Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

The Naughty Step

Arun was playing up. He didn’t want to complete his shape sorter puzzle.

He moaned, he tried to pull away but I was insistent, “Arun, you’ve got to finish this game before you move onto the next thing.

More wailing but I was still insistent,” Arun, Daddy has said we have to finish the puzzle so we’re going to finish the puzzle.”

My Mum, who was visiting, watched me and remarked, “You’re like your Grandfather. He was very strict too.”

This caught me off guard. I had never thought of myself as a disciplinarian. I preferred to think of myself as a caring, sharing, fun loving role model. Turns out I was more Victorian Dad than Sixties Beatnik.

There are as many different philosophies of parenting as there are parents and none is right and none is wrong. However, I am a great believer that once you have set boundaries and rules you must stick to them, otherwise my little monsters will exploit every chink and weakness. I am just about holding things together and the last thing I want is my toddlers thinking they can get their own way if they kick up a fuss.

My philosophy is clearly rubbing off on my kids too. Yesterday, Meri was having one of her all too frequent tantrums Arun looked over at her. Then he looked at me and with an expression of ennui much older than his tender four years said, “Meri in the cot!” and turned back to the book he was playing with. Arun knows the system too well, If Meri misbehaves she is put into her cot for a few minutes until she calms down.

Today, as we were all walking down the road to the car holding hands, Meri decided that she would make a break for it. Clare caught her and was in the middle of telling Meri off when Arun piped up, “Say sorry Meri!” Again, he was right, whenever one of the kids does something naughty they have to apologise before we move on.

Poor Meri, however, isn’t at the bottom of the hierarchy in our house. That dubious honour falls to her cuddly toy, Little Tigger. There are times when I am not sure what Little Tigger has done wrong but it is pretty clear that he has been very naughty indeed. Meri will sit him on the floor, stand over him and wag her finger at him whilst saying, “No! No! Naughty Tigger!”

I have no idea where she learnt that.

I’m afraid I might have turned into a caricature of an authority figure: predictable, inflexible and boorish. I suppose I’d best go sit on the naughty step for a little while, think about my behaviour and then apologise to my poor children.

Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

The big day

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

The big questions

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

Your Guide to the European Championships

Your Guide to the European Championships

Like it or loathe it, the next few weeks are going to be all about football. If you want the basics to keep up with your footy crazy kids we’ve compiled this handy guide to give you an overview of the upcoming European Championships. UEFA.com What are the European...

ASK DEBBIE- I AM A DAD WITH 50/50 SHARED CARE

ASK DEBBIE- I AM A DAD WITH 50/50 SHARED CARE

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a dad who shares care...

Pin It on Pinterest