When children drive you nuts

Dealing with frustrations, impatience or loss of control over children is part of being a parent. Not being able to cope with the constant demands of parenthood is normal although it sometimes makes you think you are not a perfect parent.
Frustrating parenting moments usually happen when parents worry about the frequency and intensity of anger they at times feel towards their children. Sometimes it may be because of what children are entitled to do or due to their irritating behaviour.
Parenting at times can be so frustrating that you get irritated and want to shun your responsibility as a mother or father. The experience of a baby who cries all night long that you barely sleep siblings who usually fight teenagers who fail to understand why their parents stop them from watching some TV programmes or frequent outings when your maid falls sick or leaves for no good reason can be bad experiences that can cause frustration.
According to Evelyn Lufafa, a counselling psychologist at Suubi medical centre in Kira, “Parents get frustrated when their high expectations from children are not met. Parents believe and are right to think that their children should honour and obey them at all times. When they feel their disciplinary measures are not effective, they become frustrated.”
Parents often times do their best in grooming children but at times they turn out differently and may fail to control what kind of children they become.

Should children know?
Although you should be a loving father or mother who must help your child when they need you, let them know you are angry and explain your frustration to them if they are old enough.
“In a logical and loving way however, let your children know the reason for your frustration. Do not express your feelings by yelling at them because they may take you for granted and this will infuriate you more,” says Lufafa.

Be a role model
Parents should be role models to their children while expressing feelings of anger and frustration because from parents, most children’s character is built.
Leah Nakyanzi, a teacher and mother of three says, “In most cases your child will know you are frustrated and I feel it is okay because you are human. Children learn from watching us deal with the frustrations and know how to respectfully show and deal with such frustrations.”
Children should see that parenting is hard work and sometimes inescapably frustrati ng. You need to be a role model and be positive while dealing with it by letting out your frustration so they can also learn to deal with it in future when they become parents.

What to do
Frustration and parenting are inseparable. Tell your child how you are feeling and why. Although you may not be fully understood, verbalising your emotions helps diffuse the situation.
Speak to different mothers who may have children of the same age as yours. If you have the same frustrations like other mother it helps because you will know there are people with a similar experience.
Nakyanzi says, “Children are separate individuals and sometimes we fail to control their behaviour. What worked best for me however was spending time with other mothers at my church with children the same age as mine. We talked about our children’s character and this made me feel better.”
Lufafa aises parents to seek aice from counsellors on how to go about such frustrations. Children are separate individuals from parents and sometimes parents fail to control their character and destiny.
“Cope with the child’s feelings and seek professional help from a counsellor if you have tried and failed. Parents need to do their best as parents but they should not expect the children to turn out as they want,” Lufafa adds.

Parents’ say By Joseph Kato

What activities can you do with children this holiday?

“During holidays children need to refresh their minds. I would go with them to places where they would feel relaxed and freshen up their minds. For instance, I can take them to the museum and a zoo.
Muhammed Magala,
Principal Monaco Institute

“ It should be a zoo because my child likes reading about animals. At the Zoo, he would get a chance to see the animals. I believe this would relax his mind and reduce the fear he has for animals.
Rebecca Nakirima, lecturer

“ I think historical sites would be better places for parents go to learn with their children during holidays because they are examinable. Besides, it makes a child discover the important things in the country’s history.
Benson Byekwaso, teacher

“ I think going to the zoo or national park would be better places because children can see the glorious animals Uganda has. They would stop imagining how they look like. We find a challenge when we tell children to draw some animal and they end up drawing birds because they have never seen them physically.
Juliet Namugaya, teacher

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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