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Acceptable behaviour

November 12, 2013

The whole issue of what is acceptable behaviour and what isn’t in one of almost 2 is a tricky one, not least because what is acceptable to one person is not acceptable to another.

Generally speaking Hope ‘behaves’ pretty well I think, she eats with a fork and a spoon with great dexterity, she says please and thank you (especially if she wants something!), she says sorry when she pushes past adults, objects or other children and she is pretty laid back around other people.

She drops food if she doesn’t want it, if I catch her in time I’ll ask her to pass it to me which she does, and if she really doesn’t like something she has been known to throw it. She can get loud at the end of the meal either singing, banging her spoon or more recently shouting to see quite how loudly she can make a sound. When she’s finished eating she hands me her plate with two hands … well on the whole, sometimes she just drops it or scrapes the contents off onto the floor …

Other than that she’s pretty good, other than her sharing which was so good early on isn’t quite what it should be, she clutches hold of toys or objects that are ‘mine’ and won’t release them to other small folk and she snatched a toy horse from a little boy the other day.

If she is doing anything I deem as naughty or deliberate then I tell her off; if food falls from her fork while she’s trying to eat I say, “whoops”, if she drops it and says “whoops” then I tell her that she did it on purpose so it isn’t “whoops” it’s naughty.

While we were away we had the ‘piggy pig‘ incident which she still talks about, “foot piggy pig, sorry piggy pig, naughty ‘Ope piggy pig foot sorry”, this morning she dropped her plate deliberately onto the floor and then looked at me and said, “Hope naughty”, I told her off and she just looked at me blankly and started to talk about her shoes. I asked her to think about what she’d done and then say sorry to Granby. I then felt guilty, that I was being too harsh on one so small, we talked about shoes and she ran off to play having given me a kiss. Then about 20 minutes later she ran into the kitchen went straight to her Granby and pointed at the floor, “Sorry Granby, Hope plate floor sorry”, she gave my mother a kiss and then dashed out again busily with her Minnie Mouse toy.

I think it’s important to have discipline just as I think it’s important not to have shouting and anger around children, I want Hope to know ‘how to behave’ (if that doesn’t sound too pompous from one who frequently eats with her elbows on the table), and I want her to have a sense of the impact of her actions on those around her. Most of all I want her to be a happy secure little girl … and so far she seems to be doing ok all round.

Some people might flinch when she cheerfully bangs her spoon on her high chair table and sings “row row” in time with it, they might think her noisy and rude, I love it, my mother taught her how to do that and every time she does it, it makes me smile, the trick I guess is to teach her that doing it when out in public or on ‘best behaviour’ isn’t the way to go … and again so far so good, apart from a spoon banging incident when visiting my Uncle and once when out in a pub restaurant with a former British Ambassador to Madagascar.

I guess right now she is still a small person exploring sights, sounds, tastes, smells, textures, reactions, actions and so on and it’s important to allow her to do that. My grandmother might not have approved of her cheerfully chaotic meal times but she would have been thrilled with the neat way Hope holds a pen, her singing and the way she draws and looks at flowers, my father would have struggled with the loud noises she’s prone to making from time to time, but again he would have been fascinated with and so proud of his small granddaughter.

Socially acceptable behaviour is a minefield for adults let alone toddlers … maybe next time I’m dining somewhere posh I’ll see how everyone reacts when I start playing spoons and singing, “Frere Jacques”, I bet someone will join in!!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2013 11:58 pm

    There is no right nor wrong, 20, 50, 100 years ago kids were eating gruel under the table with no shoes and dressed in rags, illiterate, forced into mines and workhouses as minnows. The adults who made that happen believed they were right, ho hum.

    Let her grow. She is lovely, she is her and she is NOW. Hope has manners, a sense of right and wrong, a freely expressed character, a place in the world, and lots of love. Let her express it, loudly if needed!!!

    • November 13, 2013 12:32 am

      Oh Lins I do … she expresses herself loudly, uniquely and constantly and it is (almost) always a real joy to me…

      • November 13, 2013 12:40 am

        Then, just enjoy it!! Sent you a short vid of my Tom for her this weekend 😉

  2. November 13, 2013 12:43 am

    *from this weekend. Hope she likes it. He’s bored with TV now too and we’ve only had it 4 days. Reckon they know summat these kids n cats, you know 😉

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