Many parents complain that their children are so difficult to parent. A child who is always full of anger, which he eventually throws out inappropriately, with tantrums, naughty words or subtle disobedience.
Let’s make one thing clear, every child is different. No one can know what kind of needs this little creature he has put on the earth may have, even though he obviously wants the best for him.
Difficult children and pent up emotions
Emotions are the source of human energy. It is the aspect that should guide children in life to understand not only themselves, but later in life the whole world.
Difficult children usually cause their parents a lot of stress, so that some parents even start to feel helpless at some point. It’s not an easy topic to talk about. In fact, books are not always helpful, nor are experiences with other children or the advice of other parents.
Your child, the difficult child, is unique and special. And if there’s one thing he always needs, it’s understanding. In general, these are children with many hidden demands and struggle to find a way to release these emotions.
Let’s give an example. Think of a child who had a bad day at school. He comes home in the afternoon and when his parents ask him what happened, the child reacts very negatively. Therefore, his parents decide to punish him and he has to stay in his room for the rest of the afternoon. What does this get them? Have they solved the problem with this? No not at all.
A blocked emotion is a thorn surrounded by a high stone wall. If we make the wall even higher, the thorn will only be hidden even deeper. So the first step is to break down this wall brick by brick through communication and affection.
What are difficult children like?
If the difficult kid builds walls around him, don’t complete it by building entire cities around these walls. Do not isolate your child. Don’t neglect him. And don’t leave him alone. We all know it can be difficult to get through to children. However, it is important to remember the following aspects:
- A difficult child is not always the result of a bad upbringing. So try not to blame anyone.
- Some children have high demands and ask for much more than the ‘average’ child. This is part of their personality, it is part of who they are and this does not mean that we as parents have gone wrong.
- A demanding child who does not get what he wants or does not know how to express his wishes eventually becomes frustrated. Often he is completely overwhelmed by an endless series of emotions: anger alternating with sadness, boredom or rage…
- Difficult children require a lot of attention, understanding, support and even creativity on the part of their parents.
We should be the designers of their worlds and create a safe world for them in which they can feel comfortable enough to release the emotions they carry within them. Emotions that allow them to get to know themselves, to let off steam and to feel more free and secure, allowing them to successfully get through any situation that defines them throughout their lives.
How to help difficult children manage their emotions
We now know that what a difficult child needs more than anything else is attention. We need to have some strategies in place to creatively meet their needs so that we can help them cope with the emotional world that sometimes overwhelms and blocks them.
Remember that emotional intelligence is not an innate gift at all. It’s an agility. It is then up to us, as parents, to pass these strategies and knowledge on to our children.
How can we help our difficult child to develop emotional intelligence so that he can direct and shape his pent-up emotions and learn to express these emotions appropriately?
When we blame a child for the mistakes he makes, if we don’t give him enough credit and scold him for his reactions, we only arouse more anger and fear in him. Remember that these kinds of children are very vulnerable deep down. They have very little self confidence.
Use simple statements like : ‘I trust you’, ‘I know you can do this’, ‘I know you are special’, ‘I know you are a very brave child and that is why I love you’… Positive statements evoke positive emotions and positive emotions evoke self-confidence.
Communication that does not judge, compare or punish
Some parents make the mistake of comparing their difficult child to his siblings or to other children. However, this is not the right thing to do. Just as it is not right to start a conversation with sentences like: ‘You are lazy, you never listen, you constantly misbehave…’ . Try to avoid this type of communication and follow these tips:
- Don’t try to dig for or interrogate information. Find out when your child feels most comfortable talking.
- Offer him self-confidence, closeness and understanding. Pay attention to the way you speak, to your tone. This is a fundamental aspect of communicating with children.
- Try to communicate with your child daily and continuously.
- Don’t laugh or be sarcastic about the things your child says. What he says is important to him. And if he gets the feeling that you don’t understand what he has to say, he will be less honest with you in the future.
Promote an inner balance in your child.
Teach him that every emotion can be turned into words. That anger has a form, that sadness can be relieved by sharing it, that crying is not bad at all and that you will always be there for him to listen to him.
Teach him to breathe, relax and manage his emotions through certain activities that allow him to let off steam and distract himself… Teach him to face the frustrating fact that the world isn’t always the way we would like it to be. accept.
Teach him to listen and talk assertively. Tell him that his voice will always be heard, that everything he has to say is important to you… Teach him to take responsibilities, to appreciate himself in every step he takes and every decision he makes.