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to have thrown water over DS (10) as he would not get dressed this morning?

(362 Posts)
StuckForAUserName Fri 08-Feb-13 10:55:59

We are late almost every day due to DSs having no interest in getting ready for school and it is an ongoing problem where I am severely stressed out every morning.

It got to 8.25 this morning (we need to leave by 8.30) and DS1 was still in underpants jumping on his brother and fighting him. He had been repeatedly told to get dressed and I warned him I would do it.

I picked up a small jug of cold water I had been using for the iron and chucked it at him. He was soaked and had to change pants. He had some splashes of water on his clean and laid out ready school uniform but I told him to put it on.

I now feel very guilty and hate that I did it but the only other option was a hard slap on the arse IMO. So am I a child abuser?

Madlizzy Fri 08-Feb-13 11:14:51

A few drops of water isn't fecking child abuse. He won't be scarred for life and he'll think again, well, maybe for one morning wink

needastrongone Fri 08-Feb-13 11:15:51

Is Oxford a wind up I wonder?

No you can't teach kids to behave by being badly behaved yourself, but you can show them that you are human! We do stuff sometimes out of stress, frustration, anger etc. We are not perfect parents, we don't always follow the rule book.

Sometimes if I scream like a loony at the kids or whatever, it helps if, later on, I sit down and just explain that didnt handle the situation perfectly or well, but ask them if they did too? Sometimes I apologise if there was no logical reason for me to get so mad at them (ie. tiredness, stress, worry about completely unrelated stuff) if required. That happened last night with DD, sometimes they admit they should have not been faffing or tidyed their rooms when I asked them or whatever.

I always thought my mother was perfect as she never shouted or lost her rag -I still hate confrontation. She was far from it actually, she was quite a cold person, not that I am suggesting that's the case for anyone here but at least I show my kids I lose it too occasionally and that's ok!

WorraLiberty Fri 08-Feb-13 11:17:01

Would you find it acceptable if he threw something over/at you or his siblings just because he didn't like the situation he was in?

I worded that ^^ badly.

What I mean is, would you find it acceptable if he showed his frustration in this way because the only other option was for him to slap someone hard?

I'm sure you'd teach him that there were many other options available.

I understand why you feel guilty but what's done is done.

Now is probably the time to think of alternatives for the future and Pagwatch has given some very good advice.

olgaga Fri 08-Feb-13 11:17:34

I now feel very guilty and hate that I did it but the only other option was a hard slap on the arse IMO.

I'm pleased you at least feel bad about setting such a poor example! I'm sure you know perfectly well that there are other alternatives to a slap on the arse.

It's Friday today. Why don't you take them both for a treat tonight and discuss how stressful you're finding it. Talk through the consequences for them of being late for school with them. Get a routine together of preparing for school the night before, so that everything is ready, and for breakfast and bathroom in the morning.

A good, dependable routine plus rewards are by far the best way to encourage organisation and good behaviour.

Acandlelitshadow Fri 08-Feb-13 11:17:54

Give 15, 10 and 5 minute warnings and make it clear each time that you will be leaving whatever his state of dress. Take him through the front door in his pants (with uniform in a bag. Up to you if he knows this wink) if necessary. It will only happen once if at all.

Alternatively let him frig as much as he likes one day then make him explain to the office, head and teacher in turn why he is so very very late.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Fri 08-Feb-13 11:18:02

Oh and we are NEVER late. I think we've been late about twice in all the years we've been going to school. Somehow we always manage to get out by about 8.15.

I would recommend a few Susan Garland books - I was so relieved when i first bought one of her books in a charity shop, it was our house, our life, exactly smile
and there is nothing wrong with it being chaos.

Blatherskite Fri 08-Feb-13 11:20:01

DS is 5 and already a little bugger for this.

I've found that making him get dressed on the landing with no distractions works best - no toys to play with, no books to read, no sister to jump on....

valiumredhead Fri 08-Feb-13 11:20:09

The only other option was not a hard slap at all.

Good routine and proper consequences for messing around are the way forward.

Pagwatch Fri 08-Feb-13 11:20:35

I agree Rooney

Finding what works for you without being massively would up is enough.

I have banned tv in the morning though until they are ready.
If DD stands in front of me with back packed, kit bag etc and ready to go I tell her she can have tv until its time to leave.

Ds2 needs endless help. But with patience and routine and encouragement he can get washed and dressed and even cooks his lunch!

Letting morning become a battleground is sooooo easy and so bloody pointless.
I did it for bloody years until I had a wtf ! moment.
I love mornings now [gin]

littleblackno Fri 08-Feb-13 11:21:08

I took my ds to nursery in her pj's one morning as she wouldn't get dressed. After weeks of getting stressed, upset (both of us) I just decided to ignore her not getting dressed. She was really shocked when I left the house "but I'm not dressed mummy!!!" Tough!!! I did take clothes in with her and she got dressed pretty quick there.
It made my DS whos 2 yrs older take me seriously if i threatened to do the same with him! That was a year ago and while it's not always an easy task i think they know that i will follow through on the threat to leave the house "however they look" at a specified time.
I don't think you are being unreasonable at all. Just remember the story to tell any gf when he's older!! haha

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Fri 08-Feb-13 11:21:20

also can't believe people actually smack 10 year old children.

I used to try it with ds1 when he was about 3. It never worked, we both felt awful. I've not smacked ds2 ever...ds1 not since then, either, though I will very rarely smack his hand away from something if he's failed to stop doing something daft after being asked/told to several times and I NEED him to stop it NOW. It's never hard though and so rare I can't remember more than one instance.

