To not know how to deal with parenting peer pressure?!(82 Posts)
Im actually just wondering what anyone else does in this situation. Totally minor example. We were at a bbq with family friends. They served some lovely, icing-laden cake for dessert. My DD (5) had one piece and asked if she could have some more. I said no, as she'd already had some chocolate that day and we're fairly strict on sugar usually.
Some of the other kids had more than one piece, which my DD wasn't happy about and kept pointing out that X and Y had had been allowed more cake and it wasn't fair. I can see her point, it wasnt fair, but equally, I don't want to give her the idea that I will cave on everything just because someones else's parent had a different opinion to me...I stuck to my guns for that reason (rather than the cake issue in itself!) but it did seem a bit unfair.
Same thing when we went to leave, some of the other families were staying later but my DD was exhausted after a busy few days (and it was an hour after she usually goes to bed, so I wasnt being that mean!)- but she couldn't understand why it was ok for them to stay, but not her...
What does anyone else do in this kind of situation? It's not like you can say "Well, soandso's mum clearly doesn't care that he gets diabetes/spend tomorrow totally exhausted... but that's why I said no to you...!" That isn't even the point, anyway...it's more if you make a decision, how do you stick to it even if other parents are doing sonething different?
Not sure I'd choose a barbeque at someone else's place to be firm about sugar. I would have let her have another piece and invisibly regulated her sugar intake for the rest of the week.
I don't, I just pick my battles, an extra bit of sugar as a guest at a BBQ isn't a big deal, its occasional it's not every other day.
I would have just let her have another piece of cake as it was a social occasion. You could have been more restrictive to make up for it in the following days. Just because the other children were allowed the cake doesn't mean their parents feed them up on sugar all the time. Maybe the other children aren't badly effected by a late night every now and again.
I pick my battles, a bit of sugar and a late night while we are all having a good time with friends isn't one I'd go for.
Yeah I agree that you need to pick your battles and decide when it's worth issuing ultimatums or drawing lines. It's worthless going back on your word once you've said something but it's whether or not to say it in the first place so you aren't then trying to hold onto a party line. A tiny bit more cake wouldn't have hurt and it was effectively a party so I think rules can be slightly relaxed. Personally I'd be more inclined to be a bit stricter about bed time than treat foods as my kids can't cope with being tired and just go into meltdown the next day.
Not sure you should be policing her eating so strictly in a public setting but we
It depends on your child slightly.
Dd1 could always be relied upon to understand that the second piece of cake/late up was a treat.
Dd2 would have used it for months "but you let me have another piece when we were at the BBQ".
So I used to let dd1 have the treats at times, whereas with dd2 I often decided brief battle now was worth not having 10 battles in the future.
I do tend to be more flexible with other people around generally, but if I don't think it's a good idea will stick
Oh the flip side I generally wouldn't let them have seconds etc. if other parents were all saying no, but if it was something that really wasn't bothering me or we normally did then wouldn't let that stop me letting them.
Chose your battles and don't necessarily be influenced by others if you're happy with your decision.
You sound a wee bit judgemental. I generally let them have a bit more sugar
crap at social gatherings like these. It wasn't fair not to let you dd have another slice of cake, it's a party fgs!
Don't judge others so quickly either, you don't know what rules they have or have not .
I agree with others that a second slice of cake would have been OK. She'll be at parties soon without you and able to mainline sugar
My line would have been 'No I don't want you to have a second slice. But I will say yes tonight. As long as when I say we're going home you don't argue...'
And I don't think it's out of order to say, in the car, that you want to have a good time tomorrow so you do care that she'll be tired.
Its not 'peer pressure' though is, the other parents aren't making you feel bad for not giving her another piece of cake, you are. thats different.
I'd just say 'because x and y's mum isn't me and these are the rules in our family' and thats it.
that comment about diabetes is pretty shitty though.
Agree with GreatFuckability: up to you if you choose to say yes or no to cake and the bit about diabetes sounds really silly and judgmental.
You need to think of a better way of managing this as your dd is getting to an age where she will be having playdates without your presence. Be realistic (a one-off extra dose of sugar will not give her diabetes), make sure she gets used to the idea that occasional party days are different from everyday, make sure she learns to handle the idea that different families have different rules and different things happen in different households.
The sooner you learn to deal with these things with grace and good humour (even when you have to be strict), the better you will be able to further her social life and social development.
You do realise that a child won't get diabetes from eating sugar, right?
I just say "different parents have different rules"
It's not my job to make decisions about other people's children, just my own.
"fair" is irrelevant. If Joey's Mum allows two pieces of cake that's fine, but none of our business.
If Sally's Mum says she can stay up late that's fine but has nothing to do with when my kids go to bed.
My DC have been told "different Mummies/Daddies/families have different rules" since they were very young.
Btw doing things differently than you doesn't make them wrong, just different.
there's nowt wrong with saying no to another piece of cake.
just tell her everybody is different and have different needs. eg poeple get up at different times and need different amounts of sleep.
my dc's get treated differently. one gets more food than the other. that is because one needs more food to regulate theier behaviour and the other would get overweight on the same amounts.
