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Stricter parenting

(71 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......

Elegran Mon 01-Aug-11 17:51:10

greenmossgiel That sounds like my own childhood. I received a few smacks from my mother for being really deliberately bad, but I only remember one from my father. I was not - definitely not - allowed to play on the top of the Anderson shelter near the back gate because a) it had taken him a long time to pile up the earth over it and he did not want it all knocked down , and b) I could break a leg if I fell off onto the concrete steps. I knew all this perfectly well and complied. Then a couple of friends came in to play who were allowed to use theirs as a slide, so they slid down ours too. I happily joined in this jolly game until the gate opened and in came father. He said not a word, just gave me one swipe and walked on into the house. That was about 65 years ago.

olliesgran Mon 01-Aug-11 20:46:25

In all fairness to younger parents, it was easier to practice saying NO when my children were young, as we couldn't afford to buy much. Now, if parents can afford what their child want, they feel mean saying NO, so when discipline is concerned, they can't use the word!

Elegran Tue 02-Aug-11 09:33:06

And parents who can't afford things seem to feel obliged to get into debt to buy them.

supernana Tue 02-Aug-11 12:41:13

Elegran As soon as October arrives the television adverts will begin the countdown to Christmas and the never ending "hurry, hurry, hurry" to spend money that a number of parents can ill afford on "stuff" that numerous children will soon grow tired of. I call it SAD...

greenmossgiel Tue 02-Aug-11 13:38:44

One of my friends has a granddaughter who received so many Christmas presents that she became overcome with excitement and she was almost hysterical. To avoid the same problem the following year, they limited her opening of presents, putting some away for another time. She was still being given presents to open the following April. My friend said she felt it was obscene, the amount of toys this 7-year-old was given.

susiecb Tue 02-Aug-11 14:57:37

Oh I know this scenario - my grandson had far too much last year and became very badly behaved. i have told my daughter that we arent going to buyu him any more toys but rather pay for something like a good day out. She didnt like it!!!!

maxgran Fri 05-Aug-11 15:54:22

It irritates me that parents today, mothers in particular would rather assume there is something 'wrong' with their child than look at themselves.

You get mothers 'negotiating' with toddlers or thinking that shouting at children is discipline !
I suggested to one mum on Mumsnet that she needed to take control of her child and I got accused of being a monster and a dictator because apparently these days you shouldn't 'control' children - they need free expression !!
They all seemed to assume taking control was bullying ! They also seem afraid that their children won't 'like them'

Children need to feel secure and know they have someone in charge so they feel safe - even if they protest !
I love the Supernanny program on TV. She is firm and in control and children love her !

Baggy Fri 05-Aug-11 15:59:03

I agree, maxgran. A lot of parents don't seem to want to earntheir children's respect, only their 'liking'. Pish. Liking comes second — it does come though. It's perfectl easy to give kids enough free expression for their needs as well as disciplining them.

goldengirl Fri 05-Aug-11 16:10:04

One thing that makes me cringe is the parent who makes a threat along the lines of 'if you do that again I'll.....' and doesn't carry it out when the little darling tests her once more. Now that is certainly storing up trouble! Don't make threats if you can't carry them out! My children learned the hard way that I meant what I said and I'm pleased to say they're happy for me to look after their children so I can't be all bad smile.

supernana Fri 12-Aug-11 16:02:58

WELL said Baggy...

supernana Fri 12-Aug-11 16:13:18

My grandson is just sixteen months old and a proper little charmer. However, from time to time he tests his parents, in the form of a well directed slap. My daughter in law tells him in no uncertain terms to go the "naughty corner" because no-one's laughing. He does as she says [lips all a quiver and eyes downcast] - after a minute or so he's welcomed back with a big warm hug and a smile. Even at that young age he's well aware that his actions have caused displeasure. I raise my hat to my three sons, their wives and our seven super grandchildren. They make me proud to be a granny.

Jangran Sat 13-Aug-11 08:22:14

Good comments, all.

