What To Do When Your Kids Are Annoying
I know you love your kids, but do you ever find them INCREDIBLY annoying?
Loud, whiny, bossy, demanding, dramatic... I think even the best parents have felt this way before. But what if we shifted our perspective and saw the good in what felt annoyed by?
If you want to watch the YouTube video, click below, otherwise, keep on reading!
For me, this thought process started a number of years ago. I was explaining to one of my daughters what it meant to think critically, to think for herself. As I explained what it meant to question everything, she asked an obvious, yet profound question (as kids often do): ”Does that mean I should question you, daddy?”
And there I was, backed into a corner, with no option other than to give my daughter outright permission to question everything I said… Obviously, if we want our children to question everything, it HAS to include us. So I told her, “Yes. Yes, that means you should question me too.”
That was a really important connection for me to make. It allowed me to create a reframe the next time she questioned me. She wasn’t being argumentative, or defiant, or annoying. She was thinking critically. She was doing exactly what I had taught her to do.
Over the following years, I’ve needed to develop and improve this skill to survive… As any parent can attest to, kids can be frustrating, angering, really annoying. Without this skill I would have been an angry mess! I would have continued to be the father who dumped on his kids just because he’s annoyed by normal kid behavior.
These reframes are so important to me that I created a PDF to print out and hang in our kitchen where I see it everyday.
Every one takes something I find annoying and turns it into a character trait that I would be proud to have in all of my kids:
1. They’re not demanding… they know what they want and are being assertive.
2. They’re not clinging to you… they’re being affectionate and connected.
3. They’re not whining... they’re communicating their needs. (And, if they need help learning to communicate their needs in a better way, that’s on YOU to teach them.)
4. They’re not too loud... they’re confident and expressive.
5. They’re not stubborn… they’re persistent & tenacious.
6. They’re not defiant… they hold strong beliefs and are bold and determined.
7. They’re not dramatic… they're expressive and passionate.
8. They’re not a tattle-tale… they seek justice and respect the rules.
9. They’re not bossy… they're a natural leader.
10. They don’t need to sit still… they’re energetic, joyful and enthusiastic.
So, next time you or your wife gets annoyed about a child being dramatic, just look at each other and agree that “Wow, the kids are being really expressive and passionate today!” and you’ll remind each other to reframe what you find annoying into character traits that would make you proud.
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