If you think you have to wait until 14 or 15 to experience teenager syndrome, think again.
I don’t know about you but for me I don’t need to wait that long to experience cranky behavior from my child. Maybe it’s a case of adolescence comes knocking early.
In recent weeks, my wife and I notice that J (who is now 11) is very short-tempered and sometimes she can get highly emotional. Especially when she hears something that she doesn’t like.
But the problem is the definition of “like” is very subjective and vague. What we think is fine is not fine to her. Whenever she hears something not to her liking (a comment, for example) or against her will, she will start shouting or even crying uncontrollably.
That applies only to girls, you ask? Seriously, I don’t know. I will tell you when K grows a little older.
Back to J…
We were shocked when we first saw this. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do when my wife asked me.
However, there are a few “principles” we need to follow whether you are dealing with young children or adolescents:
1) Accept the child totally – Don’t single out your child for being “special.” Accept him no matter what he has done. As in my case, I have to accept that J behaves differently. I can’t tell her that why she misbehaves while Jenny next door of the same age is doing perfectly fine. She must feel that she is accepted as a person and she is loved no matter what she did.
2) Acknowledge the child’s feelings – I have a confession to make. I still make this mistake. I go against this principle especially when I am angry. I lecture my kid in a harsh tone until he feels that his feelings are not recognized. This is something that I need to work on. When your child is sad or angry, be cool about it. Don’t refute, don’t lecture. Listen and acknowledge his feelings. That’s all you need to do and see how things magically unfold.
3) Teaching can be done after the event – I know you can’t wait to tell your child he has done something wrong. But wait. Wait until he has calmed down before you start telling him what’s right and what’s wrong. Show him how he can avoid getting angry for no reason. Show him how he can react differently when the same thing happens again. All this is done after the event – not during the event.
More parenting principles can be found in my book “The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting.”
For more info about the book, goto: