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To physically restraint a six year old

(35 Posts)
ReallyTired Sun 20-Jul-08 21:18:11

My son has nits. He completely refused to co operate with having his hair fine tooth combed. We got him to sit on the naughty step for six minutes and still did not cooperate.

In the end my husband pinned him down and I fine tooth combed his hair with conditioner. We removed loads of the wretched things.

I sent my son to bed early as a punishment for non co operation.

seeker Sun 20-Jul-08 21:24:16

So you restrained him, got the job done - then punished him? Completely unreasonable, IMHO. He doesn't care whether he has nits or not - you do. I bribe mine to be nit combed. Unsuitable telly and unlimited chocolate.

TurkeyLurkey Sun 20-Jul-08 21:27:56

I find the thought of him being pinned down quite distressing. Plus you punished him on top. Poor lad.

lilyloo Sun 20-Jul-08 21:29:14

I find your post very sad tbh
Maybe he was tired ?
Also not sure how he is going to know what 'non co operation' means ?
He is 6 and has no comprehension of what having nits means and isn't likely to care and 'pinning' him down is unreasonable imo.

themoon66 Sun 20-Jul-08 21:31:54

My son was very proud of his nits when he was 6. Bragged all over school 'mum got 65 off my head last night'.

Perhaps one-upmanship is the way to go.

BetteNoire Sun 20-Jul-08 21:32:49

Who wants to have their hair nit combed?
No-one in their right mind.

He's 6.
Try other parenting techniques in future; distraction, bigging him up as being clever and grown up for understanding the combing will make his head stop itching, offer a reward etc.

The idea of pinning a child down for anything other than their own safety leaves me cold, tbh.

You've proved to him nothing, except that if he doesn't do what you want, you and his father will physically force him to because you are bigger and stronger.

And then you sent him to bed. sad

Too harsh, imo - and I am no pushover where behaviour is concerned.

Rachmumoftwo Sun 20-Jul-08 21:33:45

Is this for real? I hope not, as it is a very unpleasant way to deal with nits, and may have been traumatic for the child. Next time he has an itchy head, he is unlikely to tell you.

OverMyDeadBody Sun 20-Jul-08 21:35:03

I'm sorry lilyloo, but a 6 year old can completely grasp the consept of nits and the instructions that they have to have them removed.

If a 6 year old refuses to co-operate, they are aware of what they are doing and I think physically holding your own son down in order to do soething for their own benefit acceptable given the circumstances.

I have physically held my son down before when he's refused to have his hair washed and badly needs it done.

I wouldn't punish him afterwards though, I think RT was being unreasonablr there, I would have given him a big hug and explained why I'd had to do what I'd had to do.

stitch Sun 20-Jul-08 21:35:20

rt, you sound completely unreasobale.
the kinder thing would have been to take him to the barbers, and get his head shaved. he gets a cool new hair style. the nits lose a place to live, and he is not truamatised for life.

madamez Sun 20-Jul-08 21:36:34

Not unreasonable to hold him down but very unreasonable to punish him afterwards: the job got done, no need for punishment, it will just be even more of a battle next time.

Hulababy Sun 20-Jul-08 21:37:23

I think punishing him twice - holding him down and sending him to bed was too much.

However, not sure that restraining him in order to fine comb his hair was too out of order, if he wasn't cooperating. A 6y IME is old enough to understand and to comply. And it did need doing - so everyone else in house and friends don;t get them.

OverMyDeadBody Sun 20-Jul-08 21:37:24

BettyNoir my son wants me to brush the nit comb through his head all the time, he is obsessed with not having nits and is always willing to have any treatment for them...

Surely you have all physically manipulated a young child into a car seat or pushchair at some time in their life? Well how is this really any different?

Hulababy Sun 20-Jul-08 21:43:42

DD also likes having her hair doen witht he nit comb. We do it weekly when she is in the bath. She likes the whike thing. Have to say I quite like it too - leaves my ahor really smooth after as well.

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 21:43:53

I'd have put some Hedrin on rather than fighting with him. Explained why nits/lice are not a good idea and agreed to nitcomb tomorrow.

TurkeyLurkey Sun 20-Jul-08 21:47:05

I think most 6 year olds are old enough to reason with though. IF they are refusing to cooperate with something there are other methods to use before restraining him.

