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to have cancelled this trip for the whole family?

(45 Posts)
idiuntno57 Wed 23-Oct-13 11:59:34

So one of my DC is exhibiting very challenging behaviour. It is their birthday soon and we had planned family trip out to celebrate. A couple of days ago I was at my wits end and said that if the behaviour continued I would cancel some of the birthday plan.

As I should have anticipated it has continued and this morning I told DC that the trip was cancelled. DC thinks I will change my mind but the others are pretty sure I won't and are upset. They were looking forward to the trip too and are cross.

So - WIBU to have done this? Should I relent?

I don't want to seem to be a pushover but it would have been a nice thing to do. (although I am happy not to have to spend the money!)

NB logistics mean that it is impossible for DC to be left out of the trip. If we go we all have to go.

CreatureRetorts Wed 23-Oct-13 13:00:21

Agree with Tantrums.
How old is kid in question?

Talkinpeace Wed 23-Oct-13 13:05:09

I came from a big family. Peer pressure is amazing stuff.

Stick to your guns.

be willing to reinstate the trip at a later date - when that DC will not be able to call it a birthday treat
on condition everybody in the family - including the other DC agrees that the behaviour has improved permanently

idiuntno57 Wed 23-Oct-13 13:20:06

I think I like the idea of DC (who is 6 BTW) negotiating with siblings as to an appropriate punishment. It was after all them who were being hurt/upset by the original behaviour (DC hitting and breaking toys belonging to others)

IHaveA Wed 23-Oct-13 13:26:17

I wouldn't back down but I would., possibly, let him 'earn' back a smaller birthday treat but only if he behaves exceptionally well.

Your kids need to know that you will follow through with punishments and that you won't enter into negotiations . Everyone needs to know where they stand

MokuMoku Wed 23-Oct-13 13:37:34

I think canceling a trip is too far ahead for a 6 year old who can be quite impulsive. I think you need a more consistent approach such as time out, crossing off points on a reward chart, something like that.

AuntyEntropy Wed 23-Oct-13 13:40:31

I'd consult to decide on an alternative punishment that won't hurt the innocent parties.

Tiggles Wed 23-Oct-13 13:44:05

I have recently done the same and cancelled a birthday treat trip for poor behaviour. Partly because I know with my DSs if they are going through a not behaving trend it would continue on the day out and be miserable for all.
However, I fully intend if/when behaviour improves to reinstate the trip (they don't know that)

MaryZombie Wed 23-Oct-13 13:50:57

I spent my life as a child putting up with cancelled trips out because of my brother's behaviour. Trips to the beach/zoo/park were regularly cancelled, as were parties.

I remember once when my mum lost her temper and cancelled the zoo him muttering "ha, ha, I won, there's only one of me upset but there are four of you" or words to that effect.

I vowed I would never do it, so I have always been very, very careful never to threaten anything as a punishment that I wouldn't follow through, and never threaten anything that would affect my younger children. I have managed to prevent them hating and resenting him, which is a bonus.

MrsOakenshield Wed 23-Oct-13 13:54:38

I do agree with Tantrums, but you must remember - you haven't punished the other DC. They are losing their trip because their sibling behaved in a manner that he knew would result in the trip being cancelled for everyone. I'm not suggesting 'blame your sibling, not me' but I think it's worth quietly explaining to the others that that is why they aren't getting the treat - but acknowledge that in retrospect it wasn't a great consequence to threaten. It may help with the challenging DC's behaviour?

I think you could say you will reinstate the trip should their behaviour improve - I bet the other DC will do their damndest to ensure their pesky little sibling doesn't act up again!

Sympathies. I am expert in using the spur-of-the-moment consequence that I am certain will work, but invariably doesn't. It is, as you say, a minefield. Sigh.

CreatureRetorts Wed 23-Oct-13 14:14:38

But she is punishing the siblings, not the bad behaving one. It's not a natural consequence - its one picked by the OP.

Do not, whatever you do, either indirectly or by implication try and turn the siblings against each other. That's horrible.

MaryZombie Wed 23-Oct-13 14:24:15

If he is tantrumming as attention-seeking behaviour, punishing his siblings and letting them blame him will only make it worse.

Tantrums is right. Find another punishment for him (or even better, a more structured reward system for good behaviour) and explain to them all that you aren't willing to punish all of them when they haven't all behaved badly.

Andro Wed 23-Oct-13 16:55:22

Deffer the trip based on improved behaviour over an extended period and don't threaten a punishment which will punish the others in future.

I wouldn't ever back down on a would be a chink in my authority to be ruthlessly exploited by my 2.

Justforlaughs Wed 23-Oct-13 17:00:49

I would stick to my guns as you have said it, next time I would try to avoid threatening any punishment that I would not want to follow through on. His siblings will no doubt have enough to say on the issue without you laboring the point any more. I would be inclined to rearrange an outing with your DCs at another date, in the not too distant future. I don;t see why any threat should not involve a birthday treat either.

mummytime Wed 23-Oct-13 18:25:04

I don't see anything intrinsically wrong with cancelling a Birthday treat.

BUT I do think you should choose as a punishment something which only impacts on the person at fault (as far as possible).

Also I really think if he is only 6 you may be asking more from him than is developmentally appropriate.

I would rethink your strategy. Not ask for "good behaviour" and give out punishments which are in the future.
Start by praising and noticing good behaviour. You could use a star chart and ensure you give him 10 stars a day, to teach you to spot the good behaviour.
Then start to keep notes on the bad behaviour: when does it happen, are there any triggers, can he control the behaviour, does he even know it is not acceptable?

Then you can move on to trying to correct the behaviour, rather than punishment.

idiuntno57 Wed 23-Oct-13 19:01:54

i really try to praise any good behaviour but it is hard when there isn't much.

Interestingly enough DC has been angelic this pm and the others have not mentioned the lost trip again.

PurpleCrazyHorse Wed 23-Oct-13 21:03:43

Feel for you. It's a minefield and you can only do the best you can. You know your DCs and maybe an alternative punishment might be the way forward, or just to stick with the current punishment. I like the idea of earning the treat back or indeed earning a small, alternative treat instead.

We've done the earning the treat back thing a few times. It works quite well as DD knows she's being punished and that I will follow through with it. But it promotes a change in her behaviour too which is beneficial all round grin

Strumpetron Wed 23-Oct-13 21:06:50

As others have already said it's not fair on the other two, and it does build sibling resentment which obviously you don't want.

Hope you manage to get it sorted

PolterGoose Wed 23-Oct-13 21:13:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

letsgomaths Wed 23-Oct-13 21:34:13

I still bear grudges towards my brother for similar injustices. At the age of 8, I was always seething and frothing when punished for someone else's crime, and often left the adults (parents and teachers) in no doubt what I thought about this. I used to write letters to my parents explaining what I perceived to be injustices; sometimes lying around for them to find.

butterflyexperience Thu 24-Oct-13 10:52:54


Birthdays are a wonderful celebration, but parties and days out are a Treat even for a birthday.

You can still celebrate said dc's birthday at home with a cake and gifts.

If I was you and depending how bad behaviour is I'd cancel birthday gifts from parents as well and I would use this punishment as a constant reminder through out the year as a consequence of said child's bad behaviour.

My dc broke our tv earlier this year and they did not get their birthday presents however we had to go through with parties as we ha already paid for them

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