For the most part Florence is a very well behaved little girl. We get complimented on her impeccable politeness all the time and it makes me feel even more incredibly proud of her. She is however only four years old and with that does come a certain degree of monkeyitis!
If she’s tired or I don’t know, just having a rare grump then she CAN test her boundaries a little too far and I am not going to allow her to behave badly with no consequences – despite her usually beautiful behaviour.
Recently we went to the theatre just us and had been looking forward to a lunch together afterwards. Unfortunately she had a bit of a temper and was very demanding when I said ‘not today’ to the rowing boats in the park. It went on a bit and I threatened that if she didn’t start behaving then we would go home. She didn’t and so that’s exactly what we did!
On Saturday we were lucky enough to be invited to two parties in central London and after enjoying the first one and being given lots of goodies to come home with Florence decided that she was going to be very upset that I wouldn’t buy her something else in the shop we were in. Again it went on a bit and eventually I told her to snap out of it or the exact same thing would happen and we would go home missing the next party altogether. She continued to be a little madam and with a face like thunder sat on the tube en route so I issued the threat once again.
‘Florence’, I said ‘If you can’t behave and be the lovely little girl I know you are then we shall just go home. You can’t be given lots of things then expect more and sulk because you don’t get it. I am more than happy to just go home and miss the next party because little girls that can’t behave themselves do NOT deserve to go to parties’. Was I already annoyed with her? Yes I was, she’d continued when I told her the first few times and my tone will have portrayed that
My reaction was fair enough I thought. And still think actually. How else will she learn if she is not taught how to behave well with consequences.
The woman standing next to me dared to say this to me and I am sure she regretted it immediately. If she didn’t then shame on her!
‘Don’t say that to her, it’s breaking my heart! She will grow up feeling un loved if you tell her she doesn’t deserve things’!
URM WHAT NOW?!
Firstly, how dare this woman butt in on my conversation where I was disciplining MY child and secondly, where did she think she had the right! If I was a violent woman I might have felt like hitting her she annoyed me SO much. Instead I told her exactly where she could get off and I told her. Loudly. In no uncertain terms when she needed to keep her big trap shut!
To this a man chipped in and decided to tell me the woman was perfectly within her right to step in if she saw a parent ABUSING a child! I quite literally verbally flew at him! My friend stood up for me and said ‘She’s NOT abusing her child though is she?’!
I questioned him, ‘Have you never offered consequences to your children for their actions?’ He agreed he had but again told me it WAS his and the other woman’s business!
I’m afraid I told him to FUCK off! Well he didn’t like that! In fact he had even more to say about it! Looking back and I can probably say I shouldn’t have sworn, I should have been a bit more intelligent but he made me SO angry in such an unexpected way!
And then he said ‘You’re a very angry woman!’
I HATE it when people say that sort of thing after doing something to make you angry!
‘YES’ I said! ‘I am angry. WITH YOU’!
Now, if I had been hitting my child or manhandling her in any way then it would be different. In that case then someone absolutely SHOULD step in. If someone had seen me systematically putting her down and being horrible to her unnecessarily then maybe say something then. But we had been on the tube 5 seconds!
I was telling my little girl off. Because I love her. Because I want her to grow up knowing you can’t have everything and be a brat about it!
I was doing the right thing by my child and how DARE anyone say any differently! My child. My rules! I love her SO much I could burst and I take such offence that someone would suggest otherwise. I would NEVER hurt her and I take and took great exception to the insinuation that I was!
My advice if you ever feel like stepping in and advising a parent how they should and shouldn’t talk to their children. DON’T! Unless you have reason to believe they are doing something they shouldn’t then leave well alone. It is absolutely NONE of your business and HOW DARE YOU!
The only good thing as that the whole episode snapped Florence right out of her mood and we had a delightful afternoon at the second party we may never have got to otherwise!