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Longest time out ever and he is still not giving in

(35 Posts)
enfield97 Fri 23-Oct-09 09:08:39

I cannot get my son (4y) to put his raincoat on for school. IThis has been a long standing problem and he always says he will wear it (or any other coat) tommorrow. I always give in. Today I did not and he is now having the longest time out ever: one hour so far. I called the school to say we will be late. He is sitting on the step with no toys. He is not crying but not giving in. I did shout initially but now I am calm and busy doing housework. Any idea how I can make him obey me?

FlamingoBingo Fri 23-Oct-09 09:10:13

Sorry, but that's ridiculous! Is it raining? Will he carry an umbrella if it is? If it isn't, then what's the problem? Just because you're cold, doesn't mean he is.

Why should he obey such a ridiculous command?

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 09:11:08

Time out is not working if he has been there an hour.

I would put the rain coat on him and take him to school.

You are letting him dictate to you.

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 23-Oct-09 09:15:45

My ds hates wearing his coat too

Is it tipping it down with rain - if so I would take him to the door and show him the downpour and say "enough of this now, put your coat on NOW, we are going"

If it is just drizziling/raining I would say the above and go

IF it isnt raining then there is no point in wearing a coat - so put raincoat in bag for possible rain at home time and take him to school

stakethroughtheheartofgold Fri 23-Oct-09 09:17:11

mmelindt is right, timeout should not last an hour - it's not about making him "give in" it's about removing you both from a potential flashpoint situation. if it actually matters that he wears it (i.e. it's raining) put it on him. if not let him go without. don't turn it into a battle of wills.

MadameDuBain Fri 23-Oct-09 09:19:26

I think time out doesn't work for some children. We abandoned it pretty quickly with DS because he is so stubborn, he'd literally hold out for ever. We've learned never to push things to an ultimatum with him because he will suffer any consequences rather than back down!

So instead we use pasta jar reward system (pasta pieces in for good behaviour, out for bad, and a reward when it's full) and with this I would just calmly take the coat with us, let him get wet and offer it to him when he needs it (with lots of "mmmm I'm toasty warm in MY raincoat - how nice!" type mutterings)

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 23-Oct-09 09:21:20

I forgot to say I would stop the time out - he may have forgotten why is there anyway by now

There is no point in a battle of wills over a coat

Pick your battles

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 09:22:56

I do sympathise, my DS is such a stubborn wee boy, he drives me mad at times

Time out does work with him but if your DS is so strong willed then I think that you are going to have to forget about timeouts.

A minute for every year is the rule of thumb. So your 4yo should have a 4min time out.

I agree with the posters that said put it on him if it is raining, otherwise take it wiht you. He will put it on if he is cold.

EyeOfFrogSpawnChorus Fri 23-Oct-09 09:23:28

Hmm, easy to day "put it on him" but that wouldn't work IME. My DS would struggle and take it off again. Best thing to do would be to take it with you and give it to him when he gets fed up with being damp!

Sympathy to the OP. My DS is going through a phase of eschewing all clothes <<sigh>>

stakethroughtheheartofgold Fri 23-Oct-09 09:27:55

well my dd2 would scream like a banshee when i was doing it but as soon as i opened the door to get out she'd forget about it. but yes that's another option

jasper Fri 23-Oct-09 09:30:15

I sympathise.
DD was exactly like this, and as eyeoffrog says, even if I could have physically crammed her in it she would have wriggled back out.I had a few stand offs like the one you describe

2 of my 3 kids are reluctant to wear coats. (age 7 and 8 now)
I let them chose now, and they suffer the consequences if they get cold or wet.

claw3 Fri 23-Oct-09 09:30:52

I think the trick when children want to control, is not to ask questions that require a yes or no answer. For example instead of 'put your raincoat on' to which he will reply 'no', try 'put your rain coat on, are you going to wear wellies or shoes today? thereby giving him a choice, but you are controlling the options ifswim.

thesecondcoming Fri 23-Oct-09 09:31:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mimsum Fri 23-Oct-09 09:31:40

you need natural consequences otherwise it doesn't make sense to a 4 year old

the natural consequence of not putting on a rain coat is getting wet if it's raining, and er.. nothing if it's not

the natural consequence of not putting on a rain coat is not sitting on a stair for an hour - although he must be pretty obedient to stay there for an hour, none of mine ever would have done that, but then I wouldn't have tried to make them as it's pointless for everyone concerned

pick your battles - it's pretty much the only rule of parenting ime

ruddynorah Fri 23-Oct-09 09:34:36

obey you?! gosh. is it actually raining?

jasper Fri 23-Oct-09 09:36:45

claws 3 I am impressed if that works for you, but here is no way any of my kids would respond to "put your raincoat on , are you going to wear wellies or shoes today?"