Strapping a struggling 2 year old into their pushchair is slightly different as its virtually impossible to reason with a 2 year old who is having a tantrum.

lisad123 Sun 20-Jul-08 21:47:09

I think you are very Unreseasonable. Stick some nit lotion in, the comb only works if you keep it up and I can see him running a mile next time you tell him it needs doing.
Nits arent going to kill him FGS, his 6,talk to him, bribe him. hmmm pinning down, I would flip if someone tried it on me

cory Sun 20-Jul-08 21:47:55

I don't think pinning down is unreasonable and traumatic- but it needs to be done calmly and cheerfully. The last thing he wants is to feel that you are unable to cope. And as other posters have said, once you have achieved your goal, there is no need to punish.

Frankly, Bette, I don't see what is so wrong in a child being shown that if he does not do something necessary you may force him. I have done this on occasion- to stop a child from hurting another child, to stop the house from getting wrecked, to make a child have necessary medical treatment, and even on occasion to enforce basic hygiene. But I have not done it in anger, nor viciously, nor in a punitive way. Simply in the spirit of 'this is a job that has to be done so I'm going to do it'. I am quite sure that my children are not traumatised, nor frightened of me.

I would first have tried all the distracting techniques suggested by Bette. But in the last resort I would have held him firmly, done the nit-combing without telling him off, then let him go with a kiss. It's the offended attitude of the OP that sounds unreasonable. Surely it's a little boy's job to struggle against what he perceives as unnecessary hygiene? Just as it's the parents job to get their way anyway? wink

lilyloo Sun 20-Jul-08 21:47:58

Sorry post not really clear i meant that he wouldn't know the implications of having nits etc.
OBDM i completely agree that he should have followed instructions.
However i don't think you can compare restraining a 6 year old to putting a young child in a car seat.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 20-Jul-08 21:50:36

I have to physically restrain my severely autistic 9 year old all the time. I HATE it (and it is getting much harder as he gets older).

I don't really with my younger 2 - can usually find something for them to be competitive about.

i can't say it's wrong because I do it to my 9 year old when I have to, but I tend to agree with cory. Doing it firmly but very calmly is the way to go. I probably wouldn't do it for nits though (unless there was no other choice).

FAQ Sun 20-Jul-08 21:51:05

I don't think you were unreasonable to pin him down - at 6 plenty old enough to understand why he needs to have it done.

I do think you were unfair to punish him afterwards though....

MrsTiddles Sun 20-Jul-08 21:53:47

I don't understand what the punishment was for.

kid Sun 20-Jul-08 22:00:05

I can understand pinning him down to get the job done, I don't think it was neccessary to send him to bed early as a punishment. Surely the pinning down was punishment enough.
Perhaps you could explain that the next time, it would be much easier if he just co-operated when doing the nit combing.

ReallyTired Sun 20-Jul-08 22:06:47

I think the real child abusers are those who nothing about their kid being infested with nits. Ie. there is one poor child in his class who is permamently infested.

A six year old is quite intelligent enough to know what nits are and need no further explanation. He is not stupid. He was being plain obsinate. Its only possible to reason with a six year old when they are prepared to listen to reason.

He doesn't mind his hair being combed but hates conditioner. A lot of toxic shampoos are even worst to use than conditioner. My son gets quite bad ezcema which is why I try and avoid strong chemicals. I do use Tea Tree oil occassionally, but even then there are risks of boys growing breasts if used too often. Repeated use of toxic shampoos aren't effective at getting rid of nits. Natural selection has produced a race of supernits who can survive almost anything. As far as I know nothing kills the eggs.

He should co operate without needing restraint. He just saw being pinned down as a game and laughed when his father held him down. Sending him to bed early was less funny and hopefully will act as a deterrant for the future. I also think if I had not sent him to bed then I would have ended up smacking him as he was being really obnoxious.

The problem with him having nits is that if they aren't treated then the whole family will end up with them. Its not just his problem.

He didn't need to tell me he had nits. I saw the buggers crawling about his head.

OverMyDeadBody Sun 20-Jul-08 22:09:25

I would only ever physically restrain a child in the way that cory outlined, in a calm and friendly manner of just getting the job done.

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 22:09:34

Hedrin isn't toxic and it's very effective ime.

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