Do you do it in front of people or do you do it in private? What are some of your reasons? Does that change if you're in your home and family/friends are there? Thanks for your input!
If SS does something requiring an immediate response and there are people around, it gets the response.
But we prefer to say "A__, I'd like to speak to you in your room for a moment" and do the main talk about it in private.
The thing is, we NEED to deal with it at that time (important with all kids, but more important with a kid with ADHD) and so if that happens to be when there are people around, well, then I guess that's how it is.
Private, if I have too. I'm not fond of reprimanding, Id rather talk it out. I think reprimanding in front of people can cause anxiety and shame, which is the last thing I want when trying to correct behavior. I also think reprimanding can interrupt healthy communication and become very one sided, depending on the kid.
When DD was younger there was more need to say something in front of others (dangerous, running into the road etc.)
Thanks for your responses. What about non-life threatening situation of chewing with mouth open, reminded once already, seriously recurring habit (and nose works just fine for breathing)?
No, definitely not, I would not risk losing her trust over something inconsequential in the long run. We have signals for her common missteps...(sitting with legs open, chewing with mouth open) If it is particularly bad or have to use the signal multiple times, I will ask her to come with me in the other room.
I do have a friend who corrects her children's table manners in front of everyone. It's not just awkward/humiliating for the children, it's also extremely awkward for the other guests. She actually draws more attention to the bad behavior than what was there previously. And also, I was taught pointing out or drawing attention to another's bad manners is *worse* than the bad manners.
use some hidden signals or ask her to the other room. bad idea to reprimand a child (or an adult) in front of other people.
Finedreams, I agree it's a bad idea to embarrass a child if it's not absolutely necessary... public reprimanding can be embarrassing. However, there are times when the reprimand NEEDS to be public... because it's more effective.
My SD would wait until we were with DH's parents to do things that we have told her not to. She KNEW we would not say anything to her in front of them... or at least she THOUGHT. If the child is doing something in public BECAUSE they are in public and think they can get away with it... THAT is the best time to reprimand them. Then they will know that you aren't going to let them get away with it just because you are in public.
But if it's a matter of correcting general stuff... manners, etc. then take them aside or talk in private.
If it is something seriously disturbing yes, it could be corrected publicly, but what silvers described could be corrected by just teaching children in private.
I once was deep in thought and chew a gum with my mouth wide open, DD immediately told me "My whole childhood you nagged me not to chew with my mouth open, and what are YOU doing?" Oops...Sorry...hahaha Nobody is perfect.
A simple reminder like "Chew with your mouth closed, please" or "Please use your fork not your fingers" can be said quietly in front of others.
Plus, if it's all adults present, they should have the good graces to pretend they don't see when you deliver a reminder or speak a few words.
SS11 has no objection to being gently reminded of those kinds of things in front of others. And if there are others present, it's NOT going to escalate past a simple reminder or maybe two. If it's just us, it ~may~ escalate to some sort of battle - rare, but it happens.
ceph I think people could maybe use some quick signals rather than actually saying it. I think it is unnecessary to say anything in front of others.
yes if others is grandma, not a big deal, but if others are people at the restaurant not so much.
Also if a child is 2 then he/she might not not know the difference, not like they have know much shame LOL But 7 or 11 is old enough to be embarassed. I don't see the need.
Now, publicly screaming," don't climb on the window ledge on the 16th floor" makes sense. "Chew, or use a fork, or sit up straight" not so much.
For me it really depends on what the offense is and perhaps why it is occuring. As Ima stated, I've had a few times where the little darlings try to blow off when they think they can (might) get away with something they usually would not pull off at other times.
I don't believe in harping a kid silly nor watching their every move at a dinner table, especially while dining out or being a guest in someone's home. I've taught my kids manner, they know the goals of proper is to chew closed, take reasonable bites, fork is not shovel blah blah. They're kids, they aren't perfect and they will and do at times have lapses.
