Children : The Challenge

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    I am filled with hesitation or trepidation or maybe imagination or (something that ends in “ion”) as I write this post. But seriously, please, try to help me ok? I want to know what is /if anything is wrong with my kids. I think they are not normal.

    I have been a mother long enough to see other children. I have been around other people’s children, I have babysat, I have been in others’ homes and I think my children are unusually wild.

    I always seem to have a messy disorganized house. THIS IS NOT MY NATURE AT ALL! Its only in recent years since they have arrived. Baruch Hashem I have children, but what I am saying is that I CANNOT keep the house in a neat looking order for long. In the morning they awake, (baruch hashem) and I hear pitter patter across the house and if they are not standing at the side of my bed threatening to flood it by sitting on it with their wet pajamas then I hear the sound of water running and running and running somewhere in the kitchen. I know I have to get out of bed fast before they flood the floor and the store downstairs through the ceiling. In order to satisfy their indeciveness in regards as to which breakfast cereal they want to eat in the morning they demand a little bit from every box.

    Recently I bought a big cupboard from IKEA for storage and toys. These are not cheap. Like $700 each. Well, one child wanted to reach up high on a shelf so they used a drawer to stand on and now the drawer is completely killed. The screws and everything even the holes are destryoed! achhhh!

    A few years ago I took my toddler to the store with me. She was sitting in her stroller quietly. As I stopped to check out the scents from a few differnt air fresheners I turned my head to see she had somehow gotten a hold of a sunlight dish soap bottle (while sitting there strapped in) and was GEEEZZING ALLis all over her legs. Bright yellow thick thick liquid soap all dripping and slowly running down her legs. Then she put her hands in it and was threatening to rub her eyes with it. I had to run to their bathroom and wash her.

    I have one child we call Houdini. That is because despite the fact that we have had no choice but to strap her in to her crib (albeit safely)it anyways makes no difference. She recently learned how to get out of this. We can’t figure it out. Putting them to bed is impossible.

    I have no idea how the 2 and a 1/2 year old found a bright blue permanent marker erev Shabbos and coloured my best linen on my bed. Its not even art. Its like scribble. I think I will never be able to wash this out. I never had such a nice linen. Finally I got something nice and its destroyed. I hate abstract art.

    The Saftey First baby gate we installed to prevent children from wildly entering the kitchen at will is a joke. They have busted it.

    My husband had a self inking stamp in red ink that read CONFIDENTIAL. My toddler took it and did the whole back of my bedroom door. Its not washable. Its gonna be there until forever.

    One time I took my 3 year old to the mall and do you know what she did? Whine and cry that she wanted to walk, so much that I had to let her.So i had mercy and let her out to walk beside me holding my hand. SOmehow she broke lose and ran and do you know where she ran to? She ran right up to a open table book sale and grabbed the first book she saw (something about bumblebees that came with a plush toy puppet) and made a runner for the garbage can. I caught her just before she binned it.

    On Shavuous my one child turned on the radio to MAXIMUM and we had to cover it with every blanket and pillow in the house to smother the sound.

    One day my teenage daughter walks in the house, from outside. She is blushing and turning red and staring at the 2 year old. Through gritted teeth she announces towards the 2 year ” Oh I love you…I just love you”. So I could see its semi sarcastic and I ask whats wrong? She draws her hands out from behind her back to reveal underwear. I ask “Where did you find that?” She say “Strewn all over the sidewalk” How embarassing! The 2 year old had emptied her drawer and thrown everything out the window.

    Speaking of windows, one time one of my pre-schoolers stuck feminine hygiene products (if you know what I mean) on the glass of the front window of our house. ! At least they were clean!

    They are always screaming, always fighting, or demanding something from me.

    Have you ever woken up to a child stuffing toilet paper down the bathroom sink, clogging it and then flooding the bathroom? Well I have! I just want to know if this sounds like children and the challenge they bring or are my kids wild?

    MY neighbor MRS. PERFECT seems to say no.


    I just want to the be first one to sanctimoniously say that some people would give everything they have to have any children.

    Now that we got that out of the way, I think you’re kids are normal. Maybe they have a wild “lively” nature, but kids are kids.


    always runs with scissors fast:

    Your children sound and are acting totally normally and like… children.

    ☕️coffee addict

    I second popa, kids are kids (espicailly if they are in the terrible two stage)


    always runs with scissors fast-

    Speaking as b”H the parent of kids and be’h the uncle of dozens, yours sound like perfectly normal, albeit lebedig kids.

    A trouble-making 2.5 year old? What else is new.

    Some of the wildest kids turn out to be the smartest.

    BTW, a reasonably handy person could probably restore your furniture to full functionality, although not necessarily to like-new looks.

    am yisrael chai

    I agree with pba (who’s the only poster at the time of writing/typing).

    Now that we got that out of the way, just remember boundaries, consequences, and sholom bayis.

    Kids are normal in that they will test the limits & boundaries. Parents need to teach the kids consequences of their actions. Tension in the atmosphere can encourage children to act out.

    Consequences need to be age-appropriate. So a child may need to do simple “chores” to “pay” for the paint to refresh your bedroom door, e.g.

    You may need to go over supermarket rules with your child before entering with the child and allow the child to buy a “reward” if the child successfully displays appropriate behavior.

    Charts posted with stars and prizes given for positive behaviors work wonders.

    Tzaar gidul banim, no one said it’s going to be easy.

    And DON”T compare yourself to MS. PERFECT, because that’s just an illusion & image, besides putting yourself down.


    Acetate nail polish remover removes permanent ink!!!! There are these nets that can be put on top of cribs to keep climbers in. Do you know why I know these tricks? Because you are not the only one with leibidik kids!!! And I am looking at your name here, and I am thinking that I just might know where your kids get their spunk from!!! Spunk will get them far in life, it is good!! They might need you to set different boundaries than you have set before. But they are normal. Good luck!!! Keep us posted, it sounds like a lot of fun in your house. I kind of miss the fun now that mine are grown up.


    Cut down seriously on sugar.


    I’m very uncomfortable with you straping your baby in her crib…. This sounds very dangerous….and an accident waiting to happen. I strongly urge you to get professional help to deal with all of this, as you seem very overwhelmed…




    Read the book “1-2-3 Magic” or watch the DVD. If you can implement the discipline methods outlined, it will save your sanity and your relationship with your kids. Good luck!


    Totaly normal, we always think that other peoples kids are better behaved because we spend much less time with them and usealy when they are on there best behavior. And when are kids misbehave in public we feel like we are being judged which makes the misbehavior sound much worst then it realy is.


    Really depends on what timeframe all these incidents occured. If they were all within one week I say your kids are more wild than average. If within a few months then definitely normal!

    There is an amazing book call “1-2-3 Magic” that teaches you (parent) how to set boundaries and consequences, and stick with them. This method of discipline is easy to implement and can change your and your family’s lives! I recommend it to everyone with kids.

    am yisrael chai

    It’s normal, but you still need techniques how to deal with it.

    Counterforce has a parenting workshop given in several locations (Parent Effectiveness Training) that has been very successful.


    I’ve had nephews that pretty much fit that description. You’ll clime out of it. You’ll look back and enjoy it (the way we are). One nephew was strapped in, with a child leash meant for this purpose, and he broke the gate of the crib, then the rest of the crib, and ended up on a ripped up matress. Don’t get anything expensive for these couple of years. Your kids have spunk and it’s a good thing that you’ll appreciate in the coming years, B’ezras Hashem.


    hair spray and alcohol also get out permanent ink. Also the dry cleaners have something that gets out ink you can’t tell it was ever there.


    This doesn’t mean anything about your house being normal or not but as I read this I was thinking “Did my mother right this?” Then I checked the genders and ages so it didn’t make sense. But, yes, this sounds just like my house.

    Sender Av

    Baruch H’ you have children. Not attacking, just trying to help you put it in that perspective. Are we related? Your kids sound like me when I was 2.

    I feel like I remember powdering my whole room with baby powder when I was really little, but am not sure if my memory serves me correctly.(see earliest memory thread).


    Wow, arwsf, I thought my kids were the only ones who decorated the windows that way! and at that time we lived in the heart of the heart of BP.

    Guess what? when the second set (of kids) came around, they just walked around with them all over their clothes. OF COURSE we had company at the time! Now i hide them so well i can’t find them when i need them.

    I wish I could blame the kids for my lousy housekeeping, although NOBODY ELSE’s kids seem to color on the walls EVERY SECOND. A few times I put long rolls of paper on the walls just to contain their spontaneous art expressions.

