Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

To think it's not difficult to be nice to your children?

(91 Posts)
slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 17:08:01

Some of the threads/comments I've read this weekend have been horrid. People making their kids cry over April Fools 'jokes' have been the tamest.

Not only on here, but I was in Sainsburys on Friday and there was a mum absolutely screaming at her toddler dd, who was in tears. I wouldn't normally bat an eyelid at someone dishing out a bollocking, but she was almost out of control.

Seriously, is it the lighter evenings and shock of extra sunlight?!

I'm not the most patient of people by any means, but it's not hard to be nice.

My dad used to say horrible things to me:
"Shut up you little bitch"
"How are you so fucking stupid?"
"Get away from me"
"Stop eating or you'll end up as fat as your mother"

You never know what'll stay with your children and what won't.

yaimee Mon 01-Apr-13 17:15:05

I don't think the lady and get husband who made their dc cry with the April fool did anything nasty, they pretended that they'd won some toys, and when their dc realised that they hadn't and was upset, they went and bought him some. I don't think that's likely to scar the child, mire of a funny story to tell future girlfriends.
I try to keep in mind that I have absolutely no idea what is going on in the lives of people I see shouting at their children, even though it sometimes upsets me.

Just because you are fertile doesn't mean that you should reproduce, not until you have at least tried to work on yourself. The problem is that people are in denial about how they really are, or the harm that their behaviour does. Excluding MH problems, which hopefully the family is getting support for. Some poor parenting cannot be excused, it isn't mandatory to have children.

yaimee Mon 01-Apr-13 17:16:31

And yes, for some people it might be difficult, people with pnd for example might struggle.

Just because you are fertile doesn't mean that you should reproduce, not until you have at least tried to work on yourself. The problem is that people are in denial about how they really are, or the harm that their behaviour does. Excluding MH problems, which hopefully the family is getting support for. Some poor parenting cannot be excused, it isn't mandatory to have children.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 01-Apr-13 17:17:19

I know what you mean.

Some people do tend to treat their kids in ways that they wouldn't dream of treating their boss, or their gp, or some random person in the street...

My question is why, if you wouldn't treat the above like that, are you treating your children like that.

answer - cos you can and nothing will happen to you.

My mum sometimes slapped me across the face, just cos she was in a mood. eg - I once walked across the room close to her glasses. Not on them, not over them, just in close proximity. I got a slap. My dad once yelled BITCH at me in the street because I didn't want to give him a kiss on my way to (junior!) school. I could give a hundred other examples that have stayed with me.

I don't buy the frustration as an acceptable reason argument. In life, many people frustrate us and these same people bite it back because they don't want to rock the boat, daren't say anything , don't want to cause a fuss... but your kids are fair game. cos you can call them a little shit or cuff them round the head or slap them across the face or tell them they're nothing and useless and there will be no consequence for you.

Well, no immediate consequence. Wait until they grow up and see what they think of you!

quesadilla Mon 01-Apr-13 17:18:14

YANBU. I like to think I have a near zero tolerance policy with casual, throwaway cruelty to children, and am by my own admission judgy towards people who lack the self awareness or self discipline not to realise they are inflicting harm on their children. People who think its OK to scream at their kids, call them stupid or ugly or worse, shouldn't have had them in the first place.

There are mitigating circumstances for occasionally shouting at kids or being irritable with them (being desperately hard up/suffering from PND are two examples that spring to mind), so I try not to assume everyone who shouts at their kids is a monster. But people who routinely verbally abuse children aren't fit to walk the earth, IMHO. Judgy and proud of it.

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 17:20:13

yaimee no, I'm sure the lady in the supermarket was stretched to her limit, but to scream that hard? The little girl was sobbing, and I normally am very 'meh' about parents going a bit nuts at their DC.

We've all had one 'fucking hell, that's a bit far' moment I think. That was mine.

There just seem to be a few mean threads about atm, and I just think 'oh, come on. Just be nice'.

Maybe I'm feeling a bit sensitive.

So, as unpopular view as it is on MN, YANBU.

