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To give my son a potato for Christmas?

(426 Posts)
eefa658 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:38:59

Have lurked for about a year but finally made an account to ask this as I've had mixed reactions from friends and my DM...

DS 3 is a biter. We have tried EVERYTHING to get him to stop. Final straw was the other day when he tried to bite his 3 month old sister (he didn't manage to as I grabbed him) I had warned him last time he bit me that Santa would see and for every time he bit anybody from now on Santa would replace a present with a potato. He didn't listen, and tried to bite DD. I've told him that Santa has seen and one of his presents is now a potato.

I HATE not following through on punishments. I'm inclined just to wrap up a potato and chuck it in his stocking and then when he opens it on Christmas Day remind him that he was warned. I'm not going to throw away any of his presents, so he's not actually going to miss out he will just think he has.

DM and a few friends think I'm horrible. DH, DF and a few other friends think it's a great idea.

WIBU to do this? I'm running out of ideas to get him to stop and I really am losing the will to live over it. Please feel free to also offer tips on how you stopped your child biting...

Cherries101 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:40:54

You will give his other presents too right plus a wrapped potato? If yes then go for it as long as you explain to him exactly why he got it.

Gravel1 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:42:24

No No No
Give him a break on xmas
But continue your good work parenting afterwards. Hell remember the xmas he had a potato all his life and Im sure you don't want that

Popskipiekin Sat 22-Dec-18 17:43:36

Do you think there might be a way to earn the potato gift back?? Kids seem to need redemption somehow. Maybe you explain that Santa has said he switched out a gift but if DS does no biting and no attempts at biting all week (do a star chart) then Santa will bring the gift back?

Travisandthemonkey Sat 22-Dec-18 17:43:51

What’s wrong with remembering a potato all your life!?
I mean if you were ONLY going to give him a potato then that’s not ok.

delilahbucket Sat 22-Dec-18 17:44:04

I would follow through on this. It might be the thing that finally makes him stop. For future reference though, don't use santa related things as punishments. I hate it when parents tell their kids Santa won't come if they're naughty or will bring them coal or another item, then don't follow through. It teaches the child nothing.

eefa658 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:44:27

He will get all gifts plus the potato. And yes my plan was that when he opens the potato I will tell him that Santa has told me he can get the gift back if he manages to go 2 weeks without biting anybody

Travisandthemonkey Sat 22-Dec-18 17:44:52

Sounds perfectly fine.

Thequaffle Sat 22-Dec-18 17:44:58

I don’t think a potato amongst his other presents will be bad. Do it!

SantaBabyBoo Sat 22-Dec-18 17:45:17

I think it's a great idea tbh

MsJolly Sat 22-Dec-18 17:46:06

As you’ve explained it I think you are definitely not unreasonable to put a potato in the top of his stocking. He won’t lose a gift but he doesn’t know that. It’s called a natural consequence-he was warned so should have the follow through, otherwise he will never believe anything else you say.

mummmy2017 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:46:14

Yes do it...

Travisandthemonkey Sat 22-Dec-18 17:47:13

Basically if you don’t do it, you’ll be utterly fucked. So you don’t have much choice!

joenick123 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:47:25

When my sister wouldn't stop biting my Dad bit her. Surprisingly she stopped trying to bite people.

swashbucklecheer Sat 22-Dec-18 17:47:31

I left a piece of coal out one night in the run up to Christmas as a warning from Santa about the behaviour of my DS- I think it helped a bit fgrin

orangeicecream Sat 22-Dec-18 17:47:49

I did this with my kids and it works well.

Lovingbenidorm Sat 22-Dec-18 17:48:24

My experience has been to NEVER threaten a punishment and fail to carry it out.
You will lose credence.
Your dc need to know that if you do ‘bla bla’ and they don’t give a shit and do ‘bla bla’ then ‘BLA BLA’ WILL happen!
Empty words of warning are pointless and useless

PoisonousSmurf Sat 22-Dec-18 17:48:25

Tell him the story of the Icelandic 'Yule Lads' and their mother...

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Sat 22-Dec-18 17:48:26

I think it’s a good idea. As you say, he’s not losing out on presents but he obviously doesn’t really believe there will be consequences at the moment.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Sat 22-Dec-18 17:48:55

Also I don’t think it’s a bad idea to always remember the year he got a spud for a present!

Stpancras Sat 22-Dec-18 17:49:17

He’s a baby, acting on impulse. I doubt very much this will stop him.

Stompythedinosaur Sat 22-Dec-18 17:49:50

At three I think you need to give an immediate consequence, and also not use Santa as a threat instead of having consistent consequences all year.

I think all you will do is make him feel upset o christmas when he's forgotten all about the bite. I think naughty step/losing a toy, or whatever you choose at the time would be much more effective.

eefa658 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:50:21

@Lovingbenidorm this is my problem. I always follow up warnings with punishment and I really don't want this to be the first time I don't. My DM says I'm too stubborn.

eefa658 Sat 22-Dec-18 17:51:27

@Stompythedinosaur I've tried that. He just waits until he gets it back and then he's a little terror again. The Santa/potato thing just slipped out my mouth and now I've just run with it

Armadillostoes Sat 22-Dec-18 17:51:30

No! YABVU. Firstly at his age deferred punishments are not effective. Consequences need to be immediate for him to make any connection. Secondly it is not really teaching him why we don't bite. Thirdly it will put a downer on Christmas morning, when he might be behaving well. Just a really bad idea all round.

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