No, not the children.
With the constant adaptations in behaviour that the little people demonstrate it’s impossible not to constantly think about how to deal with the different, and new, kinds of behaviours.
Being on holiday for a week with other family has been interesting because the way I deal with The Boy has been on show and so subject to ‘peer review’ if you like. Talking about the way I deal with The Boy and his various behaviours made me realise I’m using my own trademark stubborn and uncompromising stance to deal with him.
Coupled with a few principles, it actually seems to be working well.
I don’t pander to any whining he does when things don’t go his way. I just leave him to whine and ignore him. Eventually, he realises he’s getting nowhere, stops, and finds something to entertain himself.
When I sit him in front of some food and refuses to eat I just leave him there. If he leaves his chair I ask him to get back on and swiftly return him when he doesn’t. He stays, and he stays until I let him go or he eats, and he generally eats in the end.
Sometimes it feels too easy. But that’s kind of the point. Part of why I do it the way I do is to not stress myself out. I want him to eat well, and be happy, but I know that to get into a battle with him multiple times per day is worse for our relationship.
I tell him, or instruct him, and if he chooses to play up, he gets upset and I just remind him of the boundary and carry on with my own thing. He gets nothing from me in those situations, and now quickly gives in and accepts that I’m boss.
Which is lovely.
I’d make a great dictator.
Disclaimer: it is not all roses.