At times a few of the table manner offenses would take place when everyone was talking and enjoying their meal and the other diners with us. I never thought I should scold one of them unless they were deliberately doing something gross (have a GS who thought it was cool at five to hang food out of his mouth to entertain us, I was not amused and he was told I would get up come around and remove his plate since he appeared to be finished eating and was just playing with the food).
DD10 just learned to blow big bubbles with chewing gum (drives me nuts but I laughed like crazy when one popped and settled down all over her nose while she was doing it one evening, LOL) anyway... she had gum in her mouth at mom's 75th birthday brunch and was blowing small bubbles at table prior to being served . Of course this was a for certain no-no. One look at her from GGma and DD immediately knew what look was for, put gum in tissue GGma handed her and the gum was gone. I caught the exchange out of the corner of my eye. DH caught up with DD going through the buffet tables and had a quick exchange of words that noone but DH and DD heard or noticed. Obviously DH had viewed the GGma/DD exchange too.
When I say a quiet reminder, I'm not meaning harping on every move or shouting at the table.
Here's an example:
We were at my brother's for a birthday dinner. DH was eating in the other room with my grandpa. SS, 10 at the time, picked up his steak with his hands and took a bite from it. Now I don't have the most formal of family, but this is not acceptable.
It would have been a bigger scene to have the entire family staring at him as he held a steak in both hands to gnaw on it, or to remove him from the room to talk about it in private, so it had to be dealt with then and there. He wasn't looking at me, so I said his name to get his attention and gave a head shake, gestured setting down the steak and pointed at my cutlery. He gave me that "Huh??" look. So I quietly said "Please use your fork and knife."
He set the steak down, wiped his hands on his napkin and began using his cutlery
The only people who noticed this exchange were the ones who were already aghast that he was holding a steak in his hands at the table. The family members who hadn't noticed were still engaged in their own conversations and had no clue anything had just occurred.
I guess some of you would have let him eat a steak with his hands, stepped up to more elaborate pantomimes, or made five or six people get up to address it in private (SS was seated at the back of the table in the U-shaped dining area). I chose the option that I felt made the smallest scene in this situation.
Thank you for your responses :) Does anyone ever experience a child deliberately doing something they have been asked not to do at the dinner table, while looking directly at the person who asked them not to do it?
When it's intentional... How do you handle it?
I don't see where your steak incident handling would be thought out of line. Seems you dealt with it just fine. Picking up entire steak is a bit more than just chewing with open mouth. It really does just depend on the offense and your gentle reminders were fine, at least in my book.
When out with family we usually try to have one of us sit by the littler ones so if needed we can assist in things like cutting meat if it's necessary. My boys were always big on BBQ ribs, I never failed to have one of them holding up a piece trying to get the last little bite off.
I watched a little boy last weekend having a kiddie meal grilled cheese and fries at a family diner. His mom was nagging him every bite throughout the meal. He had to cut each bite of sandwich and fries had to be cut in 3 pieces each and the while she sat there picking up her chicken leg and merrily ate her lunch. Annoyed the heck outta me. My little slob (DD10) not only ate her fries with her fingers but dipped each in ketchup before popping into her mouth. DD10 did use a knife and fork to pick chicken off the thigh though :)
Silver, if it's intentional, and mostly being done for the purpose of being obnoxious, then I don't give a crap about if there's other people around of not. Because, IMO, it is not a manners issue at that point, it is a respect issue.
But what I would do depends on who the other adult it. If it is someone with equal or more connection to SS than I have, then I prefer to let them deal with it in their own way, unless they request my assistance.
If I am the primary connection in this situation, then I would say "SS, our host/hostess asked you to [stop dropping your peas on the floor] [use your napkin] [use your fork]. And I see that you just did it again. Please listen to them."
And then, if it occurred again, we would excuse ourselves for a private chat about manners and respect.
Thank you Ceph. What if the primary parent does not notice, the step parent does, the step parent has already asked once, then looks over again and sees the same thing happening: kid looking right at them.
Ok to reprimand?
What are good consequences?
I'm asking without giving details, I don't want this to get into some over-blown thing like what happens with a lot of examples - someone tells a story, someone else nit-picks, OP starts defending, some defend OP, others now attack defenders... etc.
