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To wonder why I bother😕

(242 Posts)
user1498912461 Wed 20-Mar-19 18:14:22

DM’s birthday today. I invited my mum, dad and siblings etc up for a mini tea party to celebrate. Made a large spread of food and bought lots of thoughtful gifts. DM proceeds to open the gifts and DS (6) asks if she can pass her presents around for everyone to open one each. I said to ds that it’s Granny’s birthday and she should really open her own presents and maybe he could help her. He asked her again and she said “that’s for your mother to decide”. I told him to “help” her open them and he ran off a into another room refusing to come back. Granny then refused to open them as he wouldn’t come back and watch her and stuffed the gift bag into a career bag to take home. She then loudly stated that he’d spoiled everything and that there’s no way I or my siblings would have behaved this way. I said that he’s only 6 and that sometimes children act silly and that she needs to lower her expectations. She sat there for the rest of her “party” with a face like thunder, even when we brought the cake out and sung happy birthday! Ds refused to sing and she spent the whole time looking at ds “not singing”. She left with her unopened gifts and stated that she’ll “remember this birthday for a long time to come”. Didn’t say goodbye to ds and the kitchen is now a bomb site that I have to 🧼 clean. Wondering why I bothered and thinking the whole thing was a disaster! 😔

trancepants Tue 26-Mar-19 10:37:55

Reading more of the comments on this I am so surprised how many perfect parents there are on here. Jezzo o the kid can't have a bad day he is 6 not 16. All these people who have 6 year olds how behave perfectly in every situation and never act up despite have knowing how they should act. Well done you all get a gold star.

Absolutely nobody thinks that a 6 year old should never act up. A 6yo acting up occasionally is normal. But it's not ok to just shrug it off to the child and let him think that awful behaviour is permissible. When my 6yo acts imperfectly I'm not mad at him because I understand that he's over-excited/over-tired/out of his depth in some way. But I don't shrug it off either, I use it as an opportunity for him to learn that his behaviour was unacceptable and why and/or I use it as learning opportunity for me to learn that I put him in a situation I shouldn't have. But I accept that there was fault with him and/or me. I don't shrug it off as 'ah well he's just a child' because then I'd be teaching him that it's ok to act badly and letting him develop a sense of entitlement that will never hurt anyone more that him and me.

As for the mother's behaviour. Absolutely nobody thinks that was remotely acceptable. It was rude, ungrateful and attention-seeking. But given the way the OP is blithely disregarding what really was terrible behaviour from her son, there is a decent possibility that her mother is just fed up to the back teeth of how her daughter is letting him continue to behave and this was a last straw.

Bluewall Mon 25-Mar-19 09:58:25

Just noticed people said OP is lying about age but she also mentioned the siblings were still in the room. She could have been posting about an older child previously. Also people may not give true details on every post maybe they don't want people building up a profile of their lives like people seem to be doing.

Reading more of the comments on this I am so surprised how many perfect parents there are on here. Jezzo o the kid can't have a bad day he is 6 not 16. All these people who have 6 year olds how behave perfectly in every situation and never act up despite have knowing how they should act. Well done you all get a gold star.

All of my kids and my nephews and friends kids have all had their moments over the years.
If any of my friends kids or nephews act up I think thank God it's not us today ! I don't throw a strop and declare the day a disaster.

Bluewall Mon 25-Mar-19 07:57:13

OP I think you are getting a really hard time. Your son is 6 any reasonable parent knows kids can act up at any time and especially if there is a lot of excitement. He was excited for your mum to open her presents. I'm guessing that whatever presents your mum had he didn't actually want (unless there was chocolates wink) he was just excited.

Children can sulk when they have gotten in trouble and yes you can drag them into the room to apologise or you can let them calm down and then make them apologise once they have and not make a huge scene in front of everyone. Discipline is not about showing everyone else how you doing it it's about teaching the child and this is better done when everyone is a bit calmer and actually listening.

My mum or MIL would have never acted like this in fact theu would have tried to insist my child helped (which would have annoyed me as I was trying to teach him it's rude confusedsmile) They definitely wouldn't have held it against them for the fest of the party.

Sorry you went to all the effort OP with small children I'm sure adding cleaning the house, makin food and entertaining to yoir to do list was the last thing you needed but you did it for your mum and she couldn't even enjoy it xx

Shamoogren Mon 25-Mar-19 07:37:40

Any grown adult that throws a strop like that is a twat.

Your mum sounds like an absolute nightmare op.

Hippogator Mon 25-Mar-19 07:36:10

Sorry OP but your son was bang out of order. It sounds like he needs some form 6 he should know that ruining someone else's party with a sulk is selfish behaviour. You didn't help by trying appease him.

SoupDragon Mon 25-Mar-19 07:20:03

I'm referring to the open admissions of having checked back through the OP's posting history, and determining that maybe her child/ren's ages are not what she says they are. Seriously: who has the inclination or even the time for this?

