to prioritize a bit better and MAKE time for them, uninterrupted. They're such good kids and in my heart, I know that Matthew is pushing boundaries because he must do so, but it always surprises me.

    I like the idea of telling him that I won't speak to him until he speaks respectfully - I also like that this forces ME to do the same, which, I am ashamed to admit, I don't always do.

    Sigh. This growing up business sure is hard work - for me as much as for my children!

  7. "If so, the question is not whether the children will survive childhood. The question is, will I?"

    What a relief to hear I am not the only Mom who feels this way! I guess it is probably too early (my son is 2) to start thinking about military school :)