We have turned a major parenting corner with our little girl.
I have made no bones about the fact that Mia has been a difficult child. And I feel awful for saying that as she is also delightfully spirited, outgoing and full of life. That is something hubby and I would never ever want to change, but she has certainly been a challenge.
From hacking off her own hair, and shouting and screaming “I don’t even like you a little bit” to redecorating the house with lipstick, peeing on the floor because ‘it’s funny’ and swapping the Terrible Twos for the even more Terrible Threes.
Honestly, it’s a wonder I’m still sane.
Her older brother was a model baby. If I explained to him why he shouldn’t do something he would nod his little head and that would be it, he would go off and play with his jigsaw never to attempt said dangerous thing again.
When he was 3 and his little sister had just popped into the world, hubby and I were all ‘this parenting thing’s a lark. Got it all sorted. Don’t know what all the fuss is about’.
Then Mia arrived and we discovered EXACTLY what all the fuss is about.
However, I bring you hope my friends.
My little girl with the big red ‘difficult’ label around her neck has changed.Totally changed. She is a delight to be with and I really look forward to me and her time.
So what changed? What magical thing happened?
Well, we stopped using one word: We stopped calling her ‘naughty’.
I know, I know, it seems so bloody obvious! We never shouted it at her. It was almost an exasperated “Mia, why are you so naughty?” and I think she sucked it all up.
She would be stood there, Biro in hand having drawn all over her legs and her new shoes, almost willing me to get cross.
Also, for some time now she has been at pains to tell us that she is not a baby and that she is ready for the ‘big class’ in nursery school and she hates with a passion anything she considers to be remotely babyish.
So we have taken being good or bad out of the equation.
So now we say: “Mia, you’re so grown up” or “well done, you’re such a big girl” or “only babies do things like that. You’re too grown up for that, aren’t you?”
And I say this to you now, half weeping half laughing: by jimminy jove IT’S WORKED!