am I too strict?

(53 Posts)
PandaFeet Sun 09-Feb-14 18:43:05

I am scared I am turning into my mother. She was very strict about everything, and it led to a lot of resentment. I don't think I would ever go to her extremes, but then things are coming up now that make me wonder.

My eldest DD is 5. I have told her she can have her ears pierced in Primary 7. So around 10/11. A relatives child is 3 and has them done, now my DD is asking to have hers done again.

She has no computer games. No DS, no PSP etc. I feel that as she can't read yet she doesn't need them. I also don't let her watch any film above a U. Maybe a PG if I have watched it first and think its ok. But when we visit other peoples houses their similarly aged kids have DSs and watch 15 rated films.

I know everyone parents differently, and I should do what's right for me, but am I going to be making it more difficult for her to make friends because she's out of the loop?

BackforGood Sun 09-Feb-14 18:48:19

She's not 'out of the loop' unless you live in a funny loop.
You will always come into contact with parents with different values from yours, but yours sound pretty normal to me.

notundermyfoof Sun 09-Feb-14 18:49:27

I don't think you're too strict at all, no way would I let a 5 year old watch a 15 film shock

MrsKCastle Sun 09-Feb-14 18:50:21

My DD is also 5. She hasn't expressed any desire to have her ears pierced, but if she did, the answer would be no. She certainly wouldn't be allowed to watch 15 rated films- not a chance. She'd have nightmares! I don't mind her playing computer games though- we have an Xbox, and she plays on this for maybe half an hour a day, plus occasional games on our phones or the kindle.

I don't think you sound strict at all. None of DD's friendswould be allowed to watch anything above a PG.

CoffeeTea103 Sun 09-Feb-14 18:50:55

Yanbu and seem very sensible. She does not need any of the above. And she won't be left out of the loop, unfortunately there will always be those parents who let their kids do whatever they want and it's this sort of thing that makes you question your parenting style. Just stick with what you're doing.

Mine are now nearly 14, nearly 12, 9 and 9. We have kept to very similar rules to those you describe above.
None of them seem deprived and they all manage to find things to chat about with school friends.

I have explained to them my reasons for not allowing PSP, DS games, films certified well above their age etc. DD will be allowed to have her ears pierced the summer after Y6, because that's when I think she'll be old enough to care for pierced ears.

ElloGuvnor Sun 09-Feb-14 18:51:42

Panda you sound just like me. There's a big difference between being strict and making sensible choices that are right for you and your children.
I have told my DD's they can have their ears pierced when they are able to take care of them properly themselves, I'm thinking age 11/12. On the other hand I do let them have more freedom over choosing their own clothes than I was ever allowed. Every family is different.

Caitlin17 Sun 09-Feb-14 18:52:15

I agree with you re film ratings.
On pierced ears I think it looks awful on girls who are not teenagers, and even then preferably 16 and over rather than 13 and over.

BuzzardBird Sun 09-Feb-14 18:54:25

This is Mumsnet, none of us are going to say you are too strict with those views. Sounds like you are doing fine. Dd is 7 and same rules apply.

Ilovexmastime Sun 09-Feb-14 18:54:56

I don't think you're being too strict. At 5 my two did not have computers, DS's etc and there's no way I'd have let them watch a 15 rated film. Some of their friends have way more stuff than them, including TV's and PS3's in their bedrooms, and when my DS's moan about 'everyone' else having these things I just point out all their other friends that I know for a fact do not have them.

Doingakatereddy Sun 09-Feb-14 18:57:15

Very similar rules to you in our house. The only exception is we allow DS 4 to play game apps on iPad - cbeebies, fireman Sam & French learning (now I'm just stealth boasting)

On earrings believe you should only have them when old enough to clean etc - about 10-11.

pootlebug Sun 09-Feb-14 18:57:44

My eldest is nearly 6. She has only ever watched U films (and been scared enough in some to demand it is turned off, so I can't really see that watching higher ratings would achieve much). At the moment the deal is that she can have her ears pierced at 13 as that is when I managed to persuade my Mum! I really don't like earrings on young kids so can't seem me changing on that one. No computer games here as she hasn't even really worked out that PSPs and the like exist yet so I'm going to hold out as long as I can.

SpocksThirdEar Sun 09-Feb-14 18:58:44

I don't think you sound too strict. None of mine had games at 5, after 7 they started getting more interested in them and we bought them. They don't watch anything over a 12, apart from my nearly 15 yo.

Only my youngest has asked about ear piercing and he was told he'd have to be 13 (he's 6 now) He has asked a couple of times and I've reminded him.

I don't even consider myself particularly strict!

