Before having children I had an ideal picture in my head of the mother I wanted to be. I’d be a cool, collected, calm person who only used the positive praise approach as discipline. There would be no shouting, anger, stress or tears. It would be perfect and wonderful and our house would be the ‘house of smiles’. I would be firm but fair if needed, and I’d never ever lose my temper. I read lots of books and articles before having my first child and agreed with their approach. I would and could be this perfect mother.
Oh how idyllic that scene would be and oh how wrong I was, because my first darling baby one day turned into a three year old. A three year old who could answer back, refuse to do what I ask, take clothes off I just put on, be asked the same thing 20 times and ignore me, hide from me when we have an appointment to get to, shout at me, pour milk all over the table and play with it, refuse to go to the toilet and then need it as soon as we’ve left the house, tip up the box of lego I’ve just spent ten minutes tidying away, lie face down on the floor playing dead when it’s time to leave for playschool.
Basically, I have a normal three year old child who pushes boundaries, is striving for independence and is beginning to make the connection between right and wrong. She is a lovely well behaved child for the most part, who of course is my world, but almost every day the threenager will rear its ugly head!
I am glad she is going through this stage as of course it will have a positive outcome as she learns to make the right decisions and do things for herself, but boy oh boy, it can be frustrating at times!
Here are six things I now do which the ‘pre pre-schooler’ me would be horrified at!
- Use a ‘naughty chair’
(because the word naughty is humiliating according to the books, well actually, it often works)
- Put her to bed if she is being super unreasonable
(because the books say the bedroom should be a tranquil place and not associated with negative feelings, but just the mention of an early bedtime can do the trick)
(not all the time, I don’t want to sound like I’m a shouty Mum and I still don’t want to be one, but after repeating the same task/question a million times, a raised voice usually gets a response)
- Lose my patience
(sadly I’ve learnt my patience levels aren’t as infinite as I had hoped)
- Bribe with a treat
(sometimes it’s the only way to get her through a boring trip of the supermarket or keep happy on a long journey, I’m pretty annoyed at myself for this one though and try to only use ‘Bear’ fruit snacks as treats)
- Countdown! FIVE, FOUR, THREE, TWO…
(I’m not actually sure what I’m meant to do when I reach one, maybe the illegal naughty chair? But we’ve not reached one yet)
I’m sure there are many more methods I use which I never thought I would, but you just can’t know the type of parent you’ll be until you’re in the situation and each age definitely comes with its new set of challenges.