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Thursday, 9 August 2018

Being a Firm Mum in Public.

parenting, being a firm mum in public, punishment, naughty children, how to deal with naughty children, mum life, dad life,

Sometimes being a parent is a shitty job. One of those times is when you're out in public and constantly having to tell your child off. It is relentless and frustrating and sometimes quite awkward or daunting when you're out with other parents you don't know very well.

That being said I am someone who knows exactly how I want to parent and rules are rules. If we are out somewhere and I have said 'no more treats today' then it doesn't matter what her friends are eating, she isn't having treats. I am the parent who has thrown items away because it wasn't tidied up after countless times of being asked. I am the parent who has thrown out sweets or left a play date early as punishment for bad behaviour.

I am extremely lucky that these incidents are rare and Savannah is naturally a very good girl who likes being well behaved and respects rules and boundaries. Even so, when she is naughty or pushes her luck I want her to know that it won't be tolerated and actions speak louder than words.

Recently we were spending the day at a park which had a splash zone. Savannahs behaviour had been atrocious all weekend: answering back, poking her tongue out, rolling her eyes when I asked her to do stuff, ignoring me, all that kind of stroppy bollocks that four year olds sometimes do, especially when they have the backing of their friends.

I had had enough so while all of the other children went off to the splash zone Savannah sat with me and watched the grown ups play cricket. Bored.

I was so fed up with her attitude and wanted her to know her behaviour wasn't on so hit her where it hurt and had her sit out of the fun. Savannah suffers from massive FOMO so knowing her new friends were off having a good time without her broke her little heart. She sobbed as she sat on the grass next to me, her little shoulders shook as her head faced down to her lap with sorrow.

It is heartbreaking making your child cry but so important they understand that if you tell them you're going to take something important away from them as a result of bad behaviour that you do it. Or they will learn very quickly that your threats are empty.

I had a mum come up to me and ask why Savannah hadn't been allowed to go with the other children and what she had done to warrant missing out of the fun. I had my back up when she first approached as I didn't know her and expected her to criticise my decision but once I summarised her behaviour over the past couple of days she was in agreement that she needed to learn her lesson.

Not that I needed her approval of course, I knew what I was doing was right and while I did initially feel self conscious being amongst mums I didn't know and telling my daughter off I knew that long term the most important thing is teaching my daughter values not gaining approval from strangers. I want my daughter to be the self assured girl she is but also well behaved and respectful.

We had a heart to heart, she climbed on my lap after her ten minute time out and apologised. As I always do, I asked her if she understood why she had been punished and what had upset mummy and she relayed back the events that had resulted in her punishment.

Another thing I wanted to bring up with her was that she is a wonderful, funny, clever and amazing little girl and doesn't need to change her behaviour around her friends to be liked. True friends will like her for who she is, she doesn't need to put on an act especially if it results in being punished and missing out. It just isn't worth it.

Have you ever found yourself telling your little one off around strangers and feeling a bit self concious? Do you agree that is right to be firm and for your child to miss out in order for them to learn or do you prefer another method?

1 comment:

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