Originally Posted by mommyofshmoo
One of my big problems is that I feel like people expect me to regulate dd's moods as part of discipline. Like, in addition to not damaging things and not throwing tantrums, she's supposed to be outgoing, accommodating and loving all the time.
I find it exhausting. I simply cannot make my kid want to kiss daddy or talk on the phone with grandma. How did displays of affection and a happy mood become "behavior" or "discipline" issues?
Ugh, I hear you on this one (and so many others
). As an adult, I'm allowed to have a bad day. Heck, all I have to do is say the letters, "PMS" and no one bats an eye, "totally understandable." Indeed, as an adult, I can get past my feelings when I need to, but that's because I'm adult. I can be nice to the VERY SLOW and distracted store clerk, but I have the emotional resources to do so. Our kids often times do not, but this doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to have a bad day. Their reality is a tough one, really. Learning new things all the time, and not always the easy way. Being a little kid in a big person world. Being told NO umpteen times a days. Thwarted at this turn and that. Being expected to know how to act at all times, and the horror of being prompted by the library lady to say PLEASE and THANK YOU even after it was SHE who ignored his first (and very polite) request because SHE was distracted by something else. Ugh. Sheesh, if I lived where my son does (and this is with parents who are both wholeheartedly on board with what Kohn has to say), I'd be cranky once and awhile too.
The only thing I can tell you here is that since reading UP, I have just relaxed a ton on this one. I'm NOT responsible for my son's moods (ok, unless like this morning *I* was the one who started out cranky and it became an infectious disease--we worked through it) and his being in a bad one does not constitute "bad behavior." He's entitled as are we all. If it seems like he's going to have a hard time with this outting or that, I might cancel it first off, but if not, I just take into account that he'll need extra help getting through it. Generally, I focus on him, connect as much as I can which helps him deal better with the situation. If it's family, I might say: "Hey guys, you remember what it's like being a kid, sheesh. It's not always easy being the smallest one on the room. We all give each other a break when someone's grumpy, DS is no less deserving."