+ 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK THAT MIGHT HELP YOU KEEP YOUR COOL
If you’re raising a child between the ages of 5 and 12, chances are you’re hearing “I hate you” for the first time, or being wrongly accused of things (“Mom! You forgot my dinosaur at the park!”). Or if you’re me, a tender heart-to-heart moment gets met with a spoonful of pizza sauce in the face! How did we go from kisses and tickles to having to sit on our hands just to keep from accidentally flipping the bird?! We got here because we’re not used to being treated this way! Imagine if your dad, co-worker, or partner treated you the way your child treats you. You would react! And with your child, you’re trying to lead with patience. It’s SO HARD! But I have great news! Your kid’s NOT an asshole, AND you’re doing an awesome job. You’re both just navigating this relationship of parent and child in a new stage of development.
I am no doctor but, as a mother of a 6 and 9 year-old, these are some of the things I take a close look at when my boys' behavior goes downhill.
1. ARE THEY HUNGRY?
These kids are constantly burning off energy and growing like crazy, so having a variety of healthy snacks ready is key for our household. You can create a drawer down low in the pantry and in the refrigerator for your kids to have easy access to.
2. ARE THEY TIRED?
Sleep is an essential part of your child’s development. The AAP recommends that children ages 6-12 get 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night. Could be a good time to recommit or change up your bedtime routine.
3. ARE THEY GLUED TO A SCREEN? (no judgement)
Lately, if my child is giving me attitude, this is the FIRST thing I link it to. Have a few regular things you can do together that DON’T involve a screen. Board games, coloring books, helping in the kitchen, or throwing the football are a few of our go-tos.
4. ARE THEY SEEKING CONTROL?
It’s so normal for kids this age want to be in control. They’re testing boundaries and exploring their independence. Our most natural response is to fight to get control back, but Dr. Michelle Anthony says “instead of controlling your child, you are guiding him to learn to control himself.
Ex: Give him a small budget to choose clothes that match his style, offer choices when deciding the family menu, or give him veto power when selecting activities."
5. DO THEY HAVE PERSPECTIVE?
THIS is where our gratitude practice comes in. We’ve created a gratitude practice that you can print and complete with your kids daily. Since we’ve started this, I’ve noticed that my kids now actively LOOK for positive things during the day to be grateful for.
Oh! And here are the two products I reach for when navigating behavioral changes:
nod + dream roll on for restful sleep
brain punch for help with focus
The (power) struggle is REAL, but you’re not alone. Let’s do this, Tuesday!