Wednesday, March 14, 2007

BBC NEWS | Health | No such thing as naughty anymore?

BBC NEWS | Health | No such thing as naughty anymore?

Three things strike me about this article. First, I guess some parents might feel there is less stigma attached to having a child on medication due to a diagnosed illness than to have a "naughty" child. Secondly, I have the words of Steve Biddulph ringing in my ears when he suggested (in "Raising Babies") that the increasing numbers of children being put into nurseries at a very young age was responsible for worsening trends in behaviour. And thirdly, there's no denying that all children go through stages of headstrong and disobedient behaviour, but in most cases that's just part of growing up.

I certainly hope I never have to resort to medication to handle Oliver's disobedience and tantrums. It's not easy to know what to do in all cases and it's much easier to say that you will "be consistent" and "lay down boundaries" for your child than to put it into action in a way that helps them. I thought I was doing OK with Oliver's current habit of dropping food onto the floor by ignoring his misdemeanour (so as not to reward his behaviour with the the attention he clearly sought for this "game"). That was OK up until the recent episode where he insisted on throwing his spaghetti bolognese all over the wall. That's kind of hard to ignore!

Co-incidentally, Hayley has been going to some parenting classes recently which cover the handling of troublesome toddlers and older kids. The advice is much as you would expect to see on "House of Tiny Tearaways", but it's obviously more beneficial to be able to interact with the person giving the advice and talk about specific cases.

There's a book that goes with the course and I've been reading it too. Hayley's really impressed with the course so far and feels she is getting some benefit from it. Hopefully we both will. There is even the possibility of it being run at weekends, so I may get chance to go along myself. Watch this space.