Parenting is definitely not the easiest job in the world, yet, so many of us feel we are up to the challenge because of all the joys that can come with having a family. Family dynamics are very different now, in this day and age, than what they once were. We don’t often hear “You wait til your father gets home!” when children are acting up, now do we? Single parenting has become very prominent with such an increase in absentee parents. Whether it is the lack of mental, emotional, physical or financial support, that you are in need of from the other parent, I’m here to tell you that you can still raise your children in an unconditionally loving, happy, healthy and supportive environment.
Children thrive when there is structure, routine and discipline. They like to know what to expect. If you don’t make the time to create this in your home, morals and values will slip by the wayside. Children don’t learn and grasp as much from us by what we tell them…it’s what we SHOW them that matters most. As parents, we need to lead by example. How we cope with negative emotions, shows our children how they should cope. The saying that “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is actually quite accurate. Teachers in our school systems are quite familiar with this phrase, because as they have problems with certain students and try to address these issues with the parents, they can very often see where these behavioral traits are coming from. It’s unfortunate that the parents are too blind to see this themselves. There needs to be more accountability for our actions as role models.
We know, when our children aren’t dealing with something in an acceptable manner, their irrational behavior calls for a “time out”. This is the time they need to calm down, think about their actions or reactions, apologize for their behavior, and when they’re ready, get back into the game of life. As adults, we don’t always pay attention to how we’re dealing with certain situations. Sometimes…WE need to take a time out! This will make the difference in how we choose to deal with disciplining our children. If you yell, grit your teeth, flail your arms and freak out…that is exactly how you’re teaching your children to deal with their frustration. It doesn’t matter if we’re tired, busy or loosing our patience…this behavior will NOT help them progress well in the future. They have school, friendships, relationships, and careers ahead of themselves. We are not sending them out to the world very well equipped if we don’t pay attention to the ripple effect of our actions and our reactions.
To make better decisions, is to recognize when YOU need to take a time out! Take a few minutes for yourself…trust me it’s for the greater good. Even if it means leaving your child alone in their room while they are having a conniption fit…this is the best thing for you and your child. Go to your own room, close the door, close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply, and think about what is the best way to deal with this situation. When you feel calm and rational enough to deal the situation at hand, then it is time to get up and go deal with it.
When you react on impulse in a hostile manner, your child feels those negative emotions and feeds off of them. Anytime I have been frustrated with my son and reacted quickly it didn’t go over so well. It’s not always easy to reason with him as the terrible 2’s & 3’s are not the easiest age to reason with.
However, I have learned how effective this technique has become for me. You also have to make sure that the punishment fits the crime…don’t over-react and give them an unfair punishment, or give them one that you won’t follow through with either. Consistency is crucial for their healthy development. When you are in a calmer state of mind, it’s much easier for you to deal with them, and they will also respond in a much more positive manner, to what it is you are saying and doing. We are always learning as we go along. Just as much as children sometimes need to take a time out…we need to take one from time to time as well. I’m a single mom, running a business and my son’s father has only seen him once in the last eight months… Being a single parent certainly has it’s challenges and can be exhausting at times…but it’s worth the hard work. Our children ARE the future! We NEED to teach them how to be loving, healthy, compassionate human beings. Our world is depending on it.
Wishing you all much love & light.