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Your elementary-age school child is taking his spoon and purposely knocking it over and over again on the table because he is bored. However, the sound of the spoon constantly hitting the table over and over again is grating on you. And you once and for all lose it and yell at him to stop in one of the most intimidating ways possible. 

Then the next thing you know your other child is whimpering and whining about being bored since nothing good is on TV. You are exhausted and you do not have the patience to listen to it. You tell him to ‘shut up’ and summon him to his room for a timeout. While you do that, you are trembling and shaking. 

You have more than had enough of the COVID, and pandemic parenting is draining you. You have had it with the stress of being forced to juggle home, work, and parenting, and your other housekeeping responsibilities. And your kids’ behaviors are draining you. What can you possibly do to calm yourself down before you react to what your kids are doing? 

Keep in mind that your kids are very stressed as well as you are, and that is why they are acting out. The pointers below will help you stay calm if your kids are pushing you to the limit:

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Things have been different and challenging in many ways over the past 8 months, and the stress and toll of everything can show up in kids’ behavior. Let’s face it – many adults are having a tough time coping well! 

Children do not intentionally cause problems and distress. When they are exhibiting more behavioral challenges it’s because they have reached their limit for handling their uncomfortable feelings, and they don’t have the coping skills to manage in other ways.

If you’re finding yourself more frustrated with your child’s behavior lately, here are some helpful things to remember:

  • Take a deep breath before responding
  • Empathize and listen
  • Focus on relationship building
  • Spotlight what’s going well

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