Thursday, 21 May 2009

Discipline? No Thanks. I'd rather have a chocolate biscuit

So I'm sitting here with a cup of tea. Oh ok, and a chocolate biscuit. You know me too well. I need it ok? I'm feeling a bit teary. I could blame it on Dulwich Divorcee's lions which has made me blubber all over the keyboard already this morning, but in reality it has nothing to do with that. No, the real truth of the matter is that I had to discipline Renée this morning and it made her cry and that in turn made me cry too. Only not in front of her, of course. I saved that until I got home. It's just not easy this parent malarkey. You want what's best for your children of course. You want them to be happy, but you also want them to be well-behaved and full of sparkling wit and able to go to bed without 8 stories a night and eat all their vegetables and never complain or whine or ask 'Are we there Yet Mummy?' for the zillionth time and never poo their pants in the middle of a crowd of people or throw an almighty wobbler at a supermarket checkout for that matter. Ok, that might just be a little too much to ask. Happy and not a complete source of embarrassment will have to do (for now). We'll work on the others later.

But how is this best achieved? Because some days I'm at a complete loss as to how to be a (good) parent. I once heard someone mention the word 'discipline'...although I wasn't quite sure what they were talking about so I had to go home and Google it. No, but seriously, I may even need some help here. With one child discipline was easy. A child did something wrong, they were told off, made aware of why it was wrong and the world carried on. If they repeated it, there was a trip to the naughty step, treats were withheld and they learnt never to do that naughty something again. Easy. Result - a well-behaved, thoughtful, wonderful child. And of course, not forgetting a happy, proud and not completely insane Mother. BUT, child number two enters the fray and it's an altogether different story.

This is what I'm talking about. One child does something naughty, child is told off and made aware of why it is naughty. Same child is naughty again. Child is sent to the naughty step. Meanwhile, other child also does something naughty, desperate for a bit of the action. Child is told off, during which time, original naughty child has wondered away from naughty step and is helping themselves to sweeties from the cupboard. Yes, I'm not quite sure why sweeties are within child's range, but they just are. (Note to self - move sweeties). So, child is taken away from sweeties and put back on naughty step. Second child is naughty again. Both children on naughty step. Mother is beginning to fray around the edges at this point, especially when both children start pulling each other's hair. Mother decides naughty step for two is not such a good idea and instead settles on a kind and thoughtful talking to. Children listen and promise not to be naughty again. Mother is happy that it has gone so well and decides to make herself a cup of tea in celebration. Just as the kettle has reached boiling point, children are naughty again. Strangely enough Mother has also reached boling point and decides that threats have to be instigated. 'If you're naughty one more time, then we won't go to Miss K's house this afternoon'. Children think about it and are good. For 5 minutes. Then naughty again. But can Mother follow-through with threat? Of course she can't. Because a visit to Miss K's house is also a break for Mother and following-through would mean a whole day inside with the two terrorists instead of just half of one. So children continue to be naughty whilst Mother silently sobs in the corner, determined to see through a threat at some point in the near future.

So that's my problem. Now I have two children, my follow-through leaves rather a lot to be desired. And, unluckily for me, my children know this too.

So quickly back to this morning, which is the real reason for this post. I was on my way to drop Edie at nursery before delivering Renée to school. This happens twice a week and on these days we leave the house so early that we don't have time for breakfast. Instead, Edie eats at nursery and Renée has a croissant on the way to school. It's a huge treat for her as she just loves them. But, this morning, she was being, how can I put this nicely? I can't. She was being a complete pain in the a*$e. She was dawdling, whining, trying to pull my trousers down (?), stopping to inspect dog poo on the pavement (!), and refusing to speak to someone we bumped into who she knows well. To top it all off I was trying to get Edie in to nursery as quickly as possible as she's wearing knickers (as opposed to nappies or pull-ups) for the first time today and I was rather anxious that there wouldn't be an accident before we'd even got inside. So what did I do? Well, I threatened Renée with no croissant if she continued in the same manner. It had no affect, of course and she continued to test my patience. So this was my moment to follow-through.

