To tell everyone not to buy DS any Christmas presents ?

(112 Posts)
formallyknownasloveydarling Sat 10-Nov-12 19:28:47

Firstly, I should point out that I am very very angry so please tell me if I am being a bit extreme.

DS, aged 4 had a friend round today. They trashed his toys. Expensive toys like a play mobile castle, and pirate ship that cost around £100 each and all the paraphernalia that goes with it. DS was the ringleader.

Some things were actually smashed so cant be repaired and it will take longer for me to put the castle and ship and battering ram etc back together than they spent playing with it - much longer.

After they had trashed his bedroom, they came down and started chucking Lego round the lounge. The other boys' mum and I were in there with the babies so we were able to stop them.

When it was time for the friend to go home, DS punched him in the stomach. The little boy went home in tears and I could see his mum was pissed off with DS. I was so embarrassed.

After they had gone I went with my son upstairs to his room and told him to tidy up everything and what hadn't been put away in 30 minutes would be taken away from him, along with the smashed up pirate ship and castle.

When I went up 30 minutes later he had left a lot of it on the floor still. I said more than once 'have I got this right - you would rather have your toys taken away than put them in the basket?' In various ways as I wasn't convinced he understood but he assured me 'yes, he'd picked up a few and I could take the rest'. I have already confiscated the boat and castle.

AIBU to deduce he is a spoilt brat with far too much? I have never been big on material presents anyway but he gets a lot from his GPs. Compared to friends he is about average on the amount of toys he has but it is far far more than I had growing up.

I almost took a bin bag and put all his toys in it. I am livid and so ashamed that I have raised someone with such little respect. Christmas is cancelled for him.

oohlaalaa Mon 12-Nov-12 08:59:14

I don't have a 4 yo, so can't comment on your DS's behaviour or your parenting.

My mum was always strict, and we never had expensive toys, or made a big deal our of Christmas. I don't think your suggestions were so awful. My mum would have hidden our toys in the loft, until we'd apologised, and shown we could look after our toys. As long as your DS knows that he is loved, I don't see the problem .

nokidshere Mon 12-Nov-12 08:42:25

I have to agree with the others that this was partly your own making. leaving 2 four year olds unsupervised with playmobile or any other toy is really just asking for trouble! I have spent half my life (or so it seems grin) building flipping playmobile!

Christmas is ages away. punish him by all means but at least keep it in proportion to the "crime" and age.

lottiegarbanzo Mon 12-Nov-12 08:09:13

My baby isn't four, so no comment on he behaviour but, on the materialism I think you have a point. I had play mobile people as a child, with little bits of equipment but no massive houses or ships. I can still remember making a whole 'sea' of my bedroom floor, with islands of towels, a ship of a cardboard box and trees and other things made of Lego. It seemed vast, brilliant, flexible and of my and friend's own making.

I was really disappointed when those large 'sets' for play mobile people came onto the market, as it seemed really limiting and dictatorial. What if I didn't want my castle that shape, or wanted to redesign the layout? You can do that with some cardboard and crayons!

ll31 Mon 12-Nov-12 08:03:13

surely point of playmobile is that you pkay with it..dont see problem here tbh... its not a law that once kit is made it is not allowed to be broken and used in diff ways... the punching i'd deal with..

noviceoftheday Mon 12-Nov-12 07:20:22

I have learned the hard way that dd can be a bit of a sheep when she has friends over for a playdate. Our playroom is big and stuffed with toys. As our dcs are used to it, they tend to rotate the toys themselves and go through different phases of what's their favourite. It's an entirely different thing though when friends come over, because for them its a bit like being in a toyshop. She has two different friends, who, after either of them has been for a playdate, it has taken the best part of 2 hours to restore the playroom back to normal. We don't let the kids upstairs alone, although other dcs are obsessed with it. We stay right with them (including mobile babies) and supervise. Yes, its hard to watch as toys are opened, dumped on the floor after 2 mins and then a new one got out while dd just passively watches. However, it's not the norm so we grit our teeth, and we just get on with it because its not very often. What I am trying to say is that in my (limited!) experience, dcs might behave differently on playdates and that's all part of the hell fun.

