- Family and Parenting
Why do children cause trouble when parents are stressed?
Do you think about why you should say "no" versus "yes" to your children?
Why say "no" without reason
Parents, just like children, are humans. We do a lot of things that any other human would do. Sometimes we give our children answers without thinking, and that is something most of us do. However, it does not need to cost so much to first think for a moment, before answering. I will explain what I mean in this hub, first focus will be on how easy it is to say "no" without any reason.
Have you ever said “no” to your child without thinking it through? Just because you did it without thinking or part of an old habit? I have done that, many times. Often because I was stressed or tired. When I say "no" without reason I usually get into a conflict with my children.
Every evening, my daughter reads before she goes to sleep. Sometimes when I go to her to say goodnight, she asks me if she can read just ten more pages. Often a very quick “no” can be the answer, with no good reason at all, even though it will just take her another five minutes to finish.
What would have happened if I said "yes"?
My daughter is a clever girl and she cannot really see through what is behind my “no.” So she tries a ”please.” I still say “no.” And after a few more ”pleases,” I start to get rather irritated. I am a tired mother after a hard day’s work… At this point my daughter suddenly stops asking kindly and begins to get angry. She is tired too and the situation goes in an unpleasant direction. It takes several minutes to calm her down and get her ready for sleep.
I believe that some of you have been in similar situations. Let's go back and look at how I should have worked it out with a “yes.” When I do that, my daughter reads her ten pages, and then she calls for me and tells me it is time to go to sleep. This works out quite well and she becomes very helpful. I don’t have to tell her what to do. This procedure takes about five to ten minutes, including her reading.
We impact our children
Maybe some of you think that this is a stupid example, but let us look closer at what really happened. Some of you have already noticed, but I will tell you my thoughts. After some “no’s” and ”pleases,” I lose my temper. My daughter does too – she reflects me. Children possess a great system that scans our mood in no time. Then, they reflect us. Not purposely, but they do. I am, as a parent, a role model who is supposed to show the correct way to navigate through a lot of situations. Children observe and reflect. Later, they start to question their parents, but still they are very dependent on our behaviors.
In this case, I can't see any good reason for a “no”, more than a quick answer without thinking first. In other cases of course, there are good reasons for a “no.” It can be about things that are dangerous for the child or other people or disturbing for others, maybe the child is not old enough and so on. Of course you should not hesitate to say “no” to avoid a negative response from your child. Feelings are something natural and of course a child can be disappointed and angry. But when there is no obvious reason for you to say ”no”, the child see through that, especially if you don’t believe in it yourself. If you think it over and respond with a strong and confident “no”, then the child feels safe and trusts in your judgment. She may be a bit disappointed, but they trust you.
A great point is to realize how much of an impact parents have on their children. If you want your children to sit at the table and leave their mobiles and iPads, you have to make sure you never use them yourself during dinner time. Children reflect our behaviours!
Time to check your experiences.
Have you ever noticed your children behave better when you are in a good mood?
A situation that usually can be troublesome is when a family leaves the home in the morning. I decided many years ago that this is not going to be a problem. And I have succeeded! My “trick” is to get up a bit earlier than necessary just to feel relaxed and comfortable. No stress or irritation. This is crucial for the outcome. Mornings when things have been stressful and filled with moans always begins with me not feeling calm. If I say something about hurrying up or do this or that, my children's emotion sensors are activated. I suppose they feel all stressed up, just like me. And there is a lot of arguing. She reflects me, once again.
During a normal morning, everything just works – no stress and no yelling. The main tips here are to get up a bit earlier, and to get in the right mood. This strategy works really well for us.
The children are really good at reading us and the mood we are in. It is quite easy for them to fall into the same mood or feeling. That can cause conflicts. They reflect our behaviors too, not only good ones…
The bad language issue
Another example of how children reflect our behavior, this time an "unwanted" behavior...
A while ago, I noticed that my children used a lot of curse words, their language become really bad. I discussed this matter with them and they agreed and promised to stop. But they didn’t. I brought this up with my partner, who told me that I use a lot of curses as well. Embarrassing, yes, but so obvious… I have worked hard to change my bad habit. Now I do much better. So are my children.
"Give your children love, love and some more love. Then the manners will come automatically"
Love, love and some more love
And what about all these obvious things? We tend to rush through our lives today – parents as well as their children. This puts a lot of pressure on us. We lose our tempers because we are tired, stressed or just have given up. We give up our great plans of being patient, happy parents with happy children. As a result, we get disappointed and so on.
My experiences above are not about things that take a lot of time. On the contrary, it can actually save some time, like "Why say "no" without reason." The great benefit is that we will feel so much better. When you meet your child and you both work together, you will really feel satisfied.
I believe we can get along by being good role models, showing the way. And of course, with a lot of love :) Show your children how much you love them every day! I will finish with another quote: "Give your children love, love and some more love. Then the manners will come automatically," written by Astrid Lindgren, Swedish writer of Children’s books (Pippi Longstocking).
Related hubs by Kerlund74
- Give your children positive attention -creates good relations
Children do as their parents do, of course. Take a look at yourself and your behavior. Try to give your children attention when they behave good, and also act as a role model in good behavior.
- 10 activities for you and your children on a rainy day
Ever been "stuck" with your children, off from work and school, while the rain didn't stop falling? Bored? Of course there are video games, computers and TV. But what if you should try something else?
© 2014 kerlund74