"Does anyone ever experience a child deliberately doing something they have been asked not to do at the dinner table, while looking directly at the person who asked them not to do it?
When it's intentional... How do you handle it?"
DD does not do anything intentional as far as table manners go anymore. Ages 2 - 4 it was not uncommon and I always took her outside of the restaurant/removed her from situation. Most of my sibs went through that stage at around 2 - 4 as well and removal from the situation was used by me when I watched them. No big deal, one of those things.
However, I'm guessing you're talking about an older kid. So I guess it would depend on the offense, age of kid, where we are etc.
If it was a repeated pattern of intentional bad behavior in public, I'd think it was less to do with table manners and more of an overall power struggle. In the moment, I would most likely remove the child but again, depending on offense. If it was something like chewing with mouth open, I'd use signal, if I saw it continue after multiple signals/talks etc...then there'd be a consequence afterwards. I'd also work at addressing the reasons behind the power struggle, rather than focusing in on the "symptoms" too much.
As far as reprimanding in front of grandparents, it would depend on the grandparent in question. One set would be ok, no embarassment. They are likely to tell funny stories about spills etc. Another set would use that to gossip about my bad parenting and my DD. So yeah, we wouldn't be doing that.
Thank you Ceph. What if the primary parent does not notice, the step parent does, the step parent has already asked once, then looks over again and sees the same thing happening: kid looking right at them.
Oh, were you at our house last weekend? LOL!
We had a friend over for dinner, but the hockey game was on (we're Canadians, haha). SS11 had slurped a linguine (you know, the big slippy slappy wet noodle slurp) and Dh asked him not to do that. So he waited until DH was turned towards the TV, looked right at the back of DH's head with a belligerent look, and did it again. I said "SS, Dad asked you not to slurp your noodles".
His reply? "But Dad didn't see me do it this time."
Dad's reply "Doesn't matter. I asked you not to do it, so you don't do it. It doesn't matter if I can see you do it or not. And if you do it again, you can go to your room."
I don't care that we had guests, he deliberately defied DH and we're not going to stand for that.
Now, if it was a non-defiant manners error, he would NOT be threatened with going to his room. It's OK if he slips up with his manners, but being deliberately disrespectful is not OK.
At home. 8 years old. Chewing with mouth open. Warned once. (just the facts ma'am)
We have two opinions in our house:
1. Never discipline in front of others unless emergency situation.
2. Keeps happening, talking isn't working, maybe embarrassment will.
#1's response to #2: But embarrassing guests/other parent is not ok, makes for awkward situation all around.
#2's response to #1's response: Embarrassment is your issue. Guest in particular occasion is practically family.
It's a power struggle, and not just between kid and parents!! LOL. What do you think is a good consequence?
OMG Ceph!! DD and I just had a talk about that. Her opinion is that you shouldn't do bad stuff. Why? Because you might get caught. Ok, so it's ok to do bad stuff "if you're not caught"? Apparently yes. Um. Stammer... WHAT?
"So he waited until DH was turned towards the TV, looked right at the back of DH's head with a belligerent look, and did it again. "
This made me laugh so hard. That's my DD. Exactly. She gets reprimanded, acts like we just poured water on her head, then gets "the stare" and repeats the behavior, and then forgets she's supposed to be doing it surreptitiously and kind of zones out... WHAM! Caught again. Deer in headlights.
DD swallows noodles, WHOLE. Whole. I swear. I see why my grandpa wouldn't eat at the table with us kids. He said it made him physically ill. And he meant it, he loved us, he just could not eat with us and be able to eat himself.
Slurp, smack, (knocks over water glass), loud swallow, makes weird breathing noise like she can't breath because mouth is so full, lick, (wipes greasy hands on clean pants) sigh, grunt, (picks nose, looks startled when caught eating boogers)...
I make it sound bad. She actually has very good manners and gets complimented on them often when we are out. BUT!
