At a very early age I started holding The Boy to a high standard of behaviour. It paid off, and continues to – he is incredibly well behaved.
The Girl is a little more challenging, which isn’t surprising. While I gave The Boy clear boundaries from an early age and consistently enforced then, he didn’t get the same from his mother. All too often it was down to me to deliver discipline.
So while The Girl was very young, one effect of her mother denying her all but a very small amount of time with me was that she didn’t receive the same discipline as The Boy. We have almost daily battles now as I try to get her up to the same behaviour as The Boy.
I’m constantly conscious of this – I want the kids to grow up well behaved, considerate and respectable people.
That’s why I was so pleased while on holiday recently to receive praise from strangers for how good the kids are.
One was our neighbour at our campsite. The woman, who told me she was a primary school teacher, was absolutely gushing with her praise saying repeatedly they are, “a credit to you”. Comparing them to the hundreds of kids she told me she sees in her job, she told me over and over how well behaved they were.
We bumped into her again just as I was getting into the car to leave for home we chatted briefly. Again, the very last thing she said was, “they take are a credit to you.”
Sometimes I wonder if I’m too hard on them, and I probably am on occasion. But it’s also wonderful to have that validation that what I have been doing is working, and is raising two brilliantly behaved children.
I’m very lucky.