So, as unpopular view as it is on MN, YANBU.

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 17:22:03

yaimee I had PND. A well documented struggle on here, where I screamed, kicked and bellowed every step of the way. Sometimes, even though I felt like screeching at DS, I plastered on a big fake smile and was all nicey nicey with him. Because it wasn't his fault I was feeling like a shit.

SneezingwakestheJesus Mon 01-Apr-13 17:22:25

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

kinkyfuckery Mon 01-Apr-13 17:22:39

You haven't met my children, have you? wink

Cherriesarelovely Mon 01-Apr-13 17:23:18

I do know exactly what you mean OP. I feel the same however, I do have 2 friends with very challenging children, and I don't mean just a bit naughty, they have very considerable emotional-behavioural problems, and they consequently have incredibly difficult times as a family. Quite understandably my friends very occasionally "snap" and say some unkind, impulsive things out of sheer desperation perhaps as a consequence of being kicked or bitten by their child.

But in general I agree with you and would never seek to excuse the sort of comments you mention in you OP. I totally agree those are deeply damaging.

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 17:23:41

Some people do tend to treat their kids in ways that they wouldn't dream of treating their boss, or their gp, or some random person in the street...

This is so true.

McNewPants2013 Mon 01-Apr-13 17:26:47

When I shout at the children it is a sign I have lost control, but it doesn't mean I am not nice to my DC.

Viviennemary Mon 01-Apr-13 17:27:21

It's easy to polish your halo if your children are nearly always sweet and obedient. But not as easy if they are difficult and challenging.

yaimee Mon 01-Apr-13 17:27:22

I have them all the time slattenly sometimes it makes me physically wince when I hear screaming and swearing at children, but I do try to keep that in mind when I hear it, as much for my own sanity as anything, because if I thought that every child u hear been spoken to like that was spoken to like that day in day out and had to lead such a miserable existence for their entire childhood I would lose my mind sad
Some of the stuff on here hasn't been great this weekend but you can at least comfort yourself with the idea that if the posters hadn't known it was the wrong thing to do, they wouldn't have posted (with the Easter egg mum as the possible exception).

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 17:31:02

cherries no. Parents of children with disabilities deserve a million pounds each and a medal. I cannot comment on their coping strategies, because I sure as hell couldn't do it.

This is more aimed at parents with children like my own; nt, shouty, and annoying grin

yaimee Mon 01-Apr-13 17:31:09

slatternly I didn't mean that everyone with one was horrible to their children or that one was an excuse for nasty behaviour towards children but the title of your op was asking whether ot was really that hard to be nice to your children and my answer is yes, for some people ot might be a struggle (that doesn't mean they aren't though)

VBisme Mon 01-Apr-13 17:31:29

Yep, we've had some choice phrases out of ESD this weekend directed towards YSD.

"Get out of my sight, I don't want to see you again today".

"I'm sick to death of you".

"Go and play on the motorway"

DH is fairly confident that this is coming direct from copying his ex, he says even the mannerisms when this is being yelled are the same. sad I hope this is just a phase.

HollyBerryBush Mon 01-Apr-13 17:31:52

If all people were lovely and sweet all the time, receptionists in schools, hospitals, public worker offices wouldn't have signs up about assaulting staff. A&E wouldn't be bursting to the seams on a Friday & Saturday night with glassed drunks and so forth.

Thirty second snapshots are rarely the whole picture of someones life.

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Mon 01-Apr-13 17:31:56

I wish my children would be nicer to me <sobs>

I think we can all lose it occasionally and be forgiven, even if we have lost it with our children. I remember once getting absolutely furious with ds2 because he did something and it was just the last straw.

As long as you can apologise and move on if you have been out of order (and your children will also apologise and move on if they are), then getting cross or upset occasionally isn't the end of the world.

I don't think that screaming abuse at your children is in the same category as playing a joke that went wrong, though.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 01-Apr-13 17:32:15

you mean like if one of them has autism and the other has autism and ADHD, Vivienne? Like mine?

