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Parents... Choose Your Battles!

Yesterday was really difficult I think because I was feeling very stressed and the few days before CB actually started I was already very busy trying to run my business and buying things from supermarket to get ready for CB, basically trying to make sure that the children have things catered for at home. So I think there was a lot of tension and stress because I felt that there were a lot of things I cannot really anticipate, so I do worry a bit.

I think a lot of us staying at home with children were facing a lot of chaos, and it is very normal. For me, one of my greatest challenge and worry, something that makes me super stressed, is whenever I think about how my husband and Samuel who is 2 years old will get along, how they are going to communicate with each other. This is because Samuel often makes Wilson feel very angry because of things that he does. A lot of times when I had to go away to express breast milk etc, I will hear my husband screaming at Samuel, and Samuel will just scream back. Everything goes down super quickly after I leave them alone. All the screaming and shouting will happen so because of that I often feel I need to neutralize the situation for them. If I am in between them, all is well and good, but the moment I step away, the shouting will start…

Sometimes, as adults, we really have to be more understanding of the children, especially when they are very young. We need to understand that they have great difficulty trying to say what they want, and they themselves feel frustrated a lot of times. Now that Samuel has a younger brother, he is even more frustrated at the fact that he has to fight for attention with Levi who is only 6 months old. It is bound that he will surely throw tantrums or scream more often to gain attention. Normally when he gets to go to school, he is surrounded by classmates of the same age. Now, due to CB, his classmates become his 6months old brother. So, during CB, these things can really be a game-changer for everyone.

As parents, this reason will be extremely trying with working from home and taking care of the kids for 1-2 months. It is not extremely long, but it is also not very short. There will be a lot of challenges such as catering food, making sure your children are learning and studying, and entertained while you handle your work from home with all the chaos going on when normally you get to be away at the office and deal with office work in a space without kids. There will also be a lot of tension for the children because they are not in school, in their original learning environment. They are now suddenly cooped up at home, not being able to go out and run around. They will bound to have a lot of pent up energy, the energy that they don’t know where to exert. They too have things that they don’t know who to tell to.

It is important for parents to choose their battles. Sometimes, when your children do something to anger you or make you feel unbelievable, you have to decide whether it is actually something small, or it is a huge deal. For me, I will segregate Samuel’s behaviors, whether is it a literal misbehavior or is it just because he is too young. For example, the other day, he clumsily dropped a bowl of oats and dirtied the stairs. What I did was tell him that he will not be able allowed to take the bowl and walk around anymore. In this case, I will not scream at home for the fact that he dropped the bowl although I know he should not be walking around while eating. So you let your children know, what are the absolute “no-no” behaviors that you will not tolerate, for example, dangerous behaviors like playing with fire from the stove. For those behaviors, they will surely be disciplined.

Kids will often do things that trigger you, so if you don’t choose your battles you will feel like you’re constantly walking on your own eggshells, and every little thing your children do, you will feel like shouting at them. This will in turn make you feel super exhausted. It is like in any other relationship, you have to let the other party know what are the things that you can tolerate and what are the things that will definitely trigger you. Talk to them and tell them what the next best directive in the future is. This is really important especially during this season.

Another thing that parents must keep in mind is that you need to be quick to forgive. It is very important that we are quick to forgive our children. When Samuel throws a tantrum, which happens very often, he will scream super loudly. My husband and I will have to remind him not to scream, or he will be placed in the naughty spot if he continues. However, there are times when Samuel is really unhappy and he continues to throw a tantrum. At times, he will also find someone to hit, and it is usually his father. This action really triggers us and this is when we must find it in us to forgive our kid quickly even though it really upsets us. This is really important for us to keep our sanity during this season and not dwell on the problem continuously and subsequently ruin the rest of our day.

I feel much better with what is going on because I don’t have many expectations on myself and when I have time I do want to spend it on myself as well.


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