We had a summer party this year for about 100 people at home, it took a lot of preparation and we knew we were going to be shattered at the end of the day. I locked up half the toys (eg jigsaw puzzles, toys with small parts) that would just be painful to clear up afterwards and it just made life so much easier. In addition to supervising afterwards, you might want to think about that if there are any toys you feel (for want of a better word) precious about. Live and learn, eh? grin

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 11-Nov-12 22:59:10

Yabu, You are expecting a 4 year old to be more rational than yourself!

You let really young children go on a rampage unsupervised. How do you know your ds was the ringleader if you were not there?

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 22:56:45

Also I don't think any parent would cancel Christmas, so I always take it with a huge pinch salt

McChristmasPants2012 Sun 11-Nov-12 22:55:19

He should of been better supervised.

I am sorry but you and the other parent are to blame here, the first instance of misbehaving it could of been stopped.

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 22:51:17

I wasn't really harsh, I wasn't even in full flow wink

formallyknownasloveydarling Sun 11-Nov-12 21:21:29

Thanks valiumredhead. My glass is really half empty ATM and you were certainly harsh but I needed it and I am really beginning to see how my baby's sleep issues are affecting our whole family in so many ways sad maybe I will post about it when I have some energy. Anyway thanks for your input.

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 20:33:19

OP, I was hard on you yesterday, tiredness is a killer, sorry. Pick your battles though or you'll wear yourself out.

formallyknownasloveydarling Sun 11-Nov-12 20:28:41

Thank you married in white. Your wise words are valued. I am so very very tired. My baby is a very poor sleeper and is a nocturnal milk guzzler (yes I co-sleep before anyone suggests this but it does not help at all). It is clouding my judgement on everything.

Ds and i had a much better day today. We were out and about which we all much prefer.

Please everyone, don't take the last sentence of my op too seriously. It was meant to be read like a child stamping his foot. Although I do think my Ds has too many toys, we are Muslim so don't do Christmas in a big way (or really at all, except stuff at school and things we encounter in daily life - it is everywhere!). Also we are off to Pakistan to see family this December.

LadyMargolotta Sun 11-Nov-12 13:44:35

Good post marriedinwhite. I dread the day (or most likely night) when my girls want to go out on their own.

marriedinwhite Sun 11-Nov-12 13:35:52

I hope you are having a better day OP. FWIW my children are almost 18 (ds) and 14.5 now.

When DS was 3 and 4 and 5 and super fun game was wreck the bedroom and it happened when I was least expecting it and the boys that tended to do it were the ones from the pristine, immaculate homes where all toys were lovingly returned to the right box. It's tidyable. At that age they need supervision; they need to be told to bring one or two toys down or in from the playroom and they some structure for play that is to last longer than 5 minutes and not end in tears. Tiredness always leads to disaster.

Even with DD we once had a sweet five year old round who jollied up a bit of indelible marker penning on an expensive dolls house and the bedroom walls and then decided she would hunt the Xmas present stash and chuck the presents down the stairs and DD joined in.

Oh I have been so furious over the years. But the bigger one's own children get the more you realise they are so very young and vulnerable to the charms of others at 3 and 4 and 5 and 6. One's expectations for one's eldest are usually ridiculous but it doesn't make it easier when those expectations aren't met.

I do think the boys were too tired, I do think they needed more supervision, I do think the attention should not just have been reserved for the baby siblings, I do think that the toys coudl have been brought down and the two mummies could have watched the babies to make sure they didn't mouthe tiny toy pieces or only bigger toys could have come downstairs. I also think that if the playmobil models are too complex for a child to make, the child is too young for the model. Your son didn't make the model; he has no real idea of its complexity - we had one big playmobile model when ds was about 8 and it took hours and was never much played with. OTH the lego farm with extra animals and the addition of a cardboard box here and there and grass from the garden for animal feeding was worth its weight in gold because it was age appropriate.

I think your ds deserves a lovely Christmas and some lovely presents but presents that are age appropriate and that he can put together and have fun with. I think he should write a letter of apology to the boy he punched and should deliver it by hand.

There are lots of mitigating factors around his "crimes" and infants cannot understand an impact in six weeks time for something they did yesterday.

Many will criticise this but mine always had a sweetie ration. Every day they could choose four sweeties from the jar (6 if they were little ones). That was a little treat that was very easy to withdraw when they were naughty and the impact of that was far greater than any possible sugar damage. And they have no fillings!!

