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to think you should only say 'we're going home' if you have the intention of actually going home?

(53 Posts)
MightyQuim Fri 29-Jul-11 20:00:54

Took dc to 'toddler group' today. Not really a toddler group as it's open to older siblings over the summer.
A boy there about 5 was being particularly spiteful - snatching stuff off toddlers and making them cry just to then throw it on the floor, hitting a 3 yr old with a toy hammer (not a soft one). Throwing a pan so that it nearly hit a baby sat on the floor etc. He was constantly doing stuff like this - I didn't see him play nicely once for the whole hour I was there. His behaviour went mostly unchallenged by his mum except on a few occasions she threatened to take him home - but didn't.
I will get in there first and say that the boy COULD have sn although I think it is vastly more likely that he knew he could behave like that and get no consequence whatsoever.
So AIBU to think you should only threaten what you are prepared to act on and that not doing so creates the type of child described above?

pictish Fri 29-Jul-11 20:02:51

I don't know if that alone creates a badly behaved child, but I do agree that 'we're going home' should mean what it says yes.

mousesma Fri 29-Jul-11 20:04:31

YANBU this type of 'discipline' is pointless, why make a threat you're never going to follow up? Children aren't stupid.

lawnimp Fri 29-Jul-11 20:05:35

well it's quite easy to judge if you're not the mother of a child that misbehaves

MightyQuim Fri 29-Jul-11 20:07:03

Well lawn I would argue that if I didn't discipline my child I likely would have a child that misbehaves!

NevermindtheNargles Fri 29-Jul-11 20:07:47

Aw, I thought this thread was going to be about habitual welcome-outstayers. I am one of those.

NevermindtheNargles Fri 29-Jul-11 20:07:48

Aw, I thought this thread was going to be about habitual welcome-outstayers. I am one of those.

lawnimp Fri 29-Jul-11 20:07:56

it's not that black and white sometimes though, just saying

Nagini Fri 29-Jul-11 20:08:04

yes it is lawnimp confused

I've taken mine home before now. I think about what the consequence will be, and if it not feasible to take him home, then I'd threaten something else that I would be able to do! Time out at least!

EdithWeston Fri 29-Jul-11 20:09:15

I've no idea what could have been going on here.

But I agree it's a really bad idea to set consequences (ie: do that again and we leave) and then NOT follow through.

I think this applies to more than just dealings with children too.

headfairy Fri 29-Jul-11 20:10:14

I've been guilty of that far too many times. I'd say give the mother a break. It's a bit too easy to get in a rut of saying stuff and not actually carrying through with your threat, because in the end it would be harder for you to. I've now started giving ds a warning and then if he ignores he has to sit on a chair and not join in the fun for five minutes. Must feel like forever for a 3 year old because it's usually enough to stop him misbehaving for a while anyway

MadamDeathstare Fri 29-Jul-11 20:11:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bibbitybobbityhat Fri 29-Jul-11 20:13:14


If you're not going to do it - don't say it!

It is not difficult, it really isn't.

Find another way of dealing with the bad behaviour, but don't say you are going to do something and then not do it. Hopeless.

lawnimp Fri 29-Jul-11 20:20:42

i have done it a few times (actually walked out with 'naughty' kid) and it makes you feel utterly shite

would have been nicer if someone would have offered advice

always feel a bit glum at these threads, no -one seems to want to offer advice or support just villify the said child.

MadamDeathstare Fri 29-Jul-11 20:25:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MightyQuim Fri 29-Jul-11 20:28:22

I'm absolutely not vilifying the child. I felt sorry for him. He was only behaving how he has been taught is acceptable. If he's at school he will have boundaries and consequences there but he obviously knows he can behave that way when he's with his mum.
If your child hits someone at a toddler group and gets removed they will think twice about doing it again (provided they are old enough for that mental process). It might take some kids a few times for it to sink in that hitting equals loss of fun but most will get there eventually.
If your child hits someone and you ignore it or make constant threats that you don't carry through then they know they can behave like that. IMO it is teaching the child to misbehave.

DoMeDon Fri 29-Jul-11 20:31:02

Oh lawn it's not the child we vilify it's the parent who makes idle threats and no attempt to address the behaviour. As for your 'mother of a child who misbeahves' comment - all DC misbehave sometimes - it's called being a child. The ones who do it constantly (apart from those with behavioural issues) are the ones whose parents are not consistent and firm. Child psychologists say that even DC with behavioural problems benefit greatly from consistent and positive parenting.

Kewcumber Fri 29-Jul-11 20:32:20

I have a 5 yr old boy who is generally reasonably well behaved but towards theend of term turned into Attilla the Hun. Atfer a few threats of "if you can;t play nicely we will leave" we left with him creating merry hell. Have had to do it a few times but at least now he knows I mean it and when I have words with him he will calm down.

Its horrible to do (I agree it makes you feel like shite) and might make your life miserable that morning but generally teaching a child that they needn't bother listening to anything you say isn;t a great idea.

But IME offering unsolicited advice to someone on how they could better manage their child isn't a great idea either!

DoMeDon Fri 29-Jul-11 20:33:14

My advice is work on your self esteem - if you can be confident around your DC they will pick up that vibe. If it makes you feel shite taking a badly beahved child home then it sounds like you are not confident in your decisions. Also reading a book pn positive parenting or doing a parenting course may help.

lawnimp Fri 29-Jul-11 20:33:19

well i was at more than one point pulling out my hair and in tears trying to find ways to deal with my child. it's the thing that bought me to mumsnet in the first place.

sometimes it's not that cut and dried and blaming the parent is easy sad

DoMeDon Fri 29-Jul-11 20:35:20

Who elses fault is it? I've got no interest in handing out blame but as an adult I take FULL responsibility for my DC.

spiderpig8 Fri 29-Jul-11 20:38:59

If she'd taken him home it wouldn't really have been fair on his siblings who were not misbehaving.Also it sounds as though the boy didn't really want to be there anyway.

MightyQuim Fri 29-Jul-11 20:43:56

Well his sibling was an immobile baby so don't think they would have been that bothered. He did throw a massive strop when she threatened to take him home so I don't think he would have liked it - even though he clearly wasn't enjoying being there.
I have only once had to take dd home from the park for misbehaving but I would do it whenever necessary and if I didn't want to/couldn't for whatever reason (I wouldn't do it if she was meeting a friend for example cos it wouldn't be fair to them to just leave!) then I would give a different consequence.

alowVera Fri 29-Jul-11 20:47:49

My dds both misbehave at times.

OP, the child was 5, at a toddler group. Most likely he was bored. He wants mums attentions, but they have to do something silly for little sibling, life sucks when you're 5 and being forced to play with babies.
Threatening to leave is exactly what 5yo wants, so to threaten to do it isn't going to work, and to actually carry it out, pretty much tells 5yo that if he behaves terribly he gets what he wants.
Best thing in this type of situation is to take something for 5yo to do, take the ds-lite, a colouring book, a writing book, something that will keep 5th from climbing up the walls to escape.

In answer go your aibu questions. YANBU, a threat requires a consequence.

BUT, at the same time, the mum of 5yo was BU by expecting 5yo to enjoy a toddler group.

MrsCampbellBlack Fri 29-Jul-11 20:49:39


I have taken DS1 home early from things when he's been naughty - it is hard but you do have to follow through on threats.

And I don't generally judge the child and I know what its like to have a tricksy child but I do judge parents who make empty threats.

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