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Why do Babies,Toddlers,Children behave so differently and so naughty to years ago....

(81 Posts)
Louise1970 Sun 10-Jul-05 11:50:00

My mum asked me this this yesterday. What are all your thoughts....

Hulababy Sun 10-Jul-05 11:57:14

I don't think children are any more naughty than they used to be.

They will behave and develop diferently from years ago because of the differences in parenting, environment, attitudes, education, etc. Children have far more experiences and opportunities available to them now, but probably more restrictions too.

I think our parents/grandparetnts often forget what children were 6really^ like - rose tinted glasses and all that.

Miaou Sun 10-Jul-05 12:04:18

Oh, all sorts of reasons, Louise.

For some kids it's down to laziness on the part of the parents who refuse to discipline their kids. I know plenty of parents who simply ignore their children when they misbehave or pretend not to notice their behaviour.

For others it's parents spoiling their children - you know, the "I don't want them to be unhappy so I give them what they want" etc - both material things and attention.

Also, I think a lot of parents "overcompensate" for the social situation they find themselves in - eg both parents working, or split up/second families, which they feel has a negative effect on the children.

And our communities have changed - whereas it used to be acceptable that if you were cheeky to your next-door-neighbour/postie/shopkeeper down the road you would get a clip round the ear or a telling off (and your parents would give you a row too) - this doesn't happen any more - in fact people are scared of telling off kids that are not their own. There is no "collective responsibility" any more.

People often compliment us on the good behaviour of our dds, but these are the same people who criticise us for being "hard" on them - er, bit of a correlation here...

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 12:04:34

I think, no I know, that there is a reasonably large group of teenagers who are far ruder and more badly behaved to adults than we were at their age.

The majority are delightful but there is a sub set who seem never to have been told the word 'no' in their lives, and have the adult saying it mean what they say

basketcase Sun 10-Jul-05 12:06:58

I think it is unfair to compare our children’s behaviour with past generations. Our time, language, society’s inherent bahavioural rules and manners are all subtley shifting. Gone are the days where children were considered unbelievably rude and arrogant to address an adult before being spoken to first. Can you imagine the uproar that it would have caused a few generations ago to call one of your parets friends by their first name? Now it is fairly normal and not necessarily considered cheeky. Grandparents and the older generation are entitled to their opinions but would be helpful if they accepted that they are not judging like with like.
Also, how on earth can a baby be naughty ???!!!

basketcase Sun 10-Jul-05 12:10:05

hmb, I know what you mean by teenagers. (my previous post was mainly to do with very young children). They seem a lot more confident and less bothered by adults opinions than when I was a teenager. However, like you say, this is just a minority.
This thing with parents over indulging and making a hash of bringing kids up to respect manners etc. - hasn’t this always been the case? I am sure that this kind of thread could have been typed out twenty years ago if mumsnet had been around.

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 12:11:40

Basketcase, kids telling me to fuck off because I tell them not to spit is wrong and I don't give a damn how much society has changed. If it has changed that much it is for the worse! ( teach btw and getting sworn at is a daily happening, as is being barged out of the way in corridors)

Twiglett Sun 10-Jul-05 12:12:45

think parents are more lenient and more scared of being parents in some case .. think they want to do this whole 'lets discuss why you are feeling like that' baloney to a 2 year old tantrum when it needs IMHO totally different handling

think our parents also spent less direct time 'parenting' as such .. the way to have a child was playpen .. bottom of garden .. ignore not trying to baby einstein it

Twiglett Sun 10-Jul-05 12:14:03

I also think many parents do not let their children just 'be' .. they always have to be 'doing' .. they need to be left to develop their own imagination not be constantly commented on

Louise1970 Sun 10-Jul-05 12:18:19

Thanks all. Maybe its just my mum and her friends. They always make comments when ever we see them. Saying things like "aren't children lively these days". "My toddler/child was never like/did that" etc. I can never ask my mum for advice on my kids because aparently me and my brother never did anything really really bad. 9/10 we ate everything. 9/10 we sat quitely. 9/10 we did not have tantrums. And never had major tantrums. I have said to her that i think maybe she can not remember. But she says hand on my heart i can honestly say that we did not. This is also what my friends mums are saying too...

Maybe they were all born on mars....

Gobbledigook Sun 10-Jul-05 12:20:48

Twiglett makes sense as usual

Louise - my Mum is the same to some extent 'we'd have never let you do that', 'you'd never behave like that' - I know she things I'm softer than her but I think she's a very short memory. She had 3 children with similar age gaps like me and had all 3 home together before they went to school. She definitely exaggerates how angelic we were I'm sure!

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 12:23:18

Re teenagers there seems to be a set of parents who wil not believe that their child can ever be in the wrong and constantly make excuses for their bad behaviour. Which, surprise, surprise,then continues. Teenages have always had the capacity to be naughty, but in the past parenst were quicker to curb and slower to excuse.

Recently a boy in our school was excluses for assaulting a girl. It was totaly unprovoked and he was given a 2 week fixed excusion. The mother complained that this was OTT. If my brother had done it, two weeks exculusion would have been the least of his worries, he would have been grounded forever!

Louise1970 Sun 10-Jul-05 12:28:54

Twiglett. I agree. How can you sit and discuss how a 1 1/2 & 2 year old is feeling. IMO 2 year olds only know what objects are. I have been told by my ds's dieticaen and HV to have a star chart for when he is not eating the right foods. He doesn't understand the bloody star chart. All he knows is that if you give him 2 options of food he likes and food he doesn't. Which one is he going to eat. EEERRRR!

