I thought I might have offended my wife's daughter-in-law this past labor day weekend because of this kind of issue.
DIL daughter and her slightly older cousin (both are my wife's granddaughters) were downstairs while my wife and I were watching TV in the living room. DIL came down from the upstairs and asked us if it was ok if the two girls watched a movie in our bedroom to keep them occupied. My wife said it was ok so long as they were quiet.
DIL then turned to the two girls and started to ask if them if they would be quiet while watching the tv in our bedroom. I broke in at that point and said "No if they are watching tv in our bedroom (bedroom is right off the living room and noise carries very easily) then they WILL be quiet, it is not a choice"
I gave a stern look to both girls, then they went into the bedroom and we did not hear a peep out of them.
DIL and husband (wife's son) are famous for constantly negotiating with their daughter. She (the granddaughter) really rules them and most of the time I just keep my mouth shut.
Modified for clarity
If I were the, mom, I'd be royally pissed at you.
When I asked those kinds of questions about my daughter, what I was seeking was *her acknowledgment of* and *her agreement to* the conditions imposed. It gave me ammo for later, and for my own kid, it meant that she was much more likely to follow the rule, because she had *verbalized* her acquiesence.
Your interruption would have completely derailed that.
And the "stern look" before they have even misbehaved makes me flamingly angry. Children do not need to be scolded for things they haven't done!! And I believe that treating them that way makes them *less* likely to follow the rules, and it destroys their willingness to accede to the authority of the grownups around them. Why follow the rules, if you're just going to get a dirty look before you even start?
Maybe the whole "negotiating" thing is getting out of hand in your family, but being bossy and prematurely punitive is not all that admirable.
I have to agree - the mom wasn't negotiating with the child. It sounded more like she was making sure they understood the condition under which they'd be allowed to watch TV in the bedroom.
Well there is a lot of background to go with this I had left out. first off, my wife and I had just been ready to go into the bedroom to tell the girls to quiet down.
Secondly, asking questions can be a valid way of teaching a child, however in this case, as I mentioned both parents have consistently always asked their daughter to behave. It's always, "are you ready to go to bed? Can you do stop yelling? I have seen and heard them beg and plead with their daughter to behave as daughter starts to throw a tantrum. Daughter has learned all she has to do is to fuss, and she'll get what she wants.
They try to control her by bribing her which has never worked.
"You don't want the sandwhich you told me (not asked, but told) to make for you?? If you eat it, I'll let you have some cookies."
"Ok here are the cookies, now please eat your sandwhich. Oh, you don't want a peanut butter sandwhich anymore, you want tuna fish, ok."
That plus the fact her daughter has one volume for her voice, and that's to shout everything