Well, the family meal at my parents started off well. Tom socialised quite well with my brother and sister in law, but then James started acting up at the dinner table. He always gets silly when in the presence of his older cousin, but I think he also enjoys winding his dad up. The more Tom told him to behave, the sillier he got. He refused to eat his main course, even when threatened with no pudding, cue major melt down from James and then Tom stormed off announcing he was going to the pub! Now, I’m all for carrying out a threat you’ve made as otherwise your child will just keep pushing boundaries. However, Tom is usually the soft parent and has, on several occasions, suggested I’m too tough on James. Maybe I’m wrong to think it, but I almost felt that he was choosing tonight to be tough on James, knowing it would ultimately cause a scene and therefore give him an excuse to leave. I feel at times that I have two children.
He later called to say he hadn’t in fact gone to the pub (amazing!!) but had set off walking home. I duly picked him up on my way back with James. We had a bit of a talk about it and I explained that I feel he gives James mixed messages sometimes as he doesn’t always follow through with his threats, then he wonders why James goes into meltdown when he does. We agreed we both need to set clear, firm boundaries with him, so maybe things will improve.