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To not let ds go to his friend's house as a punishment?

(24 Posts)
LiegeAndLief Fri 04-Apr-14 07:19:45

Ds is 7. He was at a friend's house after school yesterday and was meant to go round to another's today (I know this was foolish given they are the last two days of term, the clocks have gone forward and he is exhausted, but glossing over my idiocy...)

I went to pick him up from the first house yesterday and he was terribly badly behaved leaving. Apparently he had been fine whilst there but I had to take him away in the middle of a computer game he was losing (to get to football which he loves). There were tears and sulking and then he was rude to the friend's mother, which I made him apologies for immediately but was by far the worst bit as far as I'm concerned - very unusual behaviour for him and I was very cross with him.

So after discussing it with dh we have told him he cannot go to the second house today. The reason I'm asking whether this is U is because I know his friend will have been very excited and will now be very disappointed and it doesn't seem fair to him. I have suggested to his mum that we go to the park together for a bit after school, which is still a punishment for ds as he really wanted to go to friend's house, but hopefully won't be so hard on the friend (haven't heard back from his mum yet though).

Can't take it back now obviously but WIBU?

CountessOfRule Fri 04-Apr-14 07:39:03

Sounds reasonable to me - you aren't stopping them from seeing each other, and if he's being hard work the other mother will probably be grateful not to have to deal with him!

It sounds like natural consequences to me: misbehave at a friend's house > don't get to go to friends' houses.

WooWooOwl Fri 04-Apr-14 07:56:15

Things like this are really hard! I don't think there's a right answer tbh, because the natural consequence is that if you're rude at friends houses you don't get to go to friends houses, but at the same time, it's not really fair on the other disappointed 7yo or the parents who then has to deal with that.

I think I would have chosen another punishment and used the visit today as a chance for ds to prove he could behave politely on leaving the friends house, and then there would be harsh consequences if not.

But it's easy to say that with time to think about it and no anger or embarrassment going on!

thebody Fri 04-Apr-14 08:03:05

mm it's difficult.

personally I agree with WooWoo punishments should only damage the child involved not friends or siblings.

I would have punished him after leaving the house with early bed/no screen time/chores etc.

it is a hard one though. I think you can go back in punishments depending upon the subsequent behaviour.

ll31 Fri 04-Apr-14 08:05:27

Yabu in that youre upsetting someone elses arrangements. Should have chosen something different.

cory Fri 04-Apr-14 08:53:25

I would actually take it back for the reasons mentioned by Woo; it simply isn't right to punish another little boy, who wasn't even there, for your ds' behaviour. I would explain to ds that this was the reason I was taking it back, tell him this gave him the chance to prove he could behave himself and that if he didn't I would not be making any more playdate arrangements.

claraschu Fri 04-Apr-14 09:00:42

I would never do something that punishes friends as well. I think it is not setting a good example of being considerate yourself.

You were trying to teach him to be polite and considerate to his friend's mum yesterday, but this punishment is inconsiderate to today's mum (and of course the other child as well).

Smartiepants79 Fri 04-Apr-14 09:06:00

See I disagree. Not getting to go to another friends house is the natural consequence of his behaviour.
It is tough on the other kid but that's life. I would understand if I was the other mother, and find something else to do that was fun.
If the other child is really bothered it might make your DS consider how his behaviour affects lots of other people.

cory Fri 04-Apr-14 09:13:33

I don't think "that's life" that other parents should be so rude as to cancel mutual arrangements at short notice and land me with the burden of finding something else fun to do when they could just as well have thought out any other punishment.

I would find it rude if I had invited a friend over for the afternoon and they cancelled the same day on a similarly flimsy excuse. I don't see that it makes a difference that it's a young child. Manners is manners. An attitude of "that's life" concerning a breach of etiquette towards another family is not imho the best way to model them.

And I find it highly unlikely that the OP's ds will mend his ways out of concern for how his friend or his friend's mum is affected by the change of plans. Not unless he is a highly unusual 7yo.

LiegeAndLief Fri 04-Apr-14 09:14:04

Hmm yes this is all the stuff going on in my head!

I REALLY don't want him going to the friend's house today. Punishment aside, I think he is likely to behave badly again as he is exhausted (doesn't sleep well at the best of times, clock change and end of term have done him in) and he and this friend have a tendency to bicker, which I can see escalating. I feel like I would be setting him up to fail IFYSWIM.

Right, other mother hasn't replied to text so I'm going to have to ring her landline. Maybe I should suggest that the friend comes here instead, just for a couple of hours so ds can still wind down before bed? Is that giving in or being considerate to the other child?! Am in such a quandary!

