I just wanted to share a thought with you all after several conversations I have had this week.
Remember you are not the first parent to be going through what you are and you wont be the last!
When people say a behaviour is a stage and it will pass, a lot of the time it will, as long as you deal with it in a calm consistent way. There are clearly some exceptions to this and medical conditions that mean it is not always the case.
From experience (i have three children) I can tell you it doesn't matter the age of the child, children know how to push their parents buttons!
We have all been there, the supermarket tantrum, arguments, your child being an angel until you really need them to be, the moment they open their mouth and say something that makes you cringe inside.
But what do you do? and more importantly what do you do that works?
Lets focus on younger children, just like with older children consistency is the key. Make sure you stick to the boundaries you set, if you say no then mean it, if you give them a reward follow through on it. Children have memories like elephants and know how to use your actions to their advantage.
Just as important as consistency is to keep calm, easier said than done I know, I have been there and still am at times that manic Mum trying to get children to do one simple task after asking what seems like one hundred times.
Children especially younger children love attention and are not always fussy as to if that's positive or negative attention, they just love your attention. imagine how entertaining you are wailing like a banshee asking them to get dressed for the millionth time, fantastic its brilliant entertainment. However a calm, consistent parent who ensures they do as they are asked in a calm firm manner is boring so is more likely to get the reaction they are looking for.
There are a few techniques we see work regularly with a tweak or two to meet the needs of children and their families, you can always try them for yourselves.
-Time Out - Remove the child from the situation, stay with them while they calm down, in age appropriate language explain why they were removed and a solution. This is not a punishment and the child is not left alone to calm themselves or scream it out. We do have a step by step guide to using time out effectively to get a copy simply drop us a message here.
- Know when you're in for a battle and prepare - There are times when you know things will be tough, for example morning routines, supermarket shopping, etc. If you think about these situations in advance, you can plan for them. An example is if the supermarket shop is tough can you make it a shorter trip or task them with their own list to find?
- Make a big deal of the behaviour you want! When your child is behaving in the way you want them to, make a big deal of it. Really reward what you want and you will start to see more of it. The key is making more of the positive behaviour than the negative
There are so many more tips we can give I could be here all day! If you would like some personalised hints and tips developed fo your family that really work get in touch today by emailing us or catching us on facebook to find out more about how we can help you.
I love hearing what works for you, please comment below or get in touch.