Lots check to see if there is a posting history when a story sounds too farcical.

JenniferJareau Mon 25-Mar-19 07:00:31

And then follow the smug comments that the OP is unlikely to be back.

OP won't be back as she doesn't want to hear the truth that she is raising a brat.

DistanceCall Sun 24-Mar-19 13:11:47

I'm referring to the open admissions of having checked back through the OP's posting history, and determining that maybe her child/ren's ages are not what she says they are. Seriously: who has the inclination or even the time for this?

The thing is, sometimes people actually remember another poster's previous posts. And they find something jarring. So they go and check (which is fairly straightforward).

There are a couple of posters here whom I think I would recognise in a heartbeat, even if they changed their username. It's not that odd.

MarieIVanArkleStinks Sun 24-Mar-19 10:54:02

I'm open-mouthed at this thread. Not necessarily the OP - which is pretty much par-for-the-course on Mumsnet parenting issues - but the responses to it. And I suggest some of the respondents come down from their moral high-horses before they're bucked off and do themselves a serious injury on the tarmac.

I'm referring to the open admissions of having checked back through the OP's posting history, and determining that maybe her child/ren's ages are not what she says they are. Seriously: who has the inclination or even the time for this? It's excessive bordering on obsessive. And then follow the smug comments that the OP is unlikely to be back. Is it any bloody wonder?

OP: I do agree with the majority consensus on here that your DS's behaviour should have been checked. You're making a rod for his back and your own if you let this sort of thing pass, and there have been many good suggestions as to what might have been a more effective way of dealing with this. Your DM, on the other hand, is far out of line. Maybe my upbringing was of the old-fashioned variety, but I have taught never, ever to behave in such a way as a guest in somebody else's home. In answer to your thread title, in your shoes I'd be disinclined to expend anything like a similar degree of effort in future.

As for the posters commenting that their little darlings would never dream of behaving in such a reprobate manner, or have tantrums that in retrospect they felt they could have handled better: yeah, yeah. Like hell they wouldn't.

trancepants Sun 24-Mar-19 10:33:58

I'm not sure if you are still reading or not OP but here goes. Undoubtedly your mother was being a drama llama and on the face of it, her reaction to the situation was actually fairly appalling. A normal reaction would have been to shrug off the tantrum and carry on or wait a few minutes to see if it would die down and then carry on. However it's also possible that she really and truly had just had enough of what appears to be an awful pattern of behaviour from you DS.

Because sorry, whether he is 6 or 7.5 your DS's behaviour was terrible and not remotely normal or acceptable for his age. I have a 6yo DS and I volunteer with children aged 5-8 and I've never experienced that kind of behaviour from a child and if I did, I wouldn't tolerate it. And I'm not a strict parent, if anything I'm a total hippy/attachment/gentle parent. The boundaries I expect my DS to live within appear almost wide open. But since he was a toddler I've taught him to do his utmost to consider other people's feelings. Children have a very poorly developed sense of empathy but they can and should be guided to exercise what little they do have.

If my DS or a child I work with, acted as your DS did to the presents, I'd lightheartedly remind them that it was his DGMs birthday and of course he/other people would not be opening the presents. If he'd still stropped off I would have gone to him and gently but firmly explained how he should be behaving and how his behaviour would be making other people feel. Then I'd make it easy for him to return to the party or leave him alone to think things through. I wouldn't necessarily reprimand him, but there is absolutely now way I'd ever let him think that his behaviour was acceptable due to his age. Because it really, really isn't. Children that age act up and that can be normal and no true reflection of their personality but they do need to be taught that it's not ok. That it hurts other people, that if it continues it could have the consequence of making other people less likely to seek their company, that they need to find other ways to deal with their feelings. This kind of bad behaviour may be normal for a child but it also needs to be a learning opportunity about how not to behave, otherwise it will become the child's normal behaviour for life and that has the potential to absolutely destroy their future relationships.

KC225 Sun 24-Mar-19 08:55:44

I would not have let six year old having a meltdown ruin my birthday party and nor would any other adult I know. He would have got you come out to the party now and say sorry or you go to your room and stay there for the rest of the day.

You went to a lot of bother for a lovely tea party and your mother was ungrateful and rude. Whilst the child was sulking in another room, she could have opened her gift from you and DH. As to her sarcastic parting shot 'I'll remember this birthday for a long time'. I would have replied good, because I won't be doing another one.

Stop trying to please her OP. It doesnt sound like you will get the grattitude or approbal you want. Concentrate on your family, I think your son is picking up on her frostiness.

GPatz Sun 24-Mar-19 08:47:11

For God's Sake. It's embarrassing when a grown adult has a strop.

