Do they deserve to go?

United States
August 21, 2008 11:33am CST
Our State Fair has started today. It is a really big deal. It's bigger than any fair you can imagine. We go every year, and spend most of the year looking forward to it. I've already spent over $100 on tickets and ride books for my family. I've been telling my kids for the past couple weeks that the fair is coming up, and they should behave, or else we may not bring them. But they are definitly not behaving. I can't complain too much about the little ones, their biggest mistake has been watching TV when they know they are not allowed, and that is not that huge of a deal to me. They aren't being as well behaved as they could be, but I tend to let their mistakes slide a bit more due to their age. But the oldest, he is really trying my patience. He hasn't done his chores correctly in at least a week, even though his chores are posted on the refridgerator, he keeps skipping a number of them. He's fighting with his younger siblings, even encouraging them to hit each other. He is 11 and knows better, so I'm beyond frustrated right now. Mostly he's just not acting his age. He's acting much like a 5 year old would, and I expect more from him. At this point I'm seriously debating whether or not I should even bring the oldest to the fair with us. If the little ones don't start behaving, they may miss out too. But I truly don't feel the oldest deserves it. He's always had behavior problems, and nothing I do seems to work. So what would you do? If your children weren't behaving or doing what's expected of them, would you bring them to the Fair anyways, or leave them with a sitter for that day?
2 people like this
13 responses
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
21 Aug 08
It started today, so you have a great opportunity to teach them a lesson. Get them all pumped and tell them that you are going tonight~ or tomorrow for the day. Then when it comes time to go, take a look at your older ones room and see if it is cleaned. If not, say sorry, guess you're not going. Then talk to the younger ones about how they ahve misbehaved and tell them sorry, they aren't going either. Then just say nothing else and go about your business. Tell them that you will consider taking them the next day if they behave and the chores get done correctly. If they don't, again, don't take them. You have at least a week of doing this and you would think that they will get it right at least once so you don't miss the Fair. It will teach them a good lesson if they think they are going on a certain day and then don't go. Or.....get them in the car and start driving towards the fair. Ask them about the chores being done and the watching tv. Then say....oh, I forgot, you didn't behave, so we aren't going to the fair...then turn around!!! ONce they behave later in the week, take them then.
• United States
21 Aug 08
That's not a bad idea, except we've already planned on going on Monday and Tuesday, and they know this. They are telling everyone they see that we're going Monday and Tuesday. We made these plans with a friend, so they know I'm not breaking the plans. They're smart like that, which is part of what frustrates me. They act like they don't know better, but I know they do.
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
21 Aug 08
Sorry to say that your kids have learned how they can get away with things like this. Since you have already planned this and they know you aren't going to do anything if they misbehave, they are going to take it to the limits. Once I told my kids we were going to an amusement park if they behaved all week. They didn't ~ as usual, so we got in the car and drove that way. We got 1/2 way there and then I turned around. They were freaking out~ why are you turning around? I say, because you fought and fought all week and I am not rewarding that behavior. They learned a lesson.
@gemini_rose (16193)
21 Aug 08
It would depend totally on how badly behaved they were being, the trouble with really little ones is that they do not understand behaviour and often learn by example so they could be being led by the older one. I have this with mine, the oldest tells them to do something and they do it, so although they would be told off for that we would not punish them too much because we are not sure how much they have been influenced by the oldest one. However the oldest should be setting the example, he should know better so if his behaviour is bad to the point that he is 11 and should know better then if he was mine he would be left behind. It would show him that you are not going to tolerate bad behaviour no matter what, plus the little ones would see that and might think twice before misbehaving!
• United States
21 Aug 08
The biggest problem is he only misbehaves when he thinks he can get away with it. He will be sneaky in another room, whisper things to his siblings, or make it look like he's doing his chores, but he's not really doing them. This is the most frustrating because it shows me he's doing this on purpose. These are not mistakes that I can correct by teaching him that it was a wrong choice, these are wrong choices he's making on purpose and knows he'll get in trouble if and when I find out. This is why I'm so angry right now. Thank goodness the older 3 have just left for their grandparents for the day, so I have some time to unwind and just have the babies at home.
@gemini_rose (16193)
1 Oct 08
Thanx for B R XxX
• India
22 Aug 08
I would of course take him, no matter how bad they he has been. The Fair you mention is probably once-in-a-year affair and the rest of the year is there for you to try and block his privileges. Not taking him would definitely not send a correct message and behaviourally, he would only sulk more and go downhill. Why don’t you take him off his chores for a week or maybe some days? Eleven is not that old and of course he resents the childhood of his younger siblings while he feels that being the eldest, he is having to share more responsibility than he might want to. It’s a common thing among eldest kids…they either are used to taking too much responsibility willingly and thus miss out on fun or they resent the responsibility just because they are elder to their siblings.
