If you’ve ever tried to control your unruly toddler or your defiant preteen, you understand how impossible it can be. The bad behaviors that you witness (crying, stomping the floor, rolling the eyes) are often just symptoms of underlying thoughts or anxieties.
My 13-year-old daughter refuses to get out of the car with me at the mall. She argues and slumps away from me, until finally I just leave her there. I don’t understand why she acts that way!
Our goal as parents is not to control behaviors, but rather to teach our children how to calm, soothe themselves, and self-regulate their own behavior. What does that mean for our home life? It means promoting physical, social, and emotional wellness. It means teaching your child strategies to calm themselves when agitated or frustrated, release their energy in positive ways, and understand their own body so they can better understand when they need a break.