I guess I am a hard person to figure out – or so I have been told. A couple of my kids’ friends told them that I am “hard to read.” They can’t figure out if I am angry or not. I think it all stems from having to deal with my children – especially my boys. Both of my sons are challenging, and I learned early on that it was often best to pause before I reacted to bad behavior (much to my mother’s chagrin). I needed to figure out in my mind what the best strategy was in dealing with the moment at hand. The first reaction needed to be no reaction – no emotion, just a calm demeanor. That in itself helped to slow down the situation. Then as I moved along I could figure out how I could help to diffuse whatever was going on at the time. Don’t get me wrong – I was no doormat. I was firm when I needed to be – took away toys, grounded them, restrained them if need be. If it was a safety issue, I needed to react faster but still quickly decide the best course of action. When Asa was about three, he decided it would be fun to run away from me in a busy grocery store parking lot. He stuck his tongue out, put his hands up to his ears and yelled, “Nanny Nanny Boo Boo!” I was terrified he would get hit by a car and started to go after him – but he kept darting away. Then I stopped and stood still. Which caused him to stop and stand still. Slowly I was able to get closer to him until I was close enough to grab him and throw him in the car. THEN I went ballistic and told him if he ever did that again, he would get into a lot of trouble, Mister! There have been times where I am sure that other people saw me as a bad parent because I would not react when my son Jake yelled in public, kicked at things, or created a scene – I would just get him out as quickly as I could. The worst thing to do with Jake when he is agitated is to yell at him – it just escalates the situation. I am sure it appears to others that I am not dealing with the behavior when I actually am – by removing him from the situation and THEN diffusing the behavior in a calmer environment. And the main reason I do this is because I love my kids so much and I want them to succeed in life. For success, they need a calm parent – who is also firm and able to decide fair consequences for bad behavior. I think my kids trust me – they know I will always love them even when I don’t like what they do. To me THAT is being a good parent.
Cold and Icy on the Outside, Soft and Fuzzy Within
07 May This entry was published on May 7, 2013 at 5:41 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged ADD, ADHD, bad behavior, bad parent, behavior, bipolar, calm, challenging, child, emotion, kids, love, ODD, tantrum. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.