"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
-Plato (427 BC – 347 BC
These are wise words for all of our relationships, but they hold special significance when it comes to our parenting. Life is just plain hard. Yes, as adults, we have to deal with bills, jobs, and worries that we didn’t even think of as children. But I think many times, we have forgotten that being young wasn’t exactly a piece of cake either. We tend to gloss over the difficult things we encountered and expect our children to be grateful for the easy life that we’ve provided for them.
But the truth is, there is so much going on to them thanks to their bodies, their minds, and their circumstances that they are often overwhelmed without really knowing why. Giving your kids clear boundaries and a healthy dose of empathy when they breach those boundaries (while still enforcing the consequences, of course) is crucial to developing a great relationship with them.
-Hal Runkel, LMFT, Author of ScreamFree Parenting and ScreamFree Marriage