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To think that this is an unreasonable punishment

(62 Posts)
LittleMe03 Thu 07-Dec-17 09:08:21

It is my nephews birthday today, he is 6 today.

On my way home from work last night I went to their house to drop off his birthday present from us.

My sister in law thanked me (nephew in bed) but then told me that he would not be receiving the present tomorrow, or any presents.

I obviously questioned why. She said, as you know his behaviour at the minute is awful and we told him last week that because of that he needs to show some good behaviour to get birthday presents and as he hasn't he needs to show good behaviour to instead receive the presents in a weeks time if he does. I didn't really know what to say at the time and left not long after.

I text my brother last night, who wasn't there at the time and asked him to reconsider this punishment as it seemed extreme considering this 'awful' behaviour has just been a 5 year old child acting out, as kids do in phases of their life. He replied to say they are at their wits end with him not listening or caring about any previous punishments, ie removing tv from his room, Ipad taken from him for a weekend etc

If just doesn't sit right with me, I know it's not my decision but it's upset me.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 09:11:43

YANBU to think it’s ridiculous, I do too. However he’s their son and they’re obviously struggling. Can you offer to help in any way, maybe be take your nephew out to give them a break?

I have a DS who at times is hard work. I’d never ban his birthday though.

Frederickvonhefferneffer Thu 07-Dec-17 09:13:54

Yanbu but unfortunately it is not your place to intervene and beware that if you do you may cause a rift.
Instead you could try and help by giving them a break now and again.

Council Thu 07-Dec-17 09:21:17

It is horrible, but I'd be furious if you text me to tell me my parenting was all wrong, no matter how right you were.

If it's something they threatened (and they know they shouldn't have) it's not wrong of them to follow through. They probably hate themselves enough, without you wading in.

overnightangel Thu 07-Dec-17 09:24:00

Why has a 5 year old got an iPad and a tv in his room??
If you threaten a punishment you have to follow thru ergo YABU

Fekko Thu 07-Dec-17 09:24:15

They have made the threat and need to carry it through. You can't really criticise you leastly have a really smart alternative - I'm sure they are at their wits end.

Jayfee Thu 07-Dec-17 09:29:49

I don't agree that if you threaten something you must carry it through. As the adult, you might decide that you have been too harsh.

Nanny0gg Thu 07-Dec-17 09:30:36

I can see why the OP is concerned.

And all it will do is make him really miserable and unhappy and probably exacerbate his bad behaviour.

If you don't have the sort of relationship where you could offer help and suggestions though I don't know what you can do.

Crumbs1 Thu 07-Dec-17 09:30:58

Tell them it’s a case of as you sow, so shall you reap. If they behaved more reasonably so would the child. What unkind parents.

Why has he an iPad or television in his room?
Why are they making such sweeping, general demands rather than being specific about behaviour the want to see?
A week is to long a timeframe for a five year old to contain inappropriate behaviour without reward.
They should put away the screens and have some fun with their child.Poor boy will remember it forever. Not best way to build good relationships.

Fekko Thu 07-Dec-17 09:31:20

So the child learns that your threats are worth nothing? No. Best not to threaten without being willing to follow through.

Spartaca Thu 07-Dec-17 09:31:41

That's horrible, yanbu

Fekko Thu 07-Dec-17 09:36:08

They need to recalibrate. When your child is playing up and ramps up the punishments it is a slippery slope.

They probably feel that they have lost control and are hoping that bringing out the big guns will put him on the right track. It probably won't and will be stressful for them all.

Council Thu 07-Dec-17 09:37:24

I their shoes I'd be cross with myself for making a ridiculous threat but I would fee obliged to follow it through. Once they're a bit older you can "agree" that you've been a bit harsh but when they're little they need to know you mean what you say. I'd be making his birthday fun in lots of other ways and just postponing the presents though.

I agree on the TV and the ipad. That's ridiculous for such a young child and it does sound like his behaviour might not be so challenging if they spent more quality time with him. It's corny but it's true, bad behaviour is so often attention seeking.

curryforbreakfast Thu 07-Dec-17 09:38:34

I would never do that, but they are his parents and you should not have texted that.

GoodChristmasGuest Thu 07-Dec-17 09:38:38

It's a totally unrealistic, unreasonable and pointless punishment, which will not magically change his behaviour, but will almost certainly make him totally resent his parents and he'll remember this forever! I mean, consequences, yes, But they need to be immediate, a week is too long and ridiculous for such a young child.

