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To think some people can't cope with children acting like children?

(34 Posts)
periwinkleshoes Sat 31-Jan-15 17:22:38

My friend is pregnant with her second DC. Her first is a DS just turned 3.

I have an 8 year old, a 5 year old, and am pregnant with DC3.

Friend's DS can be a handful, but no more than any other child. However she constantly complains about his behaviour, says he is horrible to other children, he only misbehaves with her, she doesn't know what to do with him. I have always reassured her that it's hard but it does get better.

He does normal toddler things- running off, not sitting in his seat, snatching a toy.Friend will say things like 'look at that, I mean how am I meant to stop that'- but she doesn't DO anything. She just sits there

Yesterday we met for coffee. Her DS was a bit excitable at first, but the waitress brought out some crayons and a colouring book, and he settled pretty well.

That evening, my friend rang me, and had a massive tirade about how awful her DS was, how impossible his behaviour was. I tried to reassure her, as I always do, said it was just normal behaviour. I told her a few anecdotes about my eldest at a similar age, who was an absolute demon, but is now very quiet and shy,and how nobody believes me when i say how difficult they were when younger

It was like speaking to a brick wall. She just kept saying 'but he does this..he does that..I mean how am I meant to stop that'

I suggested a few books/techniques that helped me with my eldest. She said 'well none of that will work with DS' and words to that effect

AIBU to think how does she know if she hasn't TRIED anything?

Firstly, her DS's behaviour is pretty normal- other people apart from me have told her that

Secondly, she makes no effort to TRY to sort the issues she has with him- she just assumes it won't work? He runs off a lot, and ages ago I suggested one of those little backpacks with the reins attached- she said 'he'll just lie there and tantrum'.

I feel like a bitch for saying this, but I'm really losing patience with her. All she seems to do these days is complain about her DS. She does it in front of him too. It's like she has no concept that X behaviour is normal, but you still might want to do Y to sort it out/make it easier for yourself. I think she expected her baby to emerge from the womb with perfect manners, & she is confused and aghast when that doesn't happen

YokoUhOh Sat 31-Jan-15 17:29:21

YANBU

Most people expect toddlers to be like mini-adults. It is so unfair. I know so many parents who have no idea how to manage normal toddler behaviour; both parent and child are miserable because everything's a battle.

YokoUhOh Sat 31-Jan-15 17:33:11

(I had to laugh at the lady in her seventies with the extreme cats bum mouth the other day when my 2 year old was climbing some stairs like they were the North face of the Eiger. She nearly turned inside-out.)

periwinkleshoes Sat 31-Jan-15 17:35:44

To be honest, I would be the first one to think "ffs" if her child was really being awful (for instance the thread where the OP told her DNs to stop running around in the restaurant and her SIL flipped out- I was totally on OP's side) but this little boy is really not naughty, or even unusually mischievous. But she just WILL NOT LISTEN. She is convinced he is the spawn from hell

BitchPeas Sat 31-Jan-15 17:38:56

Yanbu I know a couple of people like this. They all say ohhhhh it's ok for you you're so laid back. I'm not......I just don't freak out at a 6 year old running around on grass, in a park, that's empty hmm is that not what they are meant to do?? confused

MagratGarlik Sat 31-Jan-15 17:47:46

Is she overly tired and/or depressed? Ordinary problems can seem insurmountable in these cases.

MyIronLung Sat 31-Jan-15 17:51:18

That poor kid. He must hear how awful he is on a regular basis sad

If it was me and I kept getting those responses from my friend I think I'd end up losing my temper a bit. I'd point out how sad it is that her little boy has to hear how awful his mother thinks he is and if she's not prepared to actually try anything then she needs to shut up!

I have a 3.5 ds and he's a handful. He doesn't stop talking/moving from the moment he wakes up (6am) till he goes to bed at night (7.30). I'm permanently exhausted but I realise (most of the time) that he's 3! This won't last forever and one day I'll miss this stage.

Your friend sounds awful.

cailindana Sat 31-Jan-15 17:51:34

Did she struggle to bond with him as a baby? IME this sort of low tolerance, especially when it's unwarranted and targeted at only one child, is a symptom of faulty bonding.

Seriouslyffs Sat 31-Jan-15 17:52:48

How dear a friend is she? If you told her, 'his behaviour is fine, but your constant moaning is boring me and damaging him' what do you think she'd say?

periwinkleshoes Sat 31-Jan-15 18:09:36

Obviously I can't say for sure, but she seemed to bond with him really well as a baby. He slept like a dream- still does- I was incredibly jealous!

