Sunday, October 14, 2012

Peaceful Parent has demanding daughter

I want to be a peaceful parent, but lately it feels like I’m more just a weak one. My 2.5 year old daughter has become really demanding, and where I thought I was being understanding now I just seem to give in to everything she asks. If I don’t give in, she just throws a fit, so I try to understand how she feels, and hug her, but she just gets mad at me. What am I doing wrong?

Good for you for sparking the desire to be a peaceful parent, it’s a wonderful journey. There’s one thing that’s important to remember, that is that in order to be a peaceful parent, or person, you have to feel it. If you’re feeling weak, than something is off. That’s fine, its good really, because when something suddenly feels off, it means we can shift perspective and stir things up a bit.
What is your perspective of your daughter? Often when a child is acting off, or in ways that make us want to cry, we form a new view of them and we see that behaviour in everything they do, rather than every once and a while. However, the truth is that our children have come here as pure, positive beings and when they aren’t jiving, when they aren’t feeling themselves, then they act out from the shear pain of it. They haven’t yet been conditioned to simply grin and bear it. They simply can’t hid their frustration and upset from not feeling themselves. So before dealing with how to not give in to her demands, the question becomes where are her demands coming from? She’s feeling off and she’s looking for things that will make her feel on again. When she isn’t getting what she thinks will make her feel better , than she’s mad at you because you won’t help her get on.
At 2.5 to 3 there is so much that goes on. A child is learning about how the world works and interpreting it for how they feel about it, what they like, what they don’t like and how to move forward and grow more. Things like walking and talking are no longer challenges, they’ve lost interest in their toys and their old games, they long for a new adventure. However, they are also old enough to start learning about consideration and taking care of others so I suggest this.
First find a grounded place within, focusing on whatever makes you jive. Appreciate the simple things, focus on things that make you feel better, watch a funny movie, stare at the stars, whatever makes you sink into wellbeing. Then offer up the image of a day with your daughter where you play, you laugh together and all is well. Then watch for opportunities the next day.
Set aside a time to spark your child. Get a cardboard box and make it something, have a tea party, play with figurines in a toy house, play together and show her a new way of playing, something a little older. Challenge her with nursery rhymes and do silly dances, find your inner child and play together. If at any time she has a fit and yells, than ask her simply if she wants you to talk like that? Remind her that if everyone in the house talked like that than it would sound awful. Then shift focus to a different game or topic so she can chose to stay feeling bad or jump on board the fun train.
Feeling off starts to be a habit for our 2-3 year olds. Sometimes it just takes us refocusing them to the little joys of life which can spark new life. Also, sometimes change in circumstance, holidays, fighting being sick, or visitors can chuck them out of feeling themselves and they don’t understand why so they react to the offness. You are right to be understanding, but rather than offer sympathy offer alternatives.

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