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Are all children this badly behaved?

(145 Posts)
nairn Mon 10-Dec-07 13:56:36

I am preggers and had some friends with children round on saturday. One is 3 the other is 18 months.
They were a complete nightmare. Screaming, destroying my house, throwing tantrums. My poor mate couldn't even have a converstation for running around trying to stop them tearing down my Christmas tree - she can't have one because they would do the same in their own house.
I have been left feeling very worried that this is what the future holds for me.
I know kids will be kids but this was a living hell.
How do you stop that happening to you and continue to have a normal life of some sort?
I must admit I'm feeling really down about the whole thing now.
She said things like 'all this lovely stuff will have to go' and I couldn't' help thinking 'but I don't want my house turned into toys r us!' I like my nice home and I don't want a child - my own or someone elses - to destroy it!
Help! Tell me it's not always like this!

suzywong Mon 10-Dec-07 13:58:20

I 'm going to take the Fifth on this

any body care to sugar coat the pill?

fluffyanimal Mon 10-Dec-07 13:58:44

No it's not always like that.

But even on the occasions when it is, your own children are always far more bearable than other peoples' brats, and it won't upset you. grin Once you fall in love with your new little one, you'll know you'll make any accommodation to your lifestyle for them.

CarmenerryChristmas Mon 10-Dec-07 14:00:11

Um, em, um, no I'm sure your child will be different.........


Lighten up, they bring much more joy nad happiness than stress and you forgive them anything and you won't give a toss about your tidy house or nice stuff as long as your lovely child is happysmile

abitworried Mon 10-Dec-07 14:00:52

Don't worry - it's not for long that they're like this... My DS has just had his 8th birthday, and I'd say we're almost 'back to normal living' now...

grin

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 10-Dec-07 14:01:23

<<sits on hands>>

HuwEdwards Mon 10-Dec-07 14:02:05

sorry, but

ha ha ha ha !!!!

Hulababy Mon 10-Dec-07 14:02:33

No, it isn't always like that and besides, you own children are almost always easier to deal with than some one else's.

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 10-Dec-07 14:02:46

That classic email thing, "The Strong and Octopus Guie to Parenting" states something along the lines of:

If you want to see what it's like being a parent, look after a goat in your house for a week or so. If you are planning more than one child, have more than one goat.

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 10-Dec-07 14:03:10

Some goats won't poo on your carpet and eat your curtains, some will. Just like children.

nairn Mon 10-Dec-07 14:03:12

Thanks fluffyanimal. I'm more than willing to accomodate my child - just a great believer that they fit into their parents lives - not the other way around. Of course I expect a bit of mess and a few sticky hand prints on the wall etc, but this was complete hell!

And I'm sure kids do bring lots of joy to their mothers - by if my mate was happy she sure was hiding it well!

mistlethrush Mon 10-Dec-07 14:04:04

Probably two so close doesn't help...

Our ds is now 2.7 and is generally reasonably house-trained - in that I wouldn't worry too much about taking him to visit someone else's house. However, he does know that when I say no, I mean it.

When you have a child it is only realistic to expect some things to change. It is not sensible to leave that really nice wedding present in a location where it can be pulled off a shelf or similar (if you have something cheap there, of course it won't happen). And don't expect height to put them off - I heard of one person going in to find out what her 15mo was doing, and finding them walking along the mantlepiece, having climbed up via a chair and the window sill shock. I hasten to add, ds is generally not very good at climbing (and we havn't tried to get him any better at the moment), so the worst he gets is onto the back of the sofa - again, he knows this is not allowed.

We had a tree last year, and we will have one this year. We have, however, got non-glass baubles just in case.

camillathechicken Mon 10-Dec-07 14:04:08

i take it you are pregnant with your first?

<<thinks really , really hard about what to say>>

it is not always like this

my children have never been destructive at home or in any one elses', but they have done their fair share of shouting and wreaking havoc.

you'll be fine, you need to learn to let go ! and accept that your house will not be tidy again for the next 18 years grin

allIWannaBeForChristmas Mon 10-Dec-07 14:04:33

two points here.

1. forget about having a tidy house again as it will almost certainly turn into toysrus. wink

2. it's not a given though that your children will be uncontrollable - my ds certainly has never gone round destroying mine or other peoples' houses and we have always had a christmas tree.

CarmenerryChristmas Mon 10-Dec-07 14:05:33

Well Nairn tbh, you will have to just wait and see because imo there is actually no way that we can tell you what parenthood will be like.

But to reassure you if you do get an obnoxious little brat who won't fit into your plans, you won't know as nature has programmed us to love them nomatter. Good Luckwink

jellyhead Mon 10-Dec-07 14:05:35

Before having children I used to look at other people's behaving horribly and think I won't let that happen to me.

It did

prufrock Mon 10-Dec-07 14:05:45

Erm, yeah it kind of is. You just don't mind it as much. Actually it's not that you ust don't mind it, it's that you honestly won't see normal boiterous behaviour as anything other than normal once it's your own kids. Normal chnages.

