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#181 of 195 Old 05-03-2008, 03:09 PM
 
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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.
Also wanted to point out that this sounds terrifying and none of us know what is going on in this family or what and how exactly the parents are dealing with it. My daughter would never do something remotely like this but if she did I would be frightened to take her anywhere.
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#182 of 195 Old 05-03-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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Haven't read the whole thread but we had a similar thing happen. Ds's best friend, who's mom is my life-long best friend didn't get to come to his party this year because he'd done a number of things that week to lose the party. His mom called me and let me know the day of the party. I was not offended, nor was I upset. I'd have done the same thing. Ds was a little bummed but understood...probably because to us, this was a very logical consequence. Spend your week being mean and disrespectful to everyone around you and there's not much chance you'll get to go to a party.
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#183 of 195 Old 05-03-2008, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
Maybe I'm confused, but I didn't think this kid was a "runner" being kept home because his parents were afraid of losing him at the party. I thought he was grounded because they were very upset that he tried to hide from them after going to see a friend without permission. I thought he was kept home from the party to demonstrate the severity of what he had done wrong.

The only thought I have left after 9 pages is that this problem behavior had gone on less than a week. That isn't much time to try anything closer to home in terms of problem solving. The parents put all their cards on the table in one swoop. There isn't much left to do once you get to the point of not letting a 6 be the guest of honor at his best friends party. For everyone's sake I certainly hope this worked, because I don't know what these parents are going to do next if he repeats the original behavior. They haven't given themselves much of an "out" if this doesn't work, kwim?
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EXACTLY! Thank you for articulating what was really bothering me about what they did. They went from zero to 60 without any thought as to what would come next. My son's disappointment was only one of the consequences. What the heck are they going to do the next time?

I've got nothing else to say, so I'm going to bow out now. I've calmed down. Our son handled the disappointment masterfully (better than I did). We've all learned a lesson. I understand that ds' friend's parents were terrified and probably not doing their "best" parenting as a result.

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#184 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 12:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
EXACTLY! Thank you for articulating what was really bothering me about what they did. They went from zero to 60 without any thought as to what would come next. My son's disappointment was only one of the consequences. What the heck are they going to do the next time?

I've got nothing else to say, so I'm going to bow out now. I've calmed down. Our son handled the disappointment masterfully (better than I did). We've all learned a lesson. I understand that ds' friend's parents were terrified and probably not doing their "best" parenting as a result.
Thanks for being willing to allow me to ask questions in this thread--I appreciate the clarifications and the discussion that has happened in this thread. I'm sorry for the frustration and disappointment that you (and your son) experienced.
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#185 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 11:04 AM
 
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Allow me to preface this with saying that my 6 year old son, has a history of going outside to play, with out our knowledge. He decided to take a little adventure about 3 months after we moved here. He went next door and climbed on to the neighbors front porch. They walked him home. Then when I was pregnant with my daughter, he was 3.5, he took not one but two 'walks' around our street, and had to be brought home. Not because anything was going wrong. It was 7 am! My husband and I were sleeping, with the door to our bedroom open. we live in a small house, yet we didn't hear him leaving. Then, before school started this year, at the age of 5.5 he went out of the house before 7 am, and was playing at the end of our street with a neighbors dog. The end result of that was the police being called to our house.

Now, the first time, we were upset, and told him so. Told him it was unsafe to do that, and that it wouldn't be a good thing to repeat. (of course, we were talking to a 2.5 yr old, so keep that in mind we were trying to reason with him, and explain it in his terms, each time.) The 2nd and 3rd times, we were visibly shaken, and upset. When I was pregnant it made me cry. Again, we talked to him about it. Then we bought a 'top lock' for the door. We already had a pin in place of the sliding glass. When he was 5.5 and the police came, he was FINALLY able to understand that there are some REAL BIG consequences to running off like that. No matter what we said, he thought it was fun to go outside int he morning. His consequence was that we didn't go outside to play for a few days each time (after the talking to).

having said that....

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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
They did royally screw up by not informing us ahead of time. And I like the idea of him calling my ds to tell him why.
I agree, it was wrong of them not to tell you when they new a head of time that they would not be bringing him.


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Originally Posted by rabbitmum View Post
I don't think a punishment is called for in this situation at all. The consequence of what happened was that the parents got upset, and they should of course tell him that.
Really? Have any of your children ever left the house with out your knowledge or permission? Have you ever walked out of your bedroom and found your 5 yr old missing? Do you know how extremely frightening that is? How do you convey the seriousness of the issue to a child that is too young to understand? I sure couldn't do it! We didn't spank him, we didn't lock him in his room, we did raise our voices, but we weren't shouting at him. I don't see how you could NOT give some kind of punishment or consequence to this very serious action.

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Originally Posted by thismama View Post
I think you're adding details that aren't necessarily true. The first time maybe he didn't know any better, but then there is the refusing to come home for an hour. And by the second time, kid knew better. Was he punished the first time? Doesn't sound like it to me.

ITA that if a kindergarten age kid showed up at my house I would make sure the parents knew where s/he was.
I totally agree, he 'should have' 'known better' by the second offense.

