What to do if the ‘magic wears off’?

Sometimes you will have ‘days’. Days when it doesn’t matter how hard you work the app, tempers fray, arguments are had, respect levels waver.

Sometimes you will have ‘days’.  Days when it doesn’t matter how hard you work the app, tempers fray, arguments are had, respect levels waver.

The key here, is consistency.  Remember back to a time potentially not so long ago when these hard days were REGULAR, if not the norm.  The reality is, you are living with tiny humans who are learning how to well, human.  They are not robots.  They will have ‘off days’ just as us adults do.  Take a look at the day or two leading up to this ‘off day’…. Were there late nights? Party’s where they had a large amount of junk food?  Are they or have they been unwell?  All of these things, plus many many more, can affect our moods.  The most important thing to remember on this day is CONSISTENCY.  And to remember that kids are literally designed to test boundaries.  It’s how they learn what is ok behavior and what is not.  Both in your home/family and, out in the big wide world.  I read an excellent quote once that went something like: What is the first thing you do when you get in a roller coaster and pull down the harness? You test it.  You pull it, tug on it, try and get out of it because, you want to know that no matter what way that rollercoaster throws you, you will be safe. Children, particularly older kids and teens, do the same to us as parents.  We set a boundary (pull down the harness), and they will push and pull at it to make sure it will stick. To make sure they are safe.

So on these ‘off days’:

Remember back to the time when these ‘days’ were the norm. Perspective is key, and will help you manage these hopefully now infrequent moments.

Have a quick assessment of the environment/cause of the attitude change. This will help you AND your child have a little grace for where they are at. (“You seem to be easily upset today Noah, you’ve had a couple of late nights this week with events so you’re probably pretty tired! That’s normal but, not a great excuse for an attitude.  Let’s have an early night and reset!")  Sometimes kids themselves don’t even know why they’re feeling the way they are so helping them identify a logical reason helps them deal with negative behavior, and have grace for others when they also are feeling a bit down/cranky/angry.  Being able to identify our emotions, how they are affecting us and, having empathy for others when their behaviors are affecting us is a great skill to develop as kids!

Stay consistent.  When they’re yanking at that harness/boundary to see if it will stick, now is the time to be intentional with your parenting and communication! Keep up with their thumbs, calmly, and stick to your/their boundaries.  It’s a great lesson ultimately for them on how to both respect other people’s boundaries and when they’re a bit older, stick to their own.

Cherie, Mum of 4 amazing teens + Founder Thumsters Parenting App.