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AIBU to ask what is bad behaviour in children?

(116 Posts)
Floods123 Sun 16-Apr-17 21:46:38

I am male, and first post. Pleas be gentle! I am with a wonderful lady who has three grandchildren. They stay with us and I try to have fun with them and frankly work hard to do the right thing.

However tension us caused when in my eyes they misbehave. For example: 6 year old has a crying fit when told to wear wellies instead of shoes to the park. Partner engaging in discussion and a compromise is reached. (Boring won't go into it!) Lots cuddles and never mind stuff.

In my eyes this is very naughty. Adult tells you what to do. You do it. Not up for debate. Crying fit and discussion is wrong and should be punished not talked about and compromised upon. Otherwise this happens whenever child does not get one way.

These episodes spoil the visits and cause problems. Really trying but can't cope with this behaviour.

Wolfiefan Sun 16-Apr-17 21:49:30

Pick your battles. If you argue and force the point with everything then life will be really miserable.
Kids don't naturally just magically do as they are told. They do challenge boundaries and get frustrated when they can't get their own way. This is normal.
I don't give in to tantrums. That leads to more tantrums. But I'm happy to explain my reasons or compromise if appropriate.

Believeitornot Sun 16-Apr-17 21:50:01

Well if you have the attitude that an adult is always right, how do you teach a child to stand up for themselves and to properly respect other people?
Sometimes it's worth listening to why a child gets upset. I ask my dcs to calmly tell me what their issue is when they're upset and a lot of the time there's an underlay reason. I don't always let them get their way but at least they feel listened to.
I am building up to when they're teens and they start rebelling!

Allthewaves Sun 16-Apr-17 21:50:30

Tbh let your partner lead on grandparenting style. She knows how her own child parents and she may be following their lead.

Do the kids have special needs?

StrawberryJelly00 Sun 16-Apr-17 21:52:12

Op how do you teach a child about compromise?
A very important lesson that is needed in all future successful relationships in life

Oysterbabe Sun 16-Apr-17 21:52:20

Discipline is for the parents to take care of. I think grandparents can be a bit more laid back.
She has a different approach to you but that doesn't mean it's wrong.

Heathen4Hire Sun 16-Apr-17 21:52:22


I debate with my daughter because, I am not always right. I will compromise if it means a quicker route to a solution, but I don't fully capitulate.

If my daughter cannot agree to the compromise or has attitude, or is rude to me, then there are sanctions.

Do you have your own children? How did you discipline them?

witsender Sun 16-Apr-17 21:53:10

Nope, you're not the boss of them. Do you want a blind automaton? No thanks. Children have thoughts and feelings of their own, and their brains work differently to adults. You, and they, are in for a tough run if you persist in that attitude.

Allthewaves Sun 16-Apr-17 21:53:20

Sometimes you have to listen to kids. There's often a reason why they are upset, not just throwing a hissy fit.

HenryIX Sun 16-Apr-17 21:54:17

Children need to be taught to explain their feelings, listen to other peoples views, negotiate, compromise, learn how to make decisions. That is what your partner is trying to teach them. Your dictorial way only teaches them that bigger people always get their own way. They will not learn to listen, question, and respect people if you insist on punishing them till they do as you demand.

JassyRadlett Sun 16-Apr-17 21:55:51

Assuming the children don't live or spend most of their time with your partner, the approach to discipline isn't really anything to do with either of you. But I'd honestly be pretty shocked at a parent taking the sort of hardline approach you seem to be advocating, let alone the problems with an unnuanced 'adult tells you what to do, you do it' approach.

Six is little. They're away from their home, and possibly unsettled. They get hung up on something like shoes/wellies and get emotional. That is not 'very naughty'. That is normal.

You need to respect that it isn't your decision how to react when the children aren't immediately compliant with your ideal of how children should behave, and hopefully reduce the stress you feel somewhat by recognising it is out of your hands.