My daughters are much better mothers than I was to them - much more attentive and, generally, no more willing to accept bad behaviour. But... my younger daughter has a very intelligent younger son, who can be hard to manage. He screams and fights as long as it takes to get his own way, and my daughter and her husband keep trying to negotiate/persuade him, without any success whatsoever.

It amazes me that they keep on trying the same tactics that clearly do not work, when there are plenty of other options that they could use. My daughter says that her son is "very strong willed". That's for sure, but he could not be stronger willed than an adult determined to ensure compliance!

I certainly cannot give any advice - it wouldn't be welcome, but I have demonstrated on a number of occasions whilst dealing with him that ignoring him and/or distracting him tends to work. I wish that they would take the hint!

Baggy Sat 13-Aug-11 09:35:26

Sometimes I think parents are actually proud when their offspring are "strong-willed" little blighters darlings. Why else would they put up with nonsense?

Elegran Sat 13-Aug-11 09:53:32

I have noticed that often it is the meek mothers who would not say boo to a goose who are secretly proud of their bolshie little thugs. Rebellion by proxy?

olliesgran Sat 13-Aug-11 11:16:15

We have just seen in the last week where slack parenting leads! This isn't the only reason for the riots of course, but it certainly helped! 10 years old in court? Sorry but the parents should be in court, and given the sentence!

em Sat 13-Aug-11 11:33:43

Can't we sympathise a little with those few parents who were so horrified at their child's behaviour that they marched them along to police station/court.
What a hideous position to find yourself in! Yes the teenagers were responsible for their own behaviour but at least these parents are acknowledging their role in the situation.

Baggy Sat 13-Aug-11 11:38:47

I agree, em. Those are brave parents. My father always said that if he caught any of us using illegal drugs or, even worse, pushing them, he'd report us to the police instantly. He meant it. Good for him.

supernana Sat 13-Aug-11 12:29:09

From day one at school, my father gave strict instructions to my teacher to discipline me whenever I broke any rule, no matter how seemingly insignificant. My father welcomed the local policeman into our home in order that he should give me a right royal verbal lambasting for trespassing into a derelict cottage - I was eight at the time. During my teenage years, I was told in no uncertain terms to be home at a given hour. If I disobeyed, he came looking for me and would scold me in front of my friends. My father was consistently firm and fair...and, without a doubt, he loved me.

harrigran Sat 13-Aug-11 16:13:32

No thank you ! what ? No thank you is I don't want a cup of tea/sweet/biscuit not the right reaction to a child walloping his sibling angry

em Sat 13-Aug-11 19:32:14

I've re-read all these comments and they've made me feel a little better. When I was baby-sitting this afternoon, GS (age 2 1/2) was in stroppy mode and throwing toys around. I told him to be careful - told him,firmly, to STOP IT - warned him -Don't throw that, you'll hurt the baby (age 1). 3 warnings!! He then grinned, aimed and lobbed a hard plastic car at the baby. I smacked his leg, felt instantly guilty and waited to see the reaction. He picked up the car, put it in its box, wandered around the room (lip wobbling) then came over and said sorry to me and to the baby. He was forgiven instantly and assured that the baby was ok. Could I have handled it better? I have to admit that the smack was more of a reaction than a considered response!

Baggy Sat 13-Aug-11 20:05:34

Don't feel guilty, em. It was a normal reaction — it's good for him to learn what happens when he angers people — that won't do him any harm. And it worked. He understood and said sorry.


When is life ideal?

I would not give three warnings, only one. In fact, I probably wouldn't give warnings at all, I would just tell him not to throw things at the baby and if he did, or threatened to, I take the thing from him. Not sure if this is a better way.

I could easily have done what you did though, in the heat of the moment.

Children, especially boys, punch each other when they get annoyed, and the 'message' is understood. Then they're friends again.

Elegran Sun 14-Aug-11 11:50:47

em An occasional well-deserved smack never hurt any one. What damages a child is either frequent and/or excessive smacks, or being whacked for something they did not know was wrong. They know perfectly well when they have pushed you too far and won't hold it against you if you reacted once.

