Sunday, 13 February 2011

When are they publishing that "how to be a good parent" book again?

Stuart and I are doing what many a parent before us has done and are questioning our parenting skills. Particularly when it comes to discipline.

We know the rules:

Be consistent
Work together
Naughty step
Use the cage sparingly but effectively...oh, ok, not the cage...!

But it is so hard to know whether what you do first is the right thing so you change it and you find you aren't being consistent. You don't want to be fighting all the time or ruin his happy mood so you let things go. Forever wanting the easy life takes over.

Then you decide to get strict, lay down the law and try to stick to it, only to realise that it is that day he is poorly which is why he is acting up, not eating etc.

All we have to go by is how our parents brought us up and what we remember of their parenting techniques. What we don't know is how they felt after telling us off and seeing us distraught as a result or when they knew afterwards that they had made a mistake that time. In some ways, this is reassuring as Callum will be the same as he grows up but what we can't see is how much of what we are doing now is going to shape his behaviour and personality in the future. Oh for a crystal ball...or that manual that gives you all the answers...or super-nanny locked away in your shed!

Another issue, even if there was such a manual, is that every child is different (as we are constantly being reminded by every professional who has ever wrote a book or expressed an opinion on parenting) so what works for one child wont work for another.

So, the current battle, the vegetable one. How to get him to eat his vegetables. Our plan is the old faithful reward chart route but will welcome any other suggestions. I know you can disguise them but I don't want to be cooking different dinners for Callum when we are all eating a lovely Sunday roast. So we will try this way first and see how we get on.

Is there any rule to how many reward charts you can have????

Wednesday, 2 February 2011


Sorry, still having a few issues around bedtime.

We had an amazing weekend in Essex and we headed home Monday afternoon. Callum fell asleep in the car around 3.30pm-4pm! Disastrous!

Unsurprisingly, he wouldn't sleep when it came to bed time. We tried at his old bedtime of 7pm but he kept getting up. He got up 7 times within one hour. We first tried the Super-Nanny approach of picking him up without words, putting him in bed and leaving the room didn't work! (we tried for about 1-1.5 hours) We tried the Mean Daddy/Mummy didn't work! In the end, I threatened him with taking one of his teddies away for every time he got out of bed. He stayed in bed - hooray! The time was 9.50pm!

That meant he was ridiculously tired for nursery the next day. Apparently, he was a real monkey and obviously tired but didn't nap. I thought he was bound to go down easily that night. Nope. I put him down to bed and left the room but suspected he would get straight up so I stood outside and held the handle up. Sure enough, he started tugging at the door and then got upset when he couldn't open it. I gave him two warnings - each after about 5 minutes of crying while I held the door handle up and he tried to open it. Then, I took Raffi (stuffed giraffe). Big tears but I thought he had learnt this time and so I went downstairs. He got up so I took BoneyM (crappy monkey dog toy present thing from Santa). Fine as I left the room then as soon as I shut the door he was beside himself. I suddenly had a thought so I opened the door and he stopped crying but I could hear him trying to catch his breath back after being so upset. I now felt bad...maybe he just wanted the door open and I had taken his two toys :o(

So, tonight! Again, he gets up twice despite me leaving the door open. Then I take Raffy again. He gets up and starts to come down the stairs. So I take BoneyM. He bursts into tears. I take him to bed making sure he knows why I am taking the toys and he just needs to stay in bed otherwise next time I'll be taking Teddy. The next minute...Teddy and YoJoJo come flying down the stairs! Seems he isn't bothered. He is standing by the upstairs banister with a smirk on his face - how can he know how to be so bloody petulant at his age???

I take him back to bed and take Teddy but give him back YoJoJo (despite him throwing him down stairs) and FINALLY he stays!

Tomorrow, I will go back to taking him to bed at his old bedtime and will assume he has got used to no nap during the day. If that doesn't cure the getting out of bed issue I may need to form a new plan! If the new plan fails - whatever that may be - I may just make good use of our oversized shed!!!!

Wish me luck!