To think it's not difficult to be nice to your children?

(91 Posts)
slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 17:08:01

Some of the threads/comments I've read this weekend have been horrid. People making their kids cry over April Fools 'jokes' have been the tamest.

Not only on here, but I was in Sainsburys on Friday and there was a mum absolutely screaming at her toddler dd, who was in tears. I wouldn't normally bat an eyelid at someone dishing out a bollocking, but she was almost out of control.

Seriously, is it the lighter evenings and shock of extra sunlight?!

I'm not the most patient of people by any means, but it's not hard to be nice.

My dad used to say horrible things to me:
"Shut up you little bitch"
"How are you so fucking stupid?"
"Get away from me"
"Stop eating or you'll end up as fat as your mother"

You never know what'll stay with your children and what won't.

ppeatfruit Tue 02-Apr-13 14:03:21

birdsnotbees That's true, its not just down to the parenting and, as you say when you're at the end of your tether you yell BUT you can afterwards cuddle and apologise and explain.

theodora That website sounds totally revolting but there is a tradition of being unkind to DCs think of "spare the rod spoil the child." I'll never forget one of my 'aunties' saying to me after picking up my crying 5 month old (who was sleeping in a strange house BTW) "you'll spoil her." She is unspoiled and very successful so it didn't did it?

theodorakisses Tue 02-Apr-13 08:22:42

and that horrible, horrible website where father christmas sends a video every day and parents can choose if the child is good or bad, if he is bad then father christmas says sorry, no presents for you, try again tomorrow and we will see if you have been good.

MsBella Mon 01-Apr-13 23:29:11

YANBU!!! It is horrible to be a child having horrible or aggresive things being said to you, really really horrible.

There are ALWAYS better ways to deal with a childs behaviour. No excuses

I've posted before about this so I won't write the whole thing again because it's long. But basically, I threw my DC toys in a bin on the M6 because they were being nightmares in the car. I did lots of stops. I gave them pens, books etc.
I was the only adult in the car.
On the M6 one of them threw something at the windscreen over my shoulder.
So after many warnings, ultimatums, I calmly stopped at the next service station, found a bin and dumped their toys.
People there probably thought "What a cow"

They might have thought "What a shame" if I crashed and wiped out the occupants of my car plus other innocent road users.

And the DC remember it and understand WHY.

AdoraBell Mon 01-Apr-13 22:39:07

Machli no, she shouldn't know, but she's been pushing so far and being cocky about the state she leaves actually every room she uses, friend's Mum was giggling too and I lost it. Calmly explained the real scale of the problem. Still, she doesn't know that I'm avoiding food because of the Pain from acid and that I don't care if the injured dog comes back from the Vet or not. It's not like we need 4 fucking dogs OH

Ullena Mon 01-Apr-13 22:38:45

Mumsy, I was oddly the favourite child of four...she was an odd woman!

Agree, we all have bad days and it's only human to snap occasionally. But there are lines we ought not to cross, imo.

AmandaPayntedEgg Mon 01-Apr-13 22:37:16

I think it is very easy to judge, and you don't always know the back story.

A couple of weeks back I shouted at DD1 (nearly 4) that I would "look for your bloody hair clip in a minute". At the top of my voice. In public.
I had spent all week coping with a vomiting toddler, a flu ridden husband and she had asked me about 12 times in a minute. I had hardly slept for nights on end.

I don't think it did any lasting damage, although I'm not proud of it.

There's a big difference between that and day to day abuse.

DD2 is nearly two and throws massive tantrums. She is a smart cookie. She normally focuses the verbal aspect on "I need you Mummy, help me Mummy". I look like the worst mother in the world when I practice the normal 'ignore a tantrum' advice.

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 22:30:09

Ullena I hope it wasn't inappropriate to laugh at that ending, what a strange (and horrible) threat to a child.

I guess all this reminds us is that we are in a real position of power in relation to our children, and so we should try to be as nice as we can, even if sometimes we fail and sometimes we don't even know what the 'nicest' thing would be to do.

Ullena Mon 01-Apr-13 22:25:18

Oh the joy of the mother whose go to response to her child not wanting a bedtime cuddle was along the lines of: "You'll be sorry when I drop down dead!" Actually, that was her answer to a lot of situations. I learnt never to fuss or cry as a child. Too afraid that DM would die because of me. Used to lie awake and worry for hours.

