WIBU/WWYD Punishment involving Santa?(39 Posts)
My dc did something at school on the last day that was serious enough to warrent an internal exclusion on the first day back. They are in y6.
Dh and I are totally ashamed of their behaviour and left the dc under no illusion about how we felt. However poor behaviour has been creeping back in (we had external support before for their anger) and I really don't think they get how serious it is. For example when their nan went to talk to them about it and how upset I was, they said "not this again" and when I have spoken to them, they keep focusing on the trigger and not actually what THEY did that was wrong.
I've taken all electronics away and there is no return date. I am letting them watch some TV under supervision.
Santa has kindly bought both my DC a new bike. I am 90% thinking that Santa brings everything except the bike for this particular dc and leaves a letter to say that the bike has not been left due to their behaviour but is prepared to make a special trip once Dc has shown they have made a consistent effort to improve behaviour, in particular respecting the adults in their life.
I know I need to do something punchy to make a stand as Dc just isn't getting it. I need to tell Dc beforehand so they have time to process it and don't kick off on Christmas day as a bike will be arriving for the sibling.
I know there are some who will think I'm being too harsh but I am at a loss of what to do. If Dc does what they did at secondary school, they'll be out on their ear. I need to do something but I am lost. I've tried reasoning but it hasn't worked.
If I don't do this, what do I do? Other ideas will be appreciated.
YOU need to punish your kids - not leave it to "santa". Santa punishing them is meaningless.
So they're 10/11? Do they still believe in Santa? Fwiw I think using Santa to dish out punishment is a bad idea. Just tell them you don't think they deserve the bike until their behaviour improves. Make it your decision not Santa's.
I don't have any suggestions but just some thoughts...
You say that talking and training doesn't help. Is your dc able to process actions and consequences?
My friends son, who is 8, just cannot grasp the idea of consequences and so they just don't work. They empties his room
Of toys for months and he just didn't care.
Have you tried love bombing? I'm inclined to say that the achool
Has delt with it so time to move on?
I agree this needs to come from you.
I can honestly sympathise, my DS went through very similar in year 8 and almost got held back a year. I wish I could give you advice but the change came from him in the end - the realisation that he came this .. close to having to leave face him the shove he needed to make the change.
If you hold back the bike tell him that you made the decision not Santa (if he still definitely believes).
Also, it must be so hard for you and that's tough
They must be 11 or nearly 11. Surely they don't believe in Santa that much any more? I think they would justifiably think they are being treated like a baby if you did that.
But no, I wouldn't do that. I think you should say "OK, we're going to draw a line under this. You've been punished at home and at school, and there's an end to it. But it must never, ever happen again. Now, let's have a lovely Christmas." And try not to "go on" about it any more.
Does your year 6 child really believe in Santa still?! I think at that age, s lot of children don't really believe. What did your child do? I think the punishment needs to come from you, so say I am not buying you the bike because of your behaviour, not anything to do with Santa. I think we need to know what your child did, if you want ideas.
It sounds like you need to seek the external support again tbh, and perhaps try to focus more on the positives (no matter how small) as I can't imagine it is helping everyone being so negative (easier said than done I know)
Perhaps a better approach would be to give it but to make it clear that if behaviour doesn't improve then you will take it back.
Thank you. I do understand what you are saying about it being my decision. If Dh and I continue with this path, i would make it clear that Santa is acting on my instructions.
I really feel they don't deserve what we have got for them.
This dc has a really strong sense of inner justice - how things are for them. They can't seem to process that their behaviour was so poor that it actually made the trigger null and void.
They can usually be reasoned with but if they feel wronged then there is no getting through. And once that red must descends, we've had it.
Surely he doesn't believe in Santa? Then he will know you are copping out by saying it is.
You have already punished them by taking away the electronics and limiting the TV and they will be punished by an exclusion when they return to school.
Confiscating the xmas present is a kneejerk reaction and is unlikely to be effective.
They are 10 and y6. They are very much on the cusp of believing. They've said a couple of things but have never asked outright.
They completely lost it towards multiple adults in school including screaming at the HT. Complete disrespect. I don't want to give any more details for outing reasons.
Have you had a diagnosis?
Sometimes that can help in terms of strategies?
My nephew has been to cahms for help with his anger, as he very occasionally physically lashes out. When he gets angry he can't stop himself and he is working on recognising his triggers
Thank you all for your posts. I have to go to a medical appointment now so am not disappearing but will look back for other replies later.
Thank you for the advice. X
You are absolutely sure that there isn't any element of injustice involved? It is really hard to discuss without knowing what they did.
But no, I really wouldn't use letters from Santa and so on at this age for anything except joky "sorry, I made a blue one by mistake- hope you like it. Ask Mum if you want to get it changed" type messages.
I would say that it sounds like the punishment is dragging on and on and on.
It's not really giving them chance to move on and make a fresh start. That will chip away at their self esteem and get to the point that they feel they cant do ANYTHING right, so may as well not bother trying. They have made a mistake, and they need to be allowed to start afresh.
You can make the point about it being wrong etc, but at some time, you have to draw the line.
Imagine doing a massive fuck up, and every time you did another mistake being taunted or punished for the big fuck up that happened a while ago?
I would give the bike, but make it very clear that your child will only be allowed time on the bike if the behaviour is good enough. Make their goals achievable, so as to kick start the positive cycle of behaviour.
Whilst not saying his reaction was right has someone sat down and properly listened to his point of view and dealt with why he feels he hasn't been treated fairly?
'I would say that it sounds like the punishment is dragging on and on and on'
I agree. Starting the New Year with a day's exclusion from school is a pretty awful prospect. Your dc must be feeling quite stressed.
I am not brilliant at discipline myself, but what I have noticed from people who are really good at it is that big punishments are pretty ineffective, and are generally a sign that the parent has lost control. What does work is constantly and consistently reinforcing and expecting good (for that child) behaviour.
I think you need to catch them at a good time and have a serious but friendly chat about fresh starts and high expectations, draw a line under this but make absolutely clear how you expect them to behave in the future, and have a fresh start for the new year.
It's hard without knowing details, but for us we don't give or recieve presents because of behaviour, but because it is Christmas and we love each other and want to give gifts. Behaviour has no bearing on that. I wouldn't take away a child's Christmas presents or birthday present, there is no contingency for us. My children's behaviour doesn't change how much I love them, and the gifts are an expression of that love, not a reward or punishment.
Of course I don't know the details. But I am inclined to say I would give the bike, reinforce how much you love your DC, try and have a wonderful family christmas and deal with behaviour when back at school.
You could even explain this to your DC x
I agree with hakluyt about drawing a line under it.
You could be describing my ds2 btw, and I know exactly how frustrating it is. But dragging out pupunishments and going on about it (you got Nan to talk to him as well?) means he will just feel got at and will switch off/put up his defensiveness.
I am going to do the Solihull parenting course in the New year to get some support with ds2 and we are being referred back to camhs again. I also have the explosive child to re read and a book aimed at teen's, get out of my life but first give Alex and I a lift to town. My ds2 is 12 yr8 and thankfully his school are being supportive. What have the school said?
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