Miaou Sun 10-Jul-05 12:45:57

Louise - interesting what you say your mum says about your upbringing: " 9/10 we ate everything. 9/10 we sat quitely. 9/10 we did not have tantrums". This is where other people think we are hard on our dds. 9/10 they do eat everything - because we don't give them an option of refusing (we do recognise a genuine dislike, compared to a "I don't fancy that" - not totally mean!) Not sure about the sitting quietly, but they do know how to behave appropriately in a church/restaurant etc. And re. tantrums - they grew out of them pretty quick because they soon learnt it was a quick way to get ignored!

I am not saying we are great parents and other people are crap - but judging by the amount of threads on here and conversations with other parents - we all know plenty of people who will try to engage with a child having a tantrum/offer an alternative food if the child doesn't fancy what's on offer/let them scream and run around a restaurant without attempting to distract them etc etc. It's horses for courses - I don't think my way is the "right" way necessarily - but I do see that those children who know how to get their own way at the expense of others are often the ones who have problems in the future (and turn into the teenagers that hmb has to deal with )

OOOOh, hope I'm not going to get flamed for this....

Twiglett Sun 10-Jul-05 12:47:35

<round of applause for Miaou>

you ARE a great parent .. and other people ARE crap

don't care if I'm flamed its common sense

Miaou Sun 10-Jul-05 13:05:28

Thanks Twig!!!

Louise1970 Sun 10-Jul-05 13:17:47

This will be interesting. On the topic of food. I was the strict one. Not letting him eat anyhting that was not healthy. If was my mum who gave in and i argued that i did not want him eating rubbish food. But after he wood not eat the healthy food for 5 days. My mum said that i should to get something down him. So it was not me that gave him the choice but now he will not revert back. Unless i go for 2 weeks with him not eating and sleeping. If i had help with the sleepless nights and screaming all day maybe i would give it another go. ALso my 5 months old would have to be out of the house. Which really is quite impossible. I suppose i am just upset that all my plans for having clamer, healtheier kids were taken away from me as there was sush bad behavour and the advice i was given my most. I took the wrong root. As for really bad tantrums. He never gets everything and i am strict there too. I honestly would like more advice now you know more about how i have been handling things...

Miaou Sun 10-Jul-05 13:26:54

Louise - sorry you have been having a hard time with your ds recently. I hope you didn't take my comments as a personal criticism - they really weren't meant to be. And I do accept that some children are more stubborn than others and it may be more difficult to get them to do what you want them to do.

Not sure how old your ds is...get the impression he is about 2? At this age I would go for the "hiding" good foods in the rubbish stuff - eg stir cheese into pasta, chop up veg really small and put it into dishes - very small amounts to start with. Basically "fool" him into thinking he is still eating the junk food!

Can you give me some ideas of his specific likes - eg pizza, nuggets etc - and I will see if I can think of things to help?

Re the sleeping - is he not sleeping at night? What specifically is the problem here - going to sleep, getting up after going to bed, etc - I will see if I can help.

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 13:28:21

It is an unfasionable truth that some parents are crap! I know that we are all supposed to be non judgemental but some of them are crap.

Like the mother who sought to excuse her son swearing at me twice in less than five minutes because it was her fault. I had told him off about his top button not being done up. It was her fault , you see, because she hadn't bought him a big enough shirt. My Arse! It fitted him just fine. He was just a rude, foul mothed slob who felt that rules applied to everyone else and not him! And his mothers support just re-inforced this misguided and disruptive attitude!

She was a crap mother because she failed to give her son any values or rules.

HereComesTrouble Sun 10-Jul-05 13:34:13

Louise1970

What nonsense, your child will not go for 2 weeks without eating and sleeping! Children have an inbuilt survival instinct. They eat when hungry and sleep when tired.

The problem is you!

Give the food that you want to be eaten. When he cries, don't take that food away and offer something else. Be firm, it make take a little while, but no more than a day or two and your son will be back eating as you want rather than eating junk.

As to sleeping, but him to bed, and ignore his crying. After a few minutes he will get tired of it and go to sleep. But NOT if you keep going in and giving him the attention he craves.

Miaou Sun 10-Jul-05 13:40:19

HCT you may be right in waht you say but I think Louise is looking for support rather than criticism!

happymerryberries Sun 10-Jul-05 13:49:51

HCT, not that I am saying that Louise's child is ASD, but children with Autism will not eat unless the food is what they can accept. So you are making generalisations that are not helpful

Lonelymum Sun 10-Jul-05 13:51:43

I don't think the children are inherently different to previous generations. It is our parenting that has changed.

hercules Sun 10-Jul-05 13:52:25

Kids know their rights not their responsibilites. I dont think kids behave differently as such but are allowed to get away with far more than they perhaps used ot.

Well behaved kids parents are supportive, turn up to parents evenings etc and if any letters go home respond immediately.
Poorly behaved kids tend to have parents who dont respond to letters, not bothered about phone calls home and dont turn up for parents evenings.

I am just reading Cider with Rosie and Laurie Lee talks about his school life in the 20s. I recognise the sort of behaviour he is talking about, the difference is nowadays lot of parents dont deal with it appropiately.


LOts of parents believe in treating their kids like adults and then wonder why they have abismally. They are children, not mini adults.

Lonelymum Sun 10-Jul-05 14:02:24

I had this rights and responsiblities conversation with ds1 a few weeks ago. It boiled down to him that he wanted more time on the computer. He spoke of it as his right. I countered with the responsibilities argument and he devised what he felt were his responsibilities: to practice the recorder and do the drying up for me. For a few weeks, that worked - if he wanted computer time, he had to fulfill his responsibilities.

I am determined my children are not going to grow up spoilt brats.

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