We’ve all been there. Some of us are there more than others.
That moment when your child kicks off. In public. Cue the sympathetic glances. And the not so sympathetic glances.
I’m going to go out on a limb, against all the childless super nannies out there and say that on these occasions, when a child chooses to unleash the potential of his or her temper there is absolutely nothing you can do. Nothing except eject yourselves from the situation. Eject. Eject. Eject.
Because worked up and probably conscious that they have an audience, your quiet pleas for cooperation are lost in the abyss of the tantrum. And you have to be quiet. You’re in public. You want to show what a calm and collected parent you are. That your child’s behaviour has nothing to do with you.
But, does it?
Young children are constantly unreasonable. That much we know. But whilst their demands may be similar, how they react to situations varies. I’ve seen it first-hand when a friend tells their child, ‘No,’ and they listen straight away. If only. I’m more likely to say, ‘I’m not asking you again.’ Before asking another three times. And that’s on a good day.
I am envious of these parents. Whilst also being rather intrigued. Do their children always behave so obediently? And, what must that be like?
Very wise friend, as she has recently become known, pointed out that we all have our hang-ups about our children’s inclined behaviour. I am conscious of mine being loud. But others are equally sensitive about theirs being introverted, perhaps less physical or less confident. Take your pick, the list of things we worry about is probably quite long.
Daddy Pig says all children are different and you cannot compare. I know that. But try not comparing when you feel like you’re the only one whose child is redefining the word, ‘wild.’ I exaggerate, of course (I wish).
He reminds me that we are not quiet parents. And wonders why I’m surprised that we have loud and wilful children. We are ourselves loud and gregarious. If we were animals, we’d live in flocks and be just fine because there would be enough of us to control the chaos. But we aren’t. And we don’t.
So, is it our fault then?
Well, after trawling the internet, I found a lot to suggest that it is. The End.
Our children mimick us and learn how to behave from us. How we are, how we feel and how we interact with others are only a few of the things highlighted in this rather useful article by Netmums. So, if we don’t like a particular behaviour from our children, it looks like we might have to take a step back and reflect inwards.
What a responsibility. Can I just sign a disclaimer now, so my children can’t sue me in 20 years?
So to this end, Daddy Pig and I are trying to be quieter in our general, everyday lives. Less shouty. We are talking to each other nicely. Often through gritted teeth.
There is another point to consider in this complex arena of parenthood. Genetic make-up. Take my friend who has a brother adopted out as a baby. She and her parents didn’t meet him until he was an adult. Despite never having met their father, he was a carbon copy. The same mannerisms, way of laughing and even telling an anecdote. If ever there was an argument for the nature over nurture debate, she said this was it.
That makes me feel slightly better. As if a lot of it’s inevitable regardless of what we do.
Although, whichever way you look at it. Nature or nurture. It’s still our fault.
So yes. I blame the parents.
Footnote: for those of us with less than impeccably behaved children, I’ve found some solace in this article, which asks the question, ‘Do you really want your child to be well-behaved.’ Erm, yes, don’t I? Apparently not. I intend to carry a copy of this around with me and produce it next time the kids kick off and I get a less than sympathetic look…