GoldenHour Sun 24-Mar-19 08:29:24

I'm surprised by both your mother and your DS's behaviour, more so your DS's and your defence of it.

Thatoneoverthere Sun 24-Mar-19 08:26:47

In my experience I think parents (and caregivers, I'm guilty of this as a nanny) can get caught in stagnant periods where we forget what kids are capable of and that they can and should do better with behaviour, being independent and learning how to cope.
It would have just made life easier if your mum had just said yes when you'd put in a lot of effort but it does come across that it's at the point where it needs to be nipped in the bud, sometimes kids need a helping hand to 'grow out' of things. Not something you can help you mother with sadly.

AlexaAmbidextra Fri 22-Mar-19 17:32:51

Strikes me OP is used to pandering to her DS.

Mumberjack Fri 22-Mar-19 07:22:18

Strikes me that OP is used to appeasing her DM - she did say that she’s highly strung - and she’s falling into the trap of parenting in that way.

WhiteDust Fri 22-Mar-19 07:02:05

Your poor Mum.
She's probably sick of his behaviour and you indulging him.
What 6 year old is taught that they can 'help' open an adult's presents?
'But I'm only a child' 😡Children are not the centre of the universe and he needs to know that.

FilledSoda Thu 21-Mar-19 18:02:50

Don't offer to let him 'help' open some else's presents , that's really weird and tells him he's very important.

Soubriquet Thu 21-Mar-19 17:28:40

I see she’s buggered off to hide her head in the sand again

It’s made worse that this child is nearly 8 not 6!!

Would he do this at a friends birthday party?

Or would you buy him something because “he’s only a child” hmm

Excited101 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:30:30

I’d expect that behaviour from a 2 year old, any older than that- no thanks. Not unless they’ve been taught, encouraged, allowed to in the past would or should that behaviour be expected. And yes, you’ve taught him to take absolutely no responsibility for his behaviour ‘I’m only a child’. At some point he will suddenly have to switch it to ‘I’m only an adult...’ and then what?

AureliaJane Thu 21-Mar-19 16:28:45

It sounds like your mother overreacted and was very ungrateful to you, but I wonder if this was a final straw situation. It seems that your son has a really hard time not being the focus of attention, and it may be that he’s upset your mum before with this kind of behaviour.

A couple of things made me raise an eyebrow in your post. First the fact that when your son was being really rude and ruining the party, you tried to appease him instead of giving him short shrift. He should have had a bit of a telling off for behaving that way, but it doesn’t seem like he faced any negative consequences.

The other thing was him saying ‘I’m only a child’ because he’s heard you say it. That isn’t cute - that’s him manipulating you and learning that if he behaves badly you will let him get away with it because he’s a kid. Kids don’t magically flip a switch and know how to behave. They learn to be nice by being taught the rules, and appropriately punished when they refuse to follow them.

I really think you need to get his behaviour in hand, because at 6 he should know better and you want to nip this in the bud before he grows up into an adult who still thinks he can behave how he likes and have excuses made for him.

Still feel sorry for you though that your mum was rude when you had gone to a lot of effort. She could have sucked it up for your sake.

Helix1244 Thu 21-Mar-19 16:02:57

The q is why would the op think it's ok? Or is the GP unhelpful and sometimes encourages the GC to help?
I think with no backstory it seems odd but it may have developed for a reason.
Sometimes parents are so afraid of their child causing a scene that they pacify them. And when they are little that can work but eventually their demands become bigger.
But on the other hand better to have the tantrums young, with family who would usually be more understanding.
Often though parents end up fitting timings etc around other people food/going out etc when they know it will affect the dc behaviour. Eating lunch late etc. And then have to hear complaints about the behaviour whilst the parent is thinking hmm well if we had eaten at a readonable time etc they wouldnt have snacked and would be hungry.
I think we tend to hype kids up about parties and birthdays. (And then they probably feel a bit let down as actually honestly watching an older person opening their 'boring' presents isnt as much fun as expected.

HarperIsBazaar Thu 21-Mar-19 15:50:47

As a TA who has worked with many 5-6 year olds this is not normal behaviour for an NT child. You are turning him into a brat OP

ZippyBungleandGeorge Thu 21-Mar-19 15:45:43

@Bookworm4 seeing your post I looked back and remembered her others she was commissioning about her six year old's behaviour in 2017! Either the child miraculously doesn't age or he's still the same and she took none of the above given on previous threads about boundaries, expectations, discipline etc.

autumnnightsaredrawingin Thu 21-Mar-19 15:32:50

I work with children and have a 6 year old. NT 6 year olds don’t generally behave that way. Yes your DM was also being unreasonable, once your DS had stormed off she could have made light of it and carried on opening the gifts and having a nice time, ignoring DS’s behaviour. OP a 6 yr old should know not to behave like this, and you saying ‘maybe you can help open them’ only made it worse.

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