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Hi, I'm Dr. Beth Onufrak!

How to Feel Less Mad at Your Kids

published23 days ago
1 min read

DEVELOPMENT

How to Be Less Mad at Your Kids

Hi there,

Your kids are on your last nerve ... again!

How hard could it be to just do what you say? Chill instead of losing it? Clean up their messes?

Executive functions are often to blame. These are 8 skills fueled by the frontal lobes, just behind the forehead. EF skills are still developing in kids under 10 ... up to age 21!

When upset with young kids, you’re often mad at their frontal lobes.

Let's see 3 ways young kids struggle with immature executive functions. And some tips to navigate.

Not remembering what you asked.

Here, the EF to blame is Working Memory. That's holding onto info long enough to act on it. Like remembering chunks of a 20-character temporary password as you type … or whether it's a teaspoon or tablespoon in a recipe you’re cooking.

For kids, this translates into:

  • Remembering tasks as they walk over
  • Holding them in mind as they start to work
  • Remembering them when they spot something funner

This brain is growing. Be mad at it, or help it.

TIP: Give tasks one at a time, ask them to repeat it back.

Poorly controlling their emotions.

The EF to blame here is Emotional Control. The brain's emotional center develops before the controller.

So, your child’s brain is like a bike with wheels, handle bars and pedals … with baby brakes.

This translates into:

  • Losing it quickly and easily
  • Blowing up over small things
  • Taking a while to recover

TIP: Respect the big feelings and offer empathy to help calm the emotional brain.

Not cleaning up their stuff.

The EF to blame here is Organization. We adults “visually” clean up before we touch a thing. We mentally categorize, decide what to do first, second.

That’s not how the young child’s brain works.

This translates into:

  • Big drama when asked to clean up
  • Getting lost in play along the way
  • Losing track of time

TIP: Help them make piles. Make the categories to get them started.


I love to help parents "Coach for Cooperation." That's part 4 of Cool the Tantrums. The ideas in this issue are tidbits from that module to support the growing brain.

Get your own support! Enroll in my course today!


Thanks for joining me - see you next week!

And remember ... Looking through your child's eyes changes everything.

Cheers!

Dr. Beth

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