“It’s only a phase.” You will hear this statement countless times from the moment your first child enters the world through adulthood. It is both true and annoying. Warning: Whether your child is acting good or bad, they are subject to change at any moment without notice. Parenthood is like getting on to one of those scary roller coasters that goes up and down, twists and turns and flips you upside down. Totally unpredictable, exhilarating and terrifying. Your best bet is to throw your hands up and enjoy the ride as much as you can. If your child suddenly starts sleeping until 8am don’t get used to it, it’s only a phase. If your child has been repeatedly kicking you in the stomach when you change their diaper don’t worry, it’s only a phase. They are bound to stop this behavior as soon as they’re potty trained in a year or so. Trying to figure your child out is like shooting a moving target going ninety miles per hour…Impossible! The sooner you accept this fact, the better off you’ll be. Remember, we’re dealing with humans here not robots. Every single kid is different from the next.
There is a level of acceptance that needs to come with dealing with whatever phase you are in. If you have the right mindset, you won’t be surprised when your kid throws you a curve ball. You’re going to have to go with the flow and continually change your approach to match your child’s current phase. For those control freaks out there, this can be a tall order. If you choose not to accept the phase, you will only find yourself miserable trying to control something that you can’t possibly control. Part of the fun of parenting is never knowing what’s coming your way next. Actually, that sounds horrible. If you can at least accept that your child’s life will be made up of multiple phases strung together in no particular order and lasting various and unexpected amounts of time, you won’t be blindsided when something changes. Expect it, accept it and move on!
Tips On Coping With The Phase:
- Take advantage of the good phases. They may be few and far between, but there will be times when your child may seem mildly calmer and more rational. Take these opportunities to do more daring activities with your kids, like eating out a restaurant.
- Remember the good thing about phases is that the bad behaviors won’t stick around forever. They will make an appearance, have their fun and then disappear as suddenly as they showed up.
- Just because your child’s behavior is forever changing, don’t give up the fight. What was once the perfect punishment for them may be totally ineffective once they exit the current phase they are in. Back to the drawing board. Try every consequence in the book and see what works with their new phase.