Those of us who are or have been raising kids know that it can certainly be a frustrating experience. Yes, the sweet giggles and soft skin and the joys of witnessing your loved one’s childhood are a marvelous thing to experience, but guiding a human being through the various stages of childhood can be rough.
However, our kids are not the ones to blame for parenting being maddening. It’s just the nature of the thing, and if we let our frustration with raising them to affect the kids themselves, we’re doing it wrong.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. A kid who is struggling with a habit or behavior is actually struggling, even when it seems that they’re doing it on purpose at times, or if they still do it no matter how many times we tell them not to.
Aside from any actual clinical behavior disorders, most of the kids want to please their parents and do the right thing. However, they are not always able to square their impulses with their desire to make their parents proud of them.
No matter how tempting is to raise our voices and yell at our kids when they’re misbehaving, there’s actually a more effective way that will save both your voice, your nerves, and your relationship.
At first, you have to remember that misbehavior is a sign of a child that is struggling. The next step is to get on the child’s level and tell him/her these two sentences:
“I can see that you want to do your personal best right now. How can I help with that?”
Those two sentences, or something in the similar context to that, can make ALL the difference. You are asking them to behave well without shaming them or humiliating them. You basically tell them that they are good and that you will help them to do their best.
At the end of the day, it’s our job as parents, isn’t it? To bring out the best in our children and help them develop the drive and the tools to live up to their full potential. No person in this world is truly motivated to do their best by getting yelled at, smacked, or humiliated. Yes, some kids might behave because they don’t want to experience dad or mom’s wrath, but in reality, that’s not a true internal motivation. It’s just motivation based on fear, and you certainly don’t want that.
Everyone is on a journey and striving to be the best version of oneself, so what makes our children different? When we keep that in our minds and we try to communicate to them about that idea, they will eventually get the message that we believe in their ability to change their behavior, we support them and we are happy to help them do that.
It is not easy, of course. The imperfect human beings being ourselves raising other imperfect human beings. However, we are the adults in the room, and we are the ones that should control our inner responses. If we don’t do that, how do we expect our kids to control their responses to the stimuli life throws at them?
Kids are constantly learning, but we must understand that they are often struggling as well. They need us to believe that they are trying their best and that they are capable.