But that doesn't mean your house has to turn into toys r us. At least not if you have lots of storage and are disciplined about tidying up. I have a 3 ear old and a 5 year old and have always had Xmas trees. One of this years did topple slightly as dd was adding tinsel, and there was the year that 18month old ds decided to use the poker and marble hearth to disprove the boxes assertion that the baubles were shatterproof.....

Seriously - speaking as a anal retentive control freak perfectionist, you will cope.

POOKAingwenceslaslookedout Mon 10-Dec-07 14:07:02

There's nothing you can do. Sorry.

Children of that age can be ..... rumbustious. And a lot depends upon the individual child. I would say that I've interacted with both mine in a similar way, have been consistent and so on. And yet dd would never have been a destructive whirlwind, whereas ds is. But a lovely one. wink

The thing is, with your own children even when they are wrecking the joint you will love them. And so what you felt this weekend will NOT be the way you feel if your own child behaves in the same way. Plus you will have greater power to try and influence your own child's behaviour.

And I personally don't hold for the idea that everything has to be put away out of reach. Or rather I didn't until ds had his 2nd birthday and then I realised the sense of it.

FWIW my house does not resemble toysrus. Well, only the playroom. The rest is OK.

DoesntChristmasDragOn Mon 10-Dec-07 14:07:42

"just a great believer that they fit into their parents lives - not the other way around"

This completely depends on the child,it has bugger all to do with parenting techniques etc. DS1 slotted right in. Calm, angelic, easy going. DS2? Hmmm... pretty good but much more of a challenge. DD? Oh my god.. she is an absolute blimmin nightmare! She draws on walls, she rips books, she won't sleep/eat/do anything unless it is what she wants to do, she climbs everything. Same parenting techniques, same genes, different child entirely.

crokky Mon 10-Dec-07 14:07:44

You will have to move stuff around your house - maybe put all your nice or breakable stuff into one room and put a stairgate over the doorway so that your little one will not be able to get in there.

You can also put breakable stuff out of reach, but it will need to be really out of reach as toddlers can move things in order to use them as a climbing frame!!

It happens gradually - when your baby is born, he/she will not be able to move anywhere so your house will be OK to start off with - gradually baby will roll, crawl, cruise, walk, climb etc so you can move things as it becomes necessary.

Re the Christmas tree - you can put it behind a gate/room divider or something so that baby can look at it without being able to pull it over etc.

Children are just inquisitive! You will be fine. And in answer to your question, yes, probably most 18 month olds would want to have their hands on anything they can see, so it is not "bad" behaviour, just curious. I don't have anything 'nice' in my house LOL!

becklesparkle Mon 10-Dec-07 14:07:49

My children do not destroy my house, there are some things which we have adapted to suit them and other things which they have been taught not to touch.

I never knew how un-child-friendly my house was until other people's children came round! Mine just know what is safe/for them and what is not. As Fluffyanimal said, your own child is far more bearable than someone else's.

When mine want to run round and scream I stick them in the garden to do it! They have never 'torn down the tree' although the odd bauble was pulled off when they were very small. Admittedly during the daytime my house can look a bit chaotic but when they go to bed the toys are packed away and the living room is then 'adult' space again. A wooden chest with a lid is a good toybox to keep downstairs.

allIWannaBeForChristmas Mon 10-Dec-07 14:07:56

"a great believer that they fit into their parents lives - not the other way around."

grin grin grin grin grin

Meeely2 Mon 10-Dec-07 14:08:29

no point worrying about it now nairn - a wee bit late now! My kids are three and have just stopped drawing on the walls, however they never did touch the xmas tree (prettys are for looking at not for touching).

All kids have an annoying habit that you find hellish and think your kid is the only one that does it etc etc - with mine with was emptying the kitchen cupboards - EVERYDAY! but lots of kids do it and once i put a gate on the door into the kitchen it stopped happening - take temptation out of the way and it stops being an issue.

"just a great believer that they fit into their parents lives - not the other way around" You will rethink that sentence soon enough....good luck!

OrmIrian Mon 10-Dec-07 14:09:47

Look, if it's any comfort they aren't always like that smile. And look on the destruction as a temporary state - once they are in their teens you can redecorate, refurnish and bring the valuables down from the attic.

CharlieAndLolasMummy Mon 10-Dec-07 14:10:08

PMSL, especially at "a great believer that they fit into their parents lives " .

That was probably me about 4 years ago.

I remember dp and me sitting in a posh restaurant, shortly after seeing those first 2 pink lines, and having a heartfelt discussion about discipline. We mapped out acceptable parameters for each year up to 18, iirc. The basic idea was, where actual parents (as opposed to potential ones) go wrong, is with getting too emotionally involved. We decided that if we explained things in a calm and logical fashion then there would be no problems at all. I mean, if it works for adults, why on EARTH wouldn't it work for kids? grin

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