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Why does Joe/Joanna Public expect better behaviour from a 2 year old from a large family than a 2 year old in a 'normal' family?

(23 Posts)
Bubble99 Sun 04-Oct-09 23:54:03

This has been perplexing me.

We have 4 sons. They are usually well behaved when out and about as I threaten encourage/bribe them to be.

I have noticed, though, that if our 2 year old kicks off, and people have noticed our bunch of boys, they start muttering that we have 'too many children' and 'can't control them'.

Our 2 year old went into meltdown in Pizza Express yesterday at exactly the same time as two year old (ish) girl at the next table. And she was even LOUDER.

We got the above reaction and they, with the daughter and a baby, got B all.

What's that all about?

GoppingOtter Sun 04-Oct-09 23:57:11

i dont actually feel this bubble

although conversely i am paranoid that someone could think it iyswim

are you sure you are not just like me?

lockets Mon 05-Oct-09 00:01:24

Message withdrawn

Bubble99 Mon 05-Oct-09 00:03:57

I saw it with my own eyes, I tell ya!

One two year old got the benign 'Oh, it's her age' reaction and the other (mine) got the Paddington Bear stares.

Bubble99 Mon 05-Oct-09 00:09:10

Perhaps a girl tantrum is prettier?

DS4, bless him, lives in hand-me-downs. He gets the odd new thing but he generally looks like a mini Forrest Gump.

lockets Mon 05-Oct-09 00:11:29

Message withdrawn

juuule Mon 05-Oct-09 07:32:39

Can't say that I've come across this, either.
Same as GoppingOtter, though, in that I always felt conscious that that's what people might be thinking when I was out with a few of mine. However, with my older ones I used to get embarrassed if I was with even one of them and they started. Got over that though, once I got used to the idea that it's what toddlers do sometimes.

GoppingOtter Mon 05-Oct-09 11:03:14

oddly dc4 and 5 behaved appallingly yesterday (in netto of all places) and i said to dp ' good job we dressed them nicely before we brought them out'wink

larsazlol Mon 05-Oct-09 12:41:18

I have actually found the opposite, that people expect my kids to behave badly because there are more of them (must be bad parents to have lots of kids!).

On the rare occasions that they are all behaving well at the same time I have had people come up and say that my kids are well behaved or have good manners or whatever. I never had that when there was less of them.

ChopsTheDuck Mon 05-Oct-09 12:44:26

I reckon they think since that large families who have 4+ children, are clearly experts on childrearing and should have impeccably behaved children.

'Til they meet my lot!grin

Chalkpink Mon 05-Oct-09 20:05:39

I have only 3dcs but pregnant with number 4 and already paranoid that when one of them kicks off people are judging me as being unable to cope or foolish to be pregnant with another.
Interesting to hear other peoples experiences.

sweetkitty Mon 05-Oct-09 20:08:47

I feel the exact same as you chalkpink

I'm already feeling I cannot whinge the same this pregnancy about mc, feeling so tired, SPD, heartburn etc as everyone will think I have brought it on all myself more so than someone with 2

GoppingOtter Mon 05-Oct-09 20:15:42

we did have a couple come up to us in pizza express and congratulate us on a wonderfully behaved family grin

we only had 5 then


LongStory Mon 05-Oct-09 22:45:34

blush GopingOtter, I'm sure I said that to a mother once a few years ago, as her 6 big girls waited impeccably when she took her baby in to see the doctor.
I have told my kids that some people expect large families to behave badly, and enlisted their pride / help in busting this sterotype. It works !!! (fair do's, the big 3 are old enough to understand). They are really proud of being different and keep telling me they're so pleased we had the baby twins. I also tell them that we get to go out to much more fun places if I can trust them to behave themselves.