I don't think anyone has a halo for saying that it's really out of order to habitually treat your kids badly, as the OP was saying, referencing her own childhood.

yaimee Mon 01-Apr-13 17:32:53

one should say pnd blush

georgie22 Mon 01-Apr-13 17:33:59

YADNBU - I often notice parents who appear to have no interest in their kids. At best they just ignore them despite the poor child's attempts to get some attention; at worst you witness their uncontrolled screaming at their sobbing offspring. I always comment to dh that some people don't seem to enjoy having children. At times we all snap when children drive us to distraction but I would say that I enjoy 99.9% of my time with dd.
I realise we never know what's going on in people's lives that contributes to their behaviour but it's sad for the kids.

Sirzy Mon 01-Apr-13 17:34:56

Sometimes yes it is difficult and everyone has different levels of tolerance. I think it's awful that help and support can he so hard to come by if you are struggling.

That doesn't excuse a lot of things and some of the posts I have read this weekend have been shocking in how they treat the children.

marjproops Mon 01-Apr-13 17:36:37

birdsgottafly* just because you're fertile...exactly. yy. and everything else you say,

also with imtooHecsy.

well, just about every poster here.

Remotecontrolduck Mon 01-Apr-13 17:36:57

I hate it. I'm not saying i've never lost my rag, but I really feel awful when I see parents shouting constantly at their kids in the street or in the supermarket. Not just exasperated 'Put that back!' Kind of thing which everyone does but 'you little twat/fucker/shit' kind of insult.

I was sat opposite someone on the train the other week who was telling her maybe two year old daughter to shut up constantly just for talking. I tried not to judge because she might have been depressed or having a bad day but it's horrible to see.

I second what someone else said up thread about not talking to your partner or anyone else like that, it would be called domestic abuse.

marjproops Mon 01-Apr-13 17:38:59

Mine had BP with her disabilities and yes, sometimes Im at the end of my tether and snap but I have NEVER, nor will I ever call her (things Ive heard people say in street to kids)

you little shit, come the fuck back her you little c....., effing bloody c...nty shit,...

and thats just the tip of the iceberg.

DONT HAVE THEM IF YOU WONT LOVE THEM

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 17:39:10

I just think if people are happy to say something like:

"Just shut the fuck up"
Or
"Get here, you little bastard"

In public; what are they saying at home?

marjproops Mon 01-Apr-13 17:40:16

mine HAS, not had. typos again.

and btw i had all this growing up too and yes, gives your self esteem the world of good doesnt it?

superbagpuss Mon 01-Apr-13 17:40:45

I always think that its easy to judge when you don't know the situation. Sometimes I have to let my ds cry because I am teaching him to man up before school. because he is small
I'm sure people think I am evil for not pandering to his every need but in September he will be at school and I'm trying to prepare him for that.

superbagpuss Mon 01-Apr-13 17:42:18

however I would never condone swearing at your kids, that's not setting a good example at all.

kinkyfuckery Mon 01-Apr-13 17:46:41

... what are they saying at home?

Actually, I am probably more calm and capable at home with my children than out and about. At home, I don't have the same pressure from other people/bystanders and can for the most part ignore them, and/or send to their room/time out. I find it much harder to discipline whilst out and about, and that's when screamy, ranty mum comes out.

TheEasterBunnyVsTheKids Mon 01-Apr-13 17:53:19

The poster who went "batshit crazy" over some Easter eggs has left me shock

We did April fools here, got the DDs up for school. Got them into their uniforms, breakfasted, hair done and teeth done, then told them!! Dd1 was pissed off at having no lie in and dd2 was pissed off there was no school!!
We took them for a bike ride instead!!! smile

Some of these posters are going to have veeeeeery long Easter holidays unless they learn to live a little!

sydlexic Mon 01-Apr-13 17:59:03

When pushed to the limit a parent might shout "for god sake shut up or you are a pain in the bum. No one should ever be forgiven for saying "shut up you little bitch, I hate you or threatening to put them in a children's home".

There is a line that should not be crossed.

