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Guess What? Children are Childish!

Your children can make you angry. It happens. Very often your anger is triggered over normal childhood
behavior. Your child isn’t acting out with the intention to upset you, though it may feel that way. When
we view a situation with our adult outlook we set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations. The reality
is that children are inexperienced, naïve and lacking in social skills. They have limited knowledge about
social rules and expected behavior.

Furthermore, our kids are separate people from us and they have free will. As hard as you may try, you
cannot make a child eat, sleep, pick up his toys, say please, or go potty! You can ask, you can nag, plead,
threaten and beg, but your child is a separate human being and functions independently from you.
Children are not wise, rational or mature. They want to do what they want to do, and they don’t give
much thought to the past, the future, or how their actions affect other people or things.

Children don’t always understand things the way we assume that they do. We might think that they
have learned a lesson, or we might assume that they clearly understand a request, but many times they
just don’t get it. This can be very frustrating to parents who think that something is clear as a bell, yet
their child is going off in an entirely different direction.

We can’t force children to be less childish, and we can’t hurry the process of growing up. And if we think
about it, we wouldn’t want to, because the same limits that frustrate us bring us the most joy –
watching our child’s unrestrained approach to the world is endearing. However, when this juvenile
existence means that our children don’t, won’t, or can’t do the things we want them to do, and we can’t
find a way to make them do it, then parental anger is the inevitable result.

Next time your child pushes your buttons and your find your anger rising, stop and take a clear look at
the situation. Ask yourself if your child is being intentional or simply childish, and if so, respond with a
calm life lesson.

No-Cry Solution Series Author

Elizabeth Pantley is a parent educator, mother of four, and the author of the now-classic baby sleep book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution, as well as six other books in the series, including The No-Cry Separation Anxiety SolutionThe No-Cry Potty Training SolutionThe No-Cry Discipline Solution, The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution, plus other successful parenting books. She is known worldwide as the practical, reasonable voice of respectful parenting.