Dealing with brats!

@SViswan (12071)
India
May 9, 2008 6:09am CST
I had a family over last weekend. They have just one child ...and he's the same age as our older son. He's a bright and intelligent child....but a total brat! I could see the mother trying to correct his behaviour(but in my opinion, she wasn't firm) and the father was totally not involved (he works in another city and goes home only once a week). There were many instances (in two days) that I found the boy back talking to his mother (and to us!) and I had to hold my tongue from giving him a piece of my mind. All this while, I kept thinking my son was changing into a brat...and compared to this boy, my son was an angel! The mother even discussed the boy's behaviour with me. But what could I have said? I did acknowledge there was a problem...but didn't want to tell her that if it was my son behaving this way, he would have been spanked! What would you have done in my situation? Taken things into your own hands? (I was worried my son was watching the behaviour of this child and would question me as to why I wasn't saying anything) or would you let things be (after all they are visiting only for a few days). Or would you have given the mother some parenting tips?(the mother had lost all control of the child and he was talking back to her like an adult...while she was so sweet ). The boy is 8 years old.
14 people like this
40 responses
• Australia
28 May 08
This child is an only child and this sort of behaviour is seen a lot in only children. They often can't help it as they have the attention of both parents all the time. I would have said something to the kid though, including telling him he was a guest under my roof and that it was very rude to speak to the host that way. Ok, so that may just result in more problems, but I'm sure he would have stopped when he was not given what he demanded, like special treats. I'm so glad I have more than one child as they understand that they are not the centre of the universe and that I can't drop everything for them just because they can't find their teddy bear or they want a drink now! They have and are learning that I have other things to do for all of them and that if they just sit quietly and wait, I will help them when I have a minute, even if that means not putting my feet up while having a cuppa.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
29 May 08
I don't think it's about being an only child. I know kids who are the only child of their parents and they are well behaved. It depends on how the parents bring them up. I used to do what you did when my older son was an only child....there's a 6 year gap between my kids...and my older one was never rude and never got his way all the time just because he was an only child.
2 people like this
• Australia
8 Jun 08
Parenting is a hard job, and I agree that there are good only children out there too. They usually come from the harder working families and have had to learn from early on that they can't always have what they want. Big age gaps can be a good or a bad thing. There will be 5 years between my oldest and my youngest, but three other little ones inbetween! lol. I'm sure by the time bubs #2 came along, your son was of an age where he could be very involved. It sounds like you are a great parent.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
13 Jul 08
Thank you! When the little one came along my older one 6.5 years old and he did help out a lot. Sometimes it was too much help, but I was always there to guide him. BUt never stopped him to avoid him feeling left out. Even now...the little one is 1.5 and the older one is almost 8. I don't take sides and even if it's the little one doing something wrong and I know that he wouldn't understand yet....he is talked to....so that the older one doesn't feel that the little one gets him way just because he's little. It was actually easier to bring up an independant, well-behaved child when the older one was an only child...but now I have to do the balancing act.
1 person likes this
• India
23 May 08
Well, looks like the number of brats is on the rise. We keep seeing them on a regular basis nowadays. Reason: over indulgent parents! Like the Mom of this eight-year-old. She is too soft on him, and secretly, might be proud of his boorish behavior. Ok, I have a common policy with such kids. They may show what they are elsewhere, but in my house and garden, they behave themselves. If they don't, I give them the firing of their life. And if their Mom objects, she will get it too. It doesn't matter if I lose their friendship. I don't want brats and their Moms as friends. :) So, that's what I would do!! Cheers and happy mylotting!
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
29 May 08
lol..that was the first time I was meeting this family, The husband's a friend of my husband (from school) and the wife is a distant relative of mine (we found that out a few months ago).
2 people like this
• India
29 May 08
Well, I remember a few experiences with brats. I wasn't so fierce then. This brat who visited our house with his Mom was a relative. He nearly pulled the cat's tail out. And recently, a brat tried to terrorize my pup. He got it from me!! I just don't tolerate such behavior anymore. I may sound harsh, but I just can't help it. I mean, why should I suffer just coz some Moms can't teach their kids manners? :) Cheers and happy mylotting!