GoppingOtter Mon 05-Oct-09 23:08:36

how lovely long story smile

was the baby in the doctors a boy wink?

estar Tue 06-Oct-09 14:05:58

I am really aware of this too. I feel like with my fourth (and now my fifth too), I was making some sort of statement to the world: 'I'm doing such a good job of this parenting business that I'm gonna keep making them!' and from then on, everyone wouod expect perfection from me. I've always thought that people will judge me more, the more children I have.

I think in my pre-children days, I may have made the same assumptions. I once remember watching a woman with five children in church frowning and telling one of them off and thinking 'Why does she have so many if she's not able to keep them under control and does she not enjoy being their mother?' hmm How stupid was I?

LongStory Tue 06-Oct-09 21:02:13

ha! my DH is the vicar but it's a quiet church with a mainly elderly congregation, and there's just no way I could take them all on my own. When I've tried we've sometimes got unhelpful 'letters' through the door, and/or considered collapsing into the gin afterwards. Most of the cong are delightful and would be fine, but I face enough battles and I think if I'm stressed the kids wouldn't enjoy it. Just counting - 2 more years until I can leave the eldest in charge and take the littlies along. Sorry could start whole new thread on this.

And - GopingOtter - I don't recall. How unobservant I was in my 2-kid days, noticing quantity rather than, errr, the mix!

GoppingOtter Tue 06-Oct-09 21:03:51

long story please no.....

the letters...shock ??????

LovestheChaos Wed 07-Oct-09 06:37:55

I absolutely love big families with lots of kids and think that you guys are fab. I remember mine having massive tantrums in public when they were little. If I see a child having a tantrum now I don't think anything negative. I tend to think it's funny and remember the days when mine were real little.

It's completely normal for children to meltdown in public whether they are an only child or they are one of 6. I always thought that since most people are parents that they would understand this.

estar Fri 09-Oct-09 10:18:12

LongStory - do you mean that you're not able to go to your church with the kids? That sucks! How many kids do you have? Ages?

I am technically a vicar's wife too but it's a new church and we're doing it together so we get to set the pace. DH is downstairs leading the adults in a music/preach/coffee and discussion format and I'm upstairs with the kids (including my four) with a few other helpers running a high-energy kids club. Once a month we join together and combine the formats so there's something for everyone.

Can't imagine having to seperate the family in order to do your ministry - poor you! sad

Jo5677 Fri 09-Oct-09 15:25:21

Hi Bubble,just found this forum smile,i'm a mum of 5 ranging from almost 12 years down to 17 months.
I find it really annoying that anytime one of my children plays up other people,including teachers and family members instantly assume it's because they're from a big family and that i probably don't give them enough attention or have the time.
Total rubbish and i find it really annoying.
I can only think people have negative reactions towards large families because of the majority of large families being portrayed by the media as living of benefits etc. Large families hardly ever seem to get positive press which is a real shame.
It pee's me of to hear of incidents like that. I'd have started muttering rather loudly that some people shouldn't eat out in public if they wanted to eat in silence,miseries ! lol smile

LongStory Fri 09-Oct-09 21:10:37

Hi sorry for delay. Have DS1 9, DD1 7, DS2 4 and DTwins 8 months. Logistically tricky to get all out @ same time on a Sunday by myself - if I did go to church I would choose a bigger church which was set up for kids. DH's church is lovely and quiet (which actually I prefer, but not good for all of us right now).

Just don't have the energy to try to run something myself (I'd be really cr*p at it!). DD1 goes most weeks (it's just over the road) and I'm hoping to take the babes when my two older sons are old enough to stay at home for a bit. Do feel a bit of a wuss about it, but I have to choose my battles right now. We get involved in lots of other, more noisy, local and church activities. There are too many of us to hide away!

hello Jo, welcome!

bronze Sun 18-Oct-09 12:50:09

I've been having trouble with ds1 at school he may be aspergers so trying to tell myself its not all my parenting. ds2 is also struggling being one of 4 whove gone straight into reception full time.
I dont know if I'm being judged but I sure feel like I am. I think I do ok most of the time but we all suffer guilt dont we so Im never quite sure whats realistic

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