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I’m a mum of two. My first baby was very calm, listened to instructions and generally obeyed most of our rules. We could take her out with us and trust that she would be relatively well behaved. My second child was a fire cracker. He never sits still. He’s impulsive and curious and wants to know about everything. He often is so excited about things that he won’t listen to us (also, is so headstrong that he wants to do what he wants). I have found it incredibly difficult not to compare my two kids and find myself often wishing my second was more like my first. Recently, I read an article about looking at stress triggers with your children and I realised that my second was causing me constant stress because I felt like I couldn’t control him or anticipate him. It was causing us friction and I felt like I wasn’t a very happy or fun mum to be around most of the time. In the end, I wrote down a list of things he did that made me anxious or upset and then what I could do to counteract my stress about things. For example, at the park when he wouldn’t come when it was time to go – my strategy was to give him 3 warnings and then tell him it was time to go and stick to it (no matter how big a meltdown). It’s probably something that most mums do but I found I got too wound up about him not obeying me or not calming down. Once I accepted that he was just high energy (and little – obeying me will come with time and consistency) then I noticed that I wasn’t such a grumpy mum. Has anyone else had this epiphany?


Posted anonymously, 11th October 2016


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  • Did you also notice your first quiet well behaved child was a girl and your second little fire cracker was a boy? Might be a link there

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  • Great to hear you have managed to work out how to handle a stressful situation with your kid! as you say consistency at that age is the key! I haven’t had quite the epiphany that you have but can relate a little: somehow arguments would always develop in the morning (when we were sitting calmly chatting and having breakfast). I eventually worked out to just STOP talking and listen. That was the time of day the kid in question just wanted to talk – no questions (not even polite ones since they made it seem like I didn’t get it!), certainly no complaints, no challenges, nothing but me BEING QUIET! The arguments stopped, the kid chatted and later in the day we could talk about things in a more two-way fashion if I thought we needed to bring it up again. Weird but a mini-epiphany! I can only assume that either I’m not as good as I think first thing in the morning, or else the kid is also still ‘waking up’!

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  • I notice your first also happened to be a girl, your second a boy. I was the opposite of you, my first (a boy) was full on. My second (a girl) was more laid back. I wonder if this gas anything to do with the differences? My son has a baby boy, his sister in law has a baby girl, and he often comments how quiet the baby girl is. She sits quietly and plays contentedly by herself for ages. My grandson however needs a lot of attention and is very demanding

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