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Should a child...?

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
I just had an incident with my mom and my ds. I didnt see the actual thing happen but apparently my 5.5 yr old ds refused to open the door for my mom (she may have had full hands) and my mom got pissed and yelled at him. He said she dragged him in the door, she said she did not touch him.

Then he kept hitting her and I could hear her yelling "STOP hitting me!" several times.

And then my mom called my 5 yr old a nasty little kid.

How would you handle this?

And secondly, are little kids expected to ask "how high" when adults say "jump?" or they are no good, nasty kids?
post #2 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post
And secondly, are little kids expected to ask "how high" when adults say "jump?" or they are no good, nasty kids?
No, but a five year old should comply immediately when told to stop hitting, IMO.
post #3 of 97
Your child should have opened the door immediately for your mother; it was wrong of him not to and he should be taught to do this.

Your mother should have known better not to yell (unless there was a physical emergency) or roughly drag a child (if it happened) and especially to name-call. That is childish.

More could have been expected for both parties.

*hugs*
post #4 of 97
A child SHOULD show consideration for the needs of others and comply with their reasonable requests, but a child is still learning and tends to be egocentric and is just not going to do these things all the time.

An adult should express disappointment when she NEEDS help and a child refuses to help her, but this disappointment should be expressed reasonably, not with physical power and name-calling.

A child should not hit his grandmother, or anyone, and she has every right to be upset about that and demand that he stop.

I would tell both parties that they are behaving badly and separate them until they calm down.
post #5 of 97
Yes a child should open the door for someone (especially if asked).

The adult should never call a child a name but the fact that she was being physically attacked could have triggered this response.

The child should never, under any circumstance hit another person. He needs to be held accountable for hitting her.
post #6 of 97
Thread Starter 
so wwyd?

I can only deal with my child. Not my mom. ()

PS - I just told him that he needs to open the door for someone when asked and he said "She didnt say please."

I have been drilling the kids about please and thank you for the last 3 weeks.



??????
post #7 of 97
I have noticed that children have a way of saying whatever they need to to keep from getting into trouble. Not all of them understand the concept of lying at your son's age. So is he telling the truth, or isn't he? Children also have a way of telling the truth for the same reason that they sometimes lie, because they don't know that they should/shouldn't.

I would also evaluate your mom's attitude. Is she the type to STILL be saying whatever she can to keep from looking like she's in the wrong? Some adults are like that, too. Have their been previous instances to help evaluate the situation? On something like that, I would think there would be little reason for your mom to say anything other than the truth.

It's a battle of he said/she said, which is never fun.

I don't think you can do much about the door opening thing except work on teaching your son that being polite is a good thing for future occurrences.

As for the hitting, what you do would depend on how you choose to discipline your child. If you know for a fact that he was hitting his grandmother, then, imo, something needs to be done. I'm sure you've had the "hitting is not nice" discussion with him before? My opinion is that the issue should be dealt with before he's old enough for it to really get out of hand. Again, how you deal with it will depend entirely on your parenting style.

Good luck with this. I'm obviously not to this point yet with my 5-month-old, but I'm fairly certain I'll have to deal with similar instances as he ages and starts to learn right from wrong.

You should also have a talk with your mom, I think, about the name-calling and such. It's normal to lash out when angry or hurt, but that doesn't make it right. Be a bit gentle with this criticism, though. Maybe you can get your son and mom to apologize to each other?
post #8 of 97
Thread Starter 
my mom will not apologize. she is never wroing. But I will make my ds apologize even though I hate forced apologys. (They always sound fake IMO.)
post #9 of 97
What a horrible thing to do. Yes, your son should have opened the door. Yes, your mom should have said please. No, he absolutely shouldn't have hit her.

What is your son learning from this? That Grandma doesn't have to apologize and he does? That its ok to call people names if they don't do what you want?

He should have some consequence for the hitting. And Grandma should have some consequence for the name calling. Neither of them did the right thing in this and they should both be aware of it.
post #10 of 97
Yea, yea, he should not have hit her. But was she manhandling him? I mean, really? If so, more power to him. That's called self-defense. Shame on her, I mean really! If you could hear what was going on, then she COULD have called to you that she needed help. Really, shame on her!

So, now you know another little area of politeness your child needs help learning, but she sure has set things off on the wrong foot for you. UGH!

One of my children is a bit spacy, and even at 9, might stare blankly at you for a few seconds before he comprehended that you asked him something, and then another few seconds before it clicked that you asked him to open the door. Yes, he knows to open doors for people, but if he's reading or watching a bird, then he just might not hear you at first. Another child cannot stand being put on the spot and at 5, she was uncertain of her ability to open particular doors, and in the situation you describe, I can see her refusing because she would have been afraid of failing at the task. Yes, we're working on this one, too, and two years later, she still might not open the door, but she will offer to hold something while you open it. My third, I won't count because she's still quite little.

My point is, without knowing your child, I can immediately see reasons why a child this age would refuse. And manhandling anyone is no way to teach them something or win cooperation. I see the point of how your son made a mistake, but he's FIVE. I assume your mother is older?
post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by angie7 View Post
Yes a child should open the door for someone (especially if asked).

The adult should never call a child a name but the fact that she was being physically attacked could have triggered this response.

