Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Child Protest - What To Do About It?

Our children are growing fast right in front of our eyes and yet not always do we notice the changes in them. The wake-up call -  a strong objection to our decision or suggestion often comes as a surprise for which not all of us are ready. Sometimes we don't even realize that it is our own stronger and authoritative reaction that provokes the child's protest in the first place. There are no rules how to handle these situations, because each situation is unique and even under similar circumstances people react differently depending on their personality, upbringing, etc. There are, however, some common situations and knowing a bit more about them can help us handle best our own cases.

Case 1: This Is Mine!

Holding to a toy or an object as if holding to dear life is a typical reaction for younger kids. It clearly shows that the kid starts to develop strong sense of ownership, but still cannot comprehend the principle of sharing. Showing your anger and forcing the kid to let go of his own thing can only worsen the situation. At this moment there is no point of explaining to him he has to share because obviously he is too young and too upset to understand. Best is to try and distract the kid and then calmly show him you will not give in to his wishes. You must however,  slowly and patiently, one step at a time start teaching him about ownership and sharing.

 Case 2: This Is Not Fair!

You've probably  heard this countless times. Being angry and forceful won't help at all. Try to talk to your kid and explain that sometimes even parents have to do things they don't feel like doing. This will make the kid feel understood and trusted and it will be much easier for him to accept your argument.

Case 3: I Want This!

This is another popular form of protest, which typically starts with choosing clothing. No need to get angry or upset with your kid over this. First of all, it shows your kid feels grown up enough to want to be independent and make their own choice. You will have to teach them about independence and making choices in life anyway, so why not use this first opportunity to start doing exactly this? Make a point though that one's opinion and wishes have to be expressed politely.

Case 4: I Hate You!

Yes, many of us have heard this statement and it can bring some to tears. But that is really a childish and immature reaction. When one is very angry or upset they can blurt out things they don't really mean, especially young kids. And that's exactly the case. Don't take it personally and don't get upset. Apparently your kid strongly disagrees with your decision and they don't know a better way to express their protest. Keep calm and wait until the kid calms down too. Then explain your argument and point out you don't appreciate such attitude. The kid will not only understand you, he will feel your caring and love and next time he disagrees with you he will know how to state his arguments better. Until then - and hopefully for all the time to come - you will most sincerely be proclaimed the coolest parent ever.

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