By Guest Blogger Shannon Kincaid, Lower School Counselor at Greensboro Day School
Welcome to the New Year! In a time of making resolutions, consider making a resolution to reframe when you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or burnt out on your parenting journey.
The tips below will help you celebrate your child’s authentic self and help you to refocus on all of the positives that come with parenting. Remember, little ones will only be little for a little!
Frustration: Never-ending questions and the dreaded “Why?”
Reframe: Your child values your opinion and wants to connect with you. Your child sees you as an expert about the world and can’t wait to find out more about what you think! This opportunity for connecting with your child can also offer you time to explore their thoughts and opinions. This is an opportunity to teach your child about sharing, making connections with stories and experiences, and healthy communication strategies. Remember this is also a chance to see how your child sees the world. Don’t forget to explore by asking questions in return, such as, “What do you think?”
Frustration: “You knew how to do that yesterday!”
Reframe: What a gift of extra time together! Your child feels the effort you are making to guarantee that they feel connected and important to you. Quality time together with you is one of the most exciting and important gifts we can give our children. Reacting with kindness and patience when your child forgets something or seems to lose a skill they once possessed will show them that they are valuable to you, no matter what. Your child will learn that regardless of their skill or independence at that moment, you’re always willing to see them, offer support, and help them to be successful.
Frustration: Stubborn, willful, and assertive children …
Reframe: When we celebrate our child’s voice, they learn that they have value and worth. The space that they occupy is a space where they deserve to be heard! Their strong words and steadfast opinions are signs that you’ve taught them that they matter. You have taught them to stand up for themselves and ask for what they need. Your child’s stubbornness may be an invitation to truly slow down and check in with them too. What does your child really need to say to you today? One day, their self-advocacy, steadfastness, assertiveness, and passion may be your favorite traits!
Frustration: Tantrums and big emotions …
Reframe: This is an opportunity to show your child that you are the safest place for them to land and that their emotions are valid. You are also giving the gift of teaching them how to care for their bodies and stay safe. Big emotions mean that they’ve learned you are a listening ear and will have a way to provide them the comfort and unconditional love that they so greatly deserve and desire.
Frustration: When they make a huge mess …
Reframe: Messes happen! A mess is an opportunity to respond with calmness and compassion. You are teaching children about the practice of organization, the importance of respecting property, and problem-solving skills. You also show them that no matter how messy life can get, you’ll still have their back. Your child will remember that you were helpful and compassionate at a moment when their world was confusing and disheveled. What a gift to know that even when we come undone, we are still lovable and valuable.
As every parent knows, sometimes children can be a real handful! I hope these tips can help you resolve to reframe during those difficult moments.
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About the Author
Shannon Kincaid is the Lower School Counselor at Greensboro Day School. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a trained specialist in the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, one of the most effective evidence-based parenting programs in the world.
Sponsored by Greensboro Day School