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To tell everyone not to buy DS any Christmas presents ?

(112 Posts)
formallyknownasloveydarling Sat 10-Nov-12 19:28:47

Firstly, I should point out that I am very very angry so please tell me if I am being a bit extreme.

DS, aged 4 had a friend round today. They trashed his toys. Expensive toys like a play mobile castle, and pirate ship that cost around £100 each and all the paraphernalia that goes with it. DS was the ringleader.

Some things were actually smashed so cant be repaired and it will take longer for me to put the castle and ship and battering ram etc back together than they spent playing with it - much longer.

After they had trashed his bedroom, they came down and started chucking Lego round the lounge. The other boys' mum and I were in there with the babies so we were able to stop them.

When it was time for the friend to go home, DS punched him in the stomach. The little boy went home in tears and I could see his mum was pissed off with DS. I was so embarrassed.

After they had gone I went with my son upstairs to his room and told him to tidy up everything and what hadn't been put away in 30 minutes would be taken away from him, along with the smashed up pirate ship and castle.

When I went up 30 minutes later he had left a lot of it on the floor still. I said more than once 'have I got this right - you would rather have your toys taken away than put them in the basket?' In various ways as I wasn't convinced he understood but he assured me 'yes, he'd picked up a few and I could take the rest'. I have already confiscated the boat and castle.

AIBU to deduce he is a spoilt brat with far too much? I have never been big on material presents anyway but he gets a lot from his GPs. Compared to friends he is about average on the amount of toys he has but it is far far more than I had growing up.

I almost took a bin bag and put all his toys in it. I am livid and so ashamed that I have raised someone with such little respect. Christmas is cancelled for him.

rainbowinthesky Sat 10-Nov-12 19:31:50

Err, yes, of course Yabu. Where were you when he was doing all the trashing?

DangerousMouse Sat 10-Nov-12 19:32:03

Has he behaved like this before? 4 is quite young to be left unattended with a friend over in the bedroom, I remember when my DD was that age I would check on them every half hr or so, I also had the baby alarm plugged in..

GrimAndHumourless Sat 10-Nov-12 19:35:10

actually bag it up and pop in garage because you MUST follow through, bring back out bit by bit over the next few weeks

don't cancel christmas however, the linear time difference between now and then is far far too long and to cancel is disproportionate in the extreme

you need to think about downstairs play only when he has mates over, four year olds are notoriously impulsive and easily egged-on

TulisaLover Sat 10-Nov-12 19:36:08

I think YANBU. This gift giving malarkey is getting out of hand. I'm hearing so many mum's saying 'but so and so is getting her DC's an iPad/Moshi/Tiffany Bracelet' and stressing out over it, and there DC's are not even 5 years old. It's absolutely ridiculous and sums up the consumer driven madhouse this world is becoming.

Then you'll get a shill saying 'But we need economic growth!'. The hell we do. Compost your own faeces, have your kids play with cardboard boxes and read Oscar Wilde. And grow your own veg.

ginmakesitallok Sat 10-Nov-12 19:36:25

yabu - he's only 4 for God's sake! There is no point in cancelling Christmas - its too far away and he won't be able to make the connection. You should have been supervising him. Surely the point of playmobile stuff is to take it apart and put it back together??

GrimAndHumourless Sat 10-Nov-12 19:40:14

(anyone else see the irony of being upset that Pirate Ship and Battering Ram busted, presumably the kid has no toys that encourage gentle hands and kindness [meanie])

Yika Sat 10-Nov-12 19:40:40

YABU. That is much too extreme. He is only little. You are right to discipline him in the moment, but Christmas is a separate occasion. What is more, everyone else will still celebrate Christmas - you wouldnt just be withdrawing a specific privilege of his; you'd be excluding him from a celebration that the whole of society joins in. He is much too young to take full responsibility for his actions. It would be truly cruel to deny him Christmas presents.

PurplePidjin Sat 10-Nov-12 19:42:35

Consequence needs to be immediate, so bagging and removing all toys would be a good start for behaviour that appalling.

Nothing for Christmas would have absolutely no effect, it's too far away. He needs to know that his socks need to be well and truly pulled up before Santa will put him back on the Nice list though, would a Portable North Pole message work? Or get a mate to ring up and pretend? Needs to be tonight/tomorrow to have an impact...

formallyknownasloveydarling Sat 10-Nov-12 19:42:53

Ginmakesitallok - I take it you don't actually own any play mobile? The castle took me 1 day to put together and the pirate ship took dp a whole morning. Definitely not designed to be smashed up. More for imaginary play I'd say than wrecking.

Ok, point taken - I should have supervised them more. I never really know and take the lead from the other mum who in this case is ultra laid back.

But it is the fact that he would rather his toys are taken away than bother to chuck them in a box that has upset me so much. It was late and he was really fucking tired (to the point that I nearly cancelled the play date as he was so tired but could manage to have a nap after lunch). But his hard is it to pick some toys up from the floor?!!

TulisaLover Sat 10-Nov-12 19:43:32

An apple, a satsuma and a box of raisins is all I ever got. It never did me any harm and nor will it do your DS if you follow the holy trinity of gifts I've outlined.

quirrelquarrel Sat 10-Nov-12 19:45:16

I love your last suggestions Tulisa (being serious!) smile

Give him some token presents at Christmas and still make a lovely atmosphere, but YANBU to want to pare it down a lot. It's not a punishment, it's just the way things should be.

btw, why are you going to put the toys back together? he should. Maybe you could sell them and put half the money towards his Xmas presents and half towards charity. It's not a big deal if this Christmas isn't the best ever. I'm sure he's a sweet thoughtful kid most of the time but this is when you have to nip it in the bud. Because, sorry OP, he doesn't sound like he treasures his toys, I do think he sounds a bit spoilt. I don't know why children need toys- entertaining machines/objects- anyway. Stuffed animals, yes, and dolls houses and dolls. Bright flashy kidcentric thing from the TV- noooo.

