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Parents that won't say the word "No", is it ridiculous to expect others to follow your rules?

(137 Posts)
Confuzzeled Sun 26-Jul-09 08:57:05

AIBU to think this "We don't say NO to ds, we try and encourage him to do something else." is ridiculous when you are in someone else's house and your child is breaking things?

My Mum has people staying who's ds has broken a whole load of things in the last 24 hours. They also aloud him to smear food into the carpet and he tried to pull the fire guard off (it's Scotland and it's been quite cold). While they calmly wave toys at him and encourage him to do something else, he's destroying the place. He's only 19 months and I don't think at that age you know the difference between right and wrong, he needs someone to say "NO, we don't pull the fire guard because you'll get hurt".

I think you should be able to bring your child up in the way that you think is best, but I don't think other people should suffer because of it. Not to mention it's dangerous.


junglist1 Sun 26-Jul-09 09:00:46

YANBU how irritating!!!! And rude!!!!!

TrinityRhinoHasASillyStepson Sun 26-Jul-09 09:00:54

what about 'thats too hot' 'thats going to get broken' and then remove him to another toy

then you haven't said no and you have tried to do the distraction but in a better way imo

Confuzzeled Sun 26-Jul-09 09:04:26

Yes, that is also my point, they're not even trying to explain to him that something is dangerous or bad.

I also read somewhere that the rational part of the brain doesn't develop until a child is about 4 so trying to explain doesn't really mean anything to a toddler. A child does understand NO and Mummy will get cross if I touch that.

Thunderduck Sun 26-Jul-09 09:08:20

YANBU and I'd tell them to book a hotel room for tonight if I were your mother.

blowbroth Sun 26-Jul-09 09:10:23

I have always said 'no' to dc. From a very early age they knew that when i did say it the knew I mean't it. I don't think people say it enough , 'thats too hot' 'thats going to get broken' are fine but this ds is 19 months old. Another thing my dc got to know very early on was the word 'Danger'.
If you can use the right tone they get the message.

Goblinchild Sun 26-Jul-09 09:12:30

Give them an itemised bill for the damage.
Let them reap the consequences of their parenting choices. smile

Fillyjonk Sun 26-Jul-09 09:32:33

Two separate issues here. First off, by letting their child trash someone else's house, they are being very rude. VERY rude. Think that goes without saying. You take a young toddler to another person's house, you watch them like a hawk, (unless it is your mum and she is fabulous enough that she doesn't mind a bit of food in the carpet because she'd rather you had a cup of tea in peace grin).

Second, however, I think the saying no thing is a bit of a red herring.

Per se, I think distraction is not only a much more powerful tool than saying "" at this age, I think its pretty much the only tool that will work on a 19 mo (thouse freakishly gifted MN standard-issue spawn aside of course).

I always wonder with these situations if the real issue is that the child is seemingly getting away with it. When surely what matters is that the child learns that the behaviour is not ok. And there are several routes to this.

tbh, even with parents watching like a hawk, a lot of 19 mos will try to pull off a fireguard (I take it he didn't suceed?). Its also hugely common for parenting that works 99% of the time to fail miserably when on holiday in a strange place, different routines, new things to explore, needing to be inside more than usual, etc etc.

It sounds like a stressful visit on both sides, tbh.

Confuzzeled Sun 26-Jul-09 10:59:29

There is family friction so my Mum can't really say much, it's my step Dad's family and he's very precious about them. They are very rude house guests as it is, they treat the place like a hotel and my Mum like a maid.

I agree it's good to distract but I would say "No don't do that because ..." then move the child away to something else interesting.

He rattles the fireguard and the hooks will come free if you shake them enough. My own dd did this when she was smaller but she was told firmly NO and it's HOT then I would take her away. Their ds shakes the fireguard and they ignore it, my Mum has explained it's only on small hooks and they can be pulled out the wall but they let him do it because he likes the noise and he'll soon get bored.

It's funny because they're super paranoid about everything and go around with disinfectant wipes. They don't mind their ds breaking the hinges on a cupboard door as long as it's been de-germed.

minxofmancunia Sun 26-Jul-09 11:10:10

yanbu, can't be doing with parents who won't reprimand or say "no" when it's appropriate.

you can't negotiate with a 19 month year old and they need to learn boundaries, used to drive me mad the way my friend ds would batter other children and rather than being told he was wrong would go into lengthy explnations with him.

you're not going to damage a child by saying no from time to time, in fact you'll probably do them some good.

Confuzzeled Sun 26-Jul-09 11:12:52

What is this style of parenting called? I know it has a name.

spinspinsugar Sun 26-Jul-09 11:13:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Sun 26-Jul-09 11:13:57

A 19 month old won't understand long sentences or lengthy instructions - NO is far easier for them to deal with.

