Ask The Experts
I feel like my child is always saying, “Testing, testing, testing, 1, 2, 3”. I’m losing my patience and feel like my parenting skills aren’t effective anymore. What can I do?
By: Gail Peitzmeier, Ed.D, RD, LD
Female, Des Moines, IA, 50309
10/26/2012 11:51:41 AM
One of the most challenging jobs of a parent can be holding their children accountable to appropriate limits. Children are hard-wired to ‘try out’ their influence on the world around them – and that includes those rules you are setting. These power struggles can be very challenging. But even recognizing that you are losing your patience is an important first step to establishing boundaries that can restore a sense of control. When you hold to a limit, children will often get upset. If parents also get upset that often fuels the emotionality of their children’s response. So if parents can stay emotionally “on their own side” in these interactions, it is possible to make it a learning experience for the child. When they can tolerate their own emotional reaction to something they don’t particularly like, children can develop the emotional regulation skills that will help them accept other limits more readily in the future.