Parenting: Problem Solving and Reasoning
Parents tend to think that younger children are not able to understand reasoning and problem solving and certainly can’t understand adult emotions, but this is not necessarily true.
Your children know when something in the home is wrong, and if they have upset you or behaved badly, even if they can’t verbally express to you what the problem is. The best way to answer any questions your children may have is honestly. You can tailor your answers based on your children’s age, but be aware that keeping important information from your children may not necessarily be the best idea.
Talk To ThemThe best thing you can do to help your children deal with any kind of upset up is to let them talk. After you’ve explained your decision about a situation, make sure that you let your children know that they can talk to you about their feelings and about why they have behaved the way they did.
If they know that they can always come to you to tell you how different things are affecting them, they are less likely to be angry with you, or to let situations affect other things in their lives, such as school, activities or relationships with friends.
It is important to always be honest and open with your children, and explain to them clearly and concisely why you are angry/sad/upset/disappointed and that they need to understand why their behaviour is unreasonable, or why they can’t just have everything that they want.
Problem Solving Together
Try to navigate a way through a situation with your children, rather than battling against them. Children can understand why some things are simply not acceptable and have to be addressed or changes have to be made, and although you shouldn’t overload young children with too much information or emotional outbursts, it is important that you can reason with them and assert yourself when necessary.
Remember That YOU Are The Parent!It is important to remember that YOU are the parent and you are in charge. Listening to your children is vital, and they should be given the time, space and respect they need and deserve in order to make their point. However, they also need to learn to listen and respect what you have to say too.
It won’t just be you who has to reason with your children. There will be times when other parents, teachers, family members and people in your wider community who have cause to discuss issues with your children, and if you can equip them with the listening and reasoning skills that they will need in later life, this will really help to understand other people’s points of view.
Do not be afraid to tackle sensitive issues with your children because they need to be made aware of a range of different situations, feelings and issues, and over protecting and insulating your children too much will mean that they may never really learn how to cope and react to things that happen in their lives.