Tuesday 31 January 2012

Repeat after me..”It’s just a phase”

Oh dear, I’m going through another I love you but I don’t like you phase with Callum at the moment.

He is behaving like a very spoilt child where every sentence starts with “I want….” and then follows with a whining “I don’t want….” when he gets it (after I make him ask for it nicely “May I have…”, I don’t respond to the I want behaviour).

I then feel like we spend the whole time at each other’s throats, which is exhausting, so will try to plan something nice to do together. I hold my hands up here and say I’m not finding it easy going out at the moment. I am not a good winter person and if the sun isn’t shining, I prefer to hibernate, but I know Callum needs stimulation and often needs more than what can be offered from staying inside – especially as he was poorly last week so we were forced to spend a few days cooped up inside.

So, today, taking advantage of the sun shining and despite the cold whether, I took him to the Aviation Museum at Bournemouth Airport. He actually woke up in a really good mood this morning too so I was looking forward to the trip.

We have a nice enough time in there and he wants a helicopter from the shop so I get him one.

We pop in to see my Dad who works in the grounds and within minutes he has broken the helicopter – he now no longer likes it. When we say goodbye and get in the car he starts to get ‘difficult’ he sees the helicopter which I’ve put down on the seat for a minute while I plug him in (which he doesn’t want to happen) and shouts “No, I don’t want the helicopter, I don’t want it” while trying to get to it when I know he will throw it.

We get home and I try to make lunch and he starts demanding again:

“I want it cold” while grabbing the bread.

“I don’t want butter on it”

“I want it hot”

“I don’t want a sandwich” repeated about 30 times increasing in volume and aggression each time he says it.

“I don’t want cheese, I want ham” (me – “we don’t have any ham, we only have cheese”)

“I want a ham sandwich, I want ham, I don’t want cheese”

He then starts to hit and kick at me.

I carry him up to his bedroom for time out! The stair is getting less effective these days!

Now I know behaviour deteriorates when he is hungry and I factor this in but it is rarely in this spoilt way and this is just one example from over the last few days. There have been plenty of times when he has been like this when I know he isn’t hungry. He woke up screaming and demanding yesterday – not the most enjoyable sound at 6.45am!!!

He keeps also misbehaving for attention. Or uses going to the toilet as an attention tool.He is more than capable of going to the toilet on his own, does all the time at nursery and sometimes does at home but he makes us go with him all the time and wants us to pull down his trousers and pants then pull them up again. I refuse to do it! It is probably our own fault for this happening because, when time is an issue, we’ve done it to speed things up so have clearly built a rod for our own back but he’s got to start doing it himself! He is and has always been lazy. Once he can do something himself, he loses interest and will try anything he can to not do it and get us to do it for him. The only way through it is to be tough.

He has to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around him and he can’t be so demanding. Especially when he gets a baby brother or sister and I wont be able to dedicate so much time running around after him – he will get quite a shock to the system!!

I know it is just a phase at the moment. He goes through these phases then a week or two later he is back to being his loveable self again – I only have to read back through this blog to know this much. Its just so miserable at the time when you are going through it!

I’ve vowed to whip out the reward chart when we move (I’d do it now but can’t find where I’ve put the pad!) to cover the following:

  • Going to the toilet on his own
  • Washing his hands after the toilet
  • Cleaning his teeth
  • Eating his dinner himself (all that BLW down the drain!)
  • and general good behaviour

All things we are going to need to tackle to encourage him to be more independent!

I feel guilty (when does a parent not feel guilty?) because his behaviour is probably our own doing in a lot of the cases! When things are good, I imagine we get a bit lax with things and then when they go down hill, we get angry at Callum when I should probably be looking at myself.

Oh the joys of parenting!

Reading that back, it sounds like I’m being really hard on him and maybe expecting too much but its all stuff I know he can do and has done and he doesn’t behave like this all the time, he just goes through periods so maybe that’s why I’m expecting so much.

Sigh, I hate writing posts like this, I end up feeling like such a bad parent that rather than be my therapy I wonder if it just makes me feel worse…


  1. Debbie - we have all been there. it seems never-ending even when you know it will end. They seem so horrible at these times even when they are really nice little people. I hope Callum will be more himself soon and that you don't have too many hard days in getting there.

  2. Thank you - you've said it succinctly yet eloquently. He is a really nice little boy most of the time but these 'phases' do feel tough at the time. Me too - hopefully, now I've written this, he'll turn back to his angel self tomorrow ;o)

  3. Honestly have been there too. Matthew went through a horrendous phase of saying one thing then completely switching it round - ie I want to go out, no I don't want to go out, it was infuriating!! It passes, honestly! x

  4. Thank you Lynne - as always, it helps to know you are not the only one to go through it and that it will pass x


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