And I did. And there was no croissant. And Renée was devastated. And she cried. And she said sorry. And she promised to be good. And she cried all the way to school and was still crying when we arrived. And even after a cuddle and an explanation of why I had done it (and a promise of a treat after school - I am who I am, after all), she was still crying. It was truly horrible. In the end I had to leave her at school, red faced and teary. And now I'm home and I feel wretched. I should be pleased of course that I followed-through. But I'm not. I'm sad that she was so sad. So there must be another way. I'm even thinking about picking her up from school with a croissant. Is that wrong? Will it undo all my hard work? Help me out here please.

51 comments:

  1. Don't give in! You will make it harder for yourself in the long run. You did a great job of setting boundaries - saying what behaviour is not acceptable, saying what will happen if the behaviour continues and then following trough.

    I know it breaks your heart when your kids cry but they're just expressing frustration. It doesn't mean their world is falling apart and that you have deeply hurt them. It's just her way of saying 'Damn! I really wanted that croissant. I really wish I had done what I knew I was supposed to do. next time I'd better listen to Mummy or I won't get my croissant. she means business now..."

    Well done you, it's hard to stick to your word but you did it. I am sure it will get veasier the more you do it - and you will get less fuss the more they realise that when Mummy says something no amount of whining, crying or anything else will get her to change her mind.

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  2. Hi Maternal, sorry you've had such a terrible time! My lions were the last thing you needed this morning! I think you did exactly the right thing with Renee and it really does get easier and easier, as PMPM says. Children really like to know where they are and that rules are rules - that gives them a lot of security. I think another big cuddle is worth 10,000 croissants. Mind you it won't be the end of the world if she gets a croissant too - the point has been made, well done you xxx

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  3. First of all, am sending a BIG HUG your way, cos although Renee may have felt bad this morning, I'm sure you felt a lot, lot worse. And I'm sure Renee was distracted within about 5 milliseconds by her friends/teacher/activities whereas you have probably tortured yourself on and off all day (I know, I've been there).

    I'm not convinced by the discipline argument. I never feel good afterwards and gut feelings mean a lot to me. But I don't think you should just let your children run wild either. Of course they have to understand how the world operates and conform to certain niceties. I do think there's a happy medium and obviously when you're a bit frazzled or in a rush and have other, rather pressing priorities, it's not easy.

    In my best moments of dealing with naughtiness, I sit with Maya and explain exactly why it's not ideal she acted a certain way. I find that if a) she feels listened to and b) she understands why I asked her to do something, it gets a much better result than if I just shout at her and say something bossy and crap like: Because I said so and I'm in charge here. Not that I would ever think that of you, you are far too nice a mummy for such mindless hierarchical statements.

    Perhaps the other thing to consider is why Renee felt like acting up today? When Maya and I have had one of our little talks, I invariably go away having learnt some highly interesting insight about my daughter. An unknown factor that was responsible for her behaviour that I hadn't even considered.

    Go get that croissant for the school pick up. Renee will love it and I wouldn't mind betting you'll feel a whole lot better to. Hell, while you're at it, buy yourself one too!! Xxxxx

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  4. Yes, pick her up from school with a croissant.
    Then eat it yourself.
    I'm telling you, it's the only language they understand.

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  5. stay strong you did the right thing and take the croissant with you to school, she will not be expecting it so it will go down well and she we learn her lesson.

    all i can say is that i'm having the same issue with 3 at the mo but if i dont' stay strong i'm outnumbered lol!

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  6. PMPM - Thank you! Lovely comment - and you're so right - I know! She knew I meant business this morning, so hopefully I won't have to test myself again in a hurry. We'll see. Actually the further away from the incident we get, the better about it I feel.

    DD - It's ok - I loved the lions. They made me cry for all the right reasons. And thanks for the support - on a good day I know it will get easier.

    Mamma Po - Thank you honey. So lovely. Yeah, I'm sure she was fine once she was in school. It was definitely worse for me. Isn't discipline horrible? Like you, I'm not a huge fan - but fingers crossed it has worked this time. And yes - you're right too about something else probably having caused her behaviour. I will get to the root of it this evening. Might have had something to do with the fact that it was own clothes day at school - and she was prancing around in her skirt, swishing her hair, looking at herself in the shop windows, etc!!

