listen to me

Do you ever get the feeling that your children are the worst behaved kids in the entire world, and in fact in the history of time? Sometimes I do. I mean I know that really they’re just normal kids. In fact I’m told by reliable sources (i.e. not the voices in my head/pixies) that they’re actually very well behaved. However there are times, when they’re fighting at church, or don’t listen to me, as I fruitlessly suggest they get into their shoes/p.js/coats/straightjackets, when I wonder whether I’m completely screwing up parenting.

Also, honestly, I don’t want to be too in control. I don’t want to squash their little personalities under the weight of my authority and have them jump in line. Finding that balance, even knowing where that line is, is proving a challenge at the moment.

Take Wonder Girl for example. She is currently in charge, I am not. I ask her nicely, I explain my reasoning, I suggest that whatever I’m suggesting is in her best interests. Then, if it’s not her desired plan, she completely ignores me or has a melt down. This happens roughly three times a day, on a good day. I know she’s three (see my previous post about three here) but for goodness sake there’s only so much I can take.

Yesterday Mr Purple was unable to help with the bedtime routine because he had to work. So I explained nicely to the kids that I needed best behaviour and we headed upstairs for baths etc. I sent the boys into their room to get changed, and tried fruitlessly to get Wonder Girl to come with me so I could undress her. What actually happened was all three kids in the boys room, rolling about on the floor, and not doing anything. As I stood and aced them to please listen to me Mr Purple popped in and managed to get them on track with just a few words!

So I need advice. I want to parent in a way that is gentle, understanding to their needs and thoughts. However I would also like to have boundaries and children who mostly listen to me and do what their told. Help, leave me a comment with your magical solutions please.