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.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 01-Apr-13 19:22:55

"Its strange to me what is considered abusive if it was done to a partner is considered discipline or punishment when done to a child. The threads on here where people say they only use smacking as a last resort when they are angry or their child is being particularly "unreasonable" as if that makes it okay make my mind boggle. I totally agree with everything Hecsy said."

Even worse as children cant leave despite EA or physical abuse whereas an adult can and has choices.

Lots of people have children as its their "right" but many shoudnt and their children suffer as sadly SS cant remove them all.

chandellina Mon 01-Apr-13 19:23:20

I know what you're saying but I really try not to judge. Particularly if it's a major tantrum and the parent isn't coping well.

Children may well be scarred by nasty words but there may actually be a lot of love too, you just don't know in a casual encounter.

Plus, parents who indulge their children and want to be best mates may outwardly seem to have it all under control, but that can cause a lot of damage too.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 01-Apr-13 19:27:36

I actually think spoiling your dc and raising entitled brats (gasp yes there are a lot about like the horrible boy that made my normally funny excitable boisterous dd cry yesterday) is abusive. Just because dc ask for something doesn't mean they should have it, you are allowed to say no and you should not let them go ahead and do what they want because you want to be nice to them. A parent isn't a best friend IMO.

SneezingwakestheJesus Mon 01-Apr-13 19:32:05

Brandy, you do realise there's a balance in between being a shouty scary parent and being a parent who spoils their child, don't you? Its not a case of being one or the other. Just because people are saying they wouldn't scream or shout at their child, it doesn't mean they spoil them rotten or that they have a quiet child who stares at a screen either.

KitchenandJumble Mon 01-Apr-13 19:32:12

YANBU. I think that people sometimes forget how it feels to be a child. They don't remember how confusing the world can be to a child, or how everything a parent says or does is magnified in intensity.

I really dislike it when parents say things like, "I shouted at him because he was pushing my buttons." The truth is that people shout because they lose control. Of course everyone gets frustrated now and then, and I actually think it's good for children to see their parents express a full range of emotions, including occasional anger. But it is wrong for parents to blame their own lack of control on their children. A very wise woman I know says, "If you think your children are pushing your buttons, remove those buttons."

Fleecyslippers Mon 01-Apr-13 19:34:00

There is definately something in the air today. I've been out and witnessed at least 4 small children being grabbed/sworn at/snarled at sad

The Easter egg thread has deeply upset me and I know I DO project because my Ex was/is abusive. And maybe I over compensate. But they are little for such a short time. Actually I think that's part of why I do feel sad - DD1 is growing so fast - her childhood is literally ending before my eyes and it's gone in the blink of an eye.

landofsoapandglory Mon 01-Apr-13 19:39:49

When I was a child I was repeatedly called names by my mother, I was told she wished I had never been born, and that our family would be happy and trouble free if it weren't for me!

My 'crime' was to be born a girl, my parents already had a girl, and they wanted a boy but got me. When they had my brother my mother got PND and agoraphobia, so in her skewed logic she blamed me for it all. My childhood was miserable. I was blamed for everything, hit, screamed at and called names. She would laugh at me whilst my siblings hit me, she'd join in taking the piss out of me and treat me like a slave.

She recently called my DS1 a name on the phone to me (he doesn't know), my God I went mad, absolutely fucking mad. She has damaged me and I will not ever have her do anything like that to my DC.

I have shouted at my DC, haven't we all, but I have always given them a cuddle before bed, made up with them and told them I love them. I have never called them names and I won't stand for anyone doing so.

Machli Mon 01-Apr-13 19:47:29

landof sad sounds like you'd be better off with her out of your life.

landofsoapandglory Mon 01-Apr-13 19:49:57

Machli, I don't speak to her very often and I haven't seen her for almost 2 years, now. It's better that way.

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 01-Apr-13 20:10:29

I was constantly told I was not pretty enough (wasn't allowed to wear pink because of it), not sociable enough, not clever enough whilst being told my mother was beautiful, clever, sociable, graceful, popular, etc... At 53 I still hope that one day I will please my mother. Although I add I was never hungry, never cold, never physically hurt and never went without.

I live and breath for my children's happiness and tell them constantly how special they are. DD is uncannily like my mother physically and uncannily like my quiet but adorable grandma temperamentally grin. Although she's the life and the soul I don't think my mum has ever been happy though and suspect she is actually narcissist.

Having said all that though I am more than irritated with ds at this minute. He had a severe moan at me about watching corrie every night it's on and no it wasn't fair when he was settled down in front of the Mummy. He went upstairs about ten minutes ago, leaving me in front of the Mummy and showing no signs of coming down. He might get grumped at when/if he reappears.

starjules Mon 01-Apr-13 20:16:22

YADNBU. I grew up being sworn at and told I was worthless and stupid. Having a bad day and being a little bit shouty or ignoring a toddlers tantrum is not the same as screaming really hurtful things at your little ones.

When I was pregnant I was walking the dog and this man with his 2 sons aged about 6 and 8 were fishing, the boys said they wanted to go home so the dad shouted at the top of his voice they were a pair of ungrateful twatting cunts. There is nothing on this earth that could cause me to say that to my child.

Having a really shitty upbringing has definitely made me a better parent what ever kind of bad day we are having I always think about how I was treated and would never repeat that, don't think these things will not affect the child, I know from experience it does.

ppeatfruit Mon 01-Apr-13 20:21:58

Yes KitchenandJumble "I think sometimes people forget what is was like to be a child"

IMO There are many people who don't seem to think things through before they do them e.g. having a child.It's a major change in your life and people seem to think that they can continue their childfree existence when they have DCs it's not possible unless you have full time \night nannies for each DC and then you might as well not reproduce at all !!

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 01-Apr-13 20:24:23

Perhaps I'm quite robust because i think my mum's approach would have crushed dd totally, but I don't think I realised the extent of the put downs until I had a daughter and sometimes it makes me shudder. Not so long ago my mum was here and I said isn't dd beautiful and in dd's hearing she piped up "she's OK but not as pretty and you and me were at that age". FFS and she knows dd has had isssues (she's nearly 15) with self esteem.

Graceparkhill Mon 01-Apr-13 20:31:57

I should maybe add in my defence that I am not my children's friend -perish the thought although by and large we get on well. I don't think they are spoilt or entitled just averagely average.

I am not denying that children can be challenging( as can adults ) I just don't see how being unkind can ever be justified or effective.

marriedinwhiteagain Mon 01-Apr-13 20:43:59

DS has just ripped open his egg and the packet is all over the sofa. he has knocked it off the sofa and and it rolled across the room so then he whooshed the sofa throw at it to drag it back - having thrown it in the air half a dozen times he's now slurping and burping because he's eaten the three little Lindt bunnies that came in the box. It is very hard not to shout; he has had an eyeroll and a FGS, and I'm finding it very hard not to laugh. Am sure many would whack him.

He's 18, 6'2" and we are counting the sleeps until he goes to uni blush.

ChompieMum Mon 01-Apr-13 20:50:38

I have seen on a couple of threads recently parents saying that they will sell or bin the Dc's favourite thing in response to bad behaviour. I am all for short term deprivation of things in response to bad behaviour but I do think the behaviour would have to be very serious indeed to do that eg stealing to buy the item or very serious abuse. It feels like the child equivalent of someone crushing your car for a parking ticket otherwise.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

sorry 'think'!!

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.

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.

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.

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