WWYD - did I overdo/underdo it? (long sorry) — The Bump

WWYD - did I overdo/underdo it? (long sorry)

We have a regular dinner playdate w/ do a group of DD's friends.  We got to Chik Fila and then the kids play.  DD's been getting ruder, more defiant and more impatient w/ me in particular, but also generally.  Last night, at our playdate, DD was behaving OK w/ her friends - very rambuctious as normal, not listening particularly well, but nothing really bad either (so - basic 4 yo behavior).  We sat at a table next to the play area (one mom was feeding her baby) while the girls (3 4 yo, one 2 yo litle sister).  Things were OK for awhile, Friend #1 came out crying b/c she said her nose got bumped (long story about the slide, but a few hugs from mom and she was fine).  Then my DD came out b/c Friend #2 said they didn't like her kitty.  I told her to ignore it and go back and play.  Then Friend #2 came out and said DD wouldn't move in teh slide and her mom told her to go back and play.  I saw Friend #2 shove DD, but I didn't see what happened right before that.  I went in and told both of them no shoving (to which they both started telling me who did what when and how it wasn't their fault, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway. .  . then a few minutes later, I see DD shove friend #2 (and again, I don't see what happens right before).  I walked in and told DD we were leaving.  She cried/screamed and told me how it wasn't her fault, etc.  I literally had to pull her out of the slide and just carried her out of the Chick Fila and put her in the car. 

Then, of course, she spent the whole ride complaining about how she didn't get to apologize and she wanted to go back and say sorry and then she justifying how she really didn't do anything wrong - and also threw in to tell me she hated me, hated school, hated each of her friends, her teachers, she also told me she was going to poop on my car, etc.  I ignored most of this.

When we got home, she was obviously still upset but it was close to bedtime.  I did let her sit w/ me and watch Team Umizoomi while she calmed down and we really didn't talk about it anymore until we were getting in to bed. 

She was still mad I didn't let her apologize - which I guess I should have given her a chance to do. 

I don't know. ..  thoughts?  I feel like I'm doing a lot wrong here and am very worried I'm creating a brat.  Be nice, but tell me what you think.

On the other hand, before things got ugly in the play area, she was being really helpful - passing out napkins to everyone, sharing her fries w/ her friend who was still waiting for her food, reading a book, etc.

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Re: WWYD - did I overdo/underdo it? (long sorry)

  • I really don't think you did anything wrong and I doubt you are creating a "brat." It sounds like you are doing a great job parenting! I would probably would have had my child apologize before leaving, but I'm also really big on saying sorry and hugging it out. I think it's great that she was upset she didn't get to say she was sorry, and it's certainly something you can allow time for next time.

     I have 5 and 2 year old boys and we've never had the "I hate <insert something here>" stages, but from what I read on this board, it can be common with girls.


  • Ugh, "fun" play date!

    I think you did the right thing. I think she was pulling the "I wanted to apologize!" card as just a way to try to obtain the upper hand and be "in charge." Maybe you can suggest that if she's really upset, you can help her write a note to her friend to say sorry and put it in the mail. I would also suggest she should be sorry for the mean things she said to you.  

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  • PS I can totally relate to the super sweet one minute, crazy-out-of-control-over-nothing the next minute type of thing. I bet if you gave her the chance to say sorry at the time, she wouldn't have done it. She would have pushed it with that, too...stalling, not really apologizing, running off, etc. DD does that stuff. 
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  • I have no advice but girls learn the word hate and use it often, drive me nuts and DD ha not turned 4 yet.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • Did you warn her you'd be leaving if she misbehaved? That helps DD a lot. We also talk to her about how she's responsible for herself, not for what other people do. Kind of a kid-friendly "two wrongs don't make a right."

    Maybe you can use this as a way to talk about/practice appropriate responses to friends?

    You're not creating a brat. If you let her do what she wanted without consequence, that would be a problem, but it sounds like a very normal issue.

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  • imagecmeon_the_water:

    Oh, gosh, nothing to say that hasn't been said, but, little miss sassypants threatened to poop on your car? Were you annoyed enough not to laugh? That one would have had me biting holes into my lip. Seriously- record that somewhere, you never know when "Oh, remember that time you threatened to poop ON my CAR?" will help. ;)

    oh she also told me she was going to pee all over her seat, she couldn't hold it, she HAD to go back inside to pee.  I told her too bad, then you'll have to pee on yourself.  Shocker - when we got home, she said she didn't have to pee. 

    The funniest part is when she tells me something and I ignore her or I'm a little far away and don't respond, there's a polite follow up - "Mama, did you hear me say I was gonna poop on your car?"

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  • OMG lol at poop in the car. DS told us that he was going to break the car and throw it up in the air if we didn't "act nice to him."

