to think a lot of parents seem to let their kids have rather too much say in things

(234 Posts)
SEmyarse Thu 08-May-14 17:45:45

Is it just the people that i'm surrounded by? Or am I out of step and these examples are normal and acceptable? Of course, people can do what they like with their own kids, but this all seems crazy to me.

1) A lady I occasionally work with at a care agency was moaning about how many shifts she's doing at the moment. I was sympathising that money was tight, and then she revealed that although they're struggling to pay the bills, she is prioritising buying her daughter the princess cabin bed she'd demanded. The daughter is 3. She says she's exhausted with all the demands but since she's asked for it, then she must find a way to get it. She just wishes her daughter wasn't so demanding!

2) A lad in dd1's year started at a secondary school right out of area in September requiring 3 bus journeys to get there. She said he'd chosen it. I said she was fantastic facilitating this, but it wasn't for me and dd1 would be going locally. I've bumped into her again now, and she was bemoaning the fact that they're struggling to sell the house because her son has said he's fed up with the buses and wants to live locally to the school. She doesn't want to move.

3) We lift share with dd2's friend for brownies. She hadn't been at school for 2 days so I assumed she would be too ill to go and prepared to take dd2 myself. But then they appeared. I said I thought she was ill, and her mum said she'd complained of a pain in her nose and didn't want to go to school. She also asked to see a doctor, and although her mum didn't think it necessary she took her. She then decided that she WAS well enough for brownies, which seems mad to me if she was deemed too ill for school.

Is it just me that wouldn't put up with this stuff? I've got some time for the negotiation school of parenting, but in all these cases I would be telling the child what's what.

LineRunner Thu 08-May-14 17:52:16

Well, yeah.

slowcomputer Thu 08-May-14 17:54:16

1 + 3 I agree with you

2 - maybe the mum thought it was a better school but didn't want to say?

MoonHare Thu 08-May-14 17:54:50

On the face of it I agree with you. But I think these things often run deeper, a trend I've noticed among friends and acquaintances is for people to do the things they want to do - but blame it on their kids.

E.g. maybe in scenario 2 the woman really wanted her son to go to a school she considered better than the local one but didn't want to cause offence so shrugs and says it was his choice, likewise maybe she really does want to move away. But if that's so why not just be upfront about it?

I'm with you OP, it puzzles me how much leeway some parents give their children in running family life. I'm most puzzled though by adults who are afraid of taking responsibility for their own decisions and either pretend their choices were made by their kids or just abdicate responsibility to them in the name of 'choice'.

ElleMcFearsome Thu 08-May-14 17:55:04

Well, negotiation carries with it some sense, to me at least, that the issues being negotiated are reasonable. Which, in your post, they aren't. So YANBU re the examples given!

extremepie Thu 08-May-14 17:57:11

Yanbu, it's one thing to let your children have an input in certain situations, and there are some things that are open to negotiation - other things are not and having to move house because your child wants to or buying a bed you can't afford are some of those things!

As much as you want to keep them happy they can't always have everything they wants, that's just life :/

AllDirections Thu 08-May-14 17:59:41

YANBU OP

MammaTJ Thu 08-May-14 18:00:44

I do do all I can to get my children things they want that I also want them to have. So special cabin bed may be mum as much as daughter.

Child and school may also be mum too.

Child going to brownies after not being at school, only once hell has frozen over! grin

Some people do give in to their children too easily but they are the ones who have to live with the consequences of doing so, not me, so it is ok!

ICanSeeTheSun Thu 08-May-14 18:04:13

Yanbu with those examples.

But I do allow my children to make a few decisions and will respect that.

PrincessBabyCat Thu 08-May-14 18:05:04

#3. It depends, if my daughter rarely stayed home I don't think I'd mind her taking a screw around day and stay home as long as my schedule was open. As long as it didn't become a habit.

But these seem to be more of a trend of letting their kids call all the shots. I personally wouldn't let mine dictate where my paycheck went, or where we lived. But then, I'm not keen on raising an entitled little shit either. smile

ThePriory Thu 08-May-14 18:05:43

Giving a child whatever they demand whenever they demand it leads to a narcissistic and depressed adult.

But exactly what others said here, probably the parent is doing what they prefer for the child in the first place.