"At home. 8 years old. Chewing with mouth open. Warned once. (just the facts ma'am)"
Ok, I guess to give some background on my decisions...my SO is the good guy. I'm the bad guy, if it is ever needed. We both decided this was the best way to go due to my past issues with my SM. I also thinks it allows SO and DD to bond naturally. But anyway, besides the point.
So if my SO had noticed this offense and gave a signal (which this is all unlikely lmao, he is oblivious to this sort of stuff, he grew up in a barn) and he saw she did it again and *perceived* DD intentionally ignored him. And that is likely as well, DD zones out quite a bit and what can be interpreted as ignoring is actually out to la la land. Alright, with all that said what I would expect to happen is for SO to notify me, preferably later after guests have left. Chewing with her mouth open is gross, yes, but unless she's spewing food out I consider it to be one of the issues you don't draw attention too.
Now if it is something like scratching down her pants or picking the nose and eating....I consider those serious. In those cases, I'd like him to catch my attention and I'd handle it then by removing her.
I believe in treating children with respect and courtesy. Reprimands are always in private. Unless something was life threatening, I'd handle with icy look, etc. and take it outside.
I totally disagree with reprimanding in public to send a message -- as in "However, there are times when the reprimand NEEDS to be public... because it's more effective. " -- becuase you're also senbd a message not to be polite.
I think if children do something inappropriate deliberately then there is a bigger issue at hand than table manners.
In my experience children who are either neglected OR are constantly watched and reprimanded sometimes behave equally poorly. In the first case due to lack of parental guidance, second case: power struggle and negative attention.
Doing nasty things on purpose is unacceptable. But I would try to investigate why first. They clearly get attention when they do it. And so on...
My ex's son was ADHD before they had the acronym.
He grew up just fine, tremendous in fact, but when he was 7, he was awful.
picked his nose
threw himself to the floor in stores & restaurants
chased kids at church & bit 'em
As near as I ever figured out, he'd been "honeyed" so much that he was deaf to his parents ("Honey, don't do that." "Honey, your brother doesn't like it when you bite him.")
so he ignored anything said by an adult unless it was about something in which he was interested, like computers or rocks.
The only way to get him to stop whatever horrible thing he was doing was to stop it *right then*.
Letting it go til later just didn't work;
he often wasn't even aware that he was doing stuff, & if no one said anything, he'd either keep on doing it or he'd work himself into a full-blown hyperactive "episode".
but he was a smart person, & once he learned how to pay attention to his own habits, he was fine.
"honeyed" so much
hahahah never heard that one, love it hahah
Syliva said He grew up just fine, tremendous in fact, but when he was 7, he was awful.
SS is definitely getting a better handle on his ADHD as he gets older. We are light years from where we were when he was 8.
He's pretty lonely right now (he changed schools this year and has had a hard time making friends)... So I wish for his sake that his social skills would start catching up to the other ways I see him gaining maturity, but I don't think that's too far off. His social skills at home and on outings are getting MUCH better, so I suspect improved social skills with his peers are soon to follow.
Incidents like the noodle slurp are getting fewer and further between. Freakouts are getting less frequent, particularly in front of other people. He's learning to hold many sorts of conversations.
And he is oh-so-slowly learning to take responsibility for his own actions instead of denying them or blaming others. (A year ago, he would have denied the noodle slurp, at least now he's just saying he didn't think he'd get busted, LOL)
So we'll just keep on keepin' on.
We're not going to use public shaming as a disciplinary tool, but if SS requires the occasional reprimand or reminder when others can see or hear, then so be it.
Last night I gently reminded DD at least 20 times, verbally, eye signals...etc.... If I do not look directly at her, making it obvious that I am chewing my food with my mouth closed... she goes right back to mouth open.
Nose not stuffed up.
What the heck is going on???
Do you think she was purposely ignoring you? Or just tuning you out?
One of my stepbrothers behaved a lot like this when he was younger. He'd tune out a lot of what my SM would say/ask him to do. He still does to an extent and was even tested for learning disabilities (nothing was ever diagnosed.) I always suspected that he was harped on too much (and that's an understatement) and his coping mechanicism was an automatic tune out whenever she came around. (I'm not saying you're doing this, SS or that you're even remotely like my SM)
But I did notice in the cocoa thread you said since remarriage you've been redefining your parenting style. And maybe the problem isn't really a problem per se, it's just a lot of changes for DD.