OpalQuartz Sun 09-Feb-14 18:59:17

No at 5 all those things are fine. Im quite lax and made similar choices to you. Only difference is mine sometimes went on cbeebies website at that age, but not playing computer games is completely fine at that age.

phantomnamechanger Sun 09-Feb-14 19:00:11

do you know, this thread has just made me realise -my DDs are 14 and 12 and neither has ever asked about getting their ears pierced. Maybe they are odd? Maybe they knew I would say no.

WelshMoth Sun 09-Feb-14 19:01:08

You are doing fine OP.
I think I agree with you on all counts.

Needadvice5 Sun 09-Feb-14 19:01:33

I think you sound like a really good caring mum, my dd didn't have her ears pierced until she was 10.

She's now 13 and wants her belly button done because everyone else has it!!

PartPixie Sun 09-Feb-14 19:01:39

YANBU. You are being very reasonable, and possibly need new friends. I can't think of any 15 rated movies that would even be remotely suitable for a 5 year old. Ear piercing is a personal choice, I don't like it on children that young, it sounds like you don't either. You are her mother, it is your choice. There will always be people who parent in a different way. There are also the care issues to consider with ear piercing.

SpocksThirdEar Sun 09-Feb-14 19:01:53

I should have said that my others are 9 & 11 so that's why we have 12 films (HArry Potter mainly, as they are HP mad) and obviously with older siblings it's harder to keep things out of their way.

When the older ones were younger they were still watching U's or PG's and only CBeebies at 6.

YANBU and you are reassuring me hugely. My DD is only 3weeks, but my biggest fear about parenting is this stuff, wanting computers/games/mobiles and being subjected to the 'but my friends do/have it' blackmail argument.
It's reassuring to know she won't be the only child to be deprived of earrings, computer games, mobiles, 15 rated films etc! Keep up the good work!

5madthings Sun 09-Feb-14 19:03:51

Not too strict, mine are 14, 11, 9,5 amd 3 and i think your rules are age appropriate.

PandaFeet Sun 09-Feb-14 19:04:25

DD is desperate for a DS. We have told her she can have one when she can read well and she seems to have given up asking. But I feel bad when she's in other houses and looking longingly at the kids using their DS. I recognise that look so well, I spent my childhood watching other people have all the fun. I am torn between not wanting to have a child who is glued to a screen, and not wanting to disappoint her.

The earring thing isn't too bad now, but I know that when kids in her class have it done she will be desperate for it too.

When she comes home and says toys that her friends have (eg lego friends) I do try to get her some of those.

She's watching CBeebies atm. By 5 are other kids moved on to something else?

Bagoffrogs Sun 09-Feb-14 19:10:08

Same rules as us. Although it's age 16 in our house for piercings (and mine are only 5 and 3!) Plenty of time for all that stuff imo. We try to retain the good old days of playing, craft etc etc. DD1 has yet to go to the cinema, bowling etc. I really struggle with the 'treat them older' mentality.

DaddyPigsMistress Sun 09-Feb-14 19:13:06

My stepmum wouldnt let any of us have our ears done till we were in secondary school and we had to pay for it ourselves.
My teen tells me all his friends have iphones, cbox ones and can play 18 cert games.
I jyst say ' well aren't they lucky! They are clearly more loved than you' and refuse to listen grin

I wish there were more parents like you OP. You seem sensible and switched on.

Many pupils that I teach are allowed to do whatever they like at home, which makes my job very very difficult hmm

DrCoconut Sun 09-Feb-14 19:18:10

The earrings thing, to me 5 is quite old to have them done as she is already school age which makes it more complicated. I was 2 and my mum didn't have to worry about removing them, covering them, PE etc. and I was under her control so she could look after them properly. Im really glad she did it the way she did as i would probably have been too much of a wuss to get them done later! But the rest seems fine. <Puts flame proof hat on>

AllDirections Sun 09-Feb-14 19:19:46

I don't think you sound too strict OP but then I'm stricter than most of my friends anyway. DD2 (13) isn't allowed to watch 15 rated films. DD3 (7) has a DS because we travel a lot and she also uses my tablet sometimes but most of the time she'd rather be playing, colouring, reading or doing other normal childhood activities like jumping around, chatting constantly and fighting with her sisters. But children don't need to be able to read to use DSs and other screens, they pick up it up really quickly anyway and usually it's just like another toy that is used sometimes but not all the time.

Starting secondary school is when I let my DDs have their ears pierced. You just need to go with what you think regardless of what other parents let their children do or what they let them have.

