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Unconditional parenting peeps - WWYD in this situation?

(224 Posts)
substitutemycokeforgin Mon 11-Feb-13 16:21:43

Or what would you have done, rather ... I know it's trivial in the scheme of things, but had a horrible situation with DD (7) yesterday. We were getting in the car to drive to a country park, she wouldn't put her wellies on as her siblings had done, but insisted on wearing her trainers. Recently she's been finding excuses not to wear her wellies, and wearing her trainers instead in all sorts of unsuitable muddy places and bringing them home a filthy wreck. I've had enough of this - she's not the one who has to clean them.

I said she could wear her trainers in the car but we needed to bring her wellies to wear in the park as it would be muddy. I don't think she really responded at this point, which was probably where the whole thing went wrong - I didn't get express agreement from her beforehand ... Anyway, cue arriving in the park, damp muddy day, and she refused point blank to put on the wellies. I explained that I wasn't prepared to wash muddy trainers yet again, shortening their life, when she has perfectly good wellies. We all wanted to get out of the car and into the park, including her, and I was urging her to think about it and do the right thing. I know she knew that by taking the wellies with us, that meant I expected her to wear them in the park. I tried to establish why she didn't want to wear them - made her legs uncomfortable, apparently, so I suggested getting long thick knee socks to avoid this, but she wouldn't agree to this either. In the end we turned round and drove home. I was calm with her and didn't shout, but made it clear what I expected her to do. But the day obviously didn't end well.

So I think I messed up, and I'm just looking for opinions/advice thrown into the ring here, really, on what I should have done instead without using bribes, punishments, rewards etc. Also, do you lovely UP people know of any dedicated forums for UP/AP parents? Thank you!! thanks

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 19:32:55

So, all children are equal but some are more equal than others? hmm

AllDirections Mon 11-Feb-13 19:33:13

People have suggested that should I leave places if my DD3 kicks off about something because that's what they would do if their DC misbehaved.

I will not do that to my other DC. There has to be another way.

IsabelleRinging Mon 11-Feb-13 19:34:14

angry PUT YOUR WELLIES ON NOW!!!!!! angry is quick and works for me and then we can get on with the rest of the day and everyone will be happy in the end.

ErikNorseman Mon 11-Feb-13 19:37:42

Hilarious! You refuse to put your foot down in case you confuse or cause pain to your child? Blimey. Boundaries and consequences are Good Things, or so my reactionary self believes. And before you get stroppy, this is an open forum and you have a massive audience here, less than 1% of whom, I'd guess, do 'UP'.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Feb-13 19:37:57

Quite honestly, as a sibling, I wouldn't care what method you used as long as we got the trip promised! From their point of view ' I will give you some chocolate if you put them on would be better'! I don't expect they cared if she put them on because she felt it was sensible or whether she put them on for a reward-as long as she put them on! Once you have more than one child you have to think of them all-not the one who is difficult.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Feb-13 19:40:11


Works for me too-life is too short to debate all these things. (and terrible boring for the siblings).

Auntmaud Mon 11-Feb-13 19:40:36

Years ago I had a friend with one child who did this UP stuff, honestly, it was hilarious to watch.
She used to let her wander to the shops rather than ride in the buggy, take an hour over breakfast, spend 40 mins arguing about shoes etc. No conflict, all calm.

Then she had another baby. shock grin

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 11-Feb-13 19:41:48

Raise hand. Me too. I'm a do as you're told kind of a parent. I find that it sets them up much better for the real world. And school and clubs and things where they are expected to conform to a standard of behaviour.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Feb-13 19:42:08

Once you have another baby it is unworkable. If you do try and work it then one child gives- in all the time.

exoticfruits Mon 11-Feb-13 19:43:31

If they are at school and told to put their wellies on-they put them on! It is not up for debate. Much better to get them used to it. Funny how lots of DCs are fine at school and just a problem for the parents.

Hullygully Mon 11-Feb-13 19:45:05

I would have said, "Oh well, you stay in the car then, because it really is wellies weather and the other dc are wearing theirs." And then left her in the car and let the others have a run around, but not gone too far from the car.

