After the babyhood, I thought nothing could be more difficult.
I had no idea that a little boy would make me look back in that first year and I think no, that was the easy part. It was parenting 101.
My child gave me a visit for my money, I was on the way on my head. I felt like I was failing. If you have or already have a child. You know exactly what I mean. Your little boy brought you to the point of dissonance.
Eventually, I decided to find someone who could help me. My friend, the expert (aka daycare and preschool teacher for over 30 years).
When I started to trust her, she offered to help me. She comes twice a week and works with us.
Here’s what I learned.
Natural consequences are the best way to gain cooperation
Your child learns not to touch anything hot because the natural result is that they are burned. The natural consequences teach them how the world works. It’s the best way to end the battles.
They don’t think you’re making unfair rules instead of learning to navigate their world.
If your child wants to go out without shoes in the middle of winter, let him go because he will understand the purpose of the shoes very quickly.
I wanted my child to wear sunscreen before we went out, but he was very sick of the fight. His advice was to choose a day when I had a lot of time and didn’t need to be anywhere. Then you ask if they want to go to the stadium. Of course, she said yes.
Then I had to tell him that we couldn’t go until we put on sunscreen. I lost my mind, I had to stay calm and say ok and then we couldn’t get out until we put the sunscreen on. I ran for 45 minutes.
When you say I want to go to the stadium, I would say fine, we’ll get your sunscreen on.
I didn’t put it on it until I decided it was okay in the end, I decided they wanted sunscreen because they finally realized it was the only way to play. I finished the fight and the natural result was not to put on sunscreen no playground.
Next time, it took him 15 minutes to get to the fact that this is the rule every time. She soon learned that if she wanted to go out, then she needed sunscreen. We never fight again and now he reminds me when I forget to lock the sun before leaving as she tells her father before he goes to work that he needs like a sun to go outside.
Remember to HALT to reset
This is a very useful expression to keep in mind when your child breaks down. It represents hunger, anger, loneliness, and fatigue. Before you do anything, try to get through these and see which one applies to your child.
Forget a lot about how often they need to eat or have water. Once they reach a certain point in their collapse, they do not always ask or do not know how to ask for what they need. Try a snack, give a simple hug, or change your activity.
I am amazed at how many times a crisis can be avoided by dealing with one of these.
Once your child can talk, you need to get into the habit of making them use words at all. The more they train, the better once you get enough vocabulary don’t take yes or no answers.
They always use complete sentences, even when you check their books from the library, and they like them to do the conversation. You can tell them what they are saying, but ask them to do the interaction.
It is very important, the more they train, the more they know the words they are able to use. You will have fewer tantrums and less “bad behavior” like hitting because they have a tool (words). It also allows children to be more assertive. Another important skill is when they finally reach school age.
So when they start melting and making wrights and you realize they’re hungry, say I see you starving, do you want a snack? If the answer is yes, then ask them to say, “I want a snack please.”
The more they practice using their words to order a snack, the more they associate that (hungry) feeling with the right thing to do (order a snack).
Seriously for everything, tell them what they say and ask them to repeat it if they can’t think about words or struggle.
The best calming down tool
Another really important step in mood attacks is to learn the ability to calm down. My friend said they use this in their class all the time as soon as emotions go, they tell the child to take some deep breaths. It really helps the baby to come down.
Honestly, when I suggested this, I didn’t really think it would make much difference. But I gave it a try because my method (trying to talk logically to my child) wasn’t working.
I started every time it came out of hand, and I would say very quietly to see that you are experiencing strong feelings, let’s take a few deep breaths.
She was shouting no at first, I kept saying a deep breath and I finally started doing it. After about 2-3 deep breaths were calm. Then I ask her to use her words and tell me what she needs or what is going on, etc.
After using this method for a few weeks, she remembers her little sister to take a deep breath when she cries.
She’ll also take a deep breath when she loses after I mention her. The tantrums literally took 20 minutes and changed them in 1-2 minutes. We also use it when you start going right.
My friend told me it was okay to help my child calm down by hugging himself and sometimes he was still there sometimes when we did.
However, it is not a skill she can take with her in kindergarten. It is her instruction to determine when she has feelings, calm down, then be resolved, and express what is happening.
Observe before assuming
If you have problems with your child, the best thing you’ve learned is not to assume. For example, when we went to Angie’s in the library, my baby ended up screaming and crying. I hated him.
