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Stricter parenting

(70 Posts)
nanapug Sun 31-Jul-11 20:13:31

Am watching "The world's strictest parents" (having watched the Jo Frost program earlier), and can't believe that some of today's parents can not see that the answer to uncontrollable children is firm parenting with rules and consequences. Some children in this country just walk all over their parents and the parents are weak and let them do it. I think we should be ashamed that these children have to be sent to other countries to learn how to live a decent life. My DD's watch and learn from these programs so why don't others? My GC are by no means perfect but......

em Sun 31-Jul-11 20:18:43

With you to a great extent nanapug but can't help feeling that many problems would be solved if children learned the meaning of NO at an early age. NO to touching sockets as a toddler, NO to throwing toys at siblings, NO to 'everyone else has it/does it'. NO to curfew extensions as a young teenager and NO to the older teenager who wants a boyfriend to 'sleep over'.
It's a small but powerful word so why are parents afraid to use it?

greenmossgiel Sun 31-Jul-11 20:22:34

I'm watching this programme as well, nanapug. How on earth parents can let it get to this state, I cannot imagine. It cannot be that today's society is totally to blame. Parents must take responsibility for the way their children are. hmm

absentgrana Mon 01-Aug-11 10:57:07

I sometimes think that those of us in our generation who followed a baby-led pattern when our children were very young – and I think it was a good way – didn't always quite know when to stop and so allowed ourselves to become entangled in a child-led way of life which took quite a bit of putting right. Now the children of that time are grown-up. It has probably caused their ideas about parenthood to be confused and advice from us may still be confusing.

sylvia2036 Mon 01-Aug-11 11:49:37

Em I'm with you - my pet hate with current parenting is hearing a mother (usually) saying in a supermarket or wherever "don't do that" to their child in an insipid voice. Children are like animals, they need to be trained and you have to be firm but with love also. I remember my son when he was about 3 throwing a wobbler in our local Boots so I just walked away and left him to it. I knew where he was all the time (I could hear him!) but obviously Mummy had disappeared so that soon put an end to his noise and he never did it again.

My son would also try the divide and rule thing that children do with their parents. Well Daddy says I can do this, when you know damned fine that Daddy said no such thing. He never learned that that one didn't work until he was probably 16!

jackyann Mon 01-Aug-11 11:55:32

Can't help feeling that it would help if we didn't "reward" problem parents with a TV appearance!

Elegran Mon 01-Aug-11 12:02:45

sylvia2036 .... and then they say limply "I can't seem to stop him doing that" If he were about to put a hand into a fire they would manage to stop him somehow!

sylvia2036 Mon 01-Aug-11 12:11:09

Elegran - you are so right! Thankfully, my son and DIL are very firm with our GD and when she is told "No" it's said very firmly and meant! If she goes to do the same thing again my son/DIL will say it again and GD puts her hand over her mouth and shakes her head showing she knows that she mustn't do whatever it is again. It's so sweet that I have to hide my grin but she certainly learns what she mustn't do.

Baggy Mon 01-Aug-11 12:12:05

What I hate is parents of misbehaving children asking them to stop, please? Question, doubt, question? My attitude is, there's no 'please' about it; it's an order and you're going to obey it! Now I need a snarling, growling emoticon. I'm dead scary.

I suppose they're trying to be polite, but it seems to me they've mistaken a soppy lack of authority for politeness. Children like firm guidance. Usually they're just testing the boundaries when they play up and if you give them straightforward boundaries that don't keep shifting, they feel secure.

Then they test the next boundary. hmm

susiecb Mon 01-Aug-11 12:15:16

I had a very very strict mother with precious little in the way of affection and knew I didnt want to bring my children up that way but certainly wanted them to be socially acceptable and have good manners. Hopefully we managed that with our combined three. We watch our grandchildren and on the whole they are well mannered children but do tend to be selfish and are allowed far too much laxity at meals. We ate what we were given, in between meal snacks were barely invented except if your mother had done some baking. I could barely keep up with the food choices/preferences/needs last week with my nephew and grandchild - how much do these parents spend on food per week? We ran a behaviour credit/debit chart all week for the pair- worked like a charm. We didnt have those when I was a child so I think we have learnt something from the child psychologists - my mother just used to wallop me and thats what I remeber most about her - how cruel she was.

absentgrana Mon 01-Aug-11 12:21:51

I suspect that these television programmes are designed to appeal to the schadenfreude of human nature. Parents with "normal" children – those who are sometimes naughty or disobedient and push the boundaries from time to time – are reassured that they are doing okay. Consequently, the producers have to find increasingly ill-behaved and horrendous kids to make what is, after all, a popular show rather than a serious documentary. Every generation has found something to complain about in the next ones – even Aristotle – but now it has to be on a reality television programme so must be larger than life.