• United States
22 Aug 08
Well the little ones have chores as well, which I do have to constantly remind them to do, but they have only just recently recieved the chores, so I overlook the fact that I have to continue to remind them. The oldest has had his regular chores since he was the age of his younger siblings, and it's always been a routine. His chores are to be done after dinner, it's always been that way. It takes him 10-15 minutes a day to do his chores, and they really aren't that difficult. I don't give him dishes or anything. He just has to wipe down the table, sweep under the table, take out the trash if needed, and keep his room clean. The other kids are in charge of taking out the recyclables and feeding the cats.
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I would tell them flat out that if they did not start acting like little angels then you will be going to the fair without them. I would even go so far as to call a babysitter in front of them to make arrangements. If they think you are serious about not taking them then they might straighten up.
• United States
21 Aug 08
I have told them, at least the oldest, that I don't believe he deserves to go due to his behavior. My husband and I were talking about it in front of him, deciding whether or not he has behaved well enough to go, so he knows we're serious. I'm sure if he continues to behave in this manner, I will end up leaving him home, because I am far too frustrated with him right now.
@tjonys (217)
• China
22 Aug 08
Play is the child of nature, we should not deny their nature. What we can do as much as possible to guide them, guide them towards the right, and is not in their interest on the basis of, because I believe that every child has his talent,and this is precisely their natural interest in the Start.
• India
22 Aug 08
Children are Children they require guidance at each step. If we have brought up them in such a manner and has taught them fundamentals of respect for elders and each other, they would behave in life properly. If we ourself do not behave before the childern in a proper manner, they in life when grown up will certaining behave differently. You are taking this point so seriously. I think your kids are so far nor fully grown up. Still u can bring some behavioural change in them. You should consult some expert one child psychology. Do not worry and have nice day.
@TessWhite (3147)
• United States
22 Aug 08
I have to say I think I'd leave them all with a sitter and go without them. Its not like you haven't given warnings, and with chores posted the older child knows its responsibility. It sounds like he is testing you and the limit on how far he can go. It might be a wise choice to not let him go and to show him that this is the consequence for his bad behavior. By the way, I hope you get to go and enjoy it. I'm originally from Iowa, and had planned to go up on vacation this year and attend the state fair. Unfortunately finances and other issues kept me away. I miss it and hope maybe I can make it up there next year.
22 Aug 08
i think it would depend on how they are misbehaving. if the say bad words, or sometimes my daughter really freaks out and throws stuff when she is tired. and i look over that. but if they would call me names or not clean their room. then i think i would for sure not take them anywhere. it would be like awarding them for their bad behavior. so really think about it, and make it clear to them, if they do not behave the way they should you will not take them to the fair.
@auntiedis (165)
• United States
22 Aug 08
Depending on how serious the infractions are, my kids have missed out on several functions each because of behavior. It seems my youngest (6) is the most well behaved. He was the only one who went to see the Monster Trucks last year. The older two (8,9) stayed home with a babysitter. I definitely don't put up with that kind of behavior. I feel your pain. My oldest will be 9 next week, and he's definitely trying my patience lately, riling up the younger two, not doing his chores and acting his age. I am so glad that school starts next week! :)
@Barb42 (4217)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I believe that, when children are expecting to do something, go somewhere, and it's a long way off, they tend to get antsy, just like us adults. We used not to ever tell our children that we were going to do anything until perhaps a day or so before. That way, they didn't have time to get into the bad mode with each other. We used to tell them that, if they were good and did what they were supposed to, we might go some place or perhaps to the show, but it all depended on how good they were. I don't know if it would be right to deprive him of the trip to the Fair or not. I'm not Mom and don't really know how bad he was/is. Usually, when something happened like this, instead of leaving the kids home with a sitter, we all just stayed home. I always liked to go as a family and didn't like leaving my children with anyone. In fact, I can count on one hand how many times we ever left our children with anyone, and then, it was for a have-to in all cases but one when we left them with my husband's sister to go out on our anniversary. We felt so bad not having them with us, we NEVER did that again. We've just always been family-oriented.
• United States
21 Aug 08
Give them a day to get their chores done, if they don't do their stuff- hire a sitter for Monday. Follow through with the threat and usually the next time will be smoother, usually. There's nothing wrong with not taking them to the fair. The younger kids need to learn consequences, and they need to learn to think for themselves. I'm sure they are old enough to know right from wrong, so they should get a minimal consequence, but the coercer should get whatever the punishment would be if he/she had done it themselves. Setting a good example also includes manning up to your actions and accepting the punishment. My boy had to learn the same things, he has older boy cousins and younger sisters.
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
21 Aug 08
I probably would leave him home. If you let him go after he has been doing things wrong then he won't learn that being good gets him good things. It will be hard but maybe it will work. If you are going more than one night maybe leave him home the first night and see if he learns anything from it. If he behaves better then take him the next night you go.
@nstrouse (24)
• United States
21 Aug 08
As a child, I was always taught that in order to do something you wanted, you need to do what was asked of you. Period. If you did not do that, you did not get to do what you wanted to do. There has to be consequences for his actions. If there are none, he will not learn any lesson and may start to view you as a "push-over" and try to get away with alot more than he has so far. If he were my son, he would be left at home with a sitter until his actions improved.