Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Tuesday 22nd July 08

Gill got me up as there were rumblings of dissent and talk of not going to school. This all stemmed from asking our more complicated child if he'd like to have a 'leaving party or birthday party combined'? He has been saying for a while that he didn't want any party, but this morning, the last day of school, he said he did want to do something with friends.

So Gill asked him what he wanted to do. This was too much for him, and there were shouts and crying 'I don't know WHAT I want to do' 'so I won't bother'. So Gill made a few suggestions, including going out somewhere, seeing a film, playing in the garden, playing at the Outgang (playing fields in Heslington) and he then shouted that he didn't want to be given suggestions. So we just cannot 'win' with this child. Impossible. Anyway, we between us eventually got to a situation of agreeing that he would invite some of his friends to the Outgang tomorrow at midday. Gill quietly asked me if I thought I could do some Professor Fiddlesticks activities at his party, and although I hate his aggressive behaviour and churlishness, I still love him and want to help him have a good time... so I asked him if he'd like that, and apparently he would. But minutes later he was having another paddy about writing some little invites and he threw punches and yelled a lot. God knows what our neighbours think we're doing to him! I just don't want to reward this crap behaviour but I do want to be a nice Daddy.

I took them to school. I came home. We both had a cry. We are wondering where we have gone wrong and are absolutely dreading the summer holidays. We haven't booked a holiday as we cannot face an experience like last summer. And this just punishes our other boy who is mild mannered, quite chilled and relatively well behaved, and gets ignored when the other one takes all our attention. Parenting is soooooo difficult!

Before lunch went to the tax office and asked about a couple of queries in our accounts, and was asked to chat to someone on the phone for 'technical advice' and it all seemed quite simple. I'm going to submit my income tax stuff electronically this year, for the first time. And possibly the last as we are going to get an accountant to do it next time! To not have that hassle will be lovely!

Then went to the Hazel Court/James Street skip site with a load of cartons for recycling, some more batteries which surfaced, and some electrical stuff including low-energy lightbulbs for the 'weee' collection. Then to St Nicks where I bought two dalek compost bins which folks have returned, for a tenner each, one of which will go to a lady in Windmill Lane who asked if I could get her one. Both went on my cycle trailer no problem. Then came home and had lunch and phoned up the tax credit people and re-applied for that over the phone.

Then did some washing up and washed my walnuts which have been in brine for a few weeks, and left them to air-dry in a cardboard box. Next stop, getting pickling jars ready, and assorted herby/spicy vinegar. I might co-pickle them with some early nasturtium seeds.. or even flower buds (which is what capers are, so I don't see why I shouldn't give 'nasturtium capers' a go!)

Did emails and blog, got ready for my last day bringing two boys home from school!

As soon as I arrived at school and my occasionally horrible child came out, he said, 'Dad, forget about this morning' so I replied 'why, what happened this morning?' with a smile and he gave me a hug. I collected quite a bit more end-of-term recycling/reusables and then the boys said they wanted to go to the Outgang with all their friends, so I told them they could but when Ulrich said it was time to go, they must cycle home together and be careful using and crossing roads. An hour after I got home, Ulrich arrived with his eldest son and 10 mins later, both mine arrived home happily and safely. Ulrich and I picked a load of loganberries, raspberries, redcurrants and a few gooseberries and then he went to collect his youngest from another friend's house.

I went to the Hull Road Planning Panel meeting for 6.30 and we dealt with 4 applications, one of which was really difficult to deal with as it was changing a student house with 5 bedrooms int a 'House of Multiple Occupation' with 8 bedrooms, and we all felt it was a bit crowded... but couldn't object on any planning grounds we knew of. Interesting! Home for 7.45 and had pizza, home grown potato salad with chives and some olives donated by Ulrich.


Anonymous said...

'As soon as I arrived at school and my occasionally horrible child came out, he said, 'Dad, forget about this morning' so I replied 'why, what happened this morning?' with a smile and he gave me a hug'.