    Freddo - Oh ho ho. That comment really did make me chuckle. Not sure I could take it that far though - this morning just about finished me off!

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  7. Amy - think our comments crossed in cyberspace. Thanks honey. Yeah - if I have trouble disciplining with two then I can't imagine how difficcult it must be for you with 4. You are a wonder woman. Truly.

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  8. That's my life! Every morning. No kidding. Let me know if you find an answer.

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  9. Sounds a lot like my middle daughter used to be. I found it hard when the hubs was away because I wanted a nice atmosphere and to avoid the tears etc. I think sometimes it is unavoidable, and I feel for you leaving her at nursery like that - it's awful. My ten cents worth is that it was probably the right thing to do and to turn up with the croissant - bygones should be bygones and forming good relationships with your kids is vital (especially for when they are teens, trust me). You are following your instincts that's the best and only thing a mum can and should do. Sometimes you'll follow through(it's a good idea to have some things up your sleeve you know you can follow through with), and sometimes you'll reassess and change the plan. They're your kids, you know what's best. Just be aware that if you give in too often it can make them much harder to handle when they're older and if you are doing it mostly single handedly it's best to have them well trained. Phew! Don't I go on!!

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  10. Why is parenting so freaking hard??? I hate it when that happens, when you part from your child in the morning feeling sad and you know they are sad.

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  11. Oh MT, dry those eyes darling. Parenting is exhausting and should come with a huge WARNING!

    Dont be so hard on yourself - you did the right thing, as some of the others have pointed out - boundaries!

    Lay them now, because you'll be thankful when they hit teenage-dirtbag-dom! (I'm on the brink of it - in more ways than one!).

    Keep your pecker up! Thinking of you RM xx

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  12. Finding blogs that reflect your own life so accurately is reassuring in the extreme. The same scenario happens in my house every. single. day. It is so hard not to succumb to the emotional devastation that comes from following through on a discipline consequence. I am getting better at not caving into the weeping and wailing but it is so hard to switch off from it and not have it ruin your whole day.

    I had an instance a few weeks ago when a similar drama unfolded on the way to the 3yr olds nursery. It seemed to take a lifetime to peel the hysterical boy off my leg and I practically had to throw him at the teacher and high tail it out of the class, shutting the door firmly behind me. I sat in the car and sobbed and sobbed and felt like a complete bitch all day.

    After about 10 minutes of picking him up from nursery that afternoon I was absolutely gobsmacked when my errant 3yr old unexpectedly and without any prompting apologised for being naughty and for crying and making a fuss and making mummy both mad and sad. I just couldn't believe my ears. He was so sincere and the apology was really heartfelt. I had to stop the car to turn round to thank him properly and pat his little legs. It absolutely made my day - and made me realise that when I followed through that he was old enough to realise that it was his behaviour at fault and not mine. It really was an aha moment.

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  13. Oh no I written a big comment and then my computer crashed....sob!
    Anyway big hugs to you and keep your chin up xxx

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  14. It really does get easier, until something else develops which is just as difficult and then that gets easier. It's all one big circle until suddenly you find that your child/children have grown up and moved out, and so life begins again.
    (Or so I'm told, have yet to find out if this is indeed true or not).
    Chin up.

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  15. Oh poor you. I get so upset when I make Rosemary cry like that - proper crying, of course, not the artificial turning it on sort that she's pretty good at. It's very difficult to pick the right things to threaten, isn't it? I shouted at Chris the other night (accidentally; meant to just say it under my breath, but somehow it came out much louder!) when he threatened Rosemary with going straight to bed with no dinner. What I shouted was 'You never threaten to withdraw dinner!' Withdrawing treats (like the croissant, or our favourite, ice cream) is fine, but withdrawing a basic human right is not. That's one of the things I will stand firm about.

    And then threatening to withdraw a treat that will also be good for you - like going round to a friend's house, going swimming, things like that. It's something you do without thinking and then realise that you've dug a hole for yourself. So frustrating.

    I had a moment when I picked Rosemary up from playgroup on Wednesday. She really wasn't leaving - walked along wall/railing three times, ran off to 'hide' into the maze of terapins at the school, refused to hold my hand when we got out onto the pavement. In the end I had to pick her up and carry her while she kicked and wriggled (and I'm not supposed to pick her up at the moment, cos of the SPD). Within about 30 seconds though she was distracted by seeing a trampoline in someone's garden and she got down and walked the rest of the way home as pleasant as pie.

