Have you ever been completely frustrated with your child because they just can't seem to behave....ever?
I know I used to feel this way about my children. Then I had "lightbulb" moment. I realized it wasn't that my children were awful, they are wonderful unique individuals. I simply was not giving them the tools to succeed in the situations that we were in. I would take them to places where I had unrealistic expectations of them. I learned that I had to realize what my children were able to do and how long they would be able to do it for.
The world has unrealistic expectations of children. They are expected to sit and behave at all times. Heck I don't like to sit and behave at all times. Sometimes I like to stand or walk, sometimes I have an opinion about what is going on. Though very often we do not allow children the same courtesy we give other adults. Far too often children are seen as a nuisance and a problem. This falls greatly into the language you use with your children. Letting your child know that they are a problem in your life through your language, can in fact make them a problem. Now let's sit down , take notes and see if you have an ah ha moment too!
Your children need tools to succeed. Being successful in life can do wonders for self esteem and self motivation. If they are regularly put into situations where they will likely fail the expectations set before them, it can have major damaging effects. Have you ever had a meeting or something to do and you just knew you were not at your best, so you cancelled your event? I know I have. There are just some days when you know you just can't deal with a certain situation. When we are adults, we have an easier time conveying that we can't handle things. We know our limits and when we have reached them other adults tend to respect our personal limits. For children they don't always have the language to convey what is going on. Often they can be tired or hungry. These are usually quick fixes. There are time though when it is more then that. They could be utterly bored with what is going on, they could be feeling stressed about the situation they could possibly not even understand what is going on.
Now what do I mean about being aware? Generally speaking you know your child better then anyone. You know their signs for tired and hunger. You know triggers for their behavior, like food or certain environments. There may be some people who don't know these things about their children and that is what I am talking about, being aware. You need to be aware of your child's needs. If you don't want to go out for lunch then feed them before or bring snacks with you. Kids tend to eat more often and while out they tend to be bombarded with food, all of which look so much yummier then what they have at home. I know for my boys feeding them good real food can be a major change in their behavior . Making sure they have napped and completed their nap also goes a long way in having children who are capable of dealing with situations.
As parents and caregivers we need to set up an environment for our children that they can be successful. That is not saying that everything has to work in their favor. Though you need to be aware of the situation and if you are intentionally putting your child in a situation that is going to cause issues and you know it, you should take responsibility. Yes children will eventually need to learn how to control themselves, but they need to learn in small successful doses. This is key and very important!. In small doses it is easier for children to learn what is expected and succeed at it. Even if it just means giving your child a break in the middle of a busy day to get their wiggles out. Take them somewhere where they are allowed to run and play, or have a rest. A carefully planned out day with children should involve breaks for them, something that they are going to enjoy and build up your relationship.
Your child's best tool for success if you. How do you view your child? are they amazing and wonderful? or are they awful little brats you can't wait to get away from? Give your child a chance to show you how wonderful they are. They are truly wonderful if you allow them the ability to show you. Allow them to be themselves and stop trying to turn them into the story book fantasy you want.
Now my children are not perfect, and I don't want them to be. I want them to be happy free thinking individuals who enjoy life. I have expectations of them, and they are fair and reasonable. They have responsibilities, but their biggest responsibility is to have fun and be a child. I take them on errands with me , though I avoid doing many things in one day. Most things can wait, and the stuff that can't I get done first. I make sure they are fed and rested. Once again most things can wait a day or a few hours. I also talk to my children the day before if we have plans for time out. That way they have an awareness of what is going on in their lives. they should be allowed just as much input into their daily lives as you and your partner does. While yes some things are non negotiable there are many things that are.
The biggest key thing to remember that your child is a person just like you. They are not lesser in anyway and they deserve the same amount of respect as you do.