The argument is always there isn’t it? Nature or nurture, which is biggest at play in how we as people are shaped. Sometimes though I do think it can be neither!! What’s prompted my train of thought I hear you all cry……..well maybe your not all thinking that but I’m going to tell you anyway!
I have a younger brother, he is 5 1/2 years younger than me and other than bread and gravy with Sunday dinner (I was never allowed it, he was!!!!), we were brought up very similarly and were taught the same values by our parents. Thing is though, we share gene’s and we were brought up the same yet we are so different. In the main I am talking about how we do things here rather than personality.
Ok, take, for instance, table manners. I remember as a child that we had to stay at the table until everyone had finished and we were either told to leave, or we asked and were given permission to leave the table. The only times I remember being excused before everyone finished, was if we were ill. I think that is the way it should be. That way no one feels rushed or abandoned just because they eat slower. I have therefore passed this down to my children. I admit I leave the table while they eat pudding, as I do the washing up, but can still see them and have a conversation with them, and B knows she doesn’t get down until I clean up H and get her down from the table.
Thing is, when we go to my parents for tea, my brother leaves when he is done. He sits, eats his dinner, takes his plate to the kitchen and disappears. On Sunday’s if the girls are with us, he stays at the table mainly because we asked him to due to B asking why he got to leave the table. Now, it’s their house and my parents are fine with him doing so, but today as I sat having eaten dinner, and my brother was sat on the sofa reading the paper, and Mum and Dad were still eating. I found myself thinking that I would never ever leave the table while people are still eating! Not at my own house, not at someone else’s house. I would just feel as if I was being very rude. Now this maybe because at my house I’m the hostess. At other people’s houses I am the guest. Whereas my brother lives at home, but he isn’t the host, as I am sure he wouldn’t do it at a friends.
What rules do you have for meal times? Do you eat at the table as a family? Have you brought any rules with you from childhood into your life as a parent? I’d love to know what your views are!
I am having major issues at the moment with B. She turned 7 in January and for the last month or so she has had the attitude of an adolescent. She grew up quickly when I split from her Dad, she saw me as a vunerable person with feelings no different from her own and I do think at times I try too hard to be her friend rather than her Mum – because I need a friend in her!
A typical day involves her having a pants episode when getting dressed, messing around getting ready for school and then complaining that I am nagging at her to hurry up. After school she will start whining before we have left the school playground. If I ask her what she has been up to at school she snaps at me. Anything I ask her to do she comes out with “I have to do everything” even though all I ask of her is that she tidiesthe toys in an evening and she takes her cups back to the kitchen when finished. I think for a 7 year old that is pretty fair. She shouts and screams at me for the slightest thing, and when I try to discipline her she has a full on tantrum, like a 2 year old would. H has started copying this in that when I say “no” to her, she has a tantrum too.
Yesterday I had a chat with her and told her that if a Police man told her off for something she wouldn’t react the same way. She agreed with me, so I said she should have the same respect for me and her Grandparents because while she is a child, I am like a Police man to her. She kind of understood so I clarified by explaining the Police make sure everyone keeps within the law, which is really a list of laws. So in the same respect, I make sure she keeps the rules of our family. Just as the Police punish people who break the law, so I will punish her if she breaks our rules. After school yesterday B came home and she didn’t raise her voice once, she did what I asked and I was the parent not the friend. Today she woke up and it started again. I reminded her of our chat on many occassions and it did no good. She spent an hour today being sent to her room for her back chat and squealing and I even threw out one of her toys after a tantrum outburst had her throwing it across the room.
Tomorrow I plan to draw up a set of house rules with B, both rules for her and me and these will be on display. Maybe then she will keep the rules better. If not it will have to be the reintroduction of her Incentive Chart – but this only ever seems to work in the short term, until she has earnt what she wants. So if anyone has any other suggestions of things they have tried, or that spring to mind when reading this, then I am all ears!! In the mean time, this sums her up perfectly………
There was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid.
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