My usual path when mine were playing up (three fairly close in age, so a certain amount of aggro would surface, and of course they were not always little angels anyway) went something like this.

(Usually step one was enough, unless they were feeling stroppy, when I had to go up a notch. Occasionally we had to go to "final warning" but only very very rarely to the Ultimate Sanction (I could probably count on one hand the number of times) but they knew that I did not promise anything I did not deliver, either good or bad.

First step - (Reasonably but firmly) "Stop that, you know it is dangerous/selfish/ dirty/not allowed/making me deaf" Reason given, unless it is absolutely obvious why it should not be done. Physically remove them from temptation, if they are light enough.

Next step - (More firmly, but not screeching) "I told you already, now stop that" (Remove the thing which is causing trouble. They may be bored/hungry/thirsty/tired. Do something to counter that. Suggest some other game or occupation. Distract them. )

If I was busy, and they were not being very bad there might be another telling before reaching the next step.

Final warning - (Showing that I was now getting rather cross) "I have told you twice already. I am not telling you again. The next time you (do whatever) you will get a smack. (Separate them. Keep a close eye on the main perpetrator and find everyone something else to do.)

Ultimate Sanction - While they are still doing the forbidden thing I administered a short sharp slap to the fat part of the leg. No more warnings, they've had enough of those. If you must punish, the gap between crime and retribution needs to be as short as possible, so that it is closely linked.

No rantings and nagging, no saying they are wicked (it is the behaviour which is bad, not the child) no casting up their misdemeanors for days afterwards. and I kept a lookout for the next good thing that they did and praised it so that they felt like a good child. This was as important as the punishment. demonstrating to them that it paid to be good, and did not pay to be antisocial.

All of them have turned out to be confident and independent adults, not cowed or inhibited, so I seem to have got it right.

Any smacking at all is frowned on these days, but there are other "Ultimate Sanctions" that can be applied. just make sure that they are applied consistently, and seriously, and apply lots of TLC when they learn from the experience and behave well.

"Hate the sin, love the sinner"

Elegran Sun 14-Aug-11 11:54:37

em I agree with Baggy, if he is in danger of hurting the baby, the whole system concertina's into one action - telling off, removal of toy, removal of child to somewhere out of reach of baby. Disapproval all round. Smiles and cuddles when he is nice to baby.

Jangran Sun 14-Aug-11 12:16:30

I did not smack my daughters - it seemed to me then, as now, that a larger, stronger person hitting a smaller, weaker one was sending the wrong message, or at least sending a message that they might understand wrongly. But I should have liked some of the Jo Frost school of parenting when my daughters were younger. I didn't really know what should take the place of a smack. The "naughty step/corner" seems a good idea. I have also found since with my grandchildren that they really hate being ignored, and may well start behaving well so as to regain attention and approval.

But the best idea is to praise good behaviour rather than sanction bad. I have noticed that children glow with praise. Only yesterday, my youngest grandson (2 and a half) popped a piece of broccoli in his mouth at lunch and then ensured that we all knew about it, sure that when we did, he would get a round of applause (forthcoming). His delighted face implied that he was beginning to understand the value of healthy eating, even if he didn't know why.

When I was small, smacks were fairly frequent, but the most hurtful sanction, employed by my grandmother, who looked after me, was "I don't love you any more". That seemed to me then even worse than a smack.

Elegran Sun 14-Aug-11 12:40:49

Jangly I hardly ever smacked mine, usually I could divert the miscreant's attention onto something else, but just very very occasionally they needed to be reminded that, yes, Mummy could sometimes be so annoyed at their persistent badness that she would make a bare leg sting for a moment.

Not babies, they can be picked up and moved away from the scene of the crime and distracted, and no point trying to smack a teenager who is as big as you and can move faster - they are old enough to have their own moral code anyway. If they are still antisocial by then, you have your work cut out trying to instill one.

But there is a point in between where giving a long lecture on how antisocial they are being is going to fall on deaf ears itching to get away from the moralising - and if they don't feel like staying on the naughty step how do you keep them there?