What to do when kids won't take their turn?

mom2emallApril 23, 2010

Lately I have been having a problem with ds12 and ss8 playing together. Now that the weather is nice every day after DS is done with homework he is outside with a group of nice friends playing. They play different sports, tag, nerf guns, cops and robbers, etc. In the beginning ds and his friends welcomed ss into their group and let him play with them. But more and more ss started getting whiney. If it was his turn to be it in tag he decided he was done playing and would begin screaming and crying if the kids called him out on his quitting so he did not have to be it. If they were playing some nerf gun game and ss was out he was scream and cry so loudly that neighbors came out to make sure someone was not injured. If they were playing baseball and he did not make it to home plate he screamed.

Over and over again dh and I talked to ss about his behavior and how it was not fun for other kids to play with him when he acted that way. We warned him that if he kept it up nobody was going to want to play with him. We said we understood some parts of games were not fun, but if you are going to play you need to do the fun and not so fun parts. When the screaming and crying continued we even banned ss from going outside to play with ds and friends for a few days.

Well the other day the kids were playing cops and robbers and ss again began his screaming and my neighbor came out at the same time I heard it and came out.

I brought ss inside and told him he was done playing with the big kids. DH told him if he was going to act like a 2 year old then he definately could not play with 12 and 13 year olds. I just don't know what to do! I know siblings argue and fight. But this just stinks. And DS and his friends are not mean or rough with ss, his crying and whining and screaming is purely poor sportmanship and avoidance of things he does not want to do.

During the week ss can't have friends over because none of them live in walking distance like ds's do, and because of their ages/parents jobs when we have tried to organize something during the week it just does not work.

Any suggestions???

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I don't have any help. My dd stops playing and pouts and cries if she isn't 100% on top when she plays. It's so frustrating!!!!!!!!!!!

Over and over again dh and I talked to ss about his behavior and how it was not fun for other kids to play with him when he acted that way. We warned him that if he kept it up nobody was going to want to play with him. We said we understood some parts of games were not fun, but if you are going to play you need to do the fun and not so fun parts.

me too. now what?????!!!!!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:07PM
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It sounds to me like you're doing exactly the right thing. The natural consequences of SS's babyish behavior are that older kids will not want to include him and even tease him. You've warned him about those consequences, pulled him in when he misbehaves, and told him he was not allowed to play with the older kids. Sounds about right...

Is your older son emotionally mature enough to help with a cure? In other words, would he be able to counsel younger brother to hold it together? Maybe tell him "OK - You've got to be 'it', but I'll make sure it isn't for very long" so little Bro learns the unpleasant parts are tolerable in small doses? Or maybe even apply a little playground peer pressure: "You can only play with us if you don't act like a baby!" (You don't want to introduce cruelty that isn't there now, so that would only work if older Bro is very mature and his friends are kind.)

What about introducing a 'Family Game Night' with board or card games? That way, everyone in the family could model good sportsmanship and how to be a good loser as well as a graceful winner.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 12:18PM
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Here are some suggestions:

First, think about encouraging the bigger kids to play at someone else's house more often. It's got to be hard for an 8-year-old with no one his own age to play with, when his older stepbrother gets to have people over every day. Since your son's friends are all in the neighborhood, it should be easy for him to go to their houses instead of everyone always coming to yours.

Second, have a talk with your son (and, if you can manage it without your ss hearing, your son's friends) about trying to go easier on your ss. They're 4-5 years older than him: they're going to be faster and more coordinated than an 8-year-old. Tag, nerf guns, whatever-- they're almost always going to be better than he is. Part of being a good older brother/sister is learning to go easier on the littler ones. Since you say your son and his friends are all nice boys, they should be able to understand that and be accommodating.

Third is to come up with things to keep your ss occupied while your son and his friends are playing. The older boys should include him sometimes, but they shouldn't have to include him all of the time. Give your ss things to do that he'll enjoy so that he isn't moping around and feeling left out.

And fourth is-- like Sweeby said-- you and your husband should work on good sportsmanship with your ss. But don't be surprised if it takes awhile. It can be hard to develop the emotional maturity needed to handle losing.

One last thing: have you considered introducing the boys to different kinds of games? Or encouraging them to invent their own? I was the oldest in a largeish family, and when we had a group of kids over and had to include the littler ones, we would sometimes do something like a scavenger/easter egg hunt with different objects hidden in the yard and house. If the kids do the hunt with partners, the younger kid feels included, his chances of being a winner are better (because the older partner can help a lot), and the younger one isn't alone in losing if they don't find enough of the hidden objects. Games that involve partners/teams and don't rely as heavily on physical/mental skill may help things go more smoothly.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 1:21PM
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My nephew was this way. He and DD played together a lot and he was awful (he remembers how bad he was and laughs at it now). Did everything what you described-not sharing, screaming, crying, nagging. As a teenager however he changed into a very nice young man, he is a very nice man now.

My SIl has some awful parenting skills and literally taught him that he can do no wrong, that everyone is wrong and he is right (I know you don't do any of that at all). now she does the same with my niece and I only hope she will overcome this the same way my nephew did.

I know that neither you nor your DH would teach a kid such nonsense like my SIL did, but I am wondering if SS is the youngest and is spoiled by your DH? Like SS always wants to be a center of attention because he kind of is?

Just a thought...

I hear you, mom2emall

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 6:09PM
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We do family game nights and ss does try to make a fuss when he loses. We always tell him that nobody wants to hear it and to go to his room if he wants to whine about losing. Whenever the rest of us lose we do try to show him good sportsmanship.

He is probably babied a bit by us because he is the youngest. And I know dh tends to baby him, though most times he is pretty good now about not doing so.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 12:01AM
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I think he might overgrow it... I am serious my nephew was the most annoying (and I love him of course) child you'll ever meet. He was plain awful to be around. He completely turned around at I would say in preteen years. But I know you don't want to wait that long...My niece is getting much better, she is 8. She did not want to lose at 6-7, and whined and nagged. We do play boardgames all together quite often. I live on the same block as my brother. And I see how much better she is compare to last year.

I don't mean to say my own child was an angel but I did not have this problem with her at all, her problems started at teenage years, and do not even ask me...LOL

Hugs, you do have full house of children with different personalities, you deserve a medal, seriously :)

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 8:50AM
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Can you ignore it... and let the kids work it out between themeselves?

Sometimes I think too much parental involvement just can cause the kids to act up even more and they will continue to do it when they are getting attention from it.

Make sure he's getting enough of your attention in other areas... talk about school, go over his school work, read to him at night, etc... but when he's playing, let the kids sort it out with him...and see what happens. Maybe the kids won't come over at all...maybe your son will go to their houses instead... and he'll get the message that he's no fun to play and won't be played with when he acts that way...but he'll get the message from the kids, not you...

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 10:30PM
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