So Far …
For the last 7yrs since Curly Headed Boy arrived, I’ve been pretty much surviving on my intuition and dipping into the odd book for help every now and again for an adaptable tip.
I had tended towards the trying to be as respectful and fair as possible, but when Little Dimples came along 3yrs ago, my ability to have the time to explain why I wanted things done every time diminished, and things got trickier from then on.
Plus, just as I thought, having 2 kids is definitely harder in some ways than one; whilst I would never change it.
We’ve used ‘time out’, not the full length of time, but purely to actually give CHB some time away to cool down, rather than as a punishment, and only once he was old enough to understand it.
I’ve also been a fan of understanding consequences and that ‘treats’ like watching the TV, chocolate biscuits for snack and playing on the computer are things to be earn’t, not expected. So if push came to shove we would start to remove ‘treats’. Although this always fails when a child is in a huge trantrum as they don’t have the ability to stop it going into a complete disaster crash zone!
7yo Boy …
But this 7yo boy malarkey is much more difficult. So in the last couple of months I’ve been starting to read a pile of books that I’m going to review and test out here for you to see.
Our problems are many, without heading into the direction of anything seriously behavioural.
There’s been a lot of anger, rudeness, grumpiness, over reaction, disrespect and plain old refusal to do as we ask.
It was made worse by my Fibromyalgia diagnosis and me sitting down with the kids explaining that I need them to be a little more responsible for themselves; Nothing major, just that I really can’t be asking for things FIVE times over.
Then the Hairy Northern One’s contract was terminated early and it became even more obvious that we had a problem, as the two of them were constantly at each other. Plus I felt that it seemed like I was constantly nagging CHB, in fact Little Dimples had started too.
Now some people have told me that this is a normal state of affairs; But I’m not so sure.
Previous Books …
The books I’m mainly relied upon before were:
Dr William Sears: Attachment Parenting. What I liked about this book was that there were several blocks, and you could ‘mix and match’ them. For instance I ended up co-sleeping, but never got the hang of baby wearing; it was more like baby carrying most of the time.
Dr Elizabeth Pantley: No Cry Sleep Solution. The downside to this book is that it doesn’t have an immediate answer. The good side is that it had SO MANY ideas, that I could again mix and match.
I would have loved to be as scheduled as Gina Ford, and was expecting to be before Curly Headed Boy appeared. But it just didn’t suit me, and I find it difficult to take anything seriously which is from someone without kids and based upon the feeding schedules of calves. No disrespect meant to those for whom it worked, it just wasn’t my cup of tea, didn’t suit my kids and there wasn’t the added pressure to make it work, as I only work part-time.
I just didn’t get on with the Baby Whisperer either, again it didn’t seem to be flexible enough for me, although I know it’s well loved. I did hear too that she left her kids with their grand parents in order to progress her career abroad. Now being a working Mum is difficult, but considering the subject matter of her books, it seems odd behaviour.
I’ve watched Super Nanny and she seems to do a wonderful job turning families around, especially with explaining things like consistency. However, there have been a few things that she has done which have been incredibly harsh, and again felt like they were only possible for someone who hadn’t actually had children.
All in all, I came away not liking Parenting Techniques as they just didn’t seem to take into account differences in Mums, children, circumstances etc etc etc. I also felt that they created HUGE amounts of guilt and fear in Mums which just exasperates the situation by reducing their ability to listen to their own intuition. Hence I wrote my own book centered on the Mum, based on the theory that when she is contented, the kids are as well.
Please note: Just because a book didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean that I’m judging the fact that you liked it! I’ve just mentioned these books so that you get an idea of where I’m coming from.
So What Happens Now …
I still believe that if the Mum is happy that the kids will settle around her, especially before teenage. In fact Curly Headed Boy said something similar yesterday when he said that since I’ve been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I’ve looked much healthier and happier. When I dug a little deeper it’s because I’m up and dressed and showered before Breakfast, so I’m ready to hit the day running as far as he is concerned. In fact the truth of the matter is that I have so much pain in the morning, I literally can’t function without a shower; so I figure I might as well get dressed. But he is right, as I am learning to put myself first EVEN MORE than I thought was necessary beforehand.
I’m going to review AND TEST:
How to Talk so your kids will Listen and Listen to kids will talk’ by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
‘Love Bombing’ Oliver James
Christine Northrup ‘Mother Daughter Wisdom’
‘Raising Boys’ and ‘Raising Girls’ by Steven Biddulph (the problem with this is that Raising boys isn’t on kindle).
and maybe a few more on the way.
If you fancy testing them out at the same time and swapping ideas/experiences, I would love to hear from you or have you add your blog posts in the comments.
Here are my reviews of the other chapters for How To Talk So Kids Listen: