Date: 18-12-10 22:27
Mmmm, the second part of your post sounds SOOOOOOOO familiar to me!
We too have 3 boys (6,4 1) the eldest is G and his behaviour since a foetus (just kidding but close :) ) has been difficult. I can't count the amount of times we have had social gatherings totally ruined by our eldest. The strategies we have employed have obviously changed as he has matured (some of which worked and some of which were disasters!) and as we haven't got to ten years of age yet, I'm not sure our straegies will be that helpful to you.
I always premept the situation be explaining to the children prior to going what my expectations of their behaviour is (same rules as always, be kind and polite to others, use your manners, play nicely with your friends and when it is time to go, no arguements) and what the consequences of bad behaviour are.
I have also discovered that even as a youngster, he hated to lose face so pulling him aside quietly to discuss his bad behaviour when no one else could hear is most effective (although not always possible while juggling the 2 other boys and everything else that is going on!) I always remnd him of my expectations at this point too.
Relatively recently I read on the forum about the 2 jars1 for good behaviour and 1 for bad behaviour and putting counters into them. I'm using fruit loops (toxic looking breakfast cereal that I wouldn't ever feed him a whole bowl of for fear of the colours and sugars sending hime into next week) and we give him one for everygood thing he does. Bad behaviour results in fruit loops being taken from good behaviour jar into the bad behaviour jar. Whatever is still in the good behaviour jar in the morning is sprinkled on top of his weetbix the next morning (usually not very many!!) I have to say so far this is working extremely well just to re set the bad behaviours that seemed to have crept in and were making life difficult. It seems to make a difference in just re setting the tone of the house.
I'm not sure if this will help you but at least I can seriously sympathise with the issue!!!