“It’s the worst day of my life” is a common refrain from my son. When I pick him up from an activity or from school, he often starts with his list of what was wrong with his day. For a person who strives to find the positive and keep her sense of humor, it can be challenging to parent a child who tends toward the negative. My standard comeback is that he needs to tell me an equal number of positive comments to balance the negative ones. Sometimes this reduces the list of complaints and, at the very least, teaches him perspective.
You often hear the phrase, ‘Terrible Twos’ once your child enters toddlerhood. Friends joke about their kid’s latest tantrum, and family assures you it is ‘just a phase.’ But what do you do if your child’s ‘Terrible Twos’ never go away? Sure, kids like to test a parent’s boundaries, but it can be extremely frustrating for those families who have a child who is defiant most of the time and cannot seem to find a discipline method that really works.
Everyone has to deal with feelings of anger and frustration. While these feelings are normal, it is important to teach kids how to appropriately deal with them. Parents and kids can work as a team to come up with strategies to handle anger and frustration. Working together to prepare a plan in advance will help your child learn how to calm down and discuss why these feelings occurred. Once your child finds a calm- down technique that works best for them, encourage them to use that strategy whenever they start to feel upset or angry.
Looking forward to having your kids home for the summer? I always am. I anticipate enjoying the outdoors and a much more leisurely pace - long bike rides and hikes, an annual trek to the beach, lots of ice cream, and more time and connection - all with my kids. The saying goes that a parent’s two favorite days are the day summer vacation begins and the day it ends. Is this true for you? Do you find yourself counting down the days to the start of the new school year because your kids have spoiled your dreams of a relaxing summer by arguing, fighting or refusing to participate in family time and activities?
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