Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Does everyone think 'Well-behaved children' = ' Good Mother'?

(47 Posts)
SouthernandCross Thu 20-Oct-11 18:02:19

Or even the opposite?
ie Badly behaved children denote a bad mother?
Before having kids I thought this way, but since having kids I'm much more open minded.
Am I alone in this?

nowwearefour Thu 20-Oct-11 18:03:26

def the same here- much more openminded since having my own kids. does that give away whether i have good or badly behaved children?

Uppity Thu 20-Oct-11 18:08:01


Some kids are well behaved because they're terrified of their parents.

And sometimes what we define as "bad" behaviour is simply age appropriate testing.

BadRoly Thu 20-Oct-11 18:08:33

Well as the mother of a "delightful well behaved" child and a "problem behaviour" child, I have definitely wandered into a world of greyness that was possibly a but more black and White before children!

lostinwales Thu 20-Oct-11 18:12:09

'Well behaved children' = 'lucky mother' IMHO. You can only go so far and then you get the person they were born to be. (I think I can say this as someone who is adopted and definitely believes in nature rather than nurture) Obviously there are exceptions to this if you treat a child appallingly but in between it is all a lovely shade of grey.

grumplestilskin Thu 20-Oct-11 18:16:06

the good sibling / bad sibling arguement will be used here, but my observation is that people do not parent all their children the same way, either because they cannot be as intensive with younger DCs as they were able to be when it was just DC1, or they are a different age, different stage in their lives... Lots of reasons. IMO siblings do not get exactly the same family experience of each other so "well my eldest was never like that" doesn't excuse you from being responsible for your horrendously behaved youngest

Sleepglorioussleep Thu 20-Oct-11 19:28:41

I'm not fond of the good mother label at all tbh. Also, lots of things can be due to parenting, granted, but how much of our parenting we have control over I'm not so sure. we are all products of our genetics, upbringing and experience. How I patented to start with was an amalgam
of what I was raised with, what I read and what my peers did. I have reflected and adapted over the course of parenting three children but I don't think I am to blame for the stuff I've done wrong over time. Unless I am wilfully a poor parent. Conversely, I just feel very lucky to have been able to have all things come together to result in some of my sounder choices. Little credit little blame, always aim to do right and do better.

ragged Thu 20-Oct-11 19:31:22

What about when you have a middle child who is badly behaved with well-behaved older & younger siblings, Grumple? How does that fit your theory? An unexpected bout of PND to blame, perhaps?
What about a child who is well behaved at 2-3, badly behaved at 4-6 and well behaved at 8+yo?

Retreating back to the murky gray depths, now.

spottypancake Thu 20-Oct-11 19:32:22

No, it's total rubbish.

My two are close in age and have been brought up in exactly the same way. One is obedient, calm and reasonable and the other is quite the opposite!

helpmabob Thu 20-Oct-11 19:32:49

what about good or bad father not that I think either way. There are so many variables to a child's behaviour, a lot is down to luck.

MurderBloodstabsandgore Thu 20-Oct-11 19:37:52

I'm another one who thinks 'lucky mother' smile

I'll make my judgement according to the parent's response to the behaviour.

Yes and no and maybe and sometimes grin

LoonyRationalist Thu 20-Oct-11 19:46:46

I agree with uppity, an overly well behaved small child who never displays any testing behaviour makes me worry.

LingDiLong Thu 20-Oct-11 20:22:05

Well I certainly don't. Nothing is that black and white. Nature and nurture BOTH have their part to play. When I'm waiting for my DS to come out of school there are (amongst the other mums) 2 mothers with a daughter each of exactly the same age - just 2 years old. One child spends her time climbing anything that's climeable, finding any bit of muck and dirt she possibly can, squeezing her way out of a gate that a cat would struggle to get through, whips herself out of her 5 point push chair harness like a mini houdini and throws enormous tantrums. The other child stands quietly by her mum, I don't think I've ever seen her move or tantrum. Now, I'm sure that there are differences in the way these children are raised but they're so young I can't help but believe that nature has a big part to play. I've never assumed one mum is bad and the other good - more that one is lucky and the other is seriously unlucky!!

