If you’ve got little kiddos then you’ve probably experienced a tantrum/hissy-fit/screaming session. Here are a few helpful tips to minimize these.
- EXPLAIN: I can’t stress this enough, if someone just said to you “come with me now and don’t ask me about it,” would you be a little prickly towards them? Give clear instructions before going anywhere and tell them where you’re going when you leave: “let’s go to the shop/home to see the pussy cat” etc better than “come on, we’re going now.”
- Give a Warning: 5 mins, 2 or 3 mins and a 1 min/get your things…this helps them prepare emotionally. They will also learn what it takes to leave somewhere such as getting shoes, saying goodbye, etc. Useful for the future. Also, give a warning before discipline to give them the opportunity to choose to behave.
- Give 2 Choices: “Do you want peas or beans?” for example, allows them to feel in control but does not give them the option of saying no to veg or asking for something you haven’t got.
- Follow Through: If you say 5 mins then it’s 5 mins, not 20 because of another conversation starting…even if they’re too young to tell time they are aware of it passing. if you say no (explain why and) stick to it.
- Time Out: This is often the most effective discipline. Explain why they’re getting it, then they sit or stand somewhere safe but un-stimulating for 1 minute per year of life, if they leave the spot time starts again (they will throw a fit the first couple of times but if you persist they’ll soon realize you’re not budging) then they apologise and get a hug…If you’re out from home, we sat her on our laps and held her there for the time (they will scream like you’re a murderer, but I only ever had to do it twice; then she realized same rules apply outside too!)
- Stay Calm: If you are angry or sleep deprived to start with it’s harder to be consistent with a child. If you need to step away for a breather, make sure your partner/mum/friend reinforces these rules while you compose yourself.
- Take a Deep Breath: It probably will happen at some point, but hopefully less if you explain and act calmly but firmly. You are not a bad parent, in fact you’re a good one for attempting to discipline them in a fair way!
I hope this helps,