Friday, 20 January 2012

On taming toddlers

Keeping with the parenting theme this week, I read another article I thought was worth sharing. Since when did obedience become the epitome of good parenting? appeared in the Guardian and discusses the way parenting books focus on getting your child to do things well, or obediently, as journalist Annalisa Barbieri states. She points out the fact that whilst an obedient child is likely to be seen as a good thing, an obedient adult is not something we necessarily want to be, or want our children to be.

According to child psychologist Alison Roy, a child pushing boundaries is a healthy sign of their secure attachment and recognising that 'their voice is valued'. It's also the way they develop their own sense of curiosity in the world around them, so suppressing that for the sake of obedience can have repercussions.

I often get told how well-behaved my 3-year-old son is, by friends, by his teachers at nursery, other mothers and even the odd random stranger. Generally when he is outside of the home, he is pretty compliant and is not the sort of boy who would ever be described as rebellious. At home however, it's often a different story. He loves running around, jumping all over the place, being loud, making a big mess and he's definitely not so compliant! 

I think that's a good thing though. I'm proud of the fact he behaves nicely amongst other people and isn't one of those kids who is screaming and kicking because they want/don't want something. I'm happy for him to assert himself and run riot in the home if he wants, it's probably the best place for it. I do get frustrated sometimes when he doesn't do something I ask him to or if he does something he knows he probably shouldn't but at the same time I recognise it's my responsibility as a parent to pick my battles and not make a meal out of everything.

The teachers at nursery tell me my son is very chatty, always asking questions and making jokes! I think that all sounds very positive and hopefully means we have a healthy balance of good behaviour when needed whilst still allowing him to exercise his independence....

What are your thoughts on the article and in relation to your own children?
photo credit


  1. You and I have very a very similar parenting perspective I feel. And funnily enough from what you say in this post our children probably have quite similar temperaments in terms of behaviour and being social animals.

    I found it so funny when my childminder told me that my daughter is the best behaved child they've every had, as at home she does indeed run riot and push more than her fair share of boundaries. Apparently she is kind, good with sharing (and for an only child!), nurturing and affectionate. Oh, and still a darned good eater (some things don't change!)

    I'm so proud of her. I used to feel so shy and timid when I was a child and I don't want that for her - yet I don't want her to be overbearing and pushy. So far, I guess we're doing well in terms of helping her shape her character, or more specifically her behaviour and interaction with others.

    I'm proud of my daughter's unique character and cheeky personality and I would hate for that to be ironed out of her. Good article! xX

  2. You're right, our little ones do sound similar in terms of their temperament. 'Cheeky personality' is definitely a way to describe my son too and like you, I am proud of it :-). x


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