SneezingwakestheJesus Mon 01-Apr-13 18:08:24

I agree sydlexic. I've heard my neighbour shout at her little boy a few times now. Mainly its just "will you fucking hurry up!" at school time but yesterday it was "why aren't you normal? Why can't you just be normal? A normal child would be excited!" and a few weeks ago it was "one of these days in just going to walk out and leave you, I can't wait!". It was so loud and screechy it actually scared my dd. I do wonder when its classed as normal parenting shouting or the kind of shouting that is a sign of abuse sad

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 18:10:02

DS is a real chatterbox. He is 2.5, and it is constant background noise. We all know how annoying that can be! But the worst I have said, when I am tired and teasy, is "can we just be quiet, please darling? Mummy is tired today." It is so hard when I just want to scream "shutupshutupSHUTUUUUUP!!" And it takes everything. But do do that would be nasty.

Graceparkhill Mon 01-Apr-13 18:22:36

I completely agree OP. The Easter egg mum post has been particularly upsetting. To describe a 4 year old in such negative terms has taken my breath away.

I don't think I am being judgey about other parenting styles and am very far from perfect but I have tried to be kind to my children and treat them as equals not lesser beings to be shouted at/ smacked/ verbally humiliated.

I assume the best about them and have been generally pleased with their development.

slatterlnly

I've had the non-stop chatter from DS and have many times run up to the bathroom to lock myself in and shout "For the Love of God Shut Up".

Then walk downstairs calmly , he's still gabbling on, but unaware.

Now 13 yo, all I get is shrug "Hmmmph" hmm from him.

Ilovesunflowers Mon 01-Apr-13 18:24:34

I past a couple in town today with 2 kids.

The Dad pushed the boy (not sure why as I missed that part). The boy (about 4) started to cry and his Mum got down to his level and literally screamed in his face telling him to stop whining. Daddy hadn't pushed him. She had watched and this hadn't happened. She was blatently lieing as I'd seen Dad do this. I was too far away to comment to her but couldn hear her screaming at the poor mite. I caught up with them a bit as the boy was daudling/crying and I heard her moaning to the Dad. 'God I'm sick of him. Why on hell's earth is he like this?' Poor little kid probably heard all this too.

Many times when I was a child my mum threatened to put me in a childrens home. There was one about 10 minutes walk away and she 'offered'/ threatened to take me round their to look.

My crime? I was a bedwetter.

BTW this was when I was less than 8 yo (I moved house at 8).

I didn't think much of it at the time (I didn't seroisly think she'd do it, but I couldn't be sure)

Pandemoniaa Mon 01-Apr-13 18:29:04

YANBU. I find casual unkindness to children really rather distressing. I wasn't a perfect mother by any stretch of the imagination and there were certainly times when I could have lost it completely with my dcs and certainly there were times when I was very cross with them.

But being cross and being habitually verbally abusive in a "go and play on the motorway" manner towards them are two quite different things. I also hate it when people over-estimate the effect that things will have on their dcs, hence not finding it funny to pretend, as an April Fools joke, that a child has won loads of toys. Because that's the sort of thing a child will take literally.

Machli Mon 01-Apr-13 18:38:55

I think it CAN be difficult occasionally. I've shouted, on occasion I go into the kitchen and mutter with fury and frustration under my breath.

However it seems to me that in the name of preventing "spoiled" children or "bad habits" a lot of cruel "parenting" is done.

And I will be honest I see A LOT of it on here "well she HAS to learn", "kids need to know its not all about them and you need to SHOW them that" etc etc etc.

IMO well rounded decent parenting means that you don't have to be particularly unpleasant to your children or make them unhappy in order to SHOW them how to be. For example the uptightness about eating chocolate this Easter I have seen on here has really astounded me. I used to stuff my face with it on Easter Sunday when I was a kid but not for a second did i think that every day from now on would be a big chocolate free for all. Some people seem to think that even letting off the reins slightly will result in a ruined child and do what I can only describe as unnecessary parenting. Making their kids really unhappy.

