Get comfortable with your child being uncomfortable. Possibly one of my favorite parenting phrases.
Discipline and limit setting are hard. Your child crying in response to your discipline can make it even harder. During a recent workshop many parents voiced concern about this. “What happens if my child cries when I set a limit?” A colleague had a brilliant response: “What would happen?” For me, positive discipline is a teachable moment. It’s an opportunity to teach a young children what is okay and not okay, what is safe or not safe, what is a good choice or not such a good choice, so that in time they can to do this on their own. That means parents and caregivers have to set limits.
Your child being sad or angry in response to a limit makes sense. As challenging as it can be, it’s important to get comfortable with your child being uncomfortable. This is an opportunity for growth and learning. Try reflecting back what your child is experiencing. “This is hard. You wanted to go to the park and I said ‘no.’ That’s making you sad.” Let your child experience those emotions and then help them move forward. Model coping mechanisms like going for a drink of water or taking a break. It’s okay to feel sad or angry, and then it’s important to know there are things to do to feel better. This is resilience…an essential skill for lifelong success!