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Grr... your punishment just crushed MY kid!

post #1 of 195
Thread Starter 
OK, I just need to vent.

Ds and his best friend go to different schools. Due to a host of factors, they don't see each other that often, and the last 2 playdates have had to be canceled because we've been sick.

Sunday was ds' birthday party. He'd planned it for over a month. His best friend (plus 6 other kids) was invited. His friend's mom (who is a friend of ours too) was going to come early to help us set up (we were at a local rec center for a party/swimming). So, 15 minutes before the party, the mom shows up, without her son.

Turns out her son had "lost his privilege" of coming to ds' birthday party. Ds was in tears.

I get that they were really upset with their son (age 6) -- he had gone over to a neighbor's house without permission and didn't come back when asked to. Instead, he ran the other direction when the parents came to find him. It took them nearly an hour to find him/bring him home. He did this twice in one week. Once, Wed and then again on Friday.

I don't know if I'm more ticked about the ineffectual punishment, the fact that it really did put a cloud on ds' party OR that they didn't tell us AHEAD of time. They knew Friday evening that their son wasn't coming to our party. I could have at least prepared him for the fact that his best friend wasn't going to be there.

Ok, end of vent.

Now a question: What can these parents do to keep their 6 yo from taking off like this?

What can I give the parents to read to help them? They are well meaning, but not terribly effective at discipline. (Too harsh on some little things like snacks, and a bit oblivious to other things until they've become a BIG problem (ignoring chasing the cat until he's cornered her and she feels threatened). I know they've tried "Love & Logic" (they were our introduction to the program, which my dh declared "needs a lot more love and less logic"!) But as dh describes it, their basic instincts are just plain off much of the time. (Things escalate to a power struggle a lot.)
post #2 of 195
sounds like a pretty logical if not natural consequence to me. I wouldnt' take child out anywhere fun that had been running from me when it's time to go home. Not a headache I'm willing to deal with. My 8yo just did this to me a couple of weeks ago. When he was invited back for another playdate we had to decline because I dont' feel like chasing him all over god's green earth for 30min to come home while he laughs at me.
post #3 of 195
Actually I change my mind. I think it IS a VERY natural consequence....mom not feeling like taking a child out that is hard to catch to bring home.
post #4 of 195
sounds like she did the right thing, IMO, though it would have been considerate to warn you as well.
post #5 of 195
Yeah, even if this one isn't totally natural, there are plenty of times when the natural consequence of an action is going to be that you have to miss something that another child is looking forward to.

Stinks, but there it is
post #6 of 195
She should have warned you. It was very rude for her not to consider that your child's feelings would be hurt and that you would need to really him for the sad fact that his friend would not be coming to his birthday party.

For me personally, I think it would have been more logical not to allow him back at the neighbor's house. What mom doesn't "feel" like doing should have no say in the choosing of a punishment.

I often don't 'feel' like explaining consequences throughly to my DS but I do, because it's what I should do.
post #7 of 195
Thread Starter 
If he'd run away at another outing, I could kind of "get" the punishment. But, he ran away FROM HOME without telling them. To ME the logical consequence of that is that he is not allowed out of the house without mom and/or dad. You install locks/alarms on every door and he's not allowed out without mom and dad being 2 feet behind him.

I guess I just don't "get" grounding a kid period. I get time-outs. I get losing other privileges. But what does grounding teach?
post #8 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breeder View Post

For me personally, I think it would have been more logical not to allow him back at the neighbor's house. What mom doesn't "feel" like doing should have no say in the choosing of a punishment.
I agree. I'm sorry your son was hurt by it
post #9 of 195
I avoid consequences that end up hurting other kids or inconveniencing other parents for this exact reason. I really hate it when I'm canceled on for playdates and the like because the other kid is in trouble. After all, I've usually arranged my schedule to accomodate, told my child and he's looking forward to it, etc. I understand if the other kid is sick or what have you, of course those things can't be helped. But I know I'd feel pretty inconsiderate if I canceled plans or commitments because my child misbehaved.
post #10 of 195
Thoughtless, thoughtless people!
That was disrespectful to you and especially to your DS. People get wacky ideas sometimes. I remember my cousin getting into trouble and then the punishment would be that he couldn't go to the basketball game with his dad (yeah, take away the one-on-one dad time!!) or he couldn't go to his Cub Scouts meeting or karate class!

You do not say that your child is coming to a party and then not bring him unless there has been some kind of emergency. You find some other punishment if you really believe your child needs one.
post #11 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by moondiapers View Post
sounds like a pretty logical if not natural consequence to me. I wouldnt' take child out anywhere fun that had been running from me when it's time to go home. Not a headache I'm willing to deal with. My 8yo just did this to me a couple of weeks ago. When he was invited back for another playdate we had to decline because I dont' feel like chasing him all over god's green earth for 30min to come home while he laughs at me.
You seriously chased him for 30 minutes?
post #12 of 195
I think she was pretty thoughtful to show up and help you even though she wasn't bringing her son. I'm sorry that your son was upset, but that is also a consequence of her son's actions. I agree that she should have left him at home. I'm not a big fan of punishments, but I don't allow the effect on other people to determine how I deal with my kids. Of course, if my DC are still running away from me at 6 yo, I'm going to have to do some deep introspection.

