Dealing with Your Moody Judy
So there's always a holiday or the weekend arriving...yay!!! Well sort of yay, some of us relish the time when we get to spend extra time with our kids and some of us dread it. Working out what you're going to do with your kids can be a lot of pressure but I have to tell you it can be difficult for them too.
As much as my kids enjoy the break from school I know that they can suffer behind the lack of routine and if I'm honest that's because of me not them. If I don't have to move I don't want to, especially in the winter (insert little voice saying "excuse me, in my next life I want to be a bear or something that hibernates in the winter" lol) but actually I find that when I get my kids energy levels up even if it's just for a walk they can chill far better.
Despite this though, there's still certain behaviours that come at me which make me remember a saying my sister always uses which is "you do your best and then you send them to school". KMT mekkin me wahn beat somebody backside ya. Alas, these times do not abide that, so instead here are some tips to help you deal with your Moody Judy.
Walkaway (Bitty McLean knew what he was talking about) - girl sometimes you need to just walk away from the pikny, no ifs or buts about it. Before you up and lose your mind... just walk away even if it's just for 30 seconds.
Don't talk over them - hold up, before you beat me, I don't mean that you should be the one to stop taking I just mean you gotta make sure they're listening and that can't truly do that if they're talking at the same time as you because then it becomes an argument, and ain't nobody got time to be arguing with their kids. That way lays madness.
Express Compassion - now this may seem a little obvious but honestly we can sometimes lose sight of the fact that our child(ren) - no matter how old - have not lived as long as we have and there are times we can forget how important little things can seem to them. Don't make a big deal out of a broken biscuit (yes this is a thing in my house, I don't get it as it's going to break in your mouth anyway but there you go) however you can empathise with them and either replace it or calmly tell them the science of how teeth work and the fact that it would've broken anyway. This demonstrates that their feelings have been heard and are important to you.
Appropriate Punishment - this is for both of your sakes. Don't tell them they can't have their tablet for the rest of the day if you're going to give in within an hour, it becomes a performative expression on both parts rather than being an actual recognition of wrongdoing and the consequences of it.
Let them talk - often times my kids will chew my ears off when I'm doing something else like cooking or folding clothes, because then I can listen and do. They feel listened to, I get a little insight into what's going on with them and time (yes, that precious commodity that can't be bought, lengthened or paused in anyway) gets spent together.
Find common ground - gone are the days when I can really sit and watch what the boys are watching really, there's a few things they watch that I can get into but the nonsense they like to watch on YouTube does my head in, so now I try my hardest to find some common ground elsewhere. One loves to be in the kitchen with me, so instead of shooing him out or hollering at him because he's up my behind and I think I'm going to burn him, I've learnt to make room for him. I give him little jobs and the more he does and the more he asks questions I've realised the more he's learning. He can walk into the kitchen scout my ingredients and pretty much guess what we're having for dinner. The other likes to come in my room when I'm chilling watching the TV or playing on my phone, so I try not to start new programs when he's awake or I pause my game. Giving him that space not only opens him up to talking but when he wants to show me something on YouTube I'm seeing how his reading and phonics is coming along. His imagination is wild and he can take you on some journeys when he gets to telling a story, through this I'm seeing how his language skills have developed, yes it's sad that he doesn't speak like the BFG anymore e.g. he says humans instead of hoomans but it's awesome to hear and recognise the intelligence growing in my kids.
Lean on a competent Adult - if you have a village my gurl, use it. Dads, grandparents, aunties, older children and godparents can be the lifeline you need. Sometimes a different perspective, break away from each other or the opportunity for someone else to deal with the pouting, tears and woe is me behaviour, helps you to recognise you are not alone, and it ain't always your fault!
Identify patterns - time of the month, exam/test pressure, losing or missing out on something, remembering a loved one; why is your mini me moody?
Have a specific time in the week or a 'I need to talk now' buzz word - By providing a safe space to talk and a way to get your full attention without having to have a melt down first, can reduce these episodes of emotional upset and encourage an ongoing dialogue.
Acceptance - kids have emotions, feelings and ways of expressing both, let them (within reason), who wants to see their kids grow up into emotionally suppressed adults, who struggle to make meaningful connections or identify people to have positive relationships with, not me! Levels of emotional intelligence have a massive impact on a persons ability to mature, socialise and be compassionate to others, so grow their 'woes' carefully. Also, like all of your other relationships, not all of your children will be your best friend, at the same time, #thatslife!
These things can really help you with dealing with the Moody Judy in your kid AND IN YOU!!!! Yeah I said it! There are times when we dun know already, it's not the pickny's problem it's ours. Sista my last piece of advice is:
CHECK YOURSELF - are you in the room? Are you listening? Have they had to call your name more than once? Did they ask you for a snack 20 minutes ago and you're still on Insta? Remember children do as we do, more than they do as we say. Difficult fact of life, but it is a fact.
Ladies, we are a key factor in any relationship we take part in, but when it comes to our kids, more than anyone else, we set the standard. A parent is the most vital role in a child's life, we are who they depend on, who they look to, for affirmation, confirmation and validation. The responsibility can be a lot, but it is what it is. So, remember to check yourself, and if an apology is required, gracefully and humbly give it, then move on knowing that you and your kid(s) are building solid foundations of love and respect that will last your lifetime.