I just love this photo … As much as we may not want to admit it; there truly is a little bugger and devil in all our children. It does not matter how cute and adorable we think they may be at the time because we can't loose sight of the fact discipline is so very important when raising children. We all can attest a child's unacceptable behavior can get out of hand very quickly when it is ignored and not addressed immediately. They are extremely bright little buggers and learn straight out of the womb how to wrap themselves around our hearts and test us to the limit. However, it doesn't take long for that little darling to turn into a holy terror.
I've been blessed with 5 beautiful grandchildren all between the ages of 6 months ~ 10 years. I truly have to catch myself when one of them act up and it certainly wouldn't help the situation if they catch Gramma giggling. I came across an exceptional article and some questions you may be asking yourselves as young moms might be: how do I react when my child does something wrong or, I've let my child get out of hand and now I don't know what to do? The steps below are tried and true measures and will only be effective if you follow them to the letter with firmness and consistency. The minute you deviate from the process and give in is the moment your child realizes your limitations. This process must be duplicated by whoever is caring for your child; otherwise it will prove both confusing and ineffective:
* Go down to their level - remember we are
dealing with children and towering over them creating fear and
intimidation will create a negative impact and not positive reinforcement
* Make eye contact - hold your child's face
tenderly between your hands and look them firmly in the eye
Tell them what they did is unacceptable and name it - slapping/biting your sister is wrong, crayons are to be used for coloring in your book or drawing on paper not on the wall, we do not scream because you can not have something you can not have right now because ....
Give them a warning the first time they do something wrong - tell them if they do it again they will go to the "Naughty Chair"/"Naughty Step" and start this around the age of 2 with two or three simple rules like no biting, hitting, throwing toys or screaming. DO NOT make this a place where they sleep-eat-play, otherwise they will sleep, eat, or play there.
* For children younger than two, try involving them in
an activity or distracting from what's going on because they are too young to understand the process.
* More times than not, they
will repeat the bad behavior. This is the time you take the child and sit them in(on) the Naughty Chair(step). You may be asking, why a particular spot? It should be in a place where there are no distractions. This gives them time to think about what they did wrong without any one bothering them. Children react when they have an audience. If you simply ignore their tantrums, and remain consistent, they will eventually accept the punishment. Explain very clearly, firmly and calmly why they are sitting there, that they must stay there until you come and get them. You may have to put your child there a dozen times in half an hour. Every time they get up you must put them back gently and firmly for the length of the time you told them which is one minute for each year of their age. Eventually they will come to realize you mean business and will stay put.
* Remember, your role is
teaching your child bad behavior has real consequences and you are giving them the opportunity to think about their actions and knowing the importance of saying sorry and how to move on.
* Once your
child has served their designated time, it is important that they must apologize for being bad. Ask them "are you sorry for being bold?" If your child just nods their head you must say, "tell mommy/daddy/caregiver's name I'm sorry". When the child does, say thank you, tell them you love them and give them a hug.
* If your
child is 6 or older, they can go to a room that is not their bedroom and does not have a TV or other enjoyable activities to occupy their time. It must be a boring place and this does not mean a pantry or a closet. You could try using an area of the house where they can go to calm down and then discuss the issue properly (perhaps a den, closed in porch, the kitchen). This shows your child you're giving him space to mature and
deal with his feelings as an adult.
Everything you introduce your
child to that is new may seem trying on your nerves and never ending at the very beginning. Don't lose heart though. No one said that parenting would be easy. Staying calm and keeping a cool head will promote positive behavior and help your child grow into a loving, stable, productive and mature young adult.
Do the terrible twos have you
stressed out? Is your 4-year old’s behavior driving you nuts? Are temper tantrums a regular event in your house? Maybe you find yourself pulling out your hair because your kids are difficult to control? Do you feel guilty because you yell at your kids too much, even though you love them tons?