If I were his mom, I'd go back to him and say, "Your friend was really sad not to see you at the party. I think at 6 YO, you are responsible enough to respect our rules about leaving the house and coming back home. When you disregard those rules, I get angry and afraid. I will not take you out if you won't stay where you are supposed to. Since your friends want to see you so much, we need to work on a way for you to ask my permission to leave and to come back when I call you. I was very upset with you the last two nights that you ran out of the house to visit our neighbor, but I want you to spend time with your friends. Will you show me how responsible you can be so that I can feel comfortable letting you go out to play?"
post #13 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu View Post
sounds like she did the right thing, IMO, though it would have been considerate to warn you as well.
I'd have to agree. It's what I probably would have done as well.
post #14 of 195
i am absolutely fascinated by the initial replies on this thread and the (almost) consensus that the punishment described makes any sense at all. i had to double check to make sure i hadn't accidently logged onto a mainstream parenting board!
post #15 of 195
I don't like that punishment either. Well, I don't like any punishment, but particularly birthday parties. They are a really big deal for kids. For an adult, it would be like missing a huge event you'd been looking forward to. We have to look at things through kids' eyes. If you were having trouble and your husband said, well then we won't go on that cruise you've been wanting to go on, you'd be upset. I really think we should look past the behavior to the reason for the behavior and address that rather than simply punish the behavior. It sounds to me like he went to a friend's house without permission, and the response to that made him afraid to go to his parents later. There's got to be a way to teach your child to let you know where he/she is without making him run away from you later. There's some problem of connection or something between the parents and the kid. If they were at MDC I'd recommend Hold On To Your Kids and Unconditional Parenting. When there's a problem in the connection between parents and a kid, punishment will just make it worse.
post #16 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by kungfu_barbi View Post
i am absolutely fascinated by the initial replies on this thread and the (almost) consensus that the punishment described makes any sense at all. i had to double check to make sure i hadn't accidently logged onto a mainstream parenting board!
I don't know that it "makes sense" exactly, but it is definitely a consequence the mom is free to throw out. If my kids were acting up in a way that was dangerous to them, involving LEAVING THE SAFETY OF THE HOUSE WITHOUT ME, I would naturally want to give them a consequence that involved not leaving the house, so that I could keep tabs on them easily. Outings are completely stressful with a child who trys to run away all the time.
post #17 of 195
I'm sorry you're son was upset, but I have and probably will use the same punishment again. If DS or DD left the house w/o permission and refused to come back than damn skippy the punishment would be that they couldn't leave the house.

I have found grounding and not going to friend's homes/parties to be a very, very effective punishment for my 10 yo.
post #18 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by mowilli3 View Post
I think she was pretty thoughtful to show up and help you even though she wasn't bringing her son.
So, it was thoughtful of the mom to not disappoint the OP, but it's okay that she disappointed the OP's son? I'm really surprised at how unimportant the OP's ds is seen in this scenario. For a child, this is equivalent to his best man not showing up at his wedding.

I'm also going to guess that if the party in question had been for the other child's grandmother, he would have gotten to go, even if he would have enjoyed spending time with his cousins or whatever, because the disappointment of his grandmother (an adult) would have been seen as outweighing the "need" for this particular punishment.
post #19 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by TortelliniMama View Post
So, it was thoughtful of the mom to not disappoint the OP, but it's okay that she disappointed the OP's son? I'm really surprised at how unimportant the OP's ds is seen in this scenario. For a child, this is equivalent to his best man not showing up at his wedding.

I'm also going to guess that if the party in question had been for the other child's grandmother, he would have gotten to go, even if he would have enjoyed spending time with his cousins or whatever, because the disappointment of his grandmother (an adult) would have been seen as outweighing the "need" for this particular punishment.
Look, when my son breaks the rules, I do not consider other people in relation to his punishment. I don't say, "Gee, I would ground you for that dangerous and incorrect behavior, but I would hate to make your friend sad...so go on! Have a great time at the party." So, I am sorry the OPs son was disappointed, but he was unimportant as far as the other mom choosing how to discipline her own child.

I think the mother should have given the OP notice for sure. That was thoughtless. It was not thoughtless to punish her DS the way she saw fit just to keep someone else kid happy.

And I don't know the mom in question, but I have absolutly missed fun family events b/c DS was grounded and I needed to stay home with him.
post #20 of 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by kungfu_barbi View Post
i am absolutely fascinated by the initial replies on this thread and the (almost) consensus that the punishment described makes any sense at all. i had to double check to make sure i hadn't accidently logged onto a mainstream parenting board!
Do not confuse gentle discipline with never having a punishment.
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