Everything is a battle

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Post  Mon, May 04 2020, 5:11 am
I’m so worried for my almost 6yr old. I have not found a way to motivate him and he is resistant to doing anything. Always. Since we’re in quarantine he has refused to do any school work. On the rare occasion when I manage to bribe him to do hw I can see how far behind he’s fallen. He doesn’t get dressed or bathe without a fight or threat. I bathe him 1x a week because I hate fighting with him. He’s to big for me to physically put him in the bath so I shout n threaten until he gets in. Anything I ask him to do is a battle and there are very few things he’s actually motivated to do on his own. He’s a sweet sensitive kid with such a fun personality but doing anything (getting dressed, leaving the house, even flushing the toilet) is so difficult and unpleasant. He’s actually been this way since he’s small. But it’s become so much more difficult now that he’s too big for me to physically manipulate (putting on his shoes or pants) and he has more responsibilities (getting dressed, doing homework, even cleaning himself in the bathroom)
Pls help
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Post  Mon, May 04 2020, 5:37 am
It's really normal for kids to regress when there is a big change in routine, or even after a serious illness (CVS). Potty trained kids will start messing again, kids who can feed themselves will suddenly want mommy to feed them, etc. He's reacting in his own way to all the strangeness in his life.

Pick and choose your battles. Let him wear pajamas all day, but insist that if he wants to go outside, he has to pick out proper clothes. You will help him get dressed if he finds it too hard.

Get soft flushable wipes for the bathroom. It will make a world of difference.

Sticker charts are very helpful, as are candy bribes. (Yes, this is the time to resort to that!)

Find ways for him to feel accomplished. Give him things he can help you with, and tons of praise for being such a good boy.

Nobody ever died from only bathing once a week. Flushable wipes are good for a quick wipe down in between bath times. A few new bath toys might help, too.

You MUST stop fighting and threatening. You are creating a power struggle, and kids will always win. They can hold out far longer than any adult. Keep calm, and give natural consequences. "If you don't put your shoes on, then you will have to say inside." Don't let it escalate. It takes two to fight, and if you don't get upset, eventually he's going to realize that he's not getting emotional feedback from you.

Things are strange for him right now. He needs to know that you are fine, you are calm, in control, and solid. You have to be a rock for him. (This is great practice for when he becomes a teenager, and the hormones kick in!)

Tell him that while everyone is in quarantine, the rules will be more relaxed, but also that when things get back to normal, he will be expected to stick to the rules and do what he is asked.

BTW, is he aware of Covid? If so, he might not really know what that means, and is afraid of it. Some vague, scary thing that kills people is terrifying to a kid that young. Even if you've kept it from him, he might have heard about this, and he may have some questions. Kids always know more than we think they do. You might want to sit down with him and check in, and see if he's worried about anything. Have him draw you pictures of his fears if that helps.

Hang in there!
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