What is going on? One day we are in shirtsleeves soaking up the near 70 degree sunshine , ever hopeful that winter is over, and then we wake up to a cover of snow – a light cover, but snow, none-the-less.
How often do we feel the same way about our child’s behavior/stages/moods? Just when we think that the bedtime routine is working, we spend an evening answering calls of “distress” and repeating our mantra, “It’s time for you to be in bed.” Or “my children have reached a point where they play so well together” - when suddenly – they don’t.
In nature there is always an explanation – some cold front moving down from Canada, some low pressure causing storms and tornadoes, two fronts meeting and creating nature’s fireworks.
Oh, if it was only so scientific in predicting and understanding our children’s behavior. As parents, we just don’t understand” why she’s so bossy”, “when will he stop being so clingy?”, or “Help! Why is my child out of control?”
Well, we don’t have the instruments that meteorologists use to forecast and explain weather conditions. But we can do what people have done for centuries way before the weather channel moved into our homes.
We can observe.
Yes, observe – look, feel, pay attention to the atmospheric changes in our homes. What brings the dark clouds, the bright sunshine? What does this child need?
That might sound far too simplistic. “I can tell you what this child needs” a parent may say in frustration. But if you are dealing with an on-going behavior problem, take the time to observe. Really pay attention to that particular child. What is happening before the “downpour” occurs.
Is she getting enough sleep? Is he getting the physical activity he needs to release the energy within him? What’s happening before to trigger the behavior? What seems to help? And of course, check on our own pressures at home. Are we stressed out with too much going on – rushing here and there – resulting in cloudy moods for everyone?
Okay - even as I write this, the sun has appeared. And we know, Spring will come and summer will follow – for sure. And it is this same faith and trust that can serve us well as parents.
Embrace it all – the stormy, unpredictable moods of childhood as well as their warm and sunny dispositions.
And trust in your heart that spring will come.
If you are looking for sunnier days in your child’s behavior, take advantage of our Warmline program. It’s as easy as giving me a call at The Parenting Place – 784-8125 or e-mailing me your question at email@example.com . Together we’ll figure things out.