Aiming to be happier families.

THE GOVERNESS DIARIES – Series 1, Episode 6 – Princess or frog?

“Ai don laaik!!!"

“Ai don laaik!!!”

[If you’re just checking in, and haven’t yet read the preceding episodes of THE GOVERNESS DIARIES, click on the link to the right under ‘recent posts’, where you will find them. If some of them are not there, you will find them in ‘THE GOVERNESS DIARIES’ under ‘categories’, just scroll down to whichever episode you missed.]

 We may have had Nikoli slightly tethered for a moment or two, but Princess Adelina was a slightly (did I say slightly – whatever was I thinking?)  A whole different ball game (and no pun intended). This little horror had far too many tongues, hands and feet for her own good and restraint was torturous. My teeth were grinding to stumps with the urge to commit some form of heinous crime. When nobody was around she was vaguely bearable but the minute there was an audience… There was a CD that was in the player with children’s English on it. It was not too much use, because the book that goes with it was nowhere to be found, but there were some songs on it so I played it when she was with me. There was one part where it says things like: “I like ….” and “I don’t like…” out of all the things that are on that CD, the only thing she picked u was (yup, you guessed it) “Ai don laaik…” and she said it to everything I tried to do with her. She would stand, one hip slightly higher than the other, frown, wave two fingers in the air and says: “Ai don laaik….” and flounce off. Sometimes when dealing with really stubborn children, it is hard not to act like one yourself, the amount of times I was tempted to take up the same pose and say, “Ai don laaik Adelina” and flounce off cannot be counted on all my fingers and toes. When there was an audience, she would push me away and hit me or if I walked past she would kick me. She shouted “NO!!” constantly and let out her high-pitched scream. Again, this behaviour was ignored by the parents. Whoever started that thing about ignoring bad behaviour and rewarding good should be dug up, chopped up, burned and his remains left in the town square under a sign that says “I am an (insert profanity of your choice here) idiot.” Vladimir, in his lack of wisdom, tried to help after the Nikoli incident. He bought two little dolls, telling me that Adelina loves to play ‘puppets’ and that you can get around her by using funny voices. He said that she loves make-believe and does not separate the two. So, I tried his method and every time she was difficult I would change my voice and pretend to cry and things… yeah right! The little madam just took control and treated me as if I was a toy. Eventually I’d had enough. What the heck was I doing? I have dealt with princesses before and here I was cow-toeing to a midget? So I went back to my teacher voice and said “enough”. She promptly went to the lounge where Nikoli was sitting playing video games (I had finished with him for the day so I didn’t care.) I followed her and she hit and kicked me (the parents were out and only the grandfather was there). When I told her to come back, she shouted, “no ai don laaik.” I took her by the hand and she hit and kicked me. “No hitting!” I said and then turned to Nikoli. I told Nikoli that he was to tell her in Russian that Deni was angry with her. Nikoli ignored me so I said, “Nikoli, if you do not tell her what I am saying I will pull the plug on your video game and take it away for two days.” He told her. I then said that I was going away because I would not be hit or kicked and that if somebody asked, he was to tell them that. He frowned and nodded. I looked at Adelina and said “Bye, bye.” and walked out the door. I walked for ten minutes and then went back but went to my room. When Vladimir came home, he knocked on my door and asked what was wrong. I told him nothing was wrong as such, but I would not be hit and kicked by anyone and I had reinforced that by showing that I was not happy and walking away. He frowned and looked at me sort of apologetically. I told him that Nikoli had improved and that we now had an understanding but Adelina was very difficult and that I needed the other adults in the family to back me up with her and show her that her behaviour was not acceptable. I said that I was not prepared to jump through hoops and act like a clown in order to win her over because all this was doing was to fuel her control. (Vladimir has this little twitch when you have him in a bit of a spot. I have seen him do it when he meets someone for the first time or when he feels uncomfortable)  “Yes, Nikoli you can talk to but Adelina… it is difficult… It is a phase,” he said. I smiled, so as not to seem confrontational and said, “But how long do we allow a phase to continue? Children have phases throughout their lives, how long they last is dependent on how long we let them.” He twitched, so I continued, “When did this phase of shouting and screaming start? I know some people say ignore it and it will pass, but my experience is that the longer you ignore, the longer it carries on. I do not believe any behaviour should be ignored, whether it is good, bad, kind or cruel. Recognition should be given.” (He was listening so I continued). “Every morning, Adelina wakes up and screams and shouts. Every day she has numerous tantrums. You cannot speak without her interrupting. Your life is dictated by Adelina and it is easier to give in than to put up with the screaming. I don’t know how you feel, but I feel abused. This behaviour is attention seeking and not because you do not give her attention (actually, they did tend to ignore her) but perhaps you give her too much because you love her.” (he twitched) “Katja and you still have a life” at this point he interjected, “what life…” “Please, correct me if I am wrong, but I think that Adelina has probably been in adult company far more than children’s company.” (he twitched) “Adults are not generally cruel to children and when a child hits them, they generally do not hit back. The nannies that you have had probably didn’t discipline or teach right from wrong as it was probably easier for them to just go along. The problem is that children are not tolerant and when she gets to school she will be out of her depth because the children will not allow her to get all her own way and she will be hit back if she hits” (he blinked a bit). “Unfortunately, I am not a nanny, I am a teacher.” (that needed to be made clear) “I don’t see a child who is always shouting and angry as a happy child and I like happy children.” (he was half-smiling here) “We need to work together. We need to form a routine as there is no routine and we need to help Adelina to understand that this behaviour is not acceptable. I need you all to back me and I will back you.” He nodded, and although I was not too sure what that nod meant, I do believe that he was going to think about what I had said…..

And so….. You will have to wait and see




22 March 2013 - Posted by | The Governess Diaries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers


    Comment by pompy do wody | 25 March 2013 | Reply

    • Thank you and I am glad you enjoyed reading it, that is the reason I write.


      Comment by denib14 | 25 March 2013 | Reply

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