Kids don’t make you feel sad or angry on purpose. If they know that their actions make their loved ones upset, they would also be upset! So why does it feel, at times, like children are intentionally pushing our buttons?
Well, one reason is that children are still testing themselves (even though it seems like they are testing us) and learning what they are capable of. One way parents can help is to set up situations in which your child is 100% able to explore independently to learn their own limits.
“But what if they put themselves in danger?”
Consider the act of holding your child’s hand while they walk on a log. Ostensibly, it protects the child from falling off the log. But does it also ‘protect’ them from the opportunity to learn how to balance safely?
It’s the concept of putting our children in a bubble. If we don’t let them fall, how will they learn to get up? If we make decisions based on our adult experiences, how will the child learn from their natural environment?
The next time your child is “pushing your buttons”, take a step back to assess the situation. Perhaps with small adjustments to both your expectations and your child’s environment, this moment of conflict could become a moment of learning.
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