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explaining child and adult appropriate behaviour

(9 Posts)
DailyMailGOFuckOff Wed 08-Jun-16 19:12:15

It's really cute and makes me laugh so much but I think DS (3) is actually really confused as its happening ALL the time

He will instruct adults, tell them off, send them to time out, tell them he wants them to sit down and think about their behaviour, basically things that happen to him which are perfectly fine for the adults in his life to do/say he copies

I know this is normal for kids to test out and common. But it's actually becoming an issue as though I have tried to explain every which way that he's a child and it's OK for adults as they're teaching him and looking after him so he learns how to behave - he just can't seem to grasp the difference and it's happening with everyone over everything.

I am constantly being told off, and also congratulated in the way he is - if I go to the toilet he will ask if I have washed my hands and use soap and if I reply that I did, I might be told he will let me watch my telly because I did what he asked etc.

It's hard to get across how frequently this type of thing happens each day because I know now and then it's so cute and makes me really struggle not to laugh yet I do think it's becoming an actual issue where he's really confused over who's who or any heirarchy with who's in charge.

Even when I explain adults are in charge because he's a child and doesn't know everything yet like how to cross a road for example but adults know how to keep him safe - the replies I get are so clear he hasn't understood at all like him saying "well, if you look both ways then you will be safe and I'll help you. If you promise to look both ways I will be very proud of you mummy"

He's unintentionally incredibly rude - it's talking back really. Except he has no idea that's not ok. Teachers ask him to do things (swimming teacher/nursery etc) and if he doesn't want to - he doesn't just refuse he actually properly tells them off for asking him. Even hands on the hips "look at me when I'm talking to you" "your not listening to me, what are your ears for?"

Any tips? People just laugh when you give examples. On its own every now and then it's hilarious. But I'm talking properly confused

Highlove Thu 09-Jun-16 09:03:52

No advice but my 2.3yo has taken to sniffing my bum to see if I need changing. blush

peggyundercrackers Thu 09-Jun-16 09:09:28

daily my DD does the same every day, ive just assumed its what all kids do and just ignore and get on with whatever we are doing. I don't believe they are confused, they are reciting what they see and what they are told - what better way to learn than to copy.

DailyMailGOFuckOff Thu 09-Jun-16 09:27:58

I know they all do it, but DS has an answer for everyone and everything. I really do think he genuinely believes he's as much in charge as any adult in his life...

PamBagnallsGotACollage Thu 09-Jun-16 10:06:29

This does sound more than is typical. As you say, all children mimic and copy things the see and hear but all the time must be doing your head in!

It can be cute and it can be annoying. It's difficult because kids do this to make sense of themselves and their place in the world and copying reinforces what they're hearing but all the time must be tiring for you. Maybe each time he does it say, 'thank you but I'm a grown up and you don't need to tell me to wash my hands/ how to cross the road' etc.

Just gently reinforce your role and his role; You're the one that knows this shit already! Good luck!!

peggyundercrackers Thu 09-Jun-16 10:13:51

I know they all do it, but DS has an answer for everyone and everything

if you think its bad now just wait until he is 13... smile

DailyMailGOFuckOff Thu 09-Jun-16 10:26:11

I know! I'm dreading it already as he has all the attitude of one now

He does "miss the point" lots though. He has this self dialogue of what's happening I think that nobody can quite penetrate.

I asked why he thought he went on the thinking chair at nursery, and he just tells me because he needs to turn the timer over and sit on the chair. No amount of suggesting perhaps he needed to think about his behaviour as it was very dangerous to jump off the (different) chair onto his friend and he could have hurt them or himself. He simply shrugs and says "well I'm strong so it's okay for me, it's not dangerous if you're strong" I'm skipping parts of the conversation as it went on and on but he just never got the point that he was on the thinking chair because he'd been naughty - he just thinks that's what you do on the thinking chair (turn the timer over) and he did it.

strawberrybubblegum Thu 09-Jun-16 21:53:09

Just gently reinforce your role and his role

Although it's really hard not to laugh, you really need to try since that will be encouraging the behaviour.

Consistently refuse to engage on those terms, and briefly correct him.

Since he is very concrete in understanding, don't get into a long explanation of why parents are in charge. And don't be apologetic. Just matter-of-factly reiterate how things are.

DS: 'Did you wash your hands, mummy?'
You: 'Yes I did. It's important to always wash hands after the toilet'
DS: 'Well done, mummy. You can watch your tv program for listening well!'
You: 'It's mummies and daddies who decide when we watch tv, not children. Now, would you like to do some drawing or would you rather play a game?'
DS: 'Mummy! You're not listening to me! It's tv time!'
You: 'No DS. It's me who decides. Time to go downstairs'

I talk about rules a lot for safety issues like your one with jumping off the chair. If something is a rule, then it simply isn't negotiated. You explain briefly once why the rule exists, eg 'if you jump off the chair, you might land on someone by mistake and hurt them' and after that you just reiterate the rule - and what they can do instead - over and over, and refuse to enter into a debate about it. You just need to say it as if you're totally certain about it.

I have a rule that there's no holding sticks while climbing on the climbing frame. A recent exchange with my 3yo went something like
Me: 'Put your stick down while you're climbing please, DD.'
DD: 'But I want to hold my stick'
Me: 'I know, darling. But the rule is that we don't climb with sticks. '
DD doesn't put her stick down. She stops climbing, but hits the climbing frame with her stick and doesn't look at me.
Me: 'Shall I tell you why that's the rule?'
DD looks up at me: 'yeah'
Me: 'Sometimes you can slip on the climbing frame, and if you fell on the stick you would really, really hurt yourself'
DD: 'but I won't fall off the climbing frame. I'm really good at climbing'
Me: 'You are really good at climbing, but that's the rule. You can either play with your stick on the ground, or you can climb on the climbing frame'
DD: 'But my stick helps me to climb. Look, I use it like this'
Me: (stronger) 'No sticks while you're climbing please, DD'
DD: 'But I need my stick at the top'
Me: 'Let's put it here, and you can use it again when you've finished climbing'
DD puts down stick and climbs

DailyMailGOFuckOff Thu 09-Jun-16 22:30:45

Thanks strawberry that's helpful in where I'm going wrong

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