    My mother used to say her house was decorated in “Early American Childhood.” So even though in my case it is a euphemism for being too lazy to get myself up and cleaning/organizing/laundrying, hey, I’ll say it too. Thanks, Mom.

    Oh, Rabbonim and Rebbetzins and most regular smart people recommend getting as much household help as you can afford when you have small children. In our case, that is none, but it’s a consolation to realize that most people do understand that children make a mess. (You know that Rashi that says Rachel Imeinu wanted children because she could blame the mess on them? It’s a great cover for those rare occasions when we ourselves are less than neat.)


    Also did I mention that we had to replace the toilet twice in about two months? Evidently the boys thought that because it starts with “toy” that’s where the toys belonged.

    Did I mention the time I was 7 months along and shopping with my two year old, an angelic looking sweetie with a gorgeous strawberry blond ponytail, who was capable of slipping out of his harness and tying me to a streetlamp with it? How he escaped the stroller and the security guard at the door and managed to get to the corner before I even reached the desk to announce his disappearance?

    Baruch Hashem, he was escorted back to me by two young friendly Italian men who said, seeing my expression, “DOn’t yell at her, lady, she’s scared enough.”

    I realized how lucky we were, and didn’t shop again for six months.


    I once found my children spraying chocolate and strawberry syrups all over the bathroom, and themselves, and the couch. They grew up a couple of years since then, and have very fond memories thereof.


    There doesn’t seem to be a problem with your kids, there might be a lack of control in your home. It seems that you have a wide age range in your home. You also didn’t mention how many children you have or what your house rules are. BTW your description of your kids was very enjoyable to read. Yes of course because it is NOT my kids and I don’t have to deal with it. But I don’t have to deal with it because I have rules and I dealt with them even if it meant I had to participate in the consequence and it meant that I missed out as well.

    Lets first start with a simple issue as cereal. It is best NOT to give kids more than two choices for breakfast. “What would you like for breakfast choice “A” or choice “B”? If they say something else you say “I am sorry sheifeleh, that is not one of mommy’s choices so what will it be?” And then YOU have to be strong enough to stick to it. Yes even if they scream and yell and cry. THEY need to learn that crying doesn’t change anything. So the next step is saying “If you are going to cry and scream at me I will just go into the other room and give you a few minutes to think about the choices I just gave you. I don’t have to stay here and listen to you misbehave”. Then leave the room. They will be shocked. But they will soon realize that you mean business and strait beginning to understand the reality of the situation.

    About two years ago my daughter complained that her then 4 year old made her crazy in the mornings because she couldn’t decide what she wanted to wear and made everyone crazy and she missed her bus or carpool and it made her late for work, etc. I told her that she is making her daughter crazy because you don’t give a 3 or 4 year old so many options leaving the choice wide open. It is too much for her to handle. Give her two choices and thats it. Since she likes to feel grown up and likes to feel like she made the choice, choose to options and let her choose between the two and then say “good choice”. So she started trying that and low and behold the first two days there was still a struggle but then things fell into place as they both got used to the rules.

    Yes this even works with two year olds. I was babysitting my son’s kids for a week. The two year old was eating breakfast with her big sisters. She was sitting in her booster seat and I made them eggs. She was enjoying her eggs and all of a sudden she starts screaming “I want macaroni and cheese!” I looked at her and said “Bobby is not making macaroni and cheese for breakfast”. She started pounding her hands on the table yelling “I want macaroni and cheese”. I stood up an just looked at her eye to eye and said “If you yell at me I am going in the other room” and I walked out. Then I hear “Bobby come back” so I went back and she says “Bobby sit down” so I sat down and she goes “Bobby you please feed me my eggs”. Ya gotta love them.

    If you take your kids to the mall or supermarket you give them the rules before you leave the house and then again in the car. If they misbehave you are going to take them back to the car and go home and they will lose the privilege of coming shopping with you. Then back that up by doing it. Don’t threaten with something you won’t do. Even if it upsets your day or it frustrates you. Take them by the hand or dump them back in the stroller and tell them, I told you if you misbehave we are going home and then go home. They will get the message that YOU are in charge and you are NOT kidding.

