In a typical classroom full of 3rd graders you will have a classroom filled with excitement, non-stop talking, and a teacher exhaustively summoning their attention. Trust me, any 3rd grader” knows it all!” You can ask mine. They can be shy about it with those they don’t know very well, but family and friends are fair game in the confident attitude and they tell each other with great conviction. I have found that arguing a point ends in the number 2 challenge, self criticism. Feeling defeated they can shout in frustration or tears and stomp off tearing themselves down verbally. We follow, usually dazed and confused by the reaction, trying to reassure our child we are just trying to tell them how it “really is”, or teach them a different way to look at it, or we were “teasing” not meaning to hurt feeling. Whatever the case may be, rest assured number 1 and 2 =normal. The degrees of it depend on the child and their surroundings, caregivers, etc.
Allowing our children to “feel” their emotion is healthy. Not “feeling” causes too many problems later in life, especially for teens and young adults. Avoid yelling degrading comments in your frustration, because your child will repeat those words later to their own sweet little spirits, tearing down their esteem of who they are. Addressing the “know it all” in a calm and factual manner may lead to fewer outbursts. Sometimes as a parent we need to know when to “stop” talking.
Example: when our child blurts out their opinion and it’s not really the way it is, what do you do? First, remember, “YOU” are the parent. Your child not only mimics your words but your attitude as well. Obviously, the situation is going to determine the response. Just keep in mind, as I try to do, “do I have to be right in this thought my child is sharing?” If, no? Then share your opinion as an idea, and let it go. One morning my son refuses to put on his coat. As most mornings I am guiding him from comforts of home out the door and to the bus stop.
He informs me it is not cold and his chicago cubs hawaiian shirt is enough. This morning it is 30 degrees, lightly snowing and there is wind. Fact: it’s cold. This child, number 5, has chosen his coat as the enemy this winter. Puzzled, I have argued, pleaded, threatened, bribed and finally realized, let it go. I tell him, in an “idea” manner, “here is a thought; your coat protects your body from the cold wind. Truth is it’s your body. If, you don’t take care of it, you will get sick.” Of Course, he grumbles and puts his coat on, again. I don’t get mad, or excited, just calm and matter of fact , I also stand in front of the door. He still came home with it stuffed in his back pack. But, I haven’t heard any rebuttal since that day.
You have enlightened your child to what you think and you have a better shot of avoiding the drama of self criticism. Be firm and persistent without getting pulled into the emotional playing field. If, you end up with drama, and they are self critical, address each statement being made with a positive statement. Allow your child to feel, and then acknowledge them. If, you will always reinforce with positive feedback and love, the positive attitude quickly will change the situation and overall feelings between you and your child. It works for me, just don’t give up!
write by Orson