What to Do When Your Kids Can't Stand You
At what age do children typically assert independence and butt heads with their parents?
- Children assert independence from the moment they are born. This comes in the form of wiggling to avoid a diaper change, turning away from the bottle or breast, etc.
- There are certain times when children are developmentally expected to assert their independence and parents are guaranteed some power struggles.
- 18 months= the assertion of will (lots of "no's" and "I can do it myself") Teenage/tween years= developmentally kids are supposed to be individuating and becoming more separate at this age. They are supposed to rebel against their parents.
How do you handle your children when they have a constant attitude with you?
- It is a child's job to test adults. It is our job to stay calm and consistent and to create strong loving boundaries.
- Don't take it personally.
- Keep in mind that kids who feel good act good. When your child is giving you "attitude" try to get to the bottom of what is really going on so you can help.
- Accept the feelings but redirect unacceptable behavior.
Is there a way to talk to your children so they don't distance themselves from you?
- Active listening- repeat back in your own words to make sure you really understood what was being said.
- Don't ever tell your child they shouldn't feel the way they feel or tell them they are "ok" (i.e. when a child is crying and the parent says "your ok" but a child who is crying doesn't feel okay).
- Offer two acceptable choices.
- Empower your kids to solve their problems themselves.
- NEVER name call.
What can you do to improve your relationship with your child?
- Help your child to feel seen, heard and understood.
- Be a safe person who your child can talk to about anything.
- Ask your child for his opinions.
- Have one on one time together.
- Create a calm non-violent home.
What do you do when you can't stand your kids?
- Keep in mind it is probably a phase that will pass.
- Work on trying new ways to talk with your child.
- Consult a professional if you need to.
- Some times personality-wise a parent and kid are not a great fit. It is up to the parent to work on accepting (NOT criticizing) the child's nature.
- Keep in mind that parents are the first mirrors that children get that teach them about who they are and if they are loveable.
To purchase Dr. Jenn Berman's book and more, visit http://www.doctorjenn.com/
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