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To think this is an unfair punishment?

(57 Posts)
FaithLoveandHope Sat 23-Apr-16 12:05:42

DSD has swimming lessons every weekend partly because it's something she enjoys and means she gets to spend time with other DC her age and partly because swimming is a useful life skill. They cost a fair amount of money and it's DP who takes her, never her mum due to when they fall. However every time DSD has a bit of a strop her mum tells her she can't go swimming. This morning DSD was tired and grumpy and got banned from swimming again. It winds DP up no end but when he's literally told on the doorstep he can't say anything and just has to accept it as he won't have DSD playing them off against each other. AIBU / is DP BU to think this is unfair and there are so many other punishments she could use - or you know, she could try talking to her tired child. Thing is DSD was tired and grumpy this morning but as soon as DP had a proper chat with her she was okay. I could completely understand if she'd done something quite serious but not when it's just simple childlike tiredness. She's only 4.

EatShitDerek Sat 23-Apr-16 12:08:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HereIAm20 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:10:59

Yanbu - she totally is. That is very definitely in my opinion a last resort punishment for a much more serious "crime" for a much older child. But don't know how your DP brings that up with an ex.

VioletTea Sat 23-Apr-16 12:13:39

YANBU at all, her mother is being very unreasonable and a bit selfish.

Catmuffin Sat 23-Apr-16 12:20:29

Yes i agree your dh shouldn't have to carry out the mother's punishments. Also the swimming bans seem a bit ott

FaithLoveandHope Sat 23-Apr-16 12:35:14

Thanks all. I don't have DC on my own so sometimes I struggle to know what's right and what's wrong. Poor DSD, she's now told us she actually feels sick and is crying her eyes out, poor love. So actually it's probably good she didn't go swimming but she thinks it's a punishment sad DP said he's going to speak to DSD's mum this evening but not entirely sure how with DSD there!

AugustaFinkNottle Sat 23-Apr-16 12:49:58

I completely agree, if DSD's mum wants to impose a punishment it should either be in her time or agreed with your DP. She shouldn't be depriving her daughter of the chance to socialise or to learn an extremely useful skill and get exercise, and she shouldn't be wasting your DP's money. If DSD needs to be punished, it would make much more sense to take away screen time or something similar.

NinaSimoneful Sat 23-Apr-16 12:57:24

Couldn't believe when I got to the end. She's 4! I was picturing a much older child.

Yanbu, mum shouldn't be able to cancel -as a punishment- an activity that dad arranges. Surely this type of punishment isn't the most effective for this age group anyway? Would a better form not be something immediate, so the child can link the 'crime' to the 'being punished'. Removing privileges or treats seems like something more effective for an older child.

liz70 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:58:18

A small child being grumpy isn't naughty FGS. It's usually because they're tired, hungry, I'll, or a combination of the three - as you've just found out. If your DP's ex hasn't got the patience to realise that and is treating your DSD as if she's done something wrong, then I think your DP needs to have a stern word with her for the sake of his DD. It's not on for the poor child to be punished when she isn't even being naughty. sad

Catmuffin Sat 23-Apr-16 13:41:48

Poor thing. I feel sorry for her.

liz70 Sat 23-Apr-16 13:43:52

*ill not I'll.

Mistigri Sat 23-Apr-16 13:46:11

When your DSD is with her dad, punishments are his decision - the mum shouldn't inflict punishments she can't or won't implement herself. So YANBU at all.

mummytime Sat 23-Apr-16 13:53:44

Your DP needs to make it clear that as swimming happens in his time, she cannot ban DSD from it.
Just as lots of step children miss out on parties because they happen during "the other parent's time". The mother will just have to think of new punishments.

For you and DP I would suggest a parenting course/reading books like "How to talk so kids will listen ..." Etc. Punishment often doesn't work, it's normally better to acknowledge and praise good behaviour. Exercise often helps improve behaviour.

