Horizon Children

In “Bright side of your child’s bad behavior,” Parenting.com offers parents tips for handling a number of challenging situations. One that parents my find especially difficult is when your child seems to reject you.

As they say, parenting is a job where you have to eventually make yourself obsolete and this process starts as early as the toddler years. Children explore ways to be independent and form their own separate identity throughout childhood—in other words this is not just something that strikes during the teen years.

The article spoke to a mother who was understandably hurt when her son said his day was fun until she ruined it (by picking him up from preschool). In a situation like that,
Parenting.com advises remaining calm and acknowledging your child's feelings and reassuring him or her that despite what was just said you enjoy spending time together.

This early attempt to gain independence is just that—an attempt—your child still needs you. Even though your child has expressed a strong feeling, your becoming overly emotional might unsettle him or her. Your child relies on you for stability and although it may seem counterintuitive, this testing of boundaries is a way to make certain that he or she can still count on you.

Of course, for some parents such a statement would be considered as an example of too much self-expression. As a parent it can be difficult to decide when your child has crossed the line and been disrespectful and needs to be reprimanded and when your child simply needs to have his or her feelings acknowledged. Whatever you choose, it is important to offer some kind of reassurance.