Bagoffrogs Sun 09-Feb-14 19:22:54

Panda - we are still on cbeebies although we do have a 3 yr old, DD1 watches a couple of programmes on CBBC but not much, she prefers to be playing schools with her sister, that sort of thing. In my view, give them a DS and the imaginative play ends.

oliviaoctopus Sun 09-Feb-14 19:28:42

Did having strict parents make you a crazy teenager? I wasnt allowed to do stuff like that when I was younger so when I became a teenager I was like a wild unleashed animal. I let my dcs have a bit more choice and am not so strict.

dietcokeandwine Sun 09-Feb-14 19:31:21

You sound pretty sensible to me, OP. I don't have any daughters but if I did, I wouldn't be allowing pierced ears till secondary age (both for safety and appearance reasons-don't like pierced ears on little girls). Am with you completely on the films, too-my eldest is 9 and has yet to watch a film rated higher than PG. I also think 5 is a bit young for a DS-my eldest boy was 7 when he got his.

That said I do think it gets harder to keep things age appropriate when older siblings are in the mix-my 4 yo DS2 plays games on the IPad at weekends, for example, which I would not have let DS1 do at that age. And whilst DS2 doesn't yet have a DS, I doubt we'll manage to wait till he's 7 to get him one-he longs to be like his big brother...and heaven only knows what my 1 year old is going to want years before he's really old enough for it!

But I don't think you are being overly strict, at all.

<eyes DS1 warily, waiting for him to turn from a reasonable, helpful (if occasionally moody) teenager into a wild unleashed animal.>

dietcokeandwine Sun 09-Feb-14 19:35:21

Bagofffrogs-don't necessarily agree that having a DS means the end of imaginative play-there are many features to them in addition to the games. My DS and his friends create cartoon sequences on theirs, for example. And they still play, and make up games with Lego figures. Like all these things you just have to manage the screen time so that it doesn't become excessive.

PandaFeet Sun 09-Feb-14 19:36:25

I left home at 17. But I wasn't crazy in the drink/drugs/staying out all the time kind of way. Simply because I wasn't allowed to leave the house, and as my mum liked her space, that meant my room. I was in full time work at 18.

I could never get to that extreme. We have taken her bowling, and will take her to the cinema soon.

I also make her help around the house, and she does help with enthusiasm. I wonder how long it will be before she realises our friends do everything for their kids. grin

BabyMummy29 Sun 09-Feb-14 19:38:19

I was pretty much the same with my Dcs and now that they have grown up they have actually thanked me for the way they were brought up.

They are both good conversationalists and have a good knowledge of the world and I am proud of them

Bagoffrogs Sun 09-Feb-14 19:38:26

Dietcoke - I didn't mean as a whole it would end play but my two play such imaginative games that I would be sad to see that end just yet. I know it will one day, but the longer they play together then it's nice. They have a DVD player for quiet times, which is probably no different than a DS, but after 15 mins they've moved on to something else anyway. And of course id have to buy two - in the same colour !!

tumbletumble Sun 09-Feb-14 19:41:39

My DD is 6. She watches CBeebies and doesn't have a DS (although we do have a family iPad). I wouldn't let her get her ears pierced or watch a 15 film. I don't think I'm a very strict mother either.

Maybe the difference is my DD hasn't asked for any of these things (except casually in passing)... If she was desperate for them and all her friends did I might reconsider.

It sounds fine, although I think you could probably relent on the DS without anything too bad happening. DS has had one for 2 years and he can't read either - some of the games don't require reading ability, usually games which are suitable for the age group! He mostly plays Sonic, Mario and racing. Also, some of the games could even encourage reading as they have bits which form part of the story.

pollypocket99 Sun 09-Feb-14 19:44:00

My parents were pretty strict with me and to be honest, i am pretty thankful! Though in hindsight, one or two extra small treats here and there wouldn't have gone amiss (my dad was pretty straight laced!). So I am sure your children will be just fine smile

Re ear piercing in particular, my parents wouldn't let me have mine done until I was 16 - my mum said she thought this was about the age that I was capable of making 'sensible' decisions and could afford to buy earrings for myself.

They stuck to this rule with me, but caved in when my younger sister said it was "unfair" that i was allowed mine done and she didn't! I can remember being very bitter about this for years!! angry

However, despite being desperate for pierced ears, I hardly wear earrings these days!! grin

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 09-Feb-14 19:48:56

If 5 year olds are watching a 15 film and have all the gadgets where do you go when they are 15?

My children have a lap top wach (older 2 only), the eldest has a phone, they have shared Nintendo that was second hand from someone else and the Wii/xbox are mine/DH's primarily. I am not bothered what Johnny has since we make our own decisions and not on what Johnny's parents think is right for Johnny and not ToffeeChildren.

Viviennemary Sun 09-Feb-14 19:52:01

That doesn't sound too strict to me. I agree about the ear piercings. Five is far far too young.

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Feb-14 19:52:06

Very few 5 year old's watch 15 rated films, ignore any that are. And a 3 year old with pierced ears is appalling, frankly.