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
9 May 08
oh boy no I wouldnt of held my tougne if I see disrespect I correct the kid real fast as happened with my grandson and his mother my daughter did this she told him next time she heard him disrespect his mom she would give him a swat on the butt he hasnt don it again as far as I have heard but then I havent seen them sine Feb
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
I didn't say anything when he was disrespectful to the mother (I hardly knew them and didn't know how she would take it)....but after she brought up the topic, I did correct him once when he tried to back chat. But everytime he was spoke to me rudely, I said firmly that he wouldn't be allowed to do something that I had promised earlier if he spoke to me that way again. It didn't stop the behaviour but I didn't give in either. My son has got a nice whack when he spoke to me rudely (around 2 years back) and he has never spoken to me that way since. But when we were talking about this boy, he admitted that he does have rude thoughts when he is angry with me...but after the spank he's very careful about bringing it out. I told it's normal to be angry at mom when she is correcting him and I'm glad he holds his tongue then...and if he continues practicing this...he won't have the rude thoughts either in a year or two.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
12 May 08
very goodlets hope he does keep holding his tounge and that maybe this other boy will learn to hold his too
• United States
31 May 08
Such a situation would have put me into such a quandry! I would not have known what to do. Looking at the situation in the third person gives me some perspective. Much like you, I would have worried that my child would pick up the other child's bad behavior. Kids role model each other. My child would have just assumed that such behavior was appropriate. You are so amazing to have held your peace. I am sure that I would have done the same. But, I would definitely have to speak to my own child and instruct her not to behave like the bratty kid. She would think such behavior was normal. Even little children understand what is right and wrong.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
31 May 08
My son brought up the topic (while the family was still here) and we had a talk about appropriate behaviour. And I must have done something right..lol...because my son said he didn't like the boy's behaviour. He didn't want the boy to visit again ...though he liked the parents.....and he also said he couldn't bring himself to tell the parents that he didn't like their son....he felt that it would hurt the mother's feelings to hear that. So, I feel that if you teach your child to make the right choices...they will not repeat bad behaviour when they see it. I have nothing to fear on that front now:)
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
22 May 08
knowing me i'd had a talk w/the child & the mother. i probably would not invite them back till he learned to behave. the sad part it's not his fault he's turning out the way he is, "it's the parents".
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
23 May 08
You are so right that it's not his fault. But they aren't visiting again and we are glad about that.
1 person likes this
@ketybhagat (4125)
• India
22 May 08
Actually this is like a Catch 22 situation. If you dont say you feel guilty and if you do, she might not like it. Actually it depends on the extent of friendship you have with this lady. The lad needs to be spanked thoroughly and the fact that the father is not there to discipline him and is not bothered when around is also sad. The poor lady must be very frustrated and I feel sorry for her. In your position, I would have not held my tongue and told off the lad and seen the consequences later on. I could never tolerate back talk and no respect for parents. I think you should talk to her or the childs future will be ruined.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
22 May 08
She bought up the topic and I talked to her about what I would do. But she said that wouldn't work on her child. She was more interested in me getting to talk to the father and get him involved. But I was meeting the for the first time and I wasn't going to broach the topic with the father unless he started.
1 person likes this
@cortjo73 (6500)
• United States
9 May 08
It all depends on the parent. Some parents get really angry if someone else reprimands their kids. Others, like my neighbor, don't mind if you reprimand their child if you see them doing something that they shouldn't be doing. And, the mother seems to be looking for help since she had that conversation with you so, you could have offered her some advice on how to get control of her son. She was reaching out to you and, she would have likely been grateful if you had shown him some authority and taught her some techniques. For future reference if you ever find yourself in that predicament with someone else, you just have to make a judgment as to how the parent will feel about your showing authority over their kids. And, you could always approach the subject by putting yourself into the equation. Start the subject by telling the other parents that, if they ever catch your child doing something they shouldn't be doing, they have every right to reprimand your child and then turn it over into their hands by asking how they feel about others reprimanding their child. People feel a little disarmed if you approach things by suggesting someone take an initiative in your life. They may feel they can trust you to do the same for them.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
First, I don't know the parents that well. It was the first time I was meeting them. Most of my friends and neighbours are cool about me reprimanding their kids because they know I am firm without crossing the lines (I definitely will not spank another child even if the parents give me permission to do so). Though this lady did talk about the issue, she vetoed every suggestion I gave saying that it wouldn't work on her kid. She was putting the blame on the dad and that it was the dad's duty to enforce respect for her (which is partially true and I think that needs to be done too). I think she needed me to talk to the dad (I overheard her telling him what I said and added a few things of her own pretending that I said it)....but the husband is an old friend of my husband's and I didn't think I could broach the subject with him unless he brought it up. And the woman made sure that all the talking we did was when he wasn't around...she would shut up the moment he entered. I have no problems with anyone I know well reprimanding my child when he does something wrong. And I would also like them to tell me what happened so that I can tackle the problem as soon as possible.