TV in bedroom is madness, as is, imo, iPad. They need to tone it down and do more immediate and effective punishments. A HUGE over-reaction to an impossible demand (being 'good' for a week) will never work.

What does that even mean. They need to be specific - you need to get up and get dressed. I want you downstairs in 5 minutes. If you don't do this, then X will happen. And X needs to then happen immediately.

A week of being 'good' doesn't mean anything to a 5/6 year old.

And if they do such a dramatic punishment now, what do they move on to? confused

Have you witnessed this terrible behaviour? What sort of stuff is he doing, or not doing? They need to calm down, ask for help if necessary and make the punishment more appropriate. And I would have definitely said something too.

If a punishment is unreasonable, and likely to cause the child harm (I think he could really be dammed by this!) then I think it's right to speak out. Surely you should for emotional/mental harm as well as physical? If they beat him because they were at their wits' end, that wouldn't be ok. If they threatened to beat him, they shouldn't follow through just cos they had threatened it.

GoodChristmasGuest Thu 07-Dec-17 09:40:46

harmed (mentally), not dammed!

FlowerPot1234 Thu 07-Dec-17 09:44:37


considering this 'awful' behaviour has just been a 5 year old child acting out, as kids do in phases of their life.

No, Many 5 year olds do not act out, do not have awful behaviour to this degree, and not all kids do this in phases of their life.

Well-behaved children will have sporadic occasions of misbehaving. When such behaviour is dealt with properly, the child learns and these occasions become fewer and the child grows in understanding.

When children are allowed, as you are suggesting, to act out, when people like you normalise it and think it's something as kids do, that's the recipe for disaster, consistently awful behaviour and the creation of generation snowflake.

BTW, a 5 year old should never have a TV in his room. Sounds like his parents are finally coming down hard on a disrespectful and awfully behaving 5 year old, who has got this way because of poor parenting things like putting a TV in his bedroom.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 09:53:27

FlowerPot are you always that smug and condescending, or do threads about children just bring out your holier-than-thou parenting attitude? hmm

FlowerPot1234 Thu 07-Dec-17 10:08:12

TheCatsPaws I wonder why you always feel so threatened by posters who point out that misbehaving children is not the norm. Are you always so scared and patronising, or do threads about poor behaving children just bring out your nobody-ever-can-disagree-with-me-in-case-my-own-shortfalls-in-parenting-are-highlighted attitude? grin

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 10:13:55

Seems to have hit a nerve there, didn’t it? P.S, just a tip, copying someone’s response is a poor show. At least try to have some originality in your attempt at scathing commentary, otherwise you just look like a foaming harpy.

Frederickvonhefferneffer Thu 07-Dec-17 10:20:00

Foaming harpy?! 😂

FlowerPot1234 Thu 07-Dec-17 10:22:50

TheCatsPaws On the contrary, you haven't hit a nerve, I merely replied.

Very clearly The CatsPaws the only nerve that's been hit round here is clearly yours. You just cannot bear anybody to ever say misbehaving children is not the norm, because of what you feel it says about you. That is glaringly obvious. Sort yourself out and your own parenting issues, and stop trying to make misbehaving children that you cannot handle the norm just to make yourself feel better.

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 10:23:59

Where have I said misbehaving children is the norm? Quote me on that. I haven’t. I pointed out your condescending attitude was rude and unhelpful.

FlowerPot1234 Thu 07-Dec-17 10:29:46

TheCatsPaws For goodness' sake. You interpreted my opinion about misbehaving children as condescending and holier-than-thou. Quite why is totally up to you. Nowhere do I say I am superior, so your choice to read it as condescending must come from something else inside you. Now you say such a basic observation is rude and unhelpful. You're all over the place TheCatsPaws. If you don't agree, fine, but don't go around attacking others for thinking things they're not thinking. Just sort yourself out and whatever is going on in your life for you to have such a strong reaction about a simple comment about well-behaved children.

Have a think, eh? hmm

TheCatsPaws Thu 07-Dec-17 10:34:39

You made s condescending post that stated what children do and do not do, and attacked both the OP and the parents of this child. Don’t pretend you didn’t.

I replied with a snarky comment because I really cannot stand smug people. I think it’s, for lack of a better word, cunty. And it is not helpful at all.

You have no idea why certain kids behave a certain way. And you have no authority to claim what’s normal.

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