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"Will you be cross if I tell you?"

(12 Posts)
ghosty Thu 07-Apr-05 11:21:51

This is DS' latest thing and I am not sure if I am handling it right ... so need reassurance/advice please.
Today was a perfect example:
I was in the kitchen cooking dinner, DS and DD in the living room playing quite happily. DD suddenly started crying like she was hurt so I went into the living room to see DS saying sorry and trying to give her a cuddle. I knew that he had done something because of the look on his face. She was really crying and holding her arm. So I sent him to his room and calmed her down (didn't shout or anything shut asked him to go to his room and he legged it which also told me he had done something horrible) ...
After a few minutes he came out and said, "Sorry" I asked him what he did and he said, "Will you be cross if I tell you?" ...
This was really hard because I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't be cross as I didn't know what he had done. So I said it would be better if he told me ... that I would be cross if he didn't tell me. I said that I didn't know if I would be cross ....
Anyway, it turned out that he had bitten her on the arm ... He is 5 FGS!!!!!
Naturally I was livid with him and sent him to his room again while I thought about what to say to him. I went to him and said thank you for telling me, that it was good that he told me but I was really upset by what he did and yes, I was cross ...
DD is going through a lashing out phase (she lashes out at DH, DS and me when she doesn't get what she wants) at the moment and we are really working on it and if DS goes and bites her she will only start biting on top of the lashing out won't she ...
Did I do right?
What to do about the "Will you be cross if I tell you?" ...

starshaker Thu 07-Apr-05 11:28:21

i have to say i used to do that when i was young i would say to my mum ill only tell u if u promise not to get angry. she said ok most of the time and we spoke about what id done and how it had affected some1 else sometimes she turned it on me and said do i think she should be angry or whatever and i personally think it worked my mums view even to this day is she would rather know whats happening in my life and not be happy about it than to be kept in the dark. she is now prob my best friend and i feel i can tell her anything and get an honest opinion. im now 24 and about to have my own baby and i just hope i handle things as well as my own mum did

ghosty Thu 07-Apr-05 11:34:05

Thanks starshaker ...
I really don't want DS to not tell me things for fear of me being cross (I am honestly not that scary when I am cross, I promise, ) ..
That is a good idea, to say "Do you think I should be cross?" ...
I want him to grow up knowing he can tell me anything too ....

ghosty Thu 07-Apr-05 11:35:11

I am off to bed now, but any other views would be gratefully received when I get up in the morning ...

SoupDragon Thu 07-Apr-05 11:39:17

"I won't be cross but I might be very upset with you" ? followed by a discussion about whether he thinks it was wrong and then a suitable punishment, decided upon calmly.

In complete contrast to, say, him not telling you and you discovering bite marks and then shouting at him and banishing him to his room for the rest of his natural life. I'd like to think I'd use the first approach but I think this one is more likely for me.

KarenThirl Thu 07-Apr-05 15:43:47

It's possible to discuss negative behaviour without being angry, so yes, you can promise that you won't be angry but only if you feel confident in your own self-control. I think you handled it very well ghosty because you stayed calm and dealt with the situation appropriately. DS obviously knew what he'd done was wrong otherwise he wouldn't have asked you not to be angry - he sensed that it was the kind of behaviour that COULD have made you angry.

Agree with SD - if you'd promised not to get angry then gone back on your word the situation would have been far worse. And also, he now knows that he can come to you and confess all and you won't blow your stack with him. Win/Win, IMO.

crunchie Thu 07-Apr-05 16:17:56

The worst I can do with my 6 yr old is tell her she has disappointed me or rephase that, that her behaviour has disappointed me The really upsets her and makes her think about what she has done. Although she has never said 'will you be cross if I tell you' she has refused to tell me stuff and she gets ppunished more for this, than anything she actually did.

You did the right thing as once they get to the stage of vocalising things like this and realsing consequences I find it far easier to disipline. DD1 who is 6 gets sent to her room, where I then deal with crying dd2 (aged 4) once the situation is calm I then go and discuss with DD1 why she was sent to her room and how disappointed I am with her. It works a charm

ghosty Fri 08-Apr-05 08:50:42

Thanks everyone ...
I feel better about it now ... I was worried because I didn't want him to think he couldn't tell me because I would get cross but on the other hand I don't feel it is right for him to get away with something serious just because he has told me IYSWIM ...
G xx

Christie Fri 08-Apr-05 21:22:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LindyMum Sat 09-Apr-05 09:48:14

Christie, sounds as good an idea as any! I think the main thing is to strike the balance - you have to let them know that it's far better thought of to admit when they've been naughty but that it's not the equivalent of immunity to punishment. I have administered a minor smack-bottom in one similar circumstance, even after the admission of guilt, but made it clear to the spankee that he'd have had a far sorer bum if I'd have found out what he'd done later.

bensmum3 Sat 09-Apr-05 18:30:15

I think it probably gets worse as they get older, just to cheer you all up! Ds 7 was playing at a friends a couple of weeks ago, and they were in a part of the house they should'nt have been, ds's friend knocked over a heavy object, which didn't break, but did break ds's foot. The friend told ds not to tell anyone, so it wasn't till 4 hours later when he got in the bath I noticed his foot was the size of a football, and it then took another week to get the truth about how he'd done it.(we had I dont know and I think I kicked a rock ?) We've had very serious conversations in our house this week about how important not keeping secrets and telling the truth is even if mummy or daddy might not be pleased.

motherinferior Sat 09-Apr-05 18:38:39

Interestingly, DD1 came down today (I was vegging on the sofa with a novel in thoroughly embarrassing manner) from the Inferiorettes' room - from where I'd heard DD2 bellow and wail but then stop wailing - and sat down looking rather bothered and distressed. Finally she said - quite of her own accord - "I pushed DD2 over by accident". Turned out they'd had a row over a toy.

It was easier for me, both because I do believe it was an accident and because she told me quite of her own accord - she was obviously ashamed and embarrassed - but I told her, quite sincerely, that I was very pleased with her for telling me and yes I understood it was an accident.

So, extrapolating from that, can you say something along the lines of "I'll be really pleased with you for telling me, but I might have to talk to you about what you did"? Sort of time off for good behaviour?

I was VERY proud of DD1, I have to say.

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