to laugh at parents who try to reason with a toddler having a tantrum?

(214 Posts)
stradbally Sun 10-Feb-13 15:15:00

Mummy: "It's time to leave the park now DS/DD, I did say 20 minutes and you've had 25, and we have to go to Tesco on the way home to buy yummy food for dinner, so please get in the buggy, you can see Millie/Billy tomorrow, say bye bye now etc etc ......."

DS/DD: "Waaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa while rolling on the ground or doing that running on the spot thing

Mummy, in weird uber-controlled voice: I understand you're tired and playing in the park is lots of fun but we do want lovely dinner don't we, so please get in the buggy etc etc on and on..........

DS/DD: Waaaaaa waaaaaa waaaaaaa

I see it all the time, it's hilarious. I'm all for talking properly to children and explaining things etc, but seriously when they're in that state it won't go in! Just pick them up, quick cuddle, plonk them in the buggy and go!

IvorHughJangova Sun 10-Feb-13 15:16:13

Wow. You should offer your services as some kind of Parenting Guru to all these poor struggling people who aren't doing precisely what you'd do. The idiots.

StrawberriesTasteLikeLipsDo Sun 10-Feb-13 15:18:33

Yeah cos they should totally just beat the child into submission or scare them, what morons. biscuit

All these years I have been so very wrong, its not like I know my own children or anything, thank you for your wise advice that would have ended in a wrestling match if I tried to plonk my unwilling toddler in a buggy hmm

TheMightyLois Sun 10-Feb-13 15:20:44


mamalovesmojitos Sun 10-Feb-13 15:20:55


TheMightyLois Sun 10-Feb-13 15:21:44

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

stradbally Sun 10-Feb-13 15:22:09

Hey hey,was tongue in cheek, lighten up people! Why so defensive? smile

Ok so if just putting them in the buggy doesnt work wtf does?

I have yet to meet a toddler that can be reasoned with.

YANBU OP. I laugh too.

piprabbit Sun 10-Feb-13 15:22:56

Talking calmly and rationally in the face of tantrums might be all that is stopping them bursting into hot tears of humiliation and frustration. Just saying blush.

Sirzy Sun 10-Feb-13 15:22:59

You version would actually go more like "pick them up, be kicked and him, fight to get them in the pram, trap own fingers in buckle trying not to get screaming toddler" in most cases and still have a screaming child in the pram.

Nothing wrong with explaining what your doing and why to a toddler. They may not fully understand while young but it's a good habit to get into

TwoPoundCharityShopShoes Sun 10-Feb-13 15:23:16

grin @ YABAT!

Wow, your children are so lucky they have you as a parent!

georgedawes Sun 10-Feb-13 15:24:42

surely it's better to talk calmly than shout? Often it's the only thing that stops me bellowing!

stradbally Sun 10-Feb-13 15:27:31

IME reasoning with them at that stage just winds them up more until they're in a complete state, when if you just distract them, put them in buggy or whatever, they've fallen asleep or forgotten about it by the time you're out the park gates. Who said anything about shouting?!

georgedawes Sun 10-Feb-13 15:28:49

Well I'm not perfect and my toddler having a tantrum makes me shout sometimes. Talking calmly helps to stop that.

You sound a bit judgemental to be honest, people are just trying their best.

If you control yourself that way thats great.

When DD1 was irrational I explained once. Encouraged. Distracted. And then lifted and carried to the car/buggy.

Major SOH fail on this thread.

Yep, because all kids are the same you know.

Yabvu, having 4 dcs myself, i can assure you it isn't very easy to cuddle, then plonk in buggy as you put itgrin!!!

A firm word telling a child why him or her have to leave the park is normal practise, it doesn't always work but it can most of the time.
Putting a tantruming child straight into their buggy does not work, if anything like mine, toddlers go stiff as a board and strapping them in is a nightmare. But a firm word can sometimes calm them enough to make the job of going in buggy/walking easier.

Next time you go to a park don't sit, observe & judge. It's people that do that, that make me & other mums feel all the more stressed & of course embarrased when we shouldn't be as toddlers will be toddlerswink

EmmaBemma Sun 10-Feb-13 15:30:06

"Wow. You should offer your services as some kind of Parenting Guru to all these poor struggling people who aren't doing precisely what you'd do. The idiots. "

ha ha! yeah, exactly that. For what it's worth, my tantrum technique is not dissimilar to yours, OP, but I don't think people who do it differently have got it wrong. Presumably they know their own children better than I do?

IvorHughJangova Sun 10-Feb-13 15:30:38

If I reason with DS (nearly 2), half the time he'll listen to me, half the time he won't.

If I dared to pick him up and put him in a 'buggy' <shudder>, which he's not sat in since he was 18 months, he'd have a meltdown.

Do what's best for your own children and try not to sneer at others who are doing the best for theirs.

Veritate Sun 10-Feb-13 15:31:15

I used to find tantrums quite restful, provided they weren't happening in public and I didn't have to go anywhere. Once I'd established that whichever dc it was didn't have anything wrong with them and wasn't going to respond to reasoning or cuddles, I'd just leave them to it and go and do something else. Generally the fact that they were getting no attention worked like a charm.

Clytaemnestra Sun 10-Feb-13 15:31:46

Oh yeah. Just distract them. It really is that easy. hmm

Out of interest OP, how old are your dc?

piprabbit Sun 10-Feb-13 15:33:07

There's a joke/shaggy dog story doing the rounds at the moment.

A woman is in the supermarket when she spots a mum pushing her little girl around in the trolley. The child is screaming, kicking and shouting but the mum is calmly saying "It's OK Sarah, we're nearly finished, not long now".
A little later, the woman sees the mum and child again. The child is still misbehaving but the mum is continuing with her calm reassurances "Just got to find the washing powder, Sarah, then we'll go home and have some lunch. Nearly finished".
Finally the woman spots the family at the checkout, ready to leave. The mum is still calm and dignified "One last bag to pack, then we can go. We've almost done it, Sarah, not long now".

The woman is so impressed with the mum's calm behaviour that she goes up to the mum and tells her "I love the way you have stayed calm and reasonable while coping with Sarah's tantrum".

The mum replies "Oh, she's called Lucy. I'm Sarah".

I fail to see any sneering or judging in the OPs posts.

Its embarrassing at the time. But you gotta laugh at these things. If I didnt laugh I would cry.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 15:35:43

I don't know, maybe my toddler's particularly bright but I've taught her to say goodbye to things, situations and she generally does without hassle. She is a very bold 22 month old and not really keen on her buggy. I left a toddler group the other day and she wanted me to carry her and not walk or go in the buggy, I did this for a bit but it was difficult to push the buggy and carry her after a while so when I tried to put her in the buggy she had a bit of a wobble. I then explained to her it would make Mummy happy if she sat in the buggy and she did it then with no fuss. A passer by would've thought I was reasoning with her but ultimately it worked.

I have taught DD about what makes me happy and sad and encouraged her to say goodbye to situations and things (toys in shops) from a young age as my DS who is 5 was a nightmare at leaving exciting stuff (understandably) and friends' homes. I never used to speak to him about what made me happy/ sad as I didn't think he'd get it but I think we can underestimate their ability to understand and often go in all heavy handed when it isn't helping or appropriate.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 15:37:33

Really Wanna? OP states that she laughs at people trying to cope with a tantruming child. That to me is both sneery and judges.

stradbally Sun 10-Feb-13 15:38:37

Thank you wannabe, you're right am not sneering, just a small thing I find amusing that's all! Don't get why people so oversensitive today, I get laughed at all the time for how I do stuff!

Tantrums thrive with attention
Therefore all talking in world waste of time
I mainly do it for other parents' benefit
Agree with OP

thebody Sun 10-Feb-13 15:39:32

I think it's important to try to work with your child so if you are leaving the park/ sift play etc then warn them this is going to happen and then go.

Tantrums best ignored but the child had to do what you ask.

So for me it sometimes defiantly involved strapping in screaming toddlers into the buggy. They did as they were told.

I agree a bit with you op,as constantly reasoning parents who have to explain every decision to their children can sound annoying.

Clytaemnestra Sun 10-Feb-13 15:39:50

Also, if we're talking about children over 3, how on earth are you managing to pick them up if they don't want to be? Are you all like Jeff Capes, or have teeny tiny children? Although I'm more petite than average DD is normal sized 3 year old, and I simply could not pick her up and force her into a buggy (not that she's been in a buggy for about a year now) if she was properly resisting. Am I abnormally small and weak?

SilveryMoon Sun 10-Feb-13 15:40:29

Your OP comes across as very smug and twatish really.
Apologies if I have misread, but it sounds really horrible.
How lovely of you to be sitting in the park laughing to yourself about the struggle of others.

