Why Are Kids So Damn Annoying?

by Haider on June 26, 2010 · 10 comments

in Parenting

Angry ChildLet’s face it. You try to be a good, patient parent, but there comes a time (usually called “day time” or “night time”) when your kids drive you insane, and you can’t make sense of why they treat you the way they do, when you’re only trying to be nice to them.

You try to control their behavior (so they wouldn’t be so annoying and can grow up to be responsible adults), but that never seems to work. They’re committed to testing your patience, and usually succeed in seeing you crack.

So why are kids so damn annoying, and what can you do, as a parent, to correct this?

Luckily for you, I have 2 tips to help you “deal” with your pesky children:

1) Your kids aren’t the problem:

When it comes to parenting, and almost any situation in life where your patience is tested, it’s not the situation that’s the problem, but your fear that you won’t be able to handle the situation effectively.

You’re afraid of making a mistake. You’re afraid of not knowing what to do, or not having enough personal strength and resilience to manage yourself in that situation. You feel that you’ll be judged by others for not being a good parent (or a good human being).

At times you’re struggling with another issue that’s making you feel anxious and worried, and your children aren’t giving you enough space to think your problem through, so you see them as the problem, without realizing that you’re only taking out your frustration at them.

But because your children aren’t to blame, there’s no reason to take your frustration out at them.

Be aware of the issues that annoy you, and look for ways to deal with these issues, rather than suppress your feelings about them.

Don’t be harsh on yourself, or harsh on your children.

2) Your kids are kids:

We tend to feel frustrated when we want things to be different than what they are. We expect a dial-up Internet connection to behave like a broadband line, and get frustrated when our expectations aren’t met. We snap when we drop a glass vase and it shatters into a million pieces because we don’t want a glass vase to break. We fume when our children don’t behave the way we want them to, because we expect them to behave like mature adults, and not as children.

But kids are kids, and will behave as kids. They’re not fully mature, so they don’t know how to handle every situation effectively, and don’t have proper control over their emotions, or a sound understanding of how the world (and social customs) work. How many adults do you know that act maturely in every situation? So why do we expect children to behave impeccably?

It’s important to treat children as children, and not to take any shortcuts in their upbringing by condemning them for not behaving as adults, or expecting them to follow our instructions, without giving them room to think for themselves.

It’s wonderful to see children behave as children (which is not always apparent, given other life challenges we face!), and the natural phase of human development they’re going through. How they discover things for the first time. How they try to voice their opinions and express their feelings. How they meet new challenges: what they have the courage to face, and what they’re too afraid to confront. How they try to mimic your behavior and what expressions they learn to use. How they develop their likes and dislikes.

Whenever you find yourself getting annoyed by your children, remember that they are children, and you shouldn’t be expecting any more from them than they are able to do at this part of their development.

See the world through their eyes, and you might appreciate what they’re going through. :)

Photo credit: mindaugasdanys

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dia June 28, 2010 at 1:21 am

I think it is important to treat children as they are. We can’t expect to see them behave like an adult. It’s nice to see them behave as they are and see their innocence. Thanks for the tips Haider and I will keep in mind your tips when I have children :D
Dia´s last blog ..How to control your emotions and overcome negative thoughts My ComLuv Profile

2 Haider June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

Just trying to prepare you for fatherhood, Dia! ;)

3 Abubakar Jamil June 30, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Interesting take on the subject. I’ m thinking of taking a refresher course from you if Kuwait grants me a visa and you have some free time. :) Stumbled.
Abubakar Jamil´s last blog ..5 Things I Wish I Had Learned Earlier In My Life My ComLuv Profile

4 Haider July 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Abubakar, you’re planning a visit to Kuwait?

Wohoo!

I’ll be sure to free up some time for you, and give you an exercise to put the ideas in this post to practice: babysitting my kids! ;)

5 Chris Edgar July 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Hi Haider — this article raises an important point, I think — like you say, oddly enough, parents often expect more of their children than they expect of other adults they know, and actually have less compassion for their children than for people their own age. Admitting this is going on, I think, and that parents are often unconsciously replaying the ways they were treated, is so key.

6 Haider July 6, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Hi Chris, I’m trying to be super-observant in the way I treat my children, and to what extent I support their growth, or stunt it. It’s insane what you can learn from approaching parenting with mindfulness. Thanks for emphasizing on the importance of being aware of our expectations. :)

7 Laura Hirsch January 12, 2011 at 8:41 am

This was just what I needed to read tonight. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be starting off tomorrow on a better (and more patient) foot with my children.

8 Haider January 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Wish you all the best, Laura! :D

Children can be quite challenging to deal with. But as long as you can have a more compassionate attitude towards yourself, without feeling judged, you’ll be able to express greater compassion and patience towards your children.

9 sharath September 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Hi Haider

but sometimes we just reach our thresholds of our patience and things will go out of control when kids start annoying..my daughter 2 year old i think entering this terrible 2 stage where sometimes i do not know why she behaves like that and gets messy.

can you give some tip how to console ourselves and kid and make them understand and learn the situation by themselves?

Any way thanks for the good information which you shared in this site

10 Haider September 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Hi Sharath,

Thanks for passing by. :)

I believe it’s essential to treat children as children and accept the natural phases in their development. The “Terrible Twos” is a phase they will grow out of, but we need to adjust our expectations to this particular phase as they’re going through it.

Also, one of the reasons why I believe life balance to be so important is that the way we treat our children and the amount of patience we have to deal with them is strongly related to how we feel about ourselves and the way we handle our health and workload. You will notice your patience and temperament change if you change your diet, start an exercise routine, or do a bit of life planning to gain some clarity on what you want out of life. That clarity will help you approach life with an elevated perspective that can make your interactions with your daughter more enjoyable.

Finally (and more specifically), you might wanna try to negotiate with your daughter rather than tell her off. Offer an enjoyable alternative instead of telling her to stop doing what she wants to do. That might work.

All the best, my comrade in parenthood. ;)

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