Well you may have terrified me at the time DM, but I was actually fine at your funeral...

birdsnotbees Mon 01-Apr-13 22:05:34

I used to be a brilliant parent when it was just me and DS. I could reason with him; a stern look and counting to three pretty much did it. So I used to be all smug about other people losing control. Then I had my DD. And you know what? I discovered that how your kids behave is not 100% down to you. I have behaved badly since she was born - thanks to sleep deprivation, thanks to tantrums all day, every day, for three days at a time. Sure, I need to try and remove the buttons DD presses but I am no saint; there are times when I just can't cope. I feel like a bottle that is slowly filling up and up, and when it gets to the top I just can't be the patient, kind parent I used to be.

I hate myself for it but I am a human being. So guess what - I am a whole lot less judgey than I used to be. Sometimes it isn't all down to your own marvellous ability to be a great parent.

Not to say swearing at a child is ever OK (it's not and I never have), but I have spoken unkindly to both of mine, which I actually think is a whole lot worse. I have said things like "oh for god's sake, will you give it a rest?" or "I am just so sick of listening to you cry" - because it is sometimes so, so, so hard when your kids are not reasonable, when normal sanctions don't work, when they can scream and tantrum like nothing I've ever seen for two hours straight... I used to look at kids like my DD when they were having a massive tantrum and think "god, what shit parents" but when she did it for the first time -at 18 months, full on writhing around, hitting, screaming, puce in the face and for 45 minutes I couldn't even pick her up to get her to a safe place - it dawned on me then that first time around I had just been lucky.

So perhaps less of the judgement, eh? Some of us being unkind have just been pushed beyond our limits, and we love our kids to bits - I love the bones of mine and I say I am sorry when need to - but sometimes, yes, woo hoo, I am a complete and utter failure. I don't need some sniffy woman in the supermarket giving me evils to make me feel any worse.

KayHunt Mon 01-Apr-13 21:46:11

I've seen a woman pushing a buggy (child looked under 3), stop, head to the front of the buggy and crouch and scream 'Oh why don't you just shut the fuck up you little cunt'. If I wasn't  on a bus -yes you could hear it on the bus, she was that loud- I would have had to have said something.

It's shocking how disrespectful some people can be to their children.

I have had horrific PND and said some things I am not proud of, but I know everything I say will affect my children in some way.

Machli Mon 01-Apr-13 21:40:22

I don't think an 11 year old should know that adorabell. She's not mature enough or emotionally equipped to cope with that IMO.

I am sorry you are struggling sad.

MooMooSkit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:39:58

I hate it! I've been out before and seen parents shouting at their kids "You little c*nt!" just horrible. There is defintely a line and we are all pushed, I've said before things like ooh your pushing me today or your being a right pain in the bum or you'll go straight to bed when we are home in public but I never ever use swear words or insults, I just find that horrible. sad

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 01-Apr-13 21:38:23

YY emotional blackmail is awful! Far worse then a shouty telling off.

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 21:36:10

ppeatfruit don't shout at your children then, great, but I don't like some posts on here which imply that all you have to do is adopt a terribly nice but disapproving attitude and magically your children fall into line. I think if the worst behaviour the OP has ever encountered is a tantrum in a bath, then this is not really the gamut of defiant, difficult or upsetting children's behaviour and taking away a story isn't going to cut it when your child is a teenager and defies a curfew or you think they've been taking drugs.

I agree don't sweat the small stuff if you can help it, and calling names/abusing children is so unacceptable I don't even have to say this, but I'd rather shout occasionally but know my children always know they are forgiven (even before they are) and loved rather than have the sad face of emotional disapproval that I actually lived in fear of as a child. As you say, children are different and for one a shouty voice may be less intimidating than the subtle withdrawal of approval, the pursed lips, the sad face, the desperate need then to get the parent to forgive. To me, being genuine is very important, and sometimes this means being properly angry, just as my children are sometime properly angry with me (and are allowed to be so).