Sirzy Sun 10-Feb-13 15:41:43

You find other parents trying to deal with a tantrum amusing. How lovely!

How old are your children OP?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 15:42:53

I reakon op doesn't have children.


Personally I find your method of teaching your child what makes you happy and sad quite damaging.

Our children are not responsible for our moods. We are. They should be taught that there are reasons for doing things and doing as they are told. Not that their behaviour is linked to happiness.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 15:44:25

Darrels, my toddlers tantrums don't thrive on attention and if my 5 year old is very upset, ignoring him makes it a lot worse.

KatieMiddleton Sun 10-Feb-13 15:45:39

You should write a parenting book op. Just so I can not buy it.

grin piprabbit

PhilMcAverty Sun 10-Feb-13 15:46:22

Oh come on! Reasoning with a child having a tantrum is like trying to spread butter with a fork. Yes of course try reasoning first, but after that, just pick em up and go.

ChestyLeRoux Sun 10-Feb-13 15:47:54

When dd1 was little there were plenty of times I couldnt move her far so would just let her go off on one until she calmed down. Often can be impossible to get them in buggy.

LittleChimneyDroppings Sun 10-Feb-13 15:49:13

I see it all the time, it's hilarious.

there are funnier things in the world op, I must say. That ones not really doing it for me though.
Fwiw I feel sorry for the parents when I see them struggling, along with a sense of relief that for once its not my turn to be dealing with the toddler tantrums.

stradbally Sun 10-Feb-13 15:49:32

I do have children. Happy and well-adjusted btw, before anyone wants to speculate about that. Some of you far too touchy, cba with it tbh, am bowing out. Have a nice day smile

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 15:49:55

Wannabe, I don't come from the school of thought that children should do as their told without question.

There is nothing wrong with teaching your child about the impact of their behaviour on other people's feelings.

PhilMcAverty Sun 10-Feb-13 15:50:01

I've always found ignoring works. Horses for courses and all of that.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 15:50:13

I always found reasoning to be successful. I still wouldn't laugh at someone struggling with their child though.

Check out the stately homes thread. Pages of people who were brought up made to feel like they were to blame for their parents moods.

The OP is not saying dont reason with your child.

Either am I. But fgs dont make everything about emotions.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 15:52:36

I agree Golden. I spend a lot of time explaining a lot of things to my DD. I like her to be able to make informed choices and to understand the consequences of certain actions etc.

PhilMcAverty Sun 10-Feb-13 15:54:18

Having a bit of a giggle at the vision of someone carrying a toddler while trying to push a buggy at the same time. Maybe I don't have your reasoning skills, but neither of my DCs would have got me doing that grin

PhilMcAverty Sun 10-Feb-13 15:57:01

Puds - I agree with informed choices and it's what I expect from my eldest. My 2yo, not so much. She can't even decide if she wants to wear a hat or not.

catladycourtney1 Sun 10-Feb-13 15:59:11

Hmm. I don't have a toddler yet but I've witnessed a lot of tantrums, and I think that, while reasoning and explaining things to your children are good habits to get into, there comes a point where you have to be the adult and take the lead. Otherwise you end up not getting anything done. But like I said, I haven't dealt with a toddler of my own yet so I'm not sure what I'd actually do in the situation.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 16:02:53

No thanks, what a voyeuristic statement, 'check out stately homes thread'

I think putting a tantrumming baby/toddler into a buggy, which is often a physical ordeal, if not impossible just teaches them you are bigger and stronger than them and don't care about their upset.

Yes. How voyeuristic. <eye roll>

SilveryMoon Sun 10-Feb-13 16:06:24

I tend to agree Golden I try not to do anything to my ds's that I wouldn't do to a teen or adult.
If I told dp it was time to leave somewhere and he refused, I wouldn't pick him up and carry him out, I would explain why we needed to go, and if he still refused, I would call him a prat leave alone.
Obviously can't do that with a 3 and 5 year old. I cannot explain that we need to go to Tesco (or wherever) to buy dinner, have them still refuse and then leave without them, so at times something else needs to happen.

TheElephantIsADaintyBird Sun 10-Feb-13 16:08:04

Oh I love a good toddler tantrum! When DS kicks off I do the whole "come on DS, we're going to do this now", it never works so I always have to grab him and wrestle him in to the pushchair. I'm actually quite skilled at it now, DP says its a work of art how I get him in and buckled up, then walk off with him with a big smile on my face grin

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 16:08:52

Bless her Phil smile

My DD is 4 now, so its much easier to explain things, but she has always been very good at making choices. Although my mum thought it was weird that i would allow my DD to make her own choices hmm

nickelbabe Sun 10-Feb-13 16:09:00

I thought the sarah joke was good.

anyway. dd is 14mo and jyst started doing the fucking plank.

here's my qyestion to pram manufacturers:
wgy oh why can you not make 5 point harnesses that do the seat up first and then you can attach the shoulder straps????
it would be much easier to slide a pkank child into the seat straps and then attach the shoulders than the current trying to get shoulder and waist straps hooked into the clip whilst trying to bend a plank.

were they designed by people who have never had a child?!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 16:10:23

Sorry silver but i'm grin at the typo.

JugsMcGee Sun 10-Feb-13 16:10:56

You laugh? Lovely.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 16:11:12

Oh, just realised it wasn't a typo blush Still made me laugh.

SilveryMoon Sun 10-Feb-13 16:13:40

puds I was confused what bit are you talking about? smile

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Sun 10-Feb-13 16:15:40

The DP bit. I thought you had put it by accident and it was supposed to be DS, but on closer inspection it transpired that im a tit grin

LaQueen Sun 10-Feb-13 16:17:12

Have to confess that I think it a bit pointless, when you see parents explaining at great length and trying to apply reasoning and logical points of view to a 2 year old, who is in total melt-down.

I know they're incredibly well-intentioned...but, it's just that, well...the 2 year old only understands about one word in seven...and as for the logic/reasoning bit, well - their brains just haven't developed to that stage, yet.

RagamuffinAndFidget Sun 10-Feb-13 16:20:44

We don't have a buggy, stopped using it when DS1 was about 6mo, and DS2 (18mo) has never been in one. I do use slings but there's no fecking way I'm wrapping a tantrumming toddler on my back so he can kick me in the ribs all the way home! So what would you suggest I do OP?

Love the Sarah joke grin

SilveryMoon Sun 10-Feb-13 16:21:22

grin puds
LaQueen Absolutely. I tend to reason for my own sake and sanity rather than fror the ds's. It's my way of saying something out loud to make sure I'm not BU IYKWIM.
But, for me, the issue with this thread and the OP is not how you choose to handle tantrums and the like, but that someone was smug enough to post about how they laugh at it.
Rude, judgemental and nasty IMO.

forevergreek Sun 10-Feb-13 16:23:20

i wouldnt have a buggy with me either. we v v rarely get tantrums and i believe it is because we explain things as we go along rather than just strapping them in and ignoring. many people dont use a buggy over say 2 years.

toffeelolly Sun 10-Feb-13 16:24:07

OH we cannot all be GREAT parent's like you. your children are so lucky to have a great parent like you !

MmeLindor Sun 10-Feb-13 16:24:30

grin at Pipi's joke.

op you clearly have a different sense of humour to me - when I see a tantrumming toddler with a parent desperately trying to communicate with them I wince with recognition. Talking through what you are doing and why is natural surely? I would have gone insane al2ays having to silently drag my screaming or sobbing child out of a park/ back into a shop/ away from a toy etc. for the benefit of judgemental witnesses. My children learned that I was in charge and that there was a reason for doing things and it is part of a process, toddlers understand more than they can express as they grow up they can be reasoned with.

As far as teaching children that their behaviour effects the emotions of others - Surely as young children are not blessed with much empathy, part of the parents role is helping children to understand that for e, g. breaking little Johnny's toy will make him sad confused ??? Knowing that your actions effect the feelings of others is important, teaching children that is not abusive or am I missing something?

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 16:31:53

Yes it's the same with DD, I have explained things in black and white terms ( apparently in doing so I will be the subject of a thread on 'stately homes' in 20 years time) and the tantrums and upset are a lot less than with DS who is 6 in June and being my first I didn't have the foresight to do certain things like encourage an understanding of happy/sad, going somewhere/ leaving somewhere. Obviously, my personal experience but it works for me and I don't believe I'm doing any long term damage in TALKING to my child FFs!

LaQueen Sun 10-Feb-13 16:33:13

Silver I would never be so crass as to openly laugh/smirk...but mentally, I'd probably shrug, and think 'Bless you...but you're wasting your time.'

