Loving the Difficult Child

Once in a while, one of my kids fall into a funk – a period of negativity and difficult behavior which makes parenting, especially homeschooling, a real challenge. When this happens, not only do I feel sorrow for my child, but I also feel discouraged and inadequate. And yet, I know that this is a common experience among parents.

Perhaps it’s a hyper-sensitive  child who  whines and cries over the smallest vexations. Perhaps it’s a strong-willed child who fights you tooth and nail whenever you tell him to do something. Perhaps it’s that hormonal middle schooler, who has suddenly become moody, disrespectful, and ultra-critical. Or perhaps it’s a child whose health issues makes her irritable and crabby.

Whatever the situation, although you know deep-down that you love this child, there are times when it can be a real challenge to be patient and loving. So what can we do?

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Understanding our Children

Do you ever have times when your children’s behavior is baffling? Last summer, All-Star threw a foosball at our sliding glass window on purpose. His aim was shattering. Why an intelligent, well-behaved boy would throw a hard foosball at a glass window on purpose, I’ll never know. He never gave me a reasonable explaination for what he did, at least not one that I could comprehend.

Understanding our children can be one of the most mystifying aspects of being a parent. There are times when our children’s behavior or words leave us perplexed and confused: a daughter who bursts into tears when you mention the weather, a son who becomes sullen and dejected for no apparent reason, or a healthy child who pretends to be sick. Try as we might to understand their motives and thought-process (or lack thereof!), we are sometimes left baffled and bewildered. And this can be frustrating because we want to help our children, but without understanding, we  do not know how to deal with the situation.

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