Some kids are absolute angels, but not my children. There were days when my kids transform into hollering and trashing mini monsters. They are both drama queens. They must have got it from their grandma!
It wasn’t easy. How I wish somebody has given me some hints or even a kindly pat in the back during my kids’ infinite turbulent minutes. Now after two children and a decade of dealing with my little buggers, I survived to tell the tale. Tantrums are normal as they say. But that doesn’t mean that we can just accept these outbursts and not do anything. Looking back on those trying times, these are how I dealt with my youngsters.
Your kid doesn’t need an audience for her stellar performance. Your first choice is to ignore the debacle. Look away, look on your phone, and keep yourself busy. Keep a watch of your child at the corner of your eye but don’t maintain an eye contact.
Don’t match drama with drama. This is not a battle of wits. If you think it is going to be, trust me they will call ever card you have and you will fail. You can’t negotiate with demons. Neither is this an acting contest, you and them both know they learn their artful skills from you – no need to teach them more tricks. You are the adult, most days, you can do this adulting! Take some deep breaths, calm down and talk positive.
If your child’s outbursts happen at a crowded public place, move her to a quiet location. Don’t make a scene. Try to put your kid at a safer place to lessen the possibility that she’ll hit something or hurt herself. This it the moment to show your child a true lesson. How to keep calm in a public place when your being tested to the fullest limits. Calmly leave the situation, they don’t want to act accordingly, they don’t need to be there. Everyone will understand, you’re doing a great job teaching them how to behave in public. I mean even as adults we feel like having tantrums when dealing with the public, we get it.
Don’t tire your child out
The tantrum-button will auto-trigger if your kid is sleep-deprived, stressed, hungry or tired. Exhaustion tantrum is borne out of your child’s fatigue. If you are going out with a toddler, bring a stroller. Don’t tire them out, or else all hell shall break loose. Keep track of your child’s nap times even while on the road. Bring some water and snacks if you are planning to take a stroll somewhere. Just like how babies fight sleep, there will be times when your kid will break down if she is past her usual bedtime.
Play according to age
Do not challenge your child by giving a toy that is not fit for his age. Don’t make the mistake of taking her to a place where she is not meant to play or to stay longer. Your little adventurer might find a toy or a playground enticing, only to find that she cannot have it or experience it herself. Frustration over not being able to do what one wants can lead to violent breakdowns.
Caffeine is a no-no!
Some chocolates and soda have caffeine. Keep those chocolate bars out of sight. Give your child some juice or water instead of soda. It is natural that your child shall be awake past her naptime if she has caffeine in her system. Caffeine will take hours before it gets cleared out. There are even times when it’s not the caffeine that’s keeping her hyper but just the candy’s sugar content. With caffeine and sugar on her veins, you’ll have a hollering kid to manage. You’ll just have to wait until her battery runs empty or until your sanity runs dry.
Be a model parent – well try. No one is perfect!
Try not to unleash your anger at onto your child, we love them but some days this is easier said than done. I get it kids are hard and they love to push buttons. You also need to cut yourself slack. Keep your cool by picking your battles. Try not to raise your voice even if you are upset. Minimize the negatives. Instead of saying “no” outright, bargain by saying “maybe next time.” It’s about setting an example. Children model what they see you do, rather than what they hear you say.
Praise your child
Reinforce good behavior by showing approval of your child’s good conduct. Appreciate her and say that she is “doing well” if the day turned out fuss-free. Let her know that you are watching her and that you are paying attention at all times. Opt to give positive reinforcement rather than punishment. Parental approval is a child’s best motivator.
Before you go out of the house, let your child know where you are going. If she is going with you, inform her that you will both go there to say, “pick the groceries” or “do errands.” Let her know early on that you are not to go there to “buy toys or candy.” My boys are so expectant sometimes at certain places and with certain people and this is something that we have to work on over and over. The persistence will pay off in the end with grateful kids…. eventually.
Kids will be kids. Maintain your cool so your child can take a hint. Show him that you understand. Do not make unfounded promises so there will be fewer expectations. Rather than harsh discipline, choose instead some positive parenting.
What would you add to this list??