We might not beat our kids but I do think a lot of parents see their children almost as something to be scared of, scared of what they will become if we don't ride them constantly.

Ime most kids actually know how to behave generally from social learning and just need it tweaking occasionally.

Startail Mon 01-Apr-13 18:40:03

What are they saying at home? At home I'd be cuddling DD2 reading to her and loving her dearly. For the five minutes you saw us leaving school I was yelling at her.

Why because DD2 behaved impeccably in school and saved every tiny injustice for a massive winge feast as she walked out of school.

This would have been easier to ignore if she didn't have a older sister who because of being dyslexic and getting bullied had a 1000 reasons to winge and never did.

She grew out of it after a couple of years, but l did some times feel like leaving her at school.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 01-Apr-13 18:44:35

Well I am a shouty parent, not a sweary shouty parent or calling them names but I am a loud person and if I'm pissed off I expect the whole street can hear me sometimes. By the same token when I'm happy I'm completely over the top to and you would see me playing hopscotch outside with the rest of the dc that live around.

I think everyone can get stuck in a rut (I'm in one now) where they stop noticing the good things about their dc and everything they do irritates you. As long as you recognise it and make an effort to sort it out I don't think it's a bad thing. My dc certainly don't walk around on eggshells no matter how shouty I have been.

microserf Mon 01-Apr-13 19:01:38

I think it's often a "know it when you see it" thing. I can occasionally be shouty, but I try to make sure it is never insulting, just me telling them what they need to do.

I have on a couple of occasions when very stressed and stretched told my dd to shut up. I felt so bad, we sat down quietly later and I told her I was sorry for speaking to her in that way. Talked about it with dh afterwards to agree different parenting strategies. I am ashamed of having done it and now very vigilant about the kind of stressed feeling coming on. now i now count to 10 or more before saying anything. My mum shouted at us a lot for pretty much anything, and I had to really focus on becoming the kind of parent I wanted to be to make sure I don't parent the same way she did.

I have walked past a mum screaming abuse at a toddler in a pram. As in "shut the fuck up you little shit, what the fuck is wrong with you". I stood and watched her debating whether to intervene, when she looked up and saw me, was clearly not expecting anyone to be there and dashed off. She looks pretty embarrassed. I have always hoped it was a one off and not indicative of her usual parenting style. I looked out for them for ages afterwards as it was just outside my house.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 01-Apr-13 19:03:50

Oh and I think it can be quite hard to be nice to your dc when you have dc that constantly consistently push your boundaries and buttons. We can't all have nice little dc that sit around and read books all day. If I didn't take my ds out to burn all his energy off I wouldn't have a house left! Even when he's been running around all day you can still find him running his skateboards and cars along the tv, pulling down the curtains because he's banging on the window because he's seen a friend, throwing his football at his sister or a memorable incident last year when he jumped off dd's bunkbed grabbed the ceiling light and swung there before falling down and pulling the cord out the ceiling.

I would love a ds who would sit down and be goggle eyed all day with the tv or his ipod. Nothing keeps him still ever.

Inseywinseyupthespout Mon 01-Apr-13 19:19:20

I think parenting is the hardest thing in the world ! I really don't get how some people say "oh I never shout / smack and I never would" - fair enough , but you can't judge parents that do - I'm talking occasionally / rarely - not daily - that would be abusive.

I have no idea what I'm doing and this week has been shit ! I'm finding it very tough with a 3 yr old and an 11 month old - the toddler is a hitting, screaming nightmare and the baby is a whingey , clingy nightmare !

I've screamed & shouted and sworn under my breath - the way some people make out on here is that this is a reflection of bad parenting ...

They don't see the hugs , kisses , emotions I feel and they don't see the praise I give and the amount of times I tell my dd I love her . I apologise when I'm wrong and I've lost my temper .

I work full time , I'm knackered , anaemic , run down, stressed about money and I'm only human !

I'm not saying that calling your kids names , daily abuse etc is right - just saying I think some people are too quick to judge bad parenting !