    I don't think you did anything wrong. It sounds like going back in and letting her apologize may have given her too much control. I think the message that you sent was the right one.

  • imageKatFCo:

    Did you warn her you'd be leaving if she misbehaved? That helps DD a lot. We also talk to her about how she's responsible for herself, not for what other people do. Kind of a kid-friendly "two wrongs don't make a right."

    Maybe you can use this as a way to talk about/practice appropriate responses to friends?

    You're not creating a brat. If you let her do what she wanted without consequence, that would be a problem, but it sounds like a very normal issue.

    This is the first time I've really witnessed DD participating in any kind of physical altercation w/ her friend (even though that friend is very physical and tends to push and shove) so I'd never really thought to discuss this behavior with her.  We do talk about behavior, but its always about taking turns, sharing, etc. I'll talk to her about "being responsible for yourself" and remind her that she needs to walk away if she doesn't like what somebody else is doing. 

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  • You were right to leave the playdate.  Things were getting ugly and it sounds like all of the girls were having trouble being nice.  The only way to put the brakes on that type of thing is to end it.  

    You were right to ignore her rant during the car ride.  The complaint that she didn't get to apologize is an attempt to manipulate you to go back to Chic-fil-a so that she can apologize and then keep playing.  Don't be taken in by this.  Sometimes we inadvertently teach kids this age that "saying sorry" cures everything.  Kids learn that they can do whatever they want and it's okay if they apologize.  You have to show her that there are real consequences that matter when she shoves a friend.

    All you have to say in response is "Honey, it is never acceptable for you to shove a friend.  Until you learn to stop yourself, I will have to stop you every time.  You can apologize to your friend next time we see her.  But all you girls were having trouble playing nicely and it was time to go home. Next time when we're all playing together, you'll remember this and you'll make better choices." 

    I don't think you have to consider "rambunctious and not listening well" as behavior that's just normal 4 y/o behavior that you can't do anything about.  Yes, a 4 y/o is not going to have the self control of an older child.  But you can still work towards this.  Set high expectations and your child will live up to them.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

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  • This age is SO fun, right?

    You did the right thing. It's always hard to look back and wonder how you could have made the situation better. Live and learn. Don't stress about it. Set things up to have a positive time next week.

    We had an incident with DS like this at Thanksgiving. He was playing with his older cousins and started to get a little too rough. Then one cousin came in crying that DS had thrown a marble at her head and it hit her eye. I was furious, removed him from the room, gave him a stern time out, and then made him apologize and wouldn't let him play away from the adults. Later he told me they were all throwing a bag with a marble in it and he threw it to his cousin and it hit her. Ugh! I felt horrible for not asking him what happened and coaching him on what he should do to make the situation better. I blew up and was mad at him. :( We all have days like that.

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  • Sounds like you did a great job.  I am not an expert on typical 4 yr old behavior, but from co-oping in my kids' classes, I am pretty certain that sullen, rambunctious, affectionate, rude, lazy, helpful, handsy, shy, exuberant and bored are as normal  as having hair and eyes.

    I consult with parents with kids with developmental, emotional and behavioral "differences," and I always suggest immediate leaving for physical behavior after one reminder of expectations.  I also tell them not to allow the child to apologize because 1) they're not sorry about anything but getting caught, 2) It allows the child an opportunity to, like pp said, control the situation or get away and 3) The kid who was shoved most likely doesn't want to see the shover right away anyway.  I always suggest that the parent take a moment and speak to the child and say, "I'm really sorry Sally pushed you.  It isn't ever nice to use mean hands, are you okay?" And then remove the child.  

    That's how I would handle it with my kids.  It is such a boundary pushing age; keeping the boundary but snuggling and helping calm down to accept the boundary feels reasonable to me. 


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  • You went with your gut and  that is generally the right thing to do.  Leaving before things get out of hand is a good decision.

    My kids are now nearly 4 and 5.5 and I try and stay out of their interpersonal conflicts as much as I can.  It's time for them to work things out between them.  But, there are limits.  And kids that age know pushing/shoving is NOT ok.  They know that.  So, whatever the method (reprimands, strikes, etc.) if the behaviour is not self-corrected, the interaction gets terminated.

    I think you did the right thing.  She's just trying to deflect her behaviour to your actions by guilting you into the 'I didn't get a chance to apologize" crap.  Little buggers are smart that way.  Now you are the bad guy because you pulled the plug before she could do the right thing.

    Wrong.  She is the one who continued to engage in inappropriate behaviour with the friend and she got a logical consequence for those actions.  No more playing with the friend that day.

    I get that concern about creating a brat.  I worry about that a lot.  I have to remind myself that doing the right thing is very often the opposite of doing the easy thing.  Like it or not, at this age, you gotta be 'the bad guy' sometimes.

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
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