For now I'd try to make sure she does something fun, which if she isn 't feeling well could be snuggling up and watching a DVD.

FaithLoveandHope Sat 23-Apr-16 14:05:32

She's perked up a bit now and has asked to go to the park. Hopefully the fresh air and exercise will help smile

EweAreHere Sat 23-Apr-16 14:18:25

Her mother is being VERY unreasonable.

I would still take her swimming based on what you have described.

Sixweekstowait Sat 23-Apr-16 14:26:13

poor little mite -4 years old sad

FaithLoveandHope Sat 23-Apr-16 16:29:56

Thing is Ewe the last thing DP wants is DSD knowing she can play them off against each other. As it stands DSD is very loyal to her mum and if her mum says no she'll insist to DP she's not allowed - though I'm not sure how much of that is because she doesn't want to get told off which is an awful situation to be in at 4 years old sad DP's ex can't handle strops / grumpy times at all. DSD is like a completely different child with us, the worst she'll do with us is skulk off to the other side of the room and say no to whatever is being asked - and then 5 mins later she's distracted and back to her happy self again whereas with her mum she'll kick and scream and shout, it's awful sad

Ameliablue Sat 23-Apr-16 16:39:23


MrsTerryPratchett Sat 23-Apr-16 17:10:19

She's breaking about 10 of my parenting 'rules'.

1. Don't punish emotions
2. Don't punish when it punishes one of the adults more
3. Don't withdraw healthy things (bedtime songs/stories or sports)
4. Consequences should be immediate
5. Consequences should be 'natural' as much as possible
6. Never make the other parent the referee (even when you live together)
7. Quick; so it is done and dusted quickly and everyone can move on
8. Our job is to allow emotions out in a healthy way so getting to the bottom of them and teaching healthy expression is important
9. Don't punish for age-appropriate behaviour that the child may not be able to help
10. Do't be an arsehole.

One2Three4Five6 Sat 23-Apr-16 17:22:40

DP said he's going to speak to DSD's mum this evening but not entirely sure how with DSD there!

Can you take DSD into another room and distract her while DP talks to her Mum?

I echo others and say she is unreasonable to punish a 4 year old, when she is on her dads time. Tbh I wouldn't use the swimming as a punishment at all, I'd find something else. Something immediate and simple like a naughty step, a ban from swimming seems more like 'grounding' to me, something I associate with older children, not 4 year olds. 4 year olds in my experience don't relate the punishment to the crime when it's not something immediate.
I have a 4 yo DD at the moment, so I am basing my response on her, so I'm happy to stand corrected, but it's definitely not a punishment I would use on a DC so young.

One2Three4Five6 Sat 23-Apr-16 17:24:42


I love your list of parenting rules, and totally agree with them. Especially number 10!!

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 23-Apr-16 17:25:26

That's the one I break most often. I always apologise though!

Catmuffin Sat 23-Apr-16 17:38:28

Does the mum leave her on bad terms? I think I'd want to try and smooth things over and leave on good terms before dropping a child off for the weekend, however much she had hacked me off beforehand.
Seems a bit sad if she is extending the punishment over into time when they aren't together. Tricky to deal with though as she is unlikely to take kindly to parenting advice from her ex. He does need to warn her in advance that he isn't prepared to carry over her punishments into his time in future though.

FaithLoveandHope Sat 23-Apr-16 18:11:36

I love those rules MrsTerryPratchett smile

Cat yes this morning she told DP in front of DSD what had happened and didn't exactly seem very positive at all. I wasn't there, I avoid her as much as possible, so can only go off what DP said but I trust what he says as when I've seen her before she's not been the best with DSD.

How does he not carry it out without teaching DSD they're against each other though?

amarmai Sat 23-Apr-16 18:15:13

when you say the lessons cost a fair bit of money, does that mean the father paid for them/ if so def not up to the mum to say the 4 year old cannot go with her dad to lessons her dad paid for. plus i feel the punishment is totally inappropriate regardless .

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