    Dealing with toys is the same story. Set the rules whatever you choose they should be. They can play with only two toys at a time. If they get tired, put those toys back and take out something else. That way it will be easier when it is time to clean up. If they don’t listen let them know that you will move the toys that are not cleaned up into a locked closet and they will not be able to play with them for 2 days, or a week or whatever you think is appropriate for their age. Then do it. As far as things on a high shelf are concerned the rules are they are there because they are not for them to play with, they are for the older kids, or they must ask you or one of the older children to get it for them. If they don’t listen and do something dangerous like climb and break things, they will get a time out. Then give them a time out, even if you have to sit outside their bedroom door for the 15 minutes while they have it.

    Bedtime for a child that climbs out of a crib is not that much of a challenge. Take the side bars off the crib and let her sleep in the crib without it. It is safer that way and it won’t be so much fun getting out of bed when she is not climbing out. Then put a tall gate on the door or let her know that there will be a consequence if she gets out of bed or leaves her room. Once you establish that YOU are in charge, and they have to follow your rules, they will get the message that they have to listen. She might call you a hundred times the first week, 50 times the second, week but she will stat to get accustomed and settle in.

    As far as markers and the like, get washable markers, or throw out all the markers till they learn to listen to the rules.

    My grandkids know that if they want to go out with me I have rules. No whining, No crying and No whining. So in the past I didn’t take the younger ones, just the older ones. The bigger kids told the 2 year olds, “you whine and cry so you can’t come with us”. No one whines and cries with me. We all have a great time and I can take 6 with me at once and that isn’t a problem.

    A few years ago in Miami there was a family from Canada with a few kids. The mother was yelling at her 5 year old son all day, every day. She kept yelling at him, get out of the pool, stop doing that, etc. And she was threatening him that she is going to put him on a plane and send him back to Canada himself. He ignored her and she yelled at him to stop ignoring her. After a few days of that I went over to her seeing her frustration and i said “do you know why he is not listening to you? Because you are threatening him with a consequence that he knows you will never follow through on. If you offer him a consequence that you will actually do, he will believe you. If you tell him that you will come get him and take him upstairs for two hours and he will miss the pool time for two hours he WILL believe you. She told me nothing will work. I told her to try it and NOT yell at him, just speak regularly but with authority. She tried it, he looked at her and thought about it for a minute or two and came out of the pool and sat down next to her. She looked at me in shock.


    Also do your kids use an entire bottle of shampoo every time they take a bath? On themselves, the walls, and the shower curtain?(Tip: save the empty bottles, put in a little bit of shampoo and a lot of water, and let them have a good time.)


    Sorry that was so long. I just wanted to mention that when my kids were little I didn’t have “good” clothing that went to the cleaners because their hugs even with dirty hands meant more to me than good clothes. I didn’t have good linen because when they crawled into my bed in the morning and sometimes their diapers were soaking wet or they peed through it, I didn’t want to get angry. I didn’t use my good dishes or good silverware, because when they wanted to help set the table and they dropped something I didn’t want to get upset, their smiling faces when they felt grown up and helpful was worth more than a fancy table. Especially when they stood on a stool and washed the dishes or loaded the dishwasher. I didn’t care that my floor wasn’t as clean as it should be because my 5 year old son really wanted to mop it for me and vacuum for me as well. Isn’t that worth more than perfection or good stuff?

    I once came home late from work and my Frum electrician a”h was in my home and the walls were black and the house smelled of smoke. He met me at the door and said don’t say a word. Seriously don’t say a word. The kids wanted to surprise you and make latkes for you. It didn’t turn out well as you can see. They are exhausted from trying to clean up the mess. All good intentions. Sometimes you just have to look away and move on.


    Running- thanks for the laugh! (Sorry!)

    Many scenarios you posted here do seem normal. Kids do crazy stuff!

    It is possible that your kids are wilder than others. I don’t know them so I wouldn’t know. Just keep in mind that they got a special energy and are probably smart kids. They will outgrow it at some point!

    (I know, easier said than done.)


    Thanks everyone. I also enjoyed the good laugh, re-reading my humorus life experiences, and then everybody elses. Ursula mommish, you made me laugh out loud at your son tying you to a street lamp. Hilarious.

    I forgot to mention the child I have who pulled off her dirty pamper and then stepped in it, and we had to investigate where the trail led and disinfect. Oy.


    Always runs: Just to give you some chizuk. My sister’s in-laws kids were terribly wild. Especially one boy. One day, he heard his neighbor telling his son, “don’t play with Moishy. I don’t want you befriending such a wild boy.” He was very hurt. Time passed. Little Moishy grew up and turned into a great masmid and talmid chacham. As a bochur, he got a phone call. It was bein hazmanim and that neighbor who told his son not to be friends with him, BEGGED him to learn with his son – he’ll even pay him!

