By Alicia Grace
“Where did this child come from?”
“ My husband acts nothing like this and I never did this when I was a child…”
“I am tired of getting these calls from the teacher and feel like my child is the worst in the classroom.”
Are these some of the questions you ask yourself or statements you make as you get called into the Principal’s office or Childcare center. Do you get calls from neighbors about something your child did or from the parent of a friend at a sleepover or playdate?
First realize that you are not alone. Many parents have this concern but do not always have a safe place to share their feelings in fear they will be judged by others. Parents sometimes also feel that their child’s poor behavior is a negative reflection of them. Parents may ask themselves, “What do I do to help my child develop at a pace I am more comfortable with so they do not embarrass me?”
If you know that you are doing everything in your power to work with your child and discipline them at home but feel that you are still not getting the desire results, be sure to understand the following:
- Often times, provided there are no medical reasons associated with your child’s behavior, the behavior will get better with natural maturation. All children develop at different paces and each child is wired differently. In some areas a child may develop quickly and in other areas you may feel as if they are a slow learner because you have to tell them constantly not to the repeat the same behavior.
- Remember your child will not develop at the pace you want them to mature, but will develop at their own pace no matter how quickly you try to rush the process.
- Some children are naturally impulsive (not at the level of ADHD or ADD) and do what they want and when they want to without thinking about the consequences. With constant redirection and active parenting, often times this behavior can be resolved with patience, constant conversations, appropriate consequences, more structure and time.
- Young children often act like an exaggerated version of the parent. Hence the old adage, “The apple does not fall to far from the tree.” Evaluate your behavior and modify certain behavior patterns if necessary to ensure you are conveying appropriate behavior at all times.
- With your commitment to the parenting process and providing love, patience and assistance, your child will develop to a wonderful and well balanced individual.
- Be patient and make each occurrence a teachable moment to help them understand the impact their actions have. Be creative with their discipline and implement different methods to modify their behavior.
- Commit to being resourceful and open minded and learn new parenting techniques if your current methods are not yielding your desires results. Listen to input from other parents that are willing to honestly share their journey and practical and reasonable methods they may have incorporated in their home to help modify their child’s behaviors when presented with different various challenges. Also, listen to a parenting coach that can assist you with new ideas that you may want to try and execute in your home to improve the desire behavior.
Even though you may often become tired or frustrated, remember that as a committed parent your child not only has someone that will love them unconditionally, but they have a lifelong cheerleader, coach and mentor that will always do their best to set them up for success academically, socially and behaviorally. Never give up, continue to be creative, and continue to make everything a teachable moment with love, grace, respect and patience.