She seemed (outwardly at least) to take to motherhood like a duck to water. I've noticed the difference since he started getting very mobile, at about 18 months- you know that stage where they are really sure of their feet, and they want to get into EVERYTHING? It's almost like she... un-bonded with him then.

I think she coped beautifully with him as a baby, but struggles with him now he's a 'person'.

Marchhairy Sat 31-Jan-15 18:18:58

Yanbu
My dad and MIL have ridiculous expectations of my nearly 3 year old. They make a big deal over everything and its so wearing. If DS wants to pretend his boat is a car he doesn't need to be made to 'play properly' if he isn't hurting anyone or thing he can play how he likes.
Also (mini rant alert) if he wants to eat all his sausages, then his mash then his carrots that is fine- he doesn't need to have 1 bite of everything. I'm sure when he's older he will eat 'normally' but he's eating a balanced meal nicely if left alone which is a good thing- instead they try and control him and he strops and eats nothing. Then it's head shaking how naughty he is.
FFS!

Mintyyssockie Sat 31-Jan-15 18:21:50

periwinkleshoes
It sounds like she really needs to go on a parenting course. I feel sorry for her son, this negativity will be damaging him already.

BlackeyedSusan Sat 31-Jan-15 18:26:07

bloody hell march. they sound a right pain in the neck.

periwinkleshoes Sat 31-Jan-15 18:29:48

I was expecting to be told I was BU!

No idea what's going to happen when she has DC2

redexpat Sat 31-Jan-15 18:30:15

I like serioslys response.

outtahell Sat 31-Jan-15 18:30:45

March, that's exactly how I eat to this day! Wonder what your dad and MIL would make of that! grin

OfficerVanHalen Sat 31-Jan-15 18:33:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

outtahell Sat 31-Jan-15 18:36:31

OP, it sounds quite sad about your friend and her DS. Has she been raised to be very aware of what people think, or had family members talk about how her lad "should" be acting?

I was a wreck when DS was very very little because my mother was always dripping poison about how much he should be crying, how he should be doing X Y and Z blah blah blah. I was petrified to take DS out in case he wouldn't stop crying and people thought I was a bad mum.

AuntieStella Sat 31-Jan-15 18:37:24

Well, I see her point: snatching from other children is unpleasant, running off is dangerous and inability to sit even fro short periods is tiresome.

Yes, a 3 year old is still learning, but if never showing any signs of co-operation with any of those things is not normal (well, perhaps not, it depends if it 'just stopped being 2' or 'nearly 4').

Perhaps what would help her is agreement with the aim of good behaviour; reassurance that development goes in leaps and it will all get improve, possibly rapidly; and chat about techniques that worked (heavily caveated as 'worked for me').

I8toys Sat 31-Jan-15 18:41:25

YANBU - some people find it hard to see things from a child's perspective. She is the parent and it is her responsibility to teach him to behave in certain situations but not in ridiculous situations where he will fail.

She needs to sort out her negative feelings towards her son before the new baby comes or it will be even worse for her.

Marchhairy Sat 31-Jan-15 18:44:33

Outtahel- so do I for some meals!
My dad has been a lot better since I told him how annoying it was and started doing it to him-but we have that kind of blunt relationship!

Op- I think your right about people not liking toddlers to have their own personality! Tough luck because they are full of it!

gamerchick Sat 31-Jan-15 18:44:42

Can you not lose your patience and spell it out for her in a harsh voice that bairns brains are wiring for empathy and whatnot up till 3 or so and constantly bit ching at him and about him is damaging him for the future and if she doesn't give her head a wobble, pack it in and make a bloody effort she'll be wishing for this time back when he's 15.

I don't think I could hold my tongue. . Poor kid she needs to deal with this now because new baby + resentment towards your firstborn means things might escalate.

3 yr old are always like attila the hun but it passes.

MarshaBrady Sat 31-Jan-15 18:47:19

A constant negative stream of comments about his behaviour will be really bad for him.

Yanbu, it requires effort on her part to change and model the behaviour she wants to see.

SlicedAndDiced Sat 31-Jan-15 18:49:24

When I eat pizza I always:

A) remove the topping
B) lick the sauce off
C) then eat the previously removed topping
D) roll up the base and eat it like a hot dog

....sorry, what were we talking about again?

I can't believe some people care about how a three year old eats!

pastaofplenty Sat 31-Jan-15 18:59:33

YANBU - to be honest she sounds like a bit of a narcassist and moaning about her DS is another way to seek attention and talk abot me, me, me... I know people with kids like this and it's draining. What was she like before having children?

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