Whilst my younger sister Mary could be unashamedly disobedient, defiant and downright naughty, I can honestly say that I tried my very best to behave myself as a child. I think this was largely because my parents’ praise and approval was hugely important to me, while Mary seemed not to care about this so much, or indeed at all!
While avoiding the pain and humiliation of being told off or smacked was obviously a big factor, in many ways avoiding parental disapproval was an equally big motivation for me to behave myself. Mum in particular could have my tummy in knots and tears of shame running down my blushing face just from her pursed lips and disapproving glare. It would be at that point that she would probably say something like: “Oh, Kelly! You’re supposed to be setting a good example for your little sister. You’ve let me down with your behaviour.”