2 articles Tag behaviour

Taking the Horrid Out of Horrid Henry

There’s no denying that Sausage and BB are very different in their personalities; Sausage has always been one of those kids who’s almost¬†too¬†well behaved and Husband and I have wished in the past that she’d been a little more outspoken so that she doesn’t just go with the flow and have her opinion disregarded. BB, on the other hand, is NOT the sort of kid to ever let her opinion go unheard and largely her strong personality is something we cherished (albeit through slightly gritted teeth at times!). Just recently though, we’ve seen a bit of a change in her personality and we couldn’t work out where it was coming from. Her normal strident approach to life was turning into a downright stroppy one, and it’s something which was impacting all of us.

One of the phrases which had mysteriously entered her vocabulary was “IT’S NOT FAIR”, which was usually accompanied by some sort of pout and throwing herself bodily onto the nearest soft surface, and I just couldn’t work out where it was coming from…until Sausage mentioned one of BB’s recent televisual favourites…Horrid Henry.

It wasn’t until Sausage mentioned how often Henry utters this phrase that we realised the direct correlation between BB watching the show and this phrase becoming her go-to protest. With age-gap kids, there was no doubt we’d face a bit of attitude from BB purely because Sausage is given a little more leeway and responsibility than her little sis – it’s normal; Sausage is nine, BB is three. However, the push-back has been so much worse of late and I’m definitely laying some of the blame on Henry!

I must confess, I’ve always been hugely sceptical when people blame things like TV or video games for kid’s behaviour. I’m a child of the Eighties, Husband of the late Seventies, so video games feel like they belong to OUR generation and I’ve seen far more evidence-based studies which prove positive effects of TV and computer games than the negative ones. We’ve always been pretty chilled out with what we let them watch and how much screen time we let them have, and with Sausage it never seemed to be an issue, but sometimes we forget that with BB, we’re not parenting Sausage Mark II, we’re dealing with a totally different kid…that and the fact that Sausage never watched a TV show, the entire premise of which was of a bratty little shit who no one actually likes!

So, in a somewhat unprecedented move for Husband and I, we’ve put a temporary ban on all things Horrid Henry for now, and if it makes a difference it will probably become a permanent ban. Instead of allowing BB to watch it when she’s using Netflix, we’re guiding her to shows where the characters aren’t mean and nasty all the time, where there’s no cries of “IT’S NOT FAIR” in every episode and where the main plot lines don’t revolve around mean-spiritedness. I never thought I’d be THAT mum, but it seems I am. And, after just a cursory search, it seems that we’re not the only ones either – I’ve found DOZENS of tweets from other parents about how they’ve banned Horrid Henry from their houses, making me feel a little bit less like Mary Whitehouse.

Horrid Henry Banned Tweets Horrid Henry Banned Tweets 2

Have you ever banned your kids from watching a TV show because of the effect it had on their behaviour? Did it make a difference? (we’re only 24 hours in and it already seems to be making a difference to BB but that could be a fluke) Do you think that it’s all nonsense and that TV doesn’t really affect the way they behave? I’d love to hear your experiences and opinions on this so please do leave me a comment below.

My Kid is Awesome.

I read a post last week on the lovely Kate’s blog, The Five F’s, and it immediately struck a chord with me. The point of this post was to illustrate the fact that we’re many of us guilty of hiding our children’s light under a bushel and that we should all be able to talk a little more freely about how brilliant our kids are.

I don’t know if it’s because of her rocky start to life, the fact that I had problems conceiving or anything else, but Husband and I have never taken Sausage for granted. We talk almost every day about how lucky we are. Not just lucky to have her, but lucky that our Daughter is so incredible. She really is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around.

You know how some parents dread taking their kids to the supermarket or other places for fear of bad behaviour? I love doing stuff like that because being with Sausage makes it so much better! The child really is fantastic company. It probably helps that I’m quite happy to go everywhere skipping, singing, playing I Spy and talking about pussycats, but Sausage is delightful to be around.

That doesn’t even begin to skim the good things about her, I could probably go on all day to be honest, but the other thing you need to know about Sausage is that she’s one of the kindest, most caring human beings ever. She seems to be thinking all the time about what she can do to help people, how to make them feel better and how she can care for everyone around her. It’s very touching and makes me incredibly proud.

In the past, when talking to other people who’ve been moaning about their kids behaviour, I’ve chimed in with things like “Oh, yeah, Sausage is just the same…” or words to those effect. But after a while I stopped myself. Sausage isn’t the same, she’s really well-behaved and selling her out to other parents to make them feel better is doing her a massive disservice.

“Your kid is naughty, you say? Too bad, mine’s an angel” is what I should be saying…and from now on, I think I will.

Love you, Sausage. Infinity.

The Five Fs