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to expect DS(10) to make minor decisions?

(22 Posts)
niceguy2 Sat 22-Oct-11 10:44:08

Need to ask the wisdom of MN on this one.

We're looking at halloween costumes today on the Internet. He really wanted to be a ninja but the costume he had his eye on didn't have his size. So we looked at other alternatives but he said he didn't like those. Fair enough.

So we widen the search and he's just mindlessly clicking through the pages, not really making much effort. Eventually we find a ghoul outfit which was a maybe. Bit more searching and still nothing so I asked if we should just get it.

And he dropped into the "Don't know/I don't mind" stance which he knows frustrates me like mad. Basically he just shrugs his shoulders and refuses to make any decision or even let on if he actually likes it or not.

After a couple of minutes of explaining that I just want him to make a decision, I told him if he can't say yes or no then I simply won't get him a costume. He then runs off crying. I asked his sister (15) if I was being harsh and she said I wasn't and she'd have done the same.

So my question to the MN masses are:

a) AIBU?
b) Any clue why he won't make a seemingly simple decision? His mum thinks he's not good with large choices but surely at 10, he can make a decision over a bloody halloween costume!

ScaredBear Sat 22-Oct-11 10:59:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

itchywitch Sat 22-Oct-11 11:01:06

I'm in my 20s and still ask my mum for advice on all sorts of things, including buying new shoes blush (But not all the time, every couple of weeks!). Some people are just indecisive.

But crying is a bit OTT so no, not unreasonable. Perhaps there is something else going on?

squeakyfreakytoy Sat 22-Oct-11 11:02:06

I dont want to depress you.. but I have one who is just as indifferent and indecisive....... he is my husband and is 50 in a couple of weeks... confused..

"i dont mind" and "i dont know" are his most often used phrases.... it drives me mad! grin

Some people are just that way inclined, and my husband has always been like that according to MIL....

CheeseandGherkins Sat 22-Oct-11 11:02:25

Yanbu in my opinion. My 4.9 year old can make decisions let alone my almost 8 and my 9.8 year old. I do find that limiting the options helps though, so maybe choose 2 or 3 things and ask them to choose from that. With ds1 he does have problems choosing from, say, a whole shop full of things but when we limit the choices he finds it far easier. Maybe try that for now?

DownbytheRiverside Sat 22-Oct-11 11:03:15

Narrow the parameters for his decision-making. Like all skills, it needs practise.
If he's not used to being asked to make independent decisions on a daily basis, too much choice may be challenging.
So YANBU to want him to make a choice, but it sounds like he's either unskilled, too knackered or worried about making up his mind in case he picks wrong and his mates don't feel it's a cool costume.
I'd go for ghoul and facepaint personally. Though home-made ninja is easy.

motherinferior Sat 22-Oct-11 11:04:36

YANBU. I would be v tempted to say crossly 'OK, chum, no bloody costume for you', frankly. Whiffling children drive me mad.

JarethTheGoblinKing Sat 22-Oct-11 11:04:50

How to make a ninja mask out of a T-shirt

HTH grin

DownbytheRiverside Sat 22-Oct-11 11:06:01

Whiffling children often have parents who have spent years negotiating and whiffling at them.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JarethTheGoblinKing Sat 22-Oct-11 11:08:26

Or you could just buy this

when faced with too many choices a lot of people will just shrug and give up. DP still can't choose from a large menu to save his life wink

JarethTheGoblinKing Sat 22-Oct-11 11:12:43

Wow, there are millions of ninja costumes all over the place. YABU for not looking properly grin

fortifiedwithtea Sat 22-Oct-11 11:22:43

YABU and nasty. Take some time out for abit of empathy. You said " he really wanted to be a ninja." Sounds like he's disappointed. You should have acknowledged this, not made him cry. Go and say sorry and work out a compromise, can you cobble together a ninja costume.

And I agree with his mother. Children struggle with too much choice.

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Oct-11 11:33:31

Nasty fortified?

Trying to get a 10 YO to take a bit of responsiblity for themselves and make a choice isn't nasty grin

And just because they're 10, it doesn't mean they don't run off at the slightest thing bawling their eyes out still.

My 10 YO can still be a right drama queen at times, but like when she was four, tantruming doesn't cut any ice and make me do as I'm told.

He was disappointed, boo hoo, he should have picked out something else and not expected his mum or dad to run around finding alternatives for him <harsh but true>

motherinferior Sat 22-Oct-11 11:38:21

I just feel life is too short to spend over a ninja costume. My life, that is. And as such, would resent having to be dragged into this. (I am not a very nice, or good, parent. It's a wonder my 10 year old is the lovely girl she is.)

niceguy2 Sat 22-Oct-11 11:52:38

Ok, good idea about narrowing down the choices, a strategy I will try to employ in future

But at the end of the day we did look at loads of other ninja costumes. A few personally I felt were better but ultimately I want him to choose, it's his outfit.

I get he might be disappointed but then hey, that's life. It's not my fault it's out of stock, he could have chosen a different style but he's chosen not to. He's plenty of other choices. I didn't ask him to make up his mind right now, I asked him if he liked the ghoul, yes or no. Either answer was acceptable.

I'm a big believer in letting kids stand on their own two feet. I don't want my kids when older to be independent enough to make their own choices and wise enough to ask for advice when needed. So I think they need to start making simple choices now rather than having everything decided for them.

I like the Amazon costume, I'll email it to his mum and see if she can broach the subject with him once he's out of his foul mood.

niceguy2 Sat 22-Oct-11 11:53:11

ooops...."I don't want" should have been "I want...."

Gonzo33 Sat 22-Oct-11 11:55:18

My 10 year old boy is the same. Drives me nuts. Yet when it comes to birthday and christmas presents he can definately make a decision then.

He has also started with the crying recently, which is not something he normally does. I spoke to his teacher about it and she said all yr 6 boys go through it.

Birdsgottafly Sat 22-Oct-11 12:01:14

I second working on narrowing the choices. You have to support some children to stand on their own two feet.

What you need to do is get him to start to make choices for himself but never criticise them and make sure that other family members don't either.

Don't belittle his problem with decision making but try to now remove it.

I used to always doubt every decision i took but then realised it was because of the negativity that i was brought up with and that was around me, it destroys confidence.

You have put a negative consequence in place rather than saying that pointing out the positives of him making his own choice. Just go and sort it out.

AgentZigzag Sat 22-Oct-11 12:04:15

I think some of it is the start of The Hormones gonzo shock <scared>

Luckily DD quickly gets over whatever it is she's got in a state about and will apologise, but there's definately been an increase in the backchatting/loud sighing recently.

I just point it out to her and make her say sorry each time she does it, because I don't reckon she notices half the time.

I was sympathetic the other day though when she said she's sad at us not looking after her like we did when she was younger (probably highlighted by having a nearly 2 YO as well, who she sees being 'babied') but she did realise it'd be totally inappropriate for us to treat her the same as a two year old, and there's far more fun to choose what you want to do as an adult than having someone else choose for you.

They just need a good hard gentle shove in the right direction sometimes.

fortifiedwithtea Sat 22-Oct-11 12:34:22

Agent I stand by what I said. OP could have handled the situation better. The kid wasn't making a decision so in frustration he made an empty threat not to get him to costume at all. Nasty.

Just so you know I have a teenager and 9 yo with sn. I pick my battles and don't tolerate tantrums.

colken Sat 22-Oct-11 13:08:10

Sit him down and look at the costume he's undecided about. Have a piece of paper with two columns, one entitled 'pros' and one with 'cons'. He can think of the positives and negatives of the coutfit and the column with the more points wins. End of.

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