Good luck OP. just wait until you are screaming at the top of your lungs because he has wandered in after the milk and you have been awake all night worried sick

valiumredhead Sun 11-Nov-12 13:06:37

4 is fine for a 4 year old but expect it to be broken up because that's what happens with Lego.

LadyMargolotta Sun 11-Nov-12 13:05:44

I would say four is too young for regular Lego if you have a lively child (and most four year olds, boys and girls, are lively). Stick with Duplo. The Lego can wait until they are old enough to appreciate it.

milkymocha Sun 11-Nov-12 13:05:43

I wouldnt worry about breaking a few toys whilst being over excited in his little play mates company... Punching a friend in the stomache is unacceptable! My son is 2.7 and i would be outraged angry

gotthemoononastick Sun 11-Nov-12 13:04:51

Would have loved Joinscotland for a Mummy,Daughter,Daughter in law!!!

gotthemoononastick Sun 11-Nov-12 12:54:47

Four is so little...my boys used to throw toys and lego pieces away in bin,when they were older and overwhelmed with room tidying.All professionals now,and they like to hear about it all.
More than 50 years ago I wanted to show my boy cousins a new umbrella.We accidentally hooked a huge box of grapes off a cupboard and proceeded to 'make wine' on a pale sage green carpet.Family legend.Still don't know why I went along with it.We were 6!!
He will be fine...

Mrsjay Sun 11-Nov-12 10:14:23

He is 4 his friend is 4 they were unsupervised I do think you are a little to blame I would be livid though and would take toys away too I have black bagged many a toy over the years , 'things' dont make children spoiled imo it is the attitude to their things that spoils them you cant cancel christmas he is 4 he will forget by next week what happened discipline him by taking his toys away but dont cancel christmas , yabu and Yanbu he is 4

izzywizzyisbizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 10:01:48

He is 4, this happened here when my friend brought her little girl over, they totally trashed his bedroom, it is NOT how he plays, clearly the excitement got to them, them emptied every toy box, took apart the playmobil castle etc.

No way could he have sorted it all out, I nearly cried and it took me and DH together hours to sort it.

Lesson learned, for ME, not to let him in his room with that child again, as for the punching in stomach, my guess is they had been rough playing and he was getting the last shot in.

You are being totally OTT, and your expectations are way too high.

thegreylady Sun 11-Nov-12 09:54:41

You cannot do that. By Christmas he will have forgotten this incident. He will have lived through the build up,listened to others talking about wishes etc. Does he believe in Santa? If you "cancel Christmas" for him I honestly believe you will do immeasurable harm to your child's perception of you. Cruelty is never acceptable. Punish him now then love him and forget it.
Some posts make me sick to my stomach and this was one.

Lack of sleep is torture (I average 3 hours a night), but your reaction is totally disproportionate. My DS1 has friends over and at 6, they do trash things if left alone for periods of time. Its time for mayhem and excitement, but today don't mention it again, just help him to tidy up and move on and learn a lesson.

I do remove toys that are a PITA to rebuild when there are others coming over, I've learnt my lesson.

LadyMargolotta Sun 11-Nov-12 09:14:23

TBH all our best toys are locked away. And I mean locked - with a key. Certain toys can be played with all the time, but expensive Lego sets and some playmobil are locked away and only taken out when I know I can trust my children with them. That way they are taught to look after and respect toys.

I think you may have overreacted last night becuase you were frustrated with yourself for not being strong enough to ask the playdate to go home at a reasonable time.

I hope you had a good night's sleep. I have been up half the night with my four year old ds. Eight years of near constant sleepless nights! Lack of sleep does destroy your judgement.

LingDiLong Sat 10-Nov-12 22:31:06

Oh dear, playdates at that age can be a bit fraught. It sounds like it got a bit out of control...I definitely think there should be a consequence for breaking toys at that age (and hitting - but I think you're right, you've got that sorted). Cancelling Christmas is way too harsh though. I'd simply take the toys away. He may not be bothered now but he may well be tomorrow. When he asks for them you can have a proper talk when he's not so tired and wound up about what happened and why the toys have been removed. Give him a chance to show you he can be careful with his toys and tidy up well so you can give them back again. And yes, next playdate don't let him play alone - and tell him why you've made that decision.

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