Parenting feedback - ouch - worried about my 4yo ds(5 Posts)
yesterday nursery really upset me. My ds is accident prone and split his chin and I had to take him to hosp Friday pm from nursery. His key worker came with (he's sort of a family friend now my dp has co-opted him). I must admit I have been to hosp so much recently with my kids or bump (accident prone ds, new dd 1month old) I wasn't taking it very seriously. Anyway my ds couldn't keep the dressing on over the next few days and the wound got a bit mashed up.
I was very grateful to nursery however and sent them a glowing reference for their website. That evening the owner took me aside and said 'your son has got NO boundaries.'
Not ' we think your son could benefit from firmer boundaries'.
Your son has got NO boundaries.
She said it was a factor in his accidents and wasn't good for him and would he would have trouble at school. She said he doesn't listen - he only listens when he wants to.
It really shit me up. I know exactly what she's talking about and in a way I m grateful, but it was the way she said it! I even revisited an occasional worry I have that he has ADHD. At the end of nursery he's the only kid running about in reception for example everyone else is standing still.
Cue lots of soul searching. Recently I've been very busy with dd and also we may have been influenced by a certain Guardian article about giving children autonomy with examples of 4yo Inuit kids using knifes to hunt seals.
Deep down me and dp are not very disciplined we are both a bit maverick and not particularly authoritative especially me. I had an awful pg and was very shouty at ds.
I just feel so gutted because I've realised my parenting is going to be judged constantly - I knew this but now it's happened it hurts.
Wierdly ds has picked up thereis something in the air and is staring to behave better
We are sending him to his room and confiscating treasured items but there are the usual problems around aligning what and how DP and I do things.
Anyone else? I feel like I need a parenting course.
I don't really know what to advise you to do, but please remember that there's no such thing as a perfect parent.
I found it very difficult to be consistent. It sounds like you maybe do too.
However your DS is bound to be affected by the recent birth of his sibling. He is likely to be a bit all over the place for a while and you are very tired so it's especially difficult to be the sort of parent you'd like to be. That's normal for all parents in your situation.
My DP and I have different views of the best way of bringing up our DC too. Do you think he'd be agreeable to reading some parenting books and discussing this with you?
Lots of couples do fall into different parenting roles -one being more pushy/indulgent/whatever than the other which is obviously not ideal but is really common so please try not to feel that you're doing a dreadful job.
Local authorities sometimes run parenting courses. I've been going to a short one run by a local church for parents of teenagers - I wasn't sure how useful it would be as DH and I aren't Christians, but it has been helpful and (so far) hasn't made me feel too bad about my parenting inadequacies.
Read calmer, happier, easier parenting. It will help you work out boundaries and rules with you Ds without isolating him. He needs you to be with him working out how to do things the right way, not sending him away when he's been 'bad'. I have a Ds in nursery who's behaviour is borderline hyperactive at times and he needs very firm boundaries but he also needs positive attention alongside that. When we're short of time he gets told off a lot and I get exhausted and fed up with it which has a detrimental effect on his behaviour. You and your DS are the way you are, you can't parent differently but you can find ways to support him to listen better and follow rules if you focus on teaching him the right way to do things.
For example you sit and talk to him about a certain rule and get him to tell you why he must follow that rule e.g why you must stand still to listen - ask him why, ask him to guess if he says he doesn't know, tell him (so you don't bump into the other children and hurt them) then get him to repeat it back to you.
I'm in the middle of a parenting course for children with behavioural or emotional issues . It's called Incredible Years, it started in the US in the 70s but is taught all over the world. It uses a pyramid which starts right at the bottom with the building blocks of play and works its way up to discipline as the tiny bit at the top of the pyramid.
It's an amazing course which really gets results but is not for the faint hearted (requires a big commitment). But it's worth seeing if there are any courses near you as it sounds like it would suit you as it's designed to build confidence and security in children.
I would be quite annoyed with the nursery owner tbh for being so rude. Nurseries should be used to dealing with a wide range of children's behaviour and if they felt there was a concern regarding behaviour or boundaries then they should bring it up sensitively and constructively. He did injure himself whilst under their care, after all! A lot of 4yo boys can be rather wild, poor at listening and concentrating, and are still learning how to interact with their peers. My ds started nursery in September (he's 4.5yo) after attending a creche since he was 2. I have noticed that there is a lot of hitting going on at nursery which didn't use to happen at creche - ds is outgoing and sociable but often came home from school and said "so-and-so hitted me". He also got a cut lip and bruised eye when another boy threw a block at him. A lot of 'bad' behaviour at that age will settle as they mature I think. Your ds is really a bit too young to worry about ADHD just yet, but have a chat to your GP or health visitor if you are seriously worried.
We used the naughty mat for ds1 from the age of 2yo - one minute per year of his age. He still goes on it occasionally if he behaves badly, and it works well as a deterrent. The concept is from Supernanny (Jo Frost) and she has good tips for creating boundaries for children in her books. Don't beat yourself up! We all fall short of being the perfect parents we'd like to be, believe me. I've been a shouty witchy mum of late and taken my stress and fatigue out on ds1 I don't think it's ever too late to change tactics or try to improve on areas of parenting that we aren't managing too well. x
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