Our Dds weren't given to tantrums, and I can only really recall DD2 indulging in one, in a pub outside Cirencester. She'd be about 2, and DH sneaked a chip off her plate - and she totally lost it, howls of rage etc.

I think I unstrapped her from the hi-chair, and carried her outside to the pub garden, and then watched in dumbfounded amusement as she literally danced up and down on the spot in temper grin

marriedinwhite Sun 10-Feb-13 16:33:22

Sorry. I agree with the OP. We need to go in five minutes. We need to go in two minutes. We need to go in one minute. We are going now it's time to go and get in the buggy. No: 1...... 2...... 3........ Pick up, put in buggy, strap in buggy kicking and screaming - continue with one's original plans - ignoring all the time.

Mine didn't tantrum more than once or twice.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 16:34:46

Yes exactly bigmouth, I'm unsure why its being suggested I'm abusive in teaching sad/happy.

splashymcsplash Sun 10-Feb-13 16:35:40

You aren't necessarily wrong, but op I think people resent your tone.

I try to ignore dd if she is kicking off, but sometimes I feel I need to say something for the benefit of other people. (so they don't think me a terrible mother who ignores her child's bad behavior). This is the case mostly on the bus, where my dd delights in screaming and kicking, and people love to give me disapproving looks sad

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 16:36:50

If it works for me how am I wasting my time- I'm saving time surely?

There are a million reasons for not doing the things they do. NOT that it makes mummy sad.

Yes, if you steal little Johnnys toy that will make him sad. But if you want a toy and tantrum because you cant have it, that doesnt make mummy sad. Well it shouldnt.

Our children should never be made to feel responsible for our happiness.

SilveryMoon Sun 10-Feb-13 16:43:05

LaQueen Just wrote out a reply, but somehow managed to shut my laptop down. tut.
Anyway, yes, I agree, I compare what i do to what I see others do and sometimes think 'just pick him up and go' or 'ignore him' or something, but I wouldn't find it hilarious as the OP stated. I think it's normal to compare what we see to ourselves and to have that inner voice comment on it, but we all have different ways and different reasons for what we do.
My ds's were and are massive tantrumers. The situation will dictate how I deal with it. i ignore if I can, but generally I like to be near them, not talking when it's bad, but personally I don't like the rejection of sending them to rooms, ignoring completely etc. But that's me.
I also change my mind about what I think is best quite a lot and am aware that this confuses the dc's and the inconsistency doesn't do us any favours.

OP the reason people seem far to touchy to you is because you've portrayed something that lots of people do, and rightly so, and you've portrayed it in a sneering manner, and told us it's hilarious.

Yes Wannabe, if that's classed as funny I must be having a "SOH fail" but personally I don't think sneering at someone isn't funny at all.

FWIW I'm a parent that reasons with my toddler, and it's worked 90% of the time so far. Manhandling her back into her pushchair (and manhandling is what it would take with DD!) would cause a melt down. Everyone parents how they see fit, so how about you stop sneering at those of us who reason, and I won't judge you for seemingly having no patience with your child.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 16:51:25

I would never say to my DD that it makes me sad if she has taken a toy off another child. I would say that it makes the child sad- because it does.

In the situation I was describing it was making ME sad as I had to push a buggy up a hill whilst carrying a 22 month when it was completely unecessary!

When she used to bite me (she was about 15 months) I said it made me sad because it did.

TheCountessOlenska Sun 10-Feb-13 16:51:49

I think we all do the best we can really - some days I sound exactly like the OP described, other days I will physically wrestle into pushchair (well, not now but when DD was just 2 - now I would probably grab firmly by the arm and march off). I don't really have a parenting "technique".

(I do agree a bit about not attaching bad behaviour to Mummy's feelings - my mum did this, and I don't like it when she does it to DD i.e "don't do that, it makes Mummy/ Granny sad", just makes me feel a bit icky - although saying that I had a lovely childhood and am not on the stately homes thread grin)

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 16:58:29

Don't parents have feelings then? I think it is important that a child understands that they are human being and have feelings that can be hurt, just like them. It is very simplistic language and so may sound 'icky' but that's the reality of talking to a 1 year old (nearly 2) in my case.

so it is ok for your children to understand others feelings in relation to their actions but Mum is different? Nooe I don't get the dinstinction, there is a world of difference in a 3 yo knowing that screaming at Mummy instead of putting on their coat makes mummy sad (and the child cold!) and the child feeling responsible for their mothers happiness! I felt responsible for my mum cos she spent hours telling me her feelings and how lonely, miserable, trapped in her marriage she wasangry . THAT is being made responsible not being taught cause and effect.

kickassmomma Sun 10-Feb-13 17:01:37

I reason with my toddler everytime she has a tantrum! Wana come laugh at me? Coz u won't be laughing for long! Her tea trims last less than a minute coz my reasoning works really well! Go on come laugh at me then il laugh back when This awesome technique works smile

Yfronts Sun 10-Feb-13 17:06:33

I have to admit to prewarning my child a few mins before they have to leave and explaining what is going to happen after we leave. When we do have to leave a few mins later, I occasionally might have to count to four to get them moving but mostly my little ones leave without fuss. I don't think that would work with all kids though.

Habanada Sun 10-Feb-13 17:08:48

I quite often do it just to amuse the adults around me. I'm the Michael McIntyre of toddler tantrums grin

Believeitornot Sun 10-Feb-13 17:09:45


It's either that or scream at them grin <joking>

Many do it because theyre embarassed and people like you are watching them.

When my little one kicks off, I pick them up and go go go ie get out of there!

DoJo Sun 10-Feb-13 17:41:17

Personally I laugh when I see parents who think that having children of their own makes them experts in parenting other people's kids, as though their approach would work on any child they came across, or perhaps that there is only one way to get the desired outcome.

DialsMavis Sun 10-Feb-13 17:54:53

I agree with you OP, Married and LaQueen. I always tell DD what we are going to do, explain why we are doing it and where appropriate offer her choices.

But when it's time to do what whatever it is: I ask her to do said thing, then tell her to do it, then if she doesn't do it I pick her her up and off we go. smile

Clytaemnestra Sun 10-Feb-13 18:03:18

Seriously though, no one has explained yet how to pick up a three year old who doesn't want to be picked up? I'm 5'2 , she's 3'4 and she is STRONG. Plus she sticks her arms straight above her head so you can't grip her under her arms for leverage. Theoretically I could do a fireman's carry, but I really don't fancy it.

Hmm, so there are lots of different people who do it different ways with their different children. And it seems to be working for everybody!

Kids are people, not clones of each other. Who would've thunk it?

chris481 Sun 10-Feb-13 18:57:52

I have below average ability to get 2.5 year old out of the park, but in defence of OP, I was reading "123 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12" last week and it categorically said that what you do not do with a child in the age range is reason or explain. (Unless they genuinely don't understand/know that they are doing something you don't want them to.)

BertieBotts Sun 10-Feb-13 19:19:00

Different things work for different people though? I agree it's a bit pointless to reason once they're past the stage of reasoning. But the parents quoted in the OP don't sound like they're reasoning to me, more explaining/trying to remind child that it's not all bad that we need to go because XYZ.

I tended to go for the prewarning of "you have time for two more things" variety and then DS was usually happy to come along because he knew that after one swing and one slide it was time to go. Or whatever.

Also I disagree with 123 magic if that's what it says. Age-appropriate reason and explanation works wonders with the under-3s as long as you use it properly.

sherazade Sun 10-Feb-13 19:23:42

YADNBU. At all.
In my class at drop off time in the morning , there's a 2 yo who refuses to go home with her mum as her 5 yo sis is being dropped off. Her mum spends half an hour or more 'reasoning' with her from a distance and engaging in longgg attempts at persuasion. I find it annoying. And yes I've had toddlers and I have been in the same position when dd1 who was being dropped off to nursery, dd2 , age 2 then would scream and cry to stay. I would plonk her in the buggy and go after a quick 5 minute play, despite her cries and efforts to resist. I would soothe her whilst she was crying but no meant no.

NutellaNutter Sun 10-Feb-13 19:53:58

OP brought a smile to my face. YANBU.

If I picked DS up and gave him a cuddle while he was having a tantrum not only would I get a head butt or hair pulled etc, I would also be telling him that it's okay to act like that.

I'll stick to reasoning and ignoring, thanks.

LaQueen Sun 10-Feb-13 20:08:01

To be honest, I found that my Death Stare was more than sufficient to quell most impending tantrums.

They were given prior warning, followed by the Death Stare, and then we would leave. They could either walk out of there, under their own steam, or they would be carried out.

It was entirely up to them...

