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Help - Is DPs discpline of DS out of order please help me decide

(56 Posts)
wheresmypaddle Wed 02-Sep-09 22:18:07

Today is my birthday. DS (2.5), DP and I had a lovely eve and I went for quick drink with friend leaving DP to put DS to bed.

Whilst I was out DS hit DP hard in face was told not to do it again, which he promptly did as hard as he could by all accounts. DP asked DS to say sorry- (standard response in our family which usually works after a few min, then cuddles and all is forgotten).

DS refused to say sorry was just shouting 'no'. So DP said he needed to stay in his room until he said sorry. At this point I arrived home and decided not to undermine DP and left him to it. DS stood stock still and silent in bedroom for an hour- DP popped in every 15 min or so asking him if he was ready to say sorry- he just shouted no.

It was getting so late I decided DS needed to go to bed (although DP wanted to continue the stand off. I went up, told DS he had made Daddy sad by hurting him and he should say sorry but it was now bedtime. He had his milk, did teeth, went to bed still refusing to apologise.

DP went in said goodnight and told DS he would need to say sorry before they could play together again.

DS feels undermined and he wants DS to know he must say sorry- so he wants me to carry on as normal in morning but to tell DS there will be no playing with Daddy or fun with Daddy until he has said sorry.

I want to stick beside DP but I'm not sure if he is being too harsh on DS. What do others think should happen tomorrow (DS will be going to nursery at 9am, he goes one day a week)- should Daddy insist on apology??

Sorry to ramble on but I feel stuck between two wills of iron and I dont want to undermine DP or be too harsh on DS- help!!!

Quattrocento Wed 02-Sep-09 22:19:31

Agree with your dh

morocco Wed 02-Sep-09 22:21:33

that's quite ridiculous of your dp tbh (there you go - honest opinion). he's behaving exactly like a 2 year old - you are not stuck between 2 wills of iron but between two toddlers. your child will have completely forgotten this by the morning - hopefully your dh will have done as well. out of interest - how long exactly does your dh plan on waiting for his 'sorry'?

TheWorstWitch Wed 02-Sep-09 22:21:59

If your DP doesn't want to play with your DS until he gets an apology, then think you should respect that.

specialmagiclady Wed 02-Sep-09 22:22:20

Not sure if apology is going to be very meaningful tomorrow. At 2.5 small boy will probably have forgotten all about it by the morning. Perhaps DH should be the adult and not get into total weeks of standoff. An hour of time out at 2.5 is a hell of long time.

Can't think where DS gets his stubborn streak???

morocco Wed 02-Sep-09 22:25:25

shock at the number of people who think it's ok not to play with a two year old until he says sorry for something he will no doubt not relate to in any meaningful way by tomorrow morning,

time out is often described as being two minutes for a two year old btw - one minute for each year of age - just to give you more perspective on how long exactly over that your dh had him stuck in his room.

wheresmypaddle Wed 02-Sep-09 22:25:32

Good question- I think he is quite shocked at DS stubborness (eh?? he is a toddler). He feels that he should follow through with his request for the 'sorry' and he doesn't plan to do any playing or fun stuff until he has got it.

He thinks that to 'give in' is the beginning of a slippery slope into empty threat parenting.

I do believe in consistency and being firm but fair but I'm not sure if this is taking things a little far??

piprabbit Wed 02-Sep-09 22:26:50

My DD used to refuse to say sorry at that sort of age. The word would not cross her lips. One of the few things she was absolutely stubborn about. I never understood what it was that caused her the problem, but there was no way on earth she would utter even a tiny sorry.

I never really got a handle on dealing with the situation properly, I generally settled for getting her to tell me what she thought she had done wrong. If she understood what the problem was I would say something about how horrible it is for us to be upset with each other, would she agree to try not to do X again. If she accepted that I'd encourage her to hug and make up. Ideally I think it needs to be done between your DS and DP,as they are the 2 people involved directly.

IMO 2 year olds don't have the social skills to negotiate a 'win win' conclusion to this kind of stand off (so everyone ends up with their dignity intact), so it's down to Mum and Dad to find a way forward... after all it can't go on forever.

Good luck - I really do feel for you being stuck in the middle.

UnquietDad Wed 02-Sep-09 22:28:31

I think if he's old enough to know what he did was wrong - and it sounds as if he is - then he is old enough to know how to say sorry. These things do need to be done there and then though. It's like punishments - no meaning a couple of days down the line.

So yes, I think your DH is right in principle, but may well be best to let it go this time.

TheWorstWitch Wed 02-Sep-09 22:29:38

My 2 year old remembers what happens last week, last month and sometimes even last year. So why would any other two year old not remember what happened last night.