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Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
I don't know what one would do in a family broken enough that the 6 year old sneaks out of the house to go to a neighbors who doesn't have the sense to make sure the 6 year olds parents know where he is who then runs away when the (presumable upset but very rational) parents arrive to take him home. .
Yeah, ouch to say the least. My family is/was not broken when this happened in our house.

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Originally Posted by macca View Post
I'm not saying there's anything wrong with parent-imposed consequences, but to me, missing a birthday party is an extreme consequence. As a child, I think I'd have preferred a spanking
Well, I think we all agree that a spanking wouldn't solve anything. But I don't think it's extreme at all. Nope. I think they should have called to let the parents/boy know that their son would not be attending. And i think it was very nice that the boys mom came to help set up. I would have with out a doubt, not allowed my son to attend a birthday party that was to happen less than a week after a thing like that.



I have a feeling i will regret this, as soon as I post it, but I felt like I really needed to respond to a lot of these posts, not just the ones quoted, because I can see that a lot of you have never had a child take off from your house. Until it has happened to you, I don't think you should pass judgment on a parent's idea of a consequence/punishment upon this action. there is really very little you can think of when they do this. It's so shocking, and really really shakes you. No amount of talking did anything for us. It litterally took the cops being called, and the office (Sheriff) wanting to talk to my son, and he was crying the entire time he was talking to the sheriff. I had been in tears when we saw him talking to the neighbor from his cruiser, and I was beyond terrified that CPS would be our next visitor, and they would be leaving with one or both of my children.

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#186 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 01:16 PM
 
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(((AutumnBreeze))) I hope you don't regret the post at all. Of course you were shake by those experiences. I can see how you would want to respond here.

I think for myself the crux of the whole issue is that when a small child does something "for fun" which they are too young to comprehend is extremely dangerous (dashing out into a road, leaving the house, chasing a strange dog, climbing onto the roof, what-have-you), it is easy to say that almost consequence can be justified because whatever the parent does won't be as traumatic as getting hit by a car or kidnapped.

For myself I do see abstract punishments as a slippery slope, and one that really has no bottom when we are talking about matching up a punishment with a small child's dangerous behavior. What is a suitably matched punishment for a child who runs in the road? If we take away his favorite toys, or take away a much anticipated event, is that really "enough"?

I don't think I can tell someone else "this is too much" "that isn't enough" when we are talking about that primal fear of a child being lost. It just isn't helpful, because the fear is too overwhelming, and the frustration is very real.

I do think we can talk about preventing small children from getting into these situations when we know they are a possibility. We can talk about pro active solutions to get across to a child that their behavior is dangerous. I really don't have a problem with infrequently applied parent created logical consequences. On the other hand, especially with small children, I don't think we can talk about these situations *without* examining the situation beyond "Dangerous behavior justifies xyz response from the parent".

But I think your post is about that primal frustration when you are dealing with the emotions, yes? That has to be recognized and talked about too. I just think we have to be careful to realize that almost any punishment is justified from that place. I know, in the moment, I would probably threaten anything to ds if I thought it would keep him safe. Hopefully other parents would talk to me and help me formulate a more rational, productive response.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#187 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 01:43 PM
 
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Autumn Breeze, I'm sorry that you misunderstood my post to be about you. It was not. It was about a hypothetical family with a 6 year old and a toddler who would not get in a car seat, a committment to attend a party and no resources to call upon to get the 6 year old there.

These sorts of hypotheticals are fairly routinely present here to show that it is not possible to be a responsible family concerned about others without forcing toddler into carseats. Or if it is possible, then it's not possible if there are siblings. Or if it is possible, it's not possible if there are siblings and no helpful, trustworthy neighbors. Or if that's possible, then it's not possible for whatever idea is generated.

Your family had a running 6 year old, but no other piece of the hypothetical. I'm sorry you mistook my response to other people posts as being about your family.
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#188 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
Me, too.

As a child I was punished in a similar manner, and whenever I saw the lady next door (who's house I was not allowed to go to as punishment that day) I felt terrible shame, assuming that my parents had told her how rotten I was and that she must agree. It never would have occurred to me that she might have felt compassion for me because it never could have occurred to me at that age that my parents were ever wrong.
I think this has probably very little to do with the punishment and more to do with general themes of shame or insecurity. The reality is that there are kids who feel ashamed who were never punished - it is just more to the core of the way they are. Again, I don't punish and don't believe in it. I believe though it is possible overstate the tragedy of a one time punishment like this. As many posters here have acknowledged certainly the parents were scared by the child's behavior and that explains their reaction. To respond to this like the parents had thrown the child down a flight of stairs is inappropriate. Futher
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#189 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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This has probably been mentioned thus far, but I haven't read all of the posts yet..........my 2 cents.



A+B isn't adding up to C, being the punishment.

If he ran away, and didn't come back when told to, he shouldn't have been allowed to go there the next time he wanted to, if you personally think that a punishment is necessary. Him not being able to go to the party is wrong. And, the mom going is like a slap in his face. He should have been allowed to go, he's not a dog, he didn't need his face rubbed in it.