But, spending 20 minutes trying to apply reasoning/logic to a toddler, who only had a vocabulary of 50 words...not much point.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 20:12:43

To all those who find it annoying to see/hear a toddler being reasoned with- why do you? In my case I wouldn't care less if you did hey annoyed by it. I don't like to see toddlers shoved in pushchairs by the no means no brigade and total disregard for the child's feelings.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 20:16:04

Yes but LaQueen myself and others have said that it does work with our toddlers, perhaps not with yours but with mine- yes.

LaQueen Sun 10-Feb-13 20:21:52

Golden no it doesn't especially annoy me to see a toddler reasoned with - except when it directly impinges on me.

I can remember already running late, having to wait behind a tantruming toddler and gently reasoning parent, paying at the car-park metre...toddler tantruming because they wanted to put the coins in the machine their way...parent patiently explaining to them how to it the minutes ticked by...approximately 6 other adults standing waiting, grinding their teeth...

Not good.

QueenoftheHolly Sun 10-Feb-13 20:27:03

A friend came for tea with her toddler (a boy). We have loose tiles around fireplace which he became obsessed with. (Fire not lit I hasten to add)

Friend: Darling please can you put the tile back now?
Her DS: NO! Mummy do it.

She got up (holding new born baby) scrabbled round on floor to put tile back. She was closer than I was as I had obv jumped up to do it.


Now DS picks up tile, runs off, throws on floor.

Friend: Darling, please listen to me. You might drop it & then it would smash?
DS: (eyes lighting up) Ok!!

grin I appreciate no one wants a screaming row with a toddler but surely that 'reasoning' is flawed!

sherazade Sun 10-Feb-13 20:32:21

It impinged on me when a friend's toddler was scribbling all over my walls and carpet whilst her mum was saying 'dd, please can you give back the pens, your spoiling sherazade's carpet/ dd if you give me back the pins I'll give you xyz', as her dd was given free reign to scribble.

sherazade Sun 10-Feb-13 20:32:36


sherazade Sun 10-Feb-13 20:34:20

she then hastened to follow her dd around with a sponge, cleaning off the scribble as she went along. And I was left feeling pretty annoyed about the carpet and the fact that we never had a grown up conversation during her visit as the whole time was spent listen to her reason with her dd .

soimpressed Sun 10-Feb-13 20:40:14

YABU and to be honest you sound like one of those old ladies who are always ready to tell you 'that child needs a hat/gloves/sleep/feed/smack'

you can explain while you are firmly removing a child from a situation/ fastening them into a buggy. There is a false division being created in this discussion. Yesterday my 4 year old was kicking up a huge fuss about going home from a friends house. While she cried, struggled and refused to cooperate, I talked about what we were doing and why and at the same time got her coat on her (gave up trying to put shoes on kicking feet) and picked her up and carried her out of my friends house. By the time we were nearing our house she was sitting on my shoulders singing and laughing her tantrum forgotten - I talked and acted - not mutually exclusive y'see.

Toddlers are not the only ones you cannot easily reason with when riled adults, teens and 10 year olds can all be incoherent with rage/ fear etc. still have to try ... you are teaching them how you want to communicate and taking control of the situation. That us how I view it anyway.

KatieMiddleton Sun 10-Feb-13 20:47:06

There's a huge difference between parents who fail to parent their offspring and condone bad behaviour by inaction and those who try explaining, warning and then punishment/removal from the situation (possibly while still explaining but not everyone bothers every time). What you are describing Sherazade is the former.

NannyPlumIsMyMum Sun 10-Feb-13 21:10:38


Acknowledging their feelings can sometimes be exactly the right thing to do with an emotional toddler.

It helps them to label their feelings and ultimately helps them to develop secure relationships later in adult life.

SirBoobAlot Sun 10-Feb-13 21:15:12


Do you ignore the emotional needs of older children or adults? Why on earth are the emotional needs of a distressed toddler any less significant?

I always reason with DS, and acknowledge how is feeling. It might not change the outcome of a situation but reassuring him does wonders. "I'm sorry you're upset DS. Unfortunately we do have to leave now. Haven't we had a lovely day, though? And we can make sure we arrange something else again soon. Now, could you help me find your shoes..." etc. And because he is reassured when he does get upset, he gets less distressed as a consequence, because he very often tells me now, "Thank you for sorting out a fun day mummy, we do it again soon, yes?", and is mostly smiles as we leave somewhere.

Treating children with a bit of respect does wonders.

DizzyZebra Sun 10-Feb-13 21:17:35

YABU. My DD is quite easy to reason with.

BigAudioDynamite Sun 10-Feb-13 21:20:11

i dont think this extended 'reasoning' does really equate to acknowledging their feelings. And I also dont think that by fore-going this extended reasoning you arent acknowledging their feelings confused

i think most people do this, for the benefit of other parents around them dont they...because they are embarrassed?

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 21:34:49 they don't- I happen to want a relationship where I can communicate with them and them me. Why is that so hard to believe. With the example I have at the beginning it certainly wasn't for the benefit of onlookers as there weren't any!

BigAudioDynamite Sun 10-Feb-13 21:42:29

goldenbear i certainly explain to my kids the whys and what fors...but there are definitely times when it is beyond explaining isnt there? guessing that is what the OP is talking about...when they cant even hear the parent above the wailing. I use a mixture of methods. havent had a pushchair since 18 months old, so the hold 'em down, strap 'em in option isnt available any more.. i think reasoning is every parents first line ....after that, my dcs respond usually best to diversion/ignorance/bribery

YABVU and smug.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 21:57:47

So you do reason with them but only to a point and when you have got to this mystical boundary of reasoning you stop explaining. When you see others crossing that line you judge them for doing some kind of display parenting but that is surely what it is because you wouldn't do it? Like I said, no one was around when I was reasoning with my DD the other day so it didn't even cross my mind to take in to account everybody else's thoughts and feelings on the situation. It works for my DD and that is the important thing to me. It also works very well on DS so I wish I'd been confident enough to go with my instinct on that at the time, rather than adopting silly american text book techniques that made everything worse.

BigAudioDynamite Sun 10-Feb-13 22:04:30

me golden?? no, i dont judge anyone else...i dont care how other people raise their kids...i didnt read your example...

but putting in in adult context like you did earlier...its the same if you are having an arguement with someone isnt it...if youve repeated your point 20 or 30 times, there really is no point in saying it again...or person is ranting and raving and you know they arent listening, the sensible thing to do sometimes is to disengage/ walk away until both of you have calmed down

ditziness Sun 10-Feb-13 22:15:16

What a strange thread, the main protagonists seemingly completely oblivious to common parenting theory!

OP- the book you're seeing the result of in playgrounds is " how to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids 'll talk"

Goldenbear- the book that wannabe has read is called " unconditional parenting" . Worth a read, if only to see what your approach is contrary to

ditziness Sun 10-Feb-13 22:16:20

I 'm surprised. I thought you had to prove you'd read those books before you could register on mumsnet!

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 22:24:25

I didn't say anything about reasoning with adults.

I understand what you're saying but I have not got the point where reasoning hasn't worked. My DS was bad at leaving, had epic tantrums, got aggressive with those tantrums and I was fire fighting all the time- believe me I felt incredibly inadequate and reading books like, 'Toddler Taming' and applying this advice and not getting anywhere. I wish I'd had the confidence to go with my gut feelings sooner than I did and not bothered frankly- I feel guilty about the fact that I didn't given how much better things are now.

Um, sorry ditziness. Never read any of those books or any other parenting books either. Read a few psychotherapy text books to be fair. However, you really don't have to read somebody else's idea of a parenting manual to have ideas on how to parent. Be original! Think a little!

MyDarlingClementine Sun 10-Feb-13 22:43:30

Threads like this make me feel un comfortable and I dont know why, its almost ridiculous.

I think it may be because apart from op being amused by a parent trying to rationalise and stuff with a toddler, I think its because I have seen toddlers rather nastily man handled into prams and because the later has been so horrid - in the extreme I think the former should be left alone. confused

I actually havent read that book blush but I have just had a read of the main theories in it and it would seem I have in some respects adopted that theory into my parenting.

I am all for reasoning. Its all I do with DD1. And I could count the number of out of control tantrums shes had in her four years on one hand.

My objection was to the idea that every behaviour, good or bad, is linked to mummys mood.

If the consequence of her behaviour has made an impact on someones feelings, ofcourse that should be explained. But it shouldnt become the go-to reasoning behind everything.

I laughed at my toddler having a tantrum today. We were at home, and she'd been playing nicely. I asked her to put her socks on, which she'd taken off, and put a pair back on the dryer which she'd taken off. This resulted in her standing on the spot, screaming, crying, and stamping her feet.

Didn't last long though when she saw I was almost crying with laughter at the futility of the tantrum.

