As a parent, you’ll get plenty of chances to master that elusive virtue called patience. This is because your kiddo will find all means and ways to stretch, bend and test your limits.
Junior’s penchant to disobey and misbehave is his way of asserting his independence from you. As maddening as his defiance may be, the good news is that it’s part and parcel of how he develops his individuality.
All this is well and good, but how do you best handle such situations, because the truth is, your child will continue to exasperate you. As they’re still your offspring, you’ll just have to learn how to deal with junior in a rational manner ― even when they are doing their utmost to push your buttons.
“Instead of scolding her and adding to her emotional [state], my husband and I will discuss with her to help her come up with her own solutions.”
1. Not cleaning up after themselves
WHAT Stay-at-home-mum Josse Tan, 45, shares her children’s love of leaving their books lying around the home. Despite her incessant reminders to them to put their novels away, they are still strewn all over the house on a daily basis.
DO THIS Tan eventually created a game called Hansel and Gretel. She’ll make her kids to place their reads in a “path” to the bookshelf — so, books work like the pieces of bread Hansel and Gretel dropped in the forest. Tan’s kids will then pick up a book from the end of path and restore it to the book shelf until all the book have been reshelved. This means that the more books junior leaves lying around, the more times they’ll have to walk back and forth to reshelve the items.
2. Making snide remarks
WHAT It’s evident from the cutting remarks he mutters under his breath that your tween isn’t shy about keep his opinions to himself.
DO THIS Respond like how you would to your screaming tot. Tell junior that you will ignore him unless he is respectful in his replies instead of making sarcastic remarks.
3. Not doing their school work until the last minute
WHAT Marketing lecturer Eugenia Koh, 38, says that her daughter, Abby, 10, completes her homework and packs her bags only at the very last minute on Sunday nights. “She freaks out and feels so stressed that she ends up throwing big tantrums and saying she doesn’t want to go to school.”
DO THIS Much like patience, being disciplined and organised are skills you instil in junior over time. Koh says, “Instead of scolding her and adding to her emotional [state], my husband and I will discuss with her to help her come up with her own solutions.” She adds that when children are involved in the process, they will take charge of their behaviour and improve because they themselves have initiated the change.
Four more annoying things… Next!
4. Spending way too much time on their phones
WHAT As parents of tweens, it is completely normal to wonder if you’ll have a better time communicating with your kids if you just sent them a WhatsApp message instead. Alvin Lim, 38, says his teenage daughters are constantly on their phones, which flout the rules he had set.
DO THIS He eventually told them not to bring their mobiles to the dinner table and then engaged their attention with hearty conversation. It may be difficult at first, Lim says, but your children will come around if you tough it out.
“Switch off your home’s Wi-Fi at night if no one is using the computers. If he busts his data limits on his phone or tablet, you’ll know what he has been up to at night.”
5. Leaving trash everywhere except in the bins
WHAT Low Bee Hong, 46, notes her daughter Clarice, 7, has the habit of “conveniently” dropping food wrappers on the floor.
DO THIS Frustrated with her daughter’s ways, the adjunct lecturer shows her daughter videos of junkyards and the piles of litter that are there. She also started fining her child 10 cents for every piece of litter she dropped. The situated improved after that.
6. Not showering
WHAT You’ll know when your kiddo enters puberty, not just because of his sudden moody behaviour, but because you’ll be able to smell him! Junior isn’t aware that neglecting skin health and hygiene during the adolescent years can cause irreversible skin damage like acne scars.
DO THIS Sharing pimple-popping videos from YouTube should get your kiddo to think long and hard about neglecting their personal hygiene. You can also place air fresheners in their rooms to freshen the air there.
7. Staying up and using his gadgets through the night when he should be sleeping
WHAT Just when you think being parents of schoolgoing children means no more bedtime battles, think again. In fact your tween is probably happily lying in bed in the darkness and catching up on his favourite films or chatting with his friends.
DO THIS If you think taking away their phones at night makes you seem like an over-controlling parent, switch off your home’s Wi-Fi at night if no one is using the computers. If he busts his data limits on his phone or tablet, you’ll know what he has been up to at night. Better yet, get him to foot the bill for the extra charges.