Now I’d say I’m a person who is open to advice when it comes to raising baby K but ultimately I decide whether or not I agree and if I want to take it on board. It doesn’t mean it’s bad advice, I just feel it won’t work for me and my child, period.
My friends would say I’m probably the harsher parent out of the four of us. I established a routine for baby K from when he was three days old, he was in his room from four months old, I was fine with allowing controlled crying (to an extent obviously before anyone gets over excited!) and I feel no way about telling my son off if he is being naughty.
Recently I was standing in my aunts kitchen with two of my cousins, who both young children, when baby K comes in and starts playing with the oven. My son knows what an oven is, he has tried to play with the one at home and has been told no and why he isn’t allowed play with it. So when he starts fiddling with the oven I tell him not to touch it, he persists so in the end I go down to his level and remove his hand off the oven and in a firmer tone tell him ‘No’ he knows I’m serious so he smiles and walks off.
Now watching us are my two cousins and as you can imagine all the opinions start flowing – ‘you shouldn’t just say no to him, you should explain why he shouldn’t touch the oven’, ‘did you like it when your parents just said no to you with no reasons’ – I mean seriously, call me old school if you like, but there are times when no means no, end off!
I understand that on occasions you have to explain why you’re telling your child off or no, like why they shouldn’t touch a steaming cup of tea, why they shouldn’t try and climb on the windowsill, why they shouldn’t touch fire, but I’m not going to explain myself over and over again. So when my cousins started dishing our their words of wisdom my first thought was- my kid has just walked away and listened whereas their children run their household. One makes plans for the day but if her kid doesn’t want to go then that’s it they don’t go, the other gets whacked with a toy and yet receives no punishment, not even a time out. I’m not saying you should smack your child, heaven forbid, but there should be some sense of fear there, right?
There’s this new notion that our children should be given choices and words such as naughty and no are now ‘bad’ words that shouldn’t be used in fear of causing some sort of psychological damage which will follow them in to adulthood. That’s all good and well but unfortunately the world doesn’t work like that, my child is going to hear the word ‘no’ be it from a teacher, a peer or an employer, do I really want to send him out in to the world without any skills on how he should deal with not getting his way, erm NO!
I heard a saying once “if your child doesn’t hate you at some point in their life then you’re doing something wrong” we’ve all been there, hated our parents because they didn’t let us go out with our friends, didn’t buy us those shoes that everyone’s wearing or simply because we were going through the awkward teen stage where we hated everything and everyone just because. Ask me now, my parents are my friends, I confined in them, I ask them for advice and above all I respect them because they didn’t let me take the piss and provided me with structure and security as best as they could, as they should as parents.
So would I like to be baby K’s friend, yes but not right now. Now I’m his mum the person that loves him, will always be there for him but will be hardest on him because I want him t grow up in to a self sufficient, confident, respectful young man who knows how to deal with being told no!