Monday, 23 November 2009


I don't know what it is at the moment.... nearly Christmas, nearly the end of term, their respective ages(?), their respective personalities (?) who knows? - but I cannot get my three children to do anything that I want them do.

I've been looking after them alone for ten days and it taking its toll! I'm shattered, bad tempered and reaching for the chocolate for comfort. All tell tale signs that they've managed to ground me down. They are in control and not the other way round. Don't get me wrong I know you can't put kids into neat little boxes, and nor would I want to. I love their differences, their quirky little ways, but sometimes, just sometimes it would be really nice if they did as I asked the first time I asked them!

Yesterday, was the final straw, and I only had the boys. Lauren was away at Grandads for the weekend, and I only needed to do three things all day; visit the tip with the bags of litter the bin men are not collecting at the moment, clean/tidy the house, and then go and pick Lauren up from my dads in the afternoon.

I soon realised it was going to go pear shaped when the boys were still in pyjamas at 11.30am despite me asking them fifteen times(yes I know precisely because I counted) to get dressed. I even laid their clothes out for them, between them and the TV, and still no joy. I even turned the TV off and still no joy!

By 7pm, having wasted a good hour traipsing back to Ferrybridge services twice to pick up Nathaniel's forgotten box of GoGos (God forbid they are ever lost - they must be worth hundreds!) and consequently ruining our Sunday dinner , I had had ENOUGH.

In desperation I searched the bookshelf for help and came across a book called RAISING HAPPY CHILDREN by Jan Parker and Jan Stimpson. Having made my kids lives a misery yesterday I sat down to read it, feeling guilty for my behaviour.

Things happen for a reason I believe, and so I opened it up in the middle on the most appropriate pages for me right then - A SIX-STEP PLAN FOR CO-OPERATION. Yes, my prayers had been answered. I read it avidly and am inspired. So inspired I'm going to finish this blog post by including it for any readers who are having similar issues with their little (or big) Angels.

Hope it helps, it helped me!
(not reprinted exactly by the way!)

Stop what you're doing and look at your child. This immediately stops you from shouting at a child that's upset.

Wait for eye contact - do nothing else but wait. This is respectful and so likely to get your child's attention. These two steps allow you to collect your thoughts and ask clearly and calmly without shouting or nagging.

Tell your child what you'd like them to do, clearly simply and only once.You may be pleasantly surprised here!

If steps one to three haven't worked - and apparently this is only a small minority!! - ask the child in their own words what you have asked them to do. There seems to be more of an obligation felt if the words come out of their mouths.

For the tiny amount of children who are still resisting!
Stand and wait until your child has done what you want them to do.Most parents are too busy to do this, or feel it. But if you do, your child will know you are serious and what he/she is experiencing is not scolding or nagging but calm and reasonable.

Notice and praise everything the child does in the right direction.

Good Luck. Lets have some feed back, it can't be just me that has this 'problem'.


  1. Great advice - and so simple! Thank you for sharing it.

  2. It's good advice. Not always easy to stick to when you're at the end of your tether but good nonetheless. At the end of the day it's all about communication - both ways. We're all very good at telling children (and in my case, husband too) what to do but they need to acknowledge what we've said so that a)we know we've been heard and b) they can explain maybe why they don't want to do it or why they'll do it later, etc. And don't, like me, be tempted to shout when their reasons are ridiculous. Count to ten .....

  3. yes it does work. I've found just getting eye contact with my children before asking them to do something makes a big difference. My five year olds still resisting, but I'm persisting!! RX