Picture this: My eight year old needs to brush her hair. I gently remind her by saying “Please remember to brush your hair.” Ten minutes later, she hasn’t brushed her hair. I say “Jane, you need to brush your hair before we leave.” A few minutes later she still has not. I then more firmly state “Please go brush your hair now.” She scoffs and stomps her feet. “Jane you need to brush your hair or I’ll brush it.” She screams and throws the brush. I then foolishly yell “Fine don’t brush it.”
I think parents who have daughter’s with long hair would relate. Jane hates having her hair brushed. She frequently brushes the front pieces and says she is done. So I went into this already frustrated because we have had many talks about what she needs to do. (And fyi I have given her leave in conditioner and detangle spray.) And yet, I did wrong and needed to apologize.
I should have followed the blog I wrote earlier Teaching Our Kids (and Ourselves) How to Handle Anger.
When I noticed Jane becoming frustrated (when she stomped her feet), I should have immediately walked away to cool down. I know that when she is angry we are not going to get anything accomplished. Plus, her behavior made me angry so I need to regroup.
After I yelled at her I walked away and immediately realized I did the wrong thing. I then used some cool thoughts and took some deep breaths. I walked back to her and said “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.” I then told her I loved her. She hugged me back and told me loved me. I then told her she still needs to brush her hair. She let me.
Stefanie F. Pisarkiewicz, LPC
Experience and information from a counselor and mother- sharing her two cents on children and teens.