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(17 Posts)
dalek Sun 11-Jan-09 00:25:24

Have an only DD (8). She is very lucky in that we are able to buy her most things she needs/wants, doesn't have to share/compromise at home. As she is spoiled in so many ways due to her being an only I absolutely insist on good manners and am quite strict with her. Dh and I had a bit of a row this evening and one of the things he said to me was that i don't speak very nicely to her.

Now I am the first to admit that if she doesn't do as she is told or is cheeky I put my strict voice on. But I feel devastated - I don't want to be a horrible mum but neither do I want a brat as a child.

BTW most people comment that she is a polite and considerate child so I can't be doing too much wrong.

Please come and be nice to me as I feel like a crap mother

NattyPlus2andAHalf Sun 11-Jan-09 00:27:53

aw honey!
how about setting some time aside where you both jst do something together and have fun? something messy? and DONT tell her off at all during this "fun" time.
that way you KNOW that she is getting quality mum time without compromising on ur usual behaviour standards?

and ur not a crap parent xxx

harpomarx Sun 11-Jan-09 00:32:24

If she is polite and considerate, do you really need to be that strict with her?

not being mean, just that you seem to have instilled the basics in her, maybe it is time to let up a bit?

I think sometimes only children need to be given a bit of leeway too - after all, if they had siblings they could all be mean to each other and let rip a bit... it must be tough always being pulled up by an adult. And I say all this as the single mother of an only child who also expects 'good behaviour' wink

dalek Sun 11-Jan-09 00:36:57

Thanks Natty - I needed that. I do allow her to do messy stuff. I was annoyed today as she has a friend over and I told her not to play with her proper clothe - just toys and dressing up. Guess what they did - got loads of her real clothes out which I will now have to wash and iron.

DH had a go at me because I to;d him I'd like more help around the house when he's here as the both act like I'm the maid - he said I should get her to help me - i said I do but all that does is reinforce the idea that the housework is women's work. I struggle with making her understand about equality in the home anyway as I am a SAHM - sorry gone off on a tangent there.

Thanks for your post - it's lovely that somebody is listening.

harpomarx Sun 11-Jan-09 00:40:22

why do the clothes need washing, dalek? or ironing?? Couldn't you just have asked her to put them away again?

dalek Sun 11-Jan-09 00:46:05

They had been running around like mad things - DD was sweaty and she has just got to the stage where sweat s very smelly so all clothes likely to smell -also they were played with about 3 swimsuits each as well. May be I am just too anal but I don' t want her to put sweaty smelly clothes in with clean clothes and wear them again

BoccaDellaVerita Sun 11-Jan-09 00:48:19

dalek - I'm sure you're not a crap mother. If your daughter is polite and well-mannered, you're obviously doing an awful lot right.

But I do think that the downside of being an only child is that it's much harder to go under the radar than it is if there are siblings - only children must find it harder to get away with anything because they're so visible to their parents. (Not that I'm saying that children with siblings are invisible, just that one child may have the opportunity to get up to mischief while the parent is focussing on the other). Can you turn a blnd eye to some of your daughter's minor misdemeanours?

And I wonder whether you're being hard on yourself. Why do you need to wash and iron the clothes that have been played with? Unless they've been worn for hours or covered in paint, I would just shake them out and put them back in the wardrobe.

I'm trying to drum up trade for the [[
tea room. All the regulars have goe to bed now, but please drop in tomorrow for tea, cake and chat.

dalek Sun 11-Jan-09 00:50:34

Thanks Bocca - and thanks for the invite - will try and pop to the tea room tomorrow.

I need to goto bed now as well.

Thank you all ladies for your replies.

Gunnerbean Sun 11-Jan-09 21:03:21

She is 8 and one of the things that 8 year old children do is test the boundaries. They need to test them to find out where they are.

My DS is 8 too and he is the same way. In my experience most of his peers are the same way too, not just onlies but kids with siblings too.

I insist on good manners too and I always have reports back from mothers of kids who he goes to play with that he is very well mannered and mature for his age - they often say that I wish so and so (i.e their own child) was a bit more like him. I always tell them that he's not always like it at home (which a lot of the time he's not) but as long as he behaves well when he's out and at school (which I know he does too) and is pretty OK for the most part at home I don't get too hung up about his occasional outbursts.

He will mature and find his feet in his own time - like they all will.

We have a very open dialogue with our DS on most things including discipline. We're not too hung up on disciline and routine - but we do have standards and he knows that.