If they did not want to out their coat on they would not be fooled for a second by the wellies/shoes distractiongrin

claw3 Fri 23-Oct-09 09:55:41

Jasper - Its not fool proof by any means!

I have a very controlling 5.5 year old and i would totally agree with picking your battles, but there are certain situations where NOT doing what is being asked is not an option. Getting dressed, putting shoes on to go out etc.

For example getting shoes on 'do you want to wear your black shoes or your red shoes' if the reply is 'neither', 'you are going to put shoes on, black or red or shall i choose', which usually results in him choosing, albeit i will have to put them on him.

So it works in situations (although he may be reluctant) where NOT doing it, is not an option.

maybebaby23 Fri 23-Oct-09 10:07:10

My DD wouldn't fasten her shoes this morning before nursery (velcro) i kept on at her but she refused so i let her walk some of the way until she tripped. She wasn't amused and promptly fastened them grin

I don't think they realise the consequences, they are just rebelling against what you want them to do. Im sure if your DS got cold and wet on the way to school he would change his mind!

Personally i would never allow my DD to make us late for nursery.

MadameDuBain Fri 23-Oct-09 10:12:43

I think a child knows when you can't actually make them do something. So for example whatever you do, you can't force them to say sorry or keep their coat on. They know that. So for the most stubborn ones, an ultimatum like "you are not coming out of your room until you say sorry" or "We aren't leaving unless your coat is on" isn't a threat, it's simply an opportunity for them to show you who's boss - i.e. them. My DS would let a situation like that carry on for ever and ever just so he could be the winner - I would certainly give in long before him, as I have more important things to do! (which he doesn't)

So a reward system is much better, because you are in control of the rewards. They can choose to do what gets a reward or not, but there's nothing much in it for them if they don't. Also wherever there is a natural consequence, I always go with that - getting wet because you won't put your coat on, losing a toy because you've broken it - OK. Also has the advantage that they can't hold it against you.

psychomum5 Fri 23-Oct-09 10:21:23

unless it is torrential downpour and he will die of pnuemoonia through getting soaked on the way to school, I would just take him....I would certainly not be an hour later still fighting about it (or, ignoring him while he effectively gets time off school!).

also, do you drive or walk to school?? if oudrive, the coat situation is even sillier!

LauraIngallsWilder Fri 23-Oct-09 10:25:47

Hey Enfield97 - Did we scare you?!?!
Come back and tell us what happened next!

Has your ds gone to school ok now?

MmeGoblindt Fri 23-Oct-09 10:25:52

I have done the Claw thing of giving alternatives so that they feel that they are in control. It does work for us most of the time.

The key thing with that is to offer the alternatives before the situation escalates.

claw3 Fri 23-Oct-09 10:36:08

Would also add that the key is being consistence, it wouldnt work if you sometimes give in and they then dont have to do what you have asked. Which is why i only use it in situations where not doing something isnt an option, if that makes sense!

enfield97 Fri 23-Oct-09 10:39:42

First of all thank you all for your responses. This was my first time on mumsnet and i wasn't sure if i would get any response. I decided to take your advice and the good news is that my son is now at school. The bad news is that I used physical force (and violence).
First I calmy and firmly said to my son "right we are going to school now". I asked him to put his shoes on. When he refused I picked him up and took him to the car. Then I had the difficulty of strapping him into his car seat. This s where I lost it. He arched his body rigid and screamed.. I tried pushing down on his stomach, almost got the belt on but he resisted. I snapped and slapped him on face. That still did not work. I pressed hard on his stomach and I know I hurt him but eventually I got the belt on.
Drove to school. By that point he had stopped crying and telling me he hated me. I then carried him into school with his shoes and coat in bag. Brought him into class and he then gave me the biggest kiss and hug as he does every morning.
Please resist sending me all the "one should never hit one's child" you are right. I feel terrible about it.
However if you could give me some advice on how to strap a child into a car seat with no physical violence then I am all ears.
I will try the pasta jar mehod bt I still don't see how I can get my child to do something he does not want to do. I realise the coat thing was pretty trivial and I sure never have let it become a battle of wills. But there are things that I do want him to do (eg car seat) and I am at a loss on how to force him without being physical.
BTW I have an older daughter (7) who is also strong willed but does obey direct orders (and did at 4). With her in the rare times when she doesnot obey a direct order, I only need to threaten withwdrawal of a priviledge and she complies.
thank you in advance

MagnolianMonsterMash Fri 23-Oct-09 10:47:42

Others will come and offer advice...I'm a bit too hmm at Obeying Direct Orders and Complies etc....

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