Lately I've been struggling a lot with my son's behaviour.
Yes, he's a toddler. Yes, he says the word no a lot. Yes, that's typical toddler behaviour. I know temper tantrums are to be expected, and I'm ready to face them head on.
But, what I've been thinking about, and really questionning myself on is how much of this is typical toddler behaviour and how much of this is me allowing my child to be a brat. Because, some days, I have to admit that Matt is kind of bratty.
Don't get me wrong. I love my child to death. And, much of the time I appreciate him for the adorable, wonderful, loving child that he is.
But, I don't want him to be a brat.
I'm starting to notice that some of these bratty behaviours occur only around me. For instance, he can be playing really nicely at daycare, see me, and suddenly start whining. Or, I'll stick around to talk to his teacher and he just starts being bad.
His favourite trick is to pull my arm really hard until I leave. I just let him do it. His teacher stepped in and said "Matthew. That hurts Mommy. Stop."
She was firm and serious and he stopped. Right away.
Or, if he goes to open the door and leave I let him do it, and then chase him down the hall. Kayla (his teacher) tells him no, and he just walks away.
According to the reading I've done, part of this is because I'm his mom. And, he's more comfortable around me. Knows my limits, all of that. And, his teachers play a different role. So, okay. That's fine.
But, I am learning I need to be a little firmer.
So, I've started.
Call it Operation Mean Mommy. Call it whatever you want. But, I've had it with all of this bad behaviour.
The one thing his teacher suggested is that I need to be really clear in my demands. So, today when he kept saying no to me about getting dressed I said (in my new mean mommy voice)
"Mommy does not like it when you say no to me."
So, he looked at me, said yes, and on went the clothes.
Ummmm ... okay. This is easy!
Then at daycare I asked for my hug goodbye. He was completely pre-occupied with his trains and said "not right now. Wait a minute" (well, actually he said "wait a millet").
So I said "No. Mommy has to go to work - I don't like it when you say not right now."
And he jumped up and came running for a kiss.
Apparently we need to use the phrases that work for him. So, we are learning. But, the one thing I do know is that as Matthew gets older I want a child who is fun to be around. I'm not looking for a little soldier with no opinion. But, screaming at me, hitting me, and not respecting me at all. I've finally had it.