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I get annoyed when parents make excuses for their kid's behavior...  

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
I actually see a lot of this out in public.

Today, I interviewed a family with a five year old girl who needs care on vacations from school. They haven't been happy with the current providers because they constantly complain about this child. They never have anything good to say.

That's awful!

BUT... she was here ten minutes before I asked them to leave. The five year old pushed a toddler off the bench because "I want to sit there". Just shoved her to the floor.

She stood on my couch, and used it to jump into/onto the baby walker. (no baby in the walker) Climbed from the kitchen stool to the top of the counter, and reached on top of the fridge to get to a toy in "toy time out".

Mom's excuses went from "She was excited to meet you" to "She's probably getting hungry". Not once did she acknowledge any of the behaviour as "not OK". She never said anything to her daughter.

The little girl is not bratty, or mean, or particularly agressive (with the exception of pushing the baby to the floor) But, ALL of it should have been dealt with by the Mom. She just watched and said/did nothing.

I don't understand why parents won't at least acknowledge it... it makes the others around them feel a little better. Just say "I'm at my wit's end" or "I have no idea why..." or ANYTHING. It just makes us feel like the parents at least care what happens to others. As a parent I would feel terrible if my child threw a baby to the floor. (in fact, when she was two, she did throw a baby to the floor)

I guess I'm mostly ranting.
post #2 of 37
Yeah, when a kid is two I understand the excuses. By 5 there should be some expectation of appropriate behaviour. JMO.
post #3 of 37
imho it's even worse when they ignore bad behavior completely and then call what they are doing "gentle discipline" as if using gentle discipline means not using any discipline or allowing kids to run wild.

i have a cousin who's doing this with her little boy (let's call him Jake). he's 6 now and he's such a terror to be around that no one wants him at their house. so he's losing all his friends because the other parents won't have him over and won't let their kids go over his house (i assume they temporarily pick up his bad habits and the parents don't want to deal with it). cousin complains all the time about how the other parents just don't understand Jake. um, no, they see him very clearly!

my cousin just keeps saying how he's so spirited and lively (which he is) and ignores the unruly, rude and downright mean stuff he does to others. he's been tested six ways to sunday and he has no issues, so it's not that. he's just a menace and mom makes up excuses constantly for his bad behavior.

as an example - over christmas he was making funny faces at a 3 year old cousin. the younger cousin thought this was great and was giggling. Jake got angry at younger cousin for laughing at him and punched the 3 year old. and i mean punched him, not just took a little swing or whatever. it was the equivalent of a 6 year old decking a 3 year old.

what did mom do? she corrected the 3 year old "don't laugh at him, it makes him upset" (well, why the heck is he making funny faces to get people to laugh then?!)

obviously, the mom/dad of the 3 year old left quickly, after having some words with mom about how insane it is that she didn't make any effort to correct Jake for hitting another child and blaming the kid who got hit on top of it. mom's reply was that she follows "gentle discipline ideals" and doesn't believe in corrections.

imagine what that does in people's minds the next time they hear someone else say they are going to use gentle discipline!
post #4 of 37
For a 5 year old, I get that the mom should have said something...

Anything younger, I kind of get it though. My 2 year old can be a beast and normally it is because she's tired, or hungry, or over stimulated...and I think that those are valid excuses for the toddler crowd.
post #5 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post
Yeah, when a kid is two I understand the excuses. By 5 there should be some expectation of appropriate behaviour. JMO.
totally. i have a 4.5 yo and while she DOES get a bit unruly when she is hungry and/or excited....and at a new place.... i would never just excuse it or ignore it.

i find if anything. im extra attentive in a new place.
post #6 of 37
She should have said something about to the child when she pushed the younger kid, but the rest of that stuff may be acceptable at their home. I have known my child to act out in embarassing and strange ways when she is in a new place or has low-blood sugar, especially when the two things combine. I usually bring her home or give her a snack when she does this and talk to her about the behavior she needs to exhibit. I don't think saying a child is acting out because they are hungry or in a new situation is an excuse, it is the reason they are acting out. I do think parents should intervene when their kid is acting out regardless of the age of the child. There is not a magical age where kids just stop acting out for different reasons no matter what your boundaries and expectations are. Sometimes kids just act out in ways that humiliate you no matter what you do and you can only hope that the person who was judging you based on seeing you one time will experience the same judgement and humiliation when their kids get older.
post #7 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post
For a 5 year old, I get that the mom should have said something...

