We all know it, that point of no return that point in the mist of your child’s terrible behavior that sends our blood boiling. You know that moment right… Where you just want to (insert your own action) …
That exact moment that you can feel your blood start to boil and that vain in your forehead start to pop out. Where your firm voice could change to a yelling voice at any moment.
Where you feel like “today is the day that I could very well lose my mind”.
I have even said those words out loud to myself before. It makes me feel better. Then I just have to laugh at myself because really, am I going to lose my mind. No… But it sure feels that way in the heat of that moment.
I remember getting spanked only a few times as a child. I must have pushed my parents to that moment for them to spank me. It was not something that happened often, only a few times. However, I can remember every detail of those few spanking times. For me as a kid, being sent to my room was like the end of the world, being out of the action that was like cruel torture for me.
Now a days, we live in the era of yelling and spanking are wrong and positive reinforcement is the way to go. I believe that yelling and spanking solve nothing, teach nothing, and are totally non- productive.
That is totally my soapbox opinion (stepping down)…
This is a judgment free place! What and how you choose to discipline your child is totally your prerogative and what I do is totally my choice! Judgment free!
In the heat of the moment where that little bugger knows just how to – keep- on –pushing- it and you began to feel the temperature start to rise. What do you do? How do you handle the situation? This is a judgment free zone here!
When I am in that situation with Little Dude and I am pushed to the limit. I start sing to myself in my head. And when it is something that is funny, I turn around so he can’t see me laugh or smile. I put my back to him, say nothing, do nothing, and yes. It is the same thing I do with my barking dogs. IGNORE! Some times it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I would say 99.9% of the time it works. But seriously, I could win an Emmy based on my acting performance.
Does it really matter the spanking thing? I think so. It is so common. Why is that? Is fear a better teacher to your child then praise and reinforcement? I never want my child to fear me. I just want him to know when I mean business. So my firm voice comes out (when I usually say Little Dude’s first and middle name) and he knows I mean business.
Then I start counting out loud. It calms me down, as well as him. It also gives me a moment to think about how to handle the situation. I’m not a yeller and I know that I can handle the situation better if both of us step back and reflect.
Counting helps me do that and it calms the situation down. You have to find what works for you. Maybe walking out of the room for a second, or grabbing a drink of water helps you or taking some deep breaths.
Whatever it is, you have to find what works for you. I have even started counting to myself in “adult situation” that upset me like the time in the pizza place a few weeks ago (read that post). Find what ever it is that helps calms you down quickly.
Next time you feel your temperature rising. Step back for a second, before you attempt to deal with anything, gather yourself first and then try this…
1. Ignore the Junk Behavior. If they are not hurting anyone, destroying any thing, or hurting himself or herself, then ignore them. Ignore any age appropriate “junk behavior” that is just annoying like whining, crying, and yelling/ screaming.
2. Keep them safe. Trust me they will stop as soon as they see they are not getting any reaction from you. Peek at them and make sure they safe. They may get mad. But they will stop. And that moment they do stop even for a second! Reinforce them! Say something like! “Good job calming down” or “Thank you for calming down”.
3. Catch the Good Stuff. Be proactive and reward the “good behavior” when you see it. Let them know you see it! Tell them! “I love seeing you share”, or “Thank you for putting your shoes on”, or “great job putting away your toys”! Catch the good stuff and reward it with praise and attention.
4. Don’t only recognize the negative behavior and respond to that. You have to respond to both, the good and the not so good! Just like adults… Adults like to be told when they are doing a good job at work. Some adult even get promoted or a bonus for doing great work. Same works for kids! Kids work for attention and a special treat. Whatever it maybe; a sticker, a lollypop, a toy, etc. Adults are reinforced by money; and kids are reinforced by sticker, toys, candy, etc. Pick a few things your kids like and use that as the reinforcement! What CEO do you know that only works and gets paid with praise & attention?
5. Behavior charts are fabulous. Visual reminders are awesome. They remind kids what the expectation is and behavior charts show kids how they are doing. It is something both parents and kids can keep track of. And it helps with consistency. Kids can see how they are doing.
6. Be consistent! It can be difficult but stick with it. It will pay off!
Remember every situation is a learning experience. If you do not like where it is going then change it. You are in control of you, your feelings and the situation. Kids are kids and they are looking to us for guidance, love and understanding!
Now go give your kids a big hug!
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