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Helping our Kids deal with Disappointment - Issue 376
April 10, 2015
|Hi there! ....
Easter was a bit strange for me this year - we didn't do any of the studies or focus activities that we have done with the kids over the years. We had our own personal reflections and celebrations, but there were no external celebrations or traditions. This was mostly because we have done those things as tools to teach our children, and though we are always learning about God and his love for us, the actual point of Easter is a part of my children's belief system. So it was different for us. It left me thinking - are there things that we can do to mark this celebration as adults. Something for me to think about!!
This week has been very quiet here on the home front: Peter was away for work, Josh still in Canberra, Naomi on holidays in Queensland with friends. So during the day, when Jess goes to work, it is just Daniel and I rattling around. I have spent a lot of time looking at my commitments and time management and Daniel has started to clean down his room in preparation for painting. It has been a productive week - though relaxing at the same time. Technically Daniel is on 'school holidays' though his goal (and mine) is for him to be productive so he has taken on painting his room, reading a book, and making a costume which ended up being reduced to a sword.
This week I've gone back to sharing my latest article in full here in the newsletter. But if you like to read online you can see it here.
Live life with your Kids!
Helping our Children with Disappointment
This week we’ve had Little Miss here and she is sulking, or throwing a little fit (and it is only little) when she doesn’t get her own way. I’ve been thinking about this and reflecting on different ways I’ve handle this, and not too sure I’m happy with myself. I’ve started to see that when she goes through these motions (and they are almost predictable) that she is communicating – something.
Little kids can’t communicate their emotions very well – big kids struggle at times too! They either don’t fully understand what is going on in their bodies or they don’t have the vocab to explain – but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the emotion! It is our job as parent to help them know themselves, communicate to life’s circumstances and people appropriately, and make wise choices. So how do we handle our kids struggling with disappointment?
When I started thinking about these things I was thinking of sulking, being despondent, pouting, whining, withdrawing – kind of small expressions but it is really the same with tantrums. Tantrums are large expressions of disappointment.
When a child throws a tantrum, we cannot communicate with words to them at all. We need to keep them safe (especially if it is a physical tantrum) and give them time to be receptive. I personally found putting my children in the cot when they were throwing a wobbly, or holding them on my lap (their back to my front) to be the most effective way of handling physical tantrums. This way they were safe – and I was safe from their flailing arms and legs – but we always dealt with it afterwards. I’d offer them love and assurance. I’d help them, prompt them or teach them to find an appropriate response for the situation they were in. Really sulking, pouting and whining is just a small tantrum. I need to have the same strategies.
When our kids throw big tantrums we know what is going on. They are upset about something. We get that! But when it is just a small tantrum (like sulking, pouting, whining) we tend to take it as pure rebellion. And often it is a case of not wanting to do what the adult has said – and I’m not masking that at all but the idea of not wanting too – it is a disappointment. They thought they were the boss, and they found out they weren’t. Disappointment. They thought they were going to get dessert, and they found out they weren’t. Disappointment. They thought they were going to go with Mummy, and they found out they weren’t. Disappointment. They simply have chosen the wrong form of communication to express themselves!
I think this is helpful for big kids too. Hopefully they won’t be throwing themselves on the ground and banging their heads but when disappointments get too big for them, they too struggle to find the right way to communicate their emotions. Have things not gone the way they expected? Have friends let them down? Have they let themselves down?
In order to help them, we need to be aware of the same things (I’ll repeat them, but with ‘teenage’ context in mind) –
Each situation that our children – big kids and little kids – go through will differ. But as a parent we need to be there for them, see what is really going on, and choose the best way to help them.
Last week I blogged Teaching our kids to get along - we can't just leave them and hope for the best - we need to give them the relationship skills they need for healthy relationships.
Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.
Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.
Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?
This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.
Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you.
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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter
Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!
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