Ok.. so towards the end of 2016, my biggest little one had become a little on the difficult(beyond ruthless) side. Fingers crossed since Christmas has gone he seems to have gone back to his old ways, but I wont hold my breath just yet.
During this time however both me and my husband were at a point where we literally did not know what to do, from the naughty step not working, to threatening Father Christmas wouldn’t come, just absolutely nothing seemed to work, and he to be quite honest just wasn’t bothered about any discipline method we tried. I wanted to write this post not for me to reflect on or anything to do with us really, but to perhaps help another parent who feels they are failing at every single aspect of parenting. I have been in that dark hole so many times, and it can feel like the loneliest, most self destructive place, but I want to reassure anyone who may be reading this and feel the same that my gosh you are not alone in the slightest.
I don’t feel I can help you in terms with how to overcome it, because I don’t know. I tried what felt like everything through this point. From ignoring the behaviour, explaining why certain things weren’t acceptable, raising my voice, the naughty step, taking away things such as toys, I even got to a point one day where I shut him in his room, now it was only for a second whilst I stood outside the door, and the guilt I felt was just unreal, but I was at my lowest, and I think desperation sometimes kicks in a bit, and you can lose sense of rationality.
I think the best way to cope with all these behavioural stages that these littles seem to go through endlessly is to remember you are only human, everybody copes differently, we all have different ways of parenting that not necessarily everyone agrees with, but if its working for you, don’t be judged, and don’t let a comment knock you. You are your childs parent and you know what is best for them.
This phase has by far been the most testing. I thought ‘terrible twos’ was bad, but then my little got smarter, and somewhat fearless! Everything from not listening to a single thing anyone says, laughing at being told off (that really pushes the buttons), jumping on every bit of furniture we own, not eating meals – this is still ongoing and beyond tiring, pushing his brother, and refusing to share, it has just seemed an endless cycle, and I think what makes it a bit worse is that he was only like it with us, not grandparents, or at nursery, we’d get the “he’s been an angel” comment, and it felt like our heads were imploding! What? Do we imagine it? Does he hate us? What are we doing so wrong?
But the bottom line is we aren’t doing it wrong, he doesn’t hate us, and we are not imagining it. He’s a child. He’s growing and learning every single day, yes he will have these phases, it doesn’t make them any easier when you’re in the peak of one, but they will come out of it in their own time, and as parents we just cope and get through them.
Being a parent is HARD, really bloody hard. But at the same time it’s the single best thing I have ever ever achieved in my life. My little ‘threenager’ past all of the attitude and naughtiness, is the sweetest, most caring, clever little man. I couldn’t possible explain my love for him. I think I need to stop trying to work these things out, because there is no answer, no solution. It’s a part of parenthood, and one I feel very grateful be a part of.
Here’s to the next sodding phase!