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Bedtime threat

(80 Posts)
namtab17 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:31:42

Have namechanged for this as usually DH is a sensible, thoughtful and calm Dad.

DS (5) was acting up a bit at bedtime, taking ages to pick a story, changing his mind about who he wanted to read it (me or DH), picking a book then changing his mind, not getting into bed when asked, getting back out of bed to sort action figures on shelf, kicking covers off then saying he was cold ... generally procrastinating and not listening, as he sometimes does when he’s overtired after a couple of late(ish) nights and an exciting day out.

Dog started barking downstairs so I went to see to her and left them to it after warning that he was already down to 1 story for his nonsense (usually has 2) and there would be no at all stories if he didn’t settle down.

Let dog out, was heading back up stairs when I heard ‘if you do that one more time, I’ll shut you in your room in the dark for 5minutes’ DS had been kicking DH through his duvet, not hard, just being a wee bugger and trying to wind him up.

I was livid and called DH on
it straight away then we bickered for 2mins which didn’t really help the situation.

DS is scared of the dark, something I’m working on with him. I thought this threat was totally out of order! There is no way I would ever shut DS, or threaten to shut DS, in the dark. Ever. That’s not a method of discipline, it’s a scare tactic and a pretty nasty one at that. I actually can’t quite believe DH said it.

DH thinks I’m over-reacting but I’m honestly raging.

AIBU for thinking that’s a shit thing to threaten a small child with, regardless of the crime??

ghostyslovesheets Sun 19-Nov-17 20:34:14

raging? - sorry but I think you are over reacting - parents say stupid stuff when tired, frazzled and being kicked! Not ideal but not a hanging offence

Needadvicetoleave Sun 19-Nov-17 20:36:39

Wasn't a good thing for him to say, and as he's not normally like this , I suspect he regrets it too, but can't admit it as you went nuts. All parents lose it occasionally.

namtab17 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:37:59

He was hardly tired and frazzled, DS was away at my sisters last night (hence the bedtime nonsense - late night and far to many sweets today) and DH maintains that he’d have followed through so not ‘heat of the moment’ at all.

northernruth Sun 19-Nov-17 20:38:27

Yes I think you're being unreasonable. I've said all sorts of things to my DD when I'm knackered and she's playing up. Did it work???

TwitterQueen1 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:38:50

I'm with you on this OP. It's a cruel and horrible thing to threaten. It immediately makes 'the dark' something to be afraid of - and that's regardless of the fact that your DS is already scared.....

I would absolutely hit the roof on this. It's just horrible to threaten a child like this.

namtab17 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:39:06

No it didn’t work. DS went mental crying!

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 19-Nov-17 20:39:34

Bloody hell chill out.
He was doing his best. Not everyone can be Miss Honey at all times.

Nottalotta Sun 19-Nov-17 20:40:43

I agree op. I'd be pretty bloody pissed off at that. It's not just a random threat is it (bad enough) but one targeted at something ds is scared of.

sirfredfredgeorge Sun 19-Nov-17 20:40:46

So what should he have done to stop his son kicking him?

TwitterQueen1 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:41:21

I can't believe everyone else seems to think it's OK. It's like me saying to my DD "If you don't behave I'm going to put you in the dentist's chair for 5 minutes.." (when this is something she is shit scared of.)

How is this an acceptable way to parent a child?

namtab17 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:42:22

Thank you TQ
I’ve never claimed to be perfect, the kids have wound me up plenty of times, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever said anything that would scare the livid daylights out of them!
He scared DS.

Nottalotta Sun 19-Nov-17 20:43:30

When ds tries to kick me I get up and walk away. It's a game to him (he's younger) so I just don't engage.

BenLui Sun 19-Nov-17 20:43:34

I agree with you.

If your child is scared of the dark then threatening him with it is cruel.

On the other hand I wouldn’t be pandering to all the changing mind about stories, reader etc. Two minutes to pick and book or go without (and follow through).

