"You always recommend roughhousing,
and my kids do love it, but what do I do when they jump all over and get
too wild? Last week they broke the lamp and there was glass all over.
I was yelling like a crazy woman. I don't know which scared them more -- me or the glass." - Camille
Roughhousing is great for kids. Moving helps work out emotion. Laughter is even more important, since it vents anxiety and creates more oxytocin, the bonding hormone. Roughhousing builds self esteem, especially for kids who are less assertive, or smaller than other kids their age. And like other young mammals, when kids "play" fight, they learn to manage aggression, which makes them less likely to lash out when they're angry.
So when kids wrestle, pillow fight, and roughhouse, it's terrific for them. But it isn't always so good for our houses. And parents often worry that sooner or later, someone will get hurt. READ POST
"Dr. Laura....In your last post, you warned
parents against fighting in front of our kids. But as you always say,
we're not perfect, we're human! What are we supposed to do when we
disagree? And isn't it good for kids to see parents work out
disagreements, and make up? And isn't okay if spouses don't always agree
-- we can still love each other."
Yes, Yes, Yes! The nature of human relationships is that we will disagree. It's wonderful for children to see their parents model how to work out disagreements. It's important for them to know that we don't always agree, but we always love each other. And it's critical for kids to see us make up.
That doesn't mean it's okay to yell at each other in front of our kids. The research shows that a disagreement followed by working things through and making up can teach kids valuable lessons about working through conflicts constructively. But the research also shows that yelling always affects kids badly, even if you make up eventually. Yelling is not constructive conflict resolution, ever. It's a tantrum. (And no, it's not "authentic." What's authentic is the tears and fears under the yelling.)
So given that conflicts are inevitable, how can you best handle them when you live with kids?
1. When you or your partner start to get irritated, start by doing exactly what you would do (or hope to do!) if you were irritated with your child – Breathe! Notice your upset. Remind yourself that you love your partner and you can work this out.
2. If you can keep your equilibrium to discuss the issue, do so. Your kids will benefit from watching you: READ POST
"Yesterday my husband and I had an argument at dinner time in front of the kids. My four year old daughter yelled at us to ‘Be quiet!’ … My two year old had a tough time going to bed, which is unusual for him. Could that have had to do with mommy and daddy arguing?” READ POST
"Behind the anger, behind the
disrespect, and behind the manipulation is a scared child in desperate
need of connection, love, and acceptance. ... If you show up for your
child in a different state, he can only be different...When you are in a
loving state, you automatically do the right thing...Love never fails."
- Heather T. Forbes
What does Valentine’s Day have to do with parenting? Love. The purpose of Valentines Day is to celebrate love of all kinds. The purpose of parenting, quite obviously, is to raise children. But I believe that parenting has a secret purpose--to transform us, the parents. Parenting helps us heal ourselves. Live more fully. Learn to love unconditionally.
We all forget that, of course. Everyday life often seems like a series of struggles to get our kids to sleep through the night, use the potty, brush their teeth, eat their dinner, stop teasing their sibling, do their homework. Those struggles can take all the joy out of parenting.
But it doesn't have to be that way. It's true that we don't actually have control over our kids, who, after all, are fully human and will make their own choices. And it's true that our ideas of what our child "should" do won't always align with our child's ideas. But there are ways to avoid the struggle to begin with, by staying connected, seeing things from your child's perspective and looking for win/win solutions. And even once there are hurt feelings and anger on both sides, even once it feels like you're trapped in resentment, there's a way out. READ POST
"Let it go. The moment you
feel your hackles rising, let it go. If you let it upset you, what
follows is anger, and to quote Yoda, that leads to the dark
side....Notice … and interrupt it. Find your own way of accepting things
with grace." -- Steve Errey
All parents get angry at their children. And there's nothing wrong with anger; anger is a message. The problem is that we can't hear that message clearly while we're angry. In the heat of the moment, we think the message is that we should hurt our child. In fact, the message might be that we need to put him to bed an hour earlier. READ POST
Today is Step 2 of Ten Steps to Unconditional Love: Unconditional love is like a muscle. It needs a daily workout.
"Love is not a feeling, love is an action...Love is as love does." -- M. Scott Peck
Yesterday, Step 1 (How to Forgive Yourself) encouraged you to renounce perfection and shoot higher -- for love! If you change nothing else, that will change your life. But why stop there? Why not really give your love muscle a workout? READ POST
"Sending children away to get control
of their anger perpetuates the feeling of 'badness" inside
them...Chances are they were already feeling not very good about
themselves before the outburst and the isolation just serves to confirm
in their own minds that they were right." -- Otto Weininger,Ph.D.
When our kids get angry, it pushes buttons for most of us. We want to be loving parents. Why is our child lashing out like this? READ POST