Rachel was fed up. Every. Single. Day. Her 3 boys would fight over who’s turn it was, and the bickering and tantrums would completely hijack family time. One day Rachel decided enough was in fact enough! “Fight over the Xbox and no one gets to play, and you’ll go straight to your room....” And sure enough, a quick fix. A strong consequence and the fighting stopped…for a few days. When the sting of the threat subsided, the arguing started all over again.
Question: “Just wondered if anyone had any advice for me?? I have two children, the eldest is a very strong willed 4-year-old daughter. My hubby and I have just taken the children on holiday with my parents. Every day my daughter has been a drama where she has had tantrums, continuous moaning and really ungrateful behaviour...In short, her behaviour has been truly awful on holiday!!
The other day my daughter came downstairs for breakfast demanding I make her pancakes. and if we had time I might have. That morning, we were running late for school and it just wasn’t going to happen. It was a toast or cereal kind of morning. I bet you can imagine how this situation could all end in a power struggle and tears… I’m sure it happens in thousands of homes every morning. The First step to change is challenging situations with our child is focusing on what IS happening rather than what's NOT happening.
My daughter's favourite pair of socks are missing and she won't wear another pair. And you might think this is crazy. Why can't she just wear another pair?! And you'd be right... except my daughter and socks are not a good mix. They have to be just the right softness, no seams on the toe and the right hight... she is a sock perfectionist!
Maybe you’re getting the car loaded up ready for a trip to visit family or maybe like me, ready to host a family Christmas. Feeling excited or stressed? This time of year can become difficult to navigate with family members you might not have seen in a while or drive you up the wall. (That reminds me of a time when my daughter was young and I said a family member was driving me up the wall, and she said “what wall mummy?”) Maybe you have a family member who’s the ‘perfect’ parent, even though they don’t have kids. Telling you what you should do when your child invariably has a meltdown. Maybe your parents just don’t ‘get’ how you’re raising your children and are still very old school. You may feel judged by your choices.
My son was crying, he’s just SO tired. He really didn’t want to go to school and would have been happy to curl up in a ball under his duvet and hide the day away. And who could blame him, don’t we all? What with the school plays, pantomimes, shopping and the excitement of Christmas… it’s enough to get us all stressed out. Then there are too many late nights, a house full of extended family and out of whack routines that can bring out the worst in all our children. And if you have a more explosive child, it’s like a ticking time bomb. Ready for a megawatt outburst of too much overwhelm and emotions. Want to know what keeps me and my kids sane over the next few weeks?
My husband and I used to joke that the background noise of our life was my daughter’s whining. The toddler years for me were no easy feat. And I knew deep down there had to be another way. With all my years in teaching and my degree in primary education, Nothing prepared me for my toddler’s antics.
“If only SHE would JUST listen to me and stop being so naughty I wouldn’t have to shout at her.” I bemoaned to a good friend. My daughter's tantrums would push me over the edge and I felt stuck in this never-ending power struggle. Wishing that things could just be simple and calm... Calm that's what I would wish for. It was so easy to resign myself to my present reality when I didn't see a way out. Really! is THIS my parenting journey?
One of life’s luxuries! A trip to the supermarket kid free... I was strolling slowly down the aisle taking my time for once, without having to stop or fend off “Can I HAAAAVVEEEEE…” or wrestle down the sweet aisle.. (Know what I mean?!) A mum and her two boys were hurrying past me, probably a mad dash to the supermarket before an afterschool club, she was grabbing items off the shelves and her boys were giggling while helping put the items into the trolley.
A good few years ago now, I remember being in this constant state of parenting overwhelm, struggling to make it through the day without my daughter having a mega tantrum, losing my cool or having endless power struggles. I love my kids but I wasn’t enjoying the journey. I felt stuck. Things only began to change when I woke up off parenting autopilot and become aware of the tools in my parenting toolkit.