Bossy, frustrated and bored kids?
Our children get bored, frustrated, have no patience and the moment they want something they believe in the right to have it NOW.
A common conversation that parents who want to be respectful have is whether empathising with our children is causing them to think they have the right to everything. And it is that, unfortunately, that is happening.
Interestingly, some teachers believe - such as Anna, a primary teacher of a public school in Spain, she tells us - these behaviours in our children are linked to having bad social, emotional and academic habits, as well as a strong increase in learning disabilities and other labels.
But we know that the human brain can continue to develop and change throughout our lives, that we can change and we can try to modify these attitudes of our children. Of course, this is work can't be done overnight.
One of the main problems we have as parents is our own behaviour. We are loaded with good intentions but we don't always get it right and we can create the opposite effect to what we want. We are the first to think that our little ones need special treatment for being small and being our children so they believe it too. And we don't want them to suffer, all this may mean we are raising a generation of spoiled children who rule their homes.
How can we avoid it?
What do we want our children to be like? We would like them to know about perseverance, resilience and patience. That they don't expect everything to be easy and that they understand that most of the time life takes effort (and we already know that sometimes things are not even achieved with effort). That they knew how to accept failure.
Offer what they ask of you
It's the easiest and quickest, no doubt. But it's not teaching them anything. If we always give in to children's requests it will be impossible for them to learn to stop having tantrums because their brain teaches them that it always ends with a reward.
We don't like our children to be sad, of course, or to throw a tantrum in the supermarket because he wants some sweets. But if you buy him sweets, he will make a fuss every time you don't want to buy them for him. In reality, giving them what they always want is not education, it is bad parenting. And when they grow up they will not be prepared to deal with difficulties because they will find teachers or bosses or classmates who will not give them sweets when they want them.
Learn to get bored and be responsible
We are offering non-stop activities to our little ones. They don't know how to get bored. If they don't do ANYTHING for a few minutes, they really won't die. Yes, it is true that they will come and tell us that they are bored, and we are going to offer them the tablet, or colours to paint or a game. But what if they do nothing for a change? What if we offer them to help us with housework or with a pet instead of offering the tablet? Okay, the glass is not going to be very clean, but they are going to love it. Helping out at home and being responsible will be more beneficial to your success in school and in life.
A vast majority of parents now remote work so personal, professional, social and family responsibilities are increasingly overwhelming. And it is so, so easy for us to offer the child a little screen or put on a movie because they get absorbed and “stop bothering”. But here's the problem. Children need time to play outside and play with other children to learn social skills. No technology can - at least not yet - replace social contact to learn skills.
Children should not be the boss at home
My daughter does not eat vegetables. My son does not eat fish. What is happening? Should modern homes be a child dictatorship? We are not doing our children any good when we give them what they want and even less when what they ask for is also unhealthy.
Okay, fine, the theory is very easy, but how do we manage to calm the frustration when they are in another dimension with their tantrums? From Soul Mates we recommend full attention or mindfulness. On our YouTube channel you can find exercises prepared for our little ones to help calm their tantrums and learn to breathe deeply. We also recommend subscribing to our OMM-CREDIBLE ACTIVITIES where we will offer you more tips so that the kids learn to deal with their emotions and tantrums. Sssshttt, they are not just for them, you can enjoy them as a family, they really work.
Written by Mariona - Soul Mates team member and mindful mum of 11 year old girl and 13 year old boy.