What do you do when your rather predictable child’s behavior changes? For the worse? For the better?
Recently I heard from a friend who has three kids. One is still in the toddler stage and my friend and her spouse are just coping. Their two older children are causing them to rip out their hair and beards (on the man).
Before I didn’t have to remind my girls to do anything. They just did it automatically. Now! I’ve got to remind them every step of the way. Comb your hair. Brush your teeth. Stand up straight. Eat your breakfast. Don’t bite your nails. Their list is just growing longer daily. What am I to do?
I often wonder whether parents actually hear themselves speak about their offspring. Surely, it’s no surprise that at a certain age, kids grow up. What my grandkids call the double digits.
First of all, these single age kids are malleable. They’re more receptive to what mom and dad want of them. They crave approval and seek it out. So, these single digit kids will automatically do what mom and dad ask of them.
However, when these same kids start approaching the golden years of childhood, 10 to 13, that goes by the wayside. These double-digit kids claim their independence. They don’t want mom and dad to keep on telling them stuff. They already know it. Or think they do which is worse.
However, the good news is that eventually, mom and dad will connect with them at a later digit, say around 16 and 17. Why so long?
Because by 16 and 17, they have reached their independence. Although they still tend to lean on mom and dad, they also permit themselves to hear what their parents have to say and follow those directions.
It’s not your newly double-digit kids are against you, mom and dad. It’s just they want to start asserting their independence. To let you know they’re bigger. They’re growing up. They’re not babies anymore. They know the routine. Even if you don’t believe them.
These kids also know that it annoys the hell out of you when their behavior gets out of whack. They are pushing your emotional buttons. Don’t let them. Push back. And tell them. I know that you know this, but I’m going to remind you anyway so when you use the excuse I forgot, I or your teacher won’t let you get away with it.
Next week, behavior changes in adults and what does that mean?