ApocalypseThen Sun 10-Feb-13 22:52:11

I don't think you're being unreasonable, OP. I don't know how many times I've seen pathetic and ineffectual parents attempt to reason/negotiate with a toddler who is actually more skilled at negotiation than the parent. That can be hilarious. The parent threatens to take sweets off the menu if some behaviour or other doesn't stop, behaviour doesn't stop, sweets are off the menu till the child puts them back on by refusing to apologise until sweets are reinstated.

P.A. thetic. And hilarious for the bystander.

I'm a great believer in reasoning so far and then telling them what's going to happen. And if it means that we're getting in the car and going home without going into the shop to pick stuff up for dinner, believe you me, that's what's going to happen. If they want bread and jam for dinner, it's no skin off my nose.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 22:55:02

How very patronising Ditziness, what am I exactly doing other than talking to my DD in a simplistic way about feelings. I don't want her to grow up to be some egotist that doesn't give a shit about how her behaviour impacts on others. So when she was biting me, an unconditional theorist would do what exactly? A person being sad about being bitten by someone would be a natural reaction she would come across, so what is wrong with introducing that emotional reaction in a loving context. It is a far safer environment to experience that reaction in than one where the person or child may not be quite so forgiving.

Like I said I carried her whilst pushing the buggy in the example I gave earlier as I feel very uncomfortable in imposing my will on hers just because I'm the parent. So unconditional parenting would have me do what - shoving her in the pushchair with an explanation about some things we have to just do and then wheeling on with regardless of the tears and upset. There is a condition in this situation anyway so im not sure how such action is superior?

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 23:04:39

Wannabe, where did I say it was my default parenting line? Suddenly you reason with your DD all the time but you laugh at others that do it- bit of a contradiction that?

I can confidently (and happily) say my parenting technique is the complete opposite to Apocalypse.

Biting equals pain. Not sadness.

Pain is the consequence. Unconditional parenting would recognise that your DD did not bite you to hurt you or make you sad. She did it out of frustration. If she has no grasp of the consequence how can you punish her for that?

this page outlines it.

I laugh at reasoning with a toddler that is unreasonable. Not at reasoning itself.

You are very defensive. I dont know why.

ApocalypseThen Sun 10-Feb-13 23:08:08

I can confidently (and happily) say my parenting technique is the complete opposite to Apocalypse.

Great stuff. Hopefully you leave the passive aggression to your dealings with adults though.

Illgetmegoat Sun 10-Feb-13 23:14:19

I'll tell you what you would have laughed at OP - the look on my face when I realised I had accidentally trained the eldest to the whistle!
We were leaving the park and I whistled the dogs to get them back on the lead before getting DS, as soon as I peeped he jumped out of the sand and ran over to me as fast as his little legs would carry him. The collective look of surprise and disgust I got from the other parents was a little bit special.

It all depends which child is having an abdab - sometimes being heard and reassured is the order of the day but our DD just wants to make noise and let the world know how cross she is about mummy's grave injustice - she leans toward a fiery and quick temper, she feels things intensely but quickly and needs to let the head off before she can hear you. She is not interested - it's already too late by the time she starts! She doesn't yet accept that her plans have to change because we can't all stay tired and cold because she wants to climb another tree or whatever.
The boys tend to be more slow burning, if I can get in quickly so they can tell me why I am terrible for making them stop then we will rarely have a tantrum - but if we do then they will tend a grudge like it's precious treasure and every single thing will be fuel for the fire of ill feeling - they thrive on the feelings of control and inclusion that discussion creates. I'm very much in the do what works for your child camp, as if there can be any other.

ditziness Sun 10-Feb-13 23:17:54

I was being sarcastic in the main! And yes, patronising too. That was intentional. But also genuine! Really strange to read a thread discussing the theories from those two books without any reference to them!

Can't believe you've not read unconditional parenting wannabe! :-)

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 23:21:11

I didn't punish her, I don't punish either of my DC tbh. I used to with DS but that was because I read books that were just money spinners, appealing to the desperate.

I said it hurt and it makes me sad, like it was making her brother evidently sad when she was biting him. He was sad, what do you expect me to tell her 4 year old brother at the time- that he shouldn't be sad, even if that's his natural reaction. Of course I explained her age and not realising what she was doing but I can't stop him expressing another human emotion as a response to being bitten. He is hurt and evidently sad. I was/ am attributing a word to this demonstrative reaction. It is an explanation of a valid emotion. Sadness is not something that has negative connotations in my mind and it has nothing to do with showing unconditional love to my DC or withholding it.

I'm not sure how strapping someone in a pushchair and explaining there are just some things we have to do is a superior response, please elaborate.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 23:24:57

Apocalypse, you evidently don't it to the adults with your bread and jam dinners as a result of misbehaving in a supermarket. I'm very proud to say I've never used food as a punishment - despicable!

McNewPants2013 Sun 10-Feb-13 23:25:18

I find bribery good, if we leave the park no mummy will buy cake

ditziness Sun 10-Feb-13 23:25:33

Goldenbear, read unconditional parenting , it'll answer your questions.

Btw, I know there's more to parenting/ life than reading books. Just genuinely amazed that nobody arguing about these ideas has read they've full text. I thought they were very popular/ common on mumsnet.

ditziness Sun 10-Feb-13 23:27:06

Sorry, that should read " the full text". Predictive text mistake

I'm not sure how strapping someone in a pushchair and explaining there are just some things we have to do is a superior response, please elaborate.

I have never once advocated this as a solution.

But there does come a point where you cannot stand in the park trying to explain something any longer. At that point I feel it is my duty as a parent to end the stalemate and remove us both from the situation. I have never strapped a planking child into a buggy. But I have lifted a screaming toddler and walked them back to the car pushing the pram with one hand.

And I laughed as I did it. Because it is utterly ridiculous and if you didnt laugh you would cry.

ApocalypseThen Sun 10-Feb-13 23:30:13

Apocalypse, you evidently don't it to the adults with your bread and jam dinners as a result of misbehaving in a supermarket. I'm very proud to say I've never used food as a punishment - despicable!

No, that's not what I said at all. I suggest you read more carefully. I don't try to cajole children into doing what I want, I let them make decisions. If they can't behave when we're buying food or going to do it, we eat what we have in the house. They can choose -we go to the shop or we don't. The bread and jam isn't a punishment, it's a consequence of their choice.

badtemperedaldbitch Sun 10-Feb-13 23:30:40

I was minding a friends dd who decided to tantrum in the supermarket.

I said 'what on earth are you doing?
'having a tantrum'
So I said...okay when you've finished I'll be by the bananas

She soon stopped and didn't try that again!

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 23:35:06

So I did reason with my DD the other day and do reason with her and haven't once had a situation where It hasn't subsided within seconds as a result of the reasoning. Your method is superior because you have carried your child whilst screaming back to the car and have laughed at her whilst doing so and this isn't a damaging response because the book says so. Oh please, get an imagination and understand why that sounds ridiculous.

I have not once said my way is superior.

Nor have I once been rude to you.

I am human. I am not perfect. I have never claimed to be. I simply pointed out that children shouldnt be made to feel responsible for their parents feelings.

You went immediately on the defensive. Why?

AmberSocks Sun 10-Feb-13 23:42:17

pffft.i dont get all this fuss over parenting.Just do what works for you ffs.

Mine werent bad with tantrums,my eldest had bad ones when leaving somewhere,then realised,where am i rushing to?im a sahm,i just made sure i always had plenty of snacks nappies wipes or whatever and stayed as long as the kids wanted to,its not like i had anything better to do!

The power stuggle stops when the person with the power stops stuggling!

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 23:42:58

Apocalypse, so their immature behaviour that should be very much expected of children results in a consequence to do with feeding them or not a decent meal? No, I still don't see how that logic is fair, sorry. Just feed you children a balanced meal and fulfill a duty of care to the children you decided to have. If that's not passive aggressive behaviour, I don't know what is.

AmberSocks Sun 10-Feb-13 23:44:44

positive reinforcement is better than threats too imo

"lets get home quickly and we will just catch octonauts!"

instead of

"if you dont come here now there will be no tv when we get home"

Bread and jam for dinner once in a while never did any one a bit of harm. God.

ApocalypseThen Sun 10-Feb-13 23:46:55

A bit of bread now and again is going to scar them for life. Also, they tend to have a very quick think and moderate their behaviour once the choice is given, so I haven't had to RUIN THEIR LIVES AND THEIR HEALTH BY NEGLECTING MY SACRED DUTY TO FEED THEM PROPERLY more than once because they know I always follow through.

Also, it's not passive aggressive.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 23:49:10

Wannabe, you were pretty offensive in your first response to me- advising me to visit the Stately homes threads as my parenting style was something akin to being abusive presumably. Yes I find that pretty offensive but I think you probably know that - the feigned ignorance is pretty low.

