All parents want their kids to behave but there are times when our little tyke just messes up. When that happens, we either feel worthless or also mess up as parents. We strive to do our best, but sometimes we blow things up.
There is no need to suffer when you can’t control your kids. Here are five important truths to keep your cool.
1. Your kid’s misbehavior does not define your value as a parent
God has entrusted your wonderful kids because He knows you are the perfect parents for them. Now, time for some generalities: all kids misbehave and disobey from time to time, and all parents suffer from low self-worth and feel inadequate from time to time. I have looked for parents who know what to do in every given situation, but have found none. All parents make mistakes.
While it’s correct to say we shouldn’t ignore our kids’ misbehavior (although there are specific circumstances where we can do that) , we also should not take it personally when our kids don’t listen, or fight each other, or throw a fit when we are about to eat dinner. Their misbehavior is very irritating, but it helps when we keep our cool and understand what’s going on. So know what they’re up to, help them, but don’t blame yourself. They’re growing up, and they’re kids.
2. Your kids need unconditional love, just like anyone else
What is unconditional love? Even trying to define it is difficult but you can say it is showing love no matter what. When you make it your goal every day you will be doing great favor for your kids. Loving them unconditionally even during terrible times when you’d rather like to punch them in the face will tell them you love them and accept them for who they are.
My two little boys did all kinds of misbehavior when they were younger that most of the time I literally become a monster ready to eat them. That was usually before bedtime. Frustrated with anger, I would send them to bed and tell them to go to sleep quickly, before I got the chance to swallow them up.
While at it, they’d ask, “Mama, can you first tell us a story before we sleep, please”?
And I’d go like, “You want me to change from this angry monster into a storyteller, THAT quick? Do you know how extremely difficult and frustrating that is”?
And I’d proceed with my recitation on how they’d been so unruly and got me real banged on the head, groggy with anger and frustration, blah, blah, blah.
They’d usually drift slowly to sleep and I’d just go on, “blah, blah, blah.”What a wonderful way to bring two kids to dreamland. I can just imagine how many nightmares they got during those nights.
I must have a different way to respond to things but that should never be an excuse. I lost too many opportunities to show my kids that I love and accept them despite their unacceptable behaviour.
We can all strive to seek to love our kids unconditionally. If we fail, we must try to do it again.
3. No misbehaviour is innocent
What motivates your child to act a certain way?
Usually, it has something to do with meeting his or her needs according to how he sees himself and life in general. There is an inner need for each child to fit in and stand out. The more you understand him, the more you can help him behave in a beneficial, considerate and useful way and not just have his own way.
4. You don’t own your kids, sorry
It’s okay to call them “my kids,” but the fact remains that first, they are just gifts of God to us, and second, each of them are their own, unique person. We should look at them that way. This means they are ours to nurture, raise, protect and develop into wonderful adults later on.
If you help your kids discover their strengths and encourage and develop them in such areas, you have most of the job done. You will always want to affirm what they do well including the little things. By the time they approach adolescence, they will have a healthier sense of self and will be more ready to face the adult. That’s because you helped them know they were somebody who fits in and have something to give to the world around them.
5. You shouldn’t let your kids run your home, ever!
Each member of the family has a particularly important role to make it functional and no one member is more important than everybody else. This means even parents are not supposed to place their personal wants over the good of the entire household, unless those are the same thing; and even when kids are taken care of, they shouldn’t in any way be spoiled to the point of interrupting the entire family system.
Mom, you can actually stop preparing a different meal every time one person changes what he wants for breakfast. My two kids, for example, want different things every time. What I do is let them choose from what has already been prepared. I notice that when I consistently do that they usually comply (otherwise they eat nothing)but when I’m lenient and let them have their way everything gets disrupted such as our budget, schedules and plans.
Maintain schedule and order in your home and let your kids stick to them. For some of us this is a challenge but unless we do it, we can never keep our sanity.
What do you usually do when your kids misbehave? Share your experiences and ideas here so we can discuss, and subscribe to my list to get updates. Also, you might want to check out some more helpful tips on my Facebook Page.