When you take your eye off the ball

Parenting is not only about consistency but also about never taking your eye off the ball – EVER!

It differs from household to household what you need to keep your eye on. In our house it’s homework, attitude, Kiara’s eating, Cameron’s hygiene and my stationery drawer. The minute we are distracted these things take a dip, they get IMG_0116forgotten (or stolen in the case of my stationery drawer).

The current issue is Jack’s behaviour, mainly due to me taking my eye off the ball and letting way too much stuff slide. It started as little quirks – like wanting certain shoes, certain shirts, his movies etc. For the most part they weren’t things I chose to fight about it but what has happened now is that we all pander to Jack’s wants. If he wants to keep the same shirt on for days – I try and fight but eventually cave. If he wants to watch Toy Story for the 8th time, we try negotiate and then we cave. He has eaten mini cheddars for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the last 3 days. He has now started being cheeky – tells us to leave him alone, shut up and go away.

In short Jack does what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. It is largely my fault because I am with him 80% of the time and I have not only taken my eye off the ball, I have dropped it.

Last night David had enough and spent nearly an hour bathing him, changing his clothes and putting him to bed. Jack screamed and fought him the ENTIRE time. I am not really sure where David got the patience and determination from but he stayed calm the whole time.

So now we have a reset and we have to almost start again. Set the boundaries, enforce them and get control back from the 2 year old. I know people are adverse to using the word control in parenting but in our house I need control. I need the children to listen when I speak, to know I am serious and co-operate. It is not even about there being 4 kids and 1 of me – it is about raising a child who isn’t a brat and doesn’t always get their own way!

There was drama at school too. He cried more today than he did on the day he actually started. I am hoping that now that we are back in a proper routine again he will settle quickly.

Consistent discipline and boundary setting is one of the harder parts of parenting. They need focus and attention otherwise it all just falls apart!

How are things going with your kids? Do you have drop-off dramas?


  1. says

    It seems to be normal two year old behaviour,but it can be very disruptive in the household! Good luck!
    Luckily we don’t have drop-off dramas. Just a bit more clingyness, but not too bad.

  2. says

    So true -its also about raising responsible decent adults. Honestly, I think it is adjusting to not being the baby any more. He is testing the boundaries and seeing how far he can take it. And a bit angry that he is not getting all the attention he used to get.

    Really just what I guess one can expect. And you are doing exactly what you should. Keep going and best of luck.

    (None of mine were particularly happy school started)

  3. says

    well you saw the paint on the wall…. and honestly, I still haven’t gone outside to see it because I don’t want to lose it…. I have to just focus to get through the month and then I’m back, baby!

    inside the house I’ve been enforcing time out for sulking and sassing me.

  4. says

    We once had an incident of a shirt that N would not take off. I let it slide for one day, but when she tried the same stunt the next night at bath time I chucked her in the bath with it and that was the end of that. (she was furious about it, but she got over it quick enough).

    I think they all go through periods like this. Hang in there, tomorrow will be better. 😉

  5. says

    I agree with Karen, it is normal behaviour for a 2 year old, but that’s where boundaries are so important because he’s at the age where he is going to test them and start to learn the limits.
    Good on you all for resetting them. And good luck!

  6. says

    Keeping a strict discipline routine is the hardest for me – Seth is able to do it far more effectively. I think there is something in being with them all the time and not wanting to fight ALL THE TIME that you are together so we give in. At least that’s what I do. Trying to change and be more in control but it’s hard once they think they can do what they want.

  7. says

    Ugh. Consistency is HARD WORK. I think that Jack is displaying typical 2-year old behaviour and that the new baby possibly also plays a role but yes, boundaries and consistency.
    Our drop off dramas come and go. At the beginning of the year it was awful. Then it got better but I had to walk in with him. Then I allowed him to bribe me with a star and a smiley face that I had to draw on his wrist. Then somehow that got boring (for him) and I must now walk inside with him while holding his hand. Then we put down his bag and walk into his classroom and I must take a whiteboard marker and write his name under either the smiley face or the sad face. He tells me under which face to write his name. Not sure how long this will go on – for the moment I am humouring him. Have drop-offs been better since Monday?

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