Goldenbear Sun 10-Feb-13 23:54:46

Yes but it's not about the bread is it it's about your children realising a harsh consequence as a result of your rather high expectations. Ultimately it is mean but that's ok and not damaging at all is it?? How exactly is that unconditional love?

No no. I used that thread as an example of how the train of thought you expressed can and does lead to adults who have issues. And I stand by that. Its not rude. Its my opinion.

Telling me to "get an imagination" and purposely mis interpreting my posts in order to make a point, is rude.

Also, re the bread. Letting your children deal with consequence is not the same as punishing them.

oldwomanwholivesinashoe Mon 11-Feb-13 00:05:44

I have 5 children and can see both sides here! I understand why parents try to reason with toddlers because it makes us feel calm and in control (well outwardly!!) and it works with some children. But equally, trying to reason with a toddler is like, well, whoever compared it to "spreading butter with a fork" was on the right lines! I have had both types of children (the ones who will listen to reason and those who will not!) and so can appreciate why people are convinced one method works. I don't have any parenting advice other than thinking you can apply one particular parenting style to every child is impossible and will only lead to headbanging (the parents, not the child.)
But my main issue here is that the OP was trying to be lighthearted about an aspect of parenting that is fraught to say the least and she is being judged as, well, judgmental! Toddlers are unpredictable beasts and can instinctively sense weakness like a lion smelling blood. We parents should all stick together against this common enemy!! (and this is meant in a purely lighthearted way as I do not look upon my offspring as "the enemy!")

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 00:15:59

I was explaining my opinion how a child being laughed at whilst they are tantrumming can be very damaging indeed. Using your imagination to understand why that might be true is a valid point as you seem hell bent on thinking such negative reactions towards your child's tantrums are healthy and good. Can you not see how that might not be the case at all, in fact the opposite. Forget what the book says and use your imagination in this context.

I doubt very much that someone posts in 'Stately homes' about their mother using the word, 'sad' to describe a very valid human response to behaviour they exhibited. It is a descriptive word, just like hurt is. Yes misusing it is damaging but that is not what I'm doing. It is right in my mind to attribute words to human emotions as it is part of an education.

Thingiebob Mon 11-Feb-13 00:27:59

Depends on age of toddler. When my DD was 2, reasoning wouldn't have worked. Lucky she didn't throw many of them. Now at the age of 3, I do cuddle her and talk to her calmly and try to 'engage her higher brain functions'. Usually this works. If she is throwing a tantrum as she is not getting her own way and I can tell she is putting it on, then I count to three. At three there will be consequences. Again, pretty effective.

There is no way I would physically wrestle her into a buggy though. Not only is she too heavy but it would be distressing for both of us.

I got a lot of useful tips from Margot Sunderland's book 'The Science of Parenting'.

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 00:32:35

Wannabe, it is not always acceptable in a civilised society to let a child deal with natural consequences as the consequence may have a disprortionate effect on their health and well being. I think food is one of those areas that this is the case if it is not going to result in an acceptable dinner for a young child. It is the same with areas such as road safety- if they're intent on scooting into the road you cannot let them realise the consequence. Or if they intent on using a knife to cut their own food at a young age you cannot let them do so if the consequence will almost certainly be a cut finger.

I'm sorry but I don't see how having bread and jam for dinner is not a punishment if you can afford and where intially going to buy a 'proper' dinner. It is saying to the child you behaved like this so you get this bread as a result - how is that not punishing?? It's an argument in semantics.

I did not laugh at her. I laughed at the situation. She was too busy screaming to even notice.

Its bread and jam. Not rat poison.

And I havent read the book. Didnt you read that bit? So I already have used my imagination.

Tbh your attitude is extremely confrontational. And actually, trying to reason with someone who is unreasonable never works no matter what their age. So I shall leave you too it. smile

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 00:58:49

You are actually very offensive in your 'Stately Home' comparisons and ironically very passive aggressive and yet don't expect to be pulled on it - hence the 'confrontational' comments. I was asking how your parenting technique would result in you avoiding being a subject on the 'Stately Homes' thread in 20 years time but you couldn't, didn't provide a straight answer. How bizarre to think using the word 'sad' to describe an emotion will damage my DD for life but feeding her bread and Jam as a consequence (punishment) for her behaviour will have no lasting damage. I think you're rationale needs rethinking.

I was asking how your parenting technique would result in you avoiding being a subject on the 'Stately Homes' thread in 20 years time but you couldn't, didn't provide a straight answer.

Where did you ask that?

I rethink my parenting all the time. I suggest you do the same.

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 01:16:33

Why would I rethink aptly describing an emotion to my DD. As far as I can see I reasoned with my DD who was happy as a result, you on the other hand have explained how you carried your daughter to the car kicking and screaming and laughing about it all. Equally, you think it is perfectly reasonable to give jam and bread for dinner when something more appealing has been offered but then withdrawn as a result of children learning that there are consequences. Yes because that is unconditional love in action isn't it??

Linking parental emotion to a childs behaviour is abusive. No question.

Would you rather I allowed a two year old to thrash around on tarmac in the rain?

Get. Over. The. Food.

Seriously. Its bread and fucking jam.

PessaryPam Mon 11-Feb-13 01:39:13

wannabe all you can do is what you believe right with your own kids. I never allowed tantrums to continue, we were out of there, twins strapped in buggy whether they liked it or not. Didn't even explain consequences, I just did what needed to be done. The DDs are pretty normal now they are grown up. Don't think it did any harm.

BTW the ECHR would construe bread and jam as a cruel and unusual punishment grin, the rest of us would just think yummy.

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 02:03:21

How is it abusive to demonstrate an emotional response to something that deserves one? You think it is healthy to never respond emotionally as a parent when it warrants it. How the heck do you expect your child to develop emotional responses if they have never seen the parents do so it don't you want them to? Do you just want them to not have the language of emotion and suppress all if their feelings?

If you lift up and carry a child away back to a car where you will strap them in whilst all the while they are screaming, crying and are upset, you are ignoring their feelings, demonstrating zero compassion and tolerance for their concerns. Added to that you're laughing about the situation - seems pretty cold and callous to me. No doubt when you got to the car you pinned them in their seats which usually has to be very forceful. This all says to the child you are bigger, stronger and ultimately the boss of them so you'll have to put up with it. Quite a few bullying traits being exhibited their and yet that is going to have no lasting damage? Maybe maybe not but if I was of that mindset I wouldn't go around pretending I was virtuous in doing so and I definitely would t categorically say a parent was abusive for revealing to their children they had feelings. It is not normal to pretend you don't have feelings.

Feeding your child bread and jam to teach them about consequences is really very fucked up indeed in my mind. Food is being used as compliance weapon. Now things like that do fuck up children's adult life and their relationship with food. Be an adult, grow up and appreciate children are often not to keen on food shopping. Get over it and feed them a proper dinner.

Gingerodgers Mon 11-Feb-13 02:29:27

Gosh,, and I thought this was going to be a light hearted thread! How wrong was I ??

PessaryPam Mon 11-Feb-13 02:31:23

Playing mind games with kids is crueler than physically restraining them IMHO.

I suppose the proof is in the pudding. I have 2 happy healthy adult girls who are at university and are keen to get on with their lives. They have a very close and friendly relationship with both DH and myself.

ThinkAboutItOnBoxingDay Mon 11-Feb-13 03:28:21

Well i'm the idiot you'll see trying to reason with an 8 month old. Now that must make me look truly ridiculous but i think i do it out of habit.

Baby: screaming
Me: but it's raining! You're warm and snug and dry in the pushchair. It's cold and wet out here.
Baby: screaming
Me: and it will take us longer to get home if i'm carrying you so we'll both get more wet.
Baby: screaming
Me: and i can't carry you and the umbrella and push the pram.....
Baby: screaming
Me: oh ffs [picks screaming child out of pushchair and walks along in the rain ]

So i get the best of both world, judgemental glances for pushing a screaming baby and then judgemental looks for carrying a smiling and happy baby in the rain. Can't win. Can arrive home looking like a drowned rat.

OP, you got a tough response to a jokey intent, but hey, you got a good debate going....grin

Illgetmegoat Mon 11-Feb-13 03:52:19

I decided to just carry on and ignore the food war which makes my post look a bit mental now!

Thinkaboutit - you are not alone, I frequently chatted to the baby as if they were the older siblings and I think there have been a couple of times when my endless and reasonable litany has just made the baby go hmm and quit due to despairing of my ability to behave like a normal grown up. To be fair I reckon all the DC think I'm half potty what with my obsession with washing hands and not not pushing each other into the road and other ridiculous expectations especially when child x obviously deserved it due to being too close to child y and being a plane when they were playing cars...