Baggy Mon 01-Aug-11 12:50:09

susiecb, I'm sorry for your unhappiness as a child sad but it's perfectly possible to use one's parental authority effectively without being cruel.

supernana Mon 01-Aug-11 13:29:02

I agree with Baggy As a child I was aware that there were strict rules. If I stepped over the mark, I was smacked or sent to my room. On one occasion I was spanked for being insolent. At school, the teacher was in control. When school rules were disregarded, the punishment was the cane. I broke the law on one occasion [entered a boarded up cottage for a dare]. Was reported and, by the time I arrived home, the village policeman was waiting. The very notion that my parents would feel that I had "let them down" was AWFUL. The punishments that I received, I considered to be justified. I am sorry that susiecb has disturbing memories. Cruelty is vile and is about control on a very different level.

sasiejane Mon 01-Aug-11 13:47:39

I agree with supernana everyone needs bounderies especially children, you can be strict without being cruel. I cringe when I watch some of the children round here vandelising property, dropping litter, swearing at the top of their voices etc, you just wonder where their parents are and do their parents actually care unfortunately I dont believe they do care and this is the next generation oh my word!!

supernana Mon 01-Aug-11 14:00:12

sasiejane so very true. Sadly,I believe that far too many people just don't give a damn. Sad state of affairs, isn't it?

sasiejane Mon 01-Aug-11 14:08:00

Totally agree supernana its good we were brought up "proper like" by our Mummy and Daddy isnt it super sis x

olliesgran Mon 01-Aug-11 14:34:05

I agree with you em , parents are afraid to use No, because in the short term Yes is much nicer and easier. Parents try to be their children best friend and that's no good! I hear parents in the supermarket telling their 2 year old destroying a display "^stop it or the shop lady will come and tell you off!^" What is wrong with the parent telling the child off? Now that smacking (which i don't agree with) is no longer accepted as a mean of disciplining children, most parents do not know what to do. Imposing discipline by other means requires time, patience and consistency, all of it seems to be lacking in some of today's parents.

sylvia2036 Mon 01-Aug-11 14:39:41

What about parents asking their young children (2 or 3 year olds) in a supermarket what they would like for their lunch or dinner! What's that all about?

FlicketyB Mon 01-Aug-11 14:41:57

I think the problem with choice in eating is that many families no longer have a family meal together and meals come in containers out of the freezer so each member of the family chooses what they want when they want it.

If the family eats together then they usually eat the same food because the cook is not prepared to prepare several different meals. More and more evidence is being published to show that family meals make a major contribution to physical and mental health and the stability of relationships

absentgrana Mon 01-Aug-11 15:12:39

Children have to practise making choices to learn how to do it – making choices is part of my definition of being an adult – and I think it is a good thing to let them have options about things that don't really matter. "Do you want to wear the blue shirt or the yellow shirt?" "Would you like macaroni cheese or chicken goujons for lunch?" "Shall we go the park or to the swimming pool?" – the questions depend on the family's lifestyle but should always be shaped in a contained way. That makes it easier (and failsafe) for the child to learn how to choose and avoids disrupting the whole family.

I have noted how many grans here have talked about bad behaviour but also mentioned how well their own adult children are doing as parents. I don't doubt it for a second. I think we have just become very conscious of those children who are unruly and we live in a grumpy Daily Mail sort of society. The behaviour might be different from that of the past, but I doubt if overall it is really much worse.

Elegran Mon 01-Aug-11 15:19:25

It depends how often a smack is used, and how hard it is. Cats of all sizes cuff their offspring with claws retracted when they misbehave, giving them a reprimand without beating them up.

I have tried three times to post describing how we used to discipline our three. Each time I have run into a timeout and lost my carefully crafted message - I don't want to sound a cruel mother like susiecbs. When I have cooled down I shall try again, saving at intervals so I don't have compose the dratted thing yet again.


supernana Mon 01-Aug-11 16:08:40

sasiejane Bet they would be proud to know our grandchildren smile

Carol Mon 01-Aug-11 16:29:02

Clear, consistent boundaries and lots of affection in the right balance. When children understand you mean what you say and will carry through consequences for bad behaviour, such as time out or removal of certain privileges, they know what to expect if they misbehave. I have found that distraction from unruly behaviour works with very young children and lots of positive reinforcement of good behaviour, with an explanation of what they are doing well so it can be repeated, is helpful. Don't offer choices unless you are going to be ok with the answer!

greenmossgiel Mon 01-Aug-11 16:38:28

I was brought up with love but with definite boundaries that I knew I must not cross. Occasionally there would be a quick smack if I stepped out of line badly, but this didn't happen often. When I had my own children, I was quite strict with them. My eldest daughter has a daughter of almost 12. She's been very difficult to bring up, and I think this is mainly because too many choices were given. My daughter also didn't do much of her own parenting, returning to work very quickly after the birth and leaving the parenting to her sister and then a childminder. My son-in-law had had sons to a previous marriage, but they're now in their 20's. I feel that my granddaughter didn't know what boundaries she had. Her behaviour was terrible at times, having screaming tantrums right up until the last couple of years. This never did happen when she stayed with me, though it did when she stayed with her other grandma. One day when she was about 9, I was taking her and another little girl out in the car. She said to the other little girl, "You must sit very still and make sure that you don't touch your seatbelt buckle. This is a VERY STRICT GRANDMA!" We have a really good relationship, but she knows where she is with me! smile

susiecb Mon 01-Aug-11 17:12:41

Thank you for your kind thoughts I am Ok really but I do know what a happy childhood means to a persons development. However I dont approve of lax parenting and I do think its perfectly possible to balance loving parenting with a good structure. I think we all worry how todays children will turn outsmile