He does get away with a lot with us but he also knows that there is a line in the sand which he'd better not cross. Sometimes he does cross it and he sees what happens to him then but this is a part of him testing the boundaries. I guess you have to put your hand in the fire to know that it's hot and will burn you to know that it's not a good idea to do it!

Acinonyx Mon 12-Jan-09 10:40:01

Sounds like your dh need a bit of further training on the domestic front!

I don't myself, feel that you can somehow compensate for being spoiled by being extra stric in other ways. All children need the same strictness - it doesn't vary with material advantage. It's as though a spoiled child should be punished more to balance the advantages with an added disadvantage.

And I speak as a relatively materially spoiled only child and mother of another one. TBH, many of her friends who have siblings are even more materially advantaged so I don't feel the need to compensate in any way - yet.

As time goes by, I will try to increase her understanding of what it means to have and have not. I think that's the area that needs compensation.

As for the tone of voice - it's hard for any mum not to use that tome because you are so often trying to get dc to do something they are not keen to do or at least not in your time frame. The 'tone' tends to be reflected back as they get older though - it certainly was when I was growing up and drove my mum bananas. I'm hoping to try and nodulate my tone with dd but it's stil a work in progress! I try to imagine how I would talk if dd was a housemate and not my dd (if you've ever shared a house you will know that you often need to get people to pull cooperate and their weight).

Acinonyx Mon 12-Jan-09 10:42:11

Sorry for typos blush

squilly Mon 12-Jan-09 14:54:57

I'm a mum to a one and only 8 year old dd and she's generally seen as being a lovely girl by others.

I have problems with discipline at home occasionally though and we have floundered into a pattern of wanting to be right all the time...both of us, so I'm having a lot of cheekiness at the moment.

Having said that, dd says she loves me every night before she goes to bed and says she wouldn't swap me for the world. I say the same back of course...but she knows I have a 'shouty' voice. DH and I have had words about this on occasion, but at the end of the day, I'm a mum. A 'shouty' voice is part of my toolkit and I'll use it as I see fit!

I'm sure you're a great mum and I wouldn't worry too much about this. It's just the difference between mums (often the disciplinarians) and dads (not so much so!).

Good luck with it all.

BoccaDellaVerita Mon 12-Jan-09 17:55:34

<< Wince of recognition at shouty voice being part of the toolkit shock! >>

mrshibbins Tue 28-Jul-09 17:41:27

dalek and squilly - you are me, except she's not my DD she's my SD, although she lives with us full time and we have a total parent/child relationship. I get OH telling me i'm not speaking nicely to her either, when i tick her off for not doing as she's told or for being supercheeky or for fibbing, and like you - IT HURTS. but like squilly said, a shouty voice is a part of the toolkit of being a mum and a parent. dads are as soft as butter with DDs .... and like you we always say "i love you"

you know what's right. keep on doing it.

mrshibbins Tue 28-Jul-09 17:42:48

forgot to say she's 8 and very much into pushing the boundaries on a daily basis wink

BABYNO2CHARLIE Tue 28-Jul-09 18:03:31

I,m a mum of a 6 year old boy and i,m 6 months pregnant and hes very polite and well behaved but i am quite strict with him and he listens to me more than his dad so i think i,m doing something right.I dont think your being to strict but i do think you,v got ocd in the cleaning department kids should be kids mess around mess things up stop being so clean.Have you thought about having anymore children if possible because having two is so much easier because they entertain eachother and you might not be so bothered about cleanliness.Also i was the only child and i was very lonely and turned out spoilt until i grew up and saw reality

DontCallMeBaby Wed 29-Jul-09 09:22:04

I've been thinking this way about me and DD recently (well, for about the last week and a half, ooh, since school finished and we've been together 24/7, what a coincidence). I do speak to her in a way I don't speak to anyone else, I am nowhere near as snappy with DH, and am much gentler with her friends. I'm thinking I could do with imagining that she IS one of her friends, which might help me modulate the snappiness with her AND get me being a bit stricter when her friends when they misbehave round here.

The other thing that I think helps, which is backed up by educational and armchair psychologists everywhere, is to balance the shoutiness and snappiness with loads and loads of praise, nice stuff, cuddles and 'I love yous'. I find it really hard to do (the praise, not the cuddles, although they're getting rebuffed more these days, sniff) but if you think about it, if there's lots of good stuff the bad stuff shouldn't be damaging, plus they should take more notice if the reprimands are unusual rather than being the primary way you interact with your child.

Now I'll see if I can manage this myself today!

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