Where is the consequence for your eldest's bad behaviour? You completely let him off the hook so he will do this again and again to you until you start to bear down on this behaviour.

You said his actions made you cry so WHY are you letting him carry on, oblivious to the upset he has caused?

Unless you start taking some tough action you are going to have severe trouble with this kid as he gets older and physically bigger.

Btw, my daughter also says to me ' I dont know what I want to do' - under these circumstances I just say to her ' well lets leave it then' I dont give her any choices, I dont wheedle with her or enter into discussion.

Eventually she will come back with her suggestion and I will either agree or disagree but if she has been narky or rude its very likely I will say to her ' i dont do nice things for badly behaved and rude children'.

At the end of the day its no skin off my nose if she doesnt get to do something with her mates or whatever and if she hates me for a few hours then thats her problem and not mine. i know my position in the house and that is to be the overall authority along with her Dad and there is just no compromise on that.

i just think you lack confidence in your abilities. and let me tell you - kids want to know who is boss, they like structure and boundaries and above all a consistent approach.

you just havent got that going yet but you need to get on with it pronto.

if you paid as much attention to your kids as you do to your composting and recycling activities you would have no problems at all.

Compost John said...

Annabel, you come accross as rather unforgiving, harsh and very critical. You may have experience of one female child, but you just cannot comment on other peoples' experiences, especially male children with difficult behavoiural differences.

The consequences of my boy having rages are that he hates himself. He has a low self esteem and knows all too well what his behavoiur does to the rest of the family. On the day in question, he continued to be 'off' with me on the bike on the way to school, and I stopped him, physically, and told him it was completely inappropriate to behave towards me like he was doing, and I wouldn't have it. He was so shaken by the events during the morning, he vomited a bit further down the road whilst cycling towards school. I think this is punishment enough. What do you suggest? What do you mean by 'bear down on this behaviour' and 'tough action'? Are you suggesting corporal punishment... I don't approve of it, as I got spanked regularly and it made me extremely angry towards my father who did this to me. I do not like smacking my children and prefer using verbal communication to convey my feelings.

Why do you assume he is oblivious to the upset? He isn't, as his comment to me after school shows. I love my children and I am extremely forgiving. I feel sorry that he has uncontrolable rages, for him and us... it is almost unbearable but as his Dad, I have to help him come through this stage in his life.

You may treat your child in a particular way if she whines and says she doesn't know what to do, but we were asking ours about a leaving do combined with a birthday do, something quite important and special. And I don't believe that you could cope with a pair of whining children around you saying 'I'm bored' 'What can I do?' and you would have wished to organise some activities so they were occupied. Your child's problem IS your problem. It's your duty as a parent to help your offspring resolve some of their difficulties.

I do not lack confidence, as I think I'm a reasonable parent, school thinks we are good parents, and both boys definitely know who's boss. However, this is part of the problem, as especially our older one would like to be boss himself and doesn't like it that he isn't!

Why is their 'no compromise' in your parenting? Your child may be manageable now but if you don't listen to her needs and compromise sometimes she will rebel against your authoritarian attitude.

Finally I am incredulous that you seem to suggest that my green lifestyle and job as a composter is getting in the way of parenting. Actually, my working part-time allows me to spend more time with my kids than many men. I play with them, share duties with my wife and am consistent and loving.

Please be more constructive with your comments. You are not my mother and you don't neccessarily know better than me. I will treat you like an equal and ask for the same from you. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Yes John,
well done in saying all this!

I do agree with most of this you have said....
Annabel no idea how to really advice or comment on your lifestyle or parenting without really knowing all the facts..you say as much as you can......
But you know, if you are using this blog as a tool to get advice for parenting isuses ,its not the way to get it!! as your readers are just people/parents and not really knowing all your stuff get half end of a stick!

So be aware with what response you get,be ready!

A very concerned reader!