Take a few minutes and google “why are kids angry?“.
I googled it because I was curious. I was flipping through one of my few parenting books that I actually own. Up until starting this blog, I never read much about parenting. I just lived it. I figured it out based on what I wanted the end product to look like. A happy family.
Were my kids happy every moment of every day? No, but that wasn’t my job, either. I am not the entertainer-in chief. My job was to raise them to be respectful, well-adjusted adults. I’m not the kind of mom that ‘allows my kids to own their anger’. I know, I sound politically incorrect and…you know, whatever – but can we please step back a moment here and realize that kids have very little to actually be angry about, except bad parenting. So why do we have parents pleading with their kids to behave? (Hint: Because they never let them know who was in charge.)
Read on for my thoughts on obedience:
Parenting is always challenging us to figure out what our kids need to be their best selves.
I thought about what I needed to function my best. It made sense to me to make sure I gave those same benefits to my kids, every single day. Good sleep, decent food, more sleep and a workable schedule…and more sleep. That was my foundation to every day, for me as well as my kids. If their needs are being met…love, time, boundaries, sleep, and food – most of the anger never happens in the first place. But these five factors are huge.
Let’s take a peek at them.
Most kids know they have this one. If you’re taking the time to read this blog, then your child knows you love them. Be confident in that.
This one is a bit trickier for some. I was able to be a stay-at-home mom while my kids were young, and I am a huge advocate for making the arrangements to be home while you have littles running around. I realize that this is difficult for many but think long and hard about it. Can one of you work part time? It’s a huge sacrifice, I get it. All I am saying is those early years can’t be repeated, do everything in your power to do them right the one and only chance you get.
Set them up and stick to them. Every day. If the boundaries are set for respectful behavior early, you’ll be in a win-win situation.
This is critical, folks. Teach them how to sleep. Don’t ask if they want a nap. (Really? I haven’t met too many 3-year-olds that can make that decision on their own) Be the parent. Be in charge. Be confident. Put them to bed.
Don’t overwhelm them with choices. They eat what you put in front of them. But try to put one or two things you know they like on their plate. I let my kids pick whatever they wanted for lunch (within reason) and they knew dinner was whatever I cooked, take it or leave it. And sometimes they left it…they all survived.
And so back to my original question…
After raising nine very distinct personalities, I felt like I needed an answer to this question. You see, I have never experienced ‘angry children’. In 28 years I never had one of them yell at me, “I hate you!” My kids have never been allowed to disrespect me. Have they tried? Of course! They’re kids…need I say more?
Many parents will say that is because I had ‘easy’ kids. Maybe that’s so…but all nine? In full disclosure, there are many issues I never had to maneuver. But is that because I had easy kids or is it because the issues were headed off early before they became actual issues.
I did my homework.
The same went for #6 when I noticed he wasn’t able to put together a children’s puzzle. I researched and worked on his spatial skills. (ok, so I may have missed that he was a lefty, but, really, who’s perfect?!?)
Sibling rivalry? Fighting? Of course, I battled those, too. But I headed it off every single day and redirected their behavior so it almost never actually became fighting. They just learned how to disagree and still respect each other through the process.
But, at risk of sounding repetitive, I had a plan in place. Parenting is not a “winging it” kind of venture.
During my Google search, I read things like
“To help our kids be emotionally healthy in the long-run, it’s critical that we honour their feelings and accept and allow the anger.”
“Nobody likes to feel controlled – even children. Give your child as much healthy power as possible. Kids need their “power” quota met on a daily basis“
Seriously? I guarantee my kids ‘power quota’ is not met every day.
Power quota...I’m trying really hard not to be snarky here, but sometimes it is so difficult! I mean, c’mon!
Remember – love, time, boundaries, sleep, and food. If they have these every day, with consistency, you won’t have to worry about ‘angry kids’
Will you be exhausted? Absolutley. I was.
Did my efforts have the absolute best possible payoff? Not a doubt in my mind.