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Dicipline, Did I get it wrong?

(30 Posts)
Ananke Tue 31-Dec-13 02:50:01

We don't get to see our wee, almost 2yr old Grandaughter as often as we would like as she lives in a different country. She is our only Grandchild and we love her to bits.

It's usualy only my Stepdaughter who is here with her and we get to babysit all the time and love it. The other day, she was trying to climb up on an old wobbly side table that I have and I said "no Sarah, don't climb on that, you'll fall" Thinking that her Dad, who was sitting right there would step in, he did but didn't see it through when she kept on going.

I said "no Sarah, don't climb on the table" and everytime she got her knee up, I pushed it back down. After two or three attempts, she gave up and got interested in something else. The night went by and we all had a great time, I didn't think anything else of it.

Tonight however, they stopped by for a few hours and told a story about how a few weeks ago, his sister was babysitting and Sarah was trying to climb up on a table and was told off, he was saying that "she was only putting her knee up, that's what she does, she wasn't going to climb up", he seemed pretty upset about it.

My Stepdaugher said that they are now not going to let this sister babysit again because of what happened. I don't know if I'm being paranoid or not but I get the feeling that I just had a warning, what do you think?

Granny23 Tue 31-Dec-13 04:02:04

Ananke I can see why you think you were being given a warning. If so it is a pretty devious way of delivering that warning. On the other hand they may have just been chattering on and had totally forgotten the incident at your house. The young parents do sound a bit immature, if they think that a toddler who is 'only putting her knee up' will not be up dancing on the table as soon as she is strong enough to get up there. They should also realise how lucky they are to have family who are willing to babysit while, presumably, they are off enjoying themselves. YOU are doing them the favour, not the other way round. Could you have a quiet word with your step-daughter about this and ask what is her prefered method of dealing with the wee one when she does something she shouldn't? If not then I would suggest that next time they visit with the wee one, you make a point of removing the wobbly table to another room, saying that you are worried that it will fall over or break and hurt her. Your house, your rules.

Are you supposed to sit back and smile at her antics when she sticks something in an electric socket or pokes paper into the fire? The parent's will have to learn what you know already - that a toddler needs to be removed from any source of danger and distracted with something else if they keep going back.

Kiora Tue 31-Dec-13 08:01:48

On the surface this looks like a simple disagreement but I think it goes a bit deeper. Relationships with adult family members can be complex. It sounds to me as if the dad was trying to assert his authority. Letting you know in a very clumsy way that 'I'm the leading adult in this situation' on some level he knew you were right but his silly male ego wouldn't let him admit it. I wouldn't give it another thought. If it happens again I'd simply remove the little one with a playful "come to Nanna Sarah let's look at the whatever"

thatbags Tue 31-Dec-13 09:04:22

Kiora's advice not to give it another thought is good.

No, you didn't get it wrong at all. In your shoes I would have told the child once and then physically removed her from the table. My daughter would do the same. No means no.

Soutra Tue 31-Dec-13 09:24:38

Agree with Kiora but would also remove the table and thus the temptation as a matter of safety. Some children will climb anything that takes their fancy but you and we know this is not a good idea! Distraction/diversion is likely to work better than No on its own at 2 and some parents can be a bit funny about their little ones being "told off" (I know!)

jinglbellrocks Tue 31-Dec-13 09:33:13

Sounds a weird way of going about giving a warning! Slightly nutty in fact. Forget it. Maybe the kid just goes in for climbing tables - anyone's table.

Agree about distraction.

Gagagran Tue 31-Dec-13 09:35:45

Agree with you Bags.

My DGD now aged 12 (going on 22) said to me only yesterday that one of her strongest memories of being little was when I said to a gathering of DGC "When Granny says "NO" she means "NO". Children feel safer when they have boundaries and it's made clear to them just what those boundaries are. That's not to say they won't test them of course!

Mishap Tue 31-Dec-13 11:16:35

I don't really think it is about discipline - it is about keeping her safe; and removing her gently from that situation and distracting her would be a good way to go. I don't think anyone needs to "tell her off" as she is not being naughty - she is doing what children are programmed to do: explore her environment.

As to what happened in the other situation where the sister was looking after her - you cannot know what happened or how it was dealt with in terms of tone of voice etc., so I should just forget all about it and get on with enjoying this lovely and adventurous little lady.

harrigran Tue 31-Dec-13 13:17:38

Children do climb on furniture, caught GD kneeling on a high bar stool to reach sweetie box on a shelf in cupboard I thought I had hidden. She has obviously cottoned on to the fact that I put treat foods away from child eye level. I had to laugh because she took two small pieces of chocolate and put them in dishes then told her sister to "quick, run" GD2 did run but left her chocolate on the worktop tchgrin

mollie Tue 31-Dec-13 13:56:59

My GD (3 next week) has started to climb everywhere and it's a challenge to keep her safe and to protect the furniture. I'm all for kids exploring their surroundings and their abilities but there are limits. Sometimes she has a tantrum and we cope but as someone said, children need boundaries and I don't think we'd do ourselves or her a favour if we let her run riot. So, I think you are right in telling your GD to get down.

