Why do we get angry when our kids ”misbehave”.
I put the word misbehave in questions because many of us don’t really understand that what our young gets are really doing, is trying to process their emotions. They have no way to understand how to process their emotions unless we show them how to do it.
The problem is that when we were children, we also didn’t have many opportunities to learn how to processes our emotions.
As a child you were most likely encouraged to always have positive emotions. Being angry, frustrated or sad was always diverted to happiness very quickly.
”Don’t be sad.”
”If you cry, I will give you something to cry about.”
These are a few little saying that we don’t realise are ways to keep that hard emotions away. At no fault of the mother, they in turn also didn’t get taught ways to deal with the hard emotions.
What if we looked at the hard emotions, not as a scary thing, but as a way to help your child manage and get through these emotions. By just shutting the hard emotions down, you lose the opportunity to help. Which intern creates behaviours that you feel are not right.
Kids don’t go out of their way to be bad. These are consequences of not dealing with the original problem. Usually this problem is connection but not always.
I know I’m not alone in thinking how hard it is to not only deal with your own emotions in an adult way, but help a young child learn coping mechanisms for their own hard emotions.
Being angry and frustrated is ok. What is not ok is to let it out on someone else
Modern society does not help this in anyway. We are all very busy doing daily things that need to be done and we forget that there are tiny humans around trying to learn how to react to this world. They need us to stop and listen.
Listening is the most important thing a child need. When they cry, they need someone to listen, when they are trying to talk, they need someone to listen. When we shut their voice down, they look for other ways to get the attention and connection that they need.
We have all, as parents, had to deal with at least one meltdown in our kids lives. Many call these tantrums, but I feel that the word tantrum is a negative word. When a child has a meltdown, they are struggling to deal with the loss of some sort of safe cinnection that they have in their life. Whether it is the loss of a connection of a parent or the loss of their own control on their life.
Please understand that as kids start to grow, they start to take control of their own life. They want to do things themselves, they want to mimic what we do, they want to know that not every decision they make is ours. Independence is such a big component in their lives.
So when they struggle with certain decisions in their lives, we must make sure that we have the tools to help them through these upheavals in their life.
Crying is one if the best ways to get their frustration out. As adults, we all know that a good cry can clear the mind and help you move forward with what youneed. The next most important way is to acknowledge what is going on. If you can see what has happened or what is going through their little mind. Maybe, they fell and hurt themselves, or another child has taken a toy, or they are struggling to keep going with you activities of the day. You should describe everything to them verbally. Say what you think happen and what you think it has made them feel. They need to know that you get what the are feeling. This doesn’t mean you need to correct anything, they can still feel what it is they are feeling but in a more understand and acknowledged environment. If they are sad that you took something away from them, describe that, acknowledge it and let them cry through it. That is how they begin to process the anger and frustration. Be there for them. Nevermind the people around you. Always keep calm and help them. Reacting to their frustration with more frustration can cause more pain for both you and your child.
Put words to these emotions. This way they can start to learn to describe what they are feeling verbally rather than physically. If more adults can learn the words to their emotions that they feel, and understand that they are allowed to feel them, then we start to live in a better world.
Being angry and frustrated is ok. What is not ok is to let it out on someone else.
So if our children act in ways we were not allowed to act as children, this brings up , massive anxieties about the behaviors. We try and stop our children from doing these things in a way that doesn’t help them. Demanding kids to act a certain way has the same reactions as demanding an adult to act a certain way. Kids are mini adults, they are learning about the world and how to act on this world. Just like adults still do. So take a step back from your own anxieties and start helping you kids manage their emotions with out getting sucked into your own childhood anxieties and lack of dealing with your own emotions.
This is hard work to parent like this, but we can all attempt it. Let’s make a generation of kids who aren’t struggling to deal with hard emotions as adults. Listen, acknowledge and understand.