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Parenting shellshock

Grr. The last couple of weeks have been ‘frustrating’. People say frustrating when they are casting around for a synonym for ‘shit’ that sounds like you’re being mature about it (and that’s what I’m doing, too). We’ve made a lot of progress with settling in – got everything running, have a new car, new washing machine (thank you Black Friday), found a cleaner, signed up for the supermarket points card.

But it’s the damn children. Rationally I can appreciate why their behaviour is in the toilet – big life change, after all – but it doesn’t make it easier to deal with. The big one has brought his full arsenal of tricks to play: screaming tantrums, passive resistance, selective deafness, dictatorial demands, pushing around his little brother, incessant whining, doing the opposite of what is being asked.

The little one is less malevolent, but is just finding that scarpering into the wrong direction, pulling clothes off at inconvenient times and other practical jokes get a really funny reaction from whichever parent drew the short stick with the nursery run. And he throws a bit of emotional manipulation in there, muttering in a sad little whisper, ‘I don’t like nursery’.

Desperately trying to make it home as I was cold. One of them is lying on the ground and the other one is shaking his mittens off.

I’ve started to try to right the ship in the last few days after listening to a bit of the Janet Lansbury podcast and a new one I maybe like, Peace and Parenting. The two things that resonated the most were the ideas, respectively, of provocative behaviour being a young child’s response to feeling like your parent is maybe not in control, and that being scary, and the idea of remembering to connect with your child first before trying to get them to do something.

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