Tag Archives: children

New Age Parenting Can Do One

I consider myself very open-minded, I do understand that something I don’t “get” isn’t necessarily wrong, it’s just not for me.

In that vein I’ve tried to be very open about different parenting methods too.  The bottom line is that if your child is happy and you are happy then you must be doing something right.  I read any new article on a new parenting method, considering the pros and cons.  Unfortunately quite a few find a way to boost themselves up by putting other methods down which is a shame.  Like those of us who went with what we thought was right at the time, are now very bad parents.  *Sigh*.  One more thing to add to the guilt list huh?

Anyway….that’s bye the bye.

What really really really pisses me off about the new wave of parenting is that YOUR parenting methods now affect MY enjoyment when I’m out in public.  THIS IS NOT ON!

I love that you have embraced the whole “no step”, “no smacking”, “no punishment” level of parenting.  Woo hoo.  Mother and Father of the year winging its way to you.  I bet you pat yourself on the back every night at your kinder, more loving approach.  What you haven’t considered is how the whole “positive reinforcement only” approach causes a problem in the many many years of application whilst your child is sat in a cinema, theatre, restaurant or any manner of places that I am also sat in.  Ignoring bad behaviour, antisocial behaviour or being very half-hearted about trying to get your children to behave does nothing for me.  In the meantime they have ruined a meal out with friends and family, ruined an expensive cinema trip and most importantly for me, marred an evening out to watch my daughter on stage.

2 hours of kicking the back of my chair. <insert half hearted mother saying “stop doing that”> with a nice overlap of them leaning right into my ear and talking loudly over the top of the music for over an hour.

I’m so cross.

I don’t mind a bit of naughtiness, but I expect a parent or guardian to step in within a few minutes and consider the people around that child.

I tried. I tried so very hard to ignore it.  I did lots of internal chat about children being children and to focus on the stage.  I thankfully didn’t turn around and have a right go, but I was so cross about it.  Unforgivable that your precious child should have the right to ruin a special trip out.   Bearing in mind your delightful daughters were of school age and my 4-year-old son was sat in front doing none of that.  He was a bit wiggly and he had a dance and played with his toy. I may have been drip feeding him sweets……but he is 4.

It wasn’t just tonight. I’m seeing it more and more where you’re reaping the benefits of your parenting methods at MY cost.

Keep with your positive parenting methods but if your child is incapable of being in public without ruining other people’s experiences then don’t take them there. It isn’t fair.

It’s just not fair.




NOT losing it

I’m not the most patient of people.

I’m also not very good at hiding my true feelings.

So I struggle with not losing it with my children.  This is especially true when I’m feeling the pressure from work, rushing around, meeting deadlines or just fed up.

Today, however, was my daughter’s 7th Birthday.  It coincided with a particularly tricky day for me as well.

In order to watch her open her presents this morning, I had to go into work late and I decided to mark my calendar as being “at the doctors”.  I dashed in, attended 7 meetings during the day and then had to get away by 3pm.  Mr40 had a casting today and TM had been booked in for an extra day at nursery and Pickle had to go to the nursery after school because I wouldn’t be back in time. I then thought I’d “work from home” for a bit and then take Pickle, TM and one of her school friends out for dinner as a birthday treat.  It meant leaving work at 4.30pm (1 hour early).

I picked them up at 3.30pm though, full of smiles.  I refused to get cross about anything.  I didn’t want to ruin her birthday.

TM fell asleep when we got home, I didn’t get cross.  I bribed him to wake up and stay awake.

His clothes were caked in mud and it dropped all over the floor.  I didn’t get cross.

I needed to log on to work but couldn’t for over 30 minutes. I didn’t get cross.

Pickle and her friend took way to long getting changed to go out. I didn’t get cross.

All of them took too long to get in the car. I didn’t get cross

I ended up going inside about 3 times to get things I’d forgotten.  TM refused to eat the meal at the restaurant.  He cried a lot and had a few hissy fits.  Pickle hurt herself on a straw and cried far too long.

I was like Mary Poppins!

So I thought I’d post on here about how I’d managed to hold it together and why I couldn’t do it more often.

However, whilst writing this, Pickle popped up on the stairs and I told her to go to bed and not mess about because I’d been very good today and hadn’t lost it.

“yes you did” she cried.

“No I didn’t” I replied.

“yes, when you had to do my seatbelt at nursery”.

Sigh.  I had been a teeny weeny bit exasperated, but hadn’t raised my voice or got cross or said anything bad.  I’d just said that it would be nice if she could do it herself.


There is no hope for me.

Was I Like Her?

Me :  “Okay …4 times 5.  Let’s count up in 5’s using the blocks.  Five….”

Her : “Ummmm. 10……….and ummmmm” *sticks finger in her mouth and stares at ceiling.

Me : “Come on, we’ve just counted up when we did 6 times 5.  It’s 15.   Let’s do it again”

Her: “5, ummmmm, 10, ummmmmm, 15…………………………………………………………*shouts* 34″

Me: “come on, we’ve just done it, you know it’s not 34″

Her: *baby voice* yes it is.

