Recently my husband and I have been feeling as though we have hit a road block in parenting our 8 year old. He’s old enough to be pretty independent with some guidance, YAY for independence!
We celebrate that his mind is like a sponge and he is such an excellent salesman, he could sell you that pack of Avenger themed play-doh even though play-doh is your arch nemesis. (I despise play-doh) It’s also fun having this mini informative ready to share with you billions of random facts about why (his theory) the dinosaurs went extinct and the many evulsions and powers of every Poke’mon known to man.
With so many things to celebrate with our big guy I bet you’re asking yourself, “where’s the road block you speak of?” Here’s the thing, with our little negotiating, fact-o-pedia, salesman we find he has been a bit rebellious lately.
The “he knows best” attitude. I know, parents are shaking their heads right now in agreement. We’ve all been there right? But why?
As I began to write this post today I did some research and found a quote that really stuck out to me in regards to parenting:
“Rebellion is a sign of a child fighting to be seen as who they are…”
Thinking about that quote, I ponder why would my child be “fighting to be seen.” I almost become defensive in thinking how am I slacking in my parenting that any of my children need to fight to be seen?! Does he feel I’m missing too many of his soccer practices? Does he feel I’m not involved enough with his class? Do I hold enough conversations with him, like meaningful, sit down, in depth conversations about all things Poke’mon? Where did I go wrong? How do I “fix” this? Here is a few of our parenting points:
Choosing my battles. I don’t want to be on my son’s case every second of every day. I try not to hoover. For example: If he chooses to wear a stripped shirt with plaid or camo shorts, ya know what? It’s just not worth the hassle. Brushing his teeth every morning, that decision will impact his health and well being and is totally worth the battle.
Holding your child accountable. Life isn’t easy and people have to work for a living. Instilling a good work ethic is critical (in my opinion) in raising successful children. Holding my minis accountable in helping with chores around the house as well as being respectful of bedtimes and being responsible with completing homework helps my minis build their self confidence and pride in their accomplishments. We’ve been working on creating a chore chart that works best for this.
We build on the positive. As I struggled with the above quote and doing a self eval. on my parenting skills I think about how often the negative is pointed out.
During my child development classes, the teachers always said that when parents are coming to pick up their child(ren) from daycare and it was a “tough” day for the child(ren) you want to hit them with a compliment sandwich. For example: “Johnny had a lot of fun finger painting today. We struggled with sharing at points throughout the day. Johnny sat very nicely during story time.” After a long day no one wants to be hit with negativity. The same with my minis and when they get home from school we always talk about their day and looking for positive points throughout their day.
Practice what you preach. How many times do we react so quickly then realize wow I really overreacted ? We also need to hold ourselves accountable and practice what we preach. We need to choose our battles, give ourselves compliment sandwiches, and build on positivity. Like I said minis’ minds are like sponges and if they are seeing that you overreact over a battle you could have chose not to fight, they will learn that that is appropriate behavior.
Enforce age appropriate consequences. In life there are consequences for everything. Every action has a reaction. By consistently enforcing age appropriate consequences children wont be surprised with their negative behaviors result in loosing iPad time or outside playtime.
Keep your power. You are not put on this planet to be your child’s BFF! That boundary needs to be clearly established between you and your minis, Minis need to know that regardless of your BFF status YOU are in charge and you will be the one handing out consequences if their behavior is less than expectations.
Another thought that crosses my mind once I read that quote was, what eight year old knows who they are at this point in their life? But that’s another post for another day.