I don't know about yours, but members of my family have always been the absolute best at pushing all the right buttons to raise each other's tempers. We once went on holiday and took my sister's boyfriend along for the ride. He spent the entire week watching us fight and bicker like it was some sort of Gladiatorial Tournament. Toddlers, in particular, are like Kung Fu Masters when it comes to perfectly placed kicks to the big red, temper-inducing, button of doom.
To combat this sometimes horrific behaviour exhibited by our offspring, we need to enforce rules. We need discipline. But how? I hear you ask. How can we stop our little darlings from driving us completely bonkers? Well, read on and learn about the best techniques for disciplining your child.
The Spray Bottle
Similar to the methods used for training young puppies and kittens, purchase a spray bottle. Fill this with water and whenever your young child strays from displaying acceptable behaviour, give them a quick couple of squirts to the face.
The Time Out
Have you heard of a 'glitter time out jar'? No? Well, it's a jar filled with, you got it, glitter, water and glue to form a viscous fluid. The idea is to shake it up like a snow globe and your naughty child has to sit and wait for all the glitter to settle before they're allowed to move from their designated time out prison. Well, I propose you make your own version of this, however, instead of water you use solid wax. Basically a glitter candle. It's the winning way to obtain a WHOLE DAY of productive housework and/or Netflix whilst your child waits indefinitely for the glitter to settle.
The Not So Empty Threats
Continue to make all the empty threats you're so used to making. Such as "I'm going to turn this car around any minute" or "Right, no Christmas or birthday presents until you're 18-years old!". Then actually do it.
On this same wavelength, you could resort to the unfinished sentence of panic. The fear of what the end of the threatening remark might bring should reign those pesky kids in. Such as, "If you don't stop that right now...". Then just watch the panic cross their faces as their little imaginations run riot!
Adopt the Batman voice. You know the guttural one used by Christian Bale that sounds utterly terrifying? Well, if you combine this with either point 3 or 4, you're bound to get your kids back in line. The downside? They'll probably have recurring nightmares about it.
Another vocal one - break out all the rhetorical questions. All of them. At the same time, if there's two of you, tag team. Just a rapid fire of "Do you think that's funny?", "Do you think that's clever?", "What on earth do you think you're playing at?" and then you can move on to the "What am I going to do with you?" line of questioning. I would almost feel sorry for them but they have probably just done something fu*king insane like burnt a hole in your carpet with the iron, set fire to their sister's hair and broken a window in the time it took for you to go for a wee. They deserve it.
The Missing Sibling
I recently read about a couple who told their kids they used to have another brother or sister. They told them this other sibling was naughty and subsequently turned into a mushroom. They even put photos of a mushroom in a family photo album! Totally brutal, but I imagine it was effective. I advise only whipping this one out if your kid is an absolute terror.
So there you have it, my not tried or tested winning advice for wrangling those toddlers into a finishing school worthy state of obedience and bliss. If all that fails, crack open a bottle and drown your sorrows as you, my friend, are totally screwed.