    Anyway, the point of that was that it reminded me that sometimes it is important to follow through (I gave her at least three warnings), because that's the only way they will properly learn about the rules. Even if it hurts you - emotionally or physically!

    So did you take the croissant? Was she fine afterwards?

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  16. I feel as clueless as you half the time and I only have one. That's why I'm stalling on Number 2 (and other reasons, obviously)... I wouldn't do the croissant after school because she'll know she 'owns' you then. Maybe a different sort of treat, maybe a stop at a cafe to get a hot chocolate, I don't know. I would feel bad too, but you can't give in totally. Next time she does it, she will hopefully remember the consequence, you should remind her and hopefully she walks better. Hopefully it all works out. My comment is crap, but let me know what happened!!

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  17. So, did you pick her up with a croissant?! I think I would have; she learned her lesson in the morning and in the evening she learns you've forgiven her. We're managing the discipline with one, can't imagine it with two. Maybe two different naughty steps? I hope all's well, it sounds as though you're doing the right thing.

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  18. AMM - Thanks for the empathy - you know it really does help! Hey - and you have my empathy right back!

    Reasons - Thank you - and no you don't go on. It's all worthwhile...Yes - you're right about having some good threats up your sleeve that you can follow-through on - I shall make a note to prepare some for next time.

    Marathoner - I know!!! I ask myself that same question every day. And yes, leaving her all teary was the hardest part :-((

    RM - I know - you're so right - I'm just a woos. Never spelt that word (is it right?) I am tough. I am tough (if I say it enough times do you think the children will believe it?) But, yes, you're right about boundaries. We do have them - Renée has just got to that age where she likes to test on a daily basis!

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  19. Nicola - Hi and thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the empathy too - it is nice to know that I'm not the only one! I love that story - know what you mean about an aha moment - it's just so nice when children are lovely (and say thankyou and sorry) without being prompted. I often find myself saying 'thankyou for saying thankyou'. As if I should have to!!! But it is such a treat...

    magnumlady - Oh no - I hate it when that happens. It always happens to me for some reason. I get carried away and write really long messages and then the computer crashes and I can never re-create what I wrote (because it was such a work of art of course). But thanks for the hugs. They're always much appreciated.

    Mum's the word - Oh dear - I just have so much trouble to look forward to - I know! You're right though - I'll master this and then something else will come along. And I'm sure I'll master that too (well I can but try)!

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  20. Tasha - Yes - it was proper, proper crying! She was completely hysterical and could hardly breathe (but then she is like her mother and loves a bit of drama sometimes)!! And you're right about the threats - just as Reasons says above - I need to arm myself with a few good ones that I know won't be too difficult to follow-through. And yes, just like Chris - my husband will use threats that are just not possible to follow-through which makes it even more difficult - like threatening not to go on holiday last year when it was the day before and all flights and accommodation had been payed for. I mean who would have been the ones missing out if we hadn't gone??? Not just Renée thank you very much!

    So yeah - the croissant - well I ended up speaking to two mothers in the day and inviting their children to play at our house after school so I bought 4 croissants for the children to have when we got home. So she got one in the end - but the so did the other children, so I thought it was a good compromise.

    Margarita - Yeah it's so hard (especially with two - don't mean to put you off or anything). A stop in a cafe would have been lovely, but I had Edie with me as well and it is notoriously difficult to get her to sit anywhere longer than a couple of minutes, so unfortunately that's out of the question. At least until she's better behaved in a public place! As for the croissant - check the comment above I made to Tasha - I did buy some in the end but shared them with some friends of hers who came to play after school- so she did get one (but so did the others) so it wasn't such a special treat.

    Sparx - Yeah - see comments just above for croissant explanation!! Anyway, she seemed much better when I picked her up from school - I think she'd had a good day. But yes, two different naughty steps is a good idea. Will implement that next time (fingers crossed it's not too soon)!

