To find it annoying when people tell me I'm lucky to have well behaved children?

(288 Posts)
alisunshine29 Fri 15-Mar-13 12:08:26

My eldest is 5.5 years old and youngest has just turned 9 months. Today we walked to school then I took youngest DD to a baby/music group. On the way to school we saw eldest DDs mum drive past, DDs friend was hitting her mum while she was driving and she was struggling to fend her off. We caught up with them at the car park and the mum was talking to her child as though it had never happened (I wasn't mistaken - they'd stopped in traffic so could clearly see) and 2 mins later her daughter started having a tantrum about taking a toy to school and slapped her 2 year old brother in anger. The mum barely reacted and in the end let her take it and left it for the teacher to take away and deal with the consequences. Younger brother was trying to climb out of pushchair so mum passed him her iPhone with a tv show on to keep him still and he threw it in the road! Mum just smacked him and retrieved it. After the eldest children had gone in to school, she excused her daughters behaviour by saying that she's tired because she went to sleep fifteen mins late last night and had to walk from the car park - it's about 300 metres!! She asked where I was parked and I said I'd walked from home, she was amazed as its almost two miles away. She then commented on how lucky I am elder DD is so well behaved and can cope with the walk.
At baby group, it was chaos as they have organised music activities where parents and kids sit in a circle and do actions etc. The leader specifically asked children are not allowed to run riot like last week, when some damage to the building was caused and pointed out a separate room where those not wanting to join in could go for a chat and cup of tea. Still, mums let their babies crawl/toddle everywhere, older toddlers were running around and pulling notices off the wall leaving pins on the floor etc. Their mums either ignored them or tried to pin them still on their lap. Again, a mum commented that I'm lucky that my daughter is well behaved.
Of course my youngest is only tiny and has no rules as such, but if she wasn't interested in the music group I'd have gone in the other room and kept her happy/occupied. I'm quite strict and very consistent with my eldest DD hence the reason I believe her to be well behaved - it is not luck. Special needs excluding, I think it is inexcusable for a child to hit a parent like DDs friend was this morning - particularly while she's driving, it's dangerous for everyone. To not do anything about it I believe is the mum neglecting her duty to her daughter. Her DD was going crazy in the school foyer about the teacher trying to remove her toy and her mum just shrugged and left them to it like its normal. AIBU to be annoyed when people say I'm lucky to have well behaved children?

I am not particularly strict with DD1.

She is naughty sometimes but never badly behaved or spiteful. Certainly not like you describe your friends DD.

I think it is luck tbh. Yes parenting comes into it too. But you were lucky to get a compliant child that responds to your parenting style.

mindfullymum Fri 15-Mar-13 12:21:36

Alisunshine29, you're not being smug. Your children are simply modelling what they see. Congratulations on continuing to raise such wonderful children. I get such comments very regularly too and feel that reaching high behavioural expectations really shouldn't be so exceptional that it merits the comments of strangers/teachers. Not that my boy's a constant angel, he's not. However he gets firm boundaries so he feels secure and the result is, unsurprisingly, a polite and helpful little child. Moogy1a, this isn't me being smug either - just concurring.

Velve Fri 15-Mar-13 12:21:56

I think there is always an element of luck.
I say this as a person who has taken care of lots of children from lots of different backgrounds and whose parents have vastly different parenting styles.
You are at least a little bit lucky, but that doesn't mean you're not doing a fab job of disciplining your kids and teaching them manners.

dontwanttobefatandforty Fri 15-Mar-13 12:22:37

I'm having a guess that all those who are saying she is smug have unruly children?

Sometimes people don't realise you have to work with anything to get good results. In the same respect sometimes no matter how much hard work you do you don't always get the same results. There is an element of luck but I also believe alot of hard work to.

Just enjoy the compliment as its intended. When they say you are very lucky just smile and say 'yes I am thank you'

kinkyfuckery Fri 15-Mar-13 12:22:50

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neontetra Fri 15-Mar-13 12:23:37

Callisto, surely commenting yourself on how good you are at something is smug. That is pretty much what smug means, isn't it?

sununu Fri 15-Mar-13 12:24:06

well, I have a very well behaved child who I have received compliments for, and another who is frankly a terror and has caused many public displays you would tut over. I have not been a different parent to them. With #2 it is sometimes necessary to pick your battles and not worry about what people might be thinking of us.

YABU because it's parenting AND luck

I think my DS is quite well behaved but I have no illusions that it's just because of my parenting.

ghoulelocks Fri 15-Mar-13 12:25:49

don't have a third...you may learn the hard way that all children are different

<experience>

People say I'm lucky to have a baby that sleeps through the night at 10 months old - I always say it was bloody hard work to get to that point, and that it was very important to me that he did sleep in his own bed.

People will always say you are lucky when you have well behaved kids. Just say thank you, it was hard work to get them like this!

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Mar-13 12:26:46

I'm having a guess that all those who are saying she is smug have unruly children?

Then perhaps you'd better guess again.

All my 3 are very well behaved and get nothing but compliments from family/friends/teachers/etc..

