Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Could Do Without The Back-Talk...

What do you do when your kid talks back to you? Any suggestions?

I’m at the stage where my 4-year-old knows how to push my buttons...with the word "no". If you were to walk by my house on any given day, you may hear raised voices and defiant cries. In an attempt to better deal with these trying times, I’ve been doing a lot of reading about why kids do what they do. And, when it comes to defiance, it’s a completely normal developmental stage – more about kids asserting their independence than wanting to make us miserable. (Good to know!)

The experts admit that when power struggles happen, many parents feel a sense of urgency to gain control over their kids; they feel that this is a sign their child will run amok later in life. In fact, (and I quote Today’s Parent magazine) “obedience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be; after all, we want to raise a child who has the gumption to stand firm in the face of peer pressure down the road.”  True... but, isn’t it always easier said than done? I mean, when it’s YOUR kid who's refusing to leave the local pool when all the other kids have willingly done so, it's tough to think “hey, this is normal!”. I have definitely learned that I don't need to control my child, and when I loosen the reigns and give her a bit of slack, she's more open to my requests. I've also tried to make sure I devote a good amount of time each day to her and her alone; time she knows she has me all to herself (when her little brother is napping). This has helped build a more cooperative bond between us. 

This parenting gig is definitely challenging… and, one that doesn’t end at 5 o’clock! But, if I treat these moments as opportunities to build up my child's confidence, mould her wonderful, witty, personality, and help her realize her full potential, then it's all worth it. What an exciting and inspiring challenge, indeed.

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