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Step children. How should we deal with this issue

  • MissTish1
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24 Mar 12 #319854 by MissTish1
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I''m afraid I don''t agree that missing a party would be appropriate punishment for dawdling in the morning at mums, firstly because I think its too severe for the ''crime'' (most kids of that age need constant nagging to get ready, because they have the attention span of a gnat and no concept of time). Mum should simply have switched the TV off, job done. I don''t view a child being distracted by a TV as naughty, its actually quite normal. Secondly, it would still be dad doing the punishing, not mum. Dad could have just had a word with the child, but its difficult to do that in this situation because mum was actually making a rod for her own back by allowing the TV to be on in the first place.

As for future communication about discipline, dad only needs to get involved if the behaviour is serious. Mum needs to discipline in her time (switching the TV off would have been appropriate action),.and dad needs to discipline during his time.

  • stepper
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24 Mar 12 #319864 by stepper
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We had something similar this week with our eldest grandson (11). He was playing on x-box and dawdling in getting ready for school. His dad switched off the t.v. and told him to get a move on double quick.

This resulted in a temper outburst followed by tears and accusations that ''dad is always telling me off'' and grandma (me) is always rushing him. His mother is quite strict at home, so she would have been exactly the same with him.


Sometimes things can be difficult as the eldest boy has not come through the divorce as well as the youngest boy has. There mum is always in the background looking for reasons to stop or reduce contact with dad. It''s very stressful at the moment.

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24 Mar 12 #319866 by MissTish1
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Thing is, kids don''t like being disturbed from TV or gaming, especially for something as mundane as getting ready. They see you, the parent, as some kind of ogre determined to spoil their fun. But, its all about them learning about timekeeping and responsibility, and its,our job to teach them. I''ve lost count of the number of times I''ve removed plugs from things in an attempt to encourage my boys to get their bums into gear!

  • MrsMathsisfun
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24 Mar 12 #319867 by MrsMathsisfun
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In some sense I agree Miss Tish, missing a party would be a severe punishment for dawdling. A week telly also seems severe.
However it was much more than dawdling that became the issue its was the defiance, that followed.

(Still think missing a party would have much more impact re defiance.)

What the punishment was/is, is beside the point. What I wanted to establish is should the dad have to become involved.

Mum keeps struggling with the child behaviour and expects dad to deal with the punishment.

How can we get mum to see that its her issue not dads, especially as the child is well behaved with us

  • WhiteRose
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24 Mar 12 #319870 by WhiteRose
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jaymdee wrote:

How can we get mum to see that its her issue not dads, especially as the child is well behaved with us


Don''t know if you can!

Best thing to do is when/if this happens again come back with a calm response that is basically what has been suggested already - for minor ''offenses'' Mum can do her own punishments in her own time, for major/big ''crimes'' Mum should discuss with Dad what punishment is suitable if the punishment is to happen within Dad''s contact.

Mum carries on her own merry way and you do to, each parent has their own views on parenting and discipline - each have to accept what they do in their own time is not up for debate with the other parent.

Also it avoids any conflict - if someone starts criticising any aspect of parenting, people can get defensive and things can escalate.

The ''No Telly'' punishment is rubbish and you''re right could''ve been handled so much better (I love Miss Tish saying plugs have been removed off things lol :laugh:) - if Mum asks if the punishment was carried out at yours - your OH simply has to explain that as you have 1 TV, it wasn''t possible, however you did X instead (X may be no sweets for a period of time) - I do agree missing a party a bit harsh as a punishment, but I don''t really know what happened in full. I always think punishments for children of that age to be immediate, so they associate the punishment with what they''ve done - so same day is ideal.

Good luck! ;)

WR x

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24 Mar 12 #319873 by MrsMathsisfun
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I agree punishments need to be instant or at least same day. I guess the problem is what happens on change over day!!

My partner really doesn''t want to criticize his ex''s parenting, but does think she needs to be aware that we dont have these issues probably because we have routines and deal with issue immediately.

Real dilemma, should dad just say to ex why he thinks the child behaves with us, (with no reference to her style of parenting) or does he just let her get on with it?

When he takes the children back, he will tell ex that he followed punishment by not allowing the child to watch ''''childrens'''' telly, but that sometimes she was in same room as telly when it was switched on.

I will say to him what has been suggest, re minor mum, major discuss punishment jointly then follow through.

Hopefully mum will follow through with the punishment, so that the situation improves at her home.

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24 Mar 12 #319889 by MissTish1
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I think it will prove hard to make mum understand that punishments within her time are down to her to deal with. To use the old adage ''wait til your father comes home'' (which is similar in this case as she was expecting dad to punish in his time) simply doesn''t work, and creates an impression with the child that dad is the disciplinarian. Within dad''s home, that''s fine, the child should know what the house rules are and should follow them. But, as you say, she doesn''t behave badly when with you so it''s not reasonable for mum to expect dad to be the one who punishes. With young children, punishment should be dealt immediately after the event, where possible, or it should be something that''s not drawn out (such as no telly for a week). Denial of privileges works fairly well, so for example, no sweets after school that day. But, what we always found works very well indeed is a sticker chart. Children of that age respond so well to stickers, and a week of ''good girl'' stickers earns a treat, so positive behaviour is being praised and rewarded. If the child is particularly naughty in the mornings, a sticker could be awarded for a morning without dawdling or defiance. But, how he would get this across to mum I don''t know :(

It''s a difficult situation, one which I''m sure a lot of parents find themselves in. But, I stick to what I said, and what others have said. Deal with issues that arise in your home yourself.

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