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  21. Parenting is so hard! I agree that boundaries need to be set, I read somewhere that children need and thrive on them. One good discipline tip I was given was to pick your battles. A constant no will eventually become ignored and meaningless.
    I have been in your position many a time and felt terrible afterwards! A day of constant naughtiness can wear down any mum, so don't beat yourself up too much, it sounds like you coped with it really well :)

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  22. I have the same problem with Miss M and at times Miss E too and she's 8. Sometimes it's so hard to follow through but we need to. I've been a bit lax with this recently with the break up but I'm suffering for it now . I use counting to 5 and then a warning. If they get three warnings then they lose TV privileges or a favourite toy goes on a shelf.
    I need to think out a better system but this works ok most of the time. They do need boundaries and we need them too.

    Hope you both enjoyed that croissant sweetie.

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  23. I don't envy you. It's hard enough parenting dogs.

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  24. I posted something on my blog a month or so go which is similar to your post today - but Leo is 11!!!!!!I had such a hard time with him sometimes and after the having had Thomas who was so easy and never gave any discipline problems it came as a shock. It can be really difficult and particularly when you have to do a lot of the 'discipline' alone (with hubby off working) but if you stick to it it will all come right - don't give up (like you could????) and don't feel bad about yourself - in the end all we can do is what we feel to be right for our kids

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  25. I am also suffering the torture of trying to discipline 2 littlies! Something that works with my little girl, much better than discipline, is positive reinforcement. So, rather than punishing her for bad behaviour, she is rewarded for good behaviour. She loves stickers so those are her reward. Good behaviour means she gets stickers for her sticker book, bad behaviour means she goes without and I explain why she is not getting her stickers. There are certain goals she must achieve every day that she is rewarded for such as listening to mummy, eating her supper without complaining, brushing her teeth etc, you can pick the areas that you are battling with and work on a few at a time. Bad behaviour no stickers, of course. For the type of Mummy you seem to be who suffers more than your little girl when you lay out punishment, positive reinforcement may be a much more effective and less traumatic option!Good luck and Remember you are not alone :)

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  26. Oh, and so far nothing works for my boy, he is only 17months and am hoping that, given a few months, I will find something that does get through to him! I really hope!

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  27. I have the exact same life!
    My son was a dream child. Time outs and stickers worked a dream and he's now thoughtful and I can reason with him when he does something naughty.
    His sister? Not so much.
    She is destructive and I'm convinced to tries to get into trouble and wants to be told off. I suppose it's all attention at the end of the day.
    I've found the only thing to do is to pick my battles and to use distraction.
    So when she's drawing Biro all over her new clothes I don't tell her off but distract her so she will stop doing it (if I ask her to stop or tell her off she'll do it quicker and far worse!) and then talk to her about it afterwards and tell her how disappointed I am - not angry and she's not in trouble, but it wasn't a nice thing to do etc etc.

    It's really really hard and quite soul destroying because you're thinking 'where the hell did I go wrong?'. But I've learnt to cope and recognise that I haven't gone wrong, I've just got a feisty, independant child who needs totally different parenting skills!

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  28. You did the right thing by following through and you ended it well with hugs to show you still love her. I think kids will push as far as they can and if we do not set the boundaries, they will get more hurts later in life. We will always forgive our kids, others may not. Give her more hugs and kisses tonight.

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  29. (((((HUGS))))) You did the right thing by following through, but it's not always easy to and I'm the first to admit that I occasionally give in. Sometimes you don't have the energy or resolve to fight them all the time. None of us are wonderful parents and all kids have their moments - don't think you're alone xx

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  30. clareybabble - Hi and thanks for popping by. Yes you're right - choosing your battles is so important. I do try not to say 'no' to everything, but sometimes their requests are just too tiring ('Mummy - can we get the paint/play-dough out?' - half an hour before bed). But yes, I'll just have to choose to say no to the most important things!

    Jo - Ooh that's good advice. Yes, it would work with Renée I think - I often count to 3 and she's pretty good - but with Edie - I do the counting bit and she couldn't care less. I sometimes have to laugh because it's so futile. But, yes, warnings and tv privileges. Good idea!

    Snowbrush - I can imagine! My brother and his wife, who have two children, recently got a puppy too - and I think it's been even more work for them than the two children! So there you go. I've probably got it easy!