Anything younger, I kind of get it though. My 2 year old can be a beast and normally it is because she's tired, or hungry, or over stimulated...and I think that those are valid excuses for the toddler crowd.
Yeah my 3 y/old can be unruly due to all of these factors, she gets more amped the more tired she is. I wouldn't ignore it though, but I have to deal with stuff all the time with her. We are currently working on all of these behaviors, but it's a work in progress.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
obviously, the mom/dad of the 3 year old left quickly, after having some words with mom about how insane it is that she didn't make any effort to correct Jake for hitting another child and blaming the kid who got hit on top of it. mom's reply was that she follows "gentle discipline ideals" and doesn't believe in corrections.
Grrr, that kind of thing really gets to me. All it does is give GD a bad name. And, honestly, you can't do things like hurt another person with no consequences. Not dealing with this is doing a disservice to that child. If I were the parent of the pushed child, I probably would have said something to the 6 year old directly. That's a kind of natural consequence situation, you know, if you do things to other people that they don't like, you will hear some complaints about this.

Quote:
She should have said something about to the child when she pushed the younger kid, but the rest of that stuff may be acceptable at their home.
Which is fine, but if she doesn't know enough not to do these things in other people's homes, there is a problem. My kids do a lot of things at home that people would not want happening in their house. If my child climbed onto a kitchen counter in another person's home, I'd physically remove them from the counter. I don't get why they would ignore this and think it is acceptable, so it really sounds like an odd set of behaviors from the adults, which I guess is what the OP was venting about.
post #9 of 37
OP I *so* understand where you're coming from. And in scenarios like the one you describe, you know who I feel the worst for? The child. Because, barring some involuntary medical/emotional issue the child has where impulse control is not in their control, by not ever addressing the behavior with the child as inappropriate or not acceptable, those parents are setting that kid up to think it's ok to act out and do what you want and no one is going to have an issue with that.

And that is simply NOT how the world works, and that child is in for some rude awakenings that initially will not be her/his fault, because they haven't been taught any differently.

Do parents realize how teachers in schools or other people their kids will meet deal with kids that annoy them, whether overtly deal or passive-aggressively deal? Teachers, childcare providers and others are HUMAN which means that while you'd hope they'd always be professional and do what's best for the child in their job, when a kid has not been taught boundaries and some level of appropriate behavior, other adults in this child's life can act out too! And that can really hurt/confuse a child who's never been told/modeled that negative behaviors usually lead to negative consequences.

I really think parents often either think their kids' behaviors are cute, or they are conflict avoiders and don't want to say anythign to anyone, or they simply can't be bothered to re-direct their kids. But that deprives the child of the chance to understand actions and consequences, and to be able to practice making choices based on the outcomes the child would want and likely consequences. That all sounds like grad school mumbo jumbo that a child wouldn't understand, but I think most of us here know that at some level even an 18 month old understands actions and consequences, and that's a good thing. Because actions always have consequences, and the sooner the kid can figure out how to get the reactions they want adn get their needs met, the better.

And in my experience, these are important themes to start working with kids on from as young as 18 months. Actions have consequences, some good, some bad, some neutral. Parents who watch their child shove a baby off a seat "because I want to sit there" and don't say anything to their kid to name that behavior or re-direct it are really setting their kid up to be suprised later when people start treating that child poorly for the same behaviors and the kid doesn't understand why or what would be more appropriate.

