Unfortunately, arguing with your partner when bringing kids up is unavoidable.
Unless you’re one of those irritable couples that wear matching clothes, have a sweater draped over their shoulders and can palm their kids off with the ‘help,’ you will find that differences in opinion with your loved one will be part and parcel of your week.
You will be more than accustomed to having a tiff over inconsequential things already, but when it comes to the upbringing of your offspring, then you can crank that way up to eleven.
It can be something so simple, something that really shouldn’t get in the way of your day but fast forward five minutes and you’re standing on the lip of a volcano.
Take yoghurt for example. My kids love a yoghurt and normally request one after their tea. Now that my oldest has found his voice – and then some – he is finding innovative ways to get what he wants. And he wants yoghurt.
So he’ll ask my wife first. She will say no as he has already had one. So he will come to me, beaming that mischievous grin, asking his daddy if he can have a yoghurt. I might not be aware he has already had one and I’m weak when it comes to my kids and their smiles, so I’ll cave. That will make my wife a little cross and I’ll have the gall to push back and say it doesn’t really matter.
That’s when it’ll escalate – and when my oldest now kicks into gear with his latest habit.
When a voice is raised in the house, he will immediately raise his own to way above the current decibel level in the house. It makes conversation impossible. So we will stop what we’re doing and tell him he can’t shout in the house – which has no effect.
Lately, we have been going to great lengths to have zero crossed words, which allows my oldest to keep his shouting to a minimum. It has an little dampening, but his shouting has now transgressed to any conversation with an adult. If he isn’t getting the full spotlight, you can bet that he will be shouting so you can’t convey your own message.
Hugely frustrating, but understandable. It’s an attention thing. Normally he gets all the attention he could ask for, but when adults have to talk, that means he must do whatever it takes to get the focus back on him. I’m making him sound like a little monster, but it isn’t every conversation and for the majority of the day, he is as good as gold.
But when my brother comes round to visit or I’m chatting to mum and dad, at least two or three times a day, my oldest will shout over you when you’re trying to talk.
Fun and games.
We are working on a solution but this may be one of those things that needs to be repeated three thousand times. Like learning his please and thank you’s. Or training for the potty – he is great in the morning but not in the evening. Some things your kid will pick up like they’ve been doing it for years and others they will need coaxing, they will need you to incorporate it into their day, their routine. You will need to go over it again and again.
It makes you worry, but every parent I’ve spoken to has given me hope. Their kid might have picked up toilet training far quicker than mine – but their words and their ABC’s? Not as quick as mine.
Your kid is unique and they may pick up this noisy habit that mine are currently voicing. They may pick up something even more annoying – like stealing your footwear so you can’t find your shoes before you go to work.
But rest assured, your kid is just learning.
Now I just wish mine would pipe down every now and then…