Not a good start to the day, the usual Monday morning playing up followed by huge angry outbursts which we found really difficult to deal with. He wouldn't go to school so we phoned around trying to get some help. Parenting is so difficult, at the moment I wouldn't reccommend it to anyone.
We are trying to be good parents and set boundaries and give a mix of advice, praise, instruction, love, understanding etc but children are individuals in their own right, they cannot be controlled or moulded like plasticine into what you want them to be. We try to be good role models and are attending a class in order to try to become better parents. However, many people find parenting difficult, not because they are bad parents, but because their child hasn't yet learnt how to fit in and behave appropriately. Children also get messages about their 'rights' and have learned that it is OK to answer back and express themselves. As physical punishment is no longer an option, they feel free to disobey as there are no punishments we know of which seem to make any difference, and anyway, we don't enjoy punishing our children, or want to do this.
I was brought up with a 'rod of iron', a very strict regime, which included being smacked, spanked, caned and given lines to write when I started to hit back. I certainly knew what I could and couldn't do, and should and shouldn't do, and maybe this is why I have a strong moral code that I live by, a sense of right and wrong. I am having to go against my own upbringing by trying to be more relaxed and less authoritarian, I don't want to treat my children like I was treated. However, this is far from easy, and my children might have inherited some of my 'free spirit' (that's a polite way of saying I was difficult to live with when I was younger!) which, of course is not their fault or mine. I hope they have inherited some of Gill's placid, easygoing attitude as well. She is a good influence on all of us.
Gill took the boys into school before lunch, better late than never.
I had a very low day, feeling inadequate and like giving up. I had a bath and did more fruit, sort of on autopilot. After lunch I went into the garden and attacked brambles and hedge and got the chainsaw out to deal with an enormous log from Heslington.
In the evening I went to the LETS meeting at The Seahorse Hotel, still feeling low, but I was cheered up by Ann, and then David came, and Rakesh and Frances. Whilst we were in the middle of the meeting, a member of the public came in, as it's not a private room, and although he looked like he wanted to leave, we told him he could stay...
At the end of the meeting we got talking, he came to York a few years ago with a partner but now he's single, and I think I have a friend with Kevin. He was interested in my dried fruit experiments and may visit. We talked til after 11, after all the LETS people had gone home...