Teaching from rest can feel like an elusive dream when your house is busy and loud with kids who don't seem to have the same ideals. Often our children's attitudes affect our state as a restful teacher - and sometimes it's not for the better.
How to Deal with Bad Attitudes
I have been blessed with a daughter that is usually easygoing. Our homeschool journey to date has been pretty routine with only minor disruptions.
But now that we've reached the middle school years I'm seeing bad attitudes and tears more often (thank you hormones!).
I try to not let it affect me and my teaching - usually, I just try to ignore it and hope she will self-correct. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I get angry and then our homeschool rhythm is shot.
But I am learning a few tricks to help ME keep my cool. I'm realizing that I can keep a restful atmosphere, despite my daughter's attitude, as long as I can hold on to that feeling of peace.
Here are a few ways I’m learning to manage bad attitudes while homeschooling:
Assess the Attitude
When I see an attitude start to rear its ugly head, my first instinct is to react. Thankfully, I’m learning that instinct is usually not correct!
Instead of reacting to the attitude, I need to discover the reason for the attitude.
Then I can deal with the root of the issue and hold on to that restful learning atmosphere – something that’s a little harder in these middle school years.
Give Her Space
Sometimes my daughter just needs some space. We are together all day.
I know that I like my daily quiet time and since she’s an introvert as well, she needs that alone time as well.
Usually, when I see an attitude start to emerge I’ll let her take some work to her room or another neutral location and she can be by herself.
Very often, just getting alone for awhile takes care of the crabbiness.
A Few Healthy Habits
When I start to see attitudes creeping in more often, I take a look at her schedule. Sometimes we need to readjust. There are three things I like to take a look at when TJ starts getting a bit too crabby:
- sleep schedules (middle schoolers still need lots of rest)
- a good breakfast every day (that includes protein)
- ramp up the exercise (yeah for Wii Fit when it’s snowing around here)
Often, when we make a few intentional changes, TJ starts to feel better and she’s back to her usual happy self.
We’ve been blessed that we haven’t had to deal with more severe behavioral issues – just the average ‘growing-up’ changes. With the tips listed above, we’ve been able to deal with daily attitudes. But if you’re child is more defiant or strong-willed, you may need to dig a little deeper. A few ideas:
- take a look at your curriculum – is it too hard or too easy?
- are you expecting too much or too little?
- do they need some encouragement?
- time for discipline – losing privileges or favorite toys/electronics?
- need to work on habit training or discussing appropriate behavior?
Two other things to remember – be consistent with whatever you are doing. And don’t forget to show forgiveness and grace. Our kids need to know that we love them unconditionally – even when we may not like their behavior.
More ideas for teaching from rest from Chelli & Sara:
Do you have any tips or ideas for overcoming bad attitudes while homeschooling?