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
9 May 08
I don't know if I could of held my tongue for very long if her son was misbehaving. I don't with my son and when he refuses to listen and or answers back, then he gets spanked. I give him a warning of what is to come. It's hard really because they are not your children, but when family visit and they don't respect the home they are in, let alone their parents and adults, then I feel I have to say something. I may not say it when it first happens, but if it goes on throughout the day then I'm inclined to say something and it's probably to the child. Kids copy other kids and I know my son does and if he sees this behavior and notices the parents don't do anything about it, then he will test it on me and probably even question it too.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
I was firm once and my husband did give him a talking to when he was rude to his mother. My husband was surprised I held my tongue...it's usually me who is strict (with any kid not just my own). But I was meeting these people for the first time and didn't know how they'd take it. And most of the rudeness directed at us was done when the father wasn't within earshot. But I did tell him once that he would be able to play the computer or T.V. games if he spoke that way to me.
1 person likes this
@violeta_va (4834)
• Australia
9 May 08
Well I must say that most of my friends have them even my son is one some days. eg. My friends let their 2 daughter (2 and 4) stay up till whenever they want sometimes till 4am because they would cry if she tells them to go to bed. Another friend never disciplins her 4 year old son and he talks back and swears to everyone (she thinks its cute). I used to keep quet but with things that affect my and my son now I say things. I say David thats Viktor's toy you cant take it home, or you have to share, or dont run while holding a fork. Or I would yell out (as they are usualy in the other room) "can you tell your son that if he does that this can happen" out of shame she does
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
I think I would have been more open with a friend's child. But I was meeting these people for the first time. My kids are not perfect...but this boy was way out of line.
@deebomb (15319)
• United States
9 May 08
A lot would depend on the relationship I had with the mother. This mother sounds like she could use some advice from the nanny. If she asked you for some advice I think that she really wanted some help so give it to her.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 May 08
I was meeting the mother for the first time though she is a distant relative of mine. I did give her some advice when she asked...but she said it wouldn't work on her son.
1 person likes this
@mflower2053 (3227)
• United States
14 May 08
My cousins little girl is like that and she is only 5 years old. Shes very mean to people and her mother will not correct her. She told us once that she will take care of it when they got home. She will have forgotten about it by then and is probably thinking in her head well I got away with it then lets do it again. They spoil her like crazy. She is the only child and is a big time brat. I don't even want my daughter to hang around her. She gets jealous of my daughter who is only 2 and pushes on her and all kind of mean things. So in order to keep the peace we just take our child out of the picture and talk to her about how she is being treated and let her know that its not right so she won't in turn do it to her little sister.
2 people like this
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
12 May 08
He would not have talked back to me in my house. I would have let him know that I was not his mother and that he was to respect me. If the mother had a problem with that, I would have asked them both to leave. I would not want that child around my children very often. He sounds like he would be a very bad influence on your son. I feel sorry for any parent who has lost control over their child. The father needs to have a talk with the boy and tell him that he needs to respect and obey the mother. Or else daddy would be greeting him with a belt once a week. But the mother should really do better herself, otherwise her son will never respect her.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
12 May 08
You are right...the mother has lost control and the father isn't doing anything about it. But like he says, the boy's been with the mother and she is the primary influence...he only meets them over the weekend...so she should have set down the rules by now. I had a talk with my son (he brought up the topic and had a long talk with me) and I don't have to be worried about the boy influencing him. I'm gald we had the talk and I can see that my son has started thinking before he copies someone else's actions (especially actions he does not like or is not comfortable with). Isn't that what all parents are aiming at? The kids make their own right choices without us having to step in everytime? My son's only 7.5 and he didn't like how the boy was speaking to his mother.
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15499)
• Turkmenistan
12 May 08
That is great. Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with your son.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
13 May 08
Thank you! Building my child's character is one of the most important things for me.
1 person likes this
@gemini_rose (16192)
10 May 08
Everyone is different as a parent, sometimes we see other parents with their children and think that it is terrible how they are spoken too by their children. I had a friend whose daughter used to talk to her like she was dirt, I had a son of the same age and even he was disgusted by the way that the girl spoke to her mum. One day the girl was really laying into her Mum about something and I just could not help myself I just turned around and gave her a mouthful, and I told my friend that she should not let the girl speak to her that way, there was no respect there at all. But by me actually pointing it out, it changed the way that they looked at each other and their relationship became a little better. Sometimes people do not see it until it is pointed out to them that it is wrong how their children are towards them.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
I'm meeting this family for the first time. And my son was disgusted by the boy's behaviour too. But nothing we did worked on this boy. He was rude to me and my husband too. The only person he wasn't rude to was his father.
