I feel that I’ve been really lucky so far with all the children in that the only time they are badly behaved is at home. School, nursery, playgroup, play dates and so on, there is never anything but nice things to report.
You can’t be an angel all the time though can you so it’s normally Mummy that gets the brunt of the trickiness.
We’ve always been clear about letting the children know when they have done something wrong and that something isn’t very nice or kind. I think even quite young children understand quite early on what is right and what is wrong.
I remember as a child that it used to drive me crackers if my younger brother hit me or broke something of mine as it was almost always followed by this predictable chorus from my grandmother of “he doesn’t understand, he’s only…4…5..6..21”. I jest but you get the picture!
Our 2.5 year old knows exactly what is nice and what is not nice behaviour. The cheeky glint in his eye tells me that if nothing else.
He has however got the apology bit down to a fine art and can expertly parcel up the desired amount of cuteness and get the head tilt and big puppy dog eyes going all at the same time. The boy has talent!
The apology goes a bit like this:
Toddler : Are you sad?
Me: Yes that wasn’t very kind
Toddler: I want to give you a huggle
Me: OK that would be nice
Toddler : I want to give you a huggle and say sorry
Me : OK then, thank you
Toddler: Sorry mummy (gives a lovely cuddle)
Me: Thank you for saying sorry, please don’t do that again
Toddler: OK Mummy pinky promise
Me: OK, thank you for the promise
Toddler: Are you happy now Mummy?
Me: Yes I feel a bit happier thank you
Five minutes later wacks baby brother with a toy train, car, plastic golf club or his snack bowl.
It’s a work in progress!