Parenting In Focus: Children are delightful … most of the time

  • Wednesday, September 29, 2021 1:30am
  • Life

Children are one of life’s joys. They add so many things to our lives. But none of these positives offsets the frustrations when they are not delightful. The frustration of being a parent is one of our greatest challenges.

What do you do when our child is not delightful?

Try to remember the problem is temporary; things will improve if you handle the situation well.

Try not to overreact. Many things your child does wrong are because she is still learning how to do the right thing.

Some parents try to stop their child from becoming angry and throwing tantrums by giving him what he wants. That works for a while — but not for long. When you try to keep him happy all the time, you prevent him from learning how to take care of his needs and how to learn to calm himself. These are skills he needs in life, and giving in is not the solution.

Remember your child wants you to be happy with her. She wants to please you. See if you can make this bad situation into a positive one by showing her a better way to do what she has done incorrectly.

Let you child know you love him and that you will help him learn the right way. He depends on you and your example. You don’t want to try to correct the problem by setting a bad example with too strong of a response. Give him a chance to see how you handle anger correctly.

When your child does things wrong, you have a chance to help her do things right. Look at this situation as a new chance rather than as a disaster.

Tips in relaxing

Your job as a parent is very stressful and it’s important that you find ways to relax yourself when your child is crying, the house is messy, the oven’s beeping and this weekend’s babysitter bails out all at once.

Next time the demands of parenthood are getting the better of you, try one of these relaxing exercises:

• Slow your breathing little by little, until you can count to ten between each breath

• Tense up your arm muscles while you inhale, hold it for a few seconds, then relax them while you exhale; do this for different muscle groups. Then finish by doing your whole body

• Visualize a calm scene; even though it is only in your head, just imagining low stress conditions allows you to think productive, healthy thoughts about real life

• Use encouraging self-talk; take a thought like, “I can’t get him to behave. I must be a bad parent,” and replace it with something like, “Kids this age can be so difficult sometimes. How sad but things are bound to get better”

Stress is a natural part of life, and you’ll never totally escape it. Don’t beat yourself up. Just do your best to catch yourself and cool down when your blood is boiling. You will be a happier parent and a better example!

Cynthia Martin is the founder of the First Teacher program and former executive director of Parenting Matters Foundation, which publishes newsletters for parents, caregivers and grandparents. For more information, email to info@firstteacher.org or call 360-681-2250.

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Right: Pieces of Civil War veteran Moore Waldron’s headstone can be seen in the right-hand corner of this photograph. Historical preservationist Mick Hersey, left, and the Taylor family of Gig Harbor returned the pieces to the Pioneer Memorial Park of Sequim for their friends the Englands (Moore’s descendants). The Englands read in the Sequim Gazette about the Sequim Garden Club’s preservation efforts at the park and decided to return these pieces for restoration. Moore now will have two markers in the park, as the Veteran’s Administration commissioned a new stone for Waldron in 2017 — an article about which can also be found on the Sequim Gazettte’s website. Moore moved to Sequim with his family in 1905 and died in 1908. Moore had five children and has descendants in Sequim and Pierce County as well as other places. Moore’s great-grandson is the founder of the Waldron Endoscopy Center in Tacoma, according to Cheryl England. Sequim Gazette photo by Emily Matthiessen
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