@gemini_rose (16192)
10 May 08
Maybe then this means that he has respect for the father, if that is so then it should be him that sets the example.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
12 May 08
That's what the mother says. But I have a feeling it's because he sees his father only over the weekend and the dad's very nice then and gets him everything he asks for. The boy knows that all it costs is to 'not be rude' when the dad's home for two days.
@drannhh (15235)
• United States
10 May 08
It is a hard call when someone is a guest in your home, but if an 8 year old boy disrespected me, I probably would have told him that his mother was my friend and I enjoyed having her visit, so I expected him to act like a big boy and not like a baby. I would have said that only babies disrespect the hostess when they visit someone else's home. If the mother could not respect that, then I would not consider her much of a friend. However, I do understand that there are often other factors that have to be weighed in. Once when I was younger and less assertive than now, a couple brought their child to visit, and the child wanted to touch something that we did not want her to touch, and when I move it out of reach, this child lay down on the floor and pounded her arms and feet on the floor and screamed until she was blue in the face. The parents did nothing. I wanted to tell them they needed to take the child outside, but nothing like that had ever happened to us before and we really had no idea what to do. We just put up with it until they finally left and then had a talk with each other about not ever inviting them to visit again.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
I was meeting this family for the first time. But I was a bit firm when he was rude to me. As for the second case you mentioned, most parents including me would ignore the tantrum because most kids throw a tantrum for attention. Depending on the age of my child, I would take him outside when he throws a tantrum at someone's home. If it's my 7 year old (which I'm definitely sure he wouldn't do), I'd take him outside (even if I had to physically carry him there) and give him a talking to...and maybe a spank too if he was being really bad. But my 17 month old, I ignore his tantrum(and can he throw one!) for a few minutes and then ask him firmly to pick himself up from the floor. I have to repeat it a couple of times before he listens but he does when he realizes that I am not going to give up and pick him up. I don't care if it's a public floor either. I just clean him or use a sanitizer soon after.
@drannhh (15235)
• United States
10 May 08
Yes, you have discovered that being consistent is the key to success! When they realize that you are not hit and miss with your rules they will have less difficulty following them. Pretty soon your son will reach the age of reason and that will be delightful, but bring a whole new set of challenges.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
lol..I'm definitely looking foward to those challenges. The first one was pretty easy and grasped discipline pretty quickly. I don't think it's going to be as easy with the little one. But I'm not one to give up!
• United States
9 May 08
I chaperoned my sons 1st grade field trip yesterday and the other 5 kids who were placed in my group were absolute hellions compared to my son. This one boy in particular really got under my skin. I told him that even though I may not have been "allowed" to put his butt over my knee I knew his dad and if I told his dad how bad he was being he wouldn't be able to sit for a week. That straightened him up after he went and told the teacher on me. To which the teacher replied, I'll tell your dad that you are disrespecting an adult on top of misbehaving on this outing. Score one for the good guys. I have a friend who has 5 kids and her youngest son and second oldest daughter are both evil. Every time I watch her kids she knows as well as I do that if I am yelling at anyone it is for a good reason and she has even given me permission in front of her kids before leaving, that I can beat them senseless if they don't listen to me. I would never spank another persons child but the fear of me actually doing it keeps them pretty much in line. There was a period of time when they spent 5 days with me and I was worried my sons would begin acting up as much as her youngest son does. But I told my boys straight out the first time I had to put her son in a corner that had it been one of them who had done what he had done they would have gotten their butts spanked and spent the rest of the afternoon in their room. I would have told this mother of this 8 year old hellion that if she continues to let her son back talk her she is only giving him permission to be a brat and making things worse in the long run. How is he ever going to learn respect for authority if he walks all over any adult he wants to? I would have given her "tips" to curb his behavior and threats of being sent away to military school go a long way in getting a kid to shape up.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 May 08
I'm sure any kid under Cyn's care would be put in place at the first instance of misbehaviour:) The mother brought up the topic herself before I could. She's worried because the child just doesn't listen to her and is worried how he's going to turn out. And she put the blame squarely on the father (who is home only during the weekends). But the child does listen to the father (and that's the mother's point...he ought to be telling the boy not to speak to the mother that way....which is also right....when they were with us...the dad would ignore the disrespectful behaviour to the mother and the child was smart enough to be rude to us when the father wasn't around). lol...I doubt if she would threaten him with anything. She didn't seem to be punishing the boy besides telling him and being upset by his backtalk. I did tell her how I disciplined my son...but I started young...and even at age 2 and 3, my son's rude behaviour was never taken to be 'cute' (which my husband tends to do and gets mad at me for trying to discipline a 'little child'...but fortunately for me my husband wasn't around much till my older son was 5 and he turned out to be one of the most well-behaved kids around here...I believe in nipping bad behaviour in the bud!). I did give her a few tips...but we just had that one short chat....and she kept saying 'That wouldn't work on him'!
