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To think my Cousin is too strict, and feel she is over disciplining DS?

(67 Posts)
owlelf Sun 21-Oct-12 21:19:22

DSis just 6. He is bright, funny, affectionate and great fun. DH and I feel he is pretty well behaved- he is rarely naughty, no tantrums or strops. School are happy with him, his teacher finds him to be well behaved and praised him for his enthusiasm for learning and in general.

DS and I have just been away with my cousin. She has a DD, aged 10 who is incredibly well bahaved, she is a really lovely girl. Her personality is different to DS' though, she is quite timid, and quite easily upset. I thought this was her natural personality, but having witnessed my cousins parenting style I am not so sure.

In an nutshell she is much much stricter than I feel is necessary. She feels I am too lenient and this has shaken my conviction in my own parenting.

She seems to be constantly telling her (and my) DC off for something, often things that I wouldn't feel needed saying. For example, DS was constantly pulled up on his table manners (DS is a brilliant eater but has to be reminded about elbows and eating with his mouth shut), told off for running in the woods in case he fell (I felt he was just having fun, and don't mind him falling unless there is something dangerous to fall into), told off for asking for another biscuit, told off for wanting to jump from a very high platform at the park, the list goes on.

I felt my cousin was stamping the 'life' out of my lively DS, she felt she was doing me a favour because he is naughty. He never once actually disobeyed her or me, but was constantly bring told off until I wanted to scream.

When I spoke out I was accused of not bring able to see that he is a little monkey.

I do admit that DS' second cousin is better behaved than him. But she seems to me to live in fear of being told off. For example, she was afraid of admitting to feeling car sick so she eventually threw up without warning and she cried buckets when she accidentally pushed DS over (he was fine about it).

Sorry for the epic post. Part of me feels worried that I gave a blinkered view of how strict I should be- but part of me thinks my cousin is overdoing the discipline and that an impeccably behaved child isn't necessarily a sign of well balanced parenting.


Bonsoir Sun 21-Oct-12 21:21:34

Your cousin sounds way over the top! And why was she trying to parent your DS anyway - none of her business!

owlelf Sun 21-Oct-12 21:23:00

Sorry, I mean have a blinkered view, not gave a blinkered view.

TheProvincialLady Sun 21-Oct-12 21:23:43

I was an impeccably behaved child and it wasn't a good sign.

Your cousin was well out of order telling your son off for perfectly normal and ok things to do, that did not affect her or her child or her house, in YOUR presence. I'm surprised you put up with it for as long as you did - I wouldn't. Don't let her shake your confidence in yourself and next time she tries it, tell her to mind her own business and keep to harassing the life out of her own child.

RandomMess Sun 21-Oct-12 21:23:56

Surely dc are supposed to be able to run off in the woods if you're all out exploring together????

FutTheShuckUp Sun 21-Oct-12 21:24:42

I think a child who has bad table manners and asks for another biscuit should be told about their manners personally. Theres being 'lively/spirited/adventurous' and being plain rude

owlelf Sun 21-Oct-12 21:25:25

Thank you Bonsoir, she has always been very hands on with DS. I think she feels I want her help to make him as well behaved as her DD. I have commented before on her superb behaviour- now I wish I had kept my mouth shut....

RandomMess Sun 21-Oct-12 21:28:30

There is a difference between asking for manners, being told that it's rude to ask for another biscuit (surely you just say no though) and "being told off"...

Which was it?

Fabulousfreaks Sun 21-Oct-12 21:28:31

Your cousin was well out of order and you should tell her off severely.

And what the fuck is wrong with asking for another biscuit. Kids ask, you say yes or no... end of!

Marzipanface Sun 21-Oct-12 21:29:55

What is wrong with asking for another biscuit?? Asking politely is not rude.

It certainly sounds like your cousin is overbearing. Poor girl, too scared to tell her mum she felt car sick. Reminds me of my childhood, constantly being told off for hardly anything and worrying all the time when the next outburst would be.

I would be really unhappy if my cousin repeatedly told off my dd and would say something, and probably leave!