    Kathryn - Oh I'll pop over to yours and read the post - it's always comforting to see that you're not the only one with problems! But yes, it definitely came as a shock to me too - after finding discipline easy with one child - it all went to potwhen I had two!!

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  31. MdP - Ooh thanks for that - yeah that's definitely a good idea. I know other people talk about star charts and stickers and I've never really given it a go (apart from during potty training), so I think maybe now is the time to start. Yep, definitely. Just off to the shops to buy a whole load of new stickers now...

    Tara - yep - I'm with you there. I think Edie loves getting into trouble - I always put it down to the second child thing, but it could just be that she has an entirely different personality. But, it totally frustrates me sometimes when she's been naughty and I tell her off, but haven't sent her to the naughty step because it wasn't quite that bad and then she actually requests to go to the naughty step as if it's a treat. She just loves the attention and the drama. I think that's the difficulty we both have - what works for one child doesn't work for the other so it's yet more work to keep everything running smoothly. You just can't rely on the discipline being tried and tested...

    kestrel - Hi and thanks for stopping by. Yes, you're right - if I don't set the boundaries early on, then it will be much harder for both of us in the future. And yes, she's had lots of hugs since the 'incident' and funnily enough, she's been extra well-behaved!

    Liz - Thank you so much! Yes, a bit of empathy is enough to make me feel better. I'm glad I followed through with this one, although when I dropped Renée at school this morning, her teacher came up to me and said - Renée was a bit tearful yesterday morning - is everything alright at home? Is her Daddy away?' - It made me feel horrible and guilty all over again. Ok now though xxx

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  32. Wish I knew the answer, my eldest isn't even four and has taken to shouting "I HATE YOU" at me whenever she doesn't get her own way, and is behaving terribly a lot of the time.

    It is really hard with two of them, especially when the youngest copies the eldest's bad behaviour but isn't mature enough to understand a telling off but then it looks unfair to the older one that they are getting into trouble and their little sister isn't. I am not a "natural" at motherhood at all, I've found it a huge struggle from day 1 so no good advice from me I'm afraid but lots of sympathy!

    Hugs, Mel xxx

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  33. Hi...
    Take comfort in the fact that she is most likely not as sad as you are.
    Children are wonderful at having a fabulous time as soon as parents are out of sight.

    It is a childs job to guilt us into doing what they want - it's called survival.

    take care & best wishes
    Ribbon

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  34. Shabby Chick - Oh yes - everything you say is right - the littlest copies the biggest behaviour all the time - it's so frustrating. I don't think anyone has all the answers - we can but try!! Thanks for the sympathy - and mine to you as well!

    Ribbon - You're so right - yes it is survival - I hadn't thought of that actually (!) Silly me...And yes they do a very good job of the guilt thing...But yes, it probably was worse for me - thanks! x

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  35. Can't put TWO children on one naughty step! Too much fun.
    I find threatening no more TV, video or whatever else is the favourite thing, is the answer to most naughty behaviour. Following through is the most important part as they will never believe you mean it if you don't.
    Also warning that you'll count to three before the punishment is good, as they then have time to alter behaviour.This quite often works even with 12 year olds.

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  36. I find the whole area of discipline very difficult and I only have one child so I have no excuse. I'm getting better at it now, and I've leart that you DO have to follow-through, otherwise you will lose all authority and threats, warnings etc will be meaningless. It's still tough, though. I tell my daughter I love her but I'm cross with how she is behaving. And when we've had a partcularly bad time I give her lots of cuddles, I think that's because if she's upset. I'm upset, and I need a cuddle too!

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  37. Maggie - I know! I know! What on earth was I thinking?! I still have so much to learn!! Yes, a threat of no more TV is a good one. And I WILL follow-through! Thanks for the advice x

    Rosie - Exactly - I know I have to follow-through - I used to be good (so proud of myself I was)!! But sometimes I feel just too worn down. BUT, I know I have to make more of an effort (for my own sanity if not my children's).

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  38. It is only now that us parents are truly learning the meaning of the phrase 'this will hurt you more than it hurts me'. But you were right not to give her the croissant. Well done you for holding firm. It won't take her long to learn that you mean business.

