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to reward one child and not the other?

(67 Posts)
OohMavis Fri 05-Aug-16 08:48:14

Apparently I'm being mean spirited!

DD (2.5), a stubborn former co-sleeper, has been on a crash-intensive sleeping-in-her-own-bed course for the past few weeks (baby number three is imminent). She hasn't managed to stay in her bed all night once. Until last night <pom-poms>

I've been telling her that if she stays in her bed like a big girl she can have a magazine as a reward. She's very invested and came trotting in this morning at 7, knowing she'd succeeded, asking for it.

DS (6) is sad. He wants a magazine too. I've said no, because he has a collection he adds to every fortnight without fail, and besides this is a one-off for DD as a reward for sleeping in her bed, which is a huge accomplishment for her.

DH thinks I'm being mean-spirited and that I should buy him something too. I don't think I should.

Surely DS has to learn that they can't have everything the same, when it's not the same situation? I don't do sibling gifts on birthdays either for this reason. DD watches DS open his fortnightly collection with wide-eyed wonderment and has nothing, why is this any different?

Who is BU?

Autumnsunshinebaby Fri 05-Aug-16 08:49:45

Tricky. I would find something for your older one to work for too - decide together and he can have a reward for achieving it when he does.

NeedACleverNN Fri 05-Aug-16 08:50:35

You are right to reward good behaviour and your Dd has been missing out previously so it would be nice for her to be treated for a change

But I'm a soft sod and would probably find something for ds to do so he can claim a reward too

-and save my ears and nerves from crying and screaming

elodie2000 Fri 05-Aug-16 08:51:59

Does DD have a magazine collection she adds to every fortnight without fail? If not, this is HER treat and you can explain to DS that he will get his magazine at the normal time.

elodie2000 Fri 05-Aug-16 08:54:38

BTW, if you give DS a magazine too for doing nothing, you completely undermine your DD's reward. She'll see that even if she's only little.

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 05-Aug-16 08:55:33

I don't think you're being unreasonable.

Pearlman Fri 05-Aug-16 08:56:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Four4me Fri 05-Aug-16 08:56:40

I would give DS some tasks to do/help with in the time between now and going to the shop to earn his magazine. Dishwasher, fold washing etc.
Then buy them both one and enjoy the smugness of success with the sleep training smile

Dozer Fri 05-Aug-16 08:58:35


rainbowstardrops Fri 05-Aug-16 08:59:50

A difficult one!
If DS wasn't getting a regular magazine then I would probably say he should be rewarded for something he's done well too but he does get a regular treat.

Assuming he's reasonably well behaved most of the time, could you explain to him that he gets his magazines for doing x,y or z?

MrsJayy Fri 05-Aug-16 09:02:35

Get your Dd a magazine your son can wait for his your dh is being soft dd was a big girl and stayed in bed she gets her reward. Doing insentives is tricky though they clock what each other is getting and add it up

OohMavis Fri 05-Aug-16 09:03:46

Nope, she doesn't collect anything. She's only just getting to the age where she's noticing things in the shops that she'd like me to buy for her, so maybe that will change soon.

DS has to behave well and do his jobs without a fuss for his Pokemon cards.

It's fine that he's a bit jealous, he is 6, but the other night he whispered to me 'I really hope DD doesn't sleep all night in her bed mummy" - because he doesn't want her to have something he doesn't. I told him off for being unkind and he said sorry, but still the sulking this morning. It's just made me more determined to be mean-spirited mother, tbh.

Missgraeme Fri 05-Aug-16 09:04:47

Start as u meant to go on. A friend of mine also gave her ds a £1every time dd got £1off the tooth fairy!! Whats appropriate for one at that time isn't always necessary for the other! Your dd has achieved something at this time. Your ds has not.

OohMavis Fri 05-Aug-16 09:04:53

Ooh DH will enjoy being told he's soft. That's new grin

gamerchick Fri 05-Aug-16 09:04:58

You're right, especially if the bairn gets something regularly. She's earned it, let her have her chuffed moment without it being diluted.

Your bloke won't undermine you though will he and buy the magazine if you don't?

TheGruffaloMother Fri 05-Aug-16 09:09:20

I wouldn't undermine your reward system by getting DS a magazine because he wants one in order to even things out between he and a sibling who's earned one, no. But if a magazine is a regular treat that they don't usually have to earn then I might consider changing the reward to avoid confusion.

MrsJayy Fri 05-Aug-16 09:12:58

Your son gets his pokemon cards just remind him of that if you can take dd to the shop just you and her will give her a boost ds can quietly seethe about the unjustice of it all grin

TaliZorahVasNormandy Fri 05-Aug-16 09:18:52

Dont get DS a magazine. Let your DD have her moment.

MrsWooster Fri 05-Aug-16 09:39:48

I bore tell mine that it is always FAIR not always EQUAL. Dd (3) doesnt get it and ds (6) rolls his eyes but more or less understands.

TwatbadgingCuntfuckery Fri 05-Aug-16 09:39:57

after what he said, even with the apology, buying him something will just be saying that's OK.

elodie2000 Fri 05-Aug-16 09:40:43

It's fine that he's a bit jealous, he is 6, but the other night he whispered to me 'I really hope DD doesn't sleep all night in her bed mummy" - because he doesn't want her to have something he doesn't. I told him off for being unkind and he said sorry, but still the sulking this morning. It's just made me more determined to be mean-spirited mother, tbh.
Please don't buy him something too sad This is her moment.

maxybrown Fri 05-Aug-16 09:43:50

I'm totally with you - in fact the sulking would make me even more likely to not get him anything! Oh that and his comment! I never get sibling birthday presents etc etc.

FiveFullFathoms Fri 05-Aug-16 09:48:24

I agree with you and have actually had the same conversation recently. My 4 year old gets a small reward (usually 20p for her money box) I'd she stays in her bed all night. Sometimes my 7 year old gets huffy about this but she is reminded that staying in bed all night is easy for her and not for her sister. And yes, as PP says, just because things aren't equal doesn't mean they're not fair.

FiveFullFathoms Fri 05-Aug-16 09:48:46

* if

rumblingDMexploitingbstds Fri 05-Aug-16 09:50:47

YANBU at all. Its a major life skill learning to be gracefully pleased for other people about their successes without having a paddy that they got something you didn't. Like teaching children to cope with losing a game. It's emotional resilience and learning that everything isn't always about 'me'.

Short term sulks needing explanation and hugs. Long term, you'll have a happier, emotionally stronger son who isn't thrown by other people winning or succeeding or getting something (for good reason) that he doesn't. Looks like good parenting to me.

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