Myself, Nichole, and Aubrey are basic carbon copies of each other. This can be a blessing........and it can also be a curse. I've warned Nichole for a very long time that Aubrey needs consistent rules and punishments for breaking the rules. I know this is true for any kid, but for personalities as stubborn and willful as we are (all 3 of us), it is vital that the parental authority is established. Nichole tries hard to do just that. I give her credit. Her main issue is boyfriend......who is not consistent at all..........and who is determined one can reason with a toddler. He simply does not do direct punishment for anything unless Nichole really really forces the issue.....but even then it is her stepping in to punish while daddy is still attempting to reason with a 4 yr old. ugh! Most of the time Aubrey is adorable and sweet. But when she switches to difficult child mode........omg! And seems of course she mostly chooses this behavior in public.....of course where it benefits her most and she is least likely to be punished. We were in Target today. Now Aubrey had been good most of the day.....but she was beginning to get tired and more than a bit fussy. Since she refused to stay by the cart, Nichole made her sit in the cart. Reasonable. Nichole didn't so much as raise her voice. Next thing we know Aubrey is literally kicking her Mom in the stomach while she is trying to push the cart........when Nichole leaned out of range for the kicking (trying to ignore what she thought was a tantrum cuz Aubrey is also screaming like a banshee) Aubrey begins to claw her mother's hands with an utter vengence. Now I've seen the kicking behavior before. And in Nichole's defence ignoring it had worked before. I'd kept my mouth shut. When it came to clawing her mother's hands.........well, sorry but I'd had enough. Nana swooped in without warning, grabbed her hand, and smacked it hard while telling her in mega Momma voice that You Do NOT Kick or Scratch Your Mother Young Lady! Of course some lady gave me a dirty look which I returned in kind. I dared her to call cps...dealt with them before and I am so not intimidated by them in the least. Aubrey got one solid smack on the back of the hand hard enough to sting and get her attention. One. Aubrey stopped immediately and we resumed shopping. Nichole called to chat later this evening. We'd not discussed what had taken place in the store. So I asked her why she had allowed Aubrey to physically attack her. She said she thought it was a tantrum and ignoring it would make her stop. I told her tantrum or not, physically attacking a parent (or anyone) is unacceptable. Period. And by ingnoring the behavior she was essentially teaching Aubrey (not meaning to) that it was ok to hit and kick her when she's mad. Nichole said she was worried someone would call cps. I told her there is a huge difference in disciplining a child and beating a child. Cps knows the difference. I hope Nichole deals with this behavior. She already has her hands full because boyfriend just does not get the discipline side of parenting. He does not back her up because usually he is so busy "reasoning" with Aubrey that the child's behavior is escalating even worse. Wow. Nichole is in for a wild ride if she can't get boyfriend onboard quick.