to think this is evidence that I'm officially a crap mother.

(46 Posts)
Debsndan Sat 06-Jul-13 13:24:40

DS is 4. He goes to playgroup one morning a week and does 5 afternoons at school nursery. They tell me he is happy, gentle, well behaved and a pleasure to be with. Both places have independently commented that his behaviour changes when I am there. "It's like flicking a switch" apparently. He plays me up and worse, goes out of his way to torment and hurt his younger siblings. I am so worried about it and I can't turn my back for a second without him doing something.
I spoke to his teacher, who suggested I see are there any parenting courses I could go on! blush sad I've read loads and try so hard with him, and he gets loads of one to one attention too, but I don't know what else to do and the comment from his teacher left me in tears!
I'm crap at this aren't I? sad

magimedi Sat 06-Jul-13 13:27:07

My DS is now 30+ so am not really in a place to comment.

But you are NOT CRAP - he obviously knows how to behave & he must have learnt that from you.

Am sure someone with a lot more experience will be along soon to give you some help.

VashtaNerada Sat 06-Jul-13 13:27:59

Sounds pretty standard to me! They always push their luck more with the people they're comfortable with. I wouldn't take the suggestion personally, s/he may have just been trying to think of something helpful to say. Don't rule it out though if they're available - I'd love to do classes!

McNewPants2013 Sat 06-Jul-13 13:28:00

Go on the parenting course, I did one because i couldn't cope with DS behaviour and i learnt so much and i am a better mum because of it. (I did it off my own back)

Tooearlyintheday Sat 06-Jul-13 13:30:04

You're not a crap mother, the very fact that your little boy knows how to behave in public/at nursery shows that he has been well raised. My DS was looked after by my DM while I was at work from the age of 9 months. Every day as soon as I got home he would start crying hysterically, really sobbing. My DM felt awful as he had been so happy all day but it was like as soon as he saw me all the emotion came pouring out. He's grew out of it by now, but we had a rough time with it!

Pancakeflipper Sat 06-Jul-13 13:30:37

No you are not crap. You just have a child who plays you.
They turn on the good behaviour for those they know who won't tolerate the nonsense he does at home.

Some of it will be a release after behaving well at playgroups/nursery etc. the other is because they are pushing to see what they can get away with.

There's lots of methods you can try. Ignoring/praising good behaviour/punishments like toy removal/reward charts with treats. It's trial and error.

It's not about you being crap, it's about dealing an individual child who is bright enough to know how to press your buttons and get away with it.

It's not you its him grin

I've got one of those too. Angel at school, devil at home. I'm just glad its this way round and not the other tbh. Just 1 out of 3 of my dc's is like this so I think a lot of it is down to the individual personality.

You are not crap.

TWinklyLittleStar Sat 06-Jul-13 13:31:41

Ok.
1. Lots of children only play up for their parents.
2. If you had done a crap job this far he would be a little horror everywhere.
3. Everyone expects nursery workers etc to have lots of training just to look after children for maybe 20% of the week, yet think they somehow should be a perfect parent 100% of the time with no help/training. Why? Maybe a course could help your confidence.

Earthworms Sat 06-Jul-13 13:32:24

Yes, all that is telling you is

A) he knows how to behave properly - you taught him that

B) he feels so secure in your love that he has a safe space to explore boundaries and learn about socialisation.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 06-Jul-13 13:32:44

My friend who is a WONDERFUL mum has one Ds that behaves in a very similar way.....fine at school, incredibly challenging with her. She feels horrible about herself too especially because teachers at her son's school have made comments similar to the ones you describe. She parents her Dd in exactly the same way and yet her Dd is absolutely cool as a cucumber and very easy to be around! She is calm, firm, positive and has realistic expectations and yet her Ds is still VERY difficult. She has been having some family counselling (she and her DH go and their Ds also has sessions) and has found it quite helpful. So sorry you feel so low about this, I'm sure it's just a case of finding coping strategies which is very different to saying it's "your fault"!

WetGrass Sat 06-Jul-13 13:41:45

Normal.

It says more about him finding nursery stressful, than about him 'playing' you.

I'd guess a lot of things will settle over summer hols - give him an easy, gentle time. (Maybe place sibs in childcare for a change).

If it persists - sugar helps. Give him a sweet drink or snack ASAP - and that helps to stabilise the 'Mum's back' emotional outpouring.

Fakebook Sat 06-Jul-13 13:42:59

My dd used to do this in nursery. Everyone said she does it to show off to me to show how secure and incharge she is of the place. Dd will still push her luck with me, and I can tell when she's showing off.