Catubodua, your example of your cousin is EXACTLY what I'm talking about! Poor Jake, he's probably already started his rude awakening, because kids can sense with people simply don't want to be around them, and that hurts them, and usually makes them act out even more. Poor kid, but I would definitely be one of those parents who'd just keep my kid away, cuz why ask for that trouble! (But I'd also talk to Jake's parents - I talk to everyone if there's a chance it might help a kid...)
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
Which is fine, but if she doesn't know enough not to do these things in other people's homes, there is a problem. My kids do a lot of things at home that people would not want happening in their house. If my child climbed onto a kitchen counter in another person's home, I'd physically remove them from the counter. I don't get why they would ignore this and think it is acceptable, so it really sounds like an odd set of behaviors from the adults, which I guess is what the OP was venting about.
Exactly. And, I wasn't offended by the little girl's behavior as much as the mom's. Why wouldn't she do SOMETHING to help me? It's her child. I've never met this child before. Why would she just leave me to remove her physically from my kitchen counter?

ANd, mostly.. I was just bugged by the whole "Excuse" thing. I mean, if you know you have an appointment, and your child will behave like this if she's hungry.. why wouldn't you make sure she was fed? If you have an excuse, then you should have a way to solve it before it gets to that point.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Today, I interviewed a family with a five year old girl who needs care on vacations from school. They haven't been happy with the current providers because they constantly complain about this child. They never have anything good to say.
This drives me crazy. When does it get to the point in a parent's mind that if a teacher or other provider never has a good thing to say that maybe, just maybe, it might be driven by the child's behavior?
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
She stood on my couch, and used it to jump into/onto the baby walker. (no baby in the walker) Climbed from the kitchen stool to the top of the counter, and reached on top of the fridge to get to a toy in "toy time out".
Seriously in what world would any parent think it's ok for their kid to be walking on top of a counter in a strangers home? That just amazes me!
post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
i have a cousin who's doing this with her little boy (let's call him Jake). he's 6 now and he's such a terror to be around that no one wants him at their house. so he's losing all his friends because the other parents won't have him over and won't let their kids go over his house (i assume they temporarily pick up his bad habits and the parents don't want to deal with it). cousin complains all the time about how the other parents just don't understand Jake. um, no, they see him very clearly!

my cousin just keeps saying how he's so spirited and lively (which he is) and ignores the unruly, rude and downright mean stuff he does to others. he's been tested six ways to sunday and he has no issues, so it's not that. he's just a menace and mom makes up excuses constantly for his bad behavior.

as an example - over christmas he was making funny faces at a 3 year old cousin. the younger cousin thought this was great and was giggling. Jake got angry at younger cousin for laughing at him and punched the 3 year old. and i mean punched him, not just took a little swing or whatever. it was the equivalent of a 6 year old decking a 3 year old.

what did mom do? she corrected the 3 year old "don't laugh at him, it makes him upset" (well, why the heck is he making funny faces to get people to laugh then?!)

obviously, the mom/dad of the 3 year old left quickly, after having some words with mom about how insane it is that she didn't make any effort to correct Jake for hitting another child and blaming the kid who got hit on top of it. mom's reply was that she follows "gentle discipline ideals" and doesn't believe in corrections.

I know somebody who is parenting in a very similar fashion, although at least she doesn't call it "gentle discipline", when there's no discipline. I feel so sorry for her childrne. One of them, in particular, is disliked by a lot of other kids he meets, and he's really unhappy. Unfortunately, he hasn't figured out (naturally, he's still young, and isn't getting any guidance on this) that the other kids don't like him, because he's not very nice to them a lot of the time.
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
This drives me crazy. When does it get to the point in a parent's mind that if a teacher or other provider never has a good thing to say that maybe, just maybe, it might be driven by the child's behavior?
I was once in a parent teacher conference for a freshman in high school where after discussing in detail the child's bullying behaviors, the dad burst out with "I'm sick of everyone saying my child has a bad attitude! We've been hearing that since elementary school! Her attitude is fine, you just don't know how to handle her!"

