Turns out we’re not imagining it.
The whinging and the whining.
The incessant demands.
The temper tantrums?
Yep, all of that stuff is just for you, mum.
Everybody else gets the best behaviour
When other people are in the room your little ones are suspiciously so much better behaved!
Ditto when grandparents, uncles or aunts do the job.
‘The kids were delightful little angels!” they all seem to say.
Which you of course, you know they can be. Sometimes.
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Looking for an explanation
Understanding the ‘why’ behind this behaviour is practically impossible.
But according to mothercraft nurse Chris Minogue, a lot of it stems from the contrast in expectations of behaviour between home and school or daycare.
As she explains, when children are in school or daycare they spend the whole day trying to be good, obeying the rules and generally consuming everything around them.
When they return home to mum (and dad), not only do they have energy to burn from all that stimulation, they’re also just hanging out to relax and let go and relax outside of all the rules and regulations.
“They want to test out the boundaries at home. This usually means mess and noise and letting them muck around in the backyard with the hose, but it’s totally normal behaviour, “says Chris.
I guess it’s a bit like how we feel and act after a big day at work – minus the glass of wine, of course!
Chris recommends adopting a “go with the flow” attitude when they first get home from school/daycare and focus on being really present.
“They need 100 percent of your attention, so switch off your phone as soon as you get home and get on the floor and play with them. You’ll find 20 minutes of your undivided attention will calm things down and get the rest of the night on track,” says Chris.
You’ve created a safe space
While understanding this can help you as the parent to try and accept the difficult behaviours, on your own bad days it can still drive you up the wall.
On those days, you might need a bit of help to see your children through a kinder lens.
To help you get there, here’s a beautiful quote from blogger, Kate (from Kate Surfs):
“You have not spoiled your kids rotten if your are greeted at the door with whining and screaming. Oh no … don’t let anyone tell you that … Rather, you’ve created a space safe enough for your child to have permission to be natural.
“So if your kids are nicer when you’re not around, remind yourself that it’s because you’re doing the whole Mom thing right.
“You’ve taught your kids how to behave well in the world.
“Even more importantly, you’ve taught them that you’re a loving Mom who will tuck them in bed and love them today, tomorrow and forever.”
Now, doesn’t that make you feel better?