    My cousin was also terribly wild (threw out the window crytal glasses etc.) and is now a dayan.

    May this be the tzar gidul banim for you!


    wow. Ok. thanks


    These stories reminded me of the kids of a friend of mine.

    I remember telling someone else about these kids. I said they start their terrible twos at 18 months. The person asked how long it lasts. I replied, “I don’t know. The oldest one is only 13.” BTW, he is now grown and is a rabbi.

    I remember the day one of the kids “decorated” a bedroom door. At least it wasn’t a window.

    And there was the Shabbos two of the kids emptied a container of peaches in heavy syrup onto the floor and then rolled around in it.

    If you can afford it, you can get wallpaper that is meant to be drawn on. That might help a little.

    In the meantime, thank Hashem you have kids. There are many of us who would be grateful to have your challenges.


    Haifa girl, how many times did you edit, spell check and proof read what you just wrote so I couldn’t find one mistake on you?


    Haifa girl, how many times did you edit, spell check and proof read what you just wrote so I couldn’t find one mistake on you?

    I usually do it as I go along.

    From the time I started talking, my parents made sure that I spoke correctly. Proper grammar is absolutely natural to me.

    From the time I was in first grade, spelling was a required subject. I never liked getting less than 100 on a spelling test. And my parents made sure to tell me how proud they were of me when I got those 100s.


    aries- I wanna save your very well-written post for when I have children iyH!! till then, I’ll try to implement your sage advice on my impossibly stubborn 3 year old brother 😉


    Another tip: Give choices.


    Do you want to pick up your toys before you put on your pajamas or after?

    Do you want to put your toys away or do you want me to give them to a gemach? (And you have to follow through on that.)


    My daughter complains that they have too many toys and games so she came up with a a great solution. She has a rule, for every new toy, new game, new doll, etc., they have to pick one to give to tzedakah. That way they never have an overflow that gets out of control and the kids are involved in doing chessed.

    I also wanted to mention that it is important to get into a bedtime routine so the kids know what is expected of them and they know the routine. But you have to be involved in that routine and be committed to it if you want it to work You can’t just expect them to do it because you tell them to and not do it with them because you are tired. I know this isn’t easy especially as you get older and you have already been through this with your oder kids, but if you keep having kids, they are as entitled to your attention as your first was. Children need their parents to help them settle down and get into the bedtime mood. They love to have you there when they brush their teeth and say Shema, and if they can actually do that within a good time frame, what would be better than Mommy reading them a bedtime story. Eventually, they will do some of this on their own, and maybe your older kids and hubby will take turns with you or help out at bedtime.

    You also have to decide when a child keeps climbing out of the crib if it is better to put her in a bed than have her risk falling down. You can start with a mattress on the floor or go straight to a bed with a safety bar.


    “I just want to the be first one to sanctimoniously say that some people would give everything they have to have any children.”

    Pba as someone who cannot have children i don’t care for that tone excuse me for sounding sanctimonious but i will never ever hold a child of my won in my arms, posters please dont tell me to contact this orginization or that one it is simply impossible for me to have children.


    You really gave me a good laugh last night. But the truth is that your kids are pretty much normal just a little hyper. You really need to set the rules in the house that YOU are BOSS! Not the kids. Good luck with your crew and I hope things get easier for you.


    ur kids are normal kids. they are just…!!!!!! take the time to watch them grow up and you will not catch ur breath but thats not the time for that! now just focus on raising happy healthy kids. there will be lots of time for sleeping and cleaning your house.


    Magic eraser.

    Gate that is installed in the wall, not suction.

    Otherwise I’ll echo 80. NORMAL.

    If you personally can’t handle, speak to a Rav.


    aries i read your comment carefully and am aware of some things we did and do wrong at home. 2 of my boys are 9 and 10 do you think its too late for really seriously implementing the “not too much choice standing firm” program? one of the biggest challenges is that both of them a very picky eaters. cookin for them is a desaster. i have no clue how to make them want to even taste something new or do we have to cook almost everyday the same?? bh other things got much better with time…btw satmar lady i laughed tons but also pitty you. its hard very hard and one has to be sooooo clever and have tremendous siyate deshmaye raising kids…hashem should give all of us koiech and brains to do it right.

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