Too many mothers have a hard time when their kids start “acting up,” which can be anything from throwing tantrums, changing into a little hulk, throwing things, and basically (and suddenly) getting really angry at the world. Then again, these are nothing new. In fact, in the parenting world, it’s old news. Mundane. Normal.
What’s also normal is being worried about our naturally temperamental children. To help us deal with them, here is an age-by-age guide to their aggression and teaching them self-control.
- Babies: Temperamental since birth
For many parents, the war starts from infancy. Some babies just happen to be incredibly cranky and fussy, compared to fellow babies who are perfectly fine with being left alone in their rockers. You just have to accept that babies are all different, although there are some evidences that babies’ behavior out of the womb had something to do with how they spent time in the womb. Meaning to say, a particularly stressful pregnancy can have negative effects on the baby due to his or her exposure to stress hormones early on. Either way, it’s not the end of the world for any mom.
All you really have to do, in case you have one of those very aggressive babies, is to shower your baby with lots of care and attention. Those who lack these things not only feel unloved at an early, early age but they also get irritated easily, allowing them to show anger and even sadness throughout infancy. Don’t be fooled by a baby or toddler’s lack of understanding of the world, they can sense it when they’re not being attended to!
- Preschoolers: Growing pains
When your toddlers start being aware of the world and their feelings, they often have difficulty dealing with it. Imagine feeling frustration, anger and sadness and not knowing what they mean or what they’re for! Add the fact that they’ll be fighting for their own independence, and you’ve got a troubled preschooler and a struggling parent.
How to deal? Well, in this case, tolerating your little kid’s anger just because they’re immature is not the right thing to do. Why? Because at this age, they should already have rules and practice consistency. While they practice when and where they can be themselves and do whatever they want, they should still remember that the parents is the boss. Therefore, if they know that they shouldn’t do something, make them follow through and let them know there will be consequences for any wrongdoing. If you want a disciplined child, be consistent and don’t offer empty threats!
- Schooling kids: Age of logic
Thankfully, things do get easier around this time because kids at about age seven will be able to reason out within themselves what made them frustrated or angry and their parents will also have an easier time talking things through with them. Still, kids are still human and there will be many, many times when he or she will get frustrated. All parents have to do is be there to help explain things well until the child can understand the situation further.
A good example is when a youngster feels threatened, angry and perhaps jealous of a new baby’s arrival. It is up to us parents to ask what their troubled older child may be feeling and to help address and acknowledge these feelings, so they don’t feel more left out. In this case, you can always make it easier for the older child by involving him in anything new baby related.
- Adolescents: The difficult teen years
Once your children reach puberty, they’ll feel more entitled to become grown ups even when they’re actually not. Sure, it’s good to practice being responsible and authoritative, but during a time when their hormones are surging and they’re more emotional, they need to understand that most of their impulses should be regulated by their parents for them to mature better.
The only answer for this kind of difficulty, especially when parents of adolescents are usually experiencing midlife crises, is to try their best to see eye-to-eye with their teens. Be open-minded and practice being close enough to your kid. Let him or her know you’re simply guiding them because you love them. The truth is, when you become successful, you’ll have one of the most fun, learning experiences with your teen.
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