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Tell me honestly I being a slave to the system, or is dh trashing it?

(19 Posts)
PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 10-May-05 13:33:47

A couple of months ago, I introduced a version of Soupy's "pasta jar" idea for managing behaviour as ds1 (nearly 4) needed something to help him manage his behaviour (particularly towards his baby brother).

So, the system works like this:

Small whiteboard in kitchen

On a Sunday, 5 smilies are put on the board. From then on he earns or loses them according to his behaviour. On a Saturday, we tot up how many smilies he has and he gets 5p for each one to put in his special silver piggy bank.

This was working so well and ds1 was happy as a sandboy, much more co-operative etc etc until dh started to tamper with the rules of the system.
We have rowed about and he cannot see what I am fussing about. So, maybe I am being an uptight so and so, but can't see it - need some brutal honestly from Mumsnet (I know I can rely on you !)

Dh has done 2 things:

1 - He will give out smilies, but never take them away for inappropriate behaviour.

2 - He distinguishes his smilies with a funny hairdo etc

I can hear you laughing now and thinking "get a grip" woman, but by doing these 2 things together, dh has undermined my authority with ds1. Ds1 now has huge tantrums if I go to take away a Daddy smiley "cos they're special and they stay on there Mummy - I don't care if you take a Mummy smiley"

I've also been turned into the big bad wolf because I'm the only one who is prepared to take as well as give.

Hope this explanation makes sense?

What do you think?

beachyhead Tue 10-May-05 13:37:44

No you are absoulutely right -
all smilies are equal, they are not better because they are from Daddy and
if he can't take them away, then he shouldn't be putting them up there.......
I agree with you 100% and it will all be very confusing for your ds1.

p.s. I could see that I would have the same problem, (but reversed in our house in that my dh would rub them all out in a hissy fit if someone got down from the table )

starlover Tue 10-May-05 13:37:55

I think you are right to be cross. the system will only work if you have a united front on it.

I don't have a problem with the hair (maybe you could do it too!).. but the smiles DO need to be taken for bad behaviour... otherwise what is the point?????

And, your DH does need to do some of the taking so that you arent the "big bad wolf"

Clayhead Tue 10-May-05 13:38:55

I think you are right to be annoyed. I would be really upset if dh did that to me, especially the 'He will give out smilies, but never take them away for inappropriate behaviour. ' bit - that means you do all the discipline by yourself - not on!!

RTKangaMummy Tue 10-May-05 13:39:07

Has he seen any Little Angels programmes where the system is explained?

I think he is being unfair to you in so many ways

Can you copy his smiles so they are all the same if he will refuse to use ordinary smiles play him at his own game {DH I mean}

Does he agree that the behaviour needs to change?

How does he want DS to behave in the future?

Does he want him to change how he behaves?

IF so why will he not disappline him?

WideWebWitch Tue 10-May-05 13:41:08

You're not supposed to take away stars with a star chart because, the argument goes, the good behaviour DID happen and you shouldn't negate the good star earned by taking it away. I can see the point of that. So could you have something else to denote bad behaviour? Sorry if I'm messing with a good system though. I wouldn't be bothered about the funny hair etc but it sounds as if there are 2 systems here3 and that's the root of the problem really, your ds is confused!

WideWebWitch Tue 10-May-05 13:42:24

You can't really have daddy discipline and mummy discipline so I agree, your dh is in the wrong, you can't have 2 systems!

Easy Tue 10-May-05 13:46:08

Why don't you add hair, ears, buck teeth or something to your smileys too?

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 10-May-05 13:50:00

Thanks folks, I was beginning to think I was a horrid old bat!

I think the silly hair idea on it's own is fun, the big problem has been caused by 1 parent being prepared to follow through and the other not.

www - I was using a star/sticker system (where good behaviour was rewarded and none were taken, ie only the positive acknowledged) but it stopped being effective, ds lost interest.

Chandra Tue 10-May-05 13:50:35

I think you need a chart for your DH too.

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 10-May-05 13:51:56

rofl Chandra !

I was pondering that thought just this morning!

Easy Tue 10-May-05 13:55:26

star charts do only work for short term projects generally.

I think it's overcomplicated, with the white-board, then converting to 5p's

We just have a small glass jar, to which we add 10p for good behaviour, and remove 1 for major misdemeanors.

So ds can see at any time how much pocket money he has.

Cut out the middle-man (or middle-smileys)

NomDePlume Tue 10-May-05 13:55:52

You need to stick to the original system. End of.

Bugsy2 Tue 10-May-05 15:58:40

Puff, you definitely need anonymous smileys, so that your ds can't diferrentiate between mummy & daddy smileys!!!!
Did your dh sign up to your idea - why is he changing it now?
Grrrrr, feel for you!

Blu Tue 10-May-05 16:02:03

Your DH needs to sit down in front of nanny Jojo or Little Angels, or Warwick - all demonstrate that it starts to slip when the system is tampered with. It was working, and DH has trashed it!

PuffTheMagicDragon Wed 11-May-05 11:51:13

Just thought I'd report back following "discussion" about this with dh last night.

It took about 2 hours and a lot of sofa thumping on my part to finally get him to appreciate where he and therefore the whole system has gone wrong!

I told him that Mumsnet advised me to get a chart for him too - hehehe !

Anyway, hopefully all sorted in the Puff household.

Thanks for all your input .

beachyhead Wed 11-May-05 11:53:34

On another point, ds (4) wondered if Supernanny could fly like superman this morning........ came from threat - we'll get supernanny in to sort you out'......

PuffTheMagicDragon Wed 11-May-05 12:27:03


Tortington Wed 11-May-05 13:02:19

can there not be a system of discussion and deferal - i mean you dont want to piss off your dh who then abstains from joining in parenting and then uses incidents like these as an excuse.

perhaps you could agree that when both of you are around you will discuss the use of smilies and when they are to be given and taken away.

so if your kid has just done something wrong you could say " right xxx, i have to speak to daddy about your behaviour and then we will decide if a smiley is to be taken away" then daddy can take them away

however all smilies must be equal in appearence and if your dh doesnt like it GO DRASTIC and hide the pen

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