Parenting in November and December is easy. If you want your child to do something you simply threaten to call Father Christmas if they don’t do it. Immediately they are darning socks and scrubbing floors. But come January it’s all changed. You have to start parenting properly again. It’s an issue. And there are other issues.
Never fear people. I’ve prepared a guide for you. What would you do without me. Grab a glass of wine (drop the dry January nonsense – if you need to go dry in January then you probably need to cut down during the rest of the year, do it now – you have kids – if you die they will be orphans!) and absorb all you need to know to make it to….February.
Now that Father Christmas isn’t going to come along for another 343 days you’ve lost your main weapon in the war that is parent vs child. You can say it, but they won’t give a rats tail. New techniques are required. The naughty step needs to be dusted off.
Today we took the kids to Ikea. In an attempt to be decent parents we offered to reward the children for good behaviour which has been severely lacking since they realised that there was no point behaving because we’d still feed them even if they were naughty. They would get a treat if they reached 5 Ikea points. Just 5. A nice low total. Easily achievable. The final tally is below.
IKEA POINTS TALLY
Rachel (the well behaved child) = 0 points
Abbie (the sod) = -2 points
Daddy = -1 point (for swearing when he ran over a pencil with the trolley)
Mummy = 0 points
By the end we were at least laughing at how crap we all were. Daddy finally awarded them some more points for standing still outside the toilet. They didn’t do that of course – I lied to to him on their behalf. Ridiculous!
Best to read a supernanny book rather than this blog if you’re struggling with discipline issues!
2. AGE INAPPROPRIATE GAMES – PART ONE
The older sibling got lots of games this year. The younger sibling wants to be like the older sibling. I have therefore found myself having to play Cluedo with a three year old. It is recommended that you are 8 years old before you play a game that involves solving the murder of Dr Black, mostly because before that point you are at risk of being murdered by your parent when you play BECAUSE YOU DON’T LISTEN TO WHAT I’M SAYING!
When it’s the turn of the youngest she will go straight to the room of her choice, regardless of the number thrown on the dice.
Youngest I think it was Miss Scarlet
Oldest You always accuse me
Mummy I know just bear with her. We all know she’s not going to win.
Youngest I think it was Miss Scarlet, in the Lounge, with the Hiccups. Ahahahahahahah
Mummy Hiccups is not a weapon. Choose a proper weapon.
Youngest OK, revolver
Mummy You know it’s not the revolver because you have that card
Youngest I don’t
Mummy You do. You showed it to me earlier.
Mummy Shhhh. Abbie. Choose a weapon that you don’t have.
Mummy Shall we not play
Oldest Can I just have my turn
Mummy No. Abbie. What did Rachel use to commit the murder?
Youngest I don’t know. If we look in the envelope we can know
Mummy AARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH. How about the rope. Do you have the rope?
Mummy OK, so let’s say Miss Scarlet
Oldest It wasn’t me.
Mummy Shhh. Miss Scarlet, in the Dining Room
Oldest It’s the lounge
Mummy Under breath For F*ck Sake Back over breath (?) Miss Scarlet, in the Lounge with the Rope. Does anybody have any cards to show Abbie.
A pause whilst Mummy and Oldest look through cards.
Oldest I’ll show you one Abbie
Youngest And now I’ll show you one
Mummy No, you don’t need to show us a card
Youngest But I have the lounge
Mummy Well why did you go there if you had the card. You should be going to rooms where you don’t have the card. We’re trying to guess which card is missing.
Cue tears and stomping out of room
Oldest I’ll get you some wine mummy
Mummy OK. It’s just the pretend stuff isn’t it
Oldest Yes. I don’t want to be an orphan. I still can’t believe you don’t do dry January.
3. AGE INAPPROPRIATE GAMES – PART TWO
We also bought trivial pursuit, the family edition over Christmas. Again, you need to be 8 to play. The 3 year old is ignoring this. For this section please note that capital letters indicate shouting!
Youngest Can I ask you a question mummy
Mummy You can’t read but Yes OK. It’s green.
Youngest What is this, when you go, in and out. Is it a. false. b. TRUE or c. clinko
Youngest No, it’s false
Oldest She doesn’t understand that she’s supposed to shout the right answer
Mummy Well it wasn’t a real question really. Why don’t you ask me one.
Oldest To which animal does the word Lupine refer?
Youngest The big…..bad……wolf!
Mummy That was my question!
Six rounds later
Oldest I win again! Another game mum?
Mummy No thanks. I have to sneak off to the downstairs loo and revise your horrible history books if I’m ever to stand any chance of beating you.
4. DRY JANUARY
I don’t do dry January. Some of my friends do though. This means there’s a whole group of people I can’t socialise with in January. It’s an issue!! Come on peeps. If we’ve had a bad day a biscuit doesn’t cut it!!
Two biscuits might help. I could try that I guess. Perhaps with chocolate??
Happy January lovelies. Role on Feb!
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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure. She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right. Infact 85% of the kids who come through STORY STORKS are right where they should be or ahead in terms of progression through the reading book scheme once they get to school and the ones who are behind are trying hard because they know that it’s worth it – that to read is to unlock a whole world of fun and adventure and learning and imagination and they might take a bit longer to get there but they’re determined that get there they will.