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Regarding children being told off?

(20 Posts)
CrohnicallyExhausted Mon 07-Jul-14 17:50:15

If your child is upset following a telling off, is it counter productive or sending mixed messages if you then immediately reassure and comfort them?

Or is it cruel to leave them upset?

In a school situation, if a child was upset over a telling off, at least I'd know the message was getting across. I'd talk to the child and make sure they knew why they had been told off and what they could do to make amends (say sorry, fix something they had broken, that sort of thing). Usually by then the child is calming down, so I'd send them to wash their face and have a drink of water and come back when they felt ready. I wouldn't hug them or tell them not to worry, as it feels like that would diminish the message you're trying to get across.

Does that sound reasonable? What do you do with your children?

DogCalledRudis Mon 07-Jul-14 17:54:27

Depends what telling off was for. Sometimes is very deserved, sometimes school can get very unreasonable.

CrohnicallyExhausted Mon 07-Jul-14 17:58:04

I meant if you were the one to tell your children off, and they got upset, what do you do then?

TheBookofRuth Mon 07-Jul-14 18:00:58

I normally say something like "come on, calm down now, mummy still loves you but it's very naughty to XYZ". I probably would give her a cuddle, but then she is only two.

BertieBotts Mon 07-Jul-14 18:01:54

I think school is very different from home. At home the child needs to be reassured that they are still loved and accepted whereas at school that's not really appropriate, because the relationship is different. I wouldn't expect to be hugged or reassured by a boss if they were disciplining me but if I had an argument with DH I would expect it to end more warmly.

I do think you can reassure without diminishing the message, though. Less "Never mind, don't worry" but more "I know you can do better than this"

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Mon 07-Jul-14 18:09:58

I usually sent them to the naughty step, explaining what they had done was wrong. Then when they have sat quietly to think about their behaviour they are encouraged to come and say sorry to whoever they hurt / upset, and give them a sorry hug. It shows them that they did wrong, they have been punished and now they can move on with the day as friends.

wonderingsoul Mon 07-Jul-14 18:13:07

Mine have asked me if I still love them after iv told told them of(I don't smack and rarely shout so it's not even like I'm harsh doing it)

So if they are v upset or asks this, not so much my eldest but the 5 year old I say of course I still love you but I don't like it when you do....

But after an apology or there corrected what ever they are always free to come for hugs, as it's forgotten about once there been told's been dealt with.

wonderingsoul Mon 07-Jul-14 18:14:33

I mean ny eldest doesn't ask that question.

DeWee Mon 07-Jul-14 18:18:54

Not quite the same, but I remember in infants two girls getting into trouble and being told to stand in the corner. One of the girls in getting up bumped her knee on a table and burst into tears and ended up on the teacher's knee having her knee rubbed.

"Ah," I thought, "if ever I get into trouble, I shall do that too." grin

I have no idea whether she had actually hurt herself, but I can remember feeling it was somewhat unfair on the other girl, particularly as the first one had started it.

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 18:20:29

I think you sound very reasonable. I've always tried to find out both sides, and if my child was the one at fault, then I've backed up whomever it was that told them off.

Most times it's justified; very, very rarely was the telling off unfairly given.

CrohnicallyExhausted Mon 07-Jul-14 18:27:06

Sounds like I'm not too far off the mark (at least where school is concerned) then. Now I just need to figure out what to do with DD (not yet 2) and DN (4)!

BackforGood Mon 07-Jul-14 18:31:06

Depends on the age of the child, too

BackforGood Mon 07-Jul-14 18:31:25

Ah - x=posted grin

BertieBotts Mon 07-Jul-14 18:34:35

It's very rare for me - I don't tend to do upsetting type punishments/tellings off very often because I think it can detract from the message. It's different in schools, because it's a different kind of environment but when it's one on one parent to child I think most of the time it's more constructive to focus on helping them behave better rather than punishing.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 07-Jul-14 18:37:35

I must be a hard nut blush if I tell dd off and she is in time out and upset I say "theres no point crying youre not getting off your seat til youve done your time out"

Kisses and cuddles for afters (after theyve apologosed to whoever).