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

slatternlymother Mon 01-Apr-13 21:09:16

The worst punishment I've handed out is no bedtime story as a result of tantruming in the bath, which is obviously not only annoying but quite dangerous too, hence the severity of pumishment.

I've done it once, and DS was so distraught at the thought he might not be forgiven, he couldn't settle. It only took about 10 seconds of him crying 'I sorry mamma!' Before we couldn't bear it anymore and had to go and calm him down and tell him all was forgiven; he was a nice, good boy etc. Although the punishment still stood; he tantrumed, so no story, I have since then never been able to understand how parents can let their children cry to sleep.

Do they understand that as parents, they are their children's world? And to not forgive them is the (temporary) end of it?

Accept your child's (genuine) apology and move on, as you would an adult. Because that is what you are teaching them to be.

Zara1984 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:12:40

People verbally abusing their children/being aggressive really boils my blood. Every time I see it I just see myself as that child, because I used to be on the receiving end of that behaviour.

I once saw a woman yelling at her toddler in the supermarket, similar to what the OP saw. Like, REALLY yelling, and pulling the girl's arm hard, because the little girl was whining "and i am fucking sick of you being such a little bitch all the time". shock I just snapped. Went over, tapped the mum on the shoulder and told her to pick on someone her own size. Stayed quite calm but was in her face eyeballing her. She went mental, yelling mind your own business etc. I told her she needed to calm down and think about her behaviour. She hurried off away from me. I continued to dawdle in the cheese aisle for a few minutes wondering if I had made it worse for the girl sad

I probably came across as a massive interfering bellend but her poor daughter looked terrified sad

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 21:13:01

Slatternlymother I was also the kind of child who would have hated to upset my mother and immediately apologised. But not all children are cut of the same cloth (and I still worry about displeasing her in my forties!) I have a far more feisty first who has been at time defiant in the extreme, including to my mother who apparently just had to look a bit sad and it worked, and taking away a bath from an 8 year old with a will of iron who is prepared to go for several hours being defiant is just not a punishment.

I am all for being nice to children and never calling them names but not all children are the same, and vague disapproval and the odd withdrawal of a minor treat won't cut it for every child or in every situation.

JollyPurpleGiant Mon 01-Apr-13 21:21:17

I wonder how people learn how to discipline children appropriately? If someone has not been well parented themselves, has not been around many children and has not read on up on the subject, how would they know which course of action to take?

I mostly do what seems right at the time, but I follow some rules:
I give fair warning unless the situation is very dangerous
I punish immediately as I have a toddler and feel that he won't recognise which actions had the negative consequences if I wait

Some of this came from my parents and how they managed me and my siblings and some from reading things, mainly on here.

I would say my approach towards discipline comes fairly naturally, but I am aware this is not the case for everyone. And i obviously don't always get it right.

ppeatfruit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:25:06

Mumsyblouse Everybody's different and DCs are too.IMO and E treating DCs as far as possible as adults works well, not trying to be their friend, but with respect and listening to their point of view. i don't like to be shouted at to get ready or do my shoes up etc. why should a DC be any different?

Zara1984 Many congratulations for doing a very brave thing that I would've liked to do many times!! you may have made her thing twice.

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

sorry 'think'!!

littlebitofthislittlebitofthat Mon 01-Apr-13 21:30:21

we went camping and the tents were really close together, you could hear EVERYTHING that was going on in other tents.

It destroyed my holiday to know that people spoke nicer to their dogs than they did to their kids. it was just so sad.

I read a story to my dd every night and one kid said to her... 'your mum sounds like an angel'

words cost nothing yet are the most valuable thing.

AdoraBell Chile Mon 01-Apr-13 21:33:13

Shouldn't be dificult at all, but with OH being paid less than the bills last month and even less due this month, house on the market for over a year and 11yr old telling friends she's leaving her room extra messy because she doesn't To move I'm finding it a little tricky this arvo. So I'm being honest as opposed To mean. Chilean banks don't pussyfoot around with changing T&Cs for a short while, if we don't make June's payment we won't have a home. She now knows this.

