Must I be doing something wrong? My 7-year-old is acting like a complete jerk. I don't get it. We spend a lot of time together. I reinforce rules and even give him chances to make decisions. But, he is really pushing my buttons here lately.
Does this sound familiar?
If you have a child between the ages of 6-8, you may be experiencing some of these same thoughts.
Here are a few things to remember when you are at your wit's end.
1. My kid isn't a bad kid. This to will pass.
2. Responding with anger doesn't help and only adds confusion. Practice empathy, and compassion.
3. Hold the line, and expect kids to test it often. Counting 1-2-3, very slowly, helps at our home. Let your child know that there will be a consequence if they don't respond appropriately by 3 and hold the REALISTIC limit.
4. Name the top three most important things to you as a parent. Make clear your expectations around these three things to your kid. Then, hold them accountable. Encourage responsibility and trust; they can rise to the challenge. Then let the rest go.
Parenting is a compromise, not a dictatorship.
5. Talk with your child. Ask about their day. Talk through the things that upset them, made them feel happy, sad, etc.
6. Lastly, parenting is hard. Retreat to your corner and tag your teammate when needed. Take a break.
Take some time for yourself so that you can recharge and come back fresh and anew.