FutTheShuckUp Sun 21-Oct-12 21:32:00

If im spending time with a child who ISNT being disciplined by their own parents I would tell them myself, popular or not. If someones kid is being rude/bad mannered/dangerous and their parents cant be bothered to tell them so I have no qualms doing so

FutTheShuckUp Sun 21-Oct-12 21:33:59

Disclaimer- I have never told the OP's son off grin

Marzipanface Sun 21-Oct-12 21:34:38

How do you know the child in question is rude and bad-mannered? I think the OP has made it clear that he is a normal lively boy who rarely gets into trouble at home and school.

Joiningthegang Sun 21-Oct-12 21:34:57

Yanbu at all - apart from the eating with his mouth open thing - i REALLY hate it when anyone does this and would find it hard toi ignore - sohard in fact i would probably have snapped - yuk

FutTheShuckUp Sun 21-Oct-12 21:35:09

Just out of interest OP- why do you feel its not important to tell your DS not to eat with his mouth closed?

BinksToEnlightenment Sun 21-Oct-12 21:36:30

There's nothing wrong with asking for another biscuit. Please can I have another biscuit is not the same as give me another biscuit now.

I'd be steaming mad about someone else bossing my child around. Unless she was looking after him without you there, you're head parent.

nuckingfackered Sun 21-Oct-12 21:36:36

How is a child asking for another biscuit rude?? Surley it would depend on how they ask.

OP your DS sounds smilar to my DS - a normal, happy 6yr old. I would be very angry at your cousin for thinking that she can parent YOUR child.

You sound like your doing a great job don't let her question yourself.

SilverCharm Sun 21-Oct-12 21:38:59

Fut what an odd question! Because it's rude and gross to eat with your mouth open of course!

NathanDetroit Sun 21-Oct-12 21:40:00

While I do think your cousin is being pretty harsh, it can be difficult when you're out with other people's kids if you're worried they're doing something that could hurt themselves or other people. I don't have kids, but was out with my friend's kids and her. We were sitting at a table and there was a glass of water so I moved it out of her DD's way but she told me it was ok where it was. It's a fine line between helping to keep the kids safe by appearing bossy & strict and being completely unhelpful and creating more work for my friend. Bit worried my friends with kids think I'm a harpy now! (not that I would ever call anyone else's child naughty, that's rude, IMO).

milkymocha Sun 21-Oct-12 21:40:50

She'd get a punch on the nose if she kept undermining and belittling my son.

This is not a dictatorship. He is a child. A normal, lively child. OPs cousin needs a reality check, i feel sorry for her child!

FutTheShuckUp Sun 21-Oct-12 21:43:40

Silver- read my question again before you deem it 'odd'

pointyfangs Sun 21-Oct-12 21:44:24

Eating with mouth open would be an issue for me, but I would never tell someone else's DC off for it. Asking for another biscuit - as long as it's done politely, not a problem. Running and jumping in places designed for such behaviour - perfectly fine, I'd be cheering them on. Your cousin is controlling and excessive, and her DD will suffer the consequences all her life, I'm afraid.

fluffypillow Sun 21-Oct-12 21:47:39

Your Cousin sounds really rude. YANBU, and neither was your DS.

owlelf Sun 21-Oct-12 21:50:11

Regarding the biscuit. We were in a walk kids has an apple and a biscuit. Ten minutes later DS asked if he could have another, I said no which I thought was the end of the issue. When we returned to the car she told him that it was rude to ask for another biscuit and he should learn that one is enough. I accept that one is enough, but had no problem with him asking for another. He was confused when she told him off and asked if he had forgotten to say please.

I agree that bad table manners are not nice. We are working on this, but I did feel than needing the odd reminder is not unreasonable for a just 6yo. Maybe I've been so relieved that he eats almost anything and really enjoys his food, that I haven't pushed him to develop his table manners enough.

owlelf Sun 21-Oct-12 21:50:53

Sorry (again) had an apple not has- I can't seem to scroll to proof read on my phone.

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