Is she just being naughty?

Let’s talk a bit about my second born shall we?

There is no doubt she is cute as a button.  It’s probably just as well she is as cute as she is because there is also no doubt that she is a firecracker who pushes us as her parents to the absolute limit.  She is 25 packed into 2.5 years of sass, spunk and consistent boundary pushing.

I mean, look at this face… butter wouldn’t melt right?



Butter would SO melt.  She is the most feisty little girl I have ever met.  Headstrong, willful, determined, sassy, cheeky, manipulative, independent and so mischievous I actually could pull my hair out at some of her antics.  She has long had an obsession with cream, from a very young age we knew if it was quiet that we would 9 out of 10 times find her with her hands in a pot of Sudocrem.


More and more she scuttles around the house and when we question her about what it is she is doing exactly, we either get “nothing” or “mommy don’t bother me”.  As she’s getting older we believed that we could leave her and Kade unsupervised (while playing in the garden or watching a TV show upstairs) for short periods of time without much damage or harm being done, so we could get things like showering or going to loo alone for the first time in five years.  Well.  Clearly we cannot.

I enter into evidence exhibit A:


Exhibit B:


Exhibit C:


We have many, many such exhibits.

This past Saturday she did something so vile that I can’t even bring myself to put it into words.  Lets just leave it at poo, her play kitchen, pots and pans and our TV lounge having a lingering scent of Eu De Hurricane now three days later.

My cream carpets are stained with red lipstick, our walls have been decorated with permanent marker (our Flat screen TV too).   We have tried to discipline her. Time out doesn’t work to make her contrite when she’s been willfully naughty and destructive.  I’ve even given her a whack on her bum and it changes nothing.   Then a friend asked me “is she really destructive or is she just exploring herself and her boundaries?” and “is she being *naughty*?”


She has earned her nickname “Hurricane Gemma” in leaps and bounds in our home.  God knows she pushes our buttons.  It’s not that she has any lack of attention (she is the baby after all and is often I am ashamed to admit pandered to). Is this plain naughtiness?  Or is this an expressive soul searching for her part in this crazy world we live in?

How do we deal with this in a way that doesn’t break her spirit but that doesn’t end up with me with my head down a barrel of wine every day?



7 thoughts on “Is she just being naughty?

  1. I feel your pain. Ava is this child! She is willful, strong and determined and honestly, couldn’t give a rats ass what anyone has to say about it.
    It’s really hard. It tests my patience daily. But I do feel like her strong will will stand her in good stead when she heads into those impressionable teenage years. I’m hoping she will continue to give zero fucks about what anyone else has to say and that her will will keep her on the straight and narrow.

  2. This is Joel. It’s a HUGE problem in our lives. I wondered at one stage if it was a 2nd child thing.
    We can leave him alone to a degree. I do think that a lot of it is just natural curiosity and even sensory seeking behaviour. I find that I need to keep him busy in order to keep him out of trouble so I basically have a list of things for him to do during the day. He likes to mess with water so I let him wash the dishes (at his leisure) and the car and “work” in the garden. He likes to do “writing” so has his own writing books, word searches etc. He likes to play with gadgets, so I give him the broken things to break further. He MUST play outside when the weather allows because on days like this, our house survives. All of this MOSTLY helps. But not when I am off my game. That’s when he wrecks our house! Sterkte. XX

  3. I feel you! I have two – and I suspect, even three! – strong-willed kiddos. I’ve found James Dobson’s “The Strong-Willed Child” helpful. (I’m on my sixth read-through, haha).

    I’ve heard “Shepherding a child’s heart” is also really good. It’s on my to-read list.

  4. I think she is creative and exploring, and that you should stand back and think about the things she is doing in the context of 20 years! (I know it can be difficult right now!) We don’t have the destruction so much, but headstrong yes! Good luck! We, the readers/onlookers get a good giggle out of this ?

  5. SO! Obviously I am having the same problem with Emma and it is a problem. She is completely in control. This afternoon Jack and Cameron squeezed onto the one seater couch together because she flipped when they tried to sit next to her on the two seater.

    BUT during a discussion about kids I was talking about Kiara and how bad she was (not sure if you were reading my blog back then?) but she was BAD Sam. SO SO BAD! She is now, the calmest, most chilled child out of them all. She takes life as it comes, she is calm etc etc.

    My point? Keep trying to set the boundaries, she will keep pushing back until she won’t and then it will be better. You can’t let bad behaviour slide and blatant bad behaviour is like Emma looking at me while she wees in the toy cup in the bath. She KNOWS its wrong, she KNOWS she mustn’t do it but willfully does it.

  6. Ah my A is also strong willed but not in the naughty sense – in the drive myself sense. Hettie Britz has a brilliant book “Growing kids with Character” – I really recommend a read.

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