I am not by nature an aggressive person. Except when the dishwasher packs up and I have to be physically restrained from giving it a thoroughly good kicking. There are any number of reasons this is the case; I’m physically quite big so I feel the need to be a bit restrained, I’m a man so any show of disagreement to a woman is automatically interpreted as me shouting, it’s not good form to be aggressive in front of children (especially your own).

In view of the latter though, our kids seem to have found their own way in the anger mismanagement business. The boy, almost 6, is at times a bundle of arm spinning, leg waving fury that only abates when he’s completely out of breath and probably been put to bed or the rest mist has risen enough for him to have an inkling of the sort of trouble he’s in, which causes him to burst into the tears of punishment avoidance (they seldom work).

Fifi tackles things in a different manner. She’s four now and she’ll announce her course of ill-advised action, ignore your first two responses of “no”, and then stand still with her arms at her side, hands pointing outwards, and bellow like an enraged beast. When this fails to work, she’ll promptly burst into tears.

Understandably wifey is a bit fraught by this. She dislikes being constantly shouted at by kids, and the boy is getting physically difficult for her to restrain because he shows no restraint. I’m currently instigating a round of no bedtime story punishment, in a sort of hit them where it hurts approach to child discipline which initially seemed to be effective but now is waning a bit in it’s potency.

In some ways I think little boys are a lot like Springer Spaniels. They’ve got a lot of energy and need constant exercise to keep them in check. They boy does football after school once a week, goes to Popdance on another day and walks to and from school on top of whatever running about he does (he’s one of natures sweaters too, producing that sweaty little boy smell that really reminds me of childhood very regularly), so I think we’ve got that area covered. It’s probably just boundary testing, which his sister is copying.

Ironically, most of the showing off and aggression really upsets Danger. He usually bursts into tears when we have a play fight, so actual aggression really really upsets him. Poor mite.