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Would you punish a 9yr old and if so how?

(31 Posts)
Clarence15 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:21:41

I don't want to go into too many details but dc (9) has done something really shockingly bad. Do you punish and if so what works? It's really bad, to do with bullying, both dh and I are mortified that our child could behave this way and I never ever want them to do it again. Can you help without any more details? I'll post if need be but I'm so upset that I'm embarrassed.

orangehead Sun 31-Jul-11 19:33:28

If they have done something wrong then yes they should be punished. The punishment depends on the child and what they have done. The punishment needs to be personal to the child. For example if they love computers a computer ban may be appropriate but obviously if they not bothered by computers a computer ban would be pointless. The length of the ban may depend on the severity of deed but also reasonable and decided when you are calm. Its easy to shout your banned for a year just because you are angry and shocked smile but obviously not reasonable. The child must also understand why they are being punished. But without deails difficult t be more specific.

orangehead Sun 31-Jul-11 19:34:20

Details not deails

MmeLindor. Sun 31-Jul-11 19:36:57

Yes, of course.

I try to chose a punishment that is directly related to the misbehaviour.

So, when DS drew on the walls, his punishment was to help clean the walls.

For bullying, I am not sure. Perhaps find a way of making amends to the bullied child?

Nagini Sun 31-Jul-11 19:41:14

I agree I'd try to tie the punishment into the bad deed, but I don't know how that sits with bullying.

I 'd think that missing out on something that they usually like doing is the standard. Maybe grounding would be appropriate until you can trust he will not repeat the behaviour? I don't have older ones so the naughty step and no treats still works for me.

<watches with interest>

Good luck OP. The fact that you are asking he question hopefully indicates that your boy doesn't usually disappoint you in this way.

BertieBotts Sun 31-Jul-11 19:44:39

I think punishments are most effective when they either help make amends for what has been done wrong, or help the wrongdoer understand why what they did was wrong. Preferably both. It helps if you can get to the bottom of why they did it in the first place as well, even if that reasoning is because they wanted to because they are inherently mean (I think this is unlikely, more likely it's developmental - ie they were being selfish because they aren't mature enough to realise that sometimes you put others first even if it inconveniences you)

I think that if you just punish without addressing at least one of these three points you risk them not really caring, even if they do care about the punishment. It just makes it into a reason for them to be angry at you instead of feeling bad for what they have done.

defineme Sun 31-Jul-11 19:45:11

I would start with afinding out what the hell's gone on to make him do this- you need all the facts first.
With bullying it would be letters of apology to whoever was appropriate/face to face apology accompanied by me if possible.
I would also scrap any upcoming treats that were planned, eg ds1 is going to a party tomorrow-that wouldn't be happening. My basic message would be if you've made someones life shitty then yours is going to be shit for a bit too. Ban screen time and so forth.
I would also find books/stuff online to help talk through the whole bullying thing.Trying to get him see stuff from the victims point of view.

If it really is that bad then I do think you need to go hardcore on them-I'm sure others will disagree, but that's the internet for you!

Tortington Sun 31-Jul-11 19:46:46

it would involve a face to face or written apology to engender some humility and guilt into the situation.

as an aside i can't believe 9 is a pre-teen and that pre-teen is even a word or a topic

BertieBotts Sun 31-Jul-11 19:50:20

Oh yes or Nagini has just reminded me, something which prevents them from doing the same thing again (or makes it more difficult) is a good tactic to go down as well, even if it's short term. So more supervision/cutting freedom/pocket money etc if access to those things has enabled this.

FWIW with bullying as well, I obviously don't know your dc's situation, but sometimes bullying can be a reaction to being bullied yourself. I was bullied all through school and when I got to college, I made a friend who used to make fun of another girl in the class behind her back, and I'm ashamed to say I joined in because I so didn't want to be that victim again, in my head the only way to avoid that was to make sure I was on the "winning" side. She never found out and that's the only thing I feel grateful for. I feel terrible if I think back to how we were behaving at the time though.

Clarence15 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:54:39

Ok I'll give you a few more details and give you my thoughts. A text message was sent from my dc's phone to another child. It was the nastiest text I've ever seen, even from one adult to another. DC denied they sent it and let us think another child had pinched their phone and sent it without their knowledge. This other child has actually had a serious telling off even though there was no proof it was them. It's now come to light DC did send it, apparently it was a dare amongst 3 of them.