I finally took a step back and tried to observe. I realized it was a particular song that was going to turn it off. It was a song about toe-toe that she had injured months earlier and kept the “Band Ed” all the time she hated taking off her socks and started crying when she saw him do a “still hurt.” So when I realized which song I lit, it wasn’t hard for me to guess why.
Next time I asked the teacher if I could skip this song just for the day so I could see if I was right. No breakdowns at all. Then we asked him to keep the song in circulation in the future because if they fear something, you should never avoid it, which brings me to my next point.
If your child has fear or anxiety about something, keep doing it
It’s really important to keep in mind that young children (and children) go through stages. Our child was afraid of loud noises. Then I started to avoid the loud noise because I didn’t want her to get angry. This is the worst thing to do because you make sure they are already scary and something to avoid and fear.
Instead, you should not avoid or be ashamed of what scares them. You should do it as if it’s not a big deal, no matter what it suits it throws away. Validate their feelings like “Wow which is a loud noise. That may sound scary. If you don’t like it, then you can cover your ears and it is no longer too high.
If they are afraid of group settings, then you have to keep going. Start by letting them stay on your lap all the time. If that’s too much, then use the time (see timer board below) and tell them we’ll stay for 5 minutes. Work to the full duration. After that, you sat them next to you and then a little further.
They need to see each other succeed. They have to go through them to know that they are not scary to validate their feelings is different from confirming their fears.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
I was complaining to my friend (a bank teacher) about how my child doesn’t like bathrooms, wets, swimming pools, spray parks, or playgrounds. She’s screaming.
Then she also said that if my husband and I had thought about it, one of us could have been like this when he was a child or else. I nailed it, I hate to this day the temperature changes. I’m like a chicken to get into a cold pond. I hate the heat, I hate the heat, I hate the heat, it makes me difficult.
So it shouldn’t be a shock to me that my child is just like me. However, I had this idea in my head what it should be like a little boy. I saw all those other children who were killed in the early gardens with blue lips pass the time of their lives. I don’t understand why he didn’t share my baby, and now I understand.
I became much better at taking that into account. I tried a lot to differ bathroom temperatures, so we found the right one (the battle bath went). I went from hating pigeons to loving it, we just go to the garden early in the morning before the heat starts. We also just go to hot pools and love them.
I was also going to tell him that my child doesn’t like big crowds, but again, that’s all stressed out in group settings (guilty).
Check your own reactions
On a note of “Apples don’t fall far from the tree,” my friend reminded me to be wary of my own reactions. For example, because I’m tired of group settings, how much stress does my child put on you?
In Storytime, if there are too many children, I have an internal panic attack. I realized that my nervousness and stress with so many children in one mode showed him that it was something to panic about. She had quite taken my reactions as signals about whether the situation was good or bad.
Now, when I see my own anxiety grow, I make a deliberate effort to entrust it.
A visual timer teaches the abstract idea of time
Not understanding time makes life difficult for your child. You say you’ll be back in a second when you mean 5 minutes. Tell the kids you have 3 minutes to play, but what does that really mean? Also, how good are you actually after 3 minutes being 3 minutes?
You really want children to understand time because it will make your life easier. I had no idea that an optical timer would change my life. You can get a free one on your phone by downloading a visual timer app or just a simple battery-powered visual timer.
Introduce the timer
Now I present this concept starting just now. Let them help you set them up, then ask them to keep checking how the time is running. We will see a red ribbon (in my case) begin to disappear. When it’s all gone, the timer rings.
Examples of easy things on time: we can play with this game for 5 minutes (set the timer). We have to wait 10 minutes before lunchtime (timer set). When you are asked to do something like read a book, I say I can in 2 minutes (set the timer).
Use it for waiting and leaving
The result is that they are better off waiting and leaving. This gives them a way to understand time. Now I don’t use it all the time after we’ve literally used it at all for a week to learn more about it. But now, when my child doesn’t want to leave or don’t wait, we can use it to avoid collapse.
She is more willing to do something if the interim says that we have to tell me that we have to do it by having her help in setting up the timer, and I think that also allows her to feel like he makes the decision and has some control.
Use it for bedtime
Another really great thing, I learned that when my child doesn’t want to go to bed or let me go, I ask her if she wants me to check on her. She always says yes, and she sets the timer for 20 minutes. Most of the time they sleep before that, but if not, I go in and we put the timer back for another check.