Essentially, UANBU

LaQueenOfTheMay Thu 08-May-14 18:07:46

Hell, yeah...DH and I are like this shock at the behaviour of some people we know, toward their own children.

We know of primary school age children who have been allowed the final say in which family car was bought. Also primary school age children who are allowed to dictate the family holiday destination.

We know of young teens who basically hold their parents to ransom, demanding the latest i-Phone/gadget/Ugg boots...and threaten to run away from home if they don't get them - so their parents just cave-in and struggle to buy them.

Our DDs are allowed input into small things which directly affect them e.g. how they want their bedrooms re-decorating (within reason), or which film they want to see at the cinema.

They're 10 and 11, and that's really all the responsibility they should deal with at this age.

There is a vast difference between what children want, and what children actually need.

But, sadly many parents think these are one and the same.

indigo18 Thu 08-May-14 18:08:32

Lol at a pain in her nose!

RufusTheReindeer Thu 08-May-14 18:12:52

I let my children pick last years holiday, choice of three.

I think there is a massive difference between allowing them to make the final decision (assuming of course that the end result doesn't matter) and allowing them to dictate what you do

But the examples in the OP are dreadful, I wouldn't do any of those

Aspiringhuman Thu 08-May-14 18:17:26

YANBU. I've heard adults say "well you can't say no, can you? " "If you love your children you'll buy them everything they want".

Aspiringhuman Thu 08-May-14 18:19:17

That's different rufus, you presented them with 3 acceptable options. In fact I think what you did is a good way to let children explore decision making.

ThePriory Thu 08-May-14 18:21:15

Sometimes the parent does know best.... This seems to have become taboo! "Eat your greens or you don't get pudding" seems akin to abusive now.

I know a hard working PA to a CEO and she was saying how she came home, three children secondary school age, they were all demanding different things for dinner, so she cooked three different dinners for them and didn't have the energy left to eat her own dinner... What was that??

extremepie Thu 08-May-14 18:22:42

'You can't say no' of course you bloody can you're the adult :D

LaQueenOfTheMay Thu 08-May-14 18:25:25

""If you love your children you'll buy them everything they want".

You see, I think this is such a dire attitude to have.

If you love your child, you will try to give them everything they need.

Around here, we are surrounded by affluent families who provide their children with everything under the sun (I suspect because the parents feel guilty at not actually spending much actual time with their children).

And the results aren't pretty...entitled children demanding presents, and barely taking any notice of the present once it's been given. Children openly sulking because their new Ugg boots aren't quite the right shade, or because their �500 mobile (a suprise present) didn't come in the specified colour.

Far too many parents live in fear of displeasing their child, and bow and scrape before them in a way that is pitiful to watch.

Aspiringhuman Thu 08-May-14 18:29:47

extreme I've wanted to say that so many times but I've bitten my tongue, often because I'm at work. The rest of the time I'm just being cowardly.

ProfessorBranestawm Thu 08-May-14 18:30:38

YANBU. The words 'rod' and 'back' spring to mind

FunLovinBunster Thu 08-May-14 18:44:43

Oh dear. DP and I must be terrible parents because our favourite word is no. We will listen to DDs POV but we make the final call on stuff.
Parents today are TOO DESPERATE to get their kids to like and love them, and are too afraid of their kids to say no.

Montegomongoose Thu 08-May-14 18:54:37

I always ask my children's opinion on things, especially if they will be affected. I think it only courteous, and DH and I have always done this.

They won't always have their own way at all but I am interested in seeing things from their viewpoint and I think it's important for them to feel their opinions are valued.

I would certainly listen to their thoughts on a school; they will be going to it, not me.

So far, they are kind, thoughtful children. Very far indeed from the 'entitled little shits' a poster charmingly mentioned earlier.

parallax80 Thu 08-May-14 18:57:41

In our house there are:

- things you get to choose (free choice)
- things you get to choose (from limited options)
- things you don't get to choose

For everyone. Maybe we're big old meanies, but meh.

PaulinesPen Thu 08-May-14 19:23:15

Agree 100% with LaQueen. I see it too and sometimes wonder if the 'well they must have it if they want it, so I always cave in no matter the cost' approach is someone trying to impress everyone else by holding up their dc as a beacon of aspiration for the rest of us. I just think hmm to myself and edge away.

I've also seen dc with expensive latest equipment for activities because I think the parents are living vicariously through their dc.

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