Zara1984 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:34:55

ppeatfruit - thanks! But I really do worry I just made it worse for the poor girl sad I hope I gave the mother pause for thought, at least.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 01-Apr-13 21:34:22

God if I could have my son being genuinely sorry by not reading a bedtime story I might start a thread like this to. IMO OP you have no idea about challenging boisterous stubborn cut their nose off to spite your face dc. My ds would tell you he doesn't care about a bedtime story and would refuse to have you read him one for at least a week after while reading to himself with his torch under the covers.

AdoraBell Mon 01-Apr-13 21:33:13

Shouldn't be dificult at all, but with OH being paid less than the bills last month and even less due this month, house on the market for over a year and 11yr old telling friends she's leaving her room extra messy because she doesn't To move I'm finding it a little tricky this arvo. So I'm being honest as opposed To mean. Chilean banks don't pussyfoot around with changing T&Cs for a short while, if we don't make June's payment we won't have a home. She now knows this.

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Mon 01-Apr-13 21:30:21

we went camping and the tents were really close together, you could hear EVERYTHING that was going on in other tents.

It destroyed my holiday to know that people spoke nicer to their dogs than they did to their kids. it was just so sad.

I read a story to my dd every night and one kid said to her... 'your mum sounds like an angel'

words cost nothing yet are the most valuable thing.

ppeatfruit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:25:51

sorry 'think'!!

ppeatfruit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:25:06

Mumsyblouse Everybody's different and DCs are too.IMO and E treating DCs as far as possible as adults works well, not trying to be their friend, but with respect and listening to their point of view. i don't like to be shouted at to get ready or do my shoes up etc. why should a DC be any different?

Zara1984 Many congratulations for doing a very brave thing that I would've liked to do many times!! you may have made her thing twice.

JollyPurpleGiant Mon 01-Apr-13 21:21:17

I wonder how people learn how to discipline children appropriately? If someone has not been well parented themselves, has not been around many children and has not read on up on the subject, how would they know which course of action to take?

I mostly do what seems right at the time, but I follow some rules:
I give fair warning unless the situation is very dangerous
I punish immediately as I have a toddler and feel that he won't recognise which actions had the negative consequences if I wait

Some of this came from my parents and how they managed me and my siblings and some from reading things, mainly on here.

I would say my approach towards discipline comes fairly naturally, but I am aware this is not the case for everyone. And i obviously don't always get it right.

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 21:13:01

Slatternlymother I was also the kind of child who would have hated to upset my mother and immediately apologised. But not all children are cut of the same cloth (and I still worry about displeasing her in my forties!) I have a far more feisty first who has been at time defiant in the extreme, including to my mother who apparently just had to look a bit sad and it worked, and taking away a bath from an 8 year old with a will of iron who is prepared to go for several hours being defiant is just not a punishment.

I am all for being nice to children and never calling them names but not all children are the same, and vague disapproval and the odd withdrawal of a minor treat won't cut it for every child or in every situation.

Zara1984 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:12:40

People verbally abusing their children/being aggressive really boils my blood. Every time I see it I just see myself as that child, because I used to be on the receiving end of that behaviour.

I once saw a woman yelling at her toddler in the supermarket, similar to what the OP saw. Like, REALLY yelling, and pulling the girl's arm hard, because the little girl was whining "and i am fucking sick of you being such a little bitch all the time". shock I just snapped. Went over, tapped the mum on the shoulder and told her to pick on someone her own size. Stayed quite calm but was in her face eyeballing her. She went mental, yelling mind your own business etc. I told her she needed to calm down and think about her behaviour. She hurried off away from me. I continued to dawdle in the cheese aisle for a few minutes wondering if I had made it worse for the girl sad

I probably came across as a massive interfering bellend but her poor daughter looked terrified sad

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 21:09:16

The worst punishment I've handed out is no bedtime story as a result of tantruming in the bath, which is obviously not only annoying but quite dangerous too, hence the severity of pumishment.

I've done it once, and DS was so distraught at the thought he might not be forgiven, he couldn't settle. It only took about 10 seconds of him crying 'I sorry mamma!' Before we couldn't bear it anymore and had to go and calm him down and tell him all was forgiven; he was a nice, good boy etc. Although the punishment still stood; he tantrumed, so no story, I have since then never been able to understand how parents can let their children cry to sleep.

Do they understand that as parents, they are their children's world? And to not forgive them is the (temporary) end of it?

Accept your child's (genuine) apology and move on, as you would an adult. Because that is what you are teaching them to be.

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