By the time we had our third child, I felt really confident as a mother and even though each of my children are different, I have to say that up until this point, we hadn’t really encountered any major problems. They had all slept through the night from a few weeks old, fed well, got along with each other and life seemed tiring but wonderful. They were well behaved in public, always used please and thank you and I thought we were doing a pretty good job as parents.

I have to admit that I was that judgemental mother. If I overheard a child misbehaving or laying down on the floor in the middle of Boots, I actually looked and thought, poor child! my child would never do that. I had an opinion on anything and everything. How very wrong I was.

The thing is, you can only be prepared to a certain point. I thought I had it all figured out until one day I was pushing my daughter along in the pushchair and we passed our local priest. She was happily licking her ice cream in her buggy and I stopped to say hello.

The priest leaned in and asked her how her ice cream was. She replied with ‘Oh fu*k it’. I was lost for words and when he asked me what she had said, I muttered under my breath something and hurried away. I still to this day do not know where she picked up swear words from but my beautiful daughter who looked angelic in the pushchair started to swear. People would tell her she looked cute and she would say something rude back.

I was absolutely beside myself as I didn’t know when she was going to do it. Thankfully as quickly as it started, it soon stopped and she never did it again. You can’t pass judgement on other parents or their methods. Who knows why children do the things they do sometimes?

Each parent and child are different. One day, you may need someone to just lean in and say, ‘It’s ok, my child does it to’ and offer a reassuring look.