BTW, if she wan't bringing him, she should have called. IMO, she's missing the boat on a few things to begin with. Sorry if this is harsh, and contradictory of most of the posts here, but that's my opinion.

: Mama to ds (5) and dd (3) and .
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#190 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I think this has probably very little to do with the punishment and more to do with general themes of shame or insecurity. The reality is that there are kids who feel ashamed who were never punished - it is just more to the core of the way they are. Again, I don't punish and don't believe in it. I believe though it is possible overstate the tragedy of a one time punishment like this. As many posters here have acknowledged certainly the parents were scared by the child's behavior and that explains their reaction. To respond to this like the parents had thrown the child down a flight of stairs is inappropriate.
I don't see any responses like that. I think the punishment was harsh and OTT, but I think the kid will live to fight another day
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#191 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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And, the mom going is like a slap in his face. He should have been allowed to go, he's not a dog, he didn't need his face rubbed in it.
I don't think this was the motivation. I think the mother felt bad about not honoring her own committment to the OP to help out at the party, and didn't think the OP should be punished for her DS's actions.

It's interesting to me that she saw how this would be inconsiderate, but she didn't seem to understand how it might be inconsiderate to the OP's DS. It illustrates the fact that it's easier for most people to see things from the adult perspective than the kid's.
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#192 of 195 Old 05-04-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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My point was that unless the parent chooses to make it a big deal, the objective reality for a young child is that their friend isn't there. Whether the kid is sick or punished really makes no difference unless parents choose to layer on another level of meaning. I can't imagine anyone here would be holding a grudge if the friend's kid got sick and I see no reason to treat this any differently. As I the poster acknowledged her son handled it maturely and bounced back and she was the one who struggled more. I'd see this as a good example of how we maybe should a hint from our kids.
I agree with this.

I don't know whether I agree or disagree with the mum who withheld the party. But I do know that one of the things I do NOT like about birthday parties in general is the... fraughtness? of the whole thing that we create for our kids. Who's invited, who shows up, who doesn't, whether the gifts are good or not, whether the loot bags are okay or not... it starts to give me a headache.

I want my son to learn really is that it's great to INVITE people to share in celebration and joy, but it's also great to see a relationship with a person as being beyond whether they show up for two hours on a particular day. We celebrate long and loud here, but I hate all the crazed social mores stuff.

So... I guess for me it's not about whether it was okay or not for this other mum to do what she did. It's about whether you are going to hold her hostage over the disappointment. EVEN IF she is making a big mistake as a parent, is it the friendship that's important, or the party?

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#193 of 195 Old 05-05-2008, 01:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
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?
This totally.
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#194 of 195 Old 05-05-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Needle in the Hay View Post
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.
i totally agree - her punishment was very unfair to your child
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#195 of 195 Old 05-05-2008, 08:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AutumnBreeze View Post
Really? Have any of your children ever left the house with out your knowledge or permission? Have you ever walked out of your bedroom and found your 5 yr old missing? Do you know how extremely frightening that is? How do you convey the seriousness of the issue to a child that is too young to understand? I sure couldn't do it! We didn't spank him, we didn't lock him in his room, we did raise our voices, but we weren't shouting at him. I don't see how you could NOT give some kind of punishment or consequence to this very serious action.
Yes, they have, several times. I don't really think it's that unusual. As you say, they don't really know how much they can frighten us. One of my sons even ran off from kindergarten when he was three or four, he climbed the fence and went to a friend's house.

I can remember myself and my sisters doing it, too, we didn't have any understanding why it was so important to our parents to know where we were all the time. We weren't punished for it, either.

It does sound like you have had a hard time with your escaping son. I know that it can be scary so I completely understand that you got very upset about it.

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Until it has happened to you, I don't think you should pass judgment on a parent's idea of a consequence/punishment upon this action. there is really very little you can think of when they do this. It's so shocking, and really really shakes you. No amount of talking did anything for us. It litterally took the cops being called, and the office (Sheriff) wanting to talk to my son, and he was crying the entire time he was talking to the sheriff. I had been in tears when we saw him talking to the neighbor from his cruiser, and I was beyond terrified that CPS would be our next visitor, and they would be leaving with one or both of my children.
I didn't mean to pass judgment, I just don't believe that it is necessary or right to punish. I do know that as a parent you can get completely desperate at times, and of course especially when you fear that something bad can happen to your children. (Hey, it's not as if everything I have ever done with my kids have been well-thought-out and correct according to my own ideals, either!)

It does sound like this experience has been much more shocking for you than I think it could have been for me in my situation. I doubt very much that anybody would have called the police or the CPS if they saw a five year old playing outside in the street where I live. It's rather normal for five or six year olds to go outside on their own here - they start school at six, after all, and most children walk there by themselves. So how would the neighbours know that he hadn't asked permission to go out? And we would definitely not have had a policeman coming round to talk to the child anyhow, you're not legally responsible until you're fifteen, so if anything they would talk to the parents (but it's not illegal for a child to be outside).

So, I understand that you got very scared by what happened, and I didn't mean to judge you.
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