Gransnet forums


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......

Carol Sat 07-Jan-12 18:06:35

Me too, nina. They get a 'please' the first time, but if they ignore it, I say 'I don't want you to do that' or 'we don't behave like that in my house.' If that's ignored, it's time out elsewhere in the house and they come back to apologise. Consistency is needed so they know.

ninathenana Sat 07-Jan-12 17:43:57


I do use please when telling my DG No but I think the tone is important.

Rather than "stop that please" he gets "Don't do that please !" But I will dispense with the niceties if he persists grin

mugnanny Thu 05-Jan-12 13:46:48

My Daughter took her 7 year old to school first day of new year. Heard a mother say to her child and anyone else listening Our new years resolution is to EAT SMOKE AND DRINK as much as we can, the child said I don't want to smoke, the mother replied "DO AS YOU ARE TOLD YOU WILL EAT SMOKE AND DRINK LIKE THE REST OF US " Only the language was interspersed with several 4 letter words. Nobody said anything but of course they should have, We live in fear now that the lunatics have taken over the assylum. How can we complain about childrens behaviour with parents like that. But then their grandparents are from our era and they must be responsible for the parents of today.

nanapug Sun 21-Aug-11 19:02:17

I am pretty sure this is deliberateAnnobel as she is nearly five and a very manipulative child. Sadly the mum's parenting skills are not good and they are not a happy family as a result. So much so, my DD no longer enjoys getting together with them. It is not a good experience sad Very sad....

Annobel Sun 21-Aug-11 14:02:11

The child's bedwetting isn't necessarily deliberate, nanapug. You don't say how old the girl is. When my DSs were starting to go through the night, we always picked them up for a wee before we went to bed and one of my GSs needed the same solution, though the others have been dry all night from the word go.

nanapug Sun 21-Aug-11 13:50:51

One of my DD's friends complains that her little girl wets her bed and always ends up in bed with her. However why can't she see that the child probably wets her bed on purpose so she can get in to her parent's bed. She is such a soft mum her children walk all over her and she can't see it.

olliesgran Wed 17-Aug-11 19:43:15

granmouse this is how it should be done and well done to your daughter and her husband! But it takes a lot of effort and time and unfortunately, some parents wont make the effort. Shouting "don't do that" is as far as they go, acting surprised when the child ignore them. Children have to know there are consequences to their "not complying". Your GCs have learnt this, thanks to their parents and everyone is much happier.

granmouse Wed 17-Aug-11 18:58:38

I am 67 and was never smacked as a child and didnt smack my children.I am impressed with my daughter and her husband's discipline methods with their boys [2 and 4].They start with;1]Dont do that!Then :2]Come here.Look at me.I asked you not to do that.This is your last warning.:3]Either sit on step,go to room or toy removed for set period of time [2 or 5 minutes for 'time-out' or up to half an hour for toy].
The boys are happy and polite and they have some lovely family times together.They are a pleasure to be with in company.
As for how to keep them on step-just keep putting them back-they get the message-its more fun to be good in that house anyway smile

maxgran Tue 16-Aug-11 15:09:24

Many parents give up/give in because they cannot be bothered taking the time it may take to correct behaviour. If you keep returning a child to bed or the naughty step 10 times and then give in because the child persists- the child will learn it has to go through those steps 10 times before they win !

All of this takes time and patience and is like an endurance test - but if established when the child is very young it makes for a relatively peaceful future and more compliance later on.
Some children are more determined and stubborn than their parents and I think often its those parents who 'lose' the battles !

olliesgran Tue 16-Aug-11 12:28:44

All this reminds me of the culture shock I suffered when coming to live here from France nearly 40 yeas ago. It seemed to me even then that people relied too much on the "state" or school to parent their children. The cane was still used then, and I was shocked, not by the idea of corporal punishment as such, but by the fact that as a parent, I wouldn't be involved in sanctions imposed if my child misbehaved! I didn't have kids then, but I thought that if a child of mine misbehaved to the point where punishment was neeeded, I felt I should be informed and I should have been the one doig the punishing. My British friends didn't really understand what I meant! This is what would have happened back home. I was also shocked to learn that if a child causes damage by accident the parents have no legal obligation to take responsabilty for the damage, and as such, feels no moral obligation either. Back home, you don't have to prove malicious intent on the part of the child for parents to be responsible. All parents take on a "civil responsability" insurance anyway, to cover any damage caused by their child, even if caused accidentaly. It does bring it home that your kids are your responsability.

