What interests and inspires me is how much we parents have in common with each other. Even the complaints.
I’m a mom who has raised 5 highly independent and self-sufficient kids. I’m also a parent educator of 20 years who has talked with thousands of parents about life with their kids. So, I feel qualified to point out the obvious places we are struggling as parents. These are the complaints I hear in my classes, coaching sessions and online. These are the issues that parents bitch about on the sidelines, over wine, and in punch drunk social media rants after the kids *finally* go to bed. Let’s face it – parents have been struggling with the same issues for YEARS. Everyone wants a solution.
If you stick around to read more posts, you’ll see how our solutions address the issues at large – not just the symptom. (Note – these complaints are actually symptoms of something much bigger.) But for now, we’re talking about the irritating behaviors that lead us to seek out help. That’s why you’re here! So, first, let’s see where you identify yourself.
Parent: “I CAN’T STAND…(fill in the blank)…”
10. Kids who push, hit, throw, kick and bite.
- What the heck? Don’t they know what “use your words” means?
9. Kids who say things like, “Stupid, Shut up, Idiot, Dummy, Butt-Head”.
- Oh, they sound like jerks! Why don’t they think before they talk?
8. Kids who can not, will not, and do not cooperate.
- I do everything for them. Is it too much to expect some cooperation and smiles once in awhile?
7. Kids who ignore their parents.
- How dare those little munchkins completely ignore, walk away from, cover their ears or start to sing when we have something really, really, REALLY important to tell them?
6. Kids who noodle, stall, get distracted and act like they don’t have to be somewhere important.
- Don’t they get that we’re on a schedule here? And it’s THEIR activity we’re late for!
5. Kids who think they no longer need naps.
- Can someone PLEASE explain to me why little kids are NEVER tired and teenagers are ALWAYS tired?
4. Kids who want to stay in the PJ’s all day or wear the ballet costume to school for a week or refuse to wash their favorite superman shirt – ever.
- They’re going to think he’s a runaway! I don’t work this hard to have Johhny look like an unloved child. Our family is pulled together and he should be no different.
3. Kids who refuse to go along with your plans and try and keep you trapped at home all day long.
- Come on already. Look how damn nice it is outside. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!
2. Kids who yell, manhandle, annoy, bother or wake up the new baby.
- Sure, NOW she wants to play with the baby, but all morning she said she was annoying. Doesn’t she get what will happen if the babe doesn’t get her N-A-P?
1. Kids who refuse to eat what we put in front of them, sleep when we want them to sleep or potty train when we are ready for them to be done with the diapering.
- I know what’s best. That’s why I’m the parent. It’s my JOB to help them get good at these things. It would be so much easier for both of us if they’d just listen.
Oooooof… how’d I do? Anything strike a nerve? Be honest.
It’s important that you know, you are not alone. We’ve all been there and some of us still are from time to time. It doesn’t matter how old the kids are or your style of parenting sometimes we get lost. Parenting is HARD WORK.
I don’t claim to offer instant fixes to these scenarios. But I can shed plenty of light on why they happen and how YOU affect them. I offer remedies for getting through the issue, observing the whole child (not just in that moment), and considerations on how small shifts in your actions can offer HUGE results in finding more peace and balance in your family’s life.
Here’s the easiest tip I will give you:
Just for fun, for the next 24 hours, when you are considering taking one of these annoyances and turning it into a serious problem that requires yelling, bribing, lecturing, and on and on, instead – take a BREATH, look into the eyes of your beloved child and ask yourself – is it really such a big challenge? And if the answer is no, then let it go.
Just this once, let it go. You’re not slacking. You’re not ignoring. You’re not being disrespected. You’re taking a breath and shaking up the normal cycle of events. You’re making an intentional shift. You might not have the answer right now. But you know what you’ve been doing isn’t working – so why not…. just breathe?
And yes, we know it’s not easy for most of us to give up the yelling, hairy eyeball-staring, pointing, lecturing, bribing, and whatever else you’ve been doing to try to get them to do what you want. But the breath is the FIRST STEP.
Then what? Obviously the breath isn’t the magic bullet that brings you and your little cherub into harmonic bliss. The best advice I can give you is to keep reading. Pour through blog posts and sign up for emails from me (you can subscribe in the upper right hand corner of this page.) You’re in the right place if you’re ready to rethink these 10 common parenting challenges.