CassandraAusten Sun 16-Apr-17 21:57:35

I think you need to step back a bit. Your partner is the children's grandmother, so it's up to her how strict she wants to be (unless she specifically asks for your input). People have different ideas about discipline, I'm not saying that she's always right but I do think the best way to avoid this causing problems between you is to let her deal with it as she thinks best.

PurpleDaisies Sun 16-Apr-17 21:58:28

It doesn't sound like you've spent much time around children. If you can't cope with the behaviour, are you sure you should be around when the children are visiting? It sounds like you need a serious talk with your partner about the discipline issue, and you need to be prepared for her to tell you that she's happy with the way it's done now or that's what she's agreed with the children's parents.

Floods123 Sun 16-Apr-17 21:58:32

I think that my partner IS giving in to tantrums. Thanks Wolfie. Adult IS right on minor issues. Crying is just to get own way. Again I believe this is naughty and should be treated as such.

Of course on major issues child should be listened too. But over what shoes to wear / what seat to sit in in the car / what colour Plate to have is just an excuse for attention. I think this should be regarded as wrong.

Allthewaves Sun 16-Apr-17 21:59:04

Should add my dad had your attitude to kids. He had to change when my dc visited as they have adhd and asd - meltdowns, swearing. Strict rigid punishment didn't work. Shouting created more of a meltdown. He learned to follow my lead. If dad finds it too tough he takes himself off and let's me or mum deal with them

PurpleDaisies Sun 16-Apr-17 21:59:23

Again I believe this is naughty and should be treated as such.

I'm sorry, but so what? They're not your grandchildren.

Believeitornot Sun 16-Apr-17 22:01:28

Well who decides what's a major issue? I've had times when ds or dd has kicked off because a) they're still young and cannot control their emotions and b) I haven't listened.
E.g. Dd told me her shoes were too tight and got upset because I wasn't listening and wanted them on. My ds didn't want to wear pair of walking boots because he had been teased so needed reassurance.

For a 6 year old it's quite common for them to have meltdowns when they're tired and stressed etc. It isn't always about trying to get their own way.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 16-Apr-17 22:01:38

I'm afraid blind obedience went out with the ark. Now people are trying to raise effective adults rather than silent, obedient, submissive automatons.

Listening, compromise and love are effective as well. If you're still around when they are 20, you'll see why.

EB123 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:02:06

Those things ARE a major issue to a child!

EB123 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:03:15

What do you think your partner should do instead?

witsender Sun 16-Apr-17 22:03:17

I could not disagree with you more. Why does the adult get to decide those things?

Pigface1 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:05:54

Tantrums aren't ok, but I think allowing children to make choices over minor things such as what shoes to wear and what colour plate to have is an important part of learning to make decisions and building self-esteem.

Many adults raised on the 'respect and obey' doctrine have chronically low self-esteem because they have never learned to trust their own decisions.

BanginChoons Sun 16-Apr-17 22:07:46

I talk to my kids, not at them. I encourage discussion. My job is to be their advocate, help them learn to make good choices, and to support those choices. If mine wore the wrong shoes to the park and got wet feet I would view it as a learning experience.

Children, like adults, are different from one another and respond to different things. My youngest for example is eager to please and also likes to be just like me, so if I put my wellies on, she will want to put her wellies on for example. My middlie, on the other hand would need an understanding of why he needs to wear wellies not trainers.
It's easy for me adapt my approach slightly to meet their individual needs as opposed to expecting them to do exactly what they are told, and then punishing them if they don't. Everyone is happier too, including me. I don't want to spend my life telling them off.

Floods123 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:08:23

Looks like I am wrong then!

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 16-Apr-17 22:09:59

Do you have any children or GChildren by the way? Because if not or if you left their DM to do all of the heavy parental lifting it would be like me saying to Bear Grylls, "you don't survive in the wild like that, you do it like this" with no experience!

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