‘I don’t want to!’
It finally happened, my daughter learnt to defy me.
(Getty Images)
I heard about it, I read about it, I even witnessed it, but when it happened to me, I still reeled with shock.  The day I saw the defiance blazing in my princess’s eyes as the words ‘I don’t want to!’ came violently shrieking out of her cute rosebud lips, I knew the tide had turned.

As all parents do, I set out to raise the perfect child.  I was sure that my child would be good looking, intelligent and supremely well behaved.  I still do think my kid is good looking (beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that), and I am sure that deep down, there lies a genius waiting to emerge, but I have to admit that in the behavioral department, she has failed me dismally.

I never thought I would be that parent standing absolutely frazzled and humiliated in the middle of a mall, begging her child to stop screaming and rolling on the floor like a raving lunatic, but there I was.  You see passers by turning to look at the spectacle and you cower as they give you either a sympathetic or a disapproving glance (both of which make you cringe).  You see the shop owners and security guard hovering nervously, wondering how you are going to respond and whether they need to call for back-up. All eyes are upon you and your child is now going at it with even more gusto, enjoying all the attention and confident that she is about to get her way.

Experts tell you to just walk away and leave the child and they will surely learn a lesson and eventually follow you for fear of being left behind – but these experts need to brush up on child kidnapping statistics, as well as insights into the incredible mind of a fearless child.  The jury is not out on whether a single tight slap constitutes child abuse and of course giving into your child’s heinous tantrum is a dead give away that you are a pushover mom who has raised a spoilt brat.

In that instant the following impulses rushed into my head:
  1. Try to do act of the stern mother, who is in control of the situation.
  2. Shout at her crazily thus displaying all my pent up anger and frustration,
  3. Walk away and pretend it is simply not my child,
  4. Give her a tight slap on the bum,
  5. Pick her up, throw her over my shoulder and throw her in the dust… er, car, 
  6. Collapse into a heap on the floor and cry.
I have tried all of the above, but if you thought that this article would end in a solution – then I do apologise.  I have absolutely no advice to offer, other than to say:  ‘Welcome to my world!’

Do you have a different technique that actually works? Please share. 

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