Me:  “Right, lets take you to bed I can’t do this anymore”

Her: *starts crying* “but I neeeed to do my homework”.

This isn’t isolated.  She mucks about, she doesn’t concentrate, she purposely says the wrong answer, claims she doesn’t know things she has just said.

To be honest, I’m starting to see something familiar going on and I can’t but wonder whether  this familiarity harks back to the later 70’s and early 80’s when I was attempting to grasp the basics with maths and english.

I have no firm memories but sometimes I feel like I’m talking to my younger self.

So bloody frustrating.

How do you stop yourself from getting annoyed?

I know she’s capable.  I know she’s like me, above average capability but lacking confidence, concentration and interest.

Get me on a good day, I am cheerfully persistent and kind and try different things to engage her, but get me on a bad day and I really struggle with not getting very very cross.

Is this it for ever more?   Am I going to be punished for my own lack of enthusiasm for learning by experiencing the difficulty of myself through my daughter?




Confidence Knock

For those of you that may not be aware, we have moved out of London and have followed our dream of moving to the country.

It’s been a bit of a scary journey for us two risk averse people but somehow we’ve managed to put one foot in front of the other and have made a decision that we would have normally just put off.  Now we are living the dream and it hasn’t disappointed.

The Monster has also taken the move in his stride (he’s 3, I doubt he’s actually realised we have moved) and Pickle was doing so well.

She started school last Wednesday and went in with a smile on her face.  She went in on Thursday with a slight lip quiver. By Friday morning we had full on tears and clinging.

On Saturday we headed off to try out a performing arts school she’d been keen to go to.  3 dance classes followed by 2 drama classes.  The drama classes she has never done before by all 3 dance classes are the same ones she did in London.

She was fine in Ballet, she sat off to the side in Tap and then refused to go into the Modern class, breaking down and sobbing when I tried to walk her in.  However, she thoroughly enjoyed the drama classes once she’d dried her eyes.

It’s a journey I’m familiar with and to be honest it’s the hardest part of parenting to deal with.  Irritating children who I end up losing my temper with, bored children, over exuberant children who won’t calm down, loud children – I can deal with.  Dealing with confidence issues is something I still haven’t got the knack for and I keep trying new ways each time.  Saturday was so exhausting, not least because it all happened again at the party we went to in the afternoon.

I usually leave it, the party she doesn’t enjoy being at, the tennis lesson that never got off the ground. I accept that I can’t make her do something, even though I know she’d enjoy it.

This performing arts school is different though.  The two classes she didn’t enjoy happen to be the two that she usually REALLY enjoys.  It could have been the fact she wasn’t wearing the right uniform, too many other children, a bossy girl telling her what to do, steps she’d never done before. New New New New.  We don’t like change.

So we’re back there on Saturday.  One foot in front of the other. Attempting to overcome the confidence knock.

Any tips?


Why do you wear Makeup?

…asked my 6-year-old daughter.

Well, I know why I wear makeup and I’ll happily make some joke about “putting on my face” or “making sure I don’t scare small children”, but the question really did prompt a bit of a moment for me.  One I needed to work out because I need to make sure I give her the right answer without suggesting that it’s something she HAS to do.

The Truth

I started wearing makeup because my mother made me.  I know that’s a bit of a weird one, but it’s true.  While many of my friend’s parents were confiscating mascara and scraping foundation off their daughter’s faces with a flannel, my mother was putting ‘almost finished but not quite’ bits of makeup on my dresser and cajoling me to try it.

My mum mistook my lack of confidence, my introversion and my immaturity as ugliness.  Which was a bit of a shame, because years later I discovered I wasn’t ugly.  I was even quite pretty.  To her, though, I wasn’t putting on my “face”. I wasn’t pretty enough and this was the reason I wasn’t a better person.

I started wearing foundation around the age of 15 and was wearing it full-time at the age of 17.  I never wore much makeup, in fact most people thought I didn’t wear any, but therein lies the skill of a makeup wearer.

I’ve worn makeup almost every year since.  Still without people realising I wear it.  Foundation, concealer, mascara, blusher. I used to wear powder too.

I wear makeup because I don’t like what I see when I don’t wear any. These days, in the body of a 40-year-old, I do spend days when I’m at home without makeup on.  If very close friends visit, I may not put some one. I’m very conscious of it though. It’s a big deal.foundation

I wear makeup because I was told I needed to look prettier. I needed to be more attractive. Because people will only like me because I’m attractive.

I wear makeup because society says I should.  Because society says I should, I feel self-conscious if I don’t.   I wear it because it makes me feel better about myself, like I’m trying to improve myself. I guess I feel like that because that was what i was told at the beginning.

It almost makes me want to cry.

The Lie

I wear makeup because I like using it and it makes me look a little brighter in the sunshine.  You don’t need it, because you have lovely skin and you may not ever have to wear it unless you really want to.

Hmmm.  Not sure she’s going to fall for that.

What do you say to your children?