This kid had absolutely NO concept of boundaries and dad was convinced that her behavior was the fault of other students and teachers. Some people choose not see what they would rather be blind to.
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
what did mom do? she corrected the 3 year old "don't laugh at him, it makes him upset" (well, why the heck is he making funny faces to get people to laugh then?!)

obviously, the mom/dad of the 3 year old left quickly, after having some words with mom about how insane it is that she didn't make any effort to correct Jake for hitting another child and blaming the kid who got hit on top of it. mom's reply was that she follows "gentle discipline ideals" and doesn't believe in corrections.
What she means is she doesn't believe in corrections for her own kid. Did anyone ask her how come it's okay to correct other kids?
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

I don't understand why parents won't at least acknowledge it... it makes the others around them feel a little better. Just say "I'm at my wit's end" or "I have no idea why..." or ANYTHING. It just makes us feel like the parents at least care what happens to others. As a parent I would feel terrible if my child threw a baby to the floor. (in fact, when she was two, she did throw a baby to the floor)

I guess I'm mostly ranting.
I get your rant . As a parent, I'd be mortified if my child behaved like that. I know that at some point(s) my son will embarass me or "act up" but I will acknowledge the behavior. I hate when parents just ignore it or pretend it's so cute, no it's not!
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyDi View Post
I was once in a parent teacher conference for a freshman in high school where after discussing in detail the child's bullying behaviors, the dad burst out with "I'm sick of everyone saying my child has a bad attitude! We've been hearing that since elementary school! Her attitude is fine, you just don't know how to handle her!"

This kid had absolutely NO concept of boundaries and dad was convinced that her behavior was the fault of other students and teachers. Some people choose not see what they would rather be blind to.
Not only do they choose not to see their children's problematic behavior, they also choose to IGNORE that it's verrrrry obvious where the child learned that behavior! If I'd been in that conference I'd have looked right at the dad and said "Did it ever occur to you that the way you just blew up might be where she learned that it's ok to blow up on people who are trying to help you?"

I had a very similar middle school parent/teacher conference with the child b/c he'd gotten suspended for being violent. I asked him what he thought was behind his repeated outbursts and he said (much to his credit) "I dunno... I guess I'm just angry..." and his mom cut him off, went ballistic and just started shouting "ANGRY? ANGRY?? Where do YOU get off being angry? What are YOU angry about???" We all just looked at her stunned for a second, and then I said "Actually, its' really good that you [child] are able to say how you feel about all this. And mom... is it possible that he's learning some of those reactions from you?" At first she continued to be pissed, but it ended up being a really good mtg and it seemed like especially the child (but also the mom) left feeling like it was the first time they'd really been heard in a mtg like that and they committed to working on some behavior changes - BOTH of them.
post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
What she means is she doesn't believe in corrections for her own kid. Did anyone ask her how come it's okay to correct other kids?

good point

it was rather heated right then, i don't think anyone had coherent thoughts that could be shared in a nice way at that moment!



as for the original OP - should have added this in my first post - i think you showed great patience even lasting 10 minutes of that!
post #19 of 37
I have a friend like this. She and her DH are now the primary care takers to there grandkids whos mother (step daughter) ran out on them and there father is jsut not in the picture as he should. VERY understandable the kids (almost 7 and 4) have some big time issues and expecially the oldest whos been through hell and back has some big time behavioral issues.. On one hand I applaud her efforts to look beyond jsut the tantrums and tears to seek the real issue and in NO way do I think she should dismiss the very real long tern therapy her grandkids will need... At the same time though she often gets soooo into the "therapy" reasons she forgets to have boundries and help teach apropiate behavior. I actually think it is not doing her girls any service because they still don't have that strong parent figure they can count on. As a result they keep testing and testing....

Deanna
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catubodua View Post
imagine what that does in people's minds the next time they hear someone else say they are going to use gentle discipline!
I know what this can do. My sister has friends who let their child do whatever and call it GD. When she heard me say we would use GD, she was utterly shocked that I planned to let DS run around doing whatever (she knows me.) I explained "No, we just plan to use logical consequences instead of punitive measures."

BTW, I believed in logical consequences long before I heard the term GD.
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