Smacking a 10yo has to be humiliating, no? Doesn't it make them behave more childishly, if you take on the control in that way>

Pagwatch Fri 08-Feb-13 11:21:24

Yes [gin] helps


lljkk Fri 08-Feb-13 11:21:59

YABU to ask. FFS, does no one on MN trust themselves any more?

I have literally set all the clocks forward ten minutes in OP's situation. Also, I have focused all my attention on the difficult child from 10 minutes before they should start getting dressed to make sure it happened. More than 10 minutes early on a bad day if they weren't already fed & doing. Some mornings this is very hard work. I know a jug of water wouldn't work, or I would have probably tried that too. Occasionally I break down into angry shouting, I am not a saint.

if they're late, they'll get into trouble at school

Really? What does the school do to get them in trouble? Secondary age I know of penalties that some of my DC would care about, but never heard of late penalties in primary.

I would love the school to come up with a penalty or reasonable reward that made a single difference to DS2. I have precious few of them at home to work with.

gordyslovesheep Fri 08-Feb-13 11:23:02

OP if you are repeatedly late then something in the morning routine isn't working and it's unfair to lay the blame with a 10 year old

I have a 4, 8 and 10 year old to get up and out every day

we have rules - they have to get dressed and brush their teeth before ANYTHING else - food, TV, book signing etc

If they mess around they get a warning - and then a punishment (no packed lunch, no DS that evening etc)

I give 15,10 and 5 min warnings and make sure I have got everything they need ready - lunches, violins, swimming kit and such

If they mess around as we are leaving I IGNORE it completely, get the others in the car calmly then go back and insist they get in - this gives the fussy one time to calm down and wise up

throwing water and smacking are not the answer - yabu

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Fri 08-Feb-13 11:23:51

Pag I know - wonderful isn't it? People need to remember them and their kids are on the same team.

LadyMargolotta Fri 08-Feb-13 11:25:01

'If they mess around they get a warning - and then a punishment (no packed lunch, no DS that evening etc)'

What do you mean, no packed lunch? That they have to eat school meals instead?

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Fri 08-Feb-13 11:26:41

lljkk, no penalties I know of, but one teacher ds1 had, I think in y2 or maybe y4, made them apologise to the class for being late. I think that was enough.

I had to have words with her to explain that it was (on the one occasion it happend) my fault entirely, ds couldn't possibly avoid it if I went out late. So she shouldn't try and embarrass him.

Since then he has been a bit scared of being late. Not that I think that is a good thing. And I've given hi mthe choice of go to school, or don't, but if he wants to go he has to sort of comply with the rules.

GetOrf Fri 08-Feb-13 11:27:05

I agree with wise and kind pagwatch. This morning was far from ideal, and I think your best bet is to plan mornings a lot more so you don't feel ragged with impatience and lash out at your son.

Throwing water is a bit crap and slapping really is not on. But I can understand how irate you get when you know you have to leave at X and you are running late.

He is old enough now to know consequences - I really agree sit him down and dpeak to him calmly later.

I also really agree with banning telly in the morning.

OxfordBags Fri 08-Feb-13 11:27:13

Needastrongone - no, I am not a wind-up. I am, however, the daughter of a mother who chose - like the Op chose - to indulge in her own temper and make herself feel better by doing stuff like the OP mentions. I adore my Mum, but it was really damaging.

And OP, you saying "get back in your box" just confirms my suspicions that you are a person with little respect for others and little tolerance for anyone not towing the line you decide on. If you don't want people to disagree with you, don't post on AIBU, especially about doing something mean to a child hmm

itsallinmyhead Fri 08-Feb-13 11:27:40

Really Oxford? If I read the OP correctly, it was the tiny jug that fills the iron. Not exactly a 5 litre jug.

OP, your frustrations boiled over. Give yourself a break. He had a few spots of water on his uniform. I'm pretty sure it won't cause a trauma.

He might just take you seriously next time you tell him to get dressed. I'm not sure I'd make a habit of it though.

NTitled Fri 08-Feb-13 11:28:22

I think it's completely unreasonable to do this to a child. I haven't done anything remotely resembling this, and hope I never would (I am the very dull, predictable type).

But that said, I have a 10-yr-old DS, so can completely see how a parent can get to that stage of frustration. Sigh.

StuckForAUserName Fri 08-Feb-13 11:28:27

Actually I have tried everything including rewards at the end of the week, talking about it (yeah right), and even asking the school to tell them off but DSs tell me that they never say anything. I even got them alarms that go off when they are supposed to be at the door to get shoes on.

Everything is ready for the morning. They only have to take their clothes from the end of the bed and put them on. Wash themselves (which they don't do unless I stand over them) and eat the breakfast laid out on the table. It does not matter whether they are up at 6 or 7, I am always having to start shouting when its time to leave. The stress is making me ill and I then feel tremendous guilt after I have dropped them off as I don't want them to go into school having been shouted at by me.

I also have a 2 year old and a 16 year old btw but the DSs have been like this since they started school so a very long time.

MrsKeithRichards Fri 08-Feb-13 11:28:38

You hold have done something less silly and maybe even helpful at 8.10. Sorry but totally unacceptable behaviour on your part.

gordyslovesheep Fri 08-Feb-13 11:29:35

yes - packed lunches are their preference - so I remove them

valiumredhead Fri 08-Feb-13 11:29:38

Oh God yeah, no telly in the mornings at all here, we'd never get out of the door.

Ds (11) has to leave at 8.10. His alarm goes off at 7.30am - he gets dressed ( shower the night before) eats breakfast, cleans teeth and he's off! We have it down to a fine art now and he would get a detention if he was late for school.

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