Updated: Feb 23
How many times has your child had a tantrum and you responded by yelling back at them? Or you openly voiced your disappointment in their behavior by shrieking/grunting/public acts of disapproval?
None of us are perfect by any means, and unfortunately; the above happens to even the best of us, employing the best practices we know, with the best intentions. Maybe lack of sleep, frustration or anxiety are to blame for our own melt downs but whatever the case:
Here are 3 tips that can help you in the process of practicing better ways of disciplining and, set you in the right path of a more peaceful connection with your child, leaving fewer hurt feelings behind. After all, it is said, “the way we speak to our children become their inner voice.”
1) Don’t bribe - The child then gets the idea that even if they don’t want to behave a certain way or do a certain thing, they should do it anyway because it they will be “paid” for it. Instead, reward the child with time. Experts have deemed at least 15 minutes of quality one on one time with your child important every day. They allude good behavior to how much time the parent spends with the child, doing something the child would enjoy while offering them praise. As parents, we should make a conscious effort to spend quality time instead of using bribery to gain desired behavior.
2) Redirect - Not just the child in this case, but ourselves as well. When you as an adult notice your energy draining and you are leaning more on the edge of frustration, walk away or redirect your attention to something else. Take a deep breath and walk away until you have collected your emotions and dealt with them. Likewise, when your child starts acting a certain way, redirect their attention. If you are in the grocery store and they start throwing a tantrum, ask them to help you pick the fruit or find something on the shelf, etc. 3) Give more attention to behaviors you like instead of behaviors you don’t. There’s a common quote that says, “rain on the grass, not on the weeds” This principle is ideal when dealing with kids. Sure, correct them when they are doing something wrong but don’t continue to nag or harp on that behavior. Instead find the positive ones and glorify them so the child knows the best way to garner your attention is not by acting out but rather by acting well.
With the advent of technology, it is useful to keep peaceful, calming soundtracks on your mobile device so that it can help to soothe and shift the focus, when needed for both the child and adult. In the case of toddlers, many melt downs can be avoided by sticking to a sleep schedule and ensuring that nap times are kept. Sleep sounds on the go can be useful for this! It is also useful for parents who just need a quick meditational moment on the go.
It is important to note that despite the way our days turned out, research says one of the most important times of day is when we put our children to bed and we should ensure that it is peaceful and filled with loving affirmations.
Naimah Shaw is the mother of five beautiful children and the owner/content creator of the parenting blog, This Beautiful Life. There you can find product reviews, articles and conversations about food, homeschooling and motherhood. We are pleased to have her as a regular contributor to Fade Away Sleep Sounds.