Battling Willfullness

Over the last month Babe (nearly three), has suddenly got so much more confident and willfull (aka little sod).

This takes parenting patience with two young children to another level. I wonder how people in the childcare profession get on without going totally nuts?! Maybe because they’re not their own kids, and as a result it doesn’t get to them so much (like a pride thing)? Perhaps cause they get to hand them back at the end of the day and don’t have to endure the hell that is bath and bed time (oh how I hate that time of day).

I adore the fact that Babe has a new found confidence and knows her own mind but I wonder if I’d have rather kept my shy little fairly amenable girly for a bit longer.

A prime example – getting in the bath has become the kind of negotiating challenge that I’d never encountered before (except with one of my old german bosses who was amazing at bringing you to his way of thinking without you realising it till afterwards). In all seriousness I think when I do go back to work my negotiating skills are going to be so much better. At the same time, I might be more likely to back down on many more occasions, choosing to select my battles more carefully. I confess I am using bribery with the bath “you can have a farmer sweet if you get in the bath now”. The problem is that I’m still saying ‘now’ 20 minutes later, when I’m spitting the words out between my teeth and pawing at the ground in an attempt to dig a hole in the carpet to retreat into.

Another example, this morning when baking cappuccino cupcakes for her second birthday party in three days. Babe was determined to add the vanilla essence, which resulted in a tussle over the bottle and a potent amount being sloshed into the Kenwood. Could have been worse, like the addition of garam masala to the carrot cake last year.

I’m struggling a little to be honest…

When Babe also does things specifically to be naughty, what now? I’m moving away from the idea of the naughty step, she knows it’s naughty, what’s isolating her gonna do to improve the situation but exacerbate it? So finding gentle disapljne approaches is now my new challenge. I’ve got Alfie Kohns book on Unconditional Parenting, but what else should I be asking Santa (aka Amazon) for?


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