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 01-Apr-13 21:34:22

God if I could have my son being genuinely sorry by not reading a bedtime story I might start a thread like this to. IMO OP you have no idea about challenging boisterous stubborn cut their nose off to spite your face dc. My ds would tell you he doesn't care about a bedtime story and would refuse to have you read him one for at least a week after while reading to himself with his torch under the covers.

Zara1984 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:34:55

ppeatfruit - thanks! But I really do worry I just made it worse for the poor girl sad I hope I gave the mother pause for thought, at least.

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 21:36:10

ppeatfruit don't shout at your children then, great, but I don't like some posts on here which imply that all you have to do is adopt a terribly nice but disapproving attitude and magically your children fall into line. I think if the worst behaviour the OP has ever encountered is a tantrum in a bath, then this is not really the gamut of defiant, difficult or upsetting children's behaviour and taking away a story isn't going to cut it when your child is a teenager and defies a curfew or you think they've been taking drugs.

I agree don't sweat the small stuff if you can help it, and calling names/abusing children is so unacceptable I don't even have to say this, but I'd rather shout occasionally but know my children always know they are forgiven (even before they are) and loved rather than have the sad face of emotional disapproval that I actually lived in fear of as a child. As you say, children are different and for one a shouty voice may be less intimidating than the subtle withdrawal of approval, the pursed lips, the sad face, the desperate need then to get the parent to forgive. To me, being genuine is very important, and sometimes this means being properly angry, just as my children are sometime properly angry with me (and are allowed to be so).

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 01-Apr-13 21:38:23

YY emotional blackmail is awful! Far worse then a shouty telling off.

MooMooSkit Mon 01-Apr-13 21:39:58

I hate it! I've been out before and seen parents shouting at their kids "You little c*nt!" just horrible. There is defintely a line and we are all pushed, I've said before things like ooh your pushing me today or your being a right pain in the bum or you'll go straight to bed when we are home in public but I never ever use swear words or insults, I just find that horrible. sad

Machli Mon 01-Apr-13 21:40:22

I don't think an 11 year old should know that adorabell. She's not mature enough or emotionally equipped to cope with that IMO.

I am sorry you are struggling sad.

KayHunt Mon 01-Apr-13 21:46:11

I've seen a woman pushing a buggy (child looked under 3), stop, head to the front of the buggy and crouch and scream 'Oh why don't you just shut the fuck up you little cunt'. If I wasn't  on a bus -yes you could hear it on the bus, she was that loud- I would have had to have said something.

It's shocking how disrespectful some people can be to their children.

I have had horrific PND and said some things I am not proud of, but I know everything I say will affect my children in some way.

birdsnotbees Mon 01-Apr-13 22:05:34

I used to be a brilliant parent when it was just me and DS. I could reason with him; a stern look and counting to three pretty much did it. So I used to be all smug about other people losing control. Then I had my DD. And you know what? I discovered that how your kids behave is not 100% down to you. I have behaved badly since she was born - thanks to sleep deprivation, thanks to tantrums all day, every day, for three days at a time. Sure, I need to try and remove the buttons DD presses but I am no saint; there are times when I just can't cope. I feel like a bottle that is slowly filling up and up, and when it gets to the top I just can't be the patient, kind parent I used to be.

I hate myself for it but I am a human being. So guess what - I am a whole lot less judgey than I used to be. Sometimes it isn't all down to your own marvellous ability to be a great parent.

Not to say swearing at a child is ever OK (it's not and I never have), but I have spoken unkindly to both of mine, which I actually think is a whole lot worse. I have said things like "oh for god's sake, will you give it a rest?" or "I am just so sick of listening to you cry" - because it is sometimes so, so, so hard when your kids are not reasonable, when normal sanctions don't work, when they can scream and tantrum like nothing I've ever seen for two hours straight... I used to look at kids like my DD when they were having a massive tantrum and think "god, what shit parents" but when she did it for the first time -at 18 months, full on writhing around, hitting, screaming, puce in the face and for 45 minutes I couldn't even pick her up to get her to a safe place - it dawned on me then that first time around I had just been lucky.

