Reward charts. Such a popular parenting tool. We’re trying one out with the twiglets at the moment, yet I’ve always felt quite conflicted about them. I’ll try to explain why I have some reservations about them in this post… 😊
Back when the twiglets were babies, whenever I met a mum with older twins, one of the main questions I’d end up asking was ‘when will it get easier?’ Always spoken with a slight undertone of crazed desperation, meaning ‘please tell me it gets f**king easier, please, PLEASE!” 🤣 The other day, as I got the twiglets out of the car and they walked, both sensibly holding my hands, into their playgroup, it suddenly struck me that maybe we were actually there – has it finally got easier?!
I remember vividly the first time the twiglets came home from nursery and started singing a song that I didn’t know. They were about 19/20 months and hadn’t been going there long – their speech was nothing like it is now, but they were clearly attempting to sing a song and I had no idea what it was. It was such a weird feeling hearing words come from their mouths that I knew for a fact had not been learned from us. That was the moment I realised that it was no longer just me and twin.papa.po (and our close family) who were responsible for shaping their little minds. Up to then, pretty much everything they’d experienced in their lives had been with one or both of us. We were trying to teach them right from wrong, trying to explain things in a way they could make sense of, trying to encourage them to be kind and caring towards others, above all trying to ensure they were happy. All obviously guided by our own views, opinions and experiences and how we wanted to parent our children. So that singing moment felt significant to me because it was when I had the realisation that other people, with different views, opinions and experiences to ours, were now really starting to influence our twiglets.
Yesterday I had a parents’ evening-type meeting thingy (there’s probably a better term for it than that 🤣) with Cora’s keyworker at preschool (Henry’s is in a few days time). The only question I really had for her was about how C is getting on socially. I know her speech, understanding and physical development are really good for her age (which they confirmed) but I have been wondering how she is with other children. She’s a very chatty and sociable little girl, and when we go on playdates, she interacts and plays with other kids really nicely. But I just had a feeling that this may not quite be the case at preschool.
Firstly, I’m not even sure whether I like the word ‘discipline’ really- it just sounds a bit… harsh somehow? Maybe that’s where we’re going wrong 🙈🤣 But I’m not too sure what else to call it… ‘trying to teach them not to behave like feral, out-of-control little brats?’ 🙈 Because to be quite honest, this is what the twiglets behave like a large amount of the time, especially when we’re at home.
I’ve never been particularly hot on New Years Resolutions. Mainly because I find that the more set on achieving something I am, the more likely I am to rebel against myself so that I don’t achieve it – queen of self-sabotage, me 🙈 For example, I’m not the type of person who can really go ‘cold turkey ‘ with things – it just doesn’t generally work for me. So cutting things out completely will just make me really desperately want those things and I won’t be able to stick to it – it’s usually much better for me to make more gradual changes.
So the other day I was reading a post on one of those Facebook parenting forums (jeez people don’t bite their tongues on those things do they?!) This particular one was written by a nursery worker who was bemoaning those ‘awful’ mums who choose to leave their children in a hellhole of snotty toddlers (aka nursery) even if they’re not working. It described how terrible it was that these mums would drop their poor kids off screaming and crying just so they could go off to Zumba or drink coffee or do the housework. I suddenly realised that I am one of those horrendous mothers they were talking about. I send my little twiglets off to nursery for two days a week and no I’m not working, yes I do go to a Zumba class and do the housework while they’re there and yes Cora does often cry when I drop her off in the mornings 💔 There were countless comments on the post from mothers who agreed, stating how much they love their children, or how wanted and longed for they were, maybe after a difficult journey to parenthood, infertility etc – so why on earth would they choose to be apart from them if they didn’t need to be? On the face of it, this made sense and I wondered if I must indeed be an awful mother for not choosing to spend every single possible minute with my, also much loved and long-awaited, babies?