Your step-dad's family sound like royal pains in the bum and their child will suffer for it when he's a bit older and having to deal with other children and teachers at nursery or school. Really unfair of them not to teach him the right skills for dealing with people outside his own immediate family.

sleeplessinstretford Sun 26-Jul-09 11:31:44

is it unconditional parenting?
one of our friends is attempting UP-she doesn't say 'no' to her little treasure and as such he is so socially unacceptable people are avoiding having them round. it's a shame as he can be a sweet child, she also,if anyone else reprimands him packs her stuff up on the verge of tears and leaves-refusing to discuss the situation, she is also the only one still BF (not a problem,the child is 2) and that's her method of control-if he's biting/kicking another child the boob comes out and seems to calm him-i believe this is rewarding him but you know,each to their own and that.

minxofmancunia Sun 26-Jul-09 11:39:25

massive positive reinfrocement for negative behaviour sleeplessinstretford, no wonder he's aggressive! that would do my head in!

I noticed on holiday (lots of toddlers where we were staying) quite a few of the mums refused to step in when their dcs were misbehaving, either really weakly tried to distract them or picked them up for a cuddle saying things like "oh dear you're tired darling aren't you". I was shock, if a child hits another child you tell them "no" and intervene!!!

I think it says a lot about the personality of the parents tbh if they just can't bring themselves to implement discipline, their children are likely to grow up a tad narcissistic.

CloudDragon Sun 26-Jul-09 11:41:58

fgs - say no, then distract them otherwise how will they know right from wrong.

sleeplessinstretford Sun 26-Jul-09 11:44:43

i think it is our job as parents to make sure our children are socially acceptable and that other people like them/don't feel mentally drained from spending time in their company! the little boy in question only behaves like this for his mothers benefit btw. it's a real shame as whilst he's like this and she's like that there is very little joy in their relationship (IMVHO) it's hard to enjoy a child who is antisocial in his behaviour.i also worry what will happen when he self weans.

Morloth Sun 26-Jul-09 11:46:49

Confuzzeled "What is this style of parenting called? I know it has a name."

I think the official term is actually crap parenting grin. I know a few people who tried this and without exception their kids are now royal PITAs and we don't have much to do with them.

Pretty sure the boy thought his name was "No!" for the first couple of years of his life. He seems OK, doesn't appear to need therapy.

ZZZenAgain Sun 26-Jul-09 11:52:25

never come across this tbh. What's the reasoning they have for never saying no then? Do you know? Sounds a bit rough on your mum

sleeplessinstretford Sun 26-Jul-09 12:21:46

zzzen again.
it's so they don't break the little darlings spirits with negativity...i wish someone could break mine,she throws her head back and laughs when i tell her no.
i would be interested to see how these children get on at school when they have to conform.

Confuzzeled Sun 26-Jul-09 12:30:28

Morloth - PML

I think it is called unconditional parenting, but to me it's just not teaching your child how to behave within normal society.

What happens when he goes to school or meets other kids?

My dd used to go to a Bright Horizons and they had a policy of not saying No. I thought it was strange but we moved and changed nursery's.

artifarti Sun 26-Jul-09 12:39:59

This is interesting! Our friend told us we shouldn't say no to DS yesterday as it would 'ruin his self esteem'. DP responded that the cat would ruin a lot more than that if he tried to pull his tail again!

I am new to all this so was wondering if no-one said no anymore...

mrsjammi Sun 26-Jul-09 12:50:02

Message withdrawn

Stayingsunnygirl Sun 26-Jul-09 13:00:26

"i think it is our job as parents to make sure our children are socially acceptable and that other people like them/don't feel mentally drained from spending time in their company! the little boy in question only behaves like this for his mothers benefit btw. it's a real shame as whilst he's like this and she's like that there is very little joy in their relationship (IMVHO) it's hard to enjoy a child who is antisocial in his behaviour.i also worry what will happen when he self weans."

I couldn't have said this better, sleeplessinstretford. IMO it is wrong and unkind to teach a child that they can do whatever they want with no negative consequences - because real life just isn't like that.

If I were the OP's mum, I'd tell the stepdad that his family aren't welcome to stay unless they will ensure that their child behaves acceptably. And I'd bill them for the damage. But of course it is very easy for me to sit here and say that - real life is very different, and the OP's mum has all my sympathy.

Confuzzeled - is there any way you could raise this with your stepdad, and tell him how much his family have upset your Mum, and that he should be putting her feelings first?

mosschops30 Sun 26-Jul-09 13:07:23

I wonder if its the same woman who thought her mother was terrible for asking her dd to pick up things she'd thrown?

I find this sort of parenting ridiculous, this touchy feely PC shite has left us with the youth of today who have no respect, no sense of what is right or wrong, no moral values and think that absolutely everything is accesible by whatever means possible etc. It scares me!

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