The other day as I was leaving the gym, I heard a man yelling at his son. The conversation went something like the following:
Dad: “I’m so sick and tired of hearing how you can’t get along with anybody.”
Kid: “But Dad, you have to let me tell you what really happened.”
Dad: “No, just shut up.”
Kid: “But Dad, it wasn’t my fault. They started it.”
Dad: “Shut up.”
Kid: “Dad… ”
Dad: “Shut up and get in the car.”
I’m sure we have all gotten mad, frustrated, and angry with our kids at some point. An ‘easy going’ kid can push a parents button pretty easily. Take a kid with emotional, behavioral or other mental health issues and it may seem like you spend the entire day arguing with your child! It’s easy for a parent to lose control and go over the top with words, actions and punishments.
The truth is that yelling at your children doesn’t address the real issue or problem. You yell, they yell, no one is listening. What do your kids hear?
- You don’t trust, understand or believe them.
- You don’t care what they are feeling.
- You don’t ‘have their back’.
In this busy, fast paced world, it’s easy to ‘react’ to a situation. Parents may get embarrassed by their child’s behavior at the store, park, family event, school, or other activity.
Parents are afraid that if their child is screaming, yelling, running around like crazy, not listening, being rude, or not playing nicely with the other kids that it’s a poor reflection on them. As a result, parents may scold, punish or threaten the child.
What we forget is that sometimes we need to put our own feelings aside and focus on what our child is feeling.Our job is to teach our children to deal with disappointment, frustration, anxiety, and many other feelings and emotions. If not, all those negative comments and feelings have a way of building up over time. Do you want to live in a household full of tension, frustration and anger or love, compassion and understanding?
What Can We Do As Parents?
The solution may be as easy as 1, 2, 3. First, calm down. Second, listen. Third, find a solution together.
Calm Down. You will have a difficult time helping your child when you are frustrated and mad (plus your child may not trust you when you look angry). Take a few deep breaths. Drink a glass of water. Give yourself a ‘timeout’ for a few minutes to calm down. Find a way to get yourself under control before you begin a conversation with your child.
Listen. It sounds so easy, but many people don’t know how to be present and listen to another person. Turn off the television, radio and cell phone. Find a place to talk without any other distractions or interruptions. If you had an important business meeting that your future career depended on you would find a quiet place to meet. What’s more important than a ‘meeting’ with your child.
Ask your child what happened or what’s wrong. Then STOP TALKING and LISTEN. You may need to prove to your child that you are listening and not judging them before they will open up and tell you what’s really wrong. If necessary, ask them open ended questions to get the conversation started, but always show them that you are on their side.
Find A Solution Together. As parents, we like to solve all of our children’s problems. However, it’s better to teach them how to explore options and come up with reasonable and rationale solutions. Sending a bully to live on the moon so that he will not pick on your child anymore might be a nice idea, but probably will not happen and, therefore, will not solve the problem.
Ask your child what they would like to do and how you can help them. Discuss the pros and cons of each solution and find the one that best fits your situation. Your ideal solution may not instantly solve your problem. You may need to go back and modify or change your solution over time until you get the outcome you desire.The good news is that going through this process with your child shows them that you care and can help to build (or maybe repair) your relationship.
Your bond with your child will continue to flourish through childhood, teenage years, young adulthood, and beyond. A relationship based on trust and understanding will continue to grow and prosper. Your children will remember that you helped them solve problems at school or on the playground when they were eight years old, instead of just yelling at them. As they grow and get bigger, the problems can get bigger too. Let them know that they can always come to you with their problems. Just remember to take a deep breath, listen and help them come up with a solution together.
Beverly M. Entin is the owner of Entin Health Coaching Group, LLC specializing in health coaching solutions for children, adults, and families designed to fit your life.
Your Healthy Future Is So Close! Don’t be afraid to take the first step.
Like Entin Health on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Beverly_Entin