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Crap afternoon. Crap parenting. How could I have handled this differently??

(43 Posts)
gameboy Sun 03-Aug-08 21:29:22

Was DS2's birthday today. He had his party last week. He had his presents this morning, and we had a little family birthday 'coffee party' this morning with cake etc.

I had already told him that this afternoon (c. 3.30 pm) we were going to some friends house for a BBQ.

7 kids at the BBQ: 4 boys, and 3 girls (all younger than boys). DS2 was youngest boy by about 6 months.

Kids split into boys/ girls to go off and play. Boys playing cricket with Dads. DS2 wouldn't join in. After being there about 1/2 an hour he came up to me and said very loudly in front of the hostess, "I want to go home". I muttered not to be so rude and sent him off to play on a swing.
He then proceeded to complain ALL afternoon - about the BBQ food; about sittign outside; about various of the children who he said weren't sharing/ or had bumped into him etc etc (all fairly spurious complaints IMHO).
I got more and more exasperated with him.

After tea he was in the playroom with the other boys - they were playing on the PS2. He wouldn't join in, but just kept annoying them instead - being silly in front of the screen, wrestling them, making silly noises - all stupid attention-seeking stuff. DS1 kept coming to complain to me, and I kept having to tell DS2 to stop it (which he didn't)or remove him.

Finally he obviously bugged DS1 too much and they were having a shouting match and pushing each other around, so I just decided I'd had enough, so I apologised to the hostess and others and left.

I was FURIOUS with them both, but especially DS2 and shouted and shouted at them blush about how embarrassed I was with their behaviour; how I was sick and tired of DS2 acting like a baby; how ungrateful DS2 was after all the effort into his birthday; how they had ruined mine and DH's afternoon....and so on...

I am so frustrated and embarrassed. And this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. I look at other people's children playing nicely and wonder where I've gone wrong sad.

Do yours do this? What would you have done?

ninah Sun 03-Aug-08 21:31:28

Yes. Same as you. smile

gameboy Sun 03-Aug-08 21:33:03

But the problem was, that by removing them and coming home, DS2 actually got what he wanted, so it was if I was rewarding him for him bad behaviour. angry

FluffyMummy123 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:34:08

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ruddynorah Sun 03-Aug-08 21:35:15

did you ask him why he wanted to go home?

ninah Sun 03-Aug-08 21:37:35

Ok, but being there wasn't happening. My ds has a habit of acting up at the very moment you want him to behave his best, reverting to really silly behaviour. I'd have probably taken him home and addressed the bad behaviour with sending to room, losing bedtime story, etc to make the point. How old is he?

FluffyMummy123 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:38:07

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gameboy Sun 03-Aug-08 21:40:53

Disagree Cod - we had a deal - he had his party, presents and 'tea' this morning. He knew that, and we agreed we'd see our friends this afternoon. He knows them, it's not like he's never met them.

Nothing was happening at home for him to miss, so why a crap birthday?

FluffyMummy123 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:41:34

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Janus Sun 03-Aug-08 21:42:02

gameboy, although it seems like it may often happen to you, believe me it has happened to all of us! icod, I would have thought an afternoon playing with friends, having a bbq, etc should have been a fun way to spend a birthday, isn't it?
I guess I would have taken ds aside earlier and warned him that if he continued the behaviour you would all have to leave and then you would be very unhappy and he would have to have no tv for a day/no ps/whatever else he really likes. Mine always react to threats as I always follow through! Or, could you say that you realise it's his birthday and maybe he didn't want to come but you thought he would enjoy it and if he gave you a trouble-free hour you would make it up to him tomorrow by taking him to the park (or something he would enjoy more) the next day.

ruddynorah Sun 03-Aug-08 21:43:07

how old is he? what is a coffee party? and why did you arrange to see friends on his birthday and have the party the week before? if i was him i would be pissed off to and want to go home.

did you ask him why he wanted to go home?

NotQuiteCockney Sun 03-Aug-08 21:43:10

Hmmm, could you have brought one of his birthday gifts to play with? Or engaged him in a conversation about why he wanted to go, and acknowledged his feelings (without necessarily leaving)?

thisisyesterday Sun 03-Aug-08 21:44:03

how old is he gameboy?

gameboy Sun 03-Aug-08 21:44:49

He's 6 BTW.

There wasn't another room to go to, and what's the point of that anyway - might as well go home?

He'd already had most of the day to play with his rpesents - opened them at 6.30a.m. FFS .....

FluffyMummy123 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:44:55

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FluffyMummy123 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:45:17

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thisisyesterday Sun 03-Aug-08 21:45:30

I don't think you ahve done anything wrong but it sounds like

a) he wanted to be at home with his birthday stuff?

b) he was maybe being left out by the other boys?

c) he was just not happy there?

FluffyMummy123 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:45:52

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berolina Sun 03-Aug-08 21:46:17

Am with cod and ruddynorah. The birthday person/child should set the agenda on their birthday itself IMO. I think I probably would not have gone to the BBQ.

thisisyesterday Sun 03-Aug-08 21:47:11

gameboy, I know you say you "had a deal" but I think that's a lot to expect from a 6yr old.

ok, you explained it to him before, but I do think that, even at 6, it is hard for them to foresee exactly what a situation is going to be like.
he ended up at someone elses house on HIS birthday, playing with some kids that he obviously wasn't happy playing with,

he behaved exactly as I would expect a 6 yr old to behave. by letting you know he wasn't happy, and by trying to get attention from you and from the other kids (not in a great way, but it worked!)

Quattrocento Sun 03-Aug-08 21:47:36

Bit over the top tbh. When infants are tired you have two fairly stark choices either put up with the bahaviour providing it isn't inconveniencing anyone else or go home. He was overexcited and overtired and he is only little ...

FluffyMummy123 Sun 03-Aug-08 21:47:52

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ruddynorah Sun 03-Aug-08 21:48:50

were they even his friends? or where they more your friends? can you see this from his pov at all?

thisisyesterday Sun 03-Aug-08 21:49:43

btw, I don't think you're a crap parent. and I don't think you've gone wrong either. just perhaps you expect too much from him? sometimes.

I think if it'd been me I would have just taken him aside and explained why his behaviour at the barbecue was unacceptable.

I would then have said, let's stay for x amount of time and then we can go home and play/do soemthing he chooses at home.

then I'd have helped him find something to do at the bbq that he could enjoy

gameboy Sun 03-Aug-08 21:49:48

Party was last week because was booked at an outdoor adventure type place.

By'coffee party' I just meant we had a family cake/ candles/ sang happy birthday etc this morning with us/ Grandparents etc rather than this afternoon.

Janus - that's exactly it - i thought the BBQ would be a good way to spend the rest of the day.

Re the playing with presents, by the time we went out to the BBQ he has played with them all, and begun wingeing about what he HADN'T got, and how we wanted to go out NOW to spend his birthday money etc..

I just felt5 so annoyed as he's acted like a completely ungrateful and spoilt brat today sad

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