I am the parent of 3 young sons. I feel as though NO MATTER what I do for my oldest, he can come off as being ungrateful and acts as if he deserves more. It is not all of the time, but it happens often to where I’m shouting why are you not happy with what we did or what you got and what you have? At stores he flops his body and gets angry if he does not get what he wants. How do I correct this behavior without being a mean parent?

Dear Sweet Mama,

I love how you want to find a kind response to your child’s behavior. This intention alone is enough to begin an energy shift in your relationship with him. Please offer yourself gratitude and appreciation for your willingness to reach out and for your intention to be kind. Please take a breath and gently close your eyes. Allow yourself to be with these words “No matter what I do, I am not appreciated.”

How long ago did you learn this feeling sweet mama? Where else does this feeling of being unappreciated show up in your life now? What kind of messaging did you receive about your efforts and doings when you were young? Did you have to suck it up and appreciate what was given to you with an undertone of lack? I have walked in these shoes my love. The brand of these shoes is called fear. You are in fear that you will never be appreciated in the way you longed to be then and still long to be now. Even this small human whom you do so much for isn’t able to give this appreciation to you after all.

Sweet Mama, you need a new pair of shoes. The new shoes are called self appreciation. If these new shoes could talk, they would say “Oh, I see you Sweet Mama. I see how much you are doing to make a great life for those around you. I see the huge efforts and sacrifices you make everyday to show up for the people you love. I see you trying so hard. You are amazing. I appreciate you.

Sweet Mama, when you change this energy towards yourself, your son’s energy will change.

As for the current discomfort in stores, yes your son deserves more. Not material things but inner worth. Allow your sweet boy to flop even if it is hard to watch. Give him the space to express his desires and how hard it is to be in stores and not want things. I am right here with you holding your hand. You can do this.

What wants do you have Sweet Mama that you restrict? Buy yourself those new shoes and know that there is nothing to correct, there are only feelings to feel. Kids flopping in stores in normal my love. Culture and marketing make it so hard not to want things and little brains are not made to process all of this. What would be kind to you and to him? Perhaps it is to discern whether it is healthy for him to go to stores in this moment or perhaps understanding that this is really hard for him and overstimulating to no fault of his own is enough to help him through it. You have the wisdom inside you.