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????

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