If being stubborn was an illness..

.. then Isabel would have been terminally ill.

We try really hard not to a) compare the girls with each other, especially because they are twins and b) predict what they will be like when they grow up. It feels like we would put them in a certain “box” and we want our kids to be free to grow up to be who they are, not what we think they should be based on our perceptions.


Isabel is by far the most stubborn child I have ever come across. Eeeever. Take last night for example:

We made lovely ostrich steaks, mash and salad for supper. (yes, I actually helped, it might rain) Madam decides, no, she’s not even going to come to the table. At this time of year we all use leverage created by the Christmas hype such as no gifts, no visit from Santa, no sweeties from the advent calendar and so on and so forth.

We don’t often use this leverage, it’s not how we want to parent, but it shames me to say it has come up over the last few days. Whenever we do use it it works to varying degrees, so imagine our surprise tonight when none of it worked.

Isabel just ignored us flat out. She wandered around the house whilst the rest of us had a lovely supper and knew not to come near the table otherwise there would be trouble. We didn’t shout, we didn’t get mad, we just said that there would be no other food and no choccie from her advent calendar. Was she upset? Nope, she was not bovvered. Not one little bit.

She just politely ignored us. We were waiting for her to finally give in and have supper, she has done this before, but always caved in and had supper in the end. But she stuck to her guns.

As a matter of principle we don’t fight about food, we only ask that they have at least a little of what is on their plate and generally they all eat really well. But this is a whole different ball game.
I know I over analyse stuff, but I worry that she is trying to control or manipulate us. I worry that she might have issues with food. I worry that she trying to tell me something I am missing. I worry if she is getting enough attention. (Etienne, if you’re reading this, stop rolling your eyes!)

Or maybe she just wasn’t hungry. But she said no to chocolate. What type of kid says no thanks to chocolate? (Actually, Mignon does, but that’s another story)

Do you have a really stubborn child? How do you handle these situations?

Ps: This is the same child that politely informed me this evening that she will have an iPad and a diamond necklace for Christmas. Boy, is she in for a nasty surprise.
Pps: it’s December. In Cape Town. Rain is highly unlikely. Just so you know.

3 thoughts on “If being stubborn was an illness..”

  1. Jensen is the same, he only only 3.5 and he is as stubborn as a mule. If he doesnt want to eat then to hell with everyone and everything around him. He will sit at the table quietly but absolutely refuse. He will rather go to bed hungry than give in.

    Some kids just have those streaks, sucks but truth be told, there is nothing we as parents can do about it.

  2. Ah! This sounds like my Kiara!! When we did star charts – she would take the stars off, give them back and say “I don’t want them” and would then misbehave!! I threatened to take her dolls – she gave them to me and said “Ok I don’t like them anyway” and went to play outside!

    I have learnt to work around it when it comes to her behaviour etc but her and David have some epic stand offs!!

    1. That sounds exactly like Isabel!! We have visions of her on the back of a motorbike with strange guys.

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