I would have stopped the story immediately kicking had started, it doesn’t matter how hard it was. Hitting or kicking your parents is unacceptable.

DJBaggySmalls Sun 19-Nov-17 20:44:16

Ywnbu, its not ok any more than its ok to threaten to shut them in the cellar, or threaten them with the boogeyman.

namtab17 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:45:31

Well how about, ‘if you don’t stop kicking, I’ll leave the room and you can have 5mins time out (with the bloody light on)’ and the usual removal of toys, pocket money moves from thumbs up to thumbs down jar etc.

I have done that.

It’s the dark but that’s pissing me off.

Who seriously locks their kid in the dark??

KarmaNoMore Sun 19-Nov-17 20:46:01

I'm surprised your child gets so many options at bed time. No wonder it was taking forever.

I also think that a child kicking a parent at that age shows very bad manners even if there are people who condone that behaviour. I think I would have also told him off, put him in bed with no stories at all and leave the room straight away.

TwitterQueen1 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:47:56

What do you do instead? You walk out of the room and say something like "I'm not going to read to you tonight because you have not been behaving well and you are not listening to me or to mum. You don't deserve a story. Goodnight."

What you don't do is scare the crap out of them.

arethereanyleftatall Sun 19-Nov-17 20:49:42

Your ds kicking was completely unacceptable. That wouldn't have been tolerated from me. No story, straight to bed.
Your dh shouldn't have issued that threat.
Your shouldn't be raging.

CantSleepClownsWillEatMe Sun 19-Nov-17 20:50:40

No I wouldn't be ok with this at all and while I could let it go if the threat was made in the heat of the moment I'd be very annoyed that he's saying he would have carried it through. I'm not someone who doesn't believe in punishments but I hate the "I'm going to do this to you that you're really scared of, because I'm bigger and stronger than you so I can". It just seems so nasty and spiteful.

namtab17 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:50:51

Have I at any point implied that kicking in any situation is ok?
And had I already removed 1 story and warned that second one would also be removed?

So I was not ‘pandering’ to the nonsense at all.

My AIBU is about threatening to shut a small boy in the dark when he’s already scared.

ILoveMyMonkey Sun 19-Nov-17 20:52:28

Your DH was mean and I would have been annoyed by that comment too and had something to say about it.

As for the kicking if it were me DS would have had 1 warning that kicking would result in no story and me leaving.

I agree with the pp though that there sounds like too many options for him. My DH and I take it I turns to put DS, also 5, to bed. It cuts a lot of the nonsense out as there is no decision to make.

Voice0fReason Sun 19-Nov-17 20:54:46

It's not about other people being perfect - no-one is. Yes, we've all lost our rag with our kids and said something we shouldn't have. However, that doesn't make it ok!

If you've said something horrible to your child because you were having a bad day, take responsibility for that and apologise. It's not acceptable to scare your kids or say horrible things to them - even if it does get compliance from them.

Apologise, acknowledge you have handled a situation badly and correct your behaviour. Exactly what you would want your children to be able to do one day, so show them how it's done.

It is absolutely not acceptable to scare a child into behaving.

KarmaNoMore Sun 19-Nov-17 20:55:26

Yes, you did, when you said he was kicking his dad "through the duvet, not hard" that implies that as long as the duvet is in the middle the kicking is not a bad thing.

I think getting in a rage about that it's just ridiculous. You also need to present a united front to your child, if you have a go at him in front of your child in such way, you are letting him know that his dad should be a pushover because mummy will deal with him.

namtab17 Sun 19-Nov-17 20:56:38

I’m not sure why a couple of posters think he has ‘so many options’. He stayed away last night so we both took him up to the stairs (as we both missed him, shock!) and he was overtired and grumpy.
In hindsight, one of use should just have gone up. However, sometimes we’ll both lie in his bed and DH will read one story and I read the other. It’s nice!
Is that so complicated a bedtime routine??

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