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How to stop 3yo becoming Spoilt?(6 Posts)
So, I’m pretty sure my 3yo DS is becoming a bit spoilt. And I can’t stress enough how much I am doing to try and stop this!!! When he’s with me and DP (Dad) he doesn’t get whatever he wants, when he’s naughty he gets consequences (normally naughty step, no bedtime story, certain toys taken away etc), he doesn’t get treats all the time for no reason etc.
However it’s a different story when he’s at MIL’s...... she gives him whatever he wants, doesn’t really tell him off, more of a “no you can’t do that sweetie” kinda thing? And most frustratingly she doesn’t always cooperate with our ‘rules’! We have sat down with her many times and explained this very seriously and she always says she understands, (but you can tell she thinks that she’s Doing nothing wrong) but nothing seems to change?
I know grandparents are supposed to spoil and all, but when shes so involved in his life (she looks after him 4 afternoons a week whilst I work), surely she should be complying more with how we parent? I just don’t know what to do. He’s becoming increasingly rude and disrespectful towards DP and myself and I think it’s all linked to him getting what he wants when he’s at Nans. Any advice would be greatly appreciated? Thank you x
Sorry I stopped reading when I got to “she looks after him 4 afternoons a week”. This is free childcare and if you aren’t happy with it, you need to pay for other child care. I had the DGP for childcare and my DF happily fed my DC chocolate all day, you just have to try and balance things out when they’re with you
Just wondering how your DS reacts when you with hold bedtime stories for something that’s haplened earlier in the day? I wasn’t aware at 3 they coukd associate the two actions?
Children have no trouble understanding 'different rules in different places'. If it was your MIL's style of care which was causing the problem, he'd be playing up with her not you!
Are you going too far the other way, to try to balance out her softer style? If so, your DS might be interpreting that as you disapproving of him/not caring about him, and responding by acting out.
At 3, he's still very, very young. Might be worth trying to use some positive reinforcement techniques rather than punishments, and really dial up the playfullness and connection for a bit if you think your relationship with DS needs a bit of repair.
It could also be the normal joys of being the parent of a threenager...
As others have said, what you need to do is to stay calm and cheerful and just keep reinforcing that this is how things are at grandma's house and this is how things are at our house. He will get it eventually. Next year he will be going to school and there will be a whole load of rules he doesn't have to observe at home: that doesn't mean you have spoiled his school experience forever; it's just part of the learning curve. As long as he senses that you think it's normal that he has to stick to rules at home that he doesn't have to at grandma's, he will buckle down to it eventually. Just stay consistent and cheerful and don't let him sense the underlying tension.
Rebelliousness and non-compliance are normal at this age: it's the response of a small person trying to work out how a big and confusing world works.
If he tells you he wants to go and live at grandma's, just calmly remind him that "You know how it is: on Fridays you go to grandma's and on Saturdays you stay at home. That's how it is".
And when he tells you he doesn't love you, the appropriate response to that is a cheerful "Well, that doesn't matter, because I love you and I'm always going to love you".
Children don't need every environment they are in to be exactly the same, but what they do need is the underlying security of feeling that the adults in charge of them are on the same page, that nothing can rattle you, and that nothing they do or say can alter your love for them.
My dd at a slightly younger age was gleefully looking forward to the time when she would be grown up and wouldn't have to have me for a mummy because I'd be dead by then. Dd is now an adult, living her own independent life, she has not grown up spoilt or unpleasant, we are still very close- and I have absolutely no intention of popping my clogs!
To be honest, I think it sounds more like you have unreasonable expectations at home. 3 is very young. Personally, not doing bedtime story doesn’t feel like an age appropriate consequence. I would be trying to find more positive reinforcement techniques if I were you. I’d really recommend How to Talk so kids will listen or Calm Parents, Happy Kids if you wanted to read some books for ideas.
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