So perhaps less of the judgement, eh? Some of us being unkind have just been pushed beyond our limits, and we love our kids to bits - I love the bones of mine and I say I am sorry when need to - but sometimes, yes, woo hoo, I am a complete and utter failure. I don't need some sniffy woman in the supermarket giving me evils to make me feel any worse.

Ullena Mon 01-Apr-13 22:25:18

Oh the joy of the mother whose go to response to her child not wanting a bedtime cuddle was along the lines of: "You'll be sorry when I drop down dead!" Actually, that was her answer to a lot of situations. I learnt never to fuss or cry as a child. Too afraid that DM would die because of me. Used to lie awake and worry for hours.

Well you may have terrified me at the time DM, but I was actually fine at your funeral...

Mumsyblouse Mon 01-Apr-13 22:30:09

Ullena I hope it wasn't inappropriate to laugh at that ending, what a strange (and horrible) threat to a child.

I guess all this reminds us is that we are in a real position of power in relation to our children, and so we should try to be as nice as we can, even if sometimes we fail and sometimes we don't even know what the 'nicest' thing would be to do.

AmandaPayntedEgg Mon 01-Apr-13 22:37:16

I think it is very easy to judge, and you don't always know the back story.

A couple of weeks back I shouted at DD1 (nearly 4) that I would "look for your bloody hair clip in a minute". At the top of my voice. In public.
I had spent all week coping with a vomiting toddler, a flu ridden husband and she had asked me about 12 times in a minute. I had hardly slept for nights on end.

I don't think it did any lasting damage, although I'm not proud of it.

There's a big difference between that and day to day abuse.

DD2 is nearly two and throws massive tantrums. She is a smart cookie. She normally focuses the verbal aspect on "I need you Mummy, help me Mummy". I look like the worst mother in the world when I practice the normal 'ignore a tantrum' advice.

Ullena Mon 01-Apr-13 22:38:45

Mumsy, I was oddly the favourite child of four...she was an odd woman!

Agree, we all have bad days and it's only human to snap occasionally. But there are lines we ought not to cross, imo.

AdoraBell Chile Mon 01-Apr-13 22:39:07

Machli no, she shouldn't know, but she's been pushing so far and being cocky about the state she leaves actually every room she uses, friend's Mum was giggling too and I lost it. Calmly explained the real scale of the problem. Still, she doesn't know that I'm avoiding food because of the Pain from acid and that I don't care if the injured dog comes back from the Vet or not. It's not like we need 4 fucking dogs OH

I've posted before about this so I won't write the whole thing again because it's long. But basically, I threw my DC toys in a bin on the M6 because they were being nightmares in the car. I did lots of stops. I gave them pens, books etc.
I was the only adult in the car.
On the M6 one of them threw something at the windscreen over my shoulder.
So after many warnings, ultimatums, I calmly stopped at the next service station, found a bin and dumped their toys.
People there probably thought "What a cow"

They might have thought "What a shame" if I crashed and wiped out the occupants of my car plus other innocent road users.

And the DC remember it and understand WHY.

MsBella Mon 01-Apr-13 23:29:11

YANBU!!! It is horrible to be a child having horrible or aggresive things being said to you, really really horrible.

There are ALWAYS better ways to deal with a childs behaviour. No excuses

theodorakisses Tue 02-Apr-13 08:22:42

and that horrible, horrible website where father christmas sends a video every day and parents can choose if the child is good or bad, if he is bad then father christmas says sorry, no presents for you, try again tomorrow and we will see if you have been good.

ppeatfruit Tue 02-Apr-13 14:03:21

birdsnotbees That's true, its not just down to the parenting and, as you say when you're at the end of your tether you yell BUT you can afterwards cuddle and apologise and explain.

theodora That website sounds totally revolting but there is a tradition of being unkind to DCs think of "spare the rod spoil the child." I'll never forget one of my 'aunties' saying to me after picking up my crying 5 month old (who was sleeping in a strange house BTW) "you'll spoil her." She is unspoiled and very successful so it didn't did it?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now