Recently my eldest daughter has started to push my buttons a little more than usual. She has had an awful cold/cough and it’s made her properly miserable and not exactly a joy to be around. For a few days I let her sulk and whine and play up as I felt sorry for her – she was ill after all. But as she (slowly) got better I found my fun loving, generous toddler had a very naughty streak. It’s probably not very naughty to most people but to me it is.
We have started having to be stricter with the ways we discipline her, for her sake and for ours. I don’t want a rude, disobedient child and for her she needs consistency so as to avoid confusion.
One example of this is Peppa Pig. Have you watched many of the episodes?
Peppa is quite rude. She says the word boring in nearly every episode. Usually in response to something her mum has suggested that they do or somewhere they should go. Izzy is a bit in love with old PP, ( it’s the only programme she will watch and completely get lost in it) and quickly began repeating it. If I offered her food… It was boring. If I suggested we go see someone.. They were boring. You get the picture. Slightly funny initially then wanting to tear my hair out frustrating very shortly after.
So we have stopped her watching it. For now. To some this may seem extreme but it’s been three days now and her use of the B word has reduced from 10-15 times per hour to about 5 times a day. She understands it’s rude to say it about everything and is learning that when you are naughty there are consequences.
I won’t stop it forever I promise you. She loves her too much for that. In fact we are going to see the theatre show in June but it’s never too early for her to learn that you can’t do everything you see on TV. Also limiting TV time is never a bad thing.
I’ve also noticed she (PP) will often say about her Dads tummy being too big etc.. Another thing I really don’t want Izzy to start saying to people. Weight issues are a conversation I don’t want to start just yet. She’s not even 3!
This last few weeks has made me think about something my mum said to me a while back which is that when parenting young children that you have to remember to be their mother .. Not their friend. I’m sure I’m not the only person guilty of wanting to be their child’s favourite person?
After having quite a few months last year of not being able to do as much with Izzy as I could due to the pregnancy etc I felt pretty guilty that our relationship was changing and maybe it did but I’ve started to understand it will continue to do that. One minute I am in Izzys words “brilliant” and she “loves me soooooo much” and other days I am brushed aside for no reason.
She is a person just like me, who has good days and bad days. Some days I will annoy her ( like she annoys me) and some days well I will be the worlds coolest mum ( in her eyes at least).
I mean we all have days like this right?
My relationship with my own mum has changed many times over the years. I’ve always loved her (of course) but in my teens we definitely rubbed each other up the wrong way on many occasions. A combination of me being a pain and rebellious and my mum having some pretty awful mood swings, health issues and depression because of that. Fast forward to now and maybe I’m not supposed to but I will say that I think of my mum as a friend. She is a wonderful mother first and foremost but if something happens I immediately want to share it with her – like you would with your friend but if anything goes wrong I want to lean on her like you would with a parent.
That’s how I want to be with my daughters. A mother now when it is most important. Supportive, loving but firm. And later on well it would be great if they saw me as a friend too.
It’s only now looking back that I realise how great my parents were at their most important job – raising me and my siblings. It takes becoming a parent to know how hard it is from the most basic of decisions to the sleep deprivation and day to day life.