Thursday, 15 January 2009

Don't sweat the small stuff

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post, Mothers and Daughters.

To summarise, this is what I should do:
  1. Let her have some of the small victories
  2. Give her more choices and control over the small stuff
  3. Be calm and consistent with the big stuff
  4. Remember it's a phase!
And don't worry Auntie Gwen, husband only thinks it's funny when she's not around. We're very good at providing a united front and always support each other's decisions. In fact, when he finds out she's been naughty for me he does the whole 'disappointed' thing which really affects her, being such a daddy's girl!

Now, I am pretty good at the calm and consistent - being a teacher helps! As my pupils will tell you, I don't do shouty. Much more effective to lower your voice!

I have been giving her choices for a while now, but it usually goes:

"What kind of fruit would you like?"
"Jaffa cakes"
"Jaffa cakes aren't fruit. We have bananas, grapes, kiwi, ....."
"I want Jaffa cakes"
"It's fruit or nothing"
"I'll have nothing"
(See, stubborn too!)

One thing I started doing this term is letting her pack her own snack bag for school. I thought it would give her more independence and she would be more likely to eat what she'd chosen. She knows she has to have a bottle of water, a carton of juice and two snacks from: fruit (fresh or dried), yoghurt/fromage frais, cheese - school rules. She enjoys choosing her juice and snacks .............................. but she does try to have three snacks.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

"It's just a phase, it's just a phase!"

9 comments:

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

LOL....remember its a phase..
(and that there's another one just around the corner!) LOL

Expat mum said...

Next time start off by naming the fruits. Anytime you ask a small child an open-ended question you'll get an answer you either didn't want or didn't anticipate. (Alias ancient mum.)

Mean Mom said...

Excellent dad behaviour - and mum, too, of course! It sounds as if you're doing very well, on the whole.

I was often left to battle alone with my eldest son, whilst my husband 'kept out of it'. I think it's fantastic that your husband automatically gives you his support.

Maggie May said...

I think you have it all under control!

Dusty Spider said...

We're having similar problems with our 4 year old too. She is very argumentative at the moment. So we don't argue. Very contrary. We think she is testing boundaries again since starting school but we're all sticking together for the correct behaviour and it seems to be working. Hard work though. Just remember she'll turn out the way you want her to because you won't be able to stop yourself from making that happen. Hang in there! Flick xx

Catharine Withenay said...

You seem to have all the right ideas - just have to keep firm and stick to them.

Thanks for your advice on my blog. I spent much of yesterday scrutinising secondary school league tables in the light of that!

Jacki said...

oohhh....yeah...I know all about the phases because we are going through some of the same thing!! Don't give up...just know that you aren't the only one going through it. I'm right there with you. :-)

Moannie said...

You know, it's a funny thing [and here I am sure FFF would say something like 'selective memory mum']but arguing merely fans the flames...you have to catch them off guard by saying something they least expect, something odd...I dunno 'If you only knew how many monkeys I had to fight to get that fruit' I'm sure you could come up with something better than that.
Thing is, if you get too hung up on this phrase you won't be ready for the next.
Seriously, the fact of the matter is that you are the mum, and I'm afraid kids should not argue with you, debate yes, provided it is respectful. Rudeness wouldn't be tolerated in my household and mine have turned out fine, they don't hate me and are all pretty wonderful adults. JP was strict though.
Don't mean to sound bossy.

Working mum said...

Moannie - you don't sound bossy, you sound like a very wise woman. I like the idea of saying something they don't expect - I often do that sort of thing at school ("take your scarf off or I'll liquidise it"). Why don't I think of doing similar things at home?