Lately I have been receiving emails from mothers who are frustrated with their children’s behaviors and can recount every small thing their child does (or does not do!) The cycle seems to be a difficult one to break as mother and child get locked into battle positions.
May I suggest something to try?
Benign neglect. A tad of benign neglect. Benign neglect is that art of discernment in parenting; in knowing what really needs your full attention and truly needs to be addressed, but in also knowing what needs to not be seen and what should have a blind eye on the part of the parent! It is being fully present yet knowing that the best way to respond at times is not to respond. For example, the discernment of knowing that your child can come up with a cure for their own boredom, for example, when you stop drawing such consciousness to it and keep on with your own work whilst being fully present.
Therefore, based upon that, I think one of the best ways to work with benign neglect is rhythm and real work. Everything does not fall apart when one child falls apart. That child is loved, but dinner is still served, joy is still there and life is happening, come back and join us, small child.
The other place where benign neglect starts is through your own inner work. You must carry your own confidence and know that putting every behavior to psychoanalysis is not only unnecessary, but also harmful. I see so many mothers today putting out fear and anxiety in their parenting. Sideways parenting through just planting the small seeds of things is ever so much more effective in the long run of parenting. Think stories, think your own work and space and time.
Give your child space to breathe. Give them room to make mistakes and to fix those mistakes. Laugh and find the joy and humor.
Live your life and enjoy it. Here is a rather old post on the topic of letting go, but I think it still stands: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/28/letting-go/