Everywhere we look nowadays, children are being diagnosed and labeled with disorders based on their behavior, with acronyms being placed near their names. “Johnny has ADD, that’s why he can’t sit still.” “Sherry has RAD and that’s why she can’t attach to us.” “Vinny is on the (autism) spectrum.” But how does it help to label our children?
Listening to your gut when faced with a challenging social situation is hard. We don’t want to believe bad things are happening in the moment. However, when presented with someone that shows you unkindness or frightening opposition, listen to that feeling. Believe yourself.
She paused for a moment. This pause was for her. She centered herself around the realization that her child was distressed and this was how he was expressing it in this moment. She wasn’t going to do what he was demanding. That would not be healthy for either of them. But she stopped what she was doing and gave him her full attention. She ignored his behavior in this moment and focused on him, her child, who was clearly having a rough time.
The challenge of being a parent today isn’t a lack of information. In fact, information overload has made parenting more challenging. Especially when you consider that the answers for your family aren’t going to come from the outside, but from within yourself. After all, who knows you and your family better? Sometimes, though, we find ourselves needing some guidance or some suggestions beyond the usual time-outs or other parenting strategies that just don’t seem to be working.
In addition to learning how to show love, knowing a person’s love language is also extremely helpful to keep from hurting them. We have taken to calling this, the opposite of your love language, your “Hurt Language” (or “Hate Language” as my son likes to say, since he thinks that describes it better). Basically, if you criticize a person whose love language is Words of Affirmation, reject physical contact from a person whose love language is Physical Touch, or refuse to help someone whose love language is Acts of Service, they will probably feel completely rejected and unloved.
We read during easy times when things are going smoothly and everyone is happy. But more and more, as he gets older, we have moments of misunderstanding, disagreement, and frustration. We feel disconnected and it can be hard to come back together. So often it’s those times where he asks me to read because he knows it will recenter us both.
“My son refuses to help out. He isn’t very independent. He wants me to do a lot for him and so I do. But I resent it.”
It brought up a great question. How do parents navigate those situations when we need our child to help out without resorting to yelling, hitting, or threatening? How can we consciously parent through it?
What do our children really need to be emotionally healthy and to feel nurtured in our relationship with them? Play is one of six things discussed in Rebecca’s upcoming book that we can do to nurture connection with our children (and our friends and partner, too).
I did not realize what exactly made me feel so often overwhelmed by my 3 young children (a 4-year-old and 18-month-old twins), or how my actions could be impacting their behavior. I was careful from early on not to build dependence playing with me, hoping they would learn to play on their own, which was generally successful. So I was very confused about why they usually just wanted to be held, worn, or sit on my lap instead of play. It was impacting me and making feel touched out too much of the time. I couldn’t just leave them alone without supervision to get a break, and it wasn’t good for them to have a mom with no energy or patience, either. Something needed to change.
Question: We had a huge issue with repeated disrespect and abuse from my father and we have stopped having contact completely as a result. My kids don’t understand why they can’t see their grandfather anymore and I’m not really sure how to talk to them about it. They’re still really young and telling the Read More