    Incidentally - I sometimes put myself on the naughty step for some peace and quiet. The boys look on in awe and excitement and I have a cup of tea. Magic.

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  39. BiB - Indeed - and so true - I'm sure I was in far more of a state about it than Renée, but I'm glad I stayed firm. I keep using it as ammunition now - 'Remember what happened with the croissant?' Like the idea of putting yourself on the naughty step - I'll try that soon! x

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  40. I've come so late to this post there's nothing else to add. Although we did put one of our daughter's toys in the bin this week for punishment for answering back (after warnings). She's been good as gold since.

    PS Award over at my place

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  41. You have to stick to your guns (or croissants). You feel dreadful but that's tough, you're an adult, it goes with the territory and they need the boundaries, they need to know that actually when mummy threatens something (like withdrawal of privilege, or isolation, most definitely not a slap) she will follow through if they don't behave.
    My children still berate me for it now, but also tell me they're glad I did it.

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  42. Little something for you at my place, MT x

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  43. Working Mum - Thank you so much - as you can see, I've just posted the award - and sent one staright back to you! And yes - a toy in the bin is a good idea I think...

    Maddie - Thanks for the advice - and yes I know you're right. As difficult and hideous as it is, I just have to stick to my guns!

    Mamma Po - Bless you my darling - and one straight back at you!!

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  44. Tell me if you find the answer sweetie... I am starting to discover the world of 2 naughty children at the same time and boy it is hard! I don't know how Amy (and 1 more means 4) does it.
    I have spent 2 days last week thinking I was suffering from PND. Honestly it was awful. The more they cried the more I did.
    Unfortunately I can't tell you the best way, I don't know it myself. I know that a good friend of mine once told me "choose your battles otherwise you will be spending all your time disciplining them". Think of what totally unacceptable and be tough on these ones. As for the rest, up to you really, you see as you go along. And remember what is not that important might be for others but don't feel guilty to decide not to be that strict even if others would be. Hope I make sense :)
    Good luck and big hugs your way!
    Oh and thank you so much for the last tag. I will post a note very shortly and put it up on the blog at the same time. Been really bad and lazy but it is much much appreciated!!

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  45. OMG, something else I am going to have to consider. Discipline. Ecck!

    What worked for us was bed. No fun. No Nothing. Just bed. And I am sure that my mum used to laugh just a little louder when one of us was in bed.... or maybe that's just the scars. I can't remember how she ever made us stay in our rooms though and not come down stairs every 5 minutes.....

    I think i will ask Mum and see what she says!

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  46. PHM - Yes, definitely great advice it to pick your battles - Clareybabble and Tara said the same thing above. I think it really does save you from going completely crazy if you concentrate on coming down hard on the really serious issues and not every silly little thing. I shall listen to these words of advice and take heed. I'm sorry it's been so hard for you recently - it really has for me too so I can offer you tons of sympathy and empathy. I still don't have the answers - but I am hoping it will get better. Hang on in there and I'll try to do the same! And btw - I only just realised that I miswrote your name in my award post - I wrote Perfectly Mum Happy for some reason!!! I think I was so tired by that point. I have since changed it though! xx

    OMG - Oh yes - discipline!!! You've got so much to look forward to!! But enjoy them being babies first because you won't need to use discipline for a while and make the most of it while you can! And yes, straight to bed is a good one...although that is often one I threaten and don't follow through! :-((

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  47. I buy a bar of chocolate every week and tell Shark, Squirrel and Tiger that if you are good, this is your chocolate.

    when they are naughty, i eat it in front of them.

    on the upside, the revenge feels fantastic.

    on the downside, I now weigh 42 stone.

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  48. Grit - You sure are made of strong stuff!! I like your style - but I have to say, that particular downside puts me off somewhat!

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  49. Children need a clear definition of acceptable and unacceptable conduct. They feel more secure when they know the borders of permissible action.

    *BluePixo Entertainment - A place for mom and dad to share topics about parenthood*

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  50. BluePixo - Yes, you're right - and that's why I'm glad I saw it through on this occasion... Renée may have cried and been heart-broken (temporarily), but it could only have been a good thing. Thanks...

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