Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kids have feelings too

If you are a parent you are going to hear "I hate you", "You don't love me", "I don't love you" or "You're so mean" at least once from each of your children.  Usually, it will be screamed at you during an argument or after making an decision that was not the one your child wanted.  Don't worry, this is normal behavior from kids towards parents during tween and teen years.

What do you do after your child has screamed either of these things at you though?  The answer from my mother is nothing.  Tell them that you still love them and then leave it at that.  My mother doesn't have a Doctor in child psychology, but she did manage to raise 3 well functiong adults. So I do value her opinion on the matter, even if she does laugh at me when me kids say it to me.

We want our kids to be able to express themselves.  We push them from an early age to talk to us about their feelings on other matters, but once they get mad at us everything changes.  Most of us will punish our kids because their feelings were negative towards us, and they hurt our feelings.  Now our kids are confused, we want them to tell us their feelings, but then we punish them for telling us how they are feeling if it is anger towards us.

There are ways to deal with our kids being mad at us that don't require us to punish them.  The best way, that I've found, is to talk to them.  Once they have calmed down, ask them why they feel you were being unfair and are now mad at you.  You may come to find that you have a different perspective on the situation after you have talked to them.  Sometimes we are so worried about doing everything the way that we think it should be done, we forget that our children are not us and may have a different opinion on the issue at hand.  After talking to them sometimes you will realize that you were being mean even.

There are certain things in life that we just can't let our kids do, and they do have to follow the rules.  But on the little things there usually is a little bit of wiggle room that we have.  It's not a bad thing to use the wiggle room to find a compromise that you and your child can deal with.  Not everything has to be black or white, there are times that the best parenting can come from that gray area.

By using this gray area as our children grow and develop we can grow as parents with them.  Our parenting has to change as they grow.  We all wish we could keep them little forever, unfortunately we can't and we do have to grow as our children do.  We want others to respect our feelings and want things to change when we encounter something that makes us mad, we should give our children the same and not punish them for having an emotion that we also have.


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