roroism Tue 16-Aug-11 10:43:06

I too was brought up with love but with clear cut boundaries. It is very important to know that parents arent being overly harsh, yet they are still firm and cant be taken advantage of. I feel growing up knowing the difference and parents educating their children on the difference is very important. As opposed to a general "I'm old, your young" authority figure - it is important to demonstrate the right from the wrong.

Jangran Mon 15-Aug-11 16:27:51

So, consistency and love?

Not a bad recipe for dealing with anyone, let alone children.

Joan Mon 15-Aug-11 14:15:20

I agree with almost everything here, and the following things seem to be universal amongst us.

Just say No when necessary, and stick to it.

Be consistent, and create boundaries.

Don't give little ones choices: just give them food, take them on outings etc as per your own choice.

Punish bad behaviour by something like the naughty step.

Make sure they know you love them.

I do remember reading a journalist's words, that parents are the boss, they are in charge: they are NOT entertainment directors for the children.

Jangran Mon 15-Aug-11 13:48:33

That is another point, isn't it? Forgive yourself when something doesn't work out wonderfully. We are never too late to learn - even grans!

My second grandson is excellent at playing people off against each other. Should I ask him for something or tell him off when he is in certain moods, and when either of his parents are there, he immediately starts: "I want you, mummy/daddy". Amazingly, they fall for it every time! I have seen the same thing happen to daddy when mummy tells him off.

Children are so good at that game, that the only way of winning is to have a united front.

em Sun 14-Aug-11 15:21:24

Thank you ladies. Having read your comments I am happy to say that I did/said nothing at the time that would meet with your disapproval. I am a great believer in accentuating the positive and he responds really well to that (as have all of them). Distraction works well too, but at the time I was holding a baby who was on the point of falling asleep and I didn't want to 'dump' her to deal with him. It has resolved itself perfectly well but I did have a guilty conscience simply because it was an unusual position to find myself in.

Elegran Sun 14-Aug-11 14:21:40

Oh yes, accentuate the positive. The carrot is better than the sitck (but a psychological carrot is better than an expensive bribe) And yes, it is the action that is naughty not the child. Give the impression that they are normally so helpful, this is just an aberration (even when they have been little **s all day. No-one said parenting is easy.)

But consistency is all - to let them get away with something half the time, and be in the wrong the other half is unfair to the child. Children are very aware of what is fair and what is not, and do not respect someone who vacillates.

Both parents having the same rules is a good thing too, playing one parent off against another is an early lesson in deviousness. Of course there are bound to be some differences, each parent had had a different upbringing and sees different things as essential good behaviour or not, but if their attitudes are wildly apart, they are in for trouble.

Baggy Sun 14-Aug-11 13:53:12

Yes, jangran. Tell them what you want them to do, to emphasise the good stuff. I often used to say "I want you to do such-and-such" if my daughters were doing stuff I didn't want them to do. The behavioural 'response' was always positive.

Jangran Sun 14-Aug-11 13:36:23

Jo Frost simply returns the child to the naughty step until they give up trying to run away. It does work - I have tried it with grandchild number three (the only one that seems to need that kind of sanction).

As for loving, of course you don't stop loving a child. But a child doesn't know that. I am careful never to call a grandchild "naughty" - better, I think to say "you did a naughty thing - not like you to do that"

yogagran Sun 14-Aug-11 13:14:17

Elegran I so applaud your comments. Your steps through from first warning to final punishment are brilliant. I suggest a GN campaign - "Elegran for home secretary" - unless someone else can suggest a better position.

Elegran Sun 14-Aug-11 12:43:54

Jangly I would never, never, say I won't love you any more. It is the most hurtful thing you can say to a child, and not even true. You can't stop loving a child. You may not like them all that much at that moment, but you still love them. As I said below, "Hate the sin, love the sinner"

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?

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 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.

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"

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.