by Caitlin

I’m an absolute softy when it comes to my eldest Son Maximus, it’s a well-known fact in our family.Dan tends to be the bad cop and me good.

Sure I discipline him when he’s been naughty if he pushes another child or misbehaves but the majority of the time I’m probably quite lenient to his behaviour.

This weekend has made me really question why I’m not harder on him. When I really thought about it I soon realised it stems from an inane need to be liked. I don’t want Max to dislike me or think of me as the mean parent, the one always telling him off or saying no. Sometimes it’s just easier (and necessary sometimes) to pick my battles.

I tend to lean towards being a soft touch mainly because he isn’t a bad kid. Affectionate funny and bursting with personality are traits that would describe Max. He is usually very well behaved (especially in public) for me and others who have him in their company.

  • This weekend that all changed.

He and his cousin were treated to a day at the zoo with their Nanny and Granddad. Max stayed at there house the evening before. I was really surprised to learn when they dropped him home how he had been really naughty. Not listening, throwing tantrums when told no and running off.

I was totally mortified and embarrassed. That’s not generally how my boy behaves and the grandparents were pretty shocked at his behaviour as well.

The day’s events really made me think am I too soft on him, am I (god forbid) turning him into a spoilt brat.

Often if we are out at the shops and he has been well behaved I don’t mind treating him to a toy. Usually something small like a £2.00 paw patrol pup or something like that. Growing up in a poor family of 6 we didn’t have any treats during the year, just a few on birthdays and Christmas.

It got me thinking that maybe even something small like this is shaping his behaviour pattern. Maybe I treat him too often to the point where he now expects to have all that he asks for?

When out with me he never asks for anything material, any big toys that catch his eye we agree that we’ll tell daddy to add it to the list for Santa. He never throws a tantrum when we agree on this.

  • Plan of action:

Being a good parent and teaching Max morals is so bloody hard. Things come second nature to us as adults. We forget there’s so much these little people still don’t understand and need to learn about the world.

With this in mind, I’m putting together a plan of action for my miniature tyrant.

  • No reward for bad behaviour:

This one is self-explanatory. So often I’ve threatened Max with the binning of a toy or his tablet because of his actions but then later completely forgot about the threat. I think, no I know I need to show him then and there that the bad behaviour won’t be tolerated.

  • Actions have consequences:

Every Time he’s played up or warranted a real telling off will result in his tablet being taken away. For example today he bit Kai while we were out, I told him that he couldn’t bite his brother and that the action would have a consequence( the removal of the tablet for the rest of the day). I’m quite proud to say I have stuck to this rule today.

  • Good deeds receive rewards:

It can’t be all take we have to have a little give in this agreement. When Max behaves well he will be rewarded. Maybe not with a toy each time we go shopping, perhaps with treats we can do together like more crafting or baking.

As Max gets older I find this gig getting harder. The responsibility to raise a happy respectful young man is such a big one, I constantly second guess my every word and action.

Really I should give myself a break, deep down I think I am doing a good job at the mumming lark surely nobody is perfect 100% of the time, are they?

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