parenting slump: help me!

oh world, i need some mama help!

since the boys went back to school, chaos has taken over our house. there is an unreasonable amount of whining, crying, fighting, shouting, hitting, throwing, and it’s not just coming form the kids. i feel like i am at my wits end!

i know transitions are hard. 

i get it, i really do.

but, this transition of going back to school has been so terrible and i’m not sure how to make it better. bear is on an epic roll attacking his little brother with his fists, feet and words. he’s always going on about punching his brother and then he’ll actually do it! or, he’ll start doing this hair-raising cackle, laughing at everything that lion does, which doesn’t sound so bad, but we all know that the reaction the 5 year old gives is what makes this scene unbearable. i could go on with examples of the tense fighting at our house, but it think you get the idea.

lion on the other hand does not really pick on his brother, but takes bear’s example and has stopped listening. lion now talks back in his wee sassy voice and giggles uncontrollably when he knows he’s not listening. and, as the younger brother his reactions to his brother’s attacks are loud, huge and attention seeking. exhausting.

when we’re in our moments of chaos, i try not to show preference between the boys; usually they are both responsible for some aspect of the situation. i try to touch, hug my kids, because i think that’s often what they really need from adults. especially now that they are gone at school all day! obviously if someone has hit or done some creative name calling, i will enforce a consequence. but, as attachment parents i try to still remain attached to my kids, because they don’t know how to ask for that.


as i write this i can recognize that my kids need more structure, more defined expectations and clearer consequences, as they seem to be flailing through this major change from summer to school.

i guess i am struggling with how to incorporate those into our new routine. i want to get away from the counting to 3 thing; it feels young for my 7 year old. i want to say something once or twice and have the kids do it (for the most part). i realize they are children and will be slow, or will have to include a song or dance with the completion of some mundane task, it’s the repetition that drives me banana’s! i feel deeply disrespected, hurt and exhausted when all of this is happening. i have tried to sit down with the kids to talk to them about all of this, but all they do is laugh, interrupt me and then things escalate and, well things end poorly.




if you have any parenting advice you want to enlighten me with, please do so! maybe you have read some great reads about this very topic (she says as she peeks at her own bookshelf to see if her barbara coloroso book is there! it is!)




i know this will pass, but living in this chaos is stressful for all of us.

i want to change the present.

xo, mama lola
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  1. Jen says

    I’m sorry in advance if you’ve already tried this, but it reads in your post as though you have tried to talk to them about the behaviours together – would it be possible to talk to each of them independently, so they won’t get silly together during the discussion? If I were in your situation, I might try telling each of them what I am seeing, what I would like to see, and what the consequences will be if there are repeat, poor choices and behaviours. After speaking with them both, I might pull them together, and quickly reiterate in the shortest possible terms, so each knows what has been asked of the other. Sometimes sibling rivalry can work in your favour as well, as one might get on the other if they’re doing something they know you’ve asked them to avoid doing…? I hope the transition becomes more smooth for you as soon as possible! It sounds like you are enduring a lot, but are still focused on a positive, patient and respectful outcome. You’re awesome for being able to truck on through this! Best of luck!

    • mama lola says

      thanks a million for your suggestions and support, jen. i think i will try talking to them again, first separately and then together. i’m hoping if they see me respecting them and treating them as big kids, then they will opt to mirror that start to change their behaviour too!
      thanks again and have a great weekend! XO

  2. says

    Some days are tough, some weeks are tough, hell we can have a bad month, really. However, it does get better. What’s the saying “the days are long, but the years are short”? I think that’s it…

    Anyway, I agree I would talk to each child individually, I would also bring myself down to their level, sometimes when we’re at their level they hear us better. Perhaps, it’s because we’re not towering over them, I don’t know.

    When the kids were younger and when I homeschooled I had a 1-10 chart, it sounds crazy but it worked! The kids want to get to 10, because they would get a small prize. My prizes consisted of Target’s dollar bins erasers, pencils, notepads, little trinkets… smelly markers were huge too. (It became a race to see who got there first sometimes)

    I think what you’re doing is good too, loving them and hugging them. This just popped in my head making a family pact or rules? I did that in homeschool last year, it worked.
    I’m here for you if you need me!

  3. says

    Awww, I’m so sorry to hear you have had such a rough time.

    I find talking to my children separately helps. I also try to encourage them to think of alternate behaviours. I had a blogging friend once share Daniel Tiger’s advice… before you roar, count to four. I use that with my kids AND myself.

    I also find that it’s good to create cooperate, mutually respectful experiences when things are tough like this. We may go on a nature walk and I challenge the girls to work together to find everything in a scavenger hunt, or we’ll play a cooperative game together (like peaceable kingdoms). I get them to write things (I write for the youngest) that they love about each other on sticky notes and we put it on each others’ bedroom doors. Love, love, love… that’s all I try to do… make them see the love that they really do have for one another.

    Thanks for sharing (and linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.