Having a newborn baby in the house has really brought some insight into parenting for me. The main insight I have had is that everything involving kids can be solved by asking the magic question, why! As I have been caring for N I found myself often asking myself why is she crying? Why isn't she pooping? Why is she not sleeping better? By asking myself why, I found myself coming up with answers to the why and being able to correct the situation. For example, when she starts to cry I would think why is she crying, then look at the clock and notice that it was time for her to eat so I knew to feed her. When she would keep waking up after I laid her down I would ask myself why she was doing that and I noticed that as soon as I laid her down Owen would run over and bump the bassinet to see her so I would move her into my room where no one would disturb her sleeping and then she would sleep!
I then realized I often ask myself why when it comes to my older kids as well. I have been struggling a lot with O and J lately, the two fight constantly! I could have just gotten upset with them, yelled at them, spanked them, taken things from them and that would have stopped the fighting for oh about five minutes, but by asking myself why they were fighting it forced me to really pay attention to what was going on. I discovered that often time J wants to be left alone and O wants to play with J so J will get frustrated and he has never been a big talker so he uses his fists to express his frustrations and then O gets mad and hits him back. So now that I know what is going on I can work with J on learning how to better handle his anger. I also noticed that I would discipline J more often than O so J was feeling picked on and like O could get away with murder so now O is getting disciplined as well as J. It is going to take time and patience and consistency on my end to help them stop fighting so much, but had I not asked myself why they were fighting I wouldn't even be close to fixing it.
By asking yourself why your kids are behaving in the way you do, you can find ways to help fix it. Here are some common reasons why your kids might be acting up:
1. They are tired
2. They are hungry
3. They are bored (especially now that is summertime)
4. They are sick
5. They don't feel safe (big reason kids lie and hurt others)
6. They want your attention
7. They want to have more power over their life
8. They are scared
9. They don't know how to express themselves and their feelings in a healthy way
10. They have been given too much power over their lives
11. They are insecure
12. They are behaving like a typical child (especially when they are 2!)
13. They are over or under stimulated
So look at your biggest parenting struggles, is it that your kid is constantly lying, or do they refuse to listen to you, or are they really whiny? Why do you think they are being that way? After you figure out why they are doing something what can you do differently to help them?
Another important thing to note, never ask your kid why they did something. By asking your kid why they did something it automatically puts them on the defensive and you are not going to get a clear answer. Instead ask them what happened, what they were feeling, what the other kids did or said, what they were thinking. By asking what you show them that you aren't blaming or accusing them but are just trying to find out what happened. You will get much more honest and open answers when you ask kids what instead of why!