To have told ds he couldn't have a biscuit

(28 Posts)
dogtiredandfedup Mon 20-Jan-14 13:48:38

At inlaws over weekend ds 3years Mil does not believe in saying no to him or telling him off ( that's fine but whenever I tell him off the inlaws all look at me like I've committed a heinous crime so unless really necessary I try not to discipline him too much when we are there) He was being generally boisterous and silly. I had just gently told him not to take baby ds toy out of his mouth roughly. Few minutes later he shouts "want biscuit now" at his dad while simultaneously throwing a toy at me while I'm holding the baby. I told him no he couldn't have one as he knew better than to ask like that and he certainly knows not to throw things at people. Cue huge tantrum which took me five mins to calm down but I stuck saying no to the biscuit

Anyway dh is appalled that this has happened in front of his parents and said to ds don't worry you can have a biscuit at home!! He is really mad at me because I wouldn't let him have the biscuit and blames me for ds tantrum

Ds is usually well behaved, polite and kind but when we are at inlaws his behaviour is awful and demanding. Advice welcome

kinkyfuckery Mon 20-Jan-14 13:50:15

I would not have given the biscuit either in those circumstances.
I would be furious that my DH undermined me like that - does it happen often?

CrohnicallySick Mon 20-Jan-14 13:52:06

YANBU. how else is he going to learn how to behave? I think you need to speak to DH about presenting a united front and also about your MIL's attitude. It's hardly surprising that DS' behaviour is worse at in laws- he has clearly learned that the behaviour rules are different there.

And while technically you did 'cause' the tantrum, if you hadn't said no then Ds would learn demanding + throwing toys = biscuit and would repeat his behaviour in the future- which would be a much worse consequence than a 5 minute tantrum!

squoosh Mon 20-Jan-14 13:52:07

You were right not to give in.

It's odd that your husband was appalled his parents witnessed the tantrum. Who cares! They're his grandparents, they've raised kids surely they know what a tantrum is.

picnicbasketcase Mon 20-Jan-14 13:52:35

He shouldn't be allowed to develop the idea that if he throws a big enough tantrum, and throws actual things at you, he'll get whatever he wants. Your DH and ILs shouldn't be encouraging the idea either.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 20-Jan-14 13:57:28

So your husband thinks that your son should be allowed to throw things at the baby and scream and tantrum to get his own way? Or that he should be given in to at the first sign of a strop so that he isn't seen as the perfect child. (I may be talking about your husband here as much as your son...)

wow. A load of great lessons there that will in no way turn your kid into a bloody monster! grin

dogtiredandfedup Mon 20-Jan-14 13:57:28

Don't want to drip feed but yes dh does undermine me a lot as he cannot stand to see ds upset so will give in a lot, I am a bit more strict than dh and can see a tantrum for what it is (ds hating being told no) as such ds rarely tantrums unless dh is around. Dh has been known to give cake for breakfast as he can't say no. Dh accuses me of being too strict and I am starting to question my abilities but when it is just me ds and the baby we have fun and I can take them anywhere eg shopping without problems. Dh rarely has ds on his own as he will not do anything dh asks eg dressing without problems. It's getting us all down

squoosh Mon 20-Jan-14 14:00:00

So he rarely has sole charge of ds because he's too challenging for him yet is happy to spoil him when you're present?

He gets to be Superdad without any of the boring parts.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 20-Jan-14 14:00:29

He will stand it a lot less if your son grows up to be an awful person who thinks the world revolves around him and he has the right to everything he wants, no respect for anyone else and an utter, utter brat.

Which is what happens to kids whose parents pander to their every whim and never give them any boundaries.

And it's why we teach them now how to be a decent person! It's too late when they're grown up!

My mother in law has a saying - "cry now or cry later" (I am translating from the Kikuyu). It means that it's tough to be tough, grin but if you're not, you'll shed a lot of tears later...

cornflakegirl Mon 20-Jan-14 14:05:13

If I felt that the biscuit was a reasonable request in general then I probably wouldn't withhold it in the circumstances you describe. I would have got him to apologise for throwing the toy, and then ask nicely for the biscuit.

But, if I'd been a bit grumpy at him for ongoing behaviour, I might have done as you did - not having a biscuit is hardly going to damage him, so I don't think it was really unreasonable.

Think your bigger problem is your DH though. It sounds like you need to discuss how to manage behaviour at his parents so that he doesn't undermine you.

Fudgeface123 Mon 20-Jan-14 14:07:35

I think you should show DH (and MIL) this thread

dogtiredandfedup Mon 20-Jan-14 14:10:10

Dh works long hours and is only really around at bedtime and weekends, he really cannot cope with tantrums and struggles with being consistent eg will say no then in the face of whinging from ds will back down. He can't see that this teaches him to carry on whinging and whining Ds is constantly wanting dh's full attention so having a conversation is difficult.I just wish dh could see how different it is when he is not there, it's like having a jeckyl and Hyde child, ds is really lovely when it's just us. It's causing real problems between dh and I.

