Q: We have two boys, 8 and 7. They are completely, and I mean COMPLETELY, out of control. They constantly argue, fight and tattle. If they’re not fighting, they’re playing chaotically. Homework is a constant battle, and getting them to bed takes over an hour. To top it off, they completely ignore us when we give them instructions, and one boy’s disobedience seems to make the other boy worse. It’s driving me absolutely nuts, but they don’t seem to care. We can’t go out in public or have people over to our house because their behavior is at its worst when other people are around. They love an audience. PLEASE HELP!!!
A: When unresolved discipline problems have piled up to this level, parents begin acting frustrated, frazzled and frantic, all of which simply makes matters worse. No discipline approach is going to work when parents are at wits’ end. And when, under these circumstances, some method doesn’t work, the defeat results in a greater feeling of despair, greater frustration and yet another haphazard approach that’s bound to fail.