I'm truly shocked and really not sure how to deal with it. I have taken the phone away indefinitely as DC obviously cannot be trusted to use it properly. I've also banned the pc for a week (dc chats to friends a lot on skype and I'm now worried about this so skype may also be banned for good) and I've said dc can't play out (with said friends) for a week as well.

I've spoken to them about bullying, and said how disappointed we both are. I'm not aware of them having ever done anything like this before. In every other way dc is a dream child, never normally naughty, good at school etc.

Also, should I speak to the other parents? And the child who received the text? I'm really mortified about this.

BertieBotts Sun 31-Jul-11 19:57:41

I think that's a fair and relevant punishment. I would probably speak to the other parents involved as well, they should be in the loop really. I'm assuming they're all around the same age.

Nagini Sun 31-Jul-11 19:59:23

Do you have any relationship with any of the other parents?

If it was really really shocking then I would approach the recipient's parents before they find it on the phone? damage limitation? I wouldn't mention it to the other parents unless I knew them.

PirateDinosaur Sun 31-Jul-11 20:03:10

I agree that that all sounds fair and relevant. I think I would probably also insist on an apology to the child who received the text.

rosepie Sun 31-Jul-11 20:04:01

I would speak to the parents of the child that received the text. If my child was bullied I would like to know.

You sound like you have got a handle on the severity of the situation which I think will help your daughter learn from this experience.

Clarence15 Sun 31-Jul-11 20:05:02

Yes that's the thing, I know two of the parents very very well (including the parents of the child who received the text) they've all seen the text and currently still believe it was someone messing about with dcs phone (as no-one could believe it could POSSIBLY be my dc blush) They've kind of brushed it off but I know more details then them now as dc has admitted it to me.

pointydog Sun 31-Jul-11 20:13:24

Your punishments sound fair.

How's your child reactign to it all?

GnomeDePlume Sun 31-Jul-11 20:14:26

Clarence15 IMO your DC should make a face to face apology to the recipient of this text. What your DC did was cowardly and simply writing a letter would be a coward's way out.

Your DC is then going to suffer a far worse punishment than anything you can impose - the contempt and dislike from people who have previously held your DC in high esteem.

Your DC is about to learn (and should learn) a very harsh life lesson - sometimes being sorry isnt enough.

sittinginthesun Sun 31-Jul-11 20:20:23

I think the other parents do need to know - and ideally take DC with you apologise too. Is he upset and realising just how bad it is? If so, I would carry on as you are, then let it be, but def don't let him have the phone back.

bellavita Sun 31-Jul-11 20:25:55

I would take DS to the other child's house and get him to apologise face to face as Gnome said.

Ground for a week and take his phone off of him for this time.

I think grounding for any longer, you will probably drive yourself crazy with him hanging around.

UkeHunt Sun 31-Jul-11 20:28:13

Fair punishments, and yes speak to other parents.

Letters of apology from your ds to the child he claimed sent the text, and the child who received it.

chocolatchaud Sun 31-Jul-11 20:35:12

We had a similar situation a couple of weeks ago.

All activities were stopped for 2 weeks, we wrote to the parents and our DS wrote to the other child involved.

I think your punishments are fair, and I really feel for you. It is a horrible, horrible position to be in.

MmeLindor. Sun 31-Jul-11 20:36:41

Fair punishment, I think. Limit it to a week of grounding and perhaps your dc could "earn" back the right to the phone in a set period.

And, yes. I agree that your dc should own up and apologise. Harsh lesson bit one that has to be learned.

pointydog Sun 31-Jul-11 23:02:43

I always prefer children to sort their things out if poss. So I'd get dc to admit to the text and apologise to the other kid. Then leave it up to the other kid if s/he told parents. And be prepared to support dc if s/he then had to deal with the parents (or if I did).

CeliaFate Sat 06-Aug-11 07:51:57

I would get your child to apologise in person to the child the text was sent to. I'd also educate them via bullying literature and websites how bullying can damage people's lives. There are a few age-appropriate websites, such as this one. I'd tackle this seriously, as an on-going education as well as the initial punishment.

laptopwieldingharpy Wed 05-Oct-11 08:24:10

Fair punishment but also think she must apologise face to face.

Also, and this is a genuine question, why does a 9 year old have a phone? Am sure am very naive as my eldest is not 8 yet, but i think children should not have free access to social media. They cant use it in a responsible manner.
Would really like to hear views on on this if OP doesn't mind me asking?

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