LiegeAndLief Fri 04-Apr-14 09:16:02

Actually he is very concerned about the friend. He was really worried about going to school today because he was worried that his friend would be upset. I think this is probably more selfish than altruistic as the concern probably stems from embarrassment that friend will know he has been badly behaved and worry that he will be cross with him, but he is at least thinking about how friend will feel!

LiegeAndLief Fri 04-Apr-14 09:17:16

In hindsight I should have just not taken him to football yesterday, and left it at that, but we were literally running from friend's house to football and I was too flustered and cross to think clearly.

Hoppinggreen Fri 04-Apr-14 09:17:34

I think if you are going to suggest friend comes to you then there's no point.
It might be too late to change the punishment now but I probably wouldn't hve done it as it has affected someone else . As the friends mum I would probably be a bit p-d off as well -if my 2 have a friend for tea I usually make an effort to tidy up the playroom and bedrooms and get something special for tea or treats

Nocomet Fri 04-Apr-14 09:22:48

DD looks forward to having DFs to play, I'd not ask parents who didn't turn up, simply as a punishment, to come again.

I had a friend who stopped her DDs going to Brownies or Guides if they misbehaved. Great for her it was a horrible drive, but not fair on the rest of their six/patrol if they were meant to bring stuff etc.

Not a particularly good punishment either, because her DDs weren't that bothered.

I do threaten no gym, but that wouldn't affect anyone else and DD2 loves it. I have never got close to having to do it.

cory Fri 04-Apr-14 09:28:15

OP, some kind of compromise might not be a bad idea- as long as you explain to your ds why you are making that compromise.

Or else, explain to the other mum about his exteme tiredness, rather than just about the punishment. "I am so sorry but I think I have to cancel because I don't think ds can cope" sounds totally different from "I have decided to use cancellations as a form of discipline".

Nocomet, dd was at youth theatre with a girl who would frequently be unable to make rehearsals because she was grounded. And she had some pretty big parts as well. Totally unfair on the rest of the cast who then had to try to rehearse without one of the main characters.

RedRoom Fri 04-Apr-14 09:37:41

Given that you tried to contact the 2nd mum very early to cancel, I don't think yabu at all. His punishment for being rude and naughty when visiting a friend is that the same kind of visit the next day is cancelled. I think that is like for like punishment, and will teach him that when he is a guest is someone's house, it is unacceptable to be rude to the mother who is hosting him. I would explain to the mum why you want to stop him coming to her house though- I'm sure she'll understand.

LiegeAndLief Fri 04-Apr-14 09:43:22

Actually I'm surprised (and now worried!) by the number of people who would be really angry about this type f cancellation - if it happened to me I would obviously be inconvenienced and a bit disappointed for my dc, but I would understand.

CountessOfRule Fri 04-Apr-14 09:48:04

I would be a bit put out, yes, but ultimately it's the same as if DS were ill - which he kind of is. And if I thought he'd have been a handful I'd have tried to feel grateful and maybe even shoehorn in an object lesson for my own child...!

HollaAtMeBaby Fri 04-Apr-14 09:49:03

I don't have DC but if I did, I would rather my DC were friends with naice well-behaved children whose parents were firm and consistent with discipline... so I don't think YABU to cancel the playdate and I think the other boy's mum would be U to mind.

diddl Fri 04-Apr-14 09:51:01

Where's the punishment though if he is meeting his friend at the park instead?

I'd be pissed off for my child if it was cancelled also, but if it was because they'd behaved badly at someone else's house I think I'd be rather glad not to have to have them.

Nocomet Fri 04-Apr-14 09:54:16

Our rural school catchment is very spread out. Most of the pupils and their siblings do lots of extracurricular activities, a couple of DDs DFs see their Dad's every other weekend. Planning play dates can feel like a military operation, they are very much looked forward to.

LiegeAndLief Fri 04-Apr-14 10:09:07

Fair enough, Nocomet - is much less of a military operation here thankfully!

Nocomet Fri 04-Apr-14 10:45:54

Not having friends in just dropping in range is the great problem with living here.

I lived on a small housing estate and we were in and out of each other's houses all the time. Far less planned activities and no primary HW, you could always find some one who could play.

DD2 would have loved it, DD1 would have longed for peace.

LiegeAndLief Fri 04-Apr-14 11:11:45

Well have just had a text from the mum, she was very understanding (at least by text, she may be cursing me in the privacy of her own home!) so hopefully has ended ok... Will try to think up better punishment that doesn't affect anyone else in the future though.

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