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Monday, November 16, 2009

Why Do Kids Make It So Hard To Help Them???

For the second time today, I found myself fighting with a kid who I was trying to help!!

Why do they do that???

I drop what I am doing, give them all my attention, and they get mad at me.

I do not get it!

They ask for my advice, then argue with me when I give it.

They ask for my help, then criticize me for not helping the way they wanted.

They whine; they cry; they scream; they yell.

You know what?  In the end, I am whining, crying, screaming and yelling too!

I shout at them: "I am done helping you."

Then I keep helping them anyway . 

(Yeah, yeah, I know that is inconsistent and sends mixed messages.  Tell me something I don't already know!)

I do not want to leave them with their problems.  I want to help them find a solution.

I want to fix everything.

Most of the time, I do a pretty good job.

So, why do they make it so hard???

Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,


Staying Afloat said...

Because that's their job, I'm guessing.

My five-year-old daughter likes to plat computer games. Only problem is, there's a lot she doesn't know how to do. So my 9 year old sees her floundering- Dora the Explorer keeps walking off the cliff- and he comes over to help her. She smiles at him, and he takes the mouse and jumps her up and over until she clears the obstacle so she can do the rest. But she's already screaming her head off, because she didn't like the way he helped- she wanted to do it herself. Not that she could, but it's what she wanted.

Being that adolescence is the developmental stage of differentiation from parental figures, take two, I'm guessing it's basically the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I thought that only happened in my family. Thank you for letting me know I'm not the only one.

SuperRaizy said...

"I want to fix everything"-
they don't want you to fix everything. They want you to help organize their thoughts so that they can figure out the solution themselves and take pride in that.
So instead of saying "this is how you do it", try asking questions: "what do you think you should do now?" "how can we get that knot out?" "what's another way that we can approach this?", etc.

Anonymous said...

(small preamble here:)
when my eldest was 2yrs old, her metapelet was soimpressed with her artwork that she called a child's develomental specialist whose expertise was specifically in art. this was the advice she gave me:

give her the materials, step back, and don't say or do anything else. do not suggest directions, do not interpret results.

over the years, when my children asked me to draw with them, draw for them, etc.. i almost always refused (the exceptions were enough to convinve me not to doit again).

after a while it occurred to me that a similar method workd in other areas too. Super raizy is right - we know how to do it,we have more experience, but that's not what they really need most of the time. you have to just make sure they get all the raw materials (coping skills,problem solving, etc... which i know you've been supplying them since they were much younger), and step back. even when they insist they want us to get involved, in the end they won't appreciate it, and we haven't done them a lot of good in the long term.

needless to say, i don't always remember this myself. but, hey, we all do the best we can - so do you,and your kids know that too,
even if they don't always show it ;-)


Leah Goodman said...

ah yes... my delightful 2-year-old.. come let me change your diaper... I want to change it before you get a rash...
and I get kicked in the face hard enough to bring tears to my eyes...
parenthood is so rewarding!

zahava said...

Good question!!!!

Of course, if you can actually solve it, world peace should be a snap...


Anonymous said...

my dear girl,why should it be any different in your house than elsewhere,having cancer,getting kicked off mwc blog,doesnt necessarily give you an automatic collect 200 when you pass go,you get the jail time,btw if you do get the get out of jail card,come over for muffins,loonytune

mikimi said...

welcome to the world of parenthood!
my kid isn't talking to me right now -and she is almost 24!

Anonymous said...

in our house too.....when they are older they will appreciate your help much more.

Batya said...

It's a phase. Please don't ask me how many decades it lasts...

RivkA with a capital A said...

Staying Afloat - OMG, you hit the nail on the head!! I can't believe I was not seeing that.

Boy, do I have to modify my approach!!!

Ariela -- sadly, I get the impression that this is a common household occurance.... We are not alone!

Super Raizy -- You are so right. I hope I can make that switch!!

Old habbits die hard....

BW -- I'm trying to transfer more responsibility to the kids, but I am not being affective. I like Raizy's suggestions. I have to break some negative patterns of behavior that we have developed over the years.

LeahGG -- As they get older, the physical kicking stops... but the emotional kicking still can bring tears...

Zahava -- just last night, during one of our heart-to-hearts, my sweet eldest daughter told me she thinks that it is in people's nature to fight, because they want power, and that it will take something supernatural (like God) to change people's nature (so that we will have peace in "acharit hayamim.")

Right now, I would settle for peace in Beit RivkA!


Hey Loonytune! -- We're planning a vacation, so I probably won't make it out your way 'till we get back. But I don't want to wait that long for your yummy muffins! Can you email me your muffin recipe (the way you make it)? I have a girlfriend who offered to bake some for me, and she lives just a few houses down the block!!

ps. I want a "get out jail free" card!!

Mikimi -- oh, no!! Thank God, things have not yet reached that point. It is a constant fear of mine and one thing I really do is to let the kids know "I am trying to help you," and "I want to help you." I also say "I love you" a lot, even when I am mad. Just so they know.

Hadassah -- one can only hope...

Batya -- LOL! As long as it passes!!

Renee said...

RivkA kids can be difficult.

Renee xoxo

Anonymous said...

RivkA, this is one of the rules of parenthood... it's gotta be written down somewhere, although I haven't found it yet. *heh* WHY do kids DO this??!! One of life's mysteries! I found that I could handle it better when they were kids... when adult children do this, it makes me crazy!! :-/ Love ya! xoxoxo

~Niki~ said...

I hear ya. I have 4 kids and deal with that attitude all the time. I also work in a junior high, so all the kids are like that. Makes my job really hard.