I'm a strict parent and always have been...it's worked for me and my family and I do often silently shake my head at parents who seem to let their kids run wild.

But that doesn't mean I don't have empathy for those with kids how are much harder to discipline.

nenevomito Fri 15-Mar-13 12:26:57

I have one of each behaviour wise - same parents, same parenting techniques, two different personalities.

Just a word of warning - Dd was the most amazingly well behaved baby until around 18 months when she started the terrible twos and kept going for a good while. I wondered where my lovely calm baby had gone, so frankly at 9mos old, I suspect luck rather than superior parenting skills.

That aside your post is reading like Mrs McSmug from Smugsville doing a sponsored Smug and frankly made me want to stand on your toe accidently on purpose.

alisunshine29 Fri 15-Mar-13 12:27:11

I struggle to have empathy when I see a child endangering the lives of her family and others and a mum not doing anything about it. My eldest is very wilful and independent but I know how to handle her - ask before helping rather than trying to help first, explain before things happen etc. The people I talk of don't think they're struggling though - they think its normal parenthood/behaviour which frustrates me as its miserable for all involved and you can't say anything about it or people think you're smug and judgemental...!

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 12:27:26

Well may I be the first to say YANBU OP! smile

I have worked with many many families and I would say that luck has sod all to do with how well your child behaves. Yes, children are all different and some need more support with behaviour than others, but that just means that as a parent,you need to work even harder and be even more consistent with that child.

'I'm quite strict and very consistent with my eldest DD hence the reason I believe her to be well behaved - it is not luck.'

I completely agree and I don't see what's wrong with you giving yourself a pat on the back for putting the work in! I don't see in anything in your post that suggests you are 'the perfect parent' (whatever that would be hmm) and nothing that sounds smug either

MammaTJ Fri 15-Mar-13 12:27:50

My DD1 was a perfect child, and as of last Wednesday, when she turned 18, is an awesome adult.

DD2 is a different story. We are in the very long and frustrating process of trying to get her diagnosed with ADHD, he behaviour often leaves a lot to be desired. They have both been parented in the same way, as has my more normally naughty/good DS.

They are all different.

Good luck and I hope you continue to have reason to be smug, but somehow, something will happen to shake your obvious faith in your perfect parenting.

YABU!!

LadyBeagleEyes Fri 15-Mar-13 12:28:10

I must be a perfect parent then, given that ds at 17 is and has always been amazing.
But I'm not perfect, I just went with the flow mostly, and he put up with so much shit from me when my marriage broke up when he was 10, when I was depressed and drinking too much.
He's still my best, funny pal and is off to university this year.
Luck is a huge part of it IMO.

shewhowines Fri 15-Mar-13 12:28:17

There is an element of luck, yes but in general YANBU.

You reap what you sow.

BabyMakesTheBellyGoRound Fri 15-Mar-13 12:30:09

My children are not unruly,never had a less than glowing school report,always polite and mannerly. But dc3 is artistic by nature which often goes hand in hand with stubborness,will fullness and dramatic shows of emotion. I deal with this as and when it happens. Nice to know there's a smug mum with judgy pants hoicked up to her neck looking on,with a cats bum mouth.

flippinada Fri 15-Mar-13 12:33:54

I always roll my eyes when I see threads of this nature.

Nobody who truly believes they are a good parent posts stuff like this. It's an exercise in validation.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Mar-13 12:34:41

I struggle to have empathy when I see a child endangering the lives of her family and others and a mum not doing anything about it.

What exactly was she supposed to do about it?

Stop the car and hold up the school run traffic while she tried to calm the tantrumming child amongst the beeping car horns?

Take her hands off the steering wheel and restrain the child?

How would you have handled the situation OP?

Feminine Fri 15-Mar-13 12:34:42

It is total luck in my opinion.

I have 3, have used exactly the same 'technique' with all of them

They all responded differently.

Sometimes you are given more of a challenge, sometimes difficult little ones turn out to be fantastic teens.

Difficult children quite often turn out to be wonderful adults.

op I don't know how you managed to type your post without wondering if it may offend.

I don't really think YABU but just you wait...you are far from done yet! grin

Midlifecrisisarefun Fri 15-Mar-13 12:34:50

I had 3 'well behaved children', they could be taken anywhere, were polite, had exemplary manners, successful at sport, academic study, music etc People were always surprised as we also lived on benefits/low wages and in a council house. Fast forward 20 yrs two are lovely, not high achievers yet but happy, the eldest has spent 10 yrs going 'off the rails', is a depressive who has been in trouble with the police.
If they make it to adulthood without incident then YANBU until then YABU.
<disclaimer: was as smug as hell until DS started being a PITA!! grin>

skaen Fri 15-Mar-13 12:34:58

Yabu and smug. You are perfectly entitled to feel pleased that your children behave well but it is very unpleasant to judge the other mum and sneer at her on here.

Chandon Fri 15-Mar-13 12:36:52

Smuggarini

NoelHeadbands Fri 15-Mar-13 12:38:15

Hahahahaha

I have two very well behaved children

And one who is a demon

I guess somewhere in between no2 and no3, we must have let our standards slip somehow then hmm

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