Oh and also, a friend and I absolutely trashed something very special my mum had made for me when I was 3- no bad intentions, I was trying to make a bed (I remember it very clearly!) and squashed my poor mum's effort in the process, quite knowingly. I didn't turn out to be too much of a brat (I hope....)! But my mum and dad came down so harshly on me and I think it must have done me good. I have a v. good relationship with them now.

wonderingsoul Sat 10-Nov-12 19:45:18

hes 4.

how long where they left alone upstairs for.

could you not hear what was going on? id be slightly more worried if all this was done with n o noiuse at all tbh.

i would punish him by bagging it all up and giving it back bit by bit.

i also think you are bu for telling him to tidy then just leaving him to it. you should have stayed in the room and supervised. coached him with what to todo. hes FOUR!


formallyknownasloveydarling Sat 10-Nov-12 19:47:27

Grimandhumourless - You obviously don't have any boys do you? I'm not going to bother to list the wonderful fluffy toys he has and the hours of tree hugging we do.

MsFlippingHeck Sat 10-Nov-12 19:48:08

Don't cancel Christmas, but I'd punish today's behaviour. Four is old enough to know not to behave like that.

Serious talk tomorrow with threats that will 'hurt' ( removal of sweets/trips/tv whatever his favourite thing is because hes obviously not bothered about toys being confiscated) if that behaviour is seen again.

Get gps onboard with reminding him that his behaviour was wrong and there will be serious consequences next time so he sees a united front.

Viviennemary Sat 10-Nov-12 19:49:24

Four is quite young to behave well unsupervised. I agree that you were partly to blame for not stopping this sooner. It does sound like he has too many toys out at once. Somebody told me to put some toys away in the loft or similar and then change them every so often. Four year olds can't tidy without being supervised. Most wouldn't know where to start. Sorry to all Mums with exceptionally organised and tidy DC's of four years old!

midseasonsale Sat 10-Nov-12 19:50:51

I would bag it up and hide it. He can earn it back through good behavior here and there.

About Xmas. What about asking for money instead and use it towards some clubs where respect/burning up energy/taking instruction is key - cubs, swimming etc.

Also with the gifts, spread them out over a couple of weeks and give them daily if he is good.

He is 4 and should know better. He will calm down I'm sure.

wonderingsoul Sat 10-Nov-12 19:51:38

last wasnt meant to be in shouty caps..

i felt rarther bad after i saw it.. i didnt mean to shout. eekk

midseasonsale Sat 10-Nov-12 19:52:37

ps. My 4.4 year old can tidy his room perfectly and play gently unsupervised. He is still far from perfect though!

WildWorld2004 Sat 10-Nov-12 19:53:30

YANBU to not want him getting any more toys for christmas. The way he is acting is a bit spoilt and not appreciative.

My 4yr old was quite capable of tidying up her toys when left to it.

formallyknownasloveydarling Sat 10-Nov-12 19:53:36

What? Of course a 4 year old can tidy their toys away. One box for the train set, one for the Lego etc. that's all he had to do. He could do this at 18 months (I'm not joking - he made a better job if it then too).

naturalbaby Sat 10-Nov-12 19:54:46

YABU, he is 4 not 14!

I have a 4yr old who had a playdate on Friday and his behaviour was out of control - he was a horrible, mean child and I have never seen behaviour like that from him before. He was exhausted and unsupervised for a minute too long, once he'd lost the plot there was no way he could control himself so his friend went home.

If a child does something wrong, even as bad as your DS, you deal with it and move on and work out how to prevent it happening again. To keep going on and on and on punishing him is pointless and mean and will not help him at all.

valiumredhead Sat 10-Nov-12 19:55:30

Hang on - so you are actually saying that the Playmobile got broken up NOT smashed into smithereens?


That's the whole point of Play mobile and Lego - break it up and start again.

They are very young to be left for long periods of time and there is usually high jinx when 4 year olds get together.

The punch is not on but again, sounds like over excitement - an apology and move on.

Cancel Christmas? It's miles off and won't make the connection. Save huge punishments for things that actually matter, not a pair of over excited kids who need a bit of reigning in and some broken up Playmobile.

apostropheuse Sat 10-Nov-12 19:57:59

I can understand that you're frustrated and probably mentally exhausted too.

However, YABU.

He is only four years old. You did the right thing by telling him off and attempting to get him to tidy it all away. He knew why you were angry and that you followed through by removing the toys you said you would - if he didnt pick them up.

Christmas is six weeks away, which to adults isn't a long time. To a four year old it is ages away and he won't understand why he is being punished at that point.

I get the impression (though I may be wrong of course) that he is your oldest child. It can be the case that we expect too much of the oldest.

To me it sounds as if he was over excited and tired out and his behaviour certainly wasn't the best - particularly when he punched his friend. It was probably a bit much too tell him to clear up and not to supervise him. I think at the age of 4 many children still require guided step by step instructions.

I think it would be a disproportionate response to cancel Christmas because of this, and I think once you calm down and think put things into perspective then you will realise this too.

lovebunny Sat 10-Nov-12 19:59:10

he is four and you left him alone with another four year old to do whatever they liked.
more fool you.
don't blame the child.

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