PandaFeet Sun 09-Feb-14 19:52:37

However, despite being desperate for pierced ears, I hardly wear earrings these days!!

Haha yes. I was the same and I haven't worn earrings for about 5 years!

Maybe the child I have helped (!) play the DS was playing a game too advanced for him. I didn't see the box so I don't know. I had to read the screen for him. He is 6. It was a game about puppies. He has also asked me, on another occasion, for the code his mummy puts in. I assumed that was some kind of parental lock, because the games in his hand were all 16+.

I think I will have to look into the DS a bit more, and look at the age appropriate games and see what I think then.

letitburn Sun 09-Feb-14 19:53:19

I don't think any of that is strict confused

It sounds like perfectly normal parenting to me (I have a 5yo DD as well).

The only difference we have is that DD1 has a leapster that her grandparents bought her - she hardly ever plays it (and I'm not keen on computers so have never really encouraged her too).

I'm a bit aghast that I might be considered strict for having a 5 yo dd with un-pierced ears who only watches U rated films.

DarlingGrace Sun 09-Feb-14 20:01:37

DD is desperate for a DS. We have told her she can have one when she can read well and she seems to have given up asking

Thats actually quite cruel. I have a child who cannot read, never will be able to read, but back in the day, a DS gave him a lot of pleasure. Ditto, my other child also had a DS and I used to get Japanese pok'e'mon cartridges for him from ebay. He didnt need the words, he could work out the games out for themselves.

Im not saying you should or shouldnt buy a DS, just dont say things like "when you can read" because it might never happen.

pointythings Sun 09-Feb-14 20:01:59

You sound perfectly sensible to me, OP. My DDs got a DS when they were 6 and 8 but I controlled what games they got and when they could play it (i.e. weekends and holidays only, downstairs only). There are a lot of games suitable for young children for the DS, but you do need to control use because they are addictive.

As for 15 films at that age - no way at all! They're now 11 and 13 and they have watched the odd 15 film, but only after DH and I discussed content and felt that particular film was OK.

Next thing you'll be telling me she has (gasp) a sensible bedtime routine too! smile

shebird Sun 09-Feb-14 20:02:54

YANBU earrings are a pain for girls at school having to wear earring tape or remove them.
Why would you let a 5 year old watch a 15s film? Don't be so hard on yourself you are doing fine.

PandaFeet Sun 09-Feb-14 20:05:42

I'm a bit aghast that I might be considered strict for having a 5 yo dd with un-pierced ears who only watches U rated films.

Maybe I just have a very lax social circle. I must, because on the one hand I can see that all the rules I have are normal, but then when I have to say at a get together that the kids can't watch a 12a rated film because my (at the time) 4 year old was terrified of a U film of a similar subject matter, I feel as if I am swimming against the tide.

Dollslikeyouandme Sun 09-Feb-14 20:07:05

Sounds normal and reasonable to me.

I wish more parents were like you and then perhaps we wouldn't have 5 year olds asking for xboxes and tablets.

PandaFeet Sun 09-Feb-14 20:08:38

She's coming along with her reading fine, but she still can't read. I do take your point that setting an unachievable goal would be cruel, but I haven't done that, nor would I.

AuditAngel Sun 09-Feb-14 20:24:50

My DDs (6&3) have their ears pierced, but only because DH is Spanish, I was quite anti until I saw his family's/friend's reactions.

Dd2 has a DS but only a hand me down one, to be honest she very rarely uses it (it doesn't work properly so DS asked for a new one).

She has access to an iPad, we bought one for the older DC Last year, I Then got up-graded this Christmas, so the two girls share an iPad. Having an older sibling DD1 does sometimes see older films, but I do check what they are watching and have refused 9yo DS games that "everyone else has" I often revert to my house my rules.

Keep your standards, you gave to live with the results of your parenting.

PandaFeet Sun 09-Feb-14 20:28:36

To those who said their 6ish year olds have a DS, do they take care of it?

I wouldn't like to spend so much on a DS and then she be rough with it. We did buy her a camera for xmas, and it stays out of reach until she wants it and then it gets put away. I suppose its similar to that.

Nancy66 Sun 09-Feb-14 20:31:39

We have friends - both super achieving, highly educated and they let their kids (aged 7 and 9) play 18 cert games like Mortal Combat and Grand Theft Auto.

Weird. Their logic is 'it's only a game'.

So, no I don't think you are overly strict at all.

pointythings Sun 09-Feb-14 20:37:21

My two were always very careful with their DS, they understood that it was a big expensive present.

As for ears - they had theirs pierced at ages 9 and 11, right at the start of the long summer holidays, and they have had no trouble taking care of them. I wouldn't have done it earlier.

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