It’s normally a word you would hear used to describe a lackadaisical teenager who only wants to “chill” with his friends. But, now I am coining the term and using it in relation to parenting.
Lately, I have been “phased” by my children–A LOT. What do I mean by this? I am defining being phased as when your child suddenly freaks out about something, keeps freaking out about that something for a period of a couple of weeks to a month and then all of a sudden stops freaking out about it. YOU HAVE BEEN PHASED.
Being phased by our children is not fun–it is exhausting! Highly exhausting. When your child suddenly goes bananas over something, you are like “okay, this is normal kid stuff”. But, then, your child continues with the antics for a period of a couple of weeks to a month. Their behavior over whatever the issue may be is so dramatic and you often find it to be ridiculous. When this continues on for more than a week, a parent may worry and wonder if there is something more going on with their child or even in some cases, if there is something “wrong” with their child. Then, all of a sudden, they are no longer freaking out (for lack of a better term). The thing they were so incredibly dramatic about, and tormented by, is gone and done and no longer to be seen.
Although you are grateful that the issue has passed, for you and for them, you are also thinking “what the f***?” Why was my kid a basketcase for five weeks and now he/she is my loving angel again? The answer is–because they are human, just like us. They are individuals who are trying to figure themselves out; in the best and only way they know how.
As adults, we are constantly changing and developing. We go through style phases and value phases. We have phases where we are super motivated and other phases where we feel down on ourselves. The difference between us and them, is that we are usually able to recognize when we are in a phase and snap ourselves out of it. And, we usually come out of it before there is time for people to wonder “what the heck” is going on with us. This is not an easy feat for children; especially those younger ones.
Phases can be difficult for everyone, but it is even harder for a child when they are not being understood by those around them. At the same time, they, at such a young age, are unable to understand their own self and well, thats just rough.
This is why we need to not be angered by, and/or overly stressed, by our child’s phases. I know this is hard. For me, this is incredibly hard. But, we need to be their guide during that time and not be frustrated that they are phasing us. This is very important.
What we have to be cognizant of is the fact that being “phased” by our children is actually a positive sign. It means that they are developing properly and that they are about to undergo a transformation of self. Ultimately, they are figuring themself out and what more could we ask of them or want for them?
Every phase of our children’s lives belongs to them and us. It is what makes them into the person they will become and the family into the strong and unwavering unit it will become. Ultimately, their phases and you “being phased” will make you both better people.
So, the next time that your child “phases” you, maintain your calm energy and approach them and the issue with patience and understanding.
(She said right before she yelled at her kid and took none of her own advice. 🙁 )