Yesterday an epic battle took place during HRH's Math revision. The second he sat down the whining soundtrack began to play.
"I don't want to do thissssss...."
"I want to take a breakkkkk..."
"I want to playyyy....."
"I am so tireddddd....."
"I am so thirstyyyyy....."
The stretching of the last letter should demonstrate how the whining went on and on and on....
Finally with nerves frazzled due to the endless sounds of misery emitting from HRH, and the final straw being the rolling off of his pencil from the desk for the 67th time, I unleashed a verbal assault.
As I continued my tirade, with each second HRH's face got sulkier and sulkier, which annoyed me more and more, and when I eventually stopped yelling, I realized I had made a grave mistake.
The mistake was to have censured the child in front of his grandparents. My parents who were witnesses to this showdown, thankfully waited silently, till he had left the room then proceeded to give me an earful of my own. It was all about being patient and calm and not yelling at him and how his self-esteem may suffer.
The funny thing is I remember being yelled at on numerous occasions when growing up and I believe my self-esteem wasn't damaged in any way. Nor have I been scarred for life.
Grandparents and their grandchildren generally speaking, share a loving, supportive and wonderful relationship that makes you the common enemy. Children have a survival instinct through which they can sense when they will find support from their nanas, dadas, nanis and dadis, and will exploit this to their own gain. On numerous occasions, when expecting a telling off from me for something wrong he has done, HRH will dash off to shelter behind a grandparent, who will grin sheepishly and signal with a shake of the head "Let him off the hook".
HRH is a lucky kid to enjoy the showering (read monsoon level) of love he receives from all our family members. At the same time I am lucky that (mostly) the grandparents keep their differences of opinion to themselves till HRH is out of earshot. While I may feel irritated by these suggestions at times, I love seeing the happiness HRH's mere presence causes among his grandparents. He seems to be the miracle cure resulting in the disappearance of all their aches and pains, which you would think had never existed at all when he rides on their backs and shoulders yelling 'Giddy up horsie!'