Maybe a bit of reminding that he made daddy sad last night because he hit him, and does he want to give daddy a cuddle to make him feel better?

wheresmypaddle Wed 02-Sep-09 22:29:44

Isn't the usual end to time out an apology?? What if your DC (like DS) is totally unphased by the time out (even the horribly long one) and refuses to say sorry. Is that the end of it- doesn't that make the time out pointless??

Sorry guys just feeling a bit wobbly about this one.......

morocco Wed 02-Sep-09 22:30:06

yes it is taking things too far. he's made his point, now let him teach ds another few lessons in life which it sounds like he needs to learn as well - how to get out of a situation when you've backed yourself into a corner and how to deal gracefully with others.
believe me - you can afford to let this slide.

fishie Wed 02-Sep-09 22:30:40

don't get stuck in the middle. you weren't there and it isn't fair to use you.

i think it is pointless and rather mean to carry things over to the next day anyway. can't you all make pancakes and be happy?

IdontMN2makecopyforlazyjournos Wed 02-Sep-09 22:32:20

I don't think your DP sounds unreasonable tbh. I was all ready to jump in with a flame for the guy but he hasn't done anything wrong at all, and your DS sounds like he knows exactly what he is up to. My DS does.

specialmagiclady Wed 02-Sep-09 22:34:07

Yes, but sometimes one isn't really sorry. Maybe your DP really pissed him off, and to his 2 yo brain, he totally deserved that whack. So why should he say sorry?

Talk to DP about finding another way out of this. It's up to him. Your son is a baby, not a grown adult.

morocco Wed 02-Sep-09 22:34:25

your ds is at the very youngest age for timeouts, perhaps he's a bit young for it still or it isn't a method that will work with him? agree with piprabbits solution

TheWorstWitch Wed 02-Sep-09 22:37:17

Happy Birthday, btw.
Go and have a drink and let DH and DS sort themselves out in the morning.

wheresmypaddle Wed 02-Sep-09 22:37:36

Fishie- you have a good point maybe I should leave them to it but I feel a bit responsible as until now I have encouraged DP to follow through and be consistent (but also to pick his battles?!?).

Having taken these suggestions on board I think I will suggest that DP encourages DS to show that he understands we do not punch and that he is sorry to have hurt Daddy by giving him a cuddle (I so hope he doesn't react by punching him again!!).

This has really wobbled by confidence in the merits of being firm with DS.. Not sure where I will go from here if he is totally unphased by time out and refuses to apologise- makes me not want to ask for the apology if its going to cause this much grief.

Maybe this too will pass....

purpleduck Wed 02-Sep-09 22:41:30

Are forced apologies genuine..?

I think its an odd punishment

morocco Wed 02-Sep-09 22:42:30

he will probably be a dream and say sorry beautifully - such is a toddlers world. my dd is the same age and exactly the same. I backed myself into a corner with the 'naughty step' - she'd have spent all bloody day on the thing! I let her off with a talk about hurting people etc and saying sorry once I could see the way it was going (am not daft enough to stick her in a room for an hour just before bedtime grin). that was exactly the phrase 'pick your battles' that went through my mind. she's been fine since and says sorry straight away, her brothers love threatening her with the naughty step though! this is not the start of some slippery slope don't worry

wheresmypaddle Wed 02-Sep-09 22:43:44

What would you suggest as being more appropriate purpleduck?

edam Wed 02-Sep-09 22:50:12

There really is very little point getting into a stand off with a two year old. Especially not one that continues overnight. Fresh start every day IMO.

dh is the grown up - toddlers don't do reason terribly well, don't have the brain development or social skills. We all fuck up and say things we wish we hadn't, it's down to us as adults to negotiate a way out when ABC or D hasn't worked. And definitely no punishments that are strung out from one day to the next, that's really unfair.

morocco Wed 02-Sep-09 22:52:44

completely agree, edam.

UnquietDad Wed 02-Sep-09 22:54:57

Often, if the injury/ out-of-order thing has been done to one parent then the other can really help to encourage the apology with a bit of whispering in the ear: "Daddy/Mummy is upset, he/she would be really pleased if you went and said sorry." It's what we used to do when they were toddlers and it seemed to work. I remember more than one occasion on which DD's little eyelash-fluttering, lip-out "sowwwy daddy", with a big hug, melted my heart. I didn't know, or pretended not to, that she had been "encouraged" by DW.

mimsum Wed 02-Sep-09 22:55:54

at that age there's no way ds2 would have said sorry unless he was sorry - toddlers can be very literal and they know it's wrong to tell lies and if he was feeling angry and not at all sorry he wouldn't say it

how would your dp have reacted if your ds had ground out a muttered "sorreeeee" which he obviously didn't mean - would that have solved the stand-off, in which case it's a bit of an odd lesson your ds would be learning hmm

he'd alreay been punished by being forcibly stuck in his room for an hour, your dp should remember which of them is the adult

happy birthday btw

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