Sympathy, "I know it's hard when you want more cake".
And longer term we talk about how Little Felix might have a TV in his room and DD doesn't, but that she just went on holiday and Felix didn't. Everyone gets to have different things.
Giving them another piece of cake doesn't actually solve the issue, that life's not actually fair and equal all the time.
Argh! With a 13 year old who can STILL be a complete
pain in the arse the next day if he goes to bed too late I feel your pain.
At the age of FIVE?! A wodge of cake and then it's time for home, there's nothing unreasonable about that! If they're owt like mine they'd be sparked out and forgotten all about cake a few hours later anyway.
RE the cake, I agree with PPs, that it's not a battle worth fighting... your DD could have had the second slice.
RE bedtime/leaving - my DD would have been the same. And I've have pointed out to her that she'll be up at 5 and all the other kids would have slept in.
But you have to do what works for you. If it helps, I've had the "but all my friends..." argument this week, and DD is 15 now. The answer was: No, DD it WASN'T all your friends... it was just the ones who were there!
Well its nothing to do with peer pressure is it. Its all about how you want to parent. There was no-one at the BBQ saying "the grown up mummies and daddies are doing it" or "if you dont do it then you are not one of the cool gang".
Of course, if you have no flexibility in how you parent then you are really going to be freaked out when other parents do things differently at parties and sleep overs. How are you going to deal with that - RSVP with instructions about cake and bed time? The world is not rigid so how are you going to cope when the child makes choices that you dont want them to? Rules are one thing, blanket adherence as a personal preference is not going to work in the long term.
Unless your child is diabetic or obese YABU.
My line is "I'm not taLking about x I'm talking about you" and that seems to close down further moaning! I don't think you were unreasonable to limit to one slice of cake. A tired bit sugar fuelled child is not much fun.
It's perfectly normal to draw the line with food, bedtimes, expected behaviour etc.
You can preempt much of this before a social occasion. So when walking/driving to the BBQ explain that 'she's already had chocolate today and so can choose one sweet thing when it's pudding time. If she pesters you for more you'll need to take her home'. Then remind her once if necessary at the BBQ and take her home if she starts to pester you.
Be honest. Try to give reasons for the decisions. The reason needs to be about her (not others). So she doesn't have daily crisps in her lunchbox because that would be an unhealthy habit which could clog her arteries long term and make her ill'. Barry isn't your child, she is.
Or tell her we need to leave at x time to get you to bed because you need to to be refreshed for tomorrow. Then explain what's happening tomorrow.
But children do eventually get used to being different and eventually relate to the reasoning behind family choices (healthy pack lunches). You don't want to end up with a child who mindlessly follows everyone else's life choices anyway. Best to explain that everyone is different and parents make different decisions. You don't base your decisions upon others.
You also shouldn't give into nagging because that leads to children nagging each time they want something. They will know nagging works. You could always tell her that you'll take 10p from her money box every time she nags you.
It's not like you can say "Well, soandso's mum clearly doesn't care that he gets diabetes/spend tomorrow totally exhausted... but that's why I said no to you...!"
No it isn't like you can say that because you'd be a bit of a thick dick if you even thought it.
Just do what you want and explain to your dd "we do it this way". I really can't imagine a world where one slice of cake at a get together was a cause of deep concern but if you care enough then have the balls to stick to your decision. I can more readily understand the wanting to leave on time - again, why does everyone else have to do what you do? Just explain to your kid that families are different and your family is now going home.
I was never that bothered by what others did. We just said "well this is what we do" and moved on.
I suspect the teen years will be interesting in your house.
The wonderful childhood memories of having fun at a special family occasion- relaxing the rules is all a part of that-and if that means eating too much and staying up too late, so be it!
i remember being told I was not to touch the beautiful desserts or special food my mum spent all day making- that was for the adults...crap memories at least your children enjoyed the one piece of cake and staying up an hour later! But really, why not relax the rules on special occasions ? Have fun together, eat a little too much cake (not to the point of being sick of course!) and stay up later so that they can enjoy more fun with friends, on a special occasion. Yes they will be grumpy next day, but you will be able to humour them that they are tired, and can always wind the clock back an hour and bedtime can be an hour earlier.....
I agree with Scatlett: different people do things differently. My children were so used to this that they wouldn't even mention that someone else got more cake. I think that learning about inconsistency in life is incredibly important: teachers aren't always right; some rules can be broken sometimes; parents do things differently; you talk and behave differently in different places and with different people, etc.
By the way, I don't think that eating huge amounts of sugar is fine, nor do I think that it will do kids any damage at all to be told not to eat more cake when other people are eating more cake.
Does no one else think it's unfair that there are so many people telling the OP "stick to your guns and decide your own battles" in one sentence, and "but you were unreasonable not to let her have the cake" in the next?
OP, she's your daughter. If you want her to have one piece of cake, then one piece of cake is what she gets. You know her best. (Although I think the diabetes reasoning is silly.)
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.