CrohnicallyExhausted Mon 07-Jul-14 18:56:17

bertie I don't ever mean to upset them. But DD is a toddler so can be very stroppy at times.

Example: DD tries to pull her hand out of mine. I say 'DD, hold my hand please' DD screams and cries, I say 'DD, you need to hold my hand near the road so you don't get hurt' then distract her by pointing out something interesting. Or if I have the buggy I might tell her she has a choice between holding my hand or going in the buggy.

And DN cries at the drop of a hat! The slightest bit of 'force' in your voice (so saying something sternly, not shouting but sounding like you mean it) and her bottom lip wobbles.

So I don't think it's me being OTT with the tellings off. But there are times when they are doing something dangerous and need to be told rather than cajoled or persuaded.

missymayhemsmum Mon 07-Jul-14 19:33:39

Depends on the child. My eldest two reacted to tellings off with a normal angry defiance kind of upset and needed to be left alone to think it through/ calm down- then we can move on to apology and hugs. Littlest (7) is apt to react to any criticism by collapsing in racking sobs and self-destructive behaviour like tearing up her drawings and favourite toys because she doesn't 'deserve them'. Needs lots of cuddles and reassurance before we can have a reasonable conversation about why I was cross with her in the first place.

BertieBotts Mon 07-Jul-14 19:49:21

I don't mean that you're mean or OTT, I just mean - a telling off/punishment is supposed to be a bit unpleasant, right? I mean that's the point of it. It's a deterrent. Of course you don't set out to destroy them emotionally or anything like that. And I do tell DS off/punish him when necessary but I am such a soft touch and it absolutely destroys me to have to do it so I've always tried to go more with a problem solving approach when possible.

Doesn't mean cajoling or persuading, though, that's a bit of a misnomer I think, with safety I've always either removed the risk or let him see why it was dangerous - let him fall/touch hot things in controlled situations when I knew it wasn't anywhere near hot/far enough to injure etc. I did holding hand nicely or pushchair too, if I had to put him in the pushchair then I would just do it saying "I know love but I need you to be safe" sort of firm but acknowledging he was upset about it.

May be personality type and I'll be stuck with the next one but who knows grin

CrohnicallyExhausted Mon 07-Jul-14 20:21:56

That's it exactly bertie an actual telling off (rather than just instructing the child) needs to be unpleasant, therefore it seems counter productive if the telling off results in more positive attention (child being hugged because they're upset).

I think we're actually pretty much along the same wavelength. I have been known to let DD touch the radiator after I've warned her it's hot. She now understands what 'hot' actually is, and avoids anything I tell her is hot. If only she listened to anything else I say!

missmayhem I see what you mean about different children. Even in school there are children who we know respond poorly to criticism, so we adapt our approach. For example one child thinks he is 'naughty' and any telling off affirms his belief. Rather than telling him off as such, we explain that he could upset/hurt somebody by doing X, and leave him to fill in the gaps that he shouldn't do X.

BertieBotts Mon 07-Jul-14 20:33:03

Yep, if you're going carrot and stick then they shouldn't be able to avoid the stick by propagating a carrot. But generally I don't think that a cuddle is a reward so I think that you can cuddle and tell off, or have the cuddle be the positive part where you help them work out how they handle something better next time or reassure them that it's OK to be angry but better to use words, or whatever. But it hugely depends on the age and temperament of the child. The older they are the more they're able to separate out your feelings at the moment and your feelings for them in general.

For example if he was little and I told him hot but then he touched the radiator and cried because it was hot then I would comfort, but when he was five and tried to pull a child down off the roof of a play thing and got kicked in the throat I was less sympathetic because I said he shouldn't have tried to pull someone down, that was dangerous and that the other person was probably kicking to try and get him away because he didn't feel safe (although I think it was more "get off me annoying fly" than "shit I'm going to fall", I didn't share that information with DS!) I did still make sure he was okay and got him a drink of water but I wasn't going to "There there, mummy make it all better, nasty big boy" because I felt like it was quite serious and he did need to understand that sometimes if you hurt someone, they're going to hurt you back!

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