According to Dr Spock:
When children behave badly, parents may try to suppress their anger for a while but eventually they have to explode.
This makes the child feel guilty and bewildered.
Here’s what happened with us this morning- though I think I was the one who felt most bewildered by the end!
It started off with me chasing Ben round the room with a toothbrush while he showed me a ‘flying car’ he’d made out of Lego. Then Harry decided to show me how he could break it.
I tried to stay calm, I tried to be firm but in the end I sounded like an extra from a Joyce Grenfell sketch:
Look, Ben we can fix it. Don’t knock Harry over. Ben!
No, you’re not going to break him to teach him a lesson. Why don’t we just build you another one? Come on, you can both help.
Right, let’s leave those bricks there for a moment and we’ll build the rest when we’ve finished Harry’s teeth.
Come here, Harry. Alright, you start and I’ll finish. Right, my turn. Give me the toothbrush. Just give it to me. Thank you.
Harry, would you come back here? Get out of the Lego box. Ben, he doesn’t need you to tip him out. Oh really, look at the mess you’ve made when we’re late.
Harry, just come and sit down please. I can’t do your teeth if you’re running around the room. Pull your nappy back up please. Ben, it’s not funny. Oh for goodness sake Ben, put your trousers back on.
Harry. Come here. Teeth now. OK, downstairs. Right, finally off we go.
Ouch. Who filled my shoes with Lego?
Cue explosion/ bewilderment- mine, not theirs- at this point they were rolling on the floor clutching their bellies and roaring with laughter…….)