Then later I would have had a chat about it and tried to find out exactly what the issue was, and discuss what we might do in future.

On bad days however I would have gone purple and bellowed.

TravelinColour Mon 11-Feb-13 19:46:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 11-Feb-13 19:47:13

How many other DCs had their day spoilt?

AllDirections Mon 11-Feb-13 19:49:56

I'm in the PUT YOUR WELLIES ON NOW!!!!!! gang.

But I would probably have let her wear the trainers.

LarkinSky Mon 11-Feb-13 19:52:56

OP what is unconditional parenting in your book?

Honest question from someone who reacted to a variety of naughty behavior from 4 year old DD1 today by telling her off and confiscating her favorite toy for a few hours, until she saw the error of her ways and apologized. My baby DD2 has also had a bad day, crying lots, not helped by DD1 waking her repeatedly.

I'm now sat with a well earned glass of wine wondering if I could/should have handled today differently...

5madthings Mon 11-Feb-13 19:53:00

What hully said. I would have left her in the car and made sure the others got to play.

As an asidd my ds2 has taken against wellies and with all the snow etc our walk to and from school has been a nightmare. He point blank refused to put his wellies on on the ealk home. As result his trousers and shoes were filthy. I made him wash his trousers by hand in the sink and clean his shoes. He made them.dirty so he could clean them, actions have consequences.

Its highly unfair for siblings to miss out because one child misbehaves and if repeated is likely to cause massive resentment and sibling issues.

Solopower1 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:55:34

This didn't sound like it was about the wellies to me - more about testing boundaries.

So you win, other children watch and learn, unwilling welliewearer apologises afterwards ... job done.

Unless it happens again.

(But I don't know how it counts as 'unconditional' parenting, tbh. Someone explain?)

Solopower1 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:56:19

Or attention seeking. In which case, give her the attention she seeks and find out what it's all about, is my opinion.

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 11-Feb-13 19:57:04

I just realised. My mother did this unconditional parenting to my brother. I call it indulging and spoiling. And it has made him an entitled unpleasant adult. Not that it will in the OPs case or does in every case. But it has in his.

Solopower1 Mon 11-Feb-13 19:57:25

My daughter wore her wellies to bed for several weeks when she was little. Then one night she didn't.

ubik Mon 11-Feb-13 19:59:48

I would have made her put her boots on. She would have done as she was told or there would have been consequences.

ubik Mon 11-Feb-13 20:01:09

and other children watch and learn how to get mummy's attention and piss off their siblings - everyone's a winner,

Chandon Mon 11-Feb-13 20:01:18

My DS1 had a big problem with wellies, it was not him being difficult for the hell of it, those cheap wellies can be really uncomfortable and painful if you have sensitive feet.

Last time Dh made him wear them ( following the PUT THEM ON!!! Method) DS came home crying, and had chilblains ( wellies are no good for keeping feet warm).

I have read about nonconditional parenting, and follow some of its ideas.

In our case, DS. Had a point as the wellies hurt him.

A child is not always wrong just because he is a child.

In your case, OP, I would sit down with DD and ask her why exactly she objects to the wellies. say yu understand. Then ask her to unders tand why ou are against the tainer. Then figure out a compromise together ( like buying softer bad weather boots). It is not about "winning", it is about getting to the root of the problem and finding a solution. If a child is just being difficult and in a bad mood, I mighto well join the shouters though!

All the people wading in, who clearly are anti-unconditional parenting, why are you here, actually? does it make you feel superior?

freddiemisagreatshag Mon 11-Feb-13 20:05:12

What about the other children? What did they learn?

ubik Mon 11-Feb-13 20:08:32

I'm not anti-unconditional parenting, I just think it's common sense that ywhen ou ask a child to do something as simple as wear their wellies - after asking what the oroblem is and trying to sort it out - that they do it.

Because it's not all about them. They need to learn that their siblings who are perhaps behaving well, want to go out and enjoy themselves and hang about why you reason with one child ad nauseum.

I'm not an authritarian but sometimes - especially in a large family - everyone just needs to do as they are told so the family can get on with having a nice time.

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