• United States
9 May 08
I can see it now that this boy is going to grow up with zero respect for women. I don't believe in one parent being the disciplinarian and one parent being passive in the disciplinary role. A child needs to learn respect for both parents and all adults in general. This woman shooting down everything you say with "that won't work on him" just tells me that while his behavior is upsetting to her she really isn't committed to making it any better.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 May 08
I felt the same way too...and are we glad that they won't be visiting again!
@kiran1978 (4137)
• Australia
10 May 08
I understand totally how you feel, I had the same thing happen to me last weekend. My friend came up and stayed at my house, the have three kids: 13 year old boy, 4 year old girl and 5 month old baby. Plus my 3 kids were there too, so it was an extremely full house. Anyway, There eldest son he is always quite rude to his parents and backchats to them like he is an adult and he calls his mum mean all the time, when she is clearly not. He was so rude and kept nagging and hassling his parents to go home as he didn't have his skateboard or playstation at my house. He also told my daugher, 12 years old that she is boring and this house (my house) is boring. I could not hold me tongue, I told him that he has no respect and that if he was my child I would ground him and send him to his room for what he said. My friend was glad I said that, as she has been having trouble with him at home and none of her discipline techniques is working. She wanted her son to know that he has a problem, so she thought it was good how I stepped in. I would not usually step in but we have been best friends for 10 years and I feel comfortable telling her son that. He ended up apologising as his mum had a really good talk to him. So it turned out okay, but being a teacher myself I cannot handle children disprespecting their parents and backchatting they need to learn manners.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
lol..we have a lot in common. But I was meeting this family for the first time. And this 8 year old was behaving exactly like you described the 13 year old! We did talk about it (when the mother brought up the topic)....but she didn't seem to be interested in suggestions. I think she wanted me to talk to the husband and make him see that he had to do something to stop the behaviour (especially when the boy was rude to the mother in front of him). But I couldn't do that since I didn't know the husband well...and he wasn't around when we had this conversation. If it was my friend's or relative'c child, I definitely would have done something about it. Manners is something that I think is very important for a person.
@kiran1978 (4137)
• Australia
23 May 08
Thanks very much for the bets response, much appreciated.
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
10 May 08
Kids must be controled at the start, though kids of nowadays are really smart, but control at start is much better then crying over split milk
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
10 May 08
Being smart is one thing and being rude is something else. I always tell my son that it doesn't matter if he's the topper in class, character is what is more important. If he's behaving well...and is a few ranks lower...I won't bother....but my son's going to get it from me if he misbehaves....especially back talking (in a rude way) is not something I will tolerate.
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
12 May 08
Hi SV u remind me of my college Motto , "Character is Destiny" and they really focus on that. and i do agree what u say wiah u all the best
@secretbear (19463)
• Philippines
9 Jun 08
you should give advice to the mother as to what she should do to correct the behavior of her son. she will be sorry if her son continue on growing like a spoiled brat. i have a little nephew who is a little spoiled and whenever he is doing something bad, she gets spanking from her mother. and we are just thankful that he is still afraid of his father. because he is not afraid of her mother or any of us adults here. i guess it is better if a child is still scared of a certain person or something so he can be corrected by using that.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
13 Jul 08
That is the mother's point. He's not scared but obeys his father. So, the father needs to do the disciplining. But the father doesn't stay with them and visits only on weekends. The boy spends more time with the mother than with anyone else.
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Jun 08
I would have been completely blunt, and told the mother that her child was behaving like a total brat, and that she needs to get tougher with him. I also would have said that had that been my child, he wouldn't have gotten away with that behaviour.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
6 Jun 08
The mother brought up the topic because she was trouble handling him and she was worried. But evey option I gave her she vetoed and said it wouldn't work on her child. We both did agree though that he would turn out to be a person who no one liked to be around if he continued this way.
@sweetdesign (5151)
• United States
14 May 08
This is a very sticky situation. Most parents don't like any criticism of thier parenting skills no matter how badly they need to know they are doing. If she brings the subject up I would just say "Listen I am going to be brutally honest with you....." and let her know what you have been observing. Don't say things like "your doing a cruddy job raising your kid" those kind of things don't help and puts the parent on the defensive. Good luck with that.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
20 May 08
She did bring it up...and I did tell her how I would handle it with my son...but she said none of that would work with her son. She basically wanted the husband to do something about it....but he's at home only during the weekends....and that's hardly much time to do any disciplining. And I also had to agree with her that the husband wasn't stopping the child when he was rude to the mother in front of the father.