Monday, 5 January 2015

How to Rinder your kids

DH and I have a new guilty pleasure.

(No, not that kind of guilty pleasure, this is a parenting blog, remember?)

During the summer holidays last year we discovered a new daytime TV show love - Judge Rinder.

For anyone who has not watched the Judge (if not, where have you been, under a rock or something?), think Judge Judy only in the UK.  But the Judge?  He is much more entertaining (sorry Judy).

The best bit and the reason that I'm posting this now is that he is back today at 2.00 pm on ITV (honestly, there could not be a more perfect time of day - pre school run and teenagers bursting through the door and spoiling the silence - can you tell how excited I am by this yet?).  I have even set a reminder to record it so that DH doesn't miss it (although Siri will not accept that he is called Judge Rinder and so I have currently a reminder for Judge Linda, whoever she might be).

We think that Judge Rinder is brilliant - but not just for his legal mind.

The thing is, being parents to five children, as you can imagine, our home is often full of conflict.  We are no stranger to the fall out that comes with sibling rivalry.  So, in a bid to try and restore some of the harmony, we've kind of been stealing the Judge's moves.

In fact, I think that he could become a new parenting guru.

If you think about it there really is no difference between dealing with aggrieved claimants and dealing with warring small people.

Here then, are my top tips on how to Rinder your kids...

1.  Shushing not shouting

How many times do you shout in the day as a parent?  Well, I shout lots.  Its something I'm not proud of and it doesn't always get the desired effect.  But, the Judge?  He does not shout.  He shushes.  When someone interrupts he shushes.  He cuts them dead.  Job done (and without the need for paracetamol or a large gin afterwards).

So, these days I'm shushing.

2.  "I can smell a lie like a fart in a lift"

Well, aren't they just as obvious?  This is one of the Judge's best lines, and it really works.

Lies and small children go hand in hand in this house.  "It wasn't me!" is heard here a lot.  I often employ the line "Are you sure?" which gives the respondent the perfect get out with a quick "Yes, Mum" (complete with eye-roll), and then, I have lost.

But, why do that when you can deliver the above line, like the Judge? It tells them that you know they are lying (even if you don't), and that confuses them you see - they have nowhere to go with it.  Nine times our of ten, they crumble and fess up.

3.  "When my lips are moving, yours aren't"

Say it calmly, with authority (imagine you are wearing a judge's gown if you must).  You are stating a rule, remember?  Guaranteed to get them to listen.

My children will rarely cross this line of authority.  Whether this is a result of having a lawyer for a father or something else, I'll never know, but they are very rule driven on the whole.  So, we work it to our advantage, just like the Judge.

4.  Every Judge needs a Michelle

The judge is never alone in his courtroom.  He has an assistant - the lovely Michelle (I had given up using the phrase "the lovely" to describe anyone, but I really can't think of a better description in this instance).  She is there to pass him all the documentation or evidence when he requires it and to show the claimants/respondents in and out of the court.  It's a partnership rather like a marriage really and in our marriage I am Michelle to DH's Rinder.

When dealing with quarrelling children I am always there to put both sides of the argument to him impartially in front of the two warring parties, oh, and I sometimes send them to their rooms afterwards.

I don't have high heels or great hair like Michelle though.

5.  "I'm talking, I'm ruling, I'm not listening!"

Another line from the Judge but I liken it to my own "I don't care who started it, I'm finishing it".  It's like verbally drawing a line in the sand.  Again, there is nowhere for my children to go if we have reached this stage in conflict resolution.

As the claimants and respondents know in Judge Rinder's court, once he say's this there is very little point in carrying on their argument in front of him.  Or, even arguing back to him for that matter.  With my kids it's exactly the same.  It even works on the teen.

So, you can keep your Super Nanny and your "How to talk so children will listen" books because I reckon that the Judge has got this child discipline stuff sussed.

In fact, Judge Rinder, if you are reading this and your TV court room judge career doesn't quite work out then I think this could be the perfect way to diversify,  really I do...


  1. Ha ha! I saw it for like 10 minutes today and I wanted so much more! How fab is this man, and this awful but amazing programme?? I needed to know what happened. Very addictive! Great post. Very funny and true. I wish I could hire him! Jess xx

  2. hahaha! This is brilliant! I briefly looked yesterday at your post but after watching Judge Rinder today I get So funny! x

  3. I am so watching this tomorrow...!

  4. I saw this starting but didn't watch, will do now though. I love those sayings haha. Fab post.

    1. Thanks, all so true as well. The man is a genius I tell you!


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