PenelopePipPop Mon 20-Jan-14 14:12:07

You handled the situation sensibly, but it must be tough for your DS if you have clear boundaries about behaviour when you care for him and they go out the window when he visits grandparents or his Dad cares for him.

Have you talked to your DH about how his parents set boundaries for him when he was little? Because I sometimes wonder if it means very different things to different people.

If his experience was of a mother who was very laidback and a Dad who was very strict and the rules seemed arbitrary he might be scared of boundaries because he associates them with unfair rules he couldn't anticipate from when he was little.

When really good boundary setting - wherever you set them should mean the opposite. It means having clear positive expectations that apply all the time.

You probably cannot change the inlaws. But you and DH can work together to change, but you both need to understand why you see things differently, rather than just tell him he is doing it wrong (even though he is obviously doing it wrong!).

Nanny0gg Mon 20-Jan-14 14:14:09

As a GP, I would have backed you to the hilt. In my book you never reward good behaviour and tantrums aren't the end of the world - they stop eventually.

Your DH is a big problem. Ask him if he wants your lovely DS to be one of 'those' children. The ones that no-one wants to play with or invite over because they are entitled and horrible.

And that will be down to his softness and backing down, not because your DS is a nasty kid.

And if he can't cope with difficult behaviour, why should he expect you to?

dogtiredandfedup Mon 20-Jan-14 14:14:57

Cornflakegirl that's how I would have dealt with it in hindsight but mil had already given him a bag of sweets and two ice creams despite me asking not to give him a lot of sugar as he had already had cake and ice-cream earlier at a party (where he had been an angel child) and I had started to get annoyed with him demanding this and that before the biscuit incident

WhenSheWasBadSheWasExhausted Mon 20-Jan-14 14:16:25

Your dh is completely unreasonable, he needs to back you up. Obviously you shouldn't have given him a biscuit.

As hard as it is disciplining a 3 year old just imagine how hard it will be when he is 14 and has never heard the word know I remind myself of this 20 times a day when dd is in the middle of another tantrum

kotinka Mon 20-Jan-14 14:16:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dogtiredandfedup Mon 20-Jan-14 14:22:47

Mil does not like telling him off and will give him whatever he wants, doesn't bother when he is interrupting and demanding things. I have made my peace with this because there is nothing I can do or say to change her, she seems to just want him to like her, they do idolise him I have accepted that there will be no rules at grandmas house. What has upset me is the subsequent arguments dh and I have had, he was so mad at me for having ds crying (tantrum) at inlaws house. He told me in front of ds that my behaviour was embarrassing and that I should have just given him the biscuit

kotinka Mon 20-Jan-14 14:48:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smartiepants79 Mon 20-Jan-14 15:00:25

I would have done exactly what you did. 5 minutes is a very minor tantrum! How dare your husband undermine you in front of his parents and more improtantly your son. You need to seriously sort out these differences in your expectations for his behaviour. He is getting very mixed messages.
My husband also works long hours and is also only around bath times and weekends. He has the same expectations for our Daughters behaviour that I do. He deals with the tantrums (when there are any). He is their father, he signed up for the good and the bad. He is being very short sighted. In five/ ten years down the line when he's responsible for a teenager who is used to getting his own way all the time be might be regretting his actions and wondering what went wrong.

dogtiredandfedup Mon 20-Jan-14 15:25:10

Any ideas of how to resolve this? I'm not saying I'm a perfect parent, I am irritable at times (young baby too) but I am consistent with discipline, I am really struggling with dh attitude towards me and the way I parent, I am doubting my abilities and have started to let dh handle things when he is there, as a result ds is more demanding and argumentative than ever, it's like he is sensing that he can drive a wedge between us, but nothing I say or do can get through to dh, he just says I am too strict and expect too much of ds re good behaviour. I want to video how ds is when he is not there (I am on mat leave and so I am on my own with ds much more) none of us are having a good time at the minute

greenfolder Mon 20-Jan-14 15:36:02

get him to watch some episodes of supernanny and video ds at regular intervals during the day.

LittleBearPad Mon 20-Jan-14 15:46:04

It sounds like MIL is just like DH - lots of ice cream, can't say no. What's FIL like?

I think it may be time DH got to look after DS for a few Saturdays. He needs to be the parent too and not just superdad.

dogtiredandfedup Mon 20-Jan-14 15:52:23

The problem is that if dh has to have ds alone he goes straight round to inlaws house so it defeats the objective!! I might show him this thread but at the minute it might cause a huge row and I'm not sure I am ready for that.

cornflakegirl Mon 20-Jan-14 16:00:03

Would he go on a parenting course with you? I'm guessing that videoing DS and showing DH how effective your parenting is won't work - he'll be looking for stuff to pick holes in if he thinks you're saying "I told you so". Definitely agree you shouldn't show him the thread. With a course, you could recognise that you disagree over parenting styles, and get some unbiased third party input.

Or, if you're more subtle and tactful than me, then ask him to look after DS solo, and then, when he complains about finding his behaviour difficult, ask him to think about strategies that you could both use to improve the behaviour. Could you maybe go out early in the morning so that he has to dress DS and give him breakfast etc, so that even if he goes to his mum's, he has a couple of hours with DS first?

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