As for what happened later, I never find hinting a good way to deal with issues. Isn't it better to be open and honest? Your son may let his daughter climb everywhere at home but you have a right to set limits in your own and he should understand that. I'd be inclined to talk to him directly and clear up any possible misunderstandings. If you don't you'll always be wondering and worrying...

jinglbellrocks Tue 31-Dec-13 13:57:33

That is sweet. tchgrin

jinglbellrocks Tue 31-Dec-13 13:58:13

Sorry. xd posts. Mine was to Harrigran.

Soutra Tue 31-Dec-13 14:05:29

At the risk of saying Grannies know best (but of course we do) I think we sometimes see danger in advance of our DC. SIL is a great believer in "finding out by experience" and I have often felt I am fussing, But DD is coming round to my way of thinking since DGS pulled the hall table over on to himself at their house (when SIL was in charge) nearly electrocuted himself ( and fused all the lights) when he stuck his fingers into a bedside light socket where the bulb had been removed but NOT switched off at the wall (again SIL in charge) Of course he was totally contrite and I thought but never breathed "Told you so" However I THANK GOD that neither incident happened here on my watch!! Then there was the time DGS2 "hid" in a multi storey car park .
Sometimes NO is necessary!!

numberplease Tue 31-Dec-13 16:43:35

My granddaughter, then aged about 18 months, had been sat on the wide bay window ledge by her dad, who`d then walked away, she stood up and was tottering towards the edge, I rushed to grab her, SIL shouted "For fxxxs sake woman, she won`t fall off!!" Made me feel guilty for trying to stop her getting hurt.

Nonu Tue 31-Dec-13 17:03:43

Number , what a rude way to speak to you !

TriciaF Tue 31-Dec-13 18:01:39

It's like being in a minefield, being a grandparent and wanting to advise on how to deal with children's problems.
Having put my foot in it once or twice and got blamed - mainly how to deal with eating problems at mealtimes, I now keep my mouth shut and hope they learn from experience.
Anyway , their standards are so different from ours when they were young and I don't think we can change that (unfortunately.)

Flowerofthewest Tue 31-Dec-13 18:38:37

I think they are maybe warning you but they are also being rather silly. My rules are when in grandma's house it is grandma's rules. If you thought the child was in danger of falling and it is your home you have a right to say something. Also in you home you may not want children climbing onto and over furniture, I certainly don't and the grandchildren and their parents appreciate this.

Just let it go and continue being the loving granny you know you are. flowers

petallus Tue 31-Dec-13 19:42:41

Ananke I think you were definitely being given a message.

If the parents are not around I expect to sometimes have to say 'no' to the GS and insist that he does as I say. If the parents are around I do not feel it is my place to do much disciplining though I suppose I might say 'do you think that's safe?' or somesuch to prompt the parent to notice what is going on.

I think you did nothing wrong. However, as Grandparents being right doesn't always mean much if the parents decide to take offence!

granjura Tue 31-Dec-13 20:02:54

Sometimes you are just damned if you do, and damned if you don't. If little one had slipped and gashed his head, broken a few teeth, or worse- it would have been your thought, of course. Deep breath... count to 10, and walk on eggs smile Happy New Year- we are most of us in the same boat...

Nelliemoser Tue 31-Dec-13 20:47:18

Children should not climb on tables! End of really! That should be non negotiable.

As for seeing risk I think as grannies maybe our experience does give us a good perception of what might happen next.
Like seeing in advance that a small child is about to stand up and bag their head on a table. I find now with little DGS I am anticipating these next wrong moves.

granjura Tue 31-Dec-13 20:50:30

... fault... even

Ana Tue 31-Dec-13 20:55:20

I used to ask my GDs not to climb on the kitchen chair (which is wicker) to get to the biscuit cupboard, and got some disapproving looks from DD. Eventually I discovered that she'd thought I was worried about the chair, not the children's limbs...

Sometimes you don't know what's going on in your own own children's minds! confused

Sook Tue 31-Dec-13 21:11:32

My two eldest DGC 2 +5 are very well behaved, we are fairly easy going but do have some rules in force which are endorsed by DS2 and DiL.

Not so with DGS2 his other grandmother gives him free rein to do as he likes, so when I look after him I have a bit of a battle on my hands. If I don't want him to touch or climb etc I tell him firmly NO and then go on to distract him.

Children have to learn house rules for their own safety and everyone else's sanity.

Enviousamerican Tue 31-Dec-13 21:48:57

I think as a whole young men are doing a good job as fathers I have seen a few nonchalant fathers behavior that makes me cringe! seems to me they don't have a mothers instinct towards possible danger! shock

whenim64 Tue 31-Dec-13 21:55:55

When my son was four, he went to play with three year old twins who lived nearby whilst I did the school run. They kept climbing on to their table and jumping off onto a sofa. When I got back with my son and their big sister, their dad was retrieving a front tooth from my son's head! One of the twins had landed on him. He was ok, but the three year old had a broken tooth which had to remain in place until he was six.