Sometimes I pull the plug on reasoning - like the time DS needed peas...but not green peas, blue peas. Apparently they absolutely do exist 'in my mind mummy'. We had carrots instead and he had to lump it.

differentnameforthis Mon 11-Feb-13 04:18:39

Goldenbear You are doing nothing wrong. I was on the original stately homes thread & my stories (under a different name) with the stories of others is what inspired it's inception. I no longer post on it, because I don't feel the need the need anymore.

But please believe me, that none of us where there for the simple reason that we made our parents "sad"! There is a lot of emotional/mental & physical hurt behind that thread. I certainly would not have been there if my only problem was that mum told me I made her sad. Infact, I don't recall her ever saying that. It might have been nice if she had, at least then I would have known I could emotionally affect her in some way!

So please, don't feel bad about telling your dc that the things they do/say to you make you sad etc. As long as they know they make you happy too smile

MollyMurphy Mon 11-Feb-13 04:22:05

Wow - "pathetic" and "hilarious" parents struggling to handle their children to the best of their ability and knowledge. This thread makes me sad sad

Can we not just acknowledge that sometimes parenting is hard and most people are trying their best? it's not like the people employing this approach are abusing their kids.

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 04:44:14

There's a difference between a child who's mildly upset and one who's full on tantruming, though. If a child's really in the thick of a screaming all-out meltdown, they can't really hear you, and nothing you say is really going to register.

That being said, I did once plunk my DS in a shopping carry and wheel him out while he was screeching and thrashing. And I talked to him while doing it, repeating in a loud, clear voice, "yes I know you're upset. But you would not behave in the store, and we have to leave now." But I wasn't doing it for his benefit, I was doing it to keep myself calm and to reassure onlookers that I wasn't beating him.

differentnameforthis Mon 11-Feb-13 06:26:54

Our children should never be made to feel responsible for our happiness

No, they shouldn't & I don't think Golden is saying that they should. But I do agree with her in that they should learn when they make people sad/happy/angry through some of their actions!

It's called learning that your actions have consequences. My dd kicked me in the face, quite accidentally, but it made me cry as it was right on bridge of my nose. She knew - at 4 - that it was her fault & that she needed to say sorry, even if it was an accident.

I think what Golden is trying to say is that when children are responsible for causing an emotion, it doesn't necessarily hurt for them to be aware that they have caused that!

You are interpreting her all wrong.

differentnameforthis Mon 11-Feb-13 06:38:39

FWIW, laughing at an upset (where some of you read/write tantruming) child is far more damaging than teaching them that their actions sometimes cause people to be upset/sad.

They do not know that you are laughing at the situation, they just think you are laughing at their upset. I have lived through both as a child, and I know which was more damaging to me.

And it wasn't learning that biting (as a toddler) made my dad sad!

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 07:06:50

Mind games? I play no mind games on my Dd- what a spiteful thing to say. The basic concept of feeling sad was introduced on reading an 'opposites' book in the Gruffalo series. I applied it to a real context when my DS was crying having been bitten by Dd. she was confused by his reaction and saying he was hurt and sad were words that she knew from the book in the case of sad. The situation was aptly described and you could see immediately that the frustration of things not being clear were lifted and she was 'happy' as a result. When she bit me she said to me hurt/sad? I said yes because to say no would've been very confusing. I don't see how this is mind games?

I actually think it is actually very wrong to make throw away comments about people being abusive- mud sticks and all that. You have no right, no right at all.

ledkr Mon 11-Feb-13 07:08:04

Latest research suggests showing empathy for toddler tantrums can help the brain firm pathways which will help them be more rational in later life also reduces length and frequency of tantrums. It's working for my two yr old maybe that info is more widespread now.

NapaCab Mon 11-Feb-13 07:08:25

@piprabbit - very true! I like your shaggy dog story...

Most of the time when I am trying to 'reason' with my toddler, I'm just calming myself down, trying to stay rational and not cry in front of everyone, which is what I really feel like doing. It's also a more benign form of 'loud parenting' where I'm trying to show others around us that I'm not just letting my son run riot and scream his head off but am trying to teach him right from wrong.

Basically I'm saying: 'Look! I'm a good parent!! Honest!! I know my son is screaming blue murder and going purple in the face but I'm really not a bad person!!' My son is so wrapped up in his screaming fit that he couldn't care less what I'm doing or saying.

differentnameforthis Mon 11-Feb-13 07:10:40

Ad the reasoning some of your describe (tiles in fireplaces/pens on walls etc) is a little bit different to leaving a playground & telling them why.

Those parents in those situations above need a wake up slap & are letting their children rule their lives. (In the pens on walls example), why the hell didn't you tell the kid to pack it in? Some kid draws on my walls, I will be the one taking the pen out of their hand, not waiting for the parent to negotiate the release while my walls get ruined!)

Telling a reluctant toddler why they have to leave the playground is worlds apart form begging one not to scribble on other people's walls! That's a failure to parent, not reasoning tactics!

My objection was to the idea that every behaviour, good or bad, is linked to mummys mood Well then, your objection is wrong, because no one has said that every behaviour is linked to mummy's mood. So you are reading out of context!

ZenNudist Mon 11-Feb-13 07:11:17

Yeah don't know why anyone attempts to reason with a toddler tantrum -- all you have to do is catch him, spend 20mins stuffing him in the pram while being kicked & punched--

I opt for bribes.

ZenNudist Mon 11-Feb-13 07:11:45

strikeout fail

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 07:28:05

Differentnameforthis, you have exactly understood what I was trying to say, slight relief that at least one person on this thread is not thinking I'm i'm an abuser!

clicketyclick66 Mon 11-Feb-13 07:35:36

You are absolutely right. That's what I did with my toddlers when they couldn't be reasoned with. And believe it or not they are older and did not develop psychological problems!

TandB Mon 11-Feb-13 08:15:41

Goldenbear - I don't think you are an abuser! I typed out a long post and lost it and can't be arsed to re-type, but in essence, I don't think parenting is a mathematical exercise where, if you get one bit of it wrong, the whole thing turns out wrong.

Not that I'm saying you are wrong by the way - just that there are so many conflicting theories about how to be a parent that none of us can know for sure where on the "perfect parent - abusive arse" scale we fall. But I work with people who have had incredibly damaging upbringings and I am pretty confident that the vast majority of people who take the time to read parenting forums and form theories and techniques for raising their children, are considerably closer to the "perfect parent" end than the "abusive arse" end.

In terms of the OP, I think laughing at someone trying their best to deal with a tantrum is a spiteful thing to do. If I saw someone laughing, or looking amused in those circumstances, I would assume they weren't a nice person.

Oh, and repeating that other posters are "defensive" and "sensitive" doesn't lend weight to an argument - it just makes it clear that you aren't prepared to engage in a proper discussion or address the points of those who agree with you. It's a massive cop-out.

Isn't it nice to know that when your 3 year old who's big for his age and can go stiff as a board when you try to pick him up and then does the melty thing onto the floor and is too heavy to be picked up as he's a dead weight, that I am being judged because I'm trying to talk him back round. He no longer had a buggy as he's too big.
Op comes on judges people who either can't or won't manhandle their children and then fucks off. What a coward. Don't start a thread if you can't handle being disagreed with.
If I can get a grip on my child then I will take him away from whatever situation has caused the tantrum but if I can't then he is too heavy for me to pick up so I have to try and calm him down first so I can get him to move. Really pissed me off op.

ApocalypseThen Mon 11-Feb-13 08:59:24

I actually think it is actually very wrong to make throw away comments about people being abusive- mud sticks and all that. You have no right, no right at all.


differentnameforthis Mon 11-Feb-13 09:31:39

I wonder if our parents were subject to so much judgement when they were raising us?

I think it is awful how you have been spoken to golden just because your parenting approach differs from how others would do it.

One thing that I hate about modern parenting is the judgements made to others that choose a different path.


It might not work that time, or the next, or the next, BUT it is setting an example of how they should communicate & every so often the promise of something yummy might work.

I choose to model good behaviour for my kids which is why they sit hunched over their toy mobile phones, thumbs furiously dancing over the screen on toddlernet so I will keep calmly explaining what we're doing. My dd outgrew this vey quickly and now at 3 is very wise & diplomatic, which has it's own problems as she's so reasonable she often has a very good point. Annoying, but just what I'd hoped.


H Goldenbear I'm with you. THAT.IS.HOW.THEY.LEARN!!!

ditziness Mon 11-Feb-13 09:50:04


poetry | prints | cine | home

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
links | search | home

ditziness Mon 11-Feb-13 09:51:13

Sorry for copying and pasting the whole page, just meant to do the poem x

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 10:19:31

Yes always at that back of my mind that poem for some reason especially the line, 'And add some extra, just for you.'