The child should never, under any circumstance hit another person. He needs to be held accountable for hitting her.
post #12 of 97
How could she drag him to the door if her hands were full? I guess I am missing something.

I agree that your mom lost her temper, but it happens to the best of us. It's too bad that she isn't willing to apologize for that, but that is ultimatly her issue.

Your son should have opened the door for her. Helping when asked, especially with family life, is not always optional, IMO. Just like my husband doing the dishes is not optional, sometimes things have to happen. But it is normal for a 5 year old to refuse, and your mom's response wasn't really helpful.

The hitting is way out of line, and should be dealt with. If he asked about why grandma didn't say please, or apologize, I think I would just point out that we all have responsibility our own behavior, and he should do the right thing even if she doesn't. It's a bit more complicated than that of course, but it might get a bit deep for a 5 year old.
post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
No, but a five year old should comply immediately when told to stop hitting, IMO.
Yep. No matter who it is.

Also, he probably should have opened the door. I would NOT be happy with my dd if she refused to help Grandma.

I hope your Mom didn't drag him through the door though. If her hands were full, and she couldn't open the door, she couldn't drag him through it. Right? And is that something she would do anyway? Cuz, I think I'd have just left him standing there and been plain old mad at him.
post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by angie7 View Post
Yes a child should open the door for someone (especially if asked).

The adult should never call a child a name but the fact that she was being physically attacked could have triggered this response.

The child should never, under any circumstance hit another person. He needs to be held accountable for hitting her.

I agree with this. A 5-year old is absolutely old enough to know that hitting is wrong, especially hitting his GRANDMOTHER repeatedly! They were both in the wrong, and should both be apologizing.
post #15 of 97
I would say that the two wrongs don't make a right, but sometimes they balance out. Yes, your mom should be adult enough to approach it as a teaching opportunity rather than getting down on his level, but once she took that route, she's had her retribution and it's done.

I consider it a natural consequence that if ds is rude or mean, he might receive rudeness or meanness in return, whether it's another child, an animal, or a random adult. If you suspect that your ds doesn't understand the cause and effect of the situation, you could discuss that with him, but I don't think additional consequences are necessary.

I would only get involved if one is holding a grudge over it. Let it go as quickly as possible.

ETA: I'm not saying I stand by while people are mean to my ds, but if it's already happened and nobody's physically hurt, I let the life experience do its job.
post #16 of 97


First off, I'd stop drilling him on the "please and thank you" stuff. He'll learn to do it if that's what his significant adults are doing most of the time. It sounds like maybe he's had the experience of adults refusing to help him 'til they hear the "magic word?"

If that's true, I'd just apoplogize to your son and say you didn't realize that insisting on "please and thank you" might make him feel it was okay to refuse to help someone if they didn't say it "right." And that it's important for us all to help each other, and it hurt Grandma's feelings when he refused to help her.

About the hitting -- I don't want to imply that your mom would be dishonest and say she didn't touch your son if she did. But the way you're describing it, the hitting doesn't make any sense if she just asked your son to open the door, he refused, and then she went ahead and opened it herself (maybe after she had to set her stuff down) and came in.

Why would he just run in the door behind her and start hitting her? It just seems more believable to picture her asking, him telling her something like, "Not 'til you say the magic word!" (or else just quietly waiting for her to say it), and then her opening it herself and angrily dragging him through. And then him hitting her because he's rightfully enraged at getting manhandled.

I'm not excusing the hitting -- but as an adult if someone tries to drag me through a door, I have a lot more power to stand up for myself and make sure it never happens again. A child in that situation often feels powerless and their anger feels uncontrollable, because they honestly don't have adult resources for handling this sort of disrespect.

I don't know ... you know your mom and son and I don't know them at all. I'd believe my daughters over my mom any day, because my daughters are honest with me while my mom has often been dishonest with me.

So it's really your call who to believe. But just based on a brief analysis of your account of this incident, I'm thinking your son is being more truthful than your mom.
post #17 of 97
He should have opened the door. And he shouldn't have hit.

But my goodness, who is the adult and who is the child here? Because they are both acting like children. At least one really IS a 5-year-old.

I'd talk to both of them. (The talk would mainly consist of "I don't want this to happen again.") And I wouldn't force any apologies.
post #18 of 97
I wouldn't make him apologize, personally. An apology is worthless unless he initiates it himself and really means it.

I would, however, teach him that he should open a door if an adult asks him to, even if he/she doesn't say please, and that he should never under any circumstances hit anyone.
post #19 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by becoming View Post
I wouldn't make him apologize, personally. An apology is worthless unless he initiates it himself and really means it.

I would, however, teach him that he should open a door if an adult asks him to, even if he/she doesn't say please, and that he should never under any circumstances hit anyone.
Well, for an adult that is a member of the family, at any rate.
post #20 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by transformed View Post

PS - I just told him that he needs to open the door for someone when asked and he said "She didnt say please."

I have been drilling the kids about please and thank you for the last 3 weeks.



??????
Excuse me please but I think this is adorable. I think your son was justified exept for the hitting, and maybe he should have said "Grandma, say please". I think your mom should know better than to call a five year old nasty. I would be really upset about that.

I would sit them together and ask each one what made them upset, your ds could say sorry for hitting, and your mom should take the hint and apologize for name calling when he says it hurt his feelings.
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