The other evening, my
three year old screamed and screamed at me. He refused to move from
the pile of washing I was trying to put into the washing machine.
I asked him nicely.
Then I gave him a
Then I gave him a
And finally I got
Now, just to clarify,
'the timer' is a rubbishy little wooden thing that you'd use for
cooking. We don't sit our three year old in a particular place to
endure the timer, but we do ignore him for the duration of the whole
But, for some reason
(probably the fact we ignore him and don't give him any attention),
he detests the timer. We have had it out on only three occasions and
each time he kicks it, pushes it over and cries until it runs out.
We stop ignoring him.
We cuddle him and we explain why we are sad. We hug him so so tight.
And guess what he does?
He says sorry. He
acknowledges that he didn't do as he was asked.
Would it matter if he
didn't move from my pile of washing? Of course not. But if he doesn't
learn to do as we ask when we want him to move off the washing, will
he learn to listen when we ask him to stop running into the road on
our next trip to the shop? Will he learn to do as we ask when we ask
him to stop jumping innocently on his brother who, at nine months, is
unable to hold up his own body weight, let alone anyone else's?
We are not trying to
make him submissive (if we are, we are failing miserably because he
is a feisty little thing who makes demands of us daily like “fetch
me some ice water” - actual words which have left his mouth).
But we are trying to
teach him boundaries. And these are mostly a) for his safety and b)
to make him a nice person who thinks about his actions affect others.
We have a wonderfully
stubborn little boy (don't know where he gets that
from....ahem....Daddy) and he is very much 'give an inch, take a
mile'. So we have to be strict with ourselves too.
And sometimes, this
means we have to let him cry and scream round Aldi because they have
only got Haribo mix bags and not huge packs of just Haribo cola
bottles. How dare they?!
So, if our babies are
hurt or sad or need us for whatever reason, we will be there to dry
But if our babies are
crying because we have refused to buy them six iced buns to eat round
Sainsbury? Unfortunately, we will let them cry.
Because we are teaching
And sometimes they
don't like that.
We all know how they
feel. I hate people telling me what to do. But it is a fact of life
that I constantly follow rules. I follow rules at work. I follow the
laws of society.
Though it still totally
sucks when someone wont let you have six iced buns.