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To change my mindset and expect dc to behave and fit in with our plans

(7 Posts)
Stanky Sun 08-May-16 12:52:25

I have depression, and feel a bit delicate, please don't flame me.

dc are 8 and 4, and we seem to get into a bit of a cycle where I give them what they want, they act up, they are punished, they are sorry, then I give them what they want again and the cycle continues.

Sometimes I dread taking them out any where, and worry about them misbehaving. We have often had to leave family parties and get togethers before we are ready, because the dc are playing up.

We have family living abroad, and we would love to visit, but the idea of being stuck at someone else's house with dc fills me with dread.

We've always taken them straight home if they misbehave, but I'm now starting to realise that this is limiting us, and our lives are being dictated by the dc's behaviour.

So maybe it's about time we stopped putting the dc first in every situation, and have them learn that sometimes they have be at a family gathering, behave themselves and we'll leave when we're ready instead of when they start acting up. Maybe it's ultimately character building to be bored, sit and wait sometimes, and learn that the world doesn't revolve around them.

Sorry if that sounds really horrible, but I just feel very restricted atm, and like we can't take them any where without a tornado going through family's homes and leaving early with screaming dcs.

Dc2 has mild sn, but should still learn to behave. Just to clarify, by acting up I mean whinging, complaining, arguing with each other, and sometimes rudeness. All resulting in my flight response to get their unpleasant behaviour out of people's homes.

Any advice appreciated. Thanks.

mummymeister Sun 08-May-16 12:57:47

its a question of balance. there are times when it is best to take your dc away because they are spoiling the enjoyment of others. but this should be the exception not the norm.

look at it from their point of view. they sit there at say a family wedding and think gosh this is boring. so they act up knowing that you will take them away from the boring wedding. job done, mission accomplished.

sit down with them before the event. tell them what is going to happen and what you expect of them. then ask them what they need to enable them to behave appropriately so that you can stay at the event. it might mean taking toys, books, ds, ipad etc but so long as they behaving and what they are doing is reasonable then that is great.

if you do all this and then they act up then make it clear what the consequences will be both beforehand and on the day. as in "if you act up at aunty carols wedding and I have to leave early then you will not go to charlies party/sleep over next week"

in all things be consistent though and carry through your intentions. they will pretty soon get the message and behave appropriately.

Stanky Sun 08-May-16 13:01:43

Thank you mummymeister. We are going to a restaurant later, and I will try that. smile

Muskateersmummy Sun 08-May-16 13:08:56

Ultimately I would say yes, you need to be able to go to family functions and know they will behave. I have never used going home as a threat. Mainly because I know it's not a threat I would follow through with.

For me the key to disciplining dd is a couple of things

1) consistency. Stick to a way of punishing, a level of behaviour that is unacceptable to you and always act on it. Both parents should act in the same way if possible.

2) pick your battles. If you say no to every little thing, or make small niggles into a big arguement, discipline is less effective when you really need it IMO.

3) follow through! If you say they can't have or do something then they can't. No back tracking.

We are quite positive peaceful parents. So most of dd's "punishment" involves her finding solutions to whatever it is. But if she is continues to do something she's not allowed to then we take her somewhere away from the immediate situation (if eating out for example we take her outside) and have a general chat about her behaviour and that she won't be allowed a balloon, or desert, or something similar)

I don't know how much of that is possible with a Sn child though.

Good luck

Mishaps Sun 08-May-16 13:15:59

The transition from a new baby totally ruling the roost (which is inevitable) and gradually helping children to recognise that other people have needs and rights is a difficult one. My observation is that this balance has sometimes not been achieved soon enough and many children feel the world revolves round them. This is not helpful to them - they need to learn to consider others and to fit in.

It is hard to achieve because all children develop at different rates and have very different personalities.

I think there is some excellent advice above which involves you thinking what they might find hard in a social situation and what things you might do beforehand to prevent it.

But it is also about children sharing some of the burdens of keeping the home going when they are not out and about. They need to have their own chores and contributions. At a certain age they are able to take part in the running of the home, and they need to know that it is their responsibility too.

mummymeister Sun 08-May-16 13:24:49

agree mishaps its about the balance between rights and responsibilities. managing the transition is hard but unless you do it you end up with one of "those" children that dictates everything within a family. some events are boring, even for adults, and children need to learn how to manage these. we have always carried books with pens and paper - always. even now the teenagers use them to play a game on or do some drawings or make notes or whatever. they have their electronic gadgets sometimes but still understand that XX christening will be boring in places and at those times they need to amuse themselves.

Stanky Sun 08-May-16 13:26:58

Thank you for the great advice and wise words so far. I did write a reply, but Dc2 accidentally deleted it.

I think that I was trying to say that I have definitely shot myself in the foot by taking them home all the time. It pains me to think of all the lovely family weddings and parties we've left early over the years because the dc were tired or misbehaving. I remember being at family parties as a child, and pushing 2 chairs together if I was tired. The adults carried on and carried me to the car when they were ready to leave. I feel that I really need to stop letting the dc's behaviour call the shots, and start to help them learn to cope better in social situations.

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