My battles with a strong-willed four-year-old | Rick Jackson

TROUBLE: Rick is embroiled in psychological warfare with his daughter
TROUBLE: Rick is embroiled in psychological warfare with his daughter
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Don’t laugh, but my current choice of reading is Peaceful Parenting for a Strong-Willed Four-year-old. Yes, my daughter Holly turned four last weekend.

She is such a character. Full of fun, energy and laughter and boy is she strong-willed.

I find it hard to cope at the best of times when it’s just me and her.

I don’t want her to rule the roost, but at the same time I love her spirit.

You can’t fight fire with fire as generally a four-year-old will win by screaming and screaming until you give in!

And that is exactly what happened when we took her to the Victorian Festival of Christmas at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth last weekend.

She had no interest in the ships, pop-up stalls or the singer in the tavern. All she wanted to do was run, run and run some more.

She bounced into people, fell over, cried, then laughed with her brother who is very much led by his headstrong sister.

It was a really arduous day for Sarah and me. We were exhausted by the time we got off the Gosport ferry and in desperate need of a glass of wine.

So I’ve now decided I need to educate myself on how to parent her correctly.

I’m no expert and probably like all of us, I’m winging it.

I have to try to remember not to boss her around.

I can still get her to do the things she needs to do, but without the confrontation if she doesn’t want to.

I have to give her choices so she feels like she is in control even though I’ve controlled the choices.

I have to remember which battles I need to fight and which ones I don’t.

Crikey, this parenting lark can be difficult.

Every day is a school day for us, so this bit of nightly reading has become absolutely essential for my sanity!

Build discipline through relationship, not punishment it says.

This is not easy when you are knackered and have just walked on another Paw Patrol toy and you need to leave the house for pre-school in 10 minutes.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Beer and buses event will cross Solent for new year fun

You may recall how much I enjoy the Beer and Buses event on the Isle of Wight and my suggestion we should have one on the mainland? Well, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and organising one.

A fleet of vintage buses will run a free service between Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, Stubbington, Titchfield and Fareham on New Year’s Day between 11am and 5pm. The idea is to enjoy a civilised start to the new year with a couple of pints and a bite to eat while you hop on and off some lovely vintage buses.

I have no idea how many people will turn up, but the buses will be there and the conductors have their boots polished and are ready to go. Watch this space...​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Free Premier League football – but don’t forget to cancel…

It’s not often you get something for nothing, but I did this week, kind of.

You see, we have Amazon Prime. It’s great for movies and kids’ TV, plus next day delivery. Then, guess what? They showed all Premier League mid-week matches live on Prime TV, including the Merseyside derby. They will be doing the same on Boxing Day. Not exactly free, unless you don’t already have Amazon Prime, then you can sign up for the 30-day free trial. Now we can all enjoy the Boxing Day football  festivities, just don’t forget to cancel it at the end!

Thanks to Sky and BT, football has become very expensive to watch, so this ‘freebie’ has come as a massive bonus for we footy fans.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​