SouthernandCross Thu 20-Oct-11 20:45:54

LingDiLong, honestly, I prefer the sound of the more active 2 year old. I don't think I'd know what to do with a child that well behaved. shock

369thegoosedrankwine Thu 20-Oct-11 20:51:03

Oh I used to.............I don't anymore

(Blanks from memory 2 yo DS1 slapping me in the face or kicking the trolley when he didn't get what he wanted in the supermarket / Boots / 'pick your shop' despite me having done everything that the book said I should do to stop it).

I very rarely judge a parent on a childs behaviour, especially age appropriate behaviour. I do judge parents who ignore bad behaviour and don't deal with it.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 20-Oct-11 20:56:20

I certainly don't judge because children behave badly, I judge if I see poor responses to bad behavior.

LingDiLong Thu 20-Oct-11 21:08:37

Southern, well she's definitely sparky!! But I do feel for her poor mother as she tears around after her and deals with yet another tantrum. Of course it's possible the well behaved child is a complete nightmare at home.

BoysRusxxx Thu 20-Oct-11 21:09:28

I agree with southernandcross, I prefer the sound of the first toddler!! I think its odd for a toddler not to want to explore, is that not what they are supposed to do?!!

LingDiLong Thu 20-Oct-11 21:21:50

Oh yes, I'm not suggesting she's abnormal in some way but very busy that's all. Not so much wandering and exploring as hurtling around like a Tasmanian Devil!! Makes me laugh, and in fairness her mum takes it all in her stride.

grumplestilskin Thu 20-Oct-11 22:20:19

ragged one of the most poignant examples I can think of of siblings being parented differently was a middle child compaires to both the older and younger one. I don't see how your examples go against my theory at all, also possilbe that there are number of years when people's parenting alters for whatever reason. There have been times when mine has wobbled/been inconsistant because of various other life situations. Children can have a happy consistant home for the first few years, then it can all go tits up for a few years, then settle down later. Of course that affects their behaviour.

Sleepglorioussleep Thu 20-Oct-11 22:26:31

I have to say I don't believe that any two children in a family, twins excepted perhaps, receive exactly the same parenting. Same guiding principles perhaps, but I am that much older, experienced, but also distracted with each child I've had. Throw into the mix changing personal circumstances, age and availability of grandparents, finances and the experience of each child is pretty different really. Not actually, on balance, necessarily worse or better, but different for sure.

AnxiousElephant Thu 20-Oct-11 22:48:40

I agree that children have different personalities, circumstances of position within the family, work commitments etc - even twins and that in a way defines how they are parented.
I am blessed with 2 fairly well behaved children outside our home i.e. school and pre-school. Usually they behave reasonably at home but they both push the boundries. DD1 is fairly easily directed with behaviour, DD2 is a stubborn little madam grin and oh what a shock!
That said, some of it is down to having good discipline and not giving empty threats when they misbehave - no means no and bad behaviour always has consequences. They also don't get to play me against DH, if he says no then so do I, whether I agree or not. If I disagree we discuss it in private.
I think poor parenting if children are really naughty with other people as opposed to the parents tbh (LD accepted btw as an exception).

OctonautsOnRepeat Thu 20-Oct-11 22:56:37

do you think PND affects it?
I had really bad PND after my second and still worry that we haven't bonded as well as with my first.
My second is really naughty and I struggle with him a lot. He has a real temper and I get so mad at him sometimes! He's 2.9 btw

AnxiousElephant Fri 21-Oct-11 00:46:20

Oct I think it depends on how severe it was and whether it was treated tbh. I had it for 9 months and when dd1 was a toddler I felt slightly disconnected with her but as she grew older we now have a really great bond. We discussed boarding school when she is much older and she told me in no uncertain terms she didn't want to go because she would miss me too much smile (5.9yo now).
I didn't have PND with dd2 and bf her for 6mths, at 3.9yo she is truely daddys girl smile
PND can affect how you parent if you don't feel emotionally strong enough to set boundries.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now