Am i too strict?(10 Posts)
I have a 4yo who is generally really well behaved. Obviously she does sometimes play up but when I tell her off she gets ridiculously upset I feel guilty over it.
This morning has been really hard as the baby hasn't slept well and has been screaming his head off as he's overtired. I'm tired myself and have been trying to get baby to sleep. 4yo loves nail varnish and knows that only I can get them out and we don't do it near carpet etc. While I was busy 4yo was helping herself to icing sugar from the baking cupboard, playing with the dog's lead and getting the dog really excited then finally she went to my room and painted her nails spilling nail varnish on the carpet. I told her to stop doing each thing and after the nail varnish incident I told her to go to her room. No shouting just told her firmly. She is so so upset I don't know if I've overreacted.
It's other things too though, I've noticed that other parents let more things slide than I do whereas I'll gently correct her. Sometimes she'll do something so small and immediately say sorry and I don't know if I've drummed this into her by constantly saying she should do something this way and not that way and it makes me sad.
Am I a horrible nag who's left my 4yo scared to put a foot wrong?
DD is only a baby, so can't speak from experience, but the example you gave doesn't sound over the top at all. I'm more on the laid-back side normally and probably would have done the same.
Just a thought on your concern about constantly nagging your DD: my SIL has an 8 year old who is being corrected and directed quite frequently. She's quite timid and often doesn't want to try new things. I have often wondered if SILs parenting style has contributed to this. My niece is exceptionally polite and considerate though, and a great kid overall.
Thanks doublehelix. I question everything I do when I'm tired and hate to see her upset and also when she says sorry for the slightest thing it feels like an abused animal kind of response! Think I'm overanalyzing which I often do when it comes to DC. Think I've ready too many stories about psychologically damaged people and sometimes worry everything I do is the wrong thing.
I'm not an anxious person and I don't always think like this, just when she does certain things and I wonder if I'm too hard on her.
but when I tell her off she gets ridiculously upset I feel guilty over it.
Let me fix that for you:
......she plays at being ridiculously upset because she knows it makes me feel guilty.
She's playing you. Stand firm, for her own good.
I dont think you're being too strict and I do often feel the same way. One thing that I find helpful if you are getting a build-up on constant telling-off though, is to look for the underlying cause of the constant misbehaving, e.g. tiredness, boredom, not getting enough positive attention etc. Then you can think creatively how to tackle that.
So this morning it was because you were so busy with the baby your older one started getting up to all sorts of mischief. Rather than having lots of things going wrong and having to do lots of telling off, if possible you could try and set her up with an activity that will keep her amused, or telling her, I need you to sit and play nicely with your toys for a bit and once your little brother gets off to sleep I promise I'll make some cakes with you (just an example - could be any kind of small treat).
Much easier said than done of course - sometimes whole morning or whole days just go wrong! For me this is just something to aim for - prevention better than cure etc.
Certainly not too strict. If she says sorry when she does something wrong it sounds like you're doing fine.
I am the same as you. You might feel strict but you are doing the right thing by her. Children need boundaries and can't have free reign in regards to eating sugar, painting nails on carpet etc.
I agree that the upset is her playing you, trying to win back some sympathy. Keep doing what you're doing.
Ah thanks everyone. I've come to my senses now and your posts have reassured me. Nothing like starting a Sunday with screaming, self doubt and a large dose of guilt
Your 4 year old is playing the guilt trip like a real master. You are not too strict. Children need discipline!! You're doing it right!
I think all parents feel this way in regards to the guilt.
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