AnaisB Sat 06-Jul-13 13:54:27

Maybe he does if for attention (normal) and only does it for you because your attention is the MOST important. Your clearly not a bad mother if he's good.

Loopylala7 Sat 06-Jul-13 13:54:59

Nursery tells me my dd is an angel all day, then I pick her up and she throws a tantrum in front of all the staff. DM who had 3 children and a career with children says its because she's closest to me, so is cross at me for leaving her in Nursery. Doesn't make you feel great though, especially when Daddy comes through the door and she's beaming at him!

jamdonut Sat 06-Jul-13 13:58:34

I was going to say the same as most on here....He behaves well because that is what you have taught and expect from him. But it is not easy being good all day,and he is pleased,relieved and probably tired when he sees you, and you get all his feelings at once!!! My youngest son used to do this.He grew out of it. It is worrying at the time,though.

The hurting younger siblings thing could be his way of getting some control,but obviously needs to be addressed,though I don't have any answers other than making sure he knows the behaviour is not acceptable.

jamdonut Sat 06-Jul-13 14:00:35

Oh and definitely NOT a crap mother...YABU there.grin

lustybusty Sat 06-Jul-13 14:01:07

I read once (I think on here) that kids who are angels at school/nursery and then evil with a parent (usually mum) are like that because they are very secure in mums love. They know that mum will love them no matter what, so they save their anger/frustration/tantrums and push boundaries wrt "acceptable" behaviour when they feel most secure and most loved, ie with mum. Based on that, I'd say that makes you a chuffing good mum. grin

BookieMonster Sat 06-Jul-13 14:08:21

It is evidence that you are the person he can relax with. He tries and tries with everyone else and is then so tired he has a massive wobbly with you because it is safe. You're doing fine.

DameFanny Sat 06-Jul-13 14:10:21

What lusty said - it's really common.

Debsndan Sat 06-Jul-13 14:16:44

Oh God I'm properly sobbing now! Thank you SO much for all of your reassurance! He's been shocking this morning and I've had my mother over today pointing out where she thinks I'm going wrong too, which hasn't helped.
I'm going to have another think about reward type things and focus more on good stuff and on the advice and comments on this thread.
I had never thought of the accounts of his lovely behaviour at nursery as being down to me - I just thought they're doing a better job of things than I am!

Fakebook Sat 06-Jul-13 18:21:18

They shouldn't have told you like that to make you feel bad. Most proper childcare workers would know that this occurs a lot in children as you've probably gathered by the replies.

I asked myself when I went to pick dd up and she started misbehaving, and I was told very casually that she just shows off and most children do the same and that it's nothing to worry about.

cacamilis Sat 06-Jul-13 18:26:25

I used to do childminding and found many children to be like this, I think its just attention. My niece and nephew were the worst, they turned into demons the minute their mum walked in the door. When they got older and it was still going on and really getting out of hand, I told them not to do it anymore, and they literally stopped. I wish I could control my own as good. :-)

I can only echo what others are saying smile. For a start if you were such a crap mother you would not be upset over those. Unfortunately I don't live in the best of areas & have seen loads of crappy parenting over the years, some of the parents at nursery/ school are more feral than the kidsshock.

The fact that your DS knows how to behave shows you are bringing him up well & I do think most kids push their parents buttons at times. They don't feel as secure at school/nursery so less free to kick off.

My DM always said she could take us ( 4 DC) anywhere & we never let her down, home was a completely different story....
Years ago a friend of mine queried if her daughter had been given the wrong school report (aged 5) as she didn't recognise the angelic child described by the teacher!

Good luck

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 06-Jul-13 19:03:07

Don't rush to judge yourself!

Do you think you don't have control, or is it simply that they see you with him at the end of the day when he is tired, hungry and letting off steam? Loads of children do that and it is not down to crap parenting.

Small children who know how to behave still have to work at it. It takes physical and emotional energynto be good tye whole day, and sometimes at the end of the day the guard comes down.

Likewise, sibling rivalry is also really normal, and children can be perfectly lovely to childre other than their siblings, and he may lash out at them at the end of a long tiring day.

If you feel at a loss to know how to cope with certain things, then by all means get help, but i think that it is surprising that they find it surprising that children act differently with their parents.

catgirl1976 Sat 06-Jul-13 19:35:48

My DS is an angel for everyone bar me grin

Normal, normal, normal - don't be harsh on yourself

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