If you still have to stay until you fall asleep, then use the timer to change it. If you use it for a few days throughout the day, then they understand that once set, it will always explode. You could have them set for 1 minute to start and slowly increase the time. After making sure you come back every time, the timer will give them the assurance of that, so you should be able to just set the timer every night and check-in after 30 minutes or more.
Don’t compare your kid’s social learning with daycare kids
If your child is at home with you, then he will go through the “social learning” phase differently from the child who has been in group environments since birth. This does not mean that your child is behind you and it simply means that they have not been exposed to this kind of environment to develop these skills yet.
Once you hit the kindergarten and become one of the ducks (and go over the adjustment phase), then you’ll see them catch up. Continue to expose your child to other children through the moments of the story and playtimes, but keep in mind the type of care that other children have before you think your child is behind it.
I was so worried that my little boy was delayed and my girlfriend assured me she wasn’t so well and didn’t need to know how to talk or play with the kids on her own yet. Most children (especially in the last generation where many mothers have stayed at home) go through this stage between the age of 3-4.
Praise public, correct privately
As all good managers know, the best way to guide them is not to correct someone when they can embarrass them. This also applies to young children. It also means not doing it in front of their brothers. The best way to get a child to do something or correct their behavior is to hire another child for the exact thing you want your son to do. “Wow, Emma likes the way she says please when ordering a snack. noted that I did not compare at all in this statement.
Tell them what to do
Another easy way to stay away from a patch in public is to tell them instead what they should do. If your son runs away, ask him to come back and tell you where they are going or ask him to come and hold their sister’s hand. If they throw sand, indicate that they turn it into a sandcastle and start it. With young children, it is very easy because it is easily distracted.
Constantly tell them the right thing to do, so for example instead of grabbing people’s faces, let’s say hello and wave their hands.
The more you say “no” to them, the more they will because they generally can’t get the right thing done themselves. We know you have to walk and not run, but why do they? If you call them back every time, they will start learning to walk when I’m in the library, etc.
Social stories should be used by all parents
Social his stories are well known to private education professionals. However, they can really help all children. Like any book, you can read, social history is a book about them. In the book, they tackle something that scares them or something they struggle with.
It is a positive promotion and encouragement to its best. They see themselves facing their fears, overcoming them, and succeeding. Then, the next time they are in this situation, they will have more confidence knowing that they can succeed. Another aspect of most social stories is that they are given the tools to succeed. You can then remind them of social history and tools the next time you are in this situation.
Comfort, ignore, distract
You know those days when you can’t handle another battle or collapse, instead of engaging in a power struggle, try this method. My friend said they use this in kindergarten when nothing else works. The first rest until they know that you hear them and that their feelings are validated. After a quick rest, ignore the behavior completely and find something to do.
His favorite goes is to pick up a book and start reading it aloud. The cub is usually distracted by the breakdown. Curiosity always wins. Other options are to start playing with a game or do an art project.
Sibling golden rules
Since my child was also adjusting to have a new brother, my friend gave me some good advice here. I think it’s a very common child thing to experience since most people are space kids 2 or 3 years apart from each other. It’s really an adjustment for you and your child that your father needs to change.
First, she said to read “Brothers without antagonism,” the best step I took to help my brothers become friends for life.
The “rand” rules that I highlighted that were discussed are also in the book.
Describe the situation when a problem arises, and then give it back to them. For example, I see that your sister also wants to play with the book. You had it first, so it’s your turn, but it’s also your choice to decide to share it. I’ll let you decide, but I think it would be nice for you to share it.
No praise or corrections by comparison. In general, never compare because these comments can do serious damage especially when attached to praise or correction of behavior. Instead of your sister cleaning her room you too can tell the sister ‘Wow, make me very happy that you clean your room’ and that sometimes you actually get another one to do it because they also want to praise it. Or you can say, “I want you to clean your room before we can leave,” don’t add like your sister at the end.
Pursue your toddler Today
Young children can be cute as a button, say the sweetest thing, and show you more love than you think possible. It can also make you feel like the greatest failure, question the integrity of your mind, and exhaust you beyond believing.
No one knows how to treat these young people more than someone who works with them day in and day out. My friend has been a preschool teacher for over 30 years. I didn’t think much or credit it until I had my own child. Now I know they have to pay more than they do.
My friend really helped me with the best way to manage my little boy’s feelings to facilitate his continued growth in the best way possible. She also gave me some mental health by giving me the tools. I hope these tools help you too.
If you find this message about parenting children useful, please share it on Pinterest or Facebook