PessaryPam Mon 11-Feb-13 10:46:42

Actually Golden you were the one who started hurling 'abusive' at people who didn't endlessly try to negotiate with tired and hysterical small children.

PessaryPam Mon 11-Feb-13 10:49:59

ditziness and add

Nature or Nuture, your parent fuck you up

Do any if your dc do the Houdini and promptly wriggle out the pram straps as soon as you wrestle them in and climb out of the pram all the while roaring their heads off

Dd3 fell out once she was that quick. You cannot strap her in, she's evil when she's in a temper

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 11:31:20

Er Actually Pam no I was not. Have you read the entire thread or even the same thread as me? After my first post Wannabe made this comment:

'Personally I find your method of teaching your child what makes you happy and sad quite damaging.'

Her next post referred me to the Stately Homes thread if I wanted to see for myself the 'damage' I was inflicting on my DD. I naturally found this fairly offensive and seemed to spend a lot of the thread defending my position and wanted her to elaborate on her comments. She explained what she did in comparison and i didn't understand how it could be a superior technique. Wannabe later said,

'Linking parental emotion to a childs behaviour is abusive. No question.'

She had previously explained that I was doing this. She is implying I am abusive. You then waded in with your 'mind games' comment and how great your DDs have turned out. I'm really pleased for you but that doesn't mean my DC won't turn out ok because I don't do what you did and reason with them.

MrsBethel Mon 11-Feb-13 11:50:52

I completely agree with you. Obv I don't laugh at other parents, but from the tone of your OP neither do you.

IMO solely reasoning with toddlers is the biggest parenting problem at the moment. Kids need some authority from their parents. It's that authority that they will eventually internalise and develop into a conscience.

If you're reasoning with a tantrumming toddler, you may as well be reasoning with a stray cat, or a wonky trolley wheel.

If you can't "do" authority, and all you can do is appeal to reason, then, well. . . IMO you need to take steps to sort that out for their sake.

whimsicalmess Mon 11-Feb-13 11:56:55

I sort of agree with you, when a child is in the that level of rage, which is exactly what it is, like a raging adult you can't reason with them.

What I do is calmly state my point firstly, then pick them up if needed.

ApocalypseThen Mon 11-Feb-13 12:23:20

Er Actually Pam no I was not.

You most certainly did.

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 12:31:37

'MrsBethel*, I think that is a bit dramatic. I parent talking to a child- 'the horror, the horror.'

My parents didn't really 'do authority', well in the sense that they didn't want us to not question anything. We both turned out fine - we have a conscience, well adjusted etc. My mum only insisted on us behaving kindly. She was a teacher and I know she was very kind to her pupils in her special needs class- some of whom had very difficult backgrounds. We lived quite near to where she worked and ex pupils would come up to her to say hello and ask how she was as she was clearly thought of fondly and remembered for the kindness she had shown.

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 12:40:48

Apocolaypse sorry but I'm not sure you can take some moral high ground when you were very offensive indeed, calling people that do things differently to you, 'pathetic' . I'm not intidmidated by aggressive name calling so you turn it on its head and make out you're some kind of victim because you clearly can't cope with people questioning your attitude.

golden I'm linking arms with you. Some push authority, I have my moments. It is sometimes appropriate, road safety, treatment of little babies etc. but kids learn by mimicking, so showing, respect, kindness & coaching them rather than ordering them breeds this type of behaviours. I want my child to be kind and respectful.

If I don't show them this they risk feeling frustrated & disenfranchised, becoming bossy so & sos who push people around to get their own way.

I would reason, give a chance, warn what would happen, the enforce. If appropriate that would be pick up & carry off/strap in, but nothing wrong with showing respect & giving a chance to calm down first.

SocialClimber Mon 11-Feb-13 12:52:53

The Look. You all need to learn The Look.

Never failed me in 10 years.

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 12:53:36

This is a very rare moment for me Babies- being agreed with on Mumsnet, I might have to print this off and frame it!


ApocalypseThen Mon 11-Feb-13 12:59:40

Apocolaypse sorry but I'm not sure you can take some moral high ground when you were very offensive indeed,

Goldenbear. I did not address you directly until you decided to passively-aggressively attack me by saying that you're glad to not be like me. That was extraordinarily rude. I'm not painting myself as a victim, I'm very clearly saying that your conception of yourself and your role in this thread is very wide of the mark.

And yes, I do think that parents who negotiate with children who are better at negotiation than them are pathetic.

forevergreek Mon 11-Feb-13 13:02:29

I agree too with g

forevergreek Mon 11-Feb-13 13:04:04

I agree too with golden.
I don't want to spend my life shouting and being authorities. Yes I'm the adult but does that mean I'm always right? Of course not

Children copy behaviour and I wouldn't want them thinking they can push people around and order them to do things.

MrsBethel Mon 11-Feb-13 13:06:34


I'm all for the talking. Whenever I give the kids 'the look' as social describes it, I always have a chat with them about it once they've calmed down.

My mum sounds quite like yours. She didn't "do" authority either, but still the best mum ever IMO.

MrsWolowitzerables Mon 11-Feb-13 13:11:42

I have 3 DC. A 4 yo and 2 yo DTs so tantrums are something I'm very familiar with at the moment!

Sometimes I reason with them. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I scoop them up and carry them as I don't have time to reason as one if the others is wondering off or starting a tantrum

Meh. It's a struggle sometimes but we're all just muffling through and trying to do our best so in response to the OP yes YABVU to laugh at people trying to reason with a tantruming toddler. So what if its not what you do, it's hardly comedy gold seeing a parent struggling.

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 13:12:59

I think your understanding of what constitutes extraordinarily rude is pretty wide of the mark. My response was to your very rude post where you said the flowing:

' I don't think you're being unreasonable, OP. I don't know how many times I've seen pathetic and ineffectual parents attempt to reason/negotiate with a toddler who is actually more skilled at negotiation than the parent. That can be hilarious. The parent threatens to take sweets off the menu if some behaviour or other doesn't stop, behaviour doesn't stop, sweets are off the menu till the child puts them back on by refusing to apologise until sweets are reinstated.

P.A. thetic. And hilarious for the bystander.'

I've not undertaken to create any false image of myself on this thread. I was accused of damaging my DC with my approach, akin to the damage talked about on the Stately Homes threads all after my first post! Do you not think i'm going to protest at being referred to this thread??

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 13:15:23

The above post was in response to Apocalpyse.

LaQueen Mon 11-Feb-13 13:20:45

I think many parents genuinely get very anxious/panicked by their child's tantrum, and they feel also feel embarrassed.

I also think, that very often the same parents are very reluctant to exert any authority over their own tantruming toddler, and in fact find it almost impossible to do so.

I have witnessed this many times with my MIL - when her grand children started to tantrum, she would completely panic herself and be incapable of dealing with them.

Ds is normally to busy throwing himself around and screeching to catch me giving him the look socialclimber grin when he's about to do something troublesome and looks at me that's when the look works.

BigAudioDynamite Mon 11-Feb-13 13:49:06

I'm really confused by this..... goldenbears approach is the closest to unconditional parenting, on this thread. It is normally patents with that approach who accuse the parents who don't do extended reasoning, of causing emotional damage....confused

PessaryPam Mon 11-Feb-13 16:36:48

Oh well who cares if other have a totally shite time dealing with tantrumming toddlers, just fill your boots. But other older Mums can say they didn't do this and everyone ended up happier. Cue the older ones who were oddball in those days to raise their heads here grin

Goldenbear Mon 11-Feb-13 16:58:59

Thanks for that pearl of wisdom Pam. Yes, yes, you could patting yourself on the back for the great job you've done.

PessaryPam Mon 11-Feb-13 17:02:40

Golden I do often pat myself on the back. I was worried all the years and now we are at the end and we can relax. Thanks for your support and encouragement. I am glad I could help you.

FitzgeraldProtagonist Mon 11-Feb-13 18:41:40

For all thse who want to know how to pick up toddler raging-like a surfboard is my best advice.

Gosh isn't MN just throbbing with passive aggression at the minute?

Ajobforlife Mon 11-Feb-13 21:48:39

Its not the screaming kids that 'do my head in.' its the VERY LOUD wishy washy voice of the mothers. 'Dont do that darling,' ' Your making mummy sad.' 'Mummy doesn't like being sad,' 'Mummys sorry but we have to buy some dinner or daddy will be sad' !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are these people real!!!! The only person in the shop that CAN'T hear them is the screaming child!!

Goldenbear Tue 12-Feb-13 10:42:40

It does your ed in does it or is it all in your head, you know made up, stereotyping BOLLOX!

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