Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Manipulations

Situation #1: My son is home today with a sinus infection. He's milking that for all it's worth.

Situation #2: My sister and I are on the outs--- a child-rearing disagreement. Her son cried for an hour last night because he wanted to sleep with her. Cried until he threw up. And, because she stripped his bed and didn't feel like re-making it (which I understand), he got to sleep with her.

And I told her, "You could've just done that in the first place if you were going to let him."

Much attitude and hot words ensued. The thing is, I don't care if her son sleeps with her or not. The issue at hand is that my parents and I have told her and she has said herself that he cries to get his way. Tell him no, and the tears come. Reprimand him for something, and the pout and miniature attitude come.

That shit pisses me off. It is manipulation--I'm going to cry until you give me what I want. I don't think it should be reinforced. Yes, I know it's not my kid, but I have to live with him and am expected to discipline him.

Her argument is that I'm hard-hearted because the tears don't move me. And I wonder myself sometimes if I am. I'm far from perfect; I don't 100% of the time stick to "no," but typically, when I tell my son he is not going to do something, I mean it. No amount of tears and begging change my mind. For that reason, my son is more likely to try the "being an angel route" to sway me.

So anyway, that is the latest dilemma at chez elle. What's going on with y'all?

9 comments:

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I feel your pain Elle. Me and my sister have had many a argument about the way she (doesn't really) discipline my nieces. People don't like you telling them about their kids... But if you're anything like me you don't let that stop you... keep ya head up, girlfriend.

Gwyneth

RageyOne said...

I hope your son gets to feeling better.

I understand where you are coming from with your sister. Unfortunately, she has to come to that realization hersefl before she will accept. No matter how much you or your parents tell her what is happening she will not believe it. For her and her son's sake, I hope it comes to light soon. He shouldn't be raised to think he will always get his way. At some point he is going to have a rude awakening and it won't be pretty. Better for it to happen at home than in some random place in the future.

Give us an update on how the diss is coming along.

elle said...

ragey, update coming.

and thanks to both of y'all for having some perspective--i really felt "mean"

BF TX said...

That's your nephew and your sister. . .you're not being "mean" for wanting him to lose the manipulation routine and for her to have it easier when he eventually gives that up.

You know me (Mommy Dearest), I share your philosophy. Unfortunately your Godson's father falls for the tears and manipulations much easier than I do. I swear whenever I make progress, regression happens when Daddy gives in. Daddy is sleeping with Godson TX right now in his room, after I said no and after I said he couldn't sleep with us. Godson TX turned on the "Daddy you're my best friend in the whole wild world" charm and Daddy was a sucker for it. . . AGAIN. Now who's going to sleep with Godson tomorrow night when his father has to work? Won't be me and the kid and I will probably get into a war of wills.....again.

Your sister is going to have to come to her wits end on her own, as much as you want to nudge her there.

Hang in there and give MY baby a kiss for me. I hope he feels better.

JULIE said...

Re: your sister and her son - I think you are right! People forgot how smart kids are and that they can figure out how to manipulate a situation. If it works, why not keep doing it?

What's going on with me... unpacking. Or sitting on my new couch looking at boxes willing them to unpack themselves!

RachelsTavern said...

I'm with you on the crying thing. Maybe your not moved because you are able to distinguish real tears from crocodile tears. Too many mothers are suckers for that.

Plus, the other thing is respect and courtesy for others. Giving in doesn't teach respect or courtesy.

Good lord, I'm so old fashioned when it comes to parenting. Please remind me of this when I have kids.

Texter said...

I second Ragey... update on diss.... but I admit I have selfish reasons; I need the commisseration with someone else trying to finish this spring... :)

As for your nephew, I really don't claim to have wisdom on raising kids... I think I might be a softie, (b/c I am with my cat!! haha), but I definitely see the wisdom in what you say. Having boundaries (with anyone, including students and one's own children) can be difficult sometimes (if you want to be "liked") but helps them immensely in attaining maturity.

Southern_Lady said...

Hey! I hope things work out with your sister. Whenever a child is involved, there's some issues.

wwwmama said...

I can relate. Living with my nephew, I'm involved in his upbringing whether I want to be or not. So, differences in parenting are stressful. The trouble with the discipline thing is that the longer it goes on like it is, the harder it will be to break the habit, because it's being reinforced. Sigh. Hope it gets better.

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