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Talking-to's - tell me your best ones!

(12 Posts)
twoflakesanight Sun 08-Nov-09 23:06:02

Does anyone ever totally lose their way with telling-offs? Can you give me a few fail-safe texts I can keep on the inside of my wrist and read out when I'm too tired and stressed to think up my own? So often I lose my way and end up talking rubbish. I gave DS1 (3.5) a typically crap talking-to today. He's being really hard work at the mo and it feels like he's constantly in trouble BUT he needs to learn and have boundaries etc etc.

So today we were in a restaurant and he won't sit down, is yelling and blowing raspberries at us and generally being unpleasant so I march him outside for a quiet one-to-one.

Imnmediately, though, I feel like 'Oh Lord, here we go again - I can see he's frustrated and tired and didn't espec want to be here,' so I started with, "Now - you know dad & I love you very much, and when we tell you off it's because we are trying to look after you, or... or because you need to understand that there are some things you can do, and some you can' that...y'know...people will like you..." by which time DS1 is wriggling desperately to get away from this chatty avenger and yells 'GET OFFFF MEE!'.

So (more sternly)
'Now look at me please J - you're being very rude at the moment and we don't like it. You don't like it when Mummy is rude to you, do you? [Shit - why did I say that?]...or...or when she tells you what to do [damn - double whammy - I HAVE to tell him what to do!].

DS hisses at me, goes to hit me, struggles with himself for a minute and then starts hitting himself on the head.

'Oh angel don't do that - don't hurt yourself!' [Imagination leaps to me walking in on him as a teenager, cutting his arm while moaning 'it's all because of yoooou!'. Quick! Regain control of the situation!]

'Now - we're at a nice restaurant and it's a special treat [actually it's not partic. nice and we're here because M&D are too lazy to sort out your tea], and if you can't behave in there, we'll just have to go home. Do you want to go home? [Please say no, please say no, we've only just sat down].

DS laughs mirthlessly and makes a break for it. I walk calmly behind until he quickly puts a hundred yards between us and it becomes apparent he's not stopping. There's a road nearby. I give chase and catch up. I make a couple of grabs for him. Passersby see a woman chasing a small, frightened boy at full pelt and stop in case they should intervene. I finally catch him and have to pick him up, bucking and screaming. I'm doing a lot for his sense of frustration and lack of autonomy.

'Right. now you're going to stand here until you can learn to... do what you... to behave.'
Two more bolts for freedom and then he stands there, looking bullied, while I sit at a nearby table studying the menu with intense interest. Passersby again watch the tableau with curiosity. 30 seconds or so pass - it's freezing. I go over and bend down to him.

'Now - are you ready to say you're sorry?' (neither of us can remember what for, exactly). 'Hmm? Ready to make friends and come back inside and be good?'
No answer
'Come and give me a cuddle then'
'I don't want to' (draws back, cowering)
'No? Can I give you a kiss then?' I bob forward and he ducks. I lose my balance.
'Come on - let me kiss you. On your hand?' I beg, clutching desperately while he recoils from me.
'OK, then, you don't have to - and if you're good, perhaps we can have some icecream for pudding,' and, relieved, he shoots ahead of me back to treats again.

luciemule Sun 08-Nov-09 23:52:00

LOL smile.
We always (in supermarkets and restaurants) point to anything on entering that looks vaguely like a security camera and show it to DS (4.8) and then if there's any naughty behaviour and he doesn't repsond, we tell him the owner of the shop/restaurant doesn't like it when children are naughty and will make them sit in his office wihtout mummy or daddy. That always does the trick and we've never had to use the threat......not entirely sure how we would carry through with said threat.hmm

LuckySalem Mon 09-Nov-09 00:00:07

I love the "man'll tell you off" approach. grin

IneedacleanerIamalazyslattern Mon 09-Nov-09 00:01:02

You do know that you suffer from the same affliction as me don't you Verbal Diarrhoea grin over explaining.
I do this too and end up kicking myself after. You are giving him waaaayyyyy tooooo much information.
Cut out every second word and you might still have too much.

I learnt the hard way with dd who was actually an angel in comparison to ds.
Now i've learnt to keep it short sweet and to the point.

Another good one if you have a good waiter/ess when you're out is to have a quiet word, not done it many times but a "please could you sit down" from them when they bring the food over can work wonders.

LuckySalem Mon 09-Nov-09 00:03:32

With DD I tend to literally just say "I dont like it when you ......... if you dont stop you will be in trouble"
Then while she's taking that in I can think of what the "trouble" is going to be. Normally means that we go home/take the teddy off her.

She's only 22 months so that's the most I can get her to understand. I think if she understood more then I'd end up doing the same as you grin

QandA Mon 09-Nov-09 00:13:00

Way too much info for a 3 year old grin

A simple if you do x y will happen.

If Dc does x, y happens wink

Should write my own book grin

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Mon 09-Nov-09 10:00:21

With DS sometimes it seems like the less detail I give, the better - so often I just stick to something like "We don't do (xyz) in restaurants" (repeated as necessary) and just try to put on The Voice so he knows I mean it!

Reesie Mon 09-Nov-09 10:56:47

Get a takeaway... overtired toddler in a restraunt is a recipe for disaster. He would never sit quietly and eat his food obediantly - don't expect it.

He's only 3. I wouldn't make to much of a deal of anything at his age. As long as he isn't nasty to anybody or himself - I would just let things go.

twoflakesanight Mon 09-Nov-09 14:10:26

Thanks everyone - some good ones there. Love the owner will tell you off one - had forgotten but I think my Gran used to do that to me and it scared the bejaysus out of me.

I would add that I don't usually bang on quite so much - it IS normally 'if you do X, Y will happen', but it just feels like constant threats and bribes, threats and bribes (which I'm pretty good at), and sometimes you feel like the poor little fella deserves an explanation.

Anyway - cheers!

Horsiemummy Mon 09-Nov-09 14:26:53

oohh i feel mean now! we use the naughty boys van approach!

our friends used to tell their children that my dh was the naughty boys van driver and they were truly scared of him!! lol.

when ds (who is 3) is particularly awful at home or in public and i can feel im losing control i just say calmly - oh i can hear the naughty boys van coming to take you! he is convinced the naughty boys van takes all naughty boys away from their mums and dads forever and it is the only thing that stops him in his tracks and makes him behave!

i even told him once that the cashiers bell (for assistance) in tesco was the naughty boys alarm and that the lady could push it if she had a naughty boy in her till queue!

it is mean because he is so frightened but it works a treat! blush

twoflakesanight Mon 09-Nov-09 14:54:17

Am p'ing myself! I don't think that's so very terrible - you're still his safe point and the threat is external. It's not like you're telling him you're going to call the naughty boys van to come and take him away.

nickelbabe Mon 09-Nov-09 15:07:46

just reading the thread and haven't yet finished, but can I just comment on Salem's first post?
can you all not say the man or lady will tell you off, because I'm often the lady in question and i really really want children to enjoy coming into my shop and looking at books and i don't want them to associate me with someone who might shout at them if they're naughty in here!

no offence meant, i promise, and i'm sure i'd want to revert to that threat too, but plase don't, I'm really a lovely person! grin
[pleads in a grovelly manner]

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