Wasn’t it just yesterday that he/she was an angelic baby who cooed in your arms and laughed with glee at every little thing you did? Now he is screaming, “You are a stupid mommy!” when you won’t buy him the doughnut at the grocery store; or “Ugh, you’re so annoying!” when you ask her to pick up her room; or “I hate you!” when you won’t let him go to the after-prom party.
In her blog post “How to Respond to Your Child’s Hurtful Words,” blogger Nina Garcia of Sleeping Should Be Easy gives nine strategies for responding with respect, love, and confidence during these heated interactions with your children. One of her great suggestions includes acknowledging your child’s emotions:
“As hurtful as it is to hear insults hurled at you, these are still your child’s emotions, however poorly they may be expressed. It’s normal and okay for him to feel frustrated, annoyed, or sad. We can’t chastise them for not feeling happy all the time.
How to acknowledge their emotions? Should you need to respond to your child right away, simply say, ‘I’m sorry you feel that way.’ Once he’s able to listen, you can discuss the emotions he felt: ‘Seems like you felt hurt earlier because you thought…’”
To read all nine of Nina’s great strategies for deescalating conflict with your kids, click over to her blog!