Common Parenting Problems

Susie McGee
parenting problems

Unfortunately for the most of us, parenting problems are a fact of life. Whether it's battling the terrible two's or dealing with teenagers, it seems like there is always some issue to handle.

To Help or Fix the Problem

In some cases, it's just easier for parents to fix the problem instead of help the child. Let's face it, when your four year old becomes frustrated because she can't tie her shoes, your first reaction might be to simply tie them for her. When your teen is struggling with homework, you end up finishing it for him. While these might be minor issues, the frustration that your kid feels is a learning opportunity for you both, and in the long run, one of your parenting problems might be lessened or even solved if you handle it correctly.

While nobody wants to see his or her child struggle, it's better to teach your child how to find a solution than to just take care of it for her. Although it will take time and patience, in the long run, your child will learn how to tackle a difficult task and stick with it until it's finished. The lessons she will learn from this will continue to reverberate throughout her teen years and into adulthood. She'll take these lessons from childhood into the college classroom, the boardroom, and beyond into her own parenting style.

Tantrums and Fits

One of the most common complaints among parents of young children surrounds the issue of tantrums and fits that children throw, often creating embarrassing situations. This is definitely one parent problem that needs to be handled, but how do you do that? According to Dr. Sears, parents need to learn to not take these emotional explosions personally and to stay calm and collected, while trying to figure out what triggered the outburst.

Planning ahead is another way to head off a potential tantrum. Don't overload your child with too many activities or stimulation, especially when you have already deviated from her typical schedule.

You can help your child verbalize her feelings. She won't know how to do this by herself, and you can help her by saying, I know you are angry because…, and then remove the child from an area if you are in a public place, hold the child, and speak calmly to her until she has her emotions under control.

Teen Troubles

One of the most difficult times in a child's life is the adolescent years. Hormonal and bodily changes can wreak havoc on almost any child, and some have much more difficulty than others. As parents, we often feel that there isn't anything we can do to improve our relationship with our teen and ward off potentially life threatening problems for him or her, such as drinking, promiscuity, and drugs. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. While you cannot be with your child 24 hours a day, there are some steps you can take to help your child through these turbulent years.

  • Keep those lines of communication open. Look for opportunities to spend time with your teen. Try to find hobbies or other interests in common. Conversations are easier to have when you are busy enjoying something together, even if it is just a jog in the park.
  • Don't overreact. It's easy to overreact to some of our kids' behaviors. After all, they aren't known for making the wisest decisions. Your job as a parent, however, is to model and hopefully change those behaviors by being an example. If you lose it, what are you teaching your teen to do? You are also giving your teen too much power over your emotions, which isn't healthy for either one of you. Keep your cool; be firm; and talk, talk, talk.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Pick your battles. If you notice that a lot of conflicts are occurring between you and your teenager, try to lighten up some and choose the most important battles to fight.

Encourage Independence

Another common source of parenting problems involves knowing when to encourage independence. This should start as early as the toddler years. Teach your child to be independent. Letting her make simple decisions such as picking out her shirt or choosing a favorite book to look at are great starts. Let your adolescent choose a movie at the video store. You get the idea. As you encourage independence, you are readying your child for the many decisions he or she will make as an adult.

When to Seek Help

Sometimes parenting problems simply can't be solved without the help of a professional. Many times, visiting a counselor or psychologist is the best way to handle those issues that are beyond your control. You can ask your pediatrician for recommendations and visit the following Websites as well:

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Common Parenting Problems