Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Benefits of Rules

Ever since even considering having children, I've had one or two very firm ideas about childrearing. One of those ideas is never backing down - what mummy says goes, no matter what. When I say no, I mean no. When I say it's time to go home, we're going home. And so on.

In the last few days, I have noticed those rules paying off for me, and I thought I would post the details firstly to brag, secondly to look back on and smile, and thirdly to hopefully assist any parents with "problem children" or issues with discipline.

Elspeth has been a bit of a fussy eater for a while now. When she was around 18 months old, I started cracking down on fussy eating - if she didn't eat the dinner I gave her, she got nothing at all - no new dinner, no dessert, she went to bed hungry. Now, at 22 months of age, she is coming to realise this. She might make a fuss and yell and scream, not wanting to eat, but if I leave her food out and ignore the tantrum, she will eat it before too long.

Like all children, Elspeth knows when she likes something. Like chips. Tonight hubby and I had corn chips out, and she kept asking for some. She said please and thank you, but before long I decided she'd had enough chips. I told her, "No more, you've had enough." She cried for about a minute, and asked for "more chips please" a couple of times, but three or four "No"s was enough to make her stop. That's a vast improvement on previous incidents where she would throw a tantrum and keep asking for half an hour.

Also like all children, Elspeth knows when she's having fun. We went to Child's Play, a big indoor playground thing, this morning. It was fantastic fun for all of us. However when the time came to leave, I simply told Elspeth "It's time to go now", and she headed straight for the door - beating hubby and I there!

These are just a few recent examples of her good behaviour, which I'm very impressed with, and which I attribute almost entirely to my stubbornness. I'm rarely unfair or mean to her, just firm and resolute. I mean what I say, and she knows it.

I sincerely hope I can keep this up when I have two children, and that she remains an angel as she gets older!!