I suggest you take her to a pediatrician. she might be having some issues with breathing through the nose even if her nose does not appear to be stuffed.
i have a missing nasal septum-ENS, (yes it is not just deviated septum, it is a lack of it, sounds gross).
I can breath through my nose but some normal stuff is difficult for me like blowing my nose, (how do you blow when there is nothing inside to divide it? ). My nose also feels either dry or runny and I often make sniffling sounds unintentionally. Etc, there is bunch of symptoms that can happen with this, it is like your nose always on your mind because it never feels fully normal.
You say she has a problem with pardon me boogers. well she might be developing a lot of crusting in her nose, another symptom of missing or deviated septum. I suggest you take a flash light and look closely up her nose. Then see a doctor.
i know it is a very unusual condition and most likely she does not have that but I would still check, sounds very familiar to me.
Nivea, I have. But it's been four years :)
She doesn't have crusting in her nose, she just likes to pick her boogers. She just had her checkup :) I've also asked her if her nose is working and she says yes...
Heck yeah! I do believe in reprimanding in private EXCEPT if the act is done intentionally publicly. For me, that warrants what I would call a Heavy Check. The kid needs to know 1. the behavior is unacceptable and 2. you are not protected by being in public or in front of others. Most of the time I will take him to talk in another room but if we are talking flagrant foul, the correction will probably happen right then and there.
I do back down a lot when things happen in public and DS7 knows this. BUT, sometimes, I come down on him hard when he plays this particular card.
Acting up in public is a little person's hardball. Recognize it and play the ball back the same way.
well I hope she does not have any issue with her nose (But I always thought my nose worked OK because I did not know how it really suppose to work. i thought that other people do not have septum either. LOL seems funny now.) In any case if she has no health/developmental issues, she is rebelling against something, whatever that something is.
Thanks FD. She's had extensive medical workups for various reasons. She's healthy as a horse. No runny nose ever. No weird breathing sounds. No snoring either.
She's rebelling cause she's 8 and that's what they do... testing the limits.
"She's rebelling cause she's 8 and that's what they do... testing the limits."
that's what they do??? I happen to know a lot of children, it is not a rule that they rebel at 8? what is there to rebel against?
picking boogers is just a bad habit that many children share, 8 might be a bit old to do in public, but maybe.
I would leave her to eat alone and maybe watch her from a spot where you could see. then see what you observe. if she acts just the same, then maybe bad habits. if her table manners are atrocious only in front of you, then a power struggle, and yes she rebels, but that's not a rule for 8-year-old!
cry for attention? is she getting praises or only reprimands?
what if you completely ignore bad behavior, pretend you don't see it, and only notice good things for a day? would you see a difference?
Oh my gosh FD. You are so literal. I did not mean in any way that there is a fast rule that children must rebel at 8. That was more off the cuff, so to speak.
It's bad habits. And, sometimes, she does it as a power struggle. She's learning how to eat at the table. She's learning what she can get away with.
No, she's not only getting reprimands. For goodness sake.
This is why I said I didn't want to give details. My daughter is fine. She behaves wonderfully most of the time. I had a disagreement with my DH about reprimanding - do we do it in public, or do we do it only in private.
I appreciate everyone's responses. Thank you especially to Ceph and Lamom and those who discussed the situation at face value.
It's definitely a test of you, the rules and the limits. Like I said, acting out in public is kiddie hardball. Will mom do something if I do this since everyone is watching har har har. Her hands are tied because we have company or we are in a store or we are walking down the street. Let's see what she does with this!
Play the ball back the way it was served. DS used to try to get loud with me in public, that was his space to talk back. SGS9 as well. Frankly, I've given some Heavy Checks in public, most recently taking them both by the earlobe and pulling them until they straighened up. Straight out of a Dickens novel and it worked. I got apologies and better behavior.