If your child is cheating or a sore loser, we know that's not very healthy, and we often want to put a stop to it by any means. But when you really look at what's their need behind cheating or being a sore loser, it will completely shift your perspective and the way in which you respond to your child. I know many adults who still rage if they lose. My daughter used to be a sore loser, she’d storm off if she lost a game. If she didn’t win you could guarantee she’d fling the game and all its pieces across the room. Nothing changed until I understood what was really going on, and when I did it blew my mind.
Question: How do I get my children (6 & 3.5) to eat dinner without having a tablet in front of them?! We started using them occasionally to get them to just stay in their chair or they wouldn't eat a thing. Now I regret my decision. If I try to get rid of the tablets there is a joyful mix of screaming rage and sulking. The littlest will wander off. The 6yr old agrees with us that it shouldn't be there all the time but struggles as he's so used to it.
You might see your child as clever and bright, funny and gorgeous and be like “Why can’t you see what I see? Wake up! Get with it, you're worthy, you're amazing and the best thing that’s walked the planet.” As a parent we know how important healthy self-esteem is for our children. It affects everything, how they think and how they behave. Self-esteem has a massive impact on their mental health and their future success. We know that by having good self-esteem, you’ll generally feel more positive about yourself and more likely to best handle whatever life throws at you. No wonder it feels so hard to watch our kids suffer with low self-esteem.
I often get parents who reach out to me and let me know that they’ve tried the gentle approach. They tell me that they remain calm, explain their boundaries, and talk about emotions but yet their child is still not ‘behaving’ or is going wayyyyy past their boundaries, and they are at their wit’s end. They feel that they are “doing it wrong.” And although I wholeheartedly believe in the philosophy of gentle parenting, it falls short. You’re made to believe that validation and connection is enough to change a child’s behaviour. And it’s not.
I used to dread bedtimes. I just wanted the evening to myself; I was fed up putting my daughter back to bed a kajillion times. I can honestly tell you I’ve been through the full range of bedtime battles. It’s exhausting trying to get your kids to bed if they enthusiastically refuse. Especially if you’ve been told so much conflicting advice it leaves you pulling your hair out. Maybe you've tried banning screen time, hung up a few sticker charts or dished out threats, with the hope that your child will be motivated enough to go to bed without a fight. And that might work...for a while. But boy, it’s exhausting isn’t it?
Read on to learn how best to support your child through their emotional needs and transform a tricky situation into a positive one. “I’m not staying here! I can’t believe there’s NOOOO internet. How am I going to listen to music or speak to my friends?! This is stupid!” My 12-year-old daughter stormed off to the car. We’d just arrived at the campsite after a long drive and this was NOT what I was in the mood to deal with.
Is your child not listening and talking back? If you’re in the middle of a power struggle and every day is stressful, read this! My life used to be one massive power struggle, yup! When our daughter hit the toddler years, she never listened to a single word I said. Every day was a battle of wills. Aghhh! I knew things needed to change pretty quickly before I lost the will to live. Using the steps I share with you below, I was able to turn things around, my daughter started to WANT to listen to me, her defiant behaviour melted away and calm returned.
Parenting a stubborn, strong-willed child is challenging to say the least. I should know! My daughter would just refuse point blank to do as I asked. She’d scream and shout, and jump up and down and put up a fight. She wanted things her way. Every day was a battle of wills. It was utterly exhausting, and however firm I held my limits nothing would make a blind bit of difference, she would constantly pushed my boundaries. That was until I learnt to see what was really going on. And how to best support my daughter.
Question: "I need help to stop shouting and screaming at my kids, I feel like a bad mum, I know it's not right and it isn't the way I want to talk to talk to them, but I feel stressed and when they don't listen to me, no matter how hard I try to breathe I find myself yelling. Why am I always shouting? I then feel guilty. I need help as take 3 deep breaths isn't working for me as a tip. Any advice?"
"My daughter is 6. and we get bouts of angry spiteful and violent behaviour at home more than at school. Recently she's been saying we don't love her, and she wants to run away, she thinks we love her brother more, he is only